WorldWideScience

Sample records for alpine plant communities

  1. Distance and environmental difference in alpine plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Differences in plant communities are a response to the abiotic environment, species interactions, and dispersal. The role of geographic distance relative to the abiotic environment is explored for alpine tundra vegetation from 319 plots of four regions along the Rocky Mountain cordillera in the USA. The site by species data were ordinated using nonmetric multidimensional scaling to produce dependent variables for use in best-subsets regression. For independent variables, observations of local topography and microtopography were used as environmental indicators. Two methods of including distance in studies of vegetation and environment are used and contrasted. The relative importance of geographic distance in accounting for the pattern of alpine tundra similarity indicates that location is a factor in plant community composition. Mantel tests provide direct correlations between difference and distance but have known weaknesses. Moran spatial eigenvectors used in regression based approaches have greater geographic specificity, but require another step, ordination, in creating a vegetation variable. While the spatial eigenvectors are generally preferable, where species–environment relations are weak, as seems to be the case for the alpine sites studied here, the fewer abstractions of the Mantel test may be useful.

  2. Plants in alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Alpine and subalpine plant species are of special interest in ecology and ecophysiology because they represent life at the climate limit and changes in their relative abundances can be a bellwether for climate-change impacts. Perennial life forms dominate alpine plant communities, and their form and function reflect various avoidance, tolerance, or resistance strategies to interactions of cold temperature, radiation, wind, and desiccation stresses that prevail in the short growing seasons common (but not ubiquitous) in alpine areas. Plant microclimate is typically uncoupled from the harsh climate of the alpine, often leading to substantially warmer plant temperatures than air temperatures recorded by weather stations. Low atmospheric pressure is the most pervasive, fundamental, and unifying factor for alpine environments, but the resulting decrease in partial pressure of CO2 does not significantly limit carbon gain by alpine plants. Factors such as tree islands and topographic features create strong heterogeneous mosaics of microclimate and snow cover that are reflected in plant community composition. Factors affecting tree establishment and growth and formation of treeline are key to understanding alpine ecology. Carbohydrate and other carbon storage, rapid development in a short growing season, and physiological function at low temperature are prevailing attributes of alpine plants. A major contemporary research theme asks whether chilling at alpine-treeline affects the ability of trees to assimilate the growth resources and particularly carbon needed for growth or whether the growth itself is limited by the alpine environment. Alpine areas tend to be among the best conserved, globally, yet they are increasingly showing response to a range of anthropogenic impacts, such as atmospheric deposition.

  3. Alien Roadside Species More Easily Invade Alpine than Lowland Plant Communities in a Subarctic Mountain Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment. PMID:24586947

  4. Plant radiation history affects community assembly: evidence from the New Zealand alpine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, William G; Tanentzap, Andrew J; Heenan, Peter B

    2012-08-23

    The hypothesis that early plant radiations on islands dampen diversification and reduce habitat occupancy of later radiations via niche pre-emption has never, to our knowledge, been tested. We investigated clade-level dynamics in plant radiations in the alpine zone, New Zealand. Our aim was to determine whether radiations from older colonizations influenced diversification and community dominance of species from later colonizations within a common bioclimatic zone over the past ca 10 Myr. We used stem ages derived from the phylogenies of 17 genera represented in alpine plant communities in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, and assessed their presence and cover in 262 (5 × 5 m) vegetation plots. Our results show clear age-related community assembly effects, whereby congenerics from older colonizing genera co-occur more frequently and with greater cover per unit area than those from younger colonizing genera. However, we find no evidence of increased species richness with age of colonization in the alpine zone. The data support priority effects via niche pre-emption among plant radiations influencing community assembly.

  5. Relations of alpine plant communities across environmental gradients: Multilevel versus multiscale analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Kinney, Mitch; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Alpine plant communities vary, and their environmental covariates could influence their response to climate change. A single multilevel model of how alpine plant community composition is determined by hierarchical relations is compared to a separate examination of those relations at different scales. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling of species cover for plots in four regions across the Rocky Mountains created dependent variables. Climate variables are derived for the four regions from interpolated data. Plot environmental variables are measured directly and the presence of thirty-seven site characteristics is recorded and used to create additional independent variables. Multilevel and best subsets regressions are used to determine the strength of the hypothesized relations. The ordinations indicate structure in the assembly of plant communities. The multilevel analyses, although revealing significant relations, provide little explanation; of the site variables, those related to site microclimate are most important. In multiscale analyses (whole and separate regions), different variables are better explanations within the different regions. This result indicates weak environmental niche control of community composition. The weak relations of the structure in the patterns of species association to the environment indicates that either alpine vegetation represents a case of the neutral theory of biogeography being a valid explanation or that it represents disequilibrium conditions. The implications of neutral theory and disequilibrium explanations are similar: Response to climate change will be difficult to quantify above equilibrium background turnover.

  6. Plant community and soil chemistry responses to long-term nitrogen inputs drive changes in alpine bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xia; Knelman, Joseph E; Gasarch, Eve; Wang, Deli; Nemergut, Diana R; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial community composition and diversity was studied in alpine tundra soils across a plant species and moisture gradient in 20 y-old experimental plots with four nutrient addition regimes (control, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or both nutrients). Different bacterial communities inhabited different alpine meadows, reflecting differences in moisture, nutrients and plant species. Bacterial community alpha-diversity metrics were strongly correlated with plant richness and the production of forbs. After meadow type, N addition proved the strongest determinant of bacterial community structure. Structural Equation Modeling demonstrated that tundra bacterial community responses to N addition occur via changes in plant community composition and soil pH resulting from N inputs, thus disentangling the influence of direct (resource availability) vs. indirect (changes in plant community structure and soil pH) N effects that have remained unexplored in past work examining bacterial responses to long-term N inputs in these vulnerable environments. Across meadow types, the relative influence of these indirect N effects on bacterial community structure varied. In explicitly evaluating the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of long-term N addition on bacterial communities, this study provides new mechanistic understandings of the interaction between plant and microbial community responses to N inputs amidst environmental change.

  7. Biomass and diversity of dry alpine plant communities along altitudinal gradients in the Himalayas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Namgail, T.; Rawat, G.S.; Mishra, C.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    A non-linear relationship between phytodiversity and altitude has widely been reported, but the relationship between phytomass and altitude remains little understood.We examined the phytomass and diversity of vascular plants along altitudinal gradients on the dry alpine rangelands of Ladakh, western

  8. Biomass and diversity of dry alpine plant communities along altitudinal gradients in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namgail, T.; Rawat, G.S.; Mishra, C.; van Wieren, S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    A non-linear relationship between phytodiversity and altitude has widely been reported, but the relationship between phytomass and altitude remains little understood. We examined the phytomass and diversity of vascular plants along altitudinal gradients on the dry alpine rangelands of Ladakh, western Himalaya. We used generalized linear and generalized additive models to assess the relationship between these vegetation parameters and altitude. We found a hump-shaped relationship between aboveground phytomass and altitude. We suspect that this is engendered by low rainfall and trampling/excessive grazing at lower slopes by domestic livestock, and low temperature and low nutrient levels at higher slopes. We also found a unimodal relationship between plant species-richness and altitude at a single mountain as well as at the scale of entire Ladakh. The species-richness at the single mountain peaked between 5,000 and 5,200 m, while it peaked between 3,500 and 4,000 m at entire Ladakh level. Perhaps biotic factors such as grazing and precipitation are, respectively, important in generating this pattern at the single mountain and entire Ladakh. ?? 2011 The Author(s).

  9. Methane cycling in alpine wetlands - an interplay of microbial communities and vascular plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberger, Ruth; Cheema, Simrita; Zeyer, Josef

    2014-05-01

    Wetland environments play an important role for the global climate, as they represent a major terrestrial carbon store. These environments are potential sinks for atmospheric carbon due to reduced decomposition rates of plant material in the waterlogged, anoxic subsurface. In contrast, wetlands are also a major source of the highly potent greenhouse gas methane (CH4), which is produced in the anoxic zones through methanogenic archaea (methanogens) degrading organic matter. The CH4 emitted into the pore water diffuses upwards towards the surface, and is partially oxidized in the oxic zones by aerobic methanotrophic bacteria (methanotrophs) before reaching the atmosphere. Nonetheless, global emissions of atmospheric CH4 from natural wetlands are estimated to range from 100 to 230 Tg a-1. Natural wetlands can be found around the globe, and are also common in temperate-cold climates in the Northern hemisphere. Methane release from these environments is influenced by many factors (e.g., vegetation, water table, temperature, pH) and shows high seasonal and spatial variability. To comprehend these variations and further predict potential responses to climate change, the biotic and abiotic processes involved in CH4 turnover need to be understood in detail. Many research projects focus on (sub-)arctic wetland areas, while studies on CH4 emissions from alpine wetlands are scarce, despite similar processes occurring in these different regions. Recently, we conducted a survey of 14 wetlands (i.e., fens vegetated with vascular plants) located in the Swiss Alps, showing CH4 emissions between 74 ± 43 and 711 ± 212 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 (Franchini et al., in press). A detailed study of one fen also revealed that CH4 emission was highest immediately after snowmelt, followed by a decrease in CH4 emission throughout the snow-free period (Liebner et al., 2012). Even though the CH4 cycle is largely driven by microbially mediated processes, vascular plants also play a crucial role in CH4

  10. Long-term addition of fertilizer, labile carbon, and fungicide alters the biomass of plant functional groups in a subarctic-alpine community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow, M S; Michelsen, A.

    2011-01-01

    , and the aboveground plant biomass was harvested 4 and 16 years after initiating the experiment. In addition, soil inorganic N and P concentration was analyzed the same years. Increased nutrient availability (NPK fertilizer) largely increased the biomass of graminoids and unexpectedly of bryophytes, but not of other......In subarctic ecosystems, plant growth is mostly limited by nutrient availability and harsh climate. Investigating how soil nutrient availability controls the plant community composition may therefore help to understand indirect effects of climate change. The study was conducted in a long-term field...... experiment on a subarctic-alpine fellfield dominated by woody evergreen shrubs, bryophytes, and lichens. To manipulate nutrient availability additions of NPK fertilizer, labile C, and fungicide (benomyl) were done in a fully factorial design, replicated in six blocks. The treatments were run for 10 years...

  11. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  12. Trait assembly of woody plants in communities across sub-alpine gradients: Identifying the role of limiting similarity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yan, B.; Zhang, J.; Liu, Y.; Li, Z.; Huang, X.; Yang, W.; Prinzing, A.

    2012-01-01

    Questions - Plant species can be assembled into communities through habitat filtering or species competition, but their relative roles are still debated. We do not know whether there is limited similarity between co-existing species when accounting for the parallel effect of abiotic habitat filterin

  13. Changes in alpine plant growth under future climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Rammig

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine shrub- and grasslands are shaped by extreme climatic conditions such as a long-lasting snow cover and a short vegetation period. Such ecosystems are expected to be highly sensitive to global environmental change. Prolonged growing seasons and shifts in temperature and precipitation are likely to affect plant phenology and growth. In a unique experiment, climatology and plant growth was monitored for almost a decade at 17 snow meteorological stations in different alpine regions along the Swiss Alps. Regression analyses revealed highly significant correlations between mean air temperature in May/June and snow melt out, onset of plant growth, and plant height. These correlations were used to project plant growth phenology for future climate conditions based on the gridded output of a set of regional climate models runs. Melt out and onset of growth were projected to occur on average 17 days earlier by the end of the century than in the control period from 1971–2000 under the future climate conditions of the low resolution climate model ensemble. Plant height and biomass production were expected to increase by 77% and 45%, respectively. The earlier melt out and onset of growth will probably cause a considerable shift towards higher growing plants and thus increased biomass. Our results represent the first quantitative and spatially explicit estimates of climate change impacts on future growing season length and the respective productivity of alpine plant communities in the Swiss Alps.

  14. Speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants

    OpenAIRE

    Gustafsson, A Lovisa S

    2013-01-01

    The main objectives of this thesis are to study patterns and processes of plant speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants. Cryptic species are here referred to as morphologically similar individuals belonging to the same taxonomic species but that are unable to produce fertile offspring (i.e. 'sibling' species). The arctic flora is considered as one of the most species-poor floras of the world, and the latitudinal gradient with decreasing diversity from low to high latitudes is likely...

  15. Plants assemble species specific bacterial communities from common core taxa in three arcto-alpine climate zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj; Brader, Guenter; Sessitsch, Angela; Maki, Anita; van Elsas, Jan D.; Nissinen, Riitta

    2017-01-01

    Evidence for the pivotal role of plant-associated bacteria to plant health and productivity has accumulated rapidly in the last years. However, key questions related to what drives plant bacteriomes remain unanswered, among which is the impact of climate zones on plant-associated microbiota. This is

  16. Facilitation among plants in alpine environments in the face of climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien eAnthelme

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available While there is a large consensus that plant–plant interactions are a crucial component of the response of plant communities to the effects of climate change, available data remain scarce, particularly in alpine systems. This represents an important obstacle to making consistent predictions about the future of plant communities. Here, we review current knowledge on the effects of climate change on facilitation among alpine plant communities and propose directions for future research. In established alpine communities, while warming seemingly generates a net facilitation release, earlier snowmelt may increase facilitation. Some nurse plants are able to buffer microenvironmental changes in the long term and may ensure the persistence of other alpine plants through local migration events. For communities migrating to higher elevations, facilitation should play an important role in their reorganization because of the harsher environmental conditions. In particular, the absence of efficient nurse plants might slow down upward migration, possibly generating chains of extinction. Facilitation–climate change relationships are expected to shift along latitudinal gradients because (1 the magnitude of warming is predicted to vary along these gradients, and (2 alpine environments are significantly different at low vs. high latitudes. Data on these expected patterns are preliminary and thus need to be tested with further studies on facilitation among plants in alpine environments that have thus far not been considered. From a methodological standpoint, future studies will benefit from the spatial representation of the microclimatic environment of plants to predict their response to climate change. Moreover, the acquisition of long-term data on the dynamics of plant–plant interactions, either through permanent plots or chronosequences of glacial recession, may represent powerful approaches to clarify the relationship between plant interactions and

  17. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  18. 'Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  19. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  20. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  1. The effects of grassland degradation on plant diversity, primary productivity, and soil fertility in the alpine region of Asia's headwaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xuexia; Dong, Shikui; Yang, Bing; Li, Yuanyuan; Su, Xukun

    2014-10-01

    A 3-year survey was conducted to explore the relationships among plant composition, productivity, and soil fertility characterizing four different degradation stages of an alpine meadow in the source region of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, China. Results showed that plant species diversity, productivity, and soil fertility of the top 30-cm soil layer significantly declined with degradation stages of alpine meadow over the study period. The productivity of forbs significantly increased with degradation stages, and the soil potassium stock was not affected by grassland degradation. The vegetation composition gradually shifted from perennial graminoids (grasses and sedges) to annual forbs along the degradation gradient. The abrupt change of response in plant diversity, plant productivity, and soil nutrients was demonstrated after heavy grassland degradation. Moreover, degradation can indicate plant species diversity and productivity through changing soil fertility. However, the clear relationships are difficult to establish. In conclusion, degradation influenced ecosystem function and services, such as plant species diversity, productivity, and soil carbon and nitrogen stocks. Additionally, both plant species diversity and soil nutrients were important predictors in different degradation stages of alpine meadows. To this end, heavy degradation grade was shown to cause shift of plant community in alpine meadow, which provided an important basis for sustaining ecosystem function, manipulating the vegetation composition of the area and restoring the degraded alpine grassland.

  2. [Effects of nitrogen and phosphorous fertilization on community structure and productivity of degraded alpine meadows in northern Tibet, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Ning; Shi, Pei-li; Niu, Ben; Jiang, Jing; Song, Ming-hua; Zhang, Xian-zhou; He, Yong-tao

    2014-12-01

    Abstract: Fertilization is an effective management measure for recovery of degraded grasslands. To better understand the effects of fertilization on community structure and productivity of lightly and severely degraded alpine meadows, we conducted a fertilization experiment in northern Tibet since 2008. The treatments were addition of nitrogen (N) alone (50 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1), LN; 100 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1), HN) or addition of both phosphorus (P) and N (50 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1) +50 kg P x hm(-2) x a(-1), LN+P; 100 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1) +50 kg P x hm(-2) x a(-1), HN+P) in each of the two types of degraded alpine meadows. N addition alone significantly affected plant community coverage or productivity in neither the slightly nor the severely degraded alpine meadow, while addition of both N and P significantly increased plant community coverage, aboveground and below- ground biomass of the alpine meadows. This suggested that productivity of this alpine meadow is co-limited by N and P. HN and HN+P significantly decreased species richness and evenness in the lightly degraded grassland, indicating that HN was not beneficial for the lightly degraded grassland to maintain species diversity and community stability. N addition significantly reduced the root to shoot ratio in the severely degraded meadow. In the lightly degraded meadow, N addition alone, especially with a high amount (HN) , enhanced the importance values (IV) and biomass of grasses, while fertilization with both N and P increased those of sedges. In the severely degraded meadow, fertilization had little effect on IV of grasses or sedges, but improved biomass of forbs. The results suggested that LN+P could be employed in recovery of lightly degraded alpine meadows, but other management measures such as fencing and reseeding may be needed for recovery of severely degraded alpine meadows.

  3. Impacts of different climate change regimes and extreme climatic events on an alpine meadow community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alatalo, Juha M; Jägerbrand, Annika K; Molau, Ulf

    2016-02-18

    Climate variability is expected to increase in future but there exist very few experimental studies that apply different warming regimes on plant communities over several years. We studied an alpine meadow community under three warming regimes over three years. Treatments consisted of (a) a constant level of warming with open-top chambers (ca. 1.9 °C above ambient), (b) yearly stepwise increases in warming (increases of ca. 1.0, 1.9 and 3.5 °C), and (c) pulse warming, a single first-year pulse event of warming (increase of ca. 3.5 °C). Pulse warming and stepwise warming was hypothesised to cause distinct first-year and third-year effects, respectively. We found support for both hypotheses; however, the responses varied among measurement levels (whole community, canopy, bottom layer, and plant functional groups), treatments, and time. Our study revealed complex responses of the alpine plant community to the different experimentally imposed climate warming regimes. Plant cover, height and biomass frequently responded distinctly to the constant level of warming, the stepwise increase in warming and the extreme pulse-warming event. Notably, we found that stepwise warming had an accumulating effect on biomass, the responses to the different warming regimes varied among functional groups, and the short-term perturbations had negative effect on species richness and diversity.

  4. Substantial compositional turnover of fungal communities in an alpine ridge-to-snowbed gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Fang; Vik, Unni; Brysting, Anne K; Carlsen, Tor; Halvorsen, Rune; Kauserud, Håvard

    2013-10-01

    The main gradient in vascular plant, bryophyte and lichen species composition in alpine areas, structured by the topographic gradient from wind-exposed ridges to snowbeds, has been extensively studied. Tolerance to environmental stress, resulting from wind abrasion and desiccation towards windswept ridges or reduced growing season due to prolonged snow cover towards snowbeds, is an important ecological mechanism in this gradient. The extent to which belowground fungal communities are structured by the same topographic gradient and the eventual mechanisms involved are less well known. In this study, we analysed variation in fungal diversity and community composition associated with roots of the ectomycorrhizal plant Bistorta vivipara along the ridge-to-snowbed gradient. We collected root samples from fifty B. vivipara plants in ten plots in an alpine area in central Norway. The fungal communities were analysed using 454 pyrosequencing analyses of tag-encoded ITS1 amplicons. A distinct gradient in the fungal community composition was found that coincided with variation from ridge to snowbeds. This gradient was paralleled by change in soil content of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. A large proportion (66%) of the detected 801 nonsingleton operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were ascomycetes, while basidiomycetes dominated quantitatively (i.e. with respect to number of reads). Numerous fungal OTUs, many with taxonomic affinity to Sebacinales, Cortinarius and Meliniomyces, showed distinct affinities either to ridge or to snowbed plots, indicating habitat specialization. The compositional turnover of fungal communities along the gradient was not paralleled by a gradient in species richness.

  5. The alpine cushion plant Silene acaulis as foundation species: a bug's-eye view to facilitation and microclimate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Molenda

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems are important globally with high levels of endemic and rare species. Given that they will be highly impacted by climate change, understanding biotic factors that maintain diversity is critical. Silene acaulis is a common alpine nurse plant shown to positively influence the diversity and abundance of organisms--predominantly other plant species. The hypothesis that cushion or nurse plants in general are important to multiple trophic levels has been proposed but rarely tested. Alpine arthropod diversity is also largely understudied worldwide, and the plant-arthropod interactions reported are mostly negative, that is,. herbivory. Plant and arthropod diversity and abundance were sampled on S. acaulis and at paired adjacent microsites with other non-cushion forming vegetation present on Whistler Mountain, B.C., Canada to examine the relative trophic effects of cushion plants. Plant species richness and abundance but not Simpson's diversity index was higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetation. Arthropod richness, abundance, and diversity were all higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetated sites. On a microclimatic scale, S. acaulis ameliorated stressful conditions for plants and invertebrates living inside it, but the highest levels of arthropod diversity were observed on cushions with tall plant growth. Hence, alpine cushion plants can be foundation species not only for other plant species but other trophic levels, and these impacts are expressed through both direct and indirect effects associated with altered environmental conditions and localized productivity. Whilst this case study tests a limited subset of the membership of alpine animal communities, it clearly demonstrates that cushion-forming plant species are an important consideration in understanding resilience to global changes for many organisms in addition to other plants.

  6. Evaluating the Importance of Plant Functional Traits: the Subalpine and Alpine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, A.; Smith, W. K.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past several decades, researchers have attempted to characterize plant groups according to traits that are considered functional, i.e. contributing significantly to fitness. Due to the complexity of measuring fitness, the capability for photosynthetic carbon gain is often used as a proxy. Thus, this approach correlates structural differences to photosynthetic performance, especially those differences that are known to be associated with photosynthesis, are easily measured and inexpensive. At the often sharp boundary between the subalpine forest and alpine community (treeline ecotone), plant structural traits change dramatically, i.e. tall evergreen trees give way abruptly to low-stature shrubs, grasses, forbs, and herbs. Yet, the differences in functional traits, so abundant in the literature for a variety of species and communities, have not been compared contiguous communities such as the subalpine forest and alpine. Can differences in functional traits already identified in the literature also be used to characterize species of these two contrasting communities? Or are there other traits that are most functional and/or, possibly, unique to each community and not the most popular traits reported so far in the literature. Also, does the community structure itself help determine functional traits? For example, the top ten most frequently studied traits (145 total papers from approximately 63 different refereed journals) considered functional include the following (% of the 145 publications): specific leaf area or mass (SLA or SLM 39%), plant height (36%), leaf nitrogen content (34%), leaf size (19%), leaf area (16%), leaf photosynthetic performance (15%), leaf dry matter content (LDMC 15%), leaf mass per unit leaf area (LMA 15%), leaf thickness (15%), and seed mass (14%). In addition, another 120 traits were mentioned as functional, although all fell below a 14% citation rate. Particular focus was placed on this group due to the possibility that they might

  7. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-01-01

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality. PMID:27759112

  8. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-10-19

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality.

  9. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-10-01

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality.

  10. Response of rhizosphere soil microbial to Deyeuxia angustifolia encroaching in two different vegetation communities in alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lin; Xing, Ming; Lv, Jiangwei; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Xia

    2017-02-01

    Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L Chang is an herb species originating from the birch forests in the Changbai Mountain. Recently, this species has been found encroaching into large areas in the western slopes of the alpine tundra in the Changbai Mountain, threatening the tundra ecosystem. In this study, we systematically assessed the response of the rhizosphere soil microbial to D. angustifolia encroaching in alpine tundra by conducting experiments for two vegetation types (shrubs and herbs) by real-time PCR and Illumina Miseq sequencing methods. The treatments consisted of D. angustifolia sites (DA), native sites (NS, NH) and encroaching sites (ES, EH). Our results show that (1) Rhizosphere soil properties of the alpine tundra were significantly impacted by D. angustifolia encroaching; microbial nutrient cycling and soil bacterial communities were shaped to be suitable for D. angustifolia growth; (2) The two vegetation community rhizosphere soils responded differently to D. angustifolia encroaching; (3) By encroaching into both vegetation communities, D. angustifolia could effectively replace the native species by establishing positive plant-soil feedback. The strong adaptation and assimilative capacity contributed to D. angustifolia encroaching in the alpine tundra. Our research indicates that D. angustifolia significantly impacts the rhizosphere soil microbial of the alpine tundra.

  11. Soil bacterial community responses to warming and grazing in a Tibetan alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yaoming; Lin, Qiaoyan; Wang, Shiping; Li, Xiangzhen; Liu, Wentso; Luo, Caiyun; Zhang, Zhenhua; Zhu, Xiaoxue; Jiang, Lili; Li, Xine

    2016-01-01

    Warming and grazing significantly affect the structure and function of an alpine meadow ecosystem. Yet, the responses of soil microbes to these disturbances are not well understood. Controlled asymmetrical warming (+1.2/1.7°C during daytime/nighttime) with grazing experiments were conducted to study microbial response to warming, grazing and their interactions. Significant interactive effects of warming and grazing were observed on soil bacterial α-diversity and composition. Warming only caused significant increase in bacterial α-diversity under no-grazing conditions. Grazing induced no substantial differences in bacterial α-diversity and composition irrespective of warming. Warming, regardless of grazing, caused a significant increase in soil bacterial community similarity across space, but grazing only induced significant increases under no-warming conditions. The positive effects of warming on bacterial α-diversity and grazing on community similarity were weakened by grazing and warming, respectively. Soil and plant variables explained well the variations in microbial communities, indicating that changes in soil and plant properties may primarily regulate soil microbial responses to warming in this alpine meadow. The results suggest that bacterial communities may become more similar across space in a future, warmed climate and moderate grazing may potentially offset, at least partially, the effects of global warming on the soil microbial diversity. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Contrasting diversity patterns of crenarchaeal, bacterial and fungal soil communities in an alpine landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Zinger

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The advent of molecular techniques in microbial ecology has aroused interest in gaining an understanding about the spatial distribution of regional pools of soil microbes and the main drivers responsible of these spatial patterns. Here, we assessed the distribution of crenarcheal, bacterial and fungal communities in an alpine landscape displaying high turnover in plant species over short distances. Our aim is to determine the relative contribution of plant species composition, environmental conditions, and geographic isolation on microbial community distribution. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eleven types of habitats that best represent the landscape heterogeneity were investigated. Crenarchaeal, bacterial and fungal communities were described by means of Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism. Relationships between microbial beta diversity patterns were examined by using Bray-Curtis dissimilarities and Principal Coordinate Analyses. Distance-based redundancy analyses and variation partitioning were used to estimate the relative contributions of different drivers on microbial beta diversity. Microbial communities tended to be habitat-specific and did not display significant spatial autocorrelation. Microbial beta diversity correlated with soil pH. Fungal beta-diversity was mainly related to soil organic matter. Though the effect of plant species composition was significant for all microbial groups, it was much stronger for Fungi. In contrast, geographic distances did not have any effect on microbial beta diversity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Microbial communities exhibit non-random spatial patterns of diversity in alpine landscapes. Crenarcheal, bacterial and fungal community turnover is high and associated with plant species composition through different set of soil variables, but is not caused by geographical isolation.

  13. Treeline proximity alters an alpine plant-herbivore interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illerbrun, Kurt; Roland, Jens

    2011-05-01

    Rising treeline threatens the size and contiguity of alpine meadows worldwide. As trees encroach into previously open habitat, the movement and population dynamics of above-treeline alpine species may be disrupted. This process is well documented in studies of the Rocky Mountain apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus). However, subtler consequences of treeline rise remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine whether treeline proximity affects feeding behaviour of P. smintheus larvae, due to altered habitat affecting the distribution and availability of their host plant, lance-leaved stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum). Understanding differential larval exploitation of food resources in relation to the treeline is an important step in predicting the consequences of continued treeline rise. Parnassius smintheus larvae feed more intensively on S. lanceolatum away from the treeline despite the relative paucity of hosts in these areas, and despite higher fitness penalties associated with the plant's herbivory-induced chemical defenses. Sedum lanceolatum growing near the treeline is less attractive, and therefore represents a less significant resource for P. smintheus larvae than its abundance might imply. If treeline rise continues, we suggest that this pattern of altered resource exploitation may represent a mechanism by which larvae are adversely affected even while adult movement among and within meadows appears sufficient for maintaining population health, and total host availability seems ample.

  14. Safe-site effects on rhizosphere bacterial communities in a high-altitude alpine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccazzo, Sonia; Esposito, Alfonso; Rolli, Eleonora; Zerbe, Stefan; Daffonchio, Daniele; Brusetti, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites) which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS) site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P < 0.05) on 16S rRNA gene diversity revealed significant differences (P < 0.05) between BS site and the vegetated sites with a weak similarity to the RW site. The intermediate plant colonization stage FI did not differ significantly from the RW and the M vegetated sites. These results pointed out the effect of different floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  15. Safe-Site Effects on Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities in a High-Altitude Alpine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Ciccazzo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P<0.05 on 16S rRNA gene diversity revealed significant differences (P<0.05 between BS site and the vegetated sites with a weak similarity to the RW site. The intermediate plant colonization stage FI did not differ significantly from the RW and the M vegetated sites. These results pointed out the effect of different floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  16. Explaining plant-soil diversity in Alpine ecosystems: more than just time since ecosystem succession started

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Stuart; Baetz, Nico; Borgeaud, Laure; Verrecchia, Eric; Vittoz, Pascal

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystem succession in Alpine environments has been a focus of research for many decades. Following from the classic ideas of Jenny (1941, 1961), following perturbation, an ecosystem (flora, fauna and soil) should evolve as a function of time at a rate conditioned by external variables (relief, climate, geology). More recently, biogeomorphologists have focused upon the notion of co-evolution of geomorphic processes with ecosystems over very short through to very long (evolutionary) time-scales. Alpine environments have been a particular focus of models of co-evolution, as a means of understanding the rate of plant colonization of previously glaciated terrain. However, work in this field has tended to adopt an over simplified view of the relationship between perturbation and succession, including: how the landform and ecosystem itself conditions the impact of a perturbation to create a complex spatial impact; and how perturbations are not simply ecosystem destroyers but can be a significant source of ecosystem resources. What this means is that at the within landform scale, there may well be a complex and dynamic topographic and sedimentological template that co-evolves with the development of soil, flora and fauna. In this paper, we present and test conceptual models for such co-evolution for an Alpine alluvial fan and an Alpine piedmont braided river. We combine detailed floristic inventory with soil inventory, survey of edaphic variables above and below ground (e.g. vertical and lateral sedimentological structure, using electrical resistance tomography) and the analysis of historical aerial imagery. The floristic inventory shows the existence of a suite of distinct plant communities within each landform. Time since last perturbation is not a useful explanatory variable of the spatial distribution of these communities because: (1) perturbation impacts are spatially variable, as conditioned by the extent distribution of topographic, edaphic and ecological

  17. Changes in fungal community composition in response to experimental soil warming at the alpine treeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solly, Emily; Lindahl, Bjorn; Dawes, Melissa; Peter, Martina; Souza, Romulo; Rixen, Christian; Hagedorn, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Increased CO2 emissions and global warming may alter the composition of fungal communities through the reduction of low temperature limitation in the plant-soil system, faster nitrogen cycling and changes in the carbon allocation of host plants to the rhizosphere. Shifts in fungal community composition due to global changes are likely to affect the routes of carbon and nitrogen flows in the plant-soil system and alter the rates at which organic matter is decomposed. The main aim of our study was to estimate the effects of multiple years of free air CO2 enrichment (ambient concentration +200 ppm) and soil warming (+ 4°C) on the fungal community structure and composition. At an alpine treeline in Switzerland featuring two key high-elevation tree species, Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata, fungal communities within different organic horizons were analysed by high-throughput 454-pyrosequencing of ITS2 amplicons. In addition, we assessed the ectomycorrhizal community composition on root tips and monitored changes in sporocarp productivity of fungal species during the course of the experiment. Three years of experimental warming at the alpine treeline altered the composition of the fungal community in the organic horizons, whereas nine years of CO2 enrichment had only weak effects. Tree species influenced the composition of the fungal community and the magnitude of the responses of fungal functional groups to soil warming differed between plots with Larix and those with Pinus. The abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi was positively correlated with nitrogen availability, and ectomycorrhizal taxa specialized for conditions of high nitrogen availability proliferated with warming, corresponding to considerable increases in extractable inorganic nitrogen in warmed soils. Changes in productivity of specific fungal fruiting bodies in response to soil warming (e.g. more Lactarius rufus sporocarps and less Hygrophorus speciousus sporocarps) were consistent with the 454-sequencing

  18. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    M. Alatalo, Juha; K. Jägerbrand, Annika; Juhanson, Jaanis

    2017-01-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three...... contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from...... be important for buffering mites from global warming. The results indicated that juvenile mites may be more vulnerable to global warming than adult stages. Importantly, the results also indicated that global warming may cause carbon and nitrogen losses in alpine and tundra mineral soils and that its effects...

  19. Vascular plant flora of the alpine zone in the southern Rocky Mountains, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    James F. Fowler; B. E. Nelson; Ronald L. Hartman

    2014-01-01

    Field detection of changes in occurrence, distribution, or abundance of alpine plant species is predicated on knowledge of which species are in specific locations. The alpine zone of the Southern Rocky Mountain Region has been systematically inventoried by the staff and floristics graduate students from the Rocky Mountain Herbarium over the last 27 years. It is...

  20. Grazing intensity on the plant diversity of alpine meadow in the eastern Tibetan plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Ning

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Because ofthe remoteness and harsh conditions of the high-altitude rangelands on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, the relationship between yak grazing and plant diversity has not been so clear although livestock increase was thought as the main issue leading to the degradation of rangeland. In the debate of rangeland degradation, biodiversity loss has been assumed as one of the indicators in the last two decades. In this paper authors measured the effects of different grazing intensities on the plant diversity and the structure of Kobresia pygmaea community in the case-study area, northwestern Sichuan. The results indicated that plant diversity of alpine meadow has different changing trends respectively with the change of grazing intensity and seasons. In June the highest plant diversity occurred in the intensively grazed (HG plots, but in July and September species biodiversity index of slightly grazed (LG plots is higher than other experimental treatments. In August the intermediate grazed (IG plots has the highest biodiversity index. Moreover, it was found that intensively grazing always leads to the increase of plant density, but meanwhile the decrease of community height, coverage and biomass. Over-grazing can change the community structure and lead to the succession from Kobresia pygmaea dominated community to Poa pratensis dominated. Analyzing results comprehensively, it can be suggested that the relationship between grazing intensity and plant diversity is not linear, i.e. diversity index is not as good as other characteristics of community structure to evaluate rangeland degradation on the high altitude situation. The change of biodiversity is so complicated that it can not be explained with the simple corresponding causality.

  1. Responses of soil microbial communities to experimental warming in alpine grasslands on the qinghai-tibet plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bin; Chen, Shengyun; He, Xingyuan; Liu, Wenjie; Zhao, Qian; Zhao, Lin; Tian, Chunjie

    2014-01-01

    Global surface temperature is predicted to increase by at least 1.5°C by the end of this century. However, the response of soil microbial communities to global warming is still poorly understood, especially in high-elevation grasslands. We therefore conducted an experiment on three types of alpine grasslands on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to study the effect of experimental warming on abundance and composition of soil microbial communities at 0-10 and 10-20 cm depths. Plots were passively warmed for 3 years using open-top chambers and compared to adjacent control plots at ambient temperature. Soil microbial communities were assessed using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. We found that 3 years of experimental warming consistently and significantly increased microbial biomass at the 0-10 cm soil depth of alpine swamp meadow (ASM) and alpine steppe (AS) grasslands, and at both the 0-10 and 10-20 cm soil depths of alpine meadow (AM) grasslands, due primarily to the changes in soil temperature, moisture, and plant coverage. Soil microbial community composition was also significantly affected by warming at the 0-10 cm soil depth of ASM and AM and at the 10-20 cm soil depth of AM. Warming significantly decreased the ratio of fungi to bacteria and thus induced a community shift towards bacteria at the 0-10 cm soil depth of ASM and AM. While the ratio of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to saprotrophic fungi (AMF/SF) was significantly decreased by warming at the 0-10 cm soil depth of ASM, it was increased at the 0-10 cm soil depth of AM. These results indicate that warming had a strong influence on soil microbial communities in the studied high-elevation grasslands and that the effect was dependent on grassland type.

  2. Seeds of alpine plants are short lived: implications for long-term conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondoni, Andrea; Probert, Robin J; Rossi, Graziano; Vegini, Emanuele; Hay, Fiona R

    2011-01-01

    Alpine plants are considered one of the groups of species most sensitive to the direct and indirect threats to ecosystems caused by land use and climate change. Collecting and banking seeds of plant species is recognized as an effective tool for providing propagating material to re-establish wild plant populations and for habitat repair. However, seeds from cold wet environments have been shown to be relatively short lived in storage, and therefore successful long-term seed conservation for alpine plants may be difficult. Here, the life spans of 69 seed lots representing 63 related species from alpine and lowland locations from northern Italy are compared. Seeds were placed into experimental storage at 45 °C and 60 % relative humidity (RH) and regularly sampled for germination. The time taken in storage for viability to fall to 50 % (p(50)) was determined using probit analysis and used as a measure of relative seed longevity between seed lots. Across species, p(50) at 45 °C and 60 % RH varied from 4·7 to 95·5 d. Seed lots from alpine populations/species had significantly lower p(50) values compared with those from lowland populations/species; the lowland seed lots showed a slower rate of loss of germinability, higher initial seed viability, or both. Seeds were progressively longer lived with increased temperature and decreased rainfall at the collecting site. Seeds of alpine plants are short lived in storage compared with those from lowland populations/related taxa. The lower resistance to ageing in seeds of alpine plants may arise from low selection pressure for seed resistance to ageing and/or damage incurred during seed development due to the cool wet conditions of the alpine climate. Long-term seed conservation of several alpine species using conventional seed banking methods will be problematic.

  3. Metagenomic analysis of the soil microbial N-cycling community in response to increased N deposition in the alpine PNW

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, A.; Zabowski, D.

    2016-12-01

    The effects of nitrogen (N) deposition, caused by increasing agricultural activity and increased fossil fuel usage in populated areas, is of great concern to managers of formerly pristine, N-limited environments such as the alpine. Increasingly available mineral N can cause changes in the soil microbial community, including downshifting naturally N-fixing microbial populations, and increasing nitrification (and soil acidification) with concomitant increases in nitrous oxide release. As part of a larger study to determine critical N loads for PNW alpine ecosystems, we used inorganic N fertilization to mimic increasing levels of N deposition at alpine sites at Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks. After 3 years of N application, we isolated DNA from soil samples taken from the rooting zones of two different species categories - lupine spp. and heather (evergreen shrub) spp. Amplicon-based libraries for genes for nitrogenase and ammonia monooxygenase were sequenced for each level of fertilization. We will present changes in diversity and size of the N-fixing and nitrifying microbial communities by increasing N application, site, and plant community.

  4. MBS Native Plant Communities

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer contains results of the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS). It includes polygons representing the highest quality native plant communities...

  5. Relation between extinction and assisted colonization of plants in the arctic-alpine and boreal regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pykälä, Juha

    2017-06-01

    Assisted colonization of vascular plants is considered by many ecologists an important tool to preserve biodiversity threatened by climate change. I argue that assisted colonization may have negative consequences in arctic-alpine and boreal regions. The observed slow movement of plants toward the north has been an argument for assisted colonization. However, these range shifts may be slow because for many plants microclimatic warming (ignored by advocates of assisted colonization) has been smaller than macroclimatic warming. Arctic-alpine and boreal plants may have limited possibilities to disperse farther north or to higher elevations. I suggest that arctic-alpine species are more likely to be driven to extinction because of competitive exclusion by southern species than by increasing temperatures. If so, the future existence of arctic-alpine and boreal flora may depend on delaying or preventing the migration of plants toward the north to allow northern species to evolve to survive in a warmer climate. In the arctic-alpine region, preventing the dispersal of trees and shrubs may be the most important method to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. The purported conservation benefits of assisted colonization should not be used to promote the migration of invasive species by forestry. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. The effects of long-term fertilization on the temporal stability of alpine meadow communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, Z.; Ruijven, van J.; Du, G.

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate how plant species’ composition, soil parameters and nutrient concentrations in plant biomass differ between fertilized and control plots 62 years after the last fertilizer application on a sub-alpine grassland. A piece of land called the Grass Garden (GG), fer

  7. Changes in chloroplast ultrastructure in some high-alpine plants: adaptation to metabolic demands and climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lütz, C; Engel, L

    2007-01-01

    The cytology of leaf cells from five different high-alpine plants was studied and compared with structures in chloroplasts from the typical high-alpine plant Ranunculus glacialis previously described as having frequent envelope plus stroma protrusions. The plants under investigation ranged from subalpine/alpine Geum montanum through alpine Geum reptans, Poa alpina var. vivipara, and Oxyria digyna to nival Cerastium uniflorum and R. glacialis. The general leaf structure (by light microscopy) and leaf mesophyll cell ultrastructure (by transmission electron microscopy [TEM]) did not show any specialized structures unique to these mountain species. However, chloroplast protrusion formation could be found in G. reptans and, to a greater extent, in O. digyna. The other species exhibited only a low percentage of such chloroplast structural changes. Occurrence of protrusions in samples of G. montanum and O. digyna growing in a mild climate at about 50 m above sea level was drastically reduced. Serial TEM sections of O. digyna cells showed that the protrusions can appear as rather broad and long appendices of plastids, often forming pocketlike structures where mitochondria and microbodies are in close vicinity to the plastid and to each other. It is suggested that some high-alpine plants may form such protrusions to facilitate fast exchange of molecules between cytoplasm and plastid as an adaptation to the short, often unfavorable vegetation period in the Alps, while other species may have developed different types of adaptation that are not expressed in ultrastructural changes of the plastids.

  8. [Responses of plant functional traits and soil factors to slope aspect in alpine meadow of South Gansu, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min-Xi, Liu; Jian-Zu, Ma

    2012-12-01

    This paper studied the plant functional traits, soil factors, and their relationships at different slope aspects in the alpine meadow of South Gansu. On the sunny slope, grasses were the dominant functional groups; while on the shady slope, forbs and shrubs dominated. The plant community biomass was significantly higher on shady slope than on sunny slope, while the leaf N/P ratio was in adverse. The leaf phosphorus content, specific leaf area, and plant average height at different slope aspects were in the order of shady slope > partial shady slope > sunny slope, whereas the leaf nitrogen content on different slopes had less difference. The survival strategies of the vegetations on sunny and shady slopes had great changes, reflecting in the differences in the plant leaf traits and dominant functional groups. Soil temperature was in the order of sunny slope > partial shady slope > shady slope, while soil water content was in the order of shady slope > partial shady slope > sunny slope. Soil total phosphorus content increased from the sunny slope to the shady slope, while the other soil nutrients contents showed the sequence of shady slope > sunny slope > partial shady slope. The specific leaf area and plant average height were significantly positively correlated to the soil organic carbon, total phosphorous, and water contents, and significantly negatively correlated to soil pH. Soil water content and soil pH co-affected the distribution patterns of plant functional traits and soil nutrients at different slope aspects of alpine meadow.

  9. Floristic and community diversity of sub-alpine and alpine grasslands and grazed dwarf-shrub heaths in the Romanian Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coldea, Gheorghe

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Floristic diversity at community level and community diversity at landscape level are presented for the main grassland and dwarf-shrub communities in the sub-alpine and alpine zones in five mountain ranges of the Romanian Carpathians. The 30 plant communities studied had their floristic composition and distribution determined by geological substratum and pedo-climatic factors. The most diverse grasslands (Oxytropido-Elynetum, Seslerio haynaldianae-Caricetun were on calcareous substratum and on the mountain slopes (Festucetum pictae, whilst the lowest diversity was in the oligo-mesotrophic sub-alpine grasslands (Scorzonero- Festucetum nigricantis, Alchemillo-Poetum alpinae, Violo-Nardetum. The Shannon-Weaver diversity index for the communities increased almost linearly with the number of species per community, whilst community diversity in the five mountain ranges was a function of the number of communities per mountain range.

    [fr] Nous présentons dans ce travail la diversité floristique au niveau de la communauté et la diversité de communautés au niveau du paysage pour les principaux types de pâturages et de communautés à petits arbustes des étages subalpin et alpin de cinq chaînes montagneuses des Carpathes en Roumanie. Aussi bien la composition floristique que la distribution des 30 communautés étudiées dépendent de la nature géologique du terrain et des facteurs édapho-climatiques. Les pâturages les plus riches en diversité (Oxytropido-Elynetum, Seslerio haynaldianae- Caricetun se développent sur substrat calcaire et sur les versants des montagnes (Testucetum pictae; par contre la plus faible diversité a été rencontrée dans les pâturages oligo-mesotrophes subalpins (Scorzonero-Festucetum nigricantis, Alchemillo-Poetum alpinae, Violo-Nardetum. L'index de diversité de Shannon- Weaver augmente quasi linéairement avec le nombre d'espèces de chaque communauté, tandis que

  10. Species specific and environment induced variation of δ13C and δ15N in alpine plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang eYang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signals in plant tissues integrate plant-environment interactions over long periods. In this study, we hypothesized that humid alpine life conditions are narrowing the scope for significant deviations from common carbon, water and nitrogen relations as captured by stable isotope signals. We explored the variation in δ13C and δ15N in 32 plant species from tissue type to ecosystem scale across a suite of locations at c. 2500 m elevation in the Swiss Alps. Foliar δ13C and δ15N varied among species by about 3-4 ‰ and 7-8 ‰ respectively. However, there was no overall difference in means of δ13C and δ15N for species sampled in different plant communities or when bulk plant dry matter harvests of different plant communities were compared. δ13C was found to be highly species specific, so that the ranking among species was mostly maintained across 11 habitats. However, δ15N varied significantly from place to place in all species (a range of 2.7 ‰ except in Fabaceae (Trifolium alpinum and Juncaceae (Luzula lutea. There was also a substantial variation among individuals of the same species collected next to each other. No difference was found in foliar δ15N of non-legumes, which were either collected next to or away from the most common legume, T. alpinum. δ15N data place Cyperaceae and Juncaceae, just like Fabaceae, in a low discrimination category, well separated from other families. Soil δ15N was higher than in plants and increased with soil depth. The results indicate a high functional diversity in alpine plants that is similar to that reported for low elevation plants. We conclude that the surprisingly high variation in δ13C and δ15N signals in the studied high elevation plants is largely species specific (genetic and insensitive to obvious environmental cues.

  11. Molecular phylogeography of the Andean alpine plant, Gunnera magellanica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, M.; Fujii, N.; Ito, M.; Asakawa, T.; Nishida, H.; Suyama, C.; Ueda, K.

    2015-12-01

    To clarify the evolutionary history of Gunnera magellanica (Gunneraceae), an alpine plant of the Andes mountains, we performed molecular phylogeographic analyses based on the sequences of an internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA and four non-coding regions (trnH-psbA, trnL-trnF, atpB-rbcL, rpl16 intron) of chloroplast DNA. We investigated 3, 4, 4 and 11 populations in, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, respectively, and detected six ITS genotypes (Types A-F) in G. magellanica. Five genotypes (Types A-E) were observed in the northern Andes population (Ecuador and Bolivia); only one ITS genotype (Type F) was observed in the southern Andes population (Chile and Argentina). Phylogenetic analyses showed that the ITS genotypes of the northern and southern Andes populations form different clades with high bootstrap probability. Furthermore, network analysis, analysis of molecular variance, and spatial analysis of molecular variance showed that there were two major clusters (the northern and southern Andes populations) in this species. Furthermore, in chloroplast DNA analysis, three major clades (northern Andes, Chillan, and southern Andes) were inferred from phylogenetic analyses using four non-coding regions, a finding that was supported by the above three types of analysis. The Chillan clade is the northernmost population in the southern Andes populations. With the exception of the Chillan clade (Chillan population), results of nuclear DNA and chloroplast DNA analyses were consistent. Both markers showed that the northern and southern Andes populations of G. magellanica were genetically different from each other. This type of clear phylogeographical structure was supported by PERMUT analysis according to Pons & Petit (1995, 1996). Moreover, based on our preliminary estimation that is based on the ITS sequences, the northern and southern Andes clades diverged ~0.63-3 million years ago, during a period of upheaval in the Andes. This suggests

  12. Community assembly and functional leaf traits mediate precipitation use efficiency of alpine grasslands along environmental gradients on the Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaowei Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau are sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. However, it is still unknown how precipitation use efficiency (PUE, the ratio of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP to precipitation, is related to community assembly of plant species, functional groups or traits for the Tibetan alpine grasslands along actual environmental gradients. We conducted a multi-site field survey at grazing-excluded pastures across meadow, steppe and desert-steppe to measure aboveground biomass (AGB in August, 2010. We used species richness (SR, the Shannon diversity index, and cover-weighted functional group composition (FGC of 1-xerophytes, 2-mesophytes, and 3-hygrophytes to describe community assembly at the species level; and chose community-level leaf area index (LAIc, specific leaf area (SLAc, and species-mixed foliar δ13C to quantify community assembly at the functional trait level. Our results showed that PUE decreased with increasing accumulated active temperatures (AccT when daily temperature average is higher than 5 °C, but increased with increasing climatic moisture index (CMI, which was demined as the ratio of growing season precipitation (GSP to AccT. We also found that PUE increased with increasing SR, the Shannon diversity index, FGC and LAIc, decreased with increasing foliar δ13C, and had no relation with SLAc at the regional scale. Neither soil total nitrogen (STN nor organic carbon has no influence on PUE at the regional scale. The community assembly of the Shannon index, LAIc and SLAc together accounted for 46.3% of variance in PUE, whilst CMI accounted for 47.9% of variance in PUE at the regional scale. This implies that community structural properties and plant functional traits can mediate the sensitivity of alpine grassland productivity in response to climate change. Thus, a long-term observation on community structural and functional changes is recommended for better understanding the response

  13. Fruitful factors: what limits seed production of flowering plants in the alpine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straka, Jason R; Starzomski, Brian M

    2015-05-01

    Predicting demographic consequences of climate change for plant communities requires understanding which factors influence seed set, and how climate change may alter those factors. To determine the effects of pollen availability, temperature, and pollinators on seed production in the alpine, we combined pollen-manipulation experiments with measurements of variation in temperature, and abundance and diversity of potential pollinators along a 400-m elevation gradient. We did this for seven dominant species of flowering plants in the Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The number of viable seeds set by plants was influenced by pollen limitation (quantity of pollen received), mate limitation (quality of pollen), temperature, abundance of potential pollinators, seed predation, and combinations of these factors. Early flowering species (n = 3) had higher seed set at high elevation and late-flowering species (n = 4) had higher seed set at low elevation. Degree-days >15 °C were good predictors of seed set, particularly in bee-pollinated species, but had inconsistent effects among species. Seed production in one species, Arnica latifolia, was negatively affected by seed-predators (Tephritidae) at mid elevation, where there were fewer frost-hours during the flowering season. Anemone occidentalis, a fly-pollinated, self-compatible species had high seed set at all elevations, likely due to abundant potential pollinators. Simultaneously measuring multiple factors affecting reproductive success of flowering plants helped identify which factors were most important, providing focus for future studies. Our work suggests that responses of plant communities to climate change may be mediated by flowering time, pollination syndrome, and susceptibility to seed predators.

  14. Moisture and temperature controls on nitrification differ among ammonia oxidizer communities from three alpine soil habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Brooke B.; Baron, Jill S.; Wallenstein, Matthew D.

    2016-03-01

    Climate change is altering the timing and magnitude of biogeochemical fluxes in many highelevation ecosystems. The consequent changes in alpine nitrification rates have the potential to influence ecosystem scale responses. In order to better understand how changing temperature and moisture conditions may influence ammonia oxidizers and nitrification activity, we conducted laboratory incubations on soils collected in a Colorado watershed from three alpine habitats (glacial outwash, talus, and meadow). We found that bacteria, not archaea, dominated all ammonia oxidizer communities. Nitrification increased with moisture in all soils and under all temperature treatments. However, temperature was not correlated with nitrification rates in all soils. Site-specific temperature trends suggest the development of generalist ammonia oxidzer communities in soils with greater in situ temperature fluctuations and specialists in soils with more steady temperature regimes. Rapidly increasing temperatures and changing soil moisture conditions could explain recent observations of increased nitrate production in some alpine soils.

  15. Changes in plant biomass and species composition of alpine Kobresia meadows along altitudinal gradient on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Alpine Kobresia meadows are major vegetation types on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. There is growing concern over their relationships among biodiversity, productivity and environments. Despite the im-portance of species composition, species richness, the type of different growth forms, and plant bio-mass structure for Kobresia meadow ecosystems, few studies have been focused on the relationship between biomass and environmental gradient in the Kobresia meadow plant communities, particularly in relation to soil moisture and edaphic gradients. We measured the plant species composition, her-baceous litter, aboveground and belowground biomass in three Kobresia meadow plant communities in Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station from 2001 to 2004. Community differences in plant species composition were reflected in biomass distribution. The total biomass showed a de-crease from 13196.96±719.69 g/m2 in the sedge-dominated K. tibetica swamp to 2869.58±147.52 g/m2 in the forb and sedge dominated K. pygmaea meadow, and to 2153.08±141.95 g/m2 in the forbs and grasses dominated K. humilis along with the increase of altitude. The vertical distribution of below-ground biomass is distinct in the three meadow communities, and the belowground biomass at the depth of 0-10 cm in K. tibetica swamp meadow was significantly higher than that in K. humilis and K. pygmaea meadows (P<0.01). The herbaceous litter in K. tibetica swamp was significantly higher than those in K. pygnaeca and K. humilis meadows. The effects of plant litter are enhanced when ground water and soil moisture levels are raised. The relative importance of litter and vegetation may vary with soil water availability. In the K. tibetica swamp, total biomass was negatively correlated to species richness (P<0.05); aboveground biomass was positively correlated to soil organic matter, soil moisture, and plant cover (P<0.05); belowground biomass was positively correlated with soil moisture (P<0.05). However, in the K

  16. Changes in plant biomass and species composition of alpine Kobresia meadows along altitudinal gradient on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Alpine Kobresia meadows are major vegetation types on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. There is growing concern over their relationships among biodiversity, productivity and environments. Despite the importance of species composition, species richness, the type of different growth forms, and plant biomass structure for Kobresia meadow ecosystems, few studies have been focused on the relationship between biomass and environmental gradient in the Kobresia meadow plant communities, particularly in relation to soil moisture and edaphic gradients. We measured the plant species composition, herbaceous litter, aboveground and belowground biomass in three Kobresia meadow plant communities in Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station from 2001 to 2004. Community differences in plant species composition were reflected in biomass distribution. The total biomass showed a decrease from 13196.96±719.69 g/m2 in the sedge-dominated K. tibetica swamp to 2869.58±147.52 g/m2 in the forb and sedge dominated K. pygmaea meadow, and to 2153.08±141.95 g/m2 in the forbs and grasses dominated K. humilis along with the increase of altitude. The vertical distribution of belowground biomass is distinct in the three meadow communities, and the belowground biomass at the depth of 0-10 cm in K. tibetica swamp meadow was significantly higher than that in K. humilis and K. pygmaea meadows (P<0.01). The herbaceous litter in K. tibetica swamp was significantly higher than those in K. pygnaeca and K. humilis meadows. The effects of plant litter are enhanced when ground water and soil moisture levels are raised. The relative importance of litter and vegetation may vary with soil water availability. In the K. tibetica swamp, total biomass was negatively correlated to species richness (P<0.05); aboveground biomass was positively correlated to soil organic matter, soil moisture, and plant cover (P<0.05); belowground biomass was positively correlated with soil moisture (P<0.05). However, in

  17. The ubiquity of alpine plant radiations: from the Andes to the Hengduan Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Colin E; Atchison, Guy W

    2015-07-01

    Alpine plant radiations are compared across the world's major mountain ranges and shown to be overwhelmingly young and fast, largely confined to the Pliocene and Pleistocene, and some of them apparently in the early explosive phase of radiation. Accelerated diversification triggered by island-like ecological opportunities following the final phases of mountain uplift, and in many cases enabled by the key adaptation of perennial habit, provides a general model for alpine plant radiations. Accelerated growth form evolution facilitated by perenniality provides compelling evidence of ecological release and suggests striking parallels between island-like alpine, and especially tropicalpine radiations, and island radiations more generally. These parallels suggest that the world's mountains offer an excellent comparative system for explaining evolutionary radiation.

  18. Soil warming increases plant species richness but decreases germination from the alpine soil seed bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyle, Gemma L; Venn, Susanna E; Steadman, Kathryn J; Good, Roger B; McAuliffe, Edward J; Williams, Emlyn R; Nicotra, Adrienne B

    2013-05-01

    Global warming is occurring more rapidly above the treeline than at lower elevations and alpine areas are predicted to experience above average warming in the future. Temperature is a primary factor in stimulating seed germination and regulating changes in seed dormancy status. Thus, plant regeneration from seed will be crucial to the persistence, migration and post disturbance recruitment of alpine plants in future climates. Here, we present the first assessment of the impact of soil warming on germination from the persistent alpine soil seed bank. Contrary to expectations, soil warming lead to reduced overall germination from the soil seed bank. However, germination response to soil temperature was species specific such that total species richness actually increased by nine with soil warming. We further explored the system by assessing the prevalence of seed dormancy and germination response to soil disturbance, the frequency of which is predicted to increase under climate change. Seeds of a significant proportion of species demonstrated physiological dormancy mechanisms and germination of several species appeared to be intrinsically linked to soil disturbance. In addition, we found no evidence of subalpine species and little evidence of exotic weed species in the soil, suggesting that the soil seed bank will not facilitate their invasion of the alpine zone. In conclusion, changes in recruitment via the alpine soil seed bank can be expected under climate change, as a result of altered dormancy alleviation and germination cues. Furthermore, the alpine soil seed bank, and the species richness therein, has the potential to help maintain local species diversity, support species range shift and moderate species dominance. Implications for alpine management and areas for further study are also discussed.

  19. Effects of grazing regimes on plant traits and soil nutrients in an alpine steppe, Northern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jian; Wang, Xiaodan; Cheng, Genwei; Wu, Jianbo; Hong, Jiangtao; Niu, Shuli

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the impact of grazing intensity on grassland production and soil fertility is of fundamental importance for grassland conservation and management. We thus compared three types of alpine steppe management by studying vegetation traits and soil properties in response to three levels of grazing pressure: permanent grazing (M1), seasonal grazing (M2), and grazing exclusion (M3) in the alpine steppe in Xainza County, Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that community biomass allocation did not support the isometric hypothesis under different grassland management types. Plants in M1 had less aboveground biomass but more belowground biomass in the top soil layer than those in M2 and M3, which was largely due to that root/shoot ratios of dominant plants in M1 were far greater than those in M2 and M3. The interramet distance and the tiller size of the dominant clonal plants were greater in M3 than in M1 and M2, while the resprouting from rhizome buds did not differ significantly among the three greezing regimes. Both soil bulk density and soil available nitrogen in M3 were greater than in M1 at the 15-30 cm soil depth (P = 0.05). Soil organic carbon and soil total nitrogen were greater in M3 than in M1 and M2 (P = 0.05). We conclude that the isometric hypothesis is not supported in this study and fencing is a helpful grassland management in terms of plant growth and soil nutrient retention in alpine steppe. The extreme cold, scarce precipitation and short growing period may be the causation of the unique plant and soil responses to different management regimes.

  20. Effects of grazing regimes on plant traits and soil nutrients in an alpine steppe, Northern Tibetan Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Sun

    Full Text Available Understanding the impact of grazing intensity on grassland production and soil fertility is of fundamental importance for grassland conservation and management. We thus compared three types of alpine steppe management by studying vegetation traits and soil properties in response to three levels of grazing pressure: permanent grazing (M1, seasonal grazing (M2, and grazing exclusion (M3 in the alpine steppe in Xainza County, Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that community biomass allocation did not support the isometric hypothesis under different grassland management types. Plants in M1 had less aboveground biomass but more belowground biomass in the top soil layer than those in M2 and M3, which was largely due to that root/shoot ratios of dominant plants in M1 were far greater than those in M2 and M3. The interramet distance and the tiller size of the dominant clonal plants were greater in M3 than in M1 and M2, while the resprouting from rhizome buds did not differ significantly among the three greezing regimes. Both soil bulk density and soil available nitrogen in M3 were greater than in M1 at the 15-30 cm soil depth (P = 0.05. Soil organic carbon and soil total nitrogen were greater in M3 than in M1 and M2 (P = 0.05. We conclude that the isometric hypothesis is not supported in this study and fencing is a helpful grassland management in terms of plant growth and soil nutrient retention in alpine steppe. The extreme cold, scarce precipitation and short growing period may be the causation of the unique plant and soil responses to different management regimes.

  1. The importance of nitrogen and carbohydrate storage for plant growth of the alpine herb Veratrum album

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Treier, U.A.; Müller-Schärer, H.

    2005-01-01

    We examined whether nitrogen (N) and carbohydrates reserves allow Veratrum album, an alpine forb, to start spring growth earlier than the neighbouring vegetation and to survive unpredictable disturbances resulting in loss of above-ground biomass. Seasonal dynamics of plant reserves, soil N availabil

  2. [A phylogenetic analysis of plant communities of Teberda Biosphere Reserve].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulakov, A A; Egorov, A V; Onipchenko, V G

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of communities is based on the comparison of distances on the phylogenetic tree between species of a community under study and those distances in random samples taken out of local flora. It makes it possible to determine to what extent a community composition is formed by more closely related species (i.e., "clustered") or, on the opposite, it is more even and includes species that are less related with each other. The first case is usually interpreted as a result of strong influence caused by abiotic factors, due to which species with similar ecology, a priori more closely related, would remain: In the second case, biotic factors, such as competition, may come to the fore and lead to forming a community out of distant clades due to divergence of their ecological niches: The aim of this' study Was Ad explore the phylogenetic structure in communities of the northwestern Caucasus at two spatial scales - the scale of area from 4 to 100 m2 and the smaller scale within a community. The list of local flora of the alpine belt has been composed using the database of geobotanic descriptions carried out in Teberda Biosphere Reserve at true altitudes exceeding.1800 m. It includes 585 species of flowering plants belonging to 57 families. Basal groups of flowering plants are.not represented in the list. At the scale of communities of three classes, namely Thlaspietea rotundifolii - commumties formed on screes and pebbles, Calluno-Ulicetea - alpine meadow, and Mulgedio-Aconitetea subalpine meadows, have not demonstrated significant distinction of phylogenetic structure. At intra level, for alpine meadows the larger share of closely related species. (clustered community) is detected. Significantly clustered happen to be those communities developing on rocks (class Asplenietea trichomanis) and alpine (class Juncetea trifidi). At the same time, alpine lichen proved to have even phylogenetic structure at the small scale. Alpine (class Salicetea herbaceae) that

  3. [Microbial community structure of the alpine meadow under different grazing styles in Naqu prefecture of Tibet].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Lei; Liu, Ying-hui; Li, Yue; Ouyang, Sheng-nan

    2015-08-01

    To clarify the effects of grazing styles on the soil microbial community in the alpine meadow, we explored the changes of soil microbial community structure in the alpine meadow located in Naqu district of Tibet Autonomous Region by analyzing the soil chemical properties and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). The results showed that the contents of soil total organic carbon, total phosphate and nitrate nitrogen under the different grazing styles followed the trend of 7-year rest grazing > free grazing > grazing prohibition. Except for the ratio of fungal PLFAs/bacterial PLFAs, total PLFAs, the bacterial PLFAs, the fungal PLFAs, the gram negative bacterial and the gram positive bacterial PLFAs over the different grazing types were in the order of 7-year rest grazing > 5-year grazing prohibition > 7-year and 9-year grazing prohibition. The principal component analysis (PCA) presented that the first principal component (PC1 = 74.6%) was mainly composed of monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and branched fatty acids, and the second principal component (PC2 = 13.2%) was mainly composed of saturated fatty acids and some monounsaturated fatty acids. Total PLFAs content was significantly positively correlated with microbial biomass carbon content. Compared with grazing prohibition, fallow grazing was best for the alpine meadow in Naqu district, and free grazing with light intensity was good for the alpine meadow.

  4. Modelling plant species distribution in alpine grasslands using airborne imaging spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottier, Julien; Malenovský, Zbyněk; Psomas, Achilleas; Homolová, Lucie; Schaepman, Michael E; Choler, Philippe; Thuiller, Wilfried; Guisan, Antoine; Zimmermann, Niklaus E

    2014-07-01

    Remote sensing using airborne imaging spectroscopy (AIS) is known to retrieve fundamental optical properties of ecosystems. However, the value of these properties for predicting plant species distribution remains unclear. Here, we assess whether such data can add value to topographic variables for predicting plant distributions in French and Swiss alpine grasslands. We fitted statistical models with high spectral and spatial resolution reflectance data and tested four optical indices sensitive to leaf chlorophyll content, leaf water content and leaf area index. We found moderate added-value of AIS data for predicting alpine plant species distribution. Contrary to expectations, differences between species distribution models (SDMs) were not linked to their local abundance or phylogenetic/functional similarity. Moreover, spectral signatures of species were found to be partly site-specific. We discuss current limits of AIS-based SDMs, highlighting issues of scale and informational content of AIS data. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Responses of Bacterial Communities to Simulated Climate Changes in Alpine Meadow Soil of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rui, Junpeng; Li, Jiabao; Wang, Shiping; An, Jiaxing; Liu, Wen-tso; Lin, Qiaoyan; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Li, Xiangzhen

    2015-09-01

    The soil microbial community plays an important role in terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycling. However, microbial responses to climate warming or cooling remain poorly understood, limiting our ability to predict the consequences of future climate changes. To address this issue, it is critical to identify microbes sensitive to climate change and key driving factors shifting microbial communities. In this study, alpine soil transplant experiments were conducted downward or upward along an elevation gradient between 3,200 and 3,800 m in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau to simulate climate warming or cooling. After a 2-year soil transplant experiment, soil bacterial communities were analyzed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The results showed that the transplanted soil bacterial communities became more similar to those in their destination sites and more different from those in their "home" sites. Warming led to increases in the relative abundances in Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Actinobacteria and decreases in Acidobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Deltaproteobacteria, while cooling had opposite effects on bacterial communities (symmetric response). Soil temperature and plant biomass contributed significantly to shaping the bacterial community structure. Overall, climate warming or cooling shifted the soil bacterial community structure mainly through species sorting, and such a shift might correlate to important biogeochemical processes such as greenhouse gas emissions. This study provides new insights into our understanding of soil bacterial community responses to climate warming and cooling.

  6. Diversity and distribution patterns of root-associated fungi on herbaceous plants in alpine meadows of southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Qian; Yang, Zhu L

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of root-associated fungi associated with four ectomycorrhizal herbaceous species, Kobresia capillifolia, Carex parva, Polygonum macrophyllum and Potentilla fallens, collected in three sites of alpine meadows in southwestern China, was estimated based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA sequence analysis of root tips. Three hundred seventy-seven fungal sequences sorted to 154 operational taxonomical units (sequence similarity of ≥ 97% across the ITS) were obtained from the four plant species across all three sites. Similar taxa (in GenBank with ≥ 97% similarity) were not found in GenBank and/or UNITE for most of the OTUs. Ectomycorrhiz a made up 64% of the fungi operational taxonomic units (OTUs), endophytes constituted 4% and the other 33% were unidentified root-associated fungi. Fungal OTUs were represented by 57% basidiomycetes and 43% ascomycetes. Inocybe, Tomentella/Thelophora, Sebacina, Hebeloma, Pezizomycotina, Cenococcum geophilum complex, Cortinarius, Lactarius and Helotiales were OTU-rich fungal lineages. Across the sites and host species the root-associated fungal communities generally exhibited low host and site specificity but high host and sampling site preference. Collectively our study revealed noteworthy diversity and endemism of root-associated fungi of alpine plants in this global biodiversity hotspot.

  7. Moisture and temperature controls on nitrification differ among ammonia oxidizer communities from three alpine soil habitats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Brooke B.OSBORNE; Jill S.BARON; Matthew D.WALLENSTEIN

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is altering the timing and magnitude of biogeochemical fluxes in many high-elevation ecosystems.The consequent changes in alpine nitrification rates have the potential to influence ecosystem scale responses.In order to better understand how changing temperature and moisture conditions may influence ammonia oxidizers and nitrification activity,we conducted laboratory incubations on soils collected in a Colorado watershed from three alpine habitats (glacial outwash,talus,and meadow).We found that bacteria,not archaea,dominated all ammonia oxidizer communities.Nitrification increased with moisture in all soils and under all temperature treatments.However,temperature was not correlated with nitrification rates in all soils.Site-specific temperature trends suggest the development of generalist ammonia oxidzer communities in soils with greater in situ temperature fluctuations and specialists in soils with more steady temperature regimes.Rapidly increasing temperatures and changing soil moisture conditions could explain recent observations of increased nitrate production in some alpine soils.

  8. 三江源冻土型地下水库对典型高寒植物群落补水机理%Research on water compensation mechanism for typical alpine plant communities under frozen-soil un-derground reservoirs in three-river source area:a review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭凤清; 曾辉; 丛沛桐

    2016-01-01

    本文以三江源冻土型地下水库与植物群落依存关系为基础对冻土型地下水库对植物群落补水机理研究进行阐述:(1)三江源区典型植被对于维护区域的生态特征具有独特的生态价值,特殊的自然条件和环境决定了植被的分布特点。(2)三江源区冻土活动层具备规模地下水形成条件,提出冻土型地下水库模式。(3)三江源区冻土层与植被具有十分相关的耦合关系。(4)冻土活动层分布规律、冻土层中土壤含水率特点、冻土区径流水文过程为解释三江源区冻土型地下水库对典型高寒植被群落的补水机理提供基础的理论依据。(5)无损、准确、高效、便携的地质雷达是冻土勘察中较好的探测技术。针对三江源区冻土活动层对植被的补水机理研究现状,指出今后从地下水库视角分析冻土层的重点研究问题,包括冻土型地下水库补给植物群落的机理、冻土型地下水库的成库条件、冻土型地下水库排泄特征对三江源高寒植物群落稳定补水机制、冻土型地下水库对高寒植被的生态效应、地质雷达在冻土监测方面的应用等。基于这些研究问题,最后以三江源区典型高寒植物群落生长所需要的稳定补给水源为研究对象,提出冻土型地下水库稳定的补水机理与机制研究的思路,可为三江源区改善生态环境起到指导作用。%Three‐River source area ,as a national nature protection area ,the changes of permafrost have caused some problems in alpine ecosystem and these problems have been paid great attention to in recent years .This paper reviewed the research of water compensation mechanism for typical alpine plant communities under frozen‐soil underground res‐ervoirs based on the interdependence between permafrost underground reservoir and plant community in Three‐River source area:(1) The typical vegetation in Three

  9. Plant Communities of Rough Rock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Linda

    A unit of study on plants grown in the Navajo community of Rough Rock, Arizona, is presented in sketches providing the common Navajo name for the plant, a literal English translation, the English name of the plant, and the Latin name. A brief description of each plant includes where the plant grows, how the Navajos use the plant, and the color and…

  10. The structure of small mammal communities in some alpine habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Locatelli

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We studied the composition of several small mammal communities living in different mountain and forest habitats of the central eastern Italian Alps. The small mammals were then grouped together, by cluster analysis, according to similarities in species and density. From the 22 stations investigated, five groups emerged, each one having also distinct environmental characteristics. We observed that spruce forest communities are grouped separately from those of mixed forests (larch and Swiss stone pine. We must stress the considerable difference existing between the small mammal communities living in different kinds of coniferous forests. The larch and Swiss stone pine forest seem to be able to support a greater density of small mammals, which includes in particular the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus.

  11. Life on a Changing Edge: Arctic-Alpine Plants at the Edges of Permanent Snowfields that are Receding Due to Climate Change at Glacier National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apple, M. E.; Martin, A. C.; Moritz, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers and snowfields are intrinsic parts of many alpine landscapes but they are retreating rapidly at Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Plants that inhabit the edges of glaciers and snowfields are vulnerable to habitat changes wrought by the recession of these frozen bodies. Snowfields provide plants with frost protection in the winter and water in the form of melting snow during the summer. However, changes in snowfield and glacial edges may leave plants exposed to frost in the winter and subjected to water stress in the summer, which would likely have an impact on important processes, including emergence from the soil, leaf expansion, root growth, flowering, seed germination, seedling establishment, photosynthesis, and transpiration. Because these processes influence the survival of plants, responses of snowfield plants to changing edges will likely result in changes in species abundance, distribution and diversity, which will in turn influence community composition. In summer 2012, we initiated a study of Glacier National Park's snowfield plants by establishing 2m2 plots at geospatially referenced 50m transects extending outwards from the toe and perpendicularly outward from the lateral edges of currently permanent snowfields at Siyeh Pass, Piegan Pass, and Preston Park, with an additional 100m transect extending from an impermanent snowfield to treeline at Mt. Clements near Logan Pass. We constructed species lists and determined percent cover for each species in each 2m2 plot, and used high resolution photographs of each plot as records and for fine scale determinations of species presence and location. In addition, we searched for rare arctic-alpine plants which, due to their rarity, may be especially vulnerable to changes in snowfields and glaciers. Two species of rare arctic-alpine plants, Tofieldia pusilla and Pinguicula vulgaris, were found near snowmelt-fed springs, rivulets, and tarns but were not found adjacent to the snowfields. Thus, they may

  12. Pollen sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) suggests floral structure evolution in alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chan; Yang, Yong-Ping; Duan, Yuan-Wen

    2014-03-31

    Various biotic and abiotic factors are known to exert selection pressures on floral traits, but the influence of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) light on the evolution of flower structure remains relatively unexplored. We have examined the effectiveness of flower structure in blocking radiation and the effects of UV-B on pollen viability in 42 species of alpine plants in the Hengduan Mountains, China. Floral forms were categorized as either protecting or exposing pollen grains to UV-B. The floral materials of plants with exposed and protected pollen grains were able to block UV-B at similar levels. Exposure to UV-B radiation in vitro resulted in a significantly greater loss of viability in pollen from plant species with protective floral structures. The pronounced sensitivity of protected pollen to UV-B radiation was associated with the type of flower structure. These findings demonstrate that UV-B plays an important role in the evolution of protective floral forms in alpine plants.

  13. Intraguild predation in pioneer predator communities of alpine glacier forelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raso, Lorna; Sint, Daniela; Mayer, Rebecca; Plangg, Simon; Recheis, Thomas; Brunner, Silvia; Kaufmann, Rüdiger; Traugott, Michael

    2014-08-01

    Pioneer communities establishing themselves in the barren terrain in front of glacier forelands consist principally of predator species such as carabid beetles and lycosid spiders. The fact that so many different predators can co-inhabit an area with no apparent primary production was initially explained by allochthonous material deposited in these forelands. However, whether these populations can be sustained on allochthonous material alone is questionable and recent studies point towards this assumption to be flawed. Intraguild predation (IGP) might play an important role in these pioneer predator assemblages, especially in the very early successional stages where other prey is scarce. Here, we investigated IGP between the main predator species and their consumption of Collembola, an important autochthonous alternative prey, within a glacier foreland in the Ötztal (Austrian Alps). Multiplex PCR and stable isotope analysis were used to characterize the trophic niches in an early and late pioneer stage over 2 years. Results showed that intraguild prey was consumed by all invertebrate predators, particularly the larger carabid species. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the DNA detection frequency of IGP prey was not significantly higher in early than in late pioneer stage, which was corroborated by the stable isotope analysis. Collembola were the most frequently detected prey in all of the predators, and the overall prey DNA detection patterns were consistent between years. Our findings show that IGP appears as a constant in these pioneer predator communities and that it remains unaffected by successional changes. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Investigating cytoskeletal function in chloroplast protrusion formation in the arctic-alpine plant Oxyria digyna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzinger, A; Wasteneys, G O; Lütz, C

    2007-05-01

    Arctic and alpine plants like Oxyria digyna have to face enhanced environmental stress. This study compared leaves from Oxyria digyna collected in the Arctic at Svalbard (78 degrees N) and in the Austrian Alps (47 degrees N) at cellular, subcellular, and ultrastructural levels. Oxyria digyna plants collected in Svalbard had significantly thicker leaves than the samples collected in the Austrian Alps. This difference was generated by increased thickness of the palisade and spongy mesophyll layers in the arctic plants, while epidermal cells had no significant size differences between the two habitats. A characteristic feature of arctic, alpine, and cultivated samples was the occurrence of broad stroma-filled chloroplast protrusions, 2 - 5 microm broad and up to 5 microm long. Chloroplast protrusions were in close spatial contact with other organelles including mitochondria and microbodies. Mitochondria were also present in invaginations of the chloroplasts. A dense network of cortical microtubules found in the mesophyll cells suggested a potential role for microtubules in the formation and function of chloroplast protrusions. No direct interactions between microtubules and chloroplasts, however, were observed and disruption of the microtubule arrays with the anti-microtubule agent oryzalin at 5 - 10 microM did not alter the appearance or dynamics of chloroplast protrusions. These observations suggest that, in contrast to studies on stromule formation in Nicotiana, microtubules are not involved in the formation and morphology of chloroplast protrusions in Oxyria digyna. The actin microfilament-disrupting drug latrunculin B (5 - 10 microM for 2 h) arrested cytoplasmic streaming and altered the cytoplasmic integrity of mesophyll cells. However, at the ultrastructural level, stroma-containing, thylakoid-free areas were still visible, mostly at the concave sides of the chloroplasts. As chloroplast protrusions were frequently found to be mitochondria-associated in Oxyria

  15. Phospholipid Analyses for Microbial Community Composition in Alpine Acid Rock Drainage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, C. E.; Tapp, J. B.; Pfiffner, S. M.

    2008-12-01

    This project is examining factors of non-anthropogenic acid rock drainage that influence microbial community composition in the Peekaboo Gulch drainage basin (Sawatch Range, Colorado). At this site, natural acid rock drainage outflows from acidic springs (pH=2.6) on Red Mountain. The acid drainage converges with South Fork Lake Creek (pH ~ 7.0, prior to convergence) two miles down gradient. Sediment samples were collected across confluences with gradient of pH, temperature, conductivity and metal concentration. In-situ parameter measurements ranged from 2.3 to 7.9 of pH, 3.8 to 16.6 degree Celsius for temperature, and 34.9 to 1820 for conductivity. Biomass as measured by phospholipids ranged from 280 to 95,900 pmol/g sediment. The only relationship between the in situ parameters and the phospholipid profiles is a weak positive correlation between pH and branched monounsaturated fatty acid methyl esters in that at a pH greater than 5.0 these fatty acid methyl esters were detected. The phospholipid profiles were diverse across the samples. These profiles changed with respect to the spatial relationship within the drainage pattern. The highest alpine samples contained greater relative abundances of monounsaturated fatty acid methyl esters compared to the lower alpine samples. Microbial community profiles shifted at each confluence depending on water source chemistry. Continuing research is needed to determine other biogeochemical factors that may influence these community shifts.

  16. The importance of nitrogen and carbohydrate storage for plant growth of the alpine herb Veratrum album

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kleijn, David; Treier, Urs; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

    2005-01-01

    We examined whether nitrogen (N) and carbohydrates reserves allow Veratrum album, an alpine forb, to start spring growth earlier than the neighbouring vegetation and to survive unpredictable disturbances resulting in loss of above-ground biomass.Seasonal dynamics of plant reserves, soil N...... availability and vegetation growth were monitored. Veratrum album shoots were experimentally removed when carbohydrate reserves were at a seasonal minimum and the subsequent changes in biomass and reserves were compared with those in control plants.  Reserves did not give V. album a competitive advantage...... in spring; however, they did function as a buffer against the impact of calamities. Shoot removal resulted in significantly lower root dry weight, higher N concentration in rhizome and roots and lower starch concentrations in rhizome and roots but no plant mortality was observed.Veratrum album used stored N...

  17. Habitat Range of two Alpine Medicinal Plants in a Trans-Himalayan Dry Valley, Central Nepal

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bharat Babu SHRESTHA; Pramod Kumar JHA

    2009-01-01

    Understanding of the habitat range of threatened Himalayan medicinal plants which are declining in their abundance due to high anthropogenic disturbances is essential for developing conservation strategies and agro-technologies for cultivation. In this communication, we have discussed the habitat range of two alpine medicinal plants, Aconitum naviculare (Briihl) Stapf and Neopierorhiza scrophulariiflora (Pennel) Hong in a trans-Himalayan dry valley of central Nepal, Manang district. They are the most prioritized medicinal plants of the study area in terms of ethnomedicinal uses. A. naviculare occurs on warm and dry south facing slopes between 4090-4650 m asl along with sclerophyllous and thorny alpine scrubs, while N. serophulariiflora is exclusively found on cool and moist north facing slope between 4o0o and 4400 m asl where adequate water is available from snow melt to create a suitable habitat for this wetland dependent species. The soil in rooting zone of the two plants differs significantly in organic carbon (OC), organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (N) and carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio. Due to cool and moist condition of N. scrophulariiflora habitat, accumulation of soil OC is higher, but soil N content is lower probably due to slow release from litter, higher leaching loss and greater retention in perennial live biomass of the plant. The C/N ratio of soil is more suitable in A. navuculare habitat than that of N scrophulariiflora for N supply. Warm and sunny site with N rich soft can be suitable for cultivation of A. naviculare, while moist and cool site with organic soil for N. scrophulariiflora. The populations of both the plants are fragmented and small. Due to collection by human and trampling damage by livestock, the population of A. naviculare was found absent in open areas in five of the six sampling sites and it was confined only within the bushes of alpine scrubs. For N. serophulariiflora, high probability of complete receding of small glaciers may

  18. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities) are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and co...

  19. 青藏高原高寒沼泽湿地在退化梯度上植物群落组成的改变对湿地水分状况的影响%Effect of change of plant community composition along degradation gradients on water conditions in an alpine swamp wetland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李宏林; 徐当会; 杜国祯

    2012-01-01

    Aims Wetlands degradation has drawn increased concern recently. Many researchers have reported the changes of plant communities and the relevant degradation mechanism of wetlands. However, few studies have explored the effects of plant community change on the water conditions of swamp meadow. Our objective was to investigate how change of alpine swamp meadow along degradation gradients affects its water conditions. Methods The study was conducted at the Research Station of Alpine Meadow and Wetland Ecosystems of Lanzhou University (Maqu Branch Station) (33°39' N, 101°53' E). We examined 47 species (15 families) selected from a degradation gradient of alpine swamp meadow. Net photosynthesis rate (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr) and stomatal conductance (Gs) were measured simultaneously with a portable gas exchange system LI-6400 (Li-COR, Lincoln, NE, USA). Measurements were performed from 9:00 am to 12:00 am on clear days in mid-July and mid-August, using photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) = 1 800 μmol·m-2·s-1 and flow = 750 μmol·s-1. The value of water use efficiency (WUE) was determined by PJTr. We also investigated the cover of different functional groups (grasses, sedges, legumes and other forbs) at different degradation levels. Important findings The photosynthetic physiology traits were different among species and functional groups (p sedges > legumes and other forbs, and WUE was sedges > grasses > legumes and other forbs. Species composition of the plant community had been changed due to the degradation of the swamp meadow. The abundance of forbs increased with degradation. WUE was lower for forbs than other functional groups, which implied that more soil water is transpired, exacerbating the drought condition of degraded meadows. Successful restoration requires protection and replenishment of the typical native species.%对青藏高原东缘玛曲高寒沼泽湿地分属于15科的47种主要植物进行光合测定,结合对不同退化类型植

  20. Novel expressed sequence tags of an alpine-cold plant species,Gymnadenia conopsea (Orchidaceae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Gymnadenia conopsea,an alpine Orchidaceae plant,was one of the widely used Tibetan traditional medicines.In this study,we sequenced total 105 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from a full-length cDNA expression library constructed by the Oligo-capping technique.The further bioinformatic analyses suggested that the 65 represented unique sequences showed high homology to previously identified genes in other plants:30 sequences matched to other uncharacterized expressed sequence tags (ESTs),and 10 sequences showed no good matches to available sequences in DNA databases.Gene ontology annotation by InterProScan indicated that many of these cDNAs (7 percent) have no known molecular functions and may be unique to G.conopsea.Fifty-five ESTs with matched proteins were involved in a series of diverse functions,in which molecular function such as "binding" (42.9 percent) and "catalytic activity" (25.0 percent) were the most frequent functions of the cDNAs.This cDNA library provided a critical basis for further investigation of functional genes expression under cold stress in this alpine species.In addition,13 ESTs-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers were designed and can also be used for genotypic identification and for the genetic diversity analysis of G.conopsea and its closely related species.

  1. DEMOGRAPHY OF ALPINE SHORT-LIVED PLANTS, LONGEVITY AND ONTOGENY STAGE DURATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. S. Kazantseva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim - to evaluate lifespan (full cycle and ontogeny stage durations of nine alpine short-lived North- West Caucasus plants.Methods. For calculation we used a new method which was developed and suggested earlier by us. This method is based on a discrete ontogeny description and on the probability theory and random processes. The data on the monitoring of the marked individuals were collected during six years.Results. We found out that the lifespan of Anthyllis vulneraria is 2.6±0.3 years (hereinafter “±” is Standard error, Draba hispida – 4.5±0.3, Murbeckiella huetii – 4.6±1.1, Carum meifolium – 7.8±1.4, Eritrichium caucasicum – 9.1±1.4, Trifolium badium – 10.3±2.6, Sedum tenellum – 11±2.05, Androsace albana – 12.1±2.5, Minuartia recurva – 22.9±4.5. Also we demonstrated the matrix population models for studied plants, which show the probability of transition of individuals from one ontogeny stage to another in time interval (in our experiment – 1 year.Conclusion. Mortality of seedlings and juvenile plants, except Murbeckiella huetii, is around and more than 50%. Two years is the minimal amount of time that is necessary for full cycle of short-lived alpine plants, as it was shown for Anthyllis vulneraria, Murbeckiella huetii и Trifolium badium. A 3-12 years lifespan was calculated for other studied species. Persistence of Eritrichium caucasicum and Androsace albana populations provided by resistance of adult vegetative plants.

  2. Plant traits mediate consumer and nutrient control on plant community productivity and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskelinen, Anu; Harrison, Susan; Tuomi, Maria

    2012-12-01

    The interactive effects of consumers and nutrients on terrestrial plant communities, and the role of plant functional traits in mediating these responses, are poorly known. We carried out a six-year full-factorial field experiment using mammalian herbivore exclusion and fertilization in two habitat types (fertile and infertile alpine tundra heaths) that differed in plant functional traits related to resource acquisition and palatability. Infertile habitats were dominated by species with traits indicative of a slow-growing strategy: high C:N ratio, low specific leaf area, and high condensed tannins. We found that herbivory counteracted the effect of fertilization on biomass, and that this response differed between the two habitats and was correlated with plant functional traits. Live biomass dominated the treatment responses in infertile habitats, whereas litter accumulation dominated the treatment responses in fertile habitats and was strongly negatively associated with resident community tannin concentration. Species richness declined under herbivore exclusion and fertilization in fertile habitats, where litter accumulation was greatest. Community means of plant C:N ratio predicted treatment effects on diversity: fertilization decreased and herbivory increased dominance in communities originally dominated by plants with high C:N, while fertilization increased and herbivory diminished dominance in communities where low C:N species were abundant. Our results highlight the close interdependence between consumer effects, soil nutrients, and plant functional traits and suggest that plant traits may provide an improved understanding of how consumers and nutrients influence plant community productivity and diversity.

  3. Iron isotope fractionation during Fe uptake and translocation in alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiczka, Mirjam; Wiederhold, Jan G; Kraemer, Stephan M; Bourdon, Bernard; Kretzschmar, Ruben

    2010-08-15

    The potential of stable Fe isotopes as a tracer for the biogeochemical Fe cycle depends on the understanding and quantification of the fractionation processes involved. Iron uptake and cycling by plants may influence Fe speciation in soils. Here, we determined the Fe isotopic composition of different plant parts including the complete root system of three alpine plant species (Oxyria digyna, Rumex scutatus, Agrostis gigantea) in a granitic glacier forefield, which allowed us, for the first time, to distinguish between uptake and in-plant fractionation processes. The overall range of fractionation was 4.5 per thousand in delta(56)Fe. Mass balance calculations demonstrated that fractionation toward lighter Fe isotopic composition occurred in two steps during uptake: (1) before active uptake, probably during mineral dissolution and (2) during selective uptake of Fe at the plasma membrane with an enrichment factor of -1.0 to -1.7 per thousand for all three species. Iron isotopes were further fractionated during remobilization from old into new plant tissue, which changed the isotopic composition of leaves and flowers over the season. This study demonstrates the potential of Fe isotopes as a new tool in plant nutrition studies but also reveals challenges for the future application of Fe isotope signatures in soil-plant environments.

  4. Diatom community biodiversity in an Alpine protected area: a study in the Maritime Alps Natural Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca BONA

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available As part of the "All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories" (ATBIs coordinated by the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT, we analysed diatom communities colonizing different habitats of the Valasco Valley (Maritime Alps Natural Park. The aim of this research was to shed light on the diatom richness in an Alpine context through i the collection of data concerning diatom communities inhabiting an unexplored watershed of the Maritime Alps Natural Park, including all of the most important aquatic habitats (comparison among river, springs and peat bogs and assemblages (epilithic and epiphytic diatom communities; ii analysis of the main environmental factors driving the development of diatom communities in different habitats. We completed a list of 174 diatom taxa. In general, river samples were poorer in terms of species richness than spring and peat bog ones, probably due to the selective role of the fast flow, while springs sheltered the highest biodiversity of the Valasco Valley. Peat bog communities were mainly composed of acidophilous taxa, sometimes planktonic and forming colonies. Epilithic and epiphytic samples did not show significant differences in terms of composition and biodiversity, even though it was statistically possible to identify indicator species for each assemblage. The study also highlighted the presence of several taxa included in the German Red List as endangered or decreasing, especially in the epiphytic samples. Since the water nutrient level and substrate geology were similar among habitats, the main environmental factors shaping Valasco diatom communities were water velocity and pH.

  5. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil mites across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alatalo, Juha M.; Jägerbrand, Annika K.; Juhanson, Jaanis; Michelsen, Anders; Ľuptáčik, Peter

    2017-03-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from the mineral soil layer in mesic meadow, but not in wet meadow or heath or from the organic soil layer. There was a significant site effect on the density of one mite species, Oppiella neerlandica, and all soil parameters. A significant plot-scale impact on mites suggests that small-scale heterogeneity may be important for buffering mites from global warming. The results indicated that juvenile mites may be more vulnerable to global warming than adult stages. Importantly, the results also indicated that global warming may cause carbon and nitrogen losses in alpine and tundra mineral soils and that its effects may differ at local scale.

  6. Bacterial community in sclerotia of Cenococcum species and soil in sub-alpine forest, central Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonoyama, Y.; Narisawa, K.; Ohta, H.; Watanabe, M.

    2009-04-01

    Species of Cenococcum, ectomycorrhizal fungi, may be particularly abundant in cold- or nutrient-stressed habitats. The fungus is easily recognized by its jet-black hyphae, and distinct compact masses of fungal mycelium called sclerotia. They are hard, black, comparatively smooth and mostly spherical. Sclerotia are formed in rhizosphere and can provide sufficient inoculums for several years. The purpose of this study is to investigate bacterial community inside sclerotia, with an interest on contribution of sclerotia to microbial diversity in rhizosphere. To investigate bacterial community inside of the fungal sclerotia by 16S rDNA gene clone library, several hundred of sclerotia (ca. 1g) were collected from sub-alpine forest soil in central Japan. Furthermore, three sclerotium grains were applied to investigate internal bacteria community by culture method. The isolated bacterial strains were then proceeded to determine their 16S rDNA partial sequences. The predominant group determined by clone library analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA genes with DNA from the sclerotia was Acidobacteria in both sclerotia and soil. Bacterial community of sclerotia showed higher diversity compared to soil. On the contrary, bacterial flora isolated from single sclerotium differed each other. Additionally, the bacterial community was composed by limited species of related genus.

  7. Effects of warming on chlorophyll degradation and carbohydrate accumulation of Alpine herbaceous species during plant senescence on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changguang Shi

    Full Text Available Plant senescence is a critical life history process accompanied by chlorophyll degradation and has large implications for nutrient resorption and carbohydrate storage. Although photoperiod governs much of seasonal leaf senescence in many plant species, temperature has also been shown to modulate this process. Therefore, we hypothesized that climate warming would significantly impact the length of the plant growing season and ultimate productivity. To test this assumption, we measured the effects of simulated autumn climate warming paradigms on four native herbaceous species that represent distinct life forms of alpine meadow plants on the Tibetan Plateau. Conditions were simulated in open-top chambers (OTCs and the effects on the degradation of chlorophyll, nitrogen (N concentration in leaves and culms, total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC in roots, growth and phenology were assessed during one year following treatment. The results showed that climate warming in autumn changed the senescence process only for perennials by slowing chlorophyll degradation at the beginning of senescence and accelerating it in the following phases. Warming also increased root TNC storage as a result of higher N concentrations retained in leaves; however, this effect was species dependent and did not alter the growing and flowering phenology in the following seasons. Our results indicated that autumn warming increases carbohydrate accumulation, not only by enhancing activities of photosynthetic enzymes (a mechanism proposed in previous studies, but also by affecting chlorophyll degradation and preferential allocation of resources to different plant compartments. The different responses to warming can be explained by inherently different growth and phenology patterns observed among the studied species. The results implied that warming leads to changes in the competitive balance among life forms, an effect that can subsequently shift vegetation distribution and

  8. Examination of a relationship between {sup 137}Cs concentrations in soils and plants from alpine pastures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunzl, K. E-mail: bunzl@gsf.de; Albers, B.P.; Schimmack, W.; Belli, M.; Ciuffo, L.; Menegon, S

    2000-04-01

    An essential prerequisite of the soil/plant transfer factor concept is the presence of a statistically significant relationship between the contents of a given radionuclide in the soil and plant. To examine the existence of such an association for a semi-natural environment we determined for two typical alpine pastures in Germany and Italy the concentrations of fallout-{sup 137}Cs in soil and plants. To be able to detect such a relationship sensitively, we selected at the German site 100 plots (area 1 mx1 m) within a 100 mx100 m area and assessed the corresponding plant and soil {sup 137}Cs contents. All frequency distributions of the soil and plant {sup 137}Cs contents at both sites were found to be lognormal. The results showed that increased plant {sup 137}Cs concentrations were not significantly associated with increased soil {sup 137}Cs contents, even though the {sup 137}Cs contents in the soil there varied by one order of magnitude. This result was also supported by the observations at the Italian pasture site, where 24 plots were selected. Possible reasons and consequences of these findings are discussed. To examine also the relation between potassium and radiocesium, {sup 40}K was determined in all samples. These results revealed a very strong but negative correlation between {sup 40}K and {sup 137}Cs in the plants of both pastures, which shows that, when a large variety of different plant species is considered, radiocesium and potassium do not necessarily behave in an analogous way. In addition, a statistically significant, negative relationship between {sup 40}K in the soil and {sup 137}Cs in the plants was found. Possible reasons for this observation are discussed.

  9. Effects of elevated temperature and CO2 concentration on photosynthesis of the alpine plants in Zoige Plateau, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zijuan, Zhou; Peixi, Su; Rui, Shi; Tingting, Xie

    2017-04-01

    Increasing temperature and carbon dioxide concentration are the important aspects of global climate change. Alpine ecosystem response to global change was more sensitive and rapid than other ecosystems. Increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2concentrations have strong impacts on plant physiology. Photosynthesis is the basis for plant growth and the decisive factor for the level of productivity, and also is a very sensitive physiological process to climate change. In this study, we examined the interactive effects of elevated temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration on the light response of photosynthesis in two alpine plants Elymus nutans and Potentilla anserine, which were widely distributed in alpine meadow in the Zoige Plateau, China. We set up as follows: the control (Ta 20˚ C, CO2 380μmolṡmol-1), elevated temperature (Ta 25˚ C, CO2 380 μmolṡmol-1), elevated CO2 concentration (Ta 20˚ C, CO2 700μmolṡmol-1), elevated temperature and CO2 concentration (Ta 25˚ C, CO2 700μmolṡmol-1). The results showed that compared to P. anserine, E. nutans had a higher maximum net photosynthetic rate (Pnmax), light saturation point (LSP) and apparent quantum yield (AQY) in the control. Elevated temperature increased the Pnmaxand LSP values in P. anserine, while Pnmaxand LSP were decreased in E. nutans. Elevated CO2 increased the Pnmaxand LSP values in E. nutans and P. anserine, while the light compensation point (LCP) decreased; Elevated both temperature and CO2, the Pnmaxand LSP were all increased for E. nutans and P. anserine, but did not significantly affect AQY. We concluded that although elevated temperature had a photoinhibition for E. nutans, the interaction of short-term elevated CO2 concentration and temperature can improve the photosynthetic capacity of alpine plants. Key Words: elevated temperature; CO2 concentration; light response; alpine plants

  10. Effect of Snow-cover Duration on Plant Species Diversity of Alpine Meadows on the Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Although snow cover plays an important role in structuring plant diversity in the alpine zone, there are few studies on the relationship between snow cover and species diversity of alpine meadows on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. To assess the effect of snow cover on plant species diversity of alpine meadows, we used ten parallel transects of 60 m × 1 m for this study and described the changes in species diversity and composition associated with snow depth. With the division of snow depth into six classes, the highest species richness (S) and species diversity (H') occurred with an intermediate snow depth, i.e., class Ⅲ and class Ⅳ, showing a unimodal curve with the increase in snow depth. The relationship between snow depth and plant diversity (both richness and Shannon index) could be depicted by quadratic equations. There was no evident relationship between diversity (both S and H') and soil water content, which implied that other more important factors influenced species diversity. The patterns of diversity found in our study were largely attributed to freeze-thaw alteration, length of growing season and disturbances of livestock grazing. Furthermore, snow depth affected species composition, as evaluated by the Sorensen's index of similarity. In addition, almost all species limited to one snow depth class were found only in class Ⅲ and class Ⅳ, indicating that intermediate snow depth was suitable for the survival and growth of many alpine species.

  11. Flower litters of alpine plants affect soil nitrogen and phosphorus rapidly in the eastern Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinniu; Xu, Bo; Wu, Yan; Gao, Jing; Shi, Fusun

    2016-10-01

    Litters of reproductive organs have rarely been studied despite their role in allocating nutrients for offspring reproduction. This study determines the mechanism through which flower litters efficiently increase the available soil nutrient pool. Field experiments were conducted to collect plant litters and calculate biomass production in an alpine meadow of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. C, N, P, lignin, cellulose content, and their relevant ratios of litters were analyzed to identify their decomposition features. A pot experiment was performed to determine the effects of litter addition on the soil nutrition pool by comparing the treated and control samples. The litter-bag method was used to verify decomposition rates. The flower litters of phanerophyte plants were comparable with non-flower litters. Biomass partitioning of other herbaceous species accounted for 10-40 % of the aboveground biomass. Flower litter possessed significantly higher N and P levels but less C / N, N / P, lignin / N, and lignin and cellulose concentrations than leaf litter. The litter-bag experiment confirmed that the flower litters of Rhododendron przewalskii and Meconopsis integrifolia decompose approximately 3 times faster than mixed litters within 50 days. Pot experiment findings indicated that flower litter addition significantly increased the available nutrient pool and soil microbial productivity. The time of litter fall significantly influenced soil available N and P, and soil microbial biomass. Flower litters fed the soil nutrition pool and influenced nutrition cycling in alpine ecosystems more efficiently because of their non-ignorable production, faster decomposition rate, and higher nutrient contents compared with non-flower litters. The underlying mechanism can enrich nutrients, which return to the soil, and non-structural carbohydrates, which feed and enhance the transitions of soil microorganisms.

  12. Run-of-river power plants in Alpine regions: Whither optimal capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, G.; Botter, G.

    2015-07-01

    Although run-of-river hydropower represents a key source of renewable energy, it cannot prevent stresses on river ecosystems and human well-being. This is especially true in Alpine regions, where the outflow of a plant is placed several kilometers downstream of the intake, inducing the depletion of river reaches of considerable length. Here multiobjective optimization is used in the design of the capacity of run-of-river plants to identify optimal trade-offs between two contrasting objectives: the maximization of the profitability and the minimization of the hydrologic disturbance between the intake and the outflow. The latter is evaluated considering different flow metrics: mean discharge, temporal autocorrelation, and streamflow variability. Efficient and Pareto-optimal plant sizes are devised for two representative case studies belonging to the Piave river (Italy). Our results show that the optimal design capacity is strongly affected by the flow regime at the plant intake. In persistent regimes with a reduced flow variability, the optimal trade-off between economic exploitation and hydrologic disturbance is obtained for a narrow range of capacities sensibly smaller than the economic optimum. In erratic regimes featured by an enhanced flow variability, instead, the Pareto front is discontinuous and multiple trade-offs can be identified, which imply either smaller or larger plants compared to the economic optimum. In particular, large capacities reduce the impact of the plant on the streamflow variability at seasonal and interannual time scale. Multiobjective analysis could provide a clue for the development of policy actions based on the evaluation of the environmental footprint of run-of-river plants.

  13. 高寒草甸植物群落中相似性、物种多样性与地上生物量的年际变异性%Similarity,Species Diversity,and Interannual Variability in Total Aboveground Biomass in Alpine Meadow Plant Community

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    覃光莲; 杜国祯

    2005-01-01

    The similarity hypothesis may explain how biodiversity loss influences variability in biomass of plant communities but remains untested.We collected data over a three-year period (1999~2001),at the end of July during the peak of plant growing season,from 74 permanent plots in a natural alpine meadow located in the eastern Qinghai Tibetan Plateau.The objective was to test how similarity in species composition can explain the effects of species diversity on interannual variability in total aboveground biomass.Variability in total aboveground biomass per plot,decreased as species richness increased,and it also showed an overall decline as evenness increased although it appeared to stay at about the same level over the intermediate range of evenness.Similarity in species composition explained most of the variability in total aboveground biomass,and increased similarity in species composition reduced interannual variation in total aboveground biomass.Species richness and evenness were unrelated to similarity in species composition.These results indicate that the causal relationship between similarity and variability in total aboveground biomass may be robust,although biodiversity loss may not necessarily lead to decreased similarity in species composition in species-rich communities such as the alpine meadows of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau.Therefore,understanding how similarity influences the effects of biodiversity on variability in ecosystem functioning would require directly manipulated experiments for similarity in species composition.%相似性假说通过物种构成的相似性来解释物种丧失是如何影响生物量的变异性的,但还没有得到检验.本研究通过设置在青藏高原东部地区的高寒草甸植物群落中的74个永久样方,采集3年(1999~2001)植物生长高峰期的群落数据,试图检验物种构成的相似性是如何解释物种多样性对地上生物量年际变异性的影响.结果表明:随着物种丰富度

  14. Molecular Identification of Adult and Juvenile Linyphiid and Theridiid Spiders in Alpine Glacier Foreland Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raso, Lorna; Sint, Daniela; Rief, Alexander; Kaufmann, Rüdiger; Traugott, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In glacier forelands spiders constitute a large proportion of the invertebrate community. Therefore, it is important to be able to determine the species that can be found in these areas. Linyphiid and theridiid spider identification is currently not possible in juvenile specimens using traditional morphological based methods, however, a large proportion of the population in these areas are usually juveniles. Molecular methods permit identification of species at different life stages, making juvenile identification possible. In this study we tested a molecular tool to identify the 10 most common species of Linyphiidae and Theridiidae found in three glacier foreland communities of the Austrian Alps. Two multiplex PCR systems were developed and over 90% of the 753 field-collected spiders were identified successfully. The species targeted were found to be common in all three valleys during the summer of 2010. A comparison between the molecular and morphological data showed that although there was a slight difference in the results, the overall outcome was the same independently of the identification method used. We believe the quick and reliable identification of the spiders via the multiplex PCR assays developed here will aid the study of these families in Alpine habitats. PMID:25050841

  15. Biogeographical diversity of plant associated microbes in arcto-alpine plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj Gopala Krishnan

    2016-01-01

    Terrestrial plants and microbes have co-evolved since the emergence of the former on Earth. Associations with microorganisms can be either beneficial or detrimental for plants. Microbes can be found in the soil surrounding the plant roots, but also in all plant tissues, including seeds. In arcto-alp

  16. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari Klanderud

    Full Text Available We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages.

  17. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Goldberg, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages.

  18. ANTECOLOGY ENTOMOPHILOUS ALPINE PLANTS OF THE NORTH-WESTERN CAUCASUS. I MORPHOLOGY OF THE GENERATIVE ORGANS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Kurashev

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Plants with yellow and white color dominated, 37% and 24%, respectively. The flowers of most species of plants - actinomorphic (70%. Most species have actinomorphic flowers (70%. The average height of the generative organs in communities varies from 7 to 22 cm. Wide variation and lack of correlation between morphological parameters of plants can talk about a wide variety of plants’ adaptations to pollinate, and they have no distinct syndromes of pollination.

  19. Grey leaves in an alpine plant: a cryptic colouration to avoid attack?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Yang; Chen, Gao; Peng, De-Li; Song, Bo; Yang, Yang; Li, Zhi-Min; Sun, Hang

    2014-08-01

    Cryptic colouration is a common predation-avoidance strategy in animals that is postulated to occur in plants, but few experimental studies have rigorously tested this hypothesis. We investigated the colouration of Corydalis benecincta, an alpine plant with remarkably dimorphic leaf colours (grey and green), based on a cost-benefit analysis. First we tested the premise that herbivores (Parnassius butterflies) cannot distinguish grey leaves from a scree background by spectrographic measurements and by estimating discriminability between leaves and scree using a butterfly colour vision model. Then we estimated the potential costs of inconspicuousness by comparing the photosynthetic performance and visual attractiveness to flower visitors of the two colour morphs. Finally, we examined the potential benefits of inconspicuousness by comparing damage, survivorship and female reproductive success. It is difficult for herbivores to distinguish grey-coloured morphs against the background. This grey colour originates in a combination of anthocyanins and chlorophylls. The two colour morphs had similar photosynthetic performance, visual attractiveness and female reproductive success. However, grey morphs had significantly lower herbivore damage and higher survivorship. Grey leaves benefit C. benecincta by reducing herbivory with low investment in anthocyanin synthesis, and little cost on photosynthesis and mating opportunity. This cryptic colouration may have evolved through selection pressure imposed by visually foraging herbivores.

  20. 川西北高寒草甸蚁丘植物群落演替:种类组成与物种多样性%Plant Community Succession on Ant-hills of a Sub-alpine Meadow in Northwestern Sichuan, China:Species Composition and Diversity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒙凤群; 高贤明; 孙书存

    2011-01-01

    Ants may increase habitat heterogeneity by means of building ant-hills, thereby changing community species composition and ecosystem structure and functioning.We investigated plant height, coverage and abundance for each species and calculated species richness and diversity for ant-hills of Camponotus herculeanus differing in size ( 309.45 cm2.948.45 cm2.2124.90 cmz for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills , reapectively).The dominant species was subsequently identified for the three size-classes of ant-hiUs and the mechanism underlying anthill community succession was derived.Our results showed that diumal temperature fluctuation was greater in ant-hills than the surrounding flat soil.where the temperature of the ant-hills was higher in daytime but lower at night relative to the counterpart.The soil maisture was lower in center than in edge of ant-hiLls whose moisture was lower than the flat soil.Plant species diversity and nchness were not significantly different among the three classes of ant-hills while the dominant species conspicuously changed.The importance value of the most dominant species, Kobresia uncinoides, increased significantly with increasing ant-hill size; the subdominant species was Galium aparine, Festuca ovina, Elymus nutans for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills, respectively.The dominance of grasses was significantly higher, but that of forbs was lower on ant-hills than in surrounding communities.The ant-hills were dominated by species from Cyperaceae and Gramineae while Compositae and Ranunculaceae dominated the surrounding communities.In addition, we discussed the poasible mechanisms driving ant-hill community succession and the potential significance of ant-hills to the whole community composition and dynamics in the alpine meadow.%蚂蚁通过构建蚁丘,提高了群落生境异质性,影响群落物种组成,甚至生态系统结构和功能.我们在川西北典型高寒草甸调查了平地(非蚁丘,即距离蚁丘4

  1. Floristic changes in alpine plant communities induced by the cushion plant Azorella madreporica (Apiaceae in the Andes of central Chile Cambios florísticos en comunidades de plantas alpinas inducidos por la planta en cojín Azorella madrepórica (Apiaceae en los Andes de Chile central

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CONSTANZA L QUIROZ

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that the number of plant species associated with nurse plants increases with elevation. However, studies conducted so far have largely ignored the effect of nurse plants on other community attributes, such as the species abundances, diversity and evenness. Moreover, changes in these community attributes along environmental gradients have also been seldom examined. The present study evaluates the effect of the cushion plant Azorella madrepórica (Apiaceae on species richness, species abundance, diversity and evenness of vascular plants at two elevations in the Andes of central Chile. Theoretically, the impact of this nurse cushion plant on these community attributes should be grater at a higher elevation. Results showed that the proportion of plant species associated with cushion plants increases with elevation, and the abundance of some species is also greater within cushions than on bare ground. Although the proportion of species growing within cushions increased with elevation, diversity and evenness were higher on bare ground. This is due to some few species that attained very high densities within cushions, generating assemblages highly dominated by some few species. Ordination analyses indicated differences in species assemblages within and outside A. madrepórica at the higher elevation. Therefore, the influence of cushion plants on community structure changes with elevation. Accordingly, we suggest that attributes other than species richness must be included in future studies in order to analyze the impact of nurse species on community structure along environmental gradients.Se sabe que el número de especies asociado a plantas nodrizas aumenta con la altitud. Sin embargo, el efecto de plantas nodrizas sobre otros atributos de las comunidades, como la abundancia de especies, diversidad y equidad, ha sido largamente ignorado. Más aún, cambios en estos atributos en gradientes ambientales han sido pocas veces examinados

  2. Plant Functional Diversity Can Be Independent of Species Diversity: Observations Based on the Impact of 4-Yrs of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Additions in an Alpine Meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Cheng, Ji-Min; Yu, Kai-Liang; Epstein, Howard E; Guo, Liang; Jing, Guang-Hua; Zhao, Jie; Du, Guo-Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Past studies have widely documented the decrease in species diversity in response to addition of nutrients, however functional diversity is often independent from species diversity. In this study, we conducted a field experiment to examine the effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization ((NH4)2 HPO4) at 0, 15, 30 and 60 g m-2 yr-1 (F0, F15, F30 and F60) after 4 years of continuous fertilization on functional diversity and species diversity, and its relationship with productivity in an alpine meadow community on the Tibetan Plateau. To this purpose, three community-weighted mean trait values (specific leaf area, SLA; mature plant height, MPH; and seed size, SS) for 30 common species in each fertilization level were determined; three components of functional diversity (functional richness, FRic; functional evenness, FEve; and Rao's index of quadratic entropy, FRao) were quantified. Our results showed that: (i) species diversity sharply decreased, but functional diversity remained stable with fertilization; (ii) community-weighted mean traits (SLA and MPH) had a significant increase along the fertilization level; (iii) aboveground biomass was not correlated with functional diversity, but it was significantly correlated with species diversity and MPH. Our results suggest that decreases in species diversity due to fertilization do not result in corresponding changes in functional diversity. Functional identity of species may be more important than functional diversity in influencing aboveground productivity in this alpine meadow community, and our results also support the mass ratio hypothesis; that is, the traits of the dominant species influenced the community biomass production.

  3. Persistent history of the bird-dispersed arctic-alpine plant Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. (Ericaceae) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Hajime; Yoneta, Yusuke; Higashi, Hiroyuki; Eidesen, Pernille Bronken; Barkalov, Viachenslav; Yakubov, Valentin; Brochmann, Christian; Setoguchi, Hiroaki

    2015-05-01

    Arctic-alpine plants have expanded and contracted their ranges in response to the Pleistocene climate oscillations. Today, many arctic-alpine plants have vast distributions in the circumarctic region as well as marginal, isolated occurrences in high mountains at lower latitudes. These marginal populations may represent relict, long-standing populations that have persisted for several cycles of cold and warm climate during the Pleistocene, or recent occurrences that either result from southward step-wise migration during the last glacial period or from recent long-distance dispersal. In light of these hypotheses, we investigated the biogeographic history of the marginal Japanese populations of the widespread arctic-alpine plant Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Ericaceae), which is bird-dispersed, potentially over long distances. We sequenced three nuclear loci and one plastid DNA region in 130 individuals from 65 localities covering its entire geographic range, with a focus on its marginal populations in Japan. We found a homogenous genetic pattern across its enormous range based on the loci analysed, in contrast to the geographically structured variation found in a previous study of amplified fragment length polymorphisms in this species. However, we found several unique haplotypes in the Japanese populations, excluding the possibility that these marginal populations result from recent southward migration. Thus, even though V. vitis-idaea is efficiently dispersed via berries, our study suggests that its isolated populations in Japan have persisted during several cycles of cold and warm climate during the Pleistocene.

  4. Green algae in alpine biological soil crust communities: acclimation strategies against ultraviolet radiation and dehydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karsten, Ulf; Holzinger, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Green algae are major components of biological soil crusts in alpine habitats. Together with cyanobacteria, fungi and lichens, green algae form a pioneer community important for the organisms that will succeed them. In their high altitudinal habitat these algae are exposed to harsh and strongly fluctuating environmental conditions, mainly intense irradiation, including ultraviolet radiation, and lack of water leading to desiccation. Therefore, green algae surviving in these environments must have evolved with either avoidance or protective strategies, as well as repair mechanisms for damage. In this review we have highlighted these mechanisms, which include photoprotection, photochemical quenching, and high osmotic values to avoid water loss, and in some groups flexibility of secondary cell walls to maintain turgor pressure even in water-limited situations. These highly specialized green algae will serve as good model organisms to study desiccation tolerance or photoprotective mechanisms, due to their natural capacity to withstand unfavorable conditions. We point out the urgent need for modern phylogenetic approaches in characterizing these organisms, and molecular methods for analyzing the metabolic changes involved in their adaptive strategies.

  5. Phylogeography of an alpine plant Ligularia vellerea (Asteraceae) in the Hengduan Mountains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Yun YANG; Ting-Shuang YI; Yue-Zhi PAN; Xun GONG

    2012-01-01

    The Hengduan Mountains region is considered to be an important reservoir and a differentiation center for temperate and alpine plants during the Cenozoic.To reveal the effects of extreme topography and climate on an organism's population genetic structure in this region,a phylogeographic study has been carried out for Ligularia vellerea.We sequenced two chloroplast DNA fragments,trnH-psbA and trnL-rpl32,for 157 individuals of 15 populations and a total of 14 haplotypes were identified.These haplotypes clustered into five clades and each of them was mainly distributed in the restricted regions.A strong phylogeographic structure of this species was detected (NST =0.851,GST =0.713; NST > GST,P < 0.01).The strong population differentiation in L.vellerea could be attributed to the repeated glacial/interglacial cycles during the Pleistocene,which has been further enhanced by restricted gene flow caused by the complicated topography in the Hengduan Mountains region that formed during the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

  6. Combined effects of extreme climatic events and elevation on nutritional quality and herbivory of Alpine plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annette Leingärtner

    Full Text Available Climatic extreme events can cause the shift or disruption of plant-insect interactions due to altered plant quality, e.g. leaf carbon to nitrogen ratios, and phenology. However, the response of plant-herbivore interactions to extreme events and climatic gradients has been rarely studied, although climatic extremes will increase in frequency and intensity in the future and insect herbivores represent a highly diverse and functionally important group. We set up a replicated climate change experiment along elevational gradients in the German Alps to study the responses of three plant guilds and their herbivory by insects to extreme events (extreme drought, advanced and delayed snowmelt versus control plots under different climatic conditions on 15 grassland sites. Our results indicate that elevational shifts in CN (carbon to nitrogen ratios and herbivory depend on plant guild and season. CN ratios increased with altitude for grasses, but decreased for legumes and other forbs. In contrast to our hypotheses, extreme climatic events did not significantly affect CN ratios and herbivory. Thus, our study indicates that nutritional quality of plants and antagonistic interactions with insect herbivores are robust against seasonal climatic extremes. Across the three functional plant guilds, herbivory increased with nitrogen concentrations. Further, increased CN ratios indicate a reduction in nutritional plant quality with advancing season. Although our results revealed no direct effects of extreme climatic events, the opposing responses of plant guilds along elevation imply that competitive interactions within plant communities might change under future climates, with unknown consequences for plant-herbivore interactions and plant community composition.

  7. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A. J.; Girdwood, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction...... fragment length polymorphism and Fourier transform infrared metabolite fingerprinting of cryoconite from glaciers in Austria, Greenland and Svalbard demonstrated cryoconite bacterial communities are closely correlated with cognate metabolite fingerprints. The influence of bacterial-associated fatty acids...... and Arctic cryoconite habitats, reflecting the impact of local and regional conditions on the challenges of thriving in glacial ecosystems....

  8. Plants, Birds and Butterflies: Short-Term Responses of Species Communities to Climate Warming Vary by Taxon and with Altitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003–2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world. PMID:24416144

  9. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Roth

    Full Text Available As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010, we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  10. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  11. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Huawu, E-mail: wuhuawu416@163.com [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Li, Xiao-Yan, E-mail: xyli@bnu.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong [College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0–30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant–soil–water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation. - Highlights: • Stable oxygen-18 in soil water experienced great evaporation enrichment. • H. rhamnoides experiences a flexible plasticity to switch between shallow and deep soil water. • Native plants mostly relied on shallow and middle soil water. • Water-use patterns by introduced-native plants are controlled by root characteristics.

  12. Molecular bases for parallel evolution of translucent bracts in an alpine "glasshouse" plant Rheum alexandrae (Polygonaceae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bing-Bing LIU; Lars OPGENOORTH; Georg MIEHE; Dong-Yuan ZHANG; Dong-Shi WAN; Chang-Ming ZHAO; Dong-Rui JIA

    2013-01-01

    Parallel evolution provides an excellent framework to infer the genetic bases of adaptive traits and understand the importance of natural selection in shaping current biodiversity.The upper leaves of the "glasshouse plants" transform into translucent bracts that show numerous adaptions in alpine habitats.It remains unknown whether similar molecular changes occur under the parallel bract evolution of different "glasshouse" species.In this study,we compared the results on phenotypic and physiological differences and presented the results of cDNA-AFLP analyses of transcriptional changes between translucent bracts and normal leaves in Rheum alexandrae.We also examined the homologous candidate genes with the same expression changes between this species and another "glasshouse" species,R.nobile.We found that bracts ofR.alexandrae are similar to those ofR.nobile in anatomical features:chloroplasts have degenerated and chlorophyll contents are greatly reduced,which suggests that foliar photosynthetic functions in bracts of both species have been reduced or totally altered.Among the 6000 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) in bracts and leaves of R.alexandrae,420 (7%) were differentially expressed (up-or downregulated) between bracts and normal leaves.There were a total of 13 homologous TDFs with the same expression changes between R.alexandrae and the previously studied R.nobile.Except for the two that were not functionally annotated,eight of the homologous TDFs were found to be involved in stress and defense responses whereas the other three were related to photosynthesis.The up-or downregulation of these candidate genes was highly congruent with anatomical characteristics and adaptive functions of the bracts found for "glasshouse" plants.These findings suggested that the "glasshouse" phenotypes may have common molecular bases underlying their parallel evolution of similar adaptive functions and highlighted the importance of the natural selection in producing such

  13. Changes in plant species composition and diversity of alpine Kobresia (Kobresia pygmaea) steppe meadow at different stages of desertification in the North Tibetan plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    The impacts of desertification on the vegetation composition, structure, and species diversity of alpine Kobresia steppe meadow were evaluated in an area of severe desertification in Anduo County, Tibet Autonomous Region, northern China. We investigated and analyzed the floristic features of communities at four different stages of desertification (slight desertification [SLD], moderate desertification [MD], severe desertification [SD], and very severe desertification [VSD]). The composition and structure of the alpine Kobresia steppe meadow at the SLD site differed significantly from that at the MD, SD, and VSD sites. Species that were more drought resistant and inedible by livestock were the dominant species at the SD site. No plants were found in the shifting dunes of the VSD site. Species diversity also decreased with increasing desertification. The SLD site had the largest mean number of species and individuals and the largest richness index; the MD grassland had the largest Shannon-Wiener index and evenness index, but the smallest Simpson’s index. The vegetation cover declined from 91.8% to 34.8% as desertification increased from SLD to SD, and reached 0% in VSD areas with shifting dunes.

  14. 高山植物对全球气候变暖的响应研究进展%Advances in the Studies of Responses of Alpine Plants to Global Warming

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈建国; 杨扬; 孙航

    2011-01-01

    As one of the most sensitive regions to climatic changes, the face of alpine habitats is experiencing great changes during the past decades. In terms of alpine plant species, global warming would lead to their changes in many different aspects. This paper reviewed the studies of the responses of alpine and subalpine plants to global warming. In face of global warming, changes in plant individuals' physiology and morphology would firstly emerge, which further give rise to the changes in interactions among plant species. Progressively affected by cascade effects the whole ecosystem would change greatly in structure, vegetation distribution pattern, biomass productivity, plant biodiversity and so on. Following the increasing of air temperature, the positions of tieeline in both high latitudes and high elevations were commonly observed to advance. The general facilitations among alpine plant species would diminish as the ameliorating of environmental conditions in the past decades due to climate changes and human activities. Overall, the responses of alpine plant species were reflected in all aspects of survival, production and reproduction of plant life. On the other hand, the responses of plant assemblages such as species diversity in different regions were idiosyncratic which was dependent on abiotic and biotic factors in different plant communities. All those studies provided evidences that the impact of anthropogenically induced climate changes on alpine plant species would finally result in the changes in the structure and function of alpine ecosystem. In combination with domestic studies, at last several schemes of the studies in the field of alpine plants' responses to global warming are listed for the future work. Ref 147%高山地区被认为是对全球气候变化最敏感的区域之一,气候变暖导致高山生境内生物与非生物环境因子发生不同程度的改变,从而引起高山植物从不同层面作出不同的变化

  15. Changes in individual plant traits and biomass allocation in alpine meadow with elevation variation on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Plant traits and individual plant biomass allocation of 57 perennial herbaceous species,belonging to three common functional groups (forbs,grasses and sedges) at subalpine (3700 m ASL),alpine (4300 m ASL) and subnival (≥5000 m ASL) sites were examined to test the hypothesis that at high altitudes,plants reduce the proportion of aboveground parts and allocate more biomass to belowground parts,especially storage organs,as altitude increases,so as to geminate and resist environmental stress.However,results indicate that some divergence in biomass allocation exists among organs.With increasing altitude,the mean fractions of total biomass allocated to aboveground parts decreased.The mean fractions of total biomass allocation to storage organs at the subalpine site (7%±2% S.E.) were distinct from those at the alpine (23%±6%) and subnival (21%±6%) sites,while the proportions of green leaves at all altitudes remained almost constant.At 4300 m and 5000 m,the mean fractions of flower stems decreased by 45% and 41%,respectively,while fine roots increased by 86% and 102%,respectively.Specific leaf areas and leaf areas of forbs and grasses deceased with rising elevation,while sedges showed opposite trends.For all three functional groups,leaf area ratio and leaf area root mass ratio decreased,while fine root biomass increased at higher altitudes.Biomass allocation patterns of alpine plants were characterized by a reduction in aboveground reproductive organs and enlargement of fine roots,while the proportion of leaves remained stable.It was beneficial for high altitude plants to compensate carbon gain and nutrient uptake under low temperature and limited nutrients by stabilizing biomass investment to photosynthetic structures and increasing the absorption surface area of fine roots.In contrast to forbs and grasses that had high mycorrhizal infection,sedges had higher single leaf area and more root fraction,especially fine roots.

  16. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0-30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant-soil-water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation.

  17. Priority plant communities for conservation in Northwest Yunnan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanni Zhang

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Because of limited resources, it is very important for biodiversity conservation to make accurate assessments of biodiversity prior to setting out measures for protecting regions and communities. To moreeffectively manage and protect forest resources in Northwest Yunnan, we evaluated the priority plant community types for conservation by mainly considering the function of plant communities in maintaining habitat and biodiversity. Recognizing the principles of good science, hierarchy and practicability, we established an evaluation indicator system consisting of six indicators: species diversity, number of rare and endangered plant species, protection level of plant species, number of endemic plant species, and rarity and endemism of community type. We selected 61 formations belonging to 13 vegetation subtypes in Northwest Yunnan for analysis. Assessment criteria followed a general ranking assignment methodology, and weights assigned to individual indicators were determined using an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP and expert consultation. GIS technology was used as an aid to integrate evaluation. The results yielded conservation values of communities as follows: (1 at the association level: 4 associations were at first category, 31 second category, 23 third category, and three general category; (2 at the vegetation subtype level: one was at first category, six second category, six third category. The distribution of priority vegetation subtypes for conservation were: (1 first category: a small area distributed in Gaoligong Mountains; (2 second category: mainly distributed in high altitude mountains in the northwest, and also in some alpine areas in the southeast of the study area; (3 third category: distributed at low altitude in the southeast of the study area and in valleys of the Dulong River, Nu River, Lancang River and Jinsha River.

  18. Dominance hierarchies, diversity and species richness of vascular plants in an alpine meadow: contrasting short and medium term responses to simulated global change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha M. Alatalo

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available We studied the impact of simulated global change on a high alpine meadow plant community. Specifically, we examined whether short-term (5 years responses are good predictors for medium-term (7 years changes in the system by applying a factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to 20 plots in Latnjajaure, subarctic Sweden. Seven years of experimental warming and nutrient enhancement caused dramatic shifts in dominance hierarchies in response to the nutrient and the combined warming and nutrient enhancement treatments. Dominance hierarchies in the meadow moved from a community being dominated by cushion plants, deciduous, and evergreen shrubs to a community being dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs. Short-term responses were shown to be inconsistent in their ability to predict medium-term responses for most functional groups, however, grasses showed a consistent and very substantial increase in response to nutrient addition over the seven years. The non-linear responses over time point out the importance of longer-term studies with repeated measurements to be able to better predict future changes. Forecasted changes to temperature and nutrient availability have implications for trophic interactions, and may ultimately influence the access to and palatability of the forage for grazers. Depending on what anthropogenic change will be most pronounced in the future (increase in nutrient deposits, warming, or a combination of them both, different shifts in community dominance hierarchies may occur. Generally, this study supports the productivity–diversity relationship found across arctic habitats, with community diversity peaking in mid-productivity systems and degrading as nutrient availability increases further. This is likely due the increasing competition in plant–plant interactions and the shifting dominance structure with grasses taking over the experimental plots, suggesting that global change could have high costs to biodiversity in the

  19. Response of Polygonum viviparum Species and Community Level to Long-term Livestock Grazing in Alpine Shrub Meadow in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Hong Zhu; Jeremy Lundholm; Yingnian Li; Xiaoan Wang

    2008-01-01

    Grazing by domestic herbivores is generally recognized as a major ecological factor and an important evolutionary force in grasslands. Grazing has both extensive and profound effects on individual plants and communities. We investigated the response patterns of Polygonum viviparum species and the species diversity of an alpine shrub meadow in response to long-term livestock grazing by a field manipulative experiment controlling livestock numbers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Here, we hypothesize that within a range of grazing pressure, grazing can alter relative allocation to different plant parts without changing total biomass for some plant species if there is life history trade-offs between plant traits. The same type of communities exposed to different grazing pressures may only alter relative species' abundances or species composition and not vary species diversity because plant species differ in resistant capability to herbivory. The results show that plant height and biomass of different organs differed among grazing treatments but total biomass remained constant. Biomass allocation and absolute investments to both reproduction and growth decreased and to belowground storage increased with increased grazing pressure, indicating the increasing in storage function was attained at a cost of reducing reproduction of bulbils and represented an optimal allocation and an adaptive response of the species to long-term aboveground damage. Moreover, our results showed multiform response types for either species groups or single species along the gradient of grazing Intensity. Heavy grazing caused a 13.2% increase in species richness. There was difference in species composition of about 18%--20% among grazing treatment. Shannon-Wiener (H') diversity index and species evenness (E) index did not differ among grazing treatments. These results support our hypothesis.

  20. Bacterial dynamics in spring water of alpine karst aquifers indicates the presence of stable autochthonous microbial endokarst communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnleitner, Andreas H; Wilhartitz, Ines; Ryzinska, Gabriela; Kirschner, Alexander K T; Stadler, Hermann; Burtscher, Martina M; Hornek, Romana; Szewzyk, Ulrich; Herndl, Gerhard; Mach, Robert L

    2005-08-01

    Spring water of two alpine karst aquifers differing in hydrogeology but of nearby catchments were investigated for their bacterial population dynamics. Dolomite karst aquifer spring 1 (DKAS 1) represents a dolomitic-limestone karst aquifer spring showing high average water residence time and relative constant flow. Limestone karst aquifer spring 2 (LKAS 2) constitutes a typical limestone karst aquifer spring with a dynamic hydrological regime and discharge. Dolomite karst aquifer spring 1 yielded constantly lower cell counts and biomasses (median of 15 x 10(6) cells l(-1) and 0.22 microg C l(-1)) as the LKAS 2 (median of 63 x 10(6) cells l(-1) and 1.1 microg C l(-1)) and distribution of morphotypes and mean cell volumes was also different between the considered systems, indicating the influence of hydrogeology on microbial spring water quality. Molecular bacterial V3 16S-rDNA profiles revealed remarkable constancy within each spring water throughout the investigation period. Time course analysis of a flood event in LKAS 2 further supported the trend of the temporal constancy of the microbial community. Except for one case, retrieval of partial and full length 16S rDNA gene sequences from the relative constant DKAS 1 revealed similarities to presently known sequences between 80% to 96%, supporting the discreteness of the microbial populations. The gathered results provide first evidence for the presence of autochthonous microbial endokarst communities (AMEC). Recovery of AMEC may be considered of relevance for the understanding of alpine karst aquifer biogeochemistry and ecology, which is of interest as many alpine and mountainous karst springs are important water resources throughout the world.

  1. Cooccurrence patterns of plants and soil bacteria in the high-alpine subnival zone track environmental harshness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. King

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants and soil microorganisms interact to play a central role in ecosystem functioning. To determine the potential importance of biotic interactions in shaping the distributions of these organisms in a high-alpine subnival landscape, we examine cooccurrence patterns between plant species and bulk-soil bacteria abundances. In this context, a cooccurrence relationship reflects a combination of several assembly processes: that both parties can disperse to the site, that they can survive the abiotic environmental conditions, and that interactions between the biota either facilitate survival or allow for coexistence. Across the entire landscape, 31% of the bacterial sequences in this dataset were significantly correlated to the abundance distribution of one or more plant species. These sequences fell into 14 clades, 6 of which are related to bacteria that are known to form symbioses with plants in other systems. Abundant plant species were more likely to have significant as well as stronger correlations with bacteria and these patterns were more prevalent in lower altitude sites. Conversely, correlations between plant species abundances and bacterial relative abundances were less frequent in sites near the snowline. Thus, plant-bacteria associations became more common as environmental conditions became less harsh and plants became more abundant. This pattern in cooccurrence strength and frequency across the subnival landscape suggests that plant-bacteria interactions are important for the success of life, both below- and above-ground, in an extreme environment.

  2. A richer, greener and smaller alpine world: review and projection of warming-induced plant cover change in the Swedish Scandes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullman, Leif

    2010-03-01

    Alpine plant life is proliferating, biodiversity is on the rise and the mountain world appears more productive and inviting than ever. Upper range margin rise of trees and low-altitude (boreal) plant species, expansion of alpine grasslands and dwarf-shrub heaths are the modal biotic adjustments during the past few decades, after a century of substantial climate warming in the Swedish Scandes. This course of biotic landscape evolution has reached historical dimensions and broken a multi-millennial trend of plant cover retrogression, alpine tundra expansion, floristic and faunal impoverishment, all imposed by progressive and deterministic neoglacial climate cooling. Continued modest warming over the present century will likely be beneficial to alpine biodiversity, geoecological stability, resilience, sustainable reindeer husbandry and aesthetic landscape qualities. These aspects are highlighted by an integrative review of results from long-term monitoring of subalpine/alpine vegetation in the Swedish Scandes. This forms the basis for some tentative projections of landscape transformations in a potentially warmer future. Notably, these results and projections are not necessarily valid in other regions and differ in some respects from model predictions. Continued monitoring is mandatory as a basis for generation of more realistic vegetation and ecosystem models.

  3. On the Importance of High-Resolution Time Series of Optical Imagery for Quantifying the Effects of Snow Cover Duration on Alpine Plant Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre Dedieu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigated snow cover dynamics using time series of moderate (MODIS to high (SPOT-4/5, Landsat-8 spatial resolution satellite imagery in a 3700 km2 region of the southwestern French Alps. Our study was carried out in the context of the SPOT (Take 5 Experiment initiated by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES, with the aim of exploring the utility of high spatial and temporal resolution multispectral satellite imagery for snow cover mapping and applications in alpine ecology. Our three objectives were: (i to validate remote sensing observations of first snow free day derived from the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI relative to ground-based measurements; (ii to generate regional-scale maps of first snow free day and peak standing biomass derived from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; and (iii to examine the usefulness of these maps for habitat mapping of herbaceous vegetation communities above the tree line. Imagery showed strong agreement with ground-based measurements of snow melt-out date, although R2 was higher for SPOT and Landsat time series (0.92 than for MODIS (0.79. Uncertainty surrounding estimates of first snow free day was lower in the case of MODIS, however (±3 days as compared to ±9 days for SPOT and Landsat, emphasizing the importance of high temporal as well as high spatial resolution for capturing local differences in snow cover duration. The main floristic differences between plant communities were clearly visible in a two-dimensional habitat template defined by the first snow free day and NDVI at peak standing biomass, and these differences were accentuated when axes were derived from high spatial resolution imagery. Our work demonstrates the enhanced potential of high spatial and temporal resolution multispectral imagery for quantifying snow cover duration and plant phenology in temperate mountain regions, and opens new avenues to examine to what extent plant community diversity and

  4. Trade-offs Between Electricity Production from Small Hydropower Plants and Ecosystem Services in Alpine River Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Philipp; Schwemmle, Robin; Viviroli, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    The need for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the decision to phase out nuclear power plants in Switzerland and Germany increases pressure to develop the remaining hydropower potential in Alpine catchments. Since most of the potential for large reservoirs is already exploited, future development focusses on small run-of-the-river hydropower plants (SHP). Being considered a relatively environment-friendly electricity source, investment in SHP is promoted through subsidies. However, SHP can have a significant impact on riverine ecosystems, especially in the Alpine region where residual flow reaches tend to be long. An increase in hydropower exploitation will therefore increase pressure on ecosystems. While a number of studies assessed the potential for hydropower development in the Alps, two main factors were so far not assessed in detail: (i) ecological impacts within a whole river network, and (ii) economic conditions under which electricity is sold. We present a framework that establishes trade-offs between multiple objectives regarding environmental impacts, electricity production and economic evaluation. While it is inevitable that some ecosystems are compromised by hydropower plants, the context of these impacts within a river network should be considered when selecting suitable sites for SHP. From an ecological point of view, the diversity of habitats, and therefore the diversity of species, should be maintained within a river basin. This asks for objectives that go beyond lumped parameters of hydrological alteration, but also consider habitat diversity and the spatial configuration. Energy production in run-of-the-river power plants depends on available discharge, which can have large fluctuations. In a deregulated electricity market with strong price variations, an economic valuation should therefore be based on the expected market value of energy produced. Trade-off curves between different objectives can help decision makers to define policies

  5. The relationships between floral traits and specificity of pollination systems in three Scandinavian plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lázaro, Amparo; Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Orjan

    2008-08-01

    The pollination syndrome hypothesis has provided a major conceptual framework for how plants and pollinators interact. However, the assumption of specialization in pollination systems and the reliability of floral traits in predicting the main pollinators have been questioned recently. In addition, the relationship between ecological and evolutionary specialization in pollination interactions is still poorly understood. We used data of 62 plant species from three communities across southern Norway to test: (1) the relationships between floral traits and the identity of pollinators, (2) the association between floral traits (evolutionary specialization) and ecological generalization, and (3) the consistency of both relationships across communities. Floral traits significantly affected the identity of pollinators in the three communities in a way consistent with the predictions derived from the pollination syndrome concept. However, hover flies and butterflies visited flowers with different shapes in different communities, which we mainly attribute to among-community variation in pollinator assemblages. Interestingly, ecological generalization depended more on the community-context (i.e. the plant and pollinator assemblages in the communities) than on specific floral traits. While open yellow and white flowers were the most generalist in two communities, they were the most specialist in the alpine community. Our results warn against the use of single measures of ecological generalization to question the pollination syndrome concept, and highlight the importance of community comparisons to assess the pollination syndromes, and to understand the relationships between ecological and evolutionary specialization in plant-pollinator interactions.

  6. Run-of-river power plants in Alpine regions: whither optimal capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Gianluca; Botter, Gianluca

    2015-04-01

    Hydropower is the major renewable electricity generation technology worldwide. The future expansion of this technology mostly relies on the development of small run-of-river projects, in which a fraction of the running flows is diverted from the river to a turbine for energy production. Even though small hydro inflicts a smaller impact on aquatic ecosystems and local communities compared to large dams, it cannot prevent stresses on plant, animal, and human well-being. This is especially true in mountain regions where the plant outflow is located several kilometers downstream of the intake, thereby inducing the depletion of river reaches of considerable length. Moreover, the negative cumulative effects of run-of-river systems operating along the same river threaten the ability of stream networks to supply ecological corridors for plants, invertebrates or fishes, and support biodiversity. Research in this area is severely lacking. Therefore, the prediction of the long-term impacts associated to the expansion of run-of-river projects induced by global-scale incentive policies remains highly uncertain. This contribution aims at providing objective tools to address the preliminary choice of the capacity of a run-of-river hydropower plant when the economic value of the plant and the alteration of the flow regime are simultaneously accounted for. This is done using the concepts of Pareto-optimality and Pareto-dominance, which are powerful tools suited to face multi-objective optimization in presence of conflicting goals, such as the maximization of the profitability and the minimization of the hydrologic disturbance induced by the plant in the river reach between the intake and the outflow. The application to a set of case studies belonging to the Piave River basin (Italy) suggests that optimal solutions are strongly dependent the natural flow regime at the plant intake. While in some cases (namely, reduced streamflow variability) the optimal trade-off between economic

  7. Modelling asymmetric growth in crowded plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2010-01-01

    A class of models that may be used to quantify the effect of size-asymmetric competition in crowded plant communities by estimating a community specific degree of size-asymmetric growth for each species in the community is suggested. The model consists of two parts: an individual size-asymmetric ......A class of models that may be used to quantify the effect of size-asymmetric competition in crowded plant communities by estimating a community specific degree of size-asymmetric growth for each species in the community is suggested. The model consists of two parts: an individual size...

  8. [Predicting the dispersal routes of alpine plant Pedicularis longiflora (Orobanchaceae) based on GIS and species distribution models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hai-In; Zhang, Yi-Li; Li, Shi-Cheng; Qi, Wei; Hu, Zhong-Jun

    2014-06-01

    Pedicularis longiflora experienced extensive populations' expansion in Quaternary, but the dispersal corridors were still unclear. According to the distribution patterns of haplotypes based on chloroplast DNA variation, the dispersal routes were predicted using species distribution models (MXENT) and the least-cost path method. Two possible dispersal routes from the southeastern part of Tibetan Plateau (TP) to interior were identified. The populations of East Himalayas-Hengduan Mountains region expanded to the western part of TP along with the Yarlung Zangbo River valley and the lower altitudes of the north slope of Himalayas. The expansion trend was also proved by SDMs based on two historical periods containing the Last Interglacial and the Last Glacial Maximum. In conclusion, identification of dispersal routes is significant to the evolutionary history of alpine plants and the protection of special species in TP.

  9. Do induced responses mediate the ecological interactions between the specialist herbivores and phytopathogens of an alpine plant?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Röder

    Full Text Available Plants are not passive victims of the myriad attackers that rely on them for nutrition. They have a suite of physical and chemical defences, and are even able to take advantage of the enemies of their enemies. These strategies are often only deployed upon attack, so may lead to indirect interactions between herbivores and phytopathogens. In this study we test for induced responses in wild populations of an alpine plant (Adenostyles alliariae that possesses constitutive chemical defence (pyrrolizidine alkaloids and specialist natural enemies (two species of leaf beetle, Oreina elongata and Oreina cacaliae, and the phytopathogenic rust Uromyces cacaliae. Plants were induced in the field using chemical elicitors of the jasmonic acid (JA and salicylic acid (SA pathways and monitored for one month under natural conditions. There was evidence for induced resistance, with lower probability and later incidence of attack by beetles in JA-induced plants and of rust infection in SA-induced plants. We also demonstrate ecological cross-effects, with reduced fungal attack following JA-induction, and a cost of SA-induction arising from increased beetle attack. As a result, there is the potential for negative indirect effects of the beetles on the rust, while in the field the positive indirect effect of the rust on the beetles appears to be over-ridden by direct effects on plant nutritional quality. Such interactions resulting from induced susceptibility and resistance must be considered if we are to exploit plant defences for crop protection using hormone elicitors or constitutive expression. More generally, the fact that induced defences are even found in species that possess constitutively-expressed chemical defence suggests that they may be ubiquitous in higher plants.

  10. Hydroelectric power generation in an Alpine basin: future water-energy scenarios in a run-of-the-river plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongio, Marco; Avanzi, Francesco; De Michele, Carlo

    2016-08-01

    We investigate scenarios of hydroelectric power generation for an Alpine run-of-the-river plant in 2050. To this end, we include a conversion from streamflow to energy in a hydrological model of the basin, and we introduce a set of benchmark climate scenarios to evaluate expected future production. These are a "future-like-present" scenario assuming future precipitation and temperature inputs to be statistically equivalent to those observed during the recent past at the same location, a "warmer-future" scenario, which considers an additional increase in temperature, and a "liquid-only" scenario where only liquid precipitation is admitted. In addition, two IPCC-like climatic scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) are considered. Uncertainty in glaciers' volume is accounted by initializing the hydrological model with two different inventories of glaciers. Ensemble results reveal that 1) an average decrease between -40% and -19% of hydroelectric power generation in 2050 is predicted at the plant considered (with respect to present condition); 2) an average decrease between -20% and -38% of cumulative incoming streamflow volume at the plant is also predicted, again with respect to present condition; 3) these effects are associated with a strong average decrease of the volume of glaciers (between -76% and -96%, depending on the initial value considered). However, Monte Carlo simulations show that results are also prone to high uncertainties. Implications of these results for run-of-the-river plants are discussed.

  11. Investigation on the geographical distribution and life form of plant species in sub alpine zone Karsanak region, Shahrekord

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    Jahanbakhsh Pairanj

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available This study was carried out in rangelands of Karsanak, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, which is regarded as one of the rich rangelands. Phytogeographically, this region is located in Irano-Turanian (zone of sub alpine. Endemic and rare plants were identified and geographical distribution and life form of identified plant species were investigated as well. Overall, 100 species from 17 families were identified from which 20 percent of identified species was endemic element of Irano-Turanian region. Results indicated that 75.7 percent of identified plants belonged to the Irano-Turanian and only 3 and 2 percent belonged to Euro-Siberian and Mediterranean regions respectively. The reason of high percentage of Irano-Turanian elements is probably the long distance of this region from other regions. Similarities of Irano-Turanian and Mediterranean were included 6.1 percent of identified plants and Irano-Turanian and Euro-Siberian included 2 percent. Results of life forms showed hemichryptophytes including 60 percent of life forms which indicate the cold and mountainous weather.

  12. Summer freezing resistance: a critical filter for plant community assemblies in Mediterranean high mountains

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    David Sánchez Pescador

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Assessing freezing community response and whether freezing resistance is related to other functional traits is essential for understanding alpine community assemblages, particularly in Mediterranean environments where plants are exposed to freezing temperatures and summer droughts. Thus, we characterized the leaf freezing resistance of 42 plant species in 38 plots at Sierra de Guadarrama (Spain by measuring their ice nucleation temperature, freezing point (FP, and low-temperature damage (LT50, as well as determining their freezing resistance mechanisms (i.e., tolerance or avoidance. The community response to freezing was estimated for each plot as community weighted means (CWMs and functional diversity, and we assessed their relative importance with altitude. We established the relationships between freezing resistance, growth forms, and four key plant functional traits (i.e., plant height, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, and seed mass. There was a wide range of freezing resistance responses and more than in other alpine habitats. At the community level, the CWMs of FP and LT50 responded negatively to altitude, whereas the functional diversity of both traits increased with altitude. The proportion of freezing-tolerant species also increased with altitude. The ranges of FP and LT50 varied among growth forms, and only the leaf dry matter content correlated negatively with freezing-resistance traits. Summer freezing events represent important abiotic filters for assemblies of Mediterranean high mountain communities, as suggested by the CWMs. However, a concomitant summer drought constraint may also explain the high freezing resistance of species that thrive in these areas and the lower functional diversity of freezing resistance traits at lower altitudes. Leaves with high dry matter contents may maintain turgor at lower water potential and enhance drought tolerance in parallel to freezing resistance. This adaptation to drought seems to

  13. Summer Freezing Resistance: A Critical Filter for Plant Community Assemblies in Mediterranean High Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pescador, David S; Sierra-Almeida, Ángela; Torres, Pablo J; Escudero, Adrián

    2016-01-01

    Assessing freezing community response and whether freezing resistance is related to other functional traits is essential for understanding alpine community assemblages, particularly in Mediterranean environments where plants are exposed to freezing temperatures and summer droughts. Thus, we characterized the leaf freezing resistance of 42 plant species in 38 plots at Sierra de Guadarrama (Spain) by measuring their ice nucleation temperature, freezing point (FP), and low-temperature damage (LT50), as well as determining their freezing resistance mechanisms (i.e., tolerance or avoidance). The community response to freezing was estimated for each plot as community weighted means (CWMs) and functional diversity (FD), and we assessed their relative importance with altitude. We established the relationships between freezing resistance, growth forms, and four key plant functional traits (i.e., plant height, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content (LDMC), and seed mass). There was a wide range of freezing resistance responses and more than in other alpine habitats. At the community level, the CWMs of FP and LT50 responded negatively to altitude, whereas the FD of both traits increased with altitude. The proportion of freezing-tolerant species also increased with altitude. The ranges of FP and LT50 varied among growth forms, and only leaf dry matter content was negatively correlated with freezing-resistance traits. Summer freezing events represent important abiotic filters for assemblies of Mediterranean high mountain communities, as suggested by the CWMs. However, a concomitant summer drought constraint may also explain the high freezing resistance of species that thrive in these areas and the lower FD of freezing resistance traits at lower altitudes. Leaves with high dry matter contents may maintain turgor at lower water potential and enhance drought tolerance in parallel to freezing resistance. This adaptation to drought seems to be a general prerequisite for plants

  14. Spatial and Temporal Variability in Atmospheric-Methane-Oxidizing Bacterial Community Structure and Activity in an Alpine Glacier Forefield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiri, E.; Nauer, P. A.; Rainer, E. M.; Zeyer, J. A.; Schroth, M. H.

    2015-12-01

    High-affinity methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) play a crucial role in regulating the sink strength for atmospheric methane (CH4) in upland soils. Community structure and activity of MOB have been extensively studied in developed soils. However, little is known about their ecosystem service in young, developing soils. Examples of developing soils are found in Alpine glacier forefields, which progressively expand due to glacial retreat. Glacier forefields exhibit diverse geomorphological landforms, which may differ in biogeochemical properties. Also, glacier forefields are subject to seasonal variability in environmental parameters such as soil temperature and water content, which may affect MOB community structure and activity. We recently showed that glacier-forefield soils are a sink for atmospheric CH4, but a comprehensive understanding of crucial factors affecting MOB community structure and activity is still missing. In this study we assessed soil-atmosphere CH4 flux and MOB community structure in three different glacier-forefield landforms (sandhills, floodplains, terraces) throughout a snow-free sampling season. Specifically, we quantified CH4 flux using the soil-gas-profile method and static flux chambers. The MOB community structure was assessed using next-generation sequencing technology (Illumina-MiSeqTM) targeting the functional gene pmoA. We observed substantial differences in CH4 flux between soils of different landforms, with largest fluxes observed in well-drained sandhills (up to -2.2 mg CH4 m-2 d-1) and considerably smaller fluxes in other landforms. Methane flux showed a prominent seasonal variability, which was attenuated in older forefield soils. High-diversity MOB communities and a remarkable number of landform-specific operational taxonomic units were found in sandhills, whereas a lower diversity was observed in other landforms. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests the presence of a potentially new group of MOB inhabiting glacier-forefield soils.

  15. Changes in soil microbial community structure and function in an alpine dry meadow following spring snow melt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipson, D A; Schadt, C W; Schmidt, S K

    2002-04-01

    Previous work in an alpine dry meadow in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains has shown that microbial biomass is high during winter and declines rapidly as snow melts in the spring, and that this decline is associated with changes in temperature regime and substrate availability. In this study we tested the hypothesis that the summer and winter microbial communities differ in function and composition. Shifts in species composition between pre- and post-snowmelt communities were detected using reciprocal hybridization of community DNA; DNA extracted from soils sampled at different times was significantly less homologous relative to spatial replicates sampled at the same time. Fungal/bacterial ratios, as measured by direct microscopic counts and by substrate-induced respiration experiments with specific inhibitors, were higher in winter soils. Specific activity of cellulase (absolute cellulase activity per unit microbial biomass C) was higher in the winter soils than in summer soils, while specific amylase activity was not different between winter and summer. Based on most-probable number measurements, the use of the phenolic compound vanillic acid was highest in the winter, while the use of the amino acid glycine was lowest in the winter. Winter and summer soil respiration responded differently to temperature; at 0 degrees C, winter soils respired at a higher proportion of the 22 degrees C rate than did summer soils.

  16. Ciliate community structure and interactions within the planktonic food web in two alpine lakes of contrasting transparency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammerlander, Barbara; Koinig, Karin A; Rott, Eugen; Sommaruga, Ruben; Tartarotti, Barbara; Trattner, Florian; Sonntag, Bettina

    2016-11-01

    Climate warming is accelerating the retreat of glaciers and recently, many 'new' glacial turbid lakes have been created. In the course of time, the loss of the hydrological connectivity to a glacier causes, however, changes in their water turbidity and turns these ecosystems into clear ones.To understand potential differences in the food-web structure between glacier-fed turbid and clear alpine lakes, we sampled ciliates, phyto-, bacterio- and zooplankton in one clear and one glacial turbid alpine lake, and measured key physicochemical parameters. In particular, we focused on the ciliate community and the potential drivers for their abundance distribution.In both lakes, the zooplankton community was similar and dominated by the copepod Cyclops abyssorum tatricus and rotifers including Polyarthra dolichoptera, Keratella hiemalis, Keratella cochlearis and Notholca squamula. The phytoplankton community structure differed and it was dominated by the planktonic diatom Fragilaria tenera and the cryptophyte alga Plagioselmis nannoplanctica in the glacial turbid lake, while chrysophytes and dinoflagellates were predominant in the clear one.Ciliate abundance and richness were higher in the glacial turbid lake (∼4000-27 800 Ind L(-1), up to 29 species) than in the clear lake (∼570-7150 Ind L(-1), up to eight species). The dominant species were Balanion planctonicum, Askenasia cf. chlorelligera, Urotricha cf. furcata and Mesodinium cf. acarus. The same species dominated in both lakes, except for Mesodinium cf. acarus and some particle-associated ciliates, which occurred exclusively in the glacial turbid lake. The relative underwater solar irradiance (i.e. percentage of PAR and UVR at depth) significantly explained their abundance distribution pattern, especially in the clear water lake. In the glacial turbid lake, the abundance of the dominating ciliate taxa was mainly explained by the presence of predatory zooplankton.Our results revealed an unexpected high

  17. THE EUROPEAN POSITION OF DUTCH PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.A.M. JANSSEN

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper it is analyzed for which plant communities (alliances the Netherlands has an international responsibility. Data has been brought together on the range and distribution of alliances in Europe, the area of plant communities in the Netherlands and surrounding countries and the occurrence of endemic associations in the Netherlands. The analysis resulted in a list of 34 out of 93 alliances in the Netherlands which are important from an international point of view.

  18. Microbial diversity in alpine tundra soils correlates with snow cover dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinger, Lucie; Shahnavaz, Bahar; Baptist, Florence; Geremia, Roberto A; Choler, Philippe

    2009-07-01

    The temporal and spatial snow cover dynamics is the primary factor controlling the plant communities' composition and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra. However, the relationships between the distribution of snow and the diversity of soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored. Over a period of 2 years, we monitored soil microbial communities at three sites, including contiguous alpine meadows of late and early snowmelt locations (LSM and ESM, respectively). Bacterial and fungal communities were characterized by using molecular fingerprinting and cloning/sequencing of microbial ribosomal DNA extracted from the soil. Herein, we show that the spatial and temporal distribution of snow strongly correlates with microbial community composition. High seasonal contrast in ESM is associated with marked seasonal shifts for bacterial communities; whereas less contrasted seasons because of long-lasting snowpack in LSM is associated with increased fungal diversity. Finally, our results indicate that, similar to plant communities, microbial communities exhibit important shifts in composition at two extremes of the snow cover gradient. However, winter conditions lead to the convergence of microbial communities independently of snow cover presence. This study provides new insights into the distribution of microbial communities in alpine tundra in relation to snow cover dynamics, and may be helpful in predicting the future of microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra in the context of a warmer climate.

  19. The effects of chronic nitrogen fertilization on alpine tundra soil microbial communities: implications for carbon and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemergut, Diana R; Townsend, Alan R; Sattin, Sarah R; Freeman, Kristen R; Fierer, Noah; Neff, Jason C; Bowman, William D; Schadt, Christopher W; Weintraub, Michael N; Schmidt, Steven K

    2008-11-01

    Many studies have shown that changes in nitrogen (N) availability affect primary productivity in a variety of terrestrial systems, but less is known about the effects of the changing N cycle on soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. We used a variety of techniques to examine the effects of chronic N amendments on SOM chemistry and microbial community structure and function in an alpine tundra soil. We collected surface soil (0-5 cm) samples from five control and five long-term N-amended plots established and maintained at the Niwot Ridge Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Samples were bulked by treatment and all analyses were conducted on composite samples. The fungal community shifted in response to N amendments, with a decrease in the relative abundance of basidiomycetes. Bacterial community composition also shifted in the fertilized soil, with increases in the relative abundance of sequences related to the Bacteroidetes and Gemmatimonadetes, and decreases in the relative abundance of the Verrucomicrobia. We did not uncover any bacterial sequences that were closely related to known nitrifiers in either soil, but sequences related to archaeal nitrifiers were found in control soils. The ratio of fungi to bacteria did not change in the N-amended soils, but the ratio of archaea to bacteria dropped from 20% to less than 1% in the N-amended plots. Comparisons of aliphatic and aromatic carbon compounds, two broad categories of soil carbon compounds, revealed no between treatment differences. However, G-lignins were found in higher relative abundance in the fertilized soils, while proteins were detected in lower relative abundance. Finally, the activities of two soil enzymes involved in N cycling changed in response to chronic N amendments. These results suggest that chronic N fertilization induces significant shifts in soil carbon dynamics that correspond to shifts in microbial community structure and function.

  20. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

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    Anca GEANTĂ

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and cold adapted alpine herbs as a response to the current climate warming has already been noted in many montane and subalpine regions.Four Holocene peat and lacustrine sediment sequences located between 1670 and 1918 m a.s.l. (Fig.1, in the Rodna Mountains (Northern Romania, Eastern Carpathians are used with the aim to determine: i the sensitivity of high mountain habitats to climate, fire and land use changes; ii tree- and timberline shifts: and iii the influence of landscape topography on trees and shrubs.

  1. Seed bank characteristics of Dutch plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bekker, RM; Schaminee, JHJ; Bakker, JP; Thompson, K

    With the recent appearances of a new and well-documented classification of the Dutch plant communities (Schaminee et al 1995a,b; 1996) and a database on the seed longevity of plant species of North West Europe (Thompson ct al. 1997a) it was possible to investigate patterns of seed longevity in Dutch

  2. Seed bank characteristics of Dutch plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bekker, RM; Schaminee, JHJ; Bakker, JP; Thompson, K

    1998-01-01

    With the recent appearances of a new and well-documented classification of the Dutch plant communities (Schaminee et al 1995a,b; 1996) and a database on the seed longevity of plant species of North West Europe (Thompson ct al. 1997a) it was possible to investigate patterns of seed longevity in Dutch

  3. PLANT COMMUNITIES WITH ARNICA MONTANA IN NATURAL HABITATS FROM THE CENTRAL REGION OF ROMANIAN EASTERN CARPATHIANS

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    Constantin MARDARI

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Arnica montana is a species of European Union interest, whose harvest from the wild and exploitation should be made under certain management measures. In Romania it is a vulnerable species due to excessive collection. It is a species with European areal occuring in pastures, meadows, forest glades, shrubs communities of mountain to the subalpine regions and, isolated, up to the alpine belt. Most of the plant communities with Arnica montana are semi-natural, with a floristic composition in which there are numerous rare or threatened species also supporting the need of their conservation. Our study was focused on a numerical classification (hierarchical, using Flexible ß algorithm and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity based on 48 plots, of the plant communities with Arnica montana from the central region of Romanian Eastern Carpathians and on the investigation of the effect of some environmental variables (Ellenberg indicator values, altitude, heat load index on their floristic composition (100 m2 scale. Vegetation – environment relationship was assessed via detrended correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis with Monte Carlo test. Six plant communities with Arnica montana were identified (communities of Festuca rubra with Agrostis capillaris, Festuca nigrescens, Vaccinium myrtillus, Nardus stricta, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Juniperus sibirica with a floristic composition mainly shaped by altitude, temperature and soil nitrogen content. Details related to location and sites characteristics, diagnostic species, floristic composition, presence of other rare or threatened species and Arnica montana abundance were presented for all these plant communities.

  4. Alpine dams

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    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  5. Ecology and life history affect different aspects of the population structure of 27 high-alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirmans, Patrick G; Goudet, Jerome; Gaggiotti, Oscar E

    2011-08-01

    A plant species' genetic population structure is the result of a complex combination of its life history, ecological preferences, position in the ecosystem and historical factors. As a result, many different statistical methods exist that measure different aspects of species' genetic structure. However, little is known about how these methods are interrelated and how they are related to a species' ecology and life history. In this study, we used the IntraBioDiv amplified fragment length polymorphisms data set from 27 high-alpine species to calculate eight genetic summary statistics that we jointly correlate to a set of six ecological and life-history traits. We found that there is a large amount of redundancy among the calculated summary statistics and that there is a significant association with the matrix of species traits. In a multivariate analysis, two main aspects of population structure were visible among the 27 species. The first aspect is related to the species' dispersal capacities and the second is most likely related to the species' postglacial recolonization of the Alps. Furthermore, we found that some summary statistics, most importantly Mantel's r and Jost's D, show different behaviour than expected based on theory. We therefore advise caution in drawing too strong conclusions from these statistics.

  6. Global change and terrestrial plant community dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Serra-Diaz, Josep M; Syphard, Alexandra D; Regan, Helen M

    2016-04-05

    Anthropogenic drivers of global change include rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses and resulting changes in the climate, as well as nitrogen deposition, biotic invasions, altered disturbance regimes, and land-use change. Predicting the effects of global change on terrestrial plant communities is crucial because of the ecosystem services vegetation provides, from climate regulation to forest products. In this paper, we present a framework for detecting vegetation changes and attributing them to global change drivers that incorporates multiple lines of evidence from spatially extensive monitoring networks, distributed experiments, remotely sensed data, and historical records. Based on a literature review, we summarize observed changes and then describe modeling tools that can forecast the impacts of multiple drivers on plant communities in an era of rapid change. Observed responses to changes in temperature, water, nutrients, land use, and disturbance show strong sensitivity of ecosystem productivity and plant population dynamics to water balance and long-lasting effects of disturbance on plant community dynamics. Persistent effects of land-use change and human-altered fire regimes on vegetation can overshadow or interact with climate change impacts. Models forecasting plant community responses to global change incorporate shifting ecological niches, population dynamics, species interactions, spatially explicit disturbance, ecosystem processes, and plant functional responses. Monitoring, experiments, and models evaluating multiple change drivers are needed to detect and predict vegetation changes in response to 21st century global change.

  7. Nitrogen Critical Loads for an Alpine Meadow Ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Ning; Shi, Peili; Song, Minghua; Zhang, Xianzhou; Jiang, Jing; Chai, Xi

    2016-03-01

    Increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has the potential to alter plant diversity and thus the function and stability of terrestrial ecosystems. N-limited alpine ecosystems are expected to be particularly susceptible to increasing N deposition. However, little is known about the critical loads and saturation thresholds of ecosystem responses to increasing N deposition on the Tibetan Plateau, despite its importance to ecosystem management. To evaluate the N critical loads and N saturation thresholds in an alpine ecosystem, in 2010, we treated an alpine meadow with five levels of N addition (0, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kg N ha-1 year-1) and characterized plant and soil responses. The results showed that plant species richness and diversity index did not statistically vary with N addition treatments, but they both changed with years. N addition affected plant cover and aboveground productivity, especially for grasses, and soil chemical features. The N critical loads and saturation thresholds, in terms of plant cover and biomass change at the community level, were 8.8-12.7 and 50 kg N ha-1 year-1 (including the ambient N deposition rate), respectively. However, pronounced changes in soil inorganic N and net N mineralization occurred under the 20 and 40 kg N ha-1 year-1 treatments. Our results indicate that plant community cover and biomass are more sensitive than soil to increasing N inputs. The plant community composition in alpine ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau may change under increasing N deposition in the future.

  8. Distinct soil bacterial communities along a small-scale elevational gradient in alpine tundra

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    Congcong eShen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The elevational diversity pattern for microorganisms has received great attention recently but is still understudied, and phylogenetic relatedness is rarely studied for microbial elevational distributions. Using a bar-coded pyrosequencing technique, we examined the biodiversity patterns for soil bacterial communities of tundra ecosystem along 2000–2500 m elevations on Changbai Mountain in China. Bacterial taxonomic richness displayed a linear decreasing trend with increasing elevation. Phylogenetic diversity and mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD exhibited a unimodal pattern with elevation. Bacterial communities were more phylogenetically clustered than expected by chance at all elevations based on the standardized effect size of MNTD metric. The bacterial communities differed dramatically among elevations, and the community composition was significantly correlated with soil total carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratio, and dissolved organic carbon. Multiple ordinary least squares regression analysis showed that the observed biodiversity patterns strongly correlated with soil total carbon and C:N ratio. Taken together, this is the first time that a significant bacterial diversity pattern has been observed across a small-scale elevational gradient. Our results indicated that soil carbon and nitrogen contents were the critical environmental factors affecting bacterial elevational distribution in Changbai Mountain tundra. This suggested that ecological niche-based environmental filtering processes related to soil carbon and nitrogen contents could play a dominant role in structuring bacterial communities along the elevational gradient.

  9. Effect of altitude and season on microbial activity, abundance and community structure in Alpine forest soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siles, José A; Cajthaml, Tomas; Minerbi, Stefano; Margesin, Rosa

    2016-03-01

    In the current context of climate change, the study of microbial communities along altitudinal gradients is especially useful. Only few studies considered altitude and season at the same time. We characterized four forest sites located in the Italian Alps, along an altitude gradient (545-2000 m a.s.l.), to evaluate the effect of altitude in spring and autumn on soil microbial properties. Each site in each season was characterized with regard to soil temperature, physicochemical properties, microbial activities (respiration, enzymes), community level physiological profiles (CLPP), microbial abundance and community structure (PLFA). Increased levels of soil organic matter (SOM) and nutrients were found at higher altitudes and in autumn, resulting in a significant increase of (soil dry-mass related) microbial activities and abundance at higher altitudes. Significant site- and season-specific effects were found for enzyme production. The significant interaction of the factors site and incubation temperature for soil microbial activities indicated differences in microbial communities and their responses to temperature among sites. CLPP revealed site-specific effects. Microbial community structure was influenced by altitudinal, seasonal and/or site-specific effects. Correlations demonstrated that altitude, and not season, was the main factor determining the changes in abiotic and biotic characteristics at the sites investigated.

  10. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

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    J. DRING

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available The phytosociological analysis of Albania was initiated by F. Markgraf in the 30ies, but still remains incomplete. This is a preliminary list of the plant communities resulting from the literature and from field research carried out during the last years and may represent a first contribution for further research. Many communities are described only by dominant species, other are quoted as nomina nuda. Some further syntaxa. probably present in the study area, are added.

  11. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J, RODWELL

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The phytosociological analysis of Albania was initiated by F. Markgraf in the 30ies, but still remains incomplete. This is a preliminary list of the plant communities resulting from the literature and from field research carried out during the last years and may represent a first contribution for further research. Many communities are described only by dominant species, other are quoted as nomina nuda. Some further syntaxa. probably present in the study area, are added.

  12. Nitrogen:phosphorous supply ratio and allometry in five alpine plant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Xi; Mazer, Susan J.; Guo, Hui;

    2016-01-01

    is highly plastic in response to variation in the N:P supply ratio. Studies of resource allocation of individual plants should focus on the effects of nutrient ratios as well as the availability of individual elements. The two forb species were more sensitive than grasses to unbalanced N:P supplies......In terrestrial ecosystems, atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has greatly increased N availability relative to other elements, particularly phosphorus (P). Alterations in the availability of N relative to P can affect plant growth rate and functional traits, as well as resource allocation to above......- versus belowground biomass (MA and MB). Biomass allocation among individual plants is broadly size-dependent, and this can often be described as an allometric relationship between MA and MB, as represented by the equation MA=αMBβ, or log MA = logα + βlog MB. Here, we investigated whether the scaling...

  13. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Yan; Lu, Xuyang

    2015-01-01

    Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our results showed that species biodiversity indicators, including the Pielou evenness index, the Shannon-Wiener diversity index, and the Simpson dominance index, did not significantly change under grazing exclusion conditions. In contrast, the total vegetation cover, the mean vegetation height of the community, and the aboveground biomass were significantly higher in the grazing exclusion grasslands than in the free grazed grasslands. These results indicated that grazing exclusion is an effective measure for maintaining community stability and improving aboveground vegetation growth in alpine grasslands. However, the statistical analysis showed that the growing season precipitation (GSP) plays a more important role than grazing exclusion in which influence on vegetation in alpine grasslands. In addition, because the results of the present study come from short term (6-8 years) grazing exclusion, it is still uncertain whether these improvements will be continuable if grazing exclusion is continuously implemented. Therefore, the assessments of the ecological effects of the grazing exclusion management strategy on degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet still need long term continued research.

  14. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Yan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our results showed that species biodiversity indicators, including the Pielou evenness index, the Shannon–Wiener diversity index, and the Simpson dominance index, did not significantly change under grazing exclusion conditions. In contrast, the total vegetation cover, the mean vegetation height of the community, and the aboveground biomass were significantly higher in the grazing exclusion grasslands than in the free grazed grasslands. These results indicated that grazing exclusion is an effective measure for maintaining community stability and improving aboveground vegetation growth in alpine grasslands. However, the statistical analysis showed that the growing season precipitation (GSP plays a more important role than grazing exclusion in which influence on vegetation in alpine grasslands. In addition, because the results of the present study come from short term (6–8 years grazing exclusion, it is still uncertain whether these improvements will be continuable if grazing exclusion is continuously implemented. Therefore, the assessments of the ecological effects of the grazing exclusion management strategy on degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet still need long term continued research.

  15. Does a shift in host plants trigger speciation in the Alpine leaf beetle Oreina speciosissima (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae?

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    Borer Matthias

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Within the Coleoptera, the largest order in the animal kingdom, the exclusively herbivorous Chrysomelidae are recognized as one of the most species rich beetle families. The evolutionary processes that have fueled radiation into the more than thirty-five thousand currently recognized leaf beetle species remain partly unresolved. The prominent role of leaf beetles in the insect world, their omnipresence across all terrestrial biomes and their economic importance as common agricultural pest organisms make this family particularly interesting for studying the mechanisms that drive diversification. Here we specifically focus on two ecotypes of the alpine leaf beetle Oreina speciosissima (Scop., which have been shown to exhibit morphological differences in male genitalia roughly corresponding to the subspecies Oreina speciosissima sensu stricto and Oreina speciosissima troglodytes. In general the two ecotypes segregate along an elevation gradient and by host plants: Oreina speciosissima sensu stricto colonizes high forb vegetation at low altitude and Oreina speciosissima troglodytes is found in stone run vegetation at higher elevations. Both host plants and leaf beetles have a patchy geographical distribution. Through use of gene sequencing and genome fingerprinting (AFLP we analyzed the genetic structure and habitat use of Oreina speciosissima populations from the Swiss Alps to examine whether the two ecotypes have a genetic basis. By investigating a wide range of altitudes and focusing on the structuring effect of habitat types, we aim to provide answers regarding the factors that drive adaptive radiation in this phytophagous leaf beetle. Results While little phylogenetic resolution was observed based on the sequencing of four DNA regions, the topology and clustering resulting from AFLP genotyping grouped specimens according to their habitat, mostly defined by plant associations. A few specimens with intermediate morphologies

  16. Community Analyses Uncover High Diversity of Lichenicolous Fungi in Alpine Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischhacker, Antonia; Grube, Martin; Kopun, Theodora; Hafellner, Josef; Muggia, Lucia

    2015-08-01

    Lichens are frequently colonized by specialized, lichenicolous fungi. Symptomatic lichenicolous fungi usually display typical phenotypes and reproductive structures on the lichen hosts. The classification based on these structures revealed different host specificity patterns. Other fungi occur asymptomatically in the lichen thalli and are much less known. We aimed at studying the diversity of lichen-associated fungi in specific, lichen-rich communities on rocks in the Alps. We tested whether lichenicolous fungi developing symptomatically on their known hosts also occur asymptomatically in other thalli of the same or of different host species. We collected lichen thalli according to a uniform sampling design comprising individuals adjacent to thalli that showed symptoms of lichenicolous fungal infections. The total fungal communities in the selected lichen thalli were further studied by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) fingerprinting analyses and sequencing of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) fragments. The systematic, stratified sampling strategy helped to recover 17 previously undocumented lichenicolous fungi and almost exhaustively the species diversity of symptomatic lichenicolous fungi in the studied region. The results from SSCP and the sequencing analyses did not reveal asymptomatic occurrence of normally symptomatic lichenicolous fungi in thalli of both the same and different lichen host species. The fungal diversity did not correlate with the species diversity of the symptomatic lichenicolous fungus-lichen host associations. The complex fingerprint patterns recovered here for fungal communities, in associations of well-delimited lichen thalli, suggest lichen symbiosis as suitable subjects for fungal metacommunity studies.

  17. Chilling- and Freezing-Induced Alterations in Cytosine Methylation and Its Association with the Cold Tolerance of an Alpine Subnival Plant, Chorispora bungeana.

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    Yuan Song

    Full Text Available Chilling (0-18°C and freezing (<0°C are two distinct types of cold stresses. Epigenetic regulation can play an important role in plant adaptation to abiotic stresses. However, it is not yet clear whether and how epigenetic modification (i.e., DNA methylation mediates the adaptation to cold stresses in nature (e.g., in alpine regions. Especially, whether the adaptation to chilling and freezing is involved in differential epigenetic regulations in plants is largely unknown. Chorispora bungeana is an alpine subnival plant that is distributed in the freeze-thaw tundra in Asia, where chilling and freezing frequently fluctuate daily (24 h. To disentangle how C. bungeana copes with these intricate cold stresses through epigenetic modifications, plants of C. bungeana were treated at 4°C (chilling and -4°C (freezing over five periods of time (0-24 h. Methylation-sensitive amplified fragment-length polymorphism markers were used to investigate the variation in DNA methylation of C. bungeana in response to chilling and freezing. It was found that the alterations in DNA methylation of C. bungeana largely occurred over the period of chilling and freezing. Moreover, chilling and freezing appeared to gradually induce distinct DNA methylation variations, as the treatment went on (e.g., after 12 h. Forty-three cold-induced polymorphic fragments were randomly selected and further analyzed, and three of the cloned fragments were homologous to genes encoding alcohol dehydrogenase, UDP-glucosyltransferase and polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein. These candidate genes verified the existence of different expressive patterns between chilling and freezing. Our results showed that C. bungeana responded to cold stresses rapidly through the alterations of DNA methylation, and that chilling and freezing induced different DNA methylation changes. Therefore, we conclude that epigenetic modifications can potentially serve as a rapid and flexible mechanism for C. bungeana

  18. When do plant radiations influence community assembly? The importance of historical contingency in the race for niche space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanentzap, Andrew J; Brandt, Angela J; Smissen, Rob D; Heenan, Peter B; Fukami, Tadashi; Lee, William G

    2015-07-01

    Plant radiations are widespread but their influence on community assembly has rarely been investigated. Theory and some evidence suggest that radiations can allow lineages to monopolize niche space when founding species arrive early into new bioclimatic regions and exploit ecological opportunities. These early radiations may subsequently reduce niche availability and dampen diversification of later arrivals. We tested this hypothesis of time-dependent lineage diversification and community dominance using the alpine flora of New Zealand. We estimated ages of 16 genera from published phylogenies and determined their relative occurrence across climatic and physical gradients in the alpine zone. We used these data to reconstruct occupancy of environmental space through time, integrating palaeoclimatic and palaeogeological changes. Our analysis suggested that earlier-colonizing lineages encountered a greater availability of environmental space, which promoted greater species diversity and occupancy of niche space. Genera that occupied broader niches were subsequently more dominant in local communities. An earlier time of arrival also contributed to greater diversity independently of its influence in accessing niche space. We suggest that plant radiations influence community assembly when they arise early in the occupancy of environmental space, allowing them to exclude later-arriving colonists from ecological communities by niche preemption.

  19. Bacterial community structure on two alpine debris-covered glaciers and biogeography of Polaromonas phylotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzetti, Andrea; Tatangelo, Valeria; Gandolfi, Isabella; Bertolini, Valentina; Bestetti, Giuseppina; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina; D'Agata, Carlo; Mihalcea, Claudia; Smiraglia, Claudio; Ambrosini, Roberto

    2013-08-01

    High-elevation cold environments are considered ideal places to test hypotheses about mechanisms of bacterial colonization and succession, and about bacterial biogeography. Debris-covered glaciers (glaciers whose ablation area is mainly covered by a continuous layer of rock debris fallen from the surrounding mountains) have never been investigated in this respect so far. We used the Illumina technology to analyse the V5 and V6 hypervariable regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplified from 38 samples collected in July and September 2009 at different distances from the terminus on two debris-covered glaciers (Miage and Belvedere--Italian Alps). Heterotrophic taxa-dominated communities and bacterial community structure changed according to ice ablation rate, organic carbon content of the debris and distance from the glacier terminus. Bacterial communities therefore change during downwards debris transport, and organic carbon of these recently exposed substrates is probably provided more by allochthonous deposition of organic matter than by primary production by autotrophic organisms. We also investigated whether phylotypes of the genus Polaromonas, which is ubiquitous in cold environments, do present a biogeographical distribution by analysing the sequences retrieved in this study together with others available in the literature. We found that the genetic distance among phylotypes increased with geographic distance; however, more focused analyses using discrete distance classes revealed that both sequences collected at sites <100 km and at sites 9400-13,500 km to each other were more similar than those collected at other distance classes. Evidences of biogeographic distribution of Polaromonas phylotypes were therefore contrasting.

  20. Study on complexity of plant communities at different altitudes on the Northern Slope of Changbai Mountain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    By the method of gradient pattern analysis, twenty plots were set at altitudes of 700-2600 m with an interval of 100 m on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountain. The dissimilarity of respective sub-plots in the same community was measured and the complexity of plant communities at different altitudes was analyzed. The result from binary data of tree species in canopy tree indicated that the sub-plots in the communities, except subalpine Betula ermanii forest, showed comparatively high dissimilarity in species composition. Especially, the dissimilarity index (0.7) of broadleaved/Korean pine forest at low altitudes was obviously higher than other communities. The differences are not obvious between communities referring to dark coniferous forest. Comparatively, the dissimilarity in sub-plots of the communities at altitude of 1400 m was slightly higher than that of other communities, which reflected the complexity of tree species compositions of transitory-type communities. For subalpine Betula ermanii forest, tree species composition was simple and showed a high similarity between sub-plots. The results derived from binary data of shrub showed that the dissimilarity index of shrub species in broadleaved/Korean pine forest at low altitudes was higher than that in other communities, but the divergence tendency wasn't so obvious as that of arbor species. The dissimilarity derived from binary data of herb and all plant species at different altitudes showed greatly close tendency, and the differences in herb and all plant species between sub-plots were the greatest for the communities of broad-leaved-Korean pine forest and alpine tundra zone.

  1. Diversity and Antioxidant Activity of Culturable Endophytic Fungi from Alpine Plants of Rhodiola crenulata, R. angusta, and R. sachalinensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jin-Long; Guo, Ting-Ting; Ren, Zhen-Xing; Zhang, Na-Sha; Wang, Meng-Liang

    2015-01-01

    Rhodiola spp. are rare and endangered alpine plants widely used as medicines and food additives by many civilizations since ancient times. Their main effective ingredients (such as salidroside and p-tyrosol) are praised to exhibit pharmacologic effects on high-altitude sickness and possess anti-aging and other adaptogenic capacities based on their antioxidant properties. In this study, 347 endophytic fungi were isolated from R. crenulata, R. angusta, and R. sachalinensis, and the molecular diversity and antioxidant activities of these fungi were investigated for the first time. These fungi were categorized into 180 morphotypes based on cultural characteristics, and their rRNA gene ITS sequences were analyzed by BLAST search in the GenBank database. Except for 12 unidentified fungi (6.67%), all others were affiliated to at least 57 genera in 20 orders of four phyla, namely, Ascomycota (88.89%), Basidiomycota (2.78%), Zygomycota (1.11%), and Glomeromycota (0.56%), which exhibited high abundance and diversity. Antioxidant assay showed that the DPPH radical-scavenging rates of 114 isolates (63.33%) were >50%, and those of five isolates (Rct45, Rct63, Rct64, Rac76, and Rsc57) were >90%. The EC50 values of five antioxidant assays suggested significant potential of these fungi on scavenging DPPH•, O2−•, and OH• radicals, as well as scavenging nitrite and chelating Fe2+, which showed preference and selection between endophytic fungi and their hosts. Further research also provided the first evidence that Rac12 could produce salidrosides and p-tyrosol. Results suggested that versatile endophytic fungi associated with Rhodiola known as antioxidants could be exploited as potential sources of novel antioxidant products. PMID:25768014

  2. Diversity and antioxidant activity of culturable endophytic fungi from alpine plants of Rhodiola crenulata, R. angusta, and R. sachalinensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Long Cui

    Full Text Available Rhodiola spp. are rare and endangered alpine plants widely used as medicines and food additives by many civilizations since ancient times. Their main effective ingredients (such as salidroside and p-tyrosol are praised to exhibit pharmacologic effects on high-altitude sickness and possess anti-aging and other adaptogenic capacities based on their antioxidant properties. In this study, 347 endophytic fungi were isolated from R. crenulata, R. angusta, and R. sachalinensis, and the molecular diversity and antioxidant activities of these fungi were investigated for the first time. These fungi were categorized into 180 morphotypes based on cultural characteristics, and their rRNA gene ITS sequences were analyzed by BLAST search in the GenBank database. Except for 12 unidentified fungi (6.67%, all others were affiliated to at least 57 genera in 20 orders of four phyla, namely, Ascomycota (88.89%, Basidiomycota (2.78%, Zygomycota (1.11%, and Glomeromycota (0.56%, which exhibited high abundance and diversity. Antioxidant assay showed that the DPPH radical-scavenging rates of 114 isolates (63.33% were >50%, and those of five isolates (Rct45, Rct63, Rct64, Rac76, and Rsc57 were >90%. The EC50 values of five antioxidant assays suggested significant potential of these fungi on scavenging DPPH•, O2-•, and OH• radicals, as well as scavenging nitrite and chelating Fe2+, which showed preference and selection between endophytic fungi and their hosts. Further research also provided the first evidence that Rac12 could produce salidrosides and p-tyrosol. Results suggested that versatile endophytic fungi associated with Rhodiola known as antioxidants could be exploited as potential sources of novel antioxidant products.

  3. Diversity and antioxidant activity of culturable endophytic fungi from alpine plants of Rhodiola crenulata, R. angusta, and R. sachalinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jin-Long; Guo, Ting-Ting; Ren, Zhen-Xing; Zhang, Na-Sha; Wang, Meng-Liang

    2015-01-01

    Rhodiola spp. are rare and endangered alpine plants widely used as medicines and food additives by many civilizations since ancient times. Their main effective ingredients (such as salidroside and p-tyrosol) are praised to exhibit pharmacologic effects on high-altitude sickness and possess anti-aging and other adaptogenic capacities based on their antioxidant properties. In this study, 347 endophytic fungi were isolated from R. crenulata, R. angusta, and R. sachalinensis, and the molecular diversity and antioxidant activities of these fungi were investigated for the first time. These fungi were categorized into 180 morphotypes based on cultural characteristics, and their rRNA gene ITS sequences were analyzed by BLAST search in the GenBank database. Except for 12 unidentified fungi (6.67%), all others were affiliated to at least 57 genera in 20 orders of four phyla, namely, Ascomycota (88.89%), Basidiomycota (2.78%), Zygomycota (1.11%), and Glomeromycota (0.56%), which exhibited high abundance and diversity. Antioxidant assay showed that the DPPH radical-scavenging rates of 114 isolates (63.33%) were >50%, and those of five isolates (Rct45, Rct63, Rct64, Rac76, and Rsc57) were >90%. The EC50 values of five antioxidant assays suggested significant potential of these fungi on scavenging DPPH•, O2-•, and OH• radicals, as well as scavenging nitrite and chelating Fe2+, which showed preference and selection between endophytic fungi and their hosts. Further research also provided the first evidence that Rac12 could produce salidrosides and p-tyrosol. Results suggested that versatile endophytic fungi associated with Rhodiola known as antioxidants could be exploited as potential sources of novel antioxidant products.

  4. Developing Ornamental Plants for Promoting Community Economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kritsana Khonphian

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: This study aimed to investigate the development of ornamental plants for promoting community economy in marketing and product selling. The study area was Ban Mai Udom, Tambon Ban Mai, Amphoe Nong Bunmak, Changwat Nakhon Ratchasima. Approach: This qualitative research study collected documentary data and field data using survey, observations, interviews and focused group discussion. The sample consisted of totally 33 community leaders, ornamental plant producers sellers and buyers and state and private sector officials involving promotion of ornamental plant production and selling, obtained using the simple random sampling technique. The collected data were checked using the triangulation technique. The data were analyzed and the study findings were presented by means of a descriptive analysis. Results: The study findings revealed that the production of ornamental plants in Ban Mai Udom community had 2 types of development for promoting community economy: At the household level and the organizational level. At the household kevel, the problems of marketing and selling, in which prices could be bargained, by selling by themselves and haring their relatives sell the products a local markets both inside and outside the community. At the organization level, the patterns of promoting community economy were developed. The marketing problems were solved by using the concept of media through indigenous knowledge, setting up groups as an organization through ethnicity of Thai Khorat and using the Thai Khorat dialect. Conclusion: In solving the selling problems, all of the group members sold the products at local markets and foreign markets such as France, Hong Kong and Dubai. When they had got money, every group member could borrow some money as welfare at an interest rate of 2% year. Dividends were given to all group members every year. The methods mentioned could solve different problems involved.

  5. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

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    Shan-Shan Qi

    Full Text Available The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%, compared with the native plants (over 60%. Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  6. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  7. Soil and plant responses to degradation of alpine grassland in source region of the Yellow River

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Land degradation has been rapidly taking place in source region of the Yellow River in China. This study was conducted during 2008 in Maduo County to investigate soil and plant changes in relation to land degradation. Several results were derived from this work. First, the soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) decreased significantly on the extremely degraded land comparing with the natural grassland. Second, soil bulk density increased as land degradation worsened. Soil bulk density of the extremely degraded land was significantly greater than that of the grassland. Third, pH showed no obvious variation pattern. Finally, aboveground biomass decreased from grassland to the moderately degraded land. But aboveground biomass increased on the extremely degraded land and very extremely degraded land with most aboveground biomass inedible for livestock.

  8. Uncertainty in predicting range dynamics of endemic alpine plants under climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hülber, Karl; Wessely, Johannes; Gattringer, Andreas; Moser, Dietmar; Kuttner, Michael; Essl, Franz; Leitner, Michael; Winkler, Manuela; Ertl, Siegrun; Willner, Wolfgang; Kleinbauer, Ingrid; Sauberer, Norbert; Mang, Thomas; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Dullinger, Stefan

    2016-07-01

    Correlative species distribution models have long been the predominant approach to predict species' range responses to climate change. Recently, the use of dynamic models is increasingly advocated for because these models better represent the main processes involved in range shifts and also simulate transient dynamics. A well-known problem with the application of these models is the lack of data for estimating necessary parameters of demographic and dispersal processes. However, what has been hardly considered so far is the fact that simulating transient dynamics potentially implies additional uncertainty arising from our ignorance of short-term climate variability in future climatic trends. Here, we use endemic mountain plants of Austria as a case study to assess how the integration of decadal variability in future climate affects outcomes of dynamic range models as compared to projected long-term trends and uncertainty in demographic and dispersal parameters. We do so by contrasting simulations of a so-called hybrid model run under fluctuating climatic conditions with those based on a linear interpolation of climatic conditions between current values and those predicted for the end of the 21st century. We find that accounting for short-term climate variability modifies model results nearly as differences in projected long-term trends and much more than uncertainty in demographic/dispersal parameters. In particular, range loss and extinction rates are much higher when simulations are run under fluctuating conditions. These results highlight the importance of considering the appropriate temporal resolution when parameterizing and applying range-dynamic models, and hybrid models in particular. In case of our endemic mountain plants, we hypothesize that smoothed linear time series deliver more reliable results because these long-lived species are primarily responsive to long-term climate averages.

  9. Ecological implications of reduced pollen deposition in alpine plants: a case study using a dominant cushion plant species [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/3mb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anya Reid

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The reproductive assurance hypothesis states that self-incompatible female plants must produce twice the number of seeds relative to their self-compatible hermaphroditic counterparts to persist in gynodioecious populations. This is a viable life-history strategy, provided that pollination rates are sufficiently high. However, reduced pollination rates in alpine plants are likely due to climate induced plant-pollinator mismatches and general declines in pollinators. Using a gynodioecious population of the dominant plant Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae, we tested the reproductive assurance hypothesis and also the stress gradient hypothesis with a series of pollinator exclusion trials and extensive measurements of subsequent reproductive output (gender ratio, plant size, percent fruit-set, fruit weight, seeds per fruit, total seeds, seed weight, and seed germination. The reproductive assurance hypothesis was supported with female plants being more sensitive to and less likely to be viable under reductions in pollination rates. These findings are the first to show that the stress gradient hypothesis is also supported under a gradient of pollen supply instead of environmental limitations. Beneficiary abundance was negatively correlated to percent fruit-set under current pollen supply, but became positive under reduced pollen supply suggesting that there are important plant-plant-pollinator interactions related to reproduction in these alpine plant species.

  10. Micropropagation and Callus Culture of Saussurea laniceps, an Alpine Medicinal Plant

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Yu-zhen; Li Feng-lan

    2005-01-01

    Cottonhead windhairdaisy (Saussurea laniceps Hand.-Mazz.) is one of the most famous and important medicinal herbs in China. Illegal collection from wild populations is increasingly threatening the present environment of S. laniceps. Establishment of an efficient method for micropropagation is the best way to change its endangered situation. When mature seeds of S.laniceps were cultured on hormone-free MS medium, plantlets were formed from germinated seeds in 7-10 d. Then 0.5 cm × 0.5 cm leaf explants were transplanted to MS medium supplemented with 1-naphthalene-acetic acid (NAA)/2,4-D and benzyladenine(BA)/KT and callus was achieved 10 d after transfer. Shoot bud regeneration occurred from callus cultured on MS medium supplemented with different growth regulators 20 d after culturing. The regeneration percentages varied with the different components of plant growth regulators. The percent regeneration from callus pretreated at low temperature of 5℃ increased significantly compared with those incubated at 23/20℃ directly. Optimal regeneration was observed with explants on media supplemented with 1.5 mg·L-1 BA plus 0.2 mg·L-1 NAA. In the presence of 0.2 mg·L-1 NAA in half-strength MS, 78% of the shoots formed roots. Plantlets from explants showed 63% survival after acclimatization.

  11. Plant interactions with multiple insect herbivores: from community to genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, J.M.; Kroes, A.; Li, Y.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Every plant is a member of a complex insect community that consists of tens to hundreds of species that belong to different trophic levels. The dynamics of this community are critically influenced by the plant, which mediates interactions between community members that can occur on the plant simulta

  12. Plant interactions with multiple insect herbivores: from community to genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, J.M.; Kroes, A.; Li, Y.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Every plant is a member of a complex insect community that consists of tens to hundreds of species that belong to different trophic levels. The dynamics of this community are critically influenced by the plant, which mediates interactions between community members that can occur on the plant

  13. Variations in bacterial communities during foliar litter decomposition in the winter and growing seasons in an alpine forest of the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yeyi; Wu, Fuzhong; Yang, Wanqin; Tan, Bo; He, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial communities are the primary engineers during litter decomposition and related material cycling, and they can be strongly controlled by seasonal changes in temperature and other environmental factors. However, limited information is available on changes in the bacterial community from winter to the growing season as litter decomposition proceeds in cold climates. Here, we investigated the abundance and structure of bacterial communities using real-time quantitative PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) during a 2-year field study of the decomposition of litter of 4 species in the winter and growing seasons of an alpine forest of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. The abundance of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was relatively high during decomposition of cypress and birch litter in the first winter, but for the other litters 16S rRNA abundance during both winters was significantly lower than during the following growing season. A large number of bands were observed on the DGGE gels, and their intensities and number from the winter samples were lower than those from the growing season during the 2-year decomposition experiment. Eighty-nine sequences from the bands of bacteria that had been cut from the DGGE gels were affiliated with 10 distinct classes of bacteria and an unknown group. A redundancy analysis indicated that the moisture, mass loss, and elemental content (e.g., C, N, and P) of the litter significantly affected the bacterial communities. Collectively, the results suggest that uneven seasonal changes in climate regulate bacterial communities and other decomposers, thus affecting their contribution to litter decomposition processes in the alpine forest.

  14. Mountain pastures of Qilian Shan: plant communities, grazing impact and degradation status (Gansu province, NW China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranova, Alina; Schickhoff, Udo; Shunli, Wang; Ming, Jin

    2015-04-01

    Qilian Mountains are the water source region for the low arid reaches of HeiHe river basin (Gansu province, NW China). Due to overstocking and overgrazing during the last decades adverse ecological ef¬fects, in particular on soil properties and hydrological cycle, are to be expected in growing land areas. Vegetation cover is very important to prevent erosion process and to sustain stable subsurface runoff and ground water flow. The aim of this research is to identify plant communities, detecting grazing-induced and spatially differentiated changes in vegetation patterns, and to evaluate status of pasture land degradation.The study area is located in the spring/autumn pasture area of South Qilian Mountains between 2600-3600 m a.s.l., covering five main vegetation types: spruce forest, alpine shrubland, shrubby grassland, mountain grassland, degraded mountain grassland. In order to analyze gradual changes in vegetation patterns along altitudinal and grazing gradients and to classify related plant communities, quantitative and qualitative relevé data were collected (coverage, species composition, abundance of unpalatable plants, plant functional types, etc.). Vegetation was classified using hierarchical cluster analyses. Indirect Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) was used to analyze variation in relationships between vegetation, environmental factors, and grazing impact. According to DCA results, distribution of the plant communities was strongly affected by altitude and exposition. Grassland floristic gradients showed greater dependence on grazing impact, which correlated contrarily with soil organic content, soil moisture and pH. Highest numbers of species richness and alpha diversity were detected in alpine shrubland vegetation type. Comparing the monitoring data for the recent nine years, a trend of deterioration, species successions and shift in dominant species becomes obvious. Species indicating degrading site environmental conditions were identified

  15. Determinants of parasitoid communities of willow-galling sawflies: habitat overrides physiology, host plant and space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyman, Tommi; Leppänen, Sanna A; Várkonyi, Gergely; Shaw, Mark R; Koivisto, Reijo; Barstad, Trond Elling; Vikberg, Veli; Roininen, Heikki

    2015-10-01

    Studies on the determinants of plant-herbivore and herbivore-parasitoid associations provide important insights into the origin and maintenance of global and local species richness. If parasitoids are specialists on herbivore niches rather than on herbivore taxa, then alternating escape of herbivores into novel niches and delayed resource tracking by parasitoids could fuel diversification at both trophic levels. We used DNA barcoding to identify parasitoids that attack larvae of seven Pontania sawfly species that induce leaf galls on eight willow species growing in subarctic and arctic-alpine habitats in three geographic locations in northern Fennoscandia, and then applied distance- and model-based multivariate analyses and phylogenetic regression methods to evaluate the hierarchical importance of location, phylogeny and different galler niche dimensions on parasitoid host use. We found statistically significant variation in parasitoid communities across geographic locations and willow host species, but the differences were mainly quantitative due to extensive sharing of enemies among gallers within habitat types. By contrast, the divide between habitats defined two qualitatively different network compartments, because many common parasitoids exhibited strong habitat preference. Galler and parasitoid phylogenies did not explain associations, because distantly related arctic-alpine gallers were attacked by a species-poor enemy community dominated by two parasitoid species that most likely have independently tracked the gallers' evolutionary shifts into the novel habitat. Our results indicate that barcode- and phylogeny-based analyses of food webs that span forested vs. tundra or grassland environments could improve our understanding of vertical diversification effects in complex plant-herbivore-parasitoid networks. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Mutualistic rhizobia reduce plant diversity and alter community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Kane R

    2014-12-01

    Mutualistic interactions can be just as important to community dynamics as antagonistic species interactions like competition and predation. Because of their large effects on both abiotic and biotic environmental variables, resource mutualisms, in particular, have the potential to influence plant communities. Moreover, the effects of resource mutualists such as nitrogen-fixing rhizobia on diversity and community composition may be more pronounced in nutrient-limited environments. I experimentally manipulated the presence of rhizobia across a nitrogen gradient in early assembling mesocosm communities with identical starting species composition to test how the classic mutualism between nitrogen-fixing rhizobia and their legume host influence diversity and community composition. After harvest, I assessed changes in α-diversity, community composition, β-diversity, and ecosystem properties such as inorganic nitrogen availability and productivity as a result of rhizobia and nitrogen availability. The presence of rhizobia decreased plant community diversity, increased community convergence (reduced β-diversity), altered plant community composition, and increased total community productivity. These community-level effects resulted from rhizobia increasing the competitive dominance of their legume host Chamaecrista fasciculata. Moreover, different non-leguminous species responded both negatively and positively to the presence of rhizobia, indicating that rhizobia are driving both inhibitory and potentially facilitative effects in communities. These findings expand our understanding of plant communities by incorporating the effects of positive symbiotic interactions on plant diversity and composition. In particular, rhizobia that specialize on dominant plants may serve as keystone mutualists in terrestrial plant communities, reducing diversity by more than 40%.

  17. Plant community responses to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kongstad, J.

    2012-07-01

    ecosystem more resilient to the climatic treatments than expected. We also found that the amount of flowering culms of D. flexuosa increased in response to increased CO{sub 2}, whereas the seed germination success decreased. The bryophyte biomass and the nitrogen content decreased in response to nitrogen addition. Even such apparently minor changes might, given time, affect the plant composition and thereby possibly also the major ecosystem processes. Further, we observed changes in the aboveground plant composition in response to the climate manipulations at the Mols site, where C. vulgaris was regenerating after a disturbance. Here a decrease in biomass of the pioneer stage was seen, when subjected to the drought treatment compared to warmed and control treatments. I therefore conclude, that the stage of the C. vulgaris population as well as the magnitude and frequency of disturbances determine the effects of future climate change on the plant community in heathland ecosystems. (Author)

  18. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  19. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  20. Classification and ordination of main plant communities along an altitudinal gradient in the arid and temperate climates of northeastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillón, Eduardo Estrada; Arévalo, José Ramón; Quintanilla, José Ángel Villarreal; Rodríguez, María Magdalena Salinas; Encina-Domínguez, Juan Antonio; Rodríguez, Humberto González; Ayala, César Martín Cantú

    2015-10-01

    Quantitative data on the ecology of the main plant communities along an altitudinal gradient in northeastern Mexico were obtained with the aim of identifying the most important environmental variables that affect plant distribution and composition. The main threats to these communities were also investigated. Importance value index (IVi) of the 39 most important species and 16 environmental variables were recorded at 35 altitudinal gradients each spaced at intervals of at least 100-m altitude. Classification and ordination of vegetation showed six well-differentiated but overlapping plant communities: alpine meadow, cold conifer forest, mesic mixed forest, xeric scrub, Tamaulipan piedmont scrub, and halophytic grassland. Altitude, minimum and average temperatures, and organic matter content are the main variables affecting the plant distribution in northeastern Mexico. Urban growth, mechanized agriculture, and changes in land use are the main threats in the short and medium term to plant communities in this area. Climate change also seems to be having an impact at present or in the near future as shown by the presence of exotic shrubs from warmer areas in mesic and temperate areas inhabited by oak and oak-pine forest.

  1. ROOT ALLOMETRY OF TWO SUBTROPICAL PLANT COMMUNITIES OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO

    OpenAIRE

    Eduardo de los Ríos-Carrasco; José de Jesús Návar-Cháidez

    2010-01-01

    This research work aimed at the study of the root allometry in sub-tropical Tamaulipan thornscrub and pine forest communities of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. By excavating each individual root of each of 20 trees per plant community, we developed root allometric equations for biomass, volume, total length and diameter. Covariance analysis, ancova, was employed to determine the statistical difference of these variables between plant communities. Results indicate that pine plant trees have larger root v...

  2. Climate change and alpine stream biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hotaling, Scott; Finn, Debra S.; Joseph Giersch, J.

    2017-01-01

    In alpine regions worldwide, climate change is dramatically altering ecosystems and affecting biodiversity in many ways. For streams, receding alpine glaciers and snowfields, paired with altered precipitation regimes, are driving shifts in hydrology, species distributions, basal resources......, and threatening the very existence of some habitats and biota. Alpine streams harbour substantial species and genetic diversity due to significant habitat insularity and environmental heterogeneity. Climate change is expected to affect alpine stream biodiversity across many levels of biological resolution from...... micro- to macroscopic organisms and genes to communities. Herein, we describe the current state of alpine stream biology from an organism-focused perspective. We begin by reviewing seven standard and emerging approaches that combine to form the current state of the discipline. We follow with a call...

  3. Ungulate herbivory on alpine willow in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigenfuss, L.C.; Schoenecker, K.A.; Amburg, L.K.V.

    2011-01-01

    In many areas of the Rocky Mountains, elk (Cervus elaphus) migrate from low-elevation mountain valleys during spring to high-elevation subalpine and alpine areas for the summer. Research has focused on the impacts of elk herbivory on winter-range plant communities, particularly on woody species such as willow and aspen; however, little information is available on the effects of elk herbivory on alpine willows. In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south central Colorado, select alpine areas appear to receive high levels of summer elk herbivory, while other areas are nearly unbrowsed. In 2005 and 2008, we measured willow height, cover, and utilization on sites that appeared to be used heavily by elk, as well as on sites that appeared to be used lightly, to determine differences between these communities over time. We found less willow cover and shorter willows at sites that received higher levels of browsing compared to those that had lower levels of browsing. Human recreational use was greater at lightly browsed sites than at highly browsed sites. From 2005 to 2008, willow utilization declined, and willow cover and height increased at sites with heavy browsing, likely owing to ownership change of adjacent valley land which led to (1) removal of grazing competition from, cattle at valley locations and (2) increased human use in alpine areas, which displaced elk. We discuss the implications of increased human use and climate change on elk use of these alpine habitats. ?? 2011.

  4. Topographic patterns of above- and below ground production and nitrogen cycling in alpine tundra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fisk, M.C.; Schmidt, S.K.; Seastedt, T.R. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)

    1998-10-01

    Topography controls snowpack accumulation and hence growing-season length, soil water availability, and the distribution of plant communities in the Colorado Front Range alpine. Nutrient cycles in such an environment are likely to be regulated by interactions between topographically determined climate and plant species composition. The authors investigated variation in plant and soil components of internal N cycling across topographic gradients of dry, moist, and wet alpine tundra meadows at Niwot Ridge, Colorado. They expected that plant production and N cycling would increase from dry to wet alpine tundra meadows, but they hypothesized that variation in N turnover would span a proportionately greater range than productivity, because of feedbacks between plants and soil microbial processes that determine N availability. Plant production of foliage and roots increased over topographic sequences from 280 g{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in dry meadows to 600 g{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in wet meadows and was significantly correlated to soil moisture. Contrary to their expectation, plant N uptake for production increased to a lesser degree, from 3.9 g N{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in dry meadows to 6.8 g N{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in wet meadows. In all communities, the belowground component accounted for the majority of biomass, production, and N use for production.

  5. Radiocesium storage in soil microbial biomass of undisturbed alpine meadow soils and its relation to {sup 137}Cs soil-plant transfer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stemmer, Michael [Institute of Soil Research, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Strasse 33, 1180 Vienna (Austria)]. E-mail: michael.stemmer@boku.ac.at; Hromatka, Angelika [Department of Environmental Research, ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH, 2444 Seibersdorf (Austria); Lettner, Herbert [Institute of Physics and Biophysics, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunner Strasse 34, 5020 Salzburg (Austria); Strebl, Friederike [Department of Environmental Research, ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH, 2444 Seibersdorf (Austria)

    2005-07-01

    This study focuses on radiocesium storage in soil microbial biomass of undisturbed alpine meadow sites and its relation to the soil-to-plant transfer. Soil and plant samples were taken in August 1999 from an altitude transect (800-1600 m.a.s.l.) at Gastein valley, Austria. Soil samples were subdivided into 3-cm layers for analyses of total, K{sub 2}SO{sub 4}-extractable and microbially stored {sup 137}Cs. Microbial biomass was measured by the fumigation extraction method, and fungal biomass was quantified using ergosterol as biomarker molecule. In general, the quantity of {sup 137}Cs stored in the living soil microbial biomass was relatively small. At the high-altitude meadows, showing high amounts of fungal biomass, microbially stored {sup 137}Cs amounted to 0.64 {+-} 0.14 kBq m{sup -2} which corresponds to about 1.2-2.7% of the total {sup 137}Cs soil inventory. At lower altitudes, microbial {sup 137}Cs content was distinctly smaller and in most cases not measurable at all using the fumigation extraction method. However, a positive correlation between the observed soil-to-plant aggregated transfer factor, microbially stored {sup 137}Cs and fungal biomass was found, which indicates a possible role of fungal biomass in the storage and turnover of {sup 137}Cs in soils and in the {sup 137}Cs uptake by plants.

  6. Changes in species composition in alpine snowbeds with climate change inferred from small-scale spatial patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Schöb

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Alpine snowbeds are characterised by a very short growing season. However, the length of the snow-free period is increasingly prolonged due to climate change, so that snowbeds become susceptible to invasions from neighbouring alpine meadow communities. We hypothesised that spatial distribution of species generated by plant interactions may indicate whether snowbed species will coexist with or will be out-competed by invading alpine species – spatial aggregation or segregation will point to coexistence or competitive exclusion, respectively. We tested this hypothesis in snowbeds of the Swiss Alps using the variance ratio statistics. We focused on the relationships between dominant snowbed species, subordinate snowbed species, and potentially invading alpine grassland species. Subordinate snowbed species were generally spatially aggregated with each other, but were segregated from alpine grassland species.

    Competition between alpine grassland and subordinate snowbed species may have caused this segregation. Segregation between these species groups increased with earlier snowmelt, suggesting an increasing importance of competition with climate change. Further, a dominant snowbed species (Alchemilla pentaphyllea was spatially aggregated with subordinate snowbed species, while two other dominants (Gnaphalium supinum and Salix herbacea showed aggregated patterns with alpine grassland species. These dominant species are known to show distinct microhabitat preferences suggesting the existence of hidden microhabitats with different susceptibility to invaders.

    These results allow us to suggest that alpine snowbed areas are likely to be reduced as a consequence of climate change and that invading species from nearby alpine grasslands could outcompete subordinate snowbed species. On the other hand, microhabitats dominated by Gnaphalium or Salix seem to be particularly prone to invasions by non

  7. UV Screening in Native and Non-native Plant Species in the Tropical Alpine: Implications for Climate Change-Driven Migration of Species to Higher Elevations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul W. Barnes

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ongoing changes in Earth’s climate are shifting the elevation ranges of many plant species with non-native species often experiencing greater expansion into higher elevations than native species. These climate change-induced shifts in distributions inevitably expose plants to novel biotic and abiotic environments, including altered solar ultraviolet (UV-B (280–315 nm radiation regimes. Do the greater migration potentials of non-native species into higher elevations imply that they have more effective UV-protective mechanisms than native species? In this study, we surveyed leaf epidermal UV-A transmittance (TUV A in a diversity of plant species representing different growth forms to test whether native and non-native species growing above 2800 m elevation on Mauna Kea, Hawaii differed in their UV screening capabilities. We further compared the degree to which TUV A varied along an elevation gradient in the native shrub Vaccinium reticulatum and the introduced forb Verbascum thapsus to evaluate whether these species differed in their abilities to adjust their levels of UV screening in response to elevation changes in UV-B. For plants growing in the Mauna Kea alpine/upper subalpine, we found that adaxial TUV A, measured with a UVA-PAM fluorometer, varied significantly among species but did not differ between native (mean = 6.0%; n = 8 and non-native (mean = 5.8%; n = 11 species. When data were pooled across native and non-native taxa, we also found no significant effect of growth form on TUV A, though woody plants (shrubs and trees were represented solely by native species whereas herbaceous growth forms (grasses and forbs were dominated by non-native species. Along an elevation gradient spanning 2600–3800 m, TUV A was variable (mean range = 6.0–11.2% and strongly correlated with elevation and relative biologically effective UV-B in the exotic V. thapsus; however, TUV A was consistently low (3% and did not vary with elevation in the native

  8. Ecology of some mire and bog plant communities in the Western Italian Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio BUFFA

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available During a mire vegetation study, conducted mainly in the subalpine-alpine sector of the Western Italian Alps, the ecology of several plant communities and numerous moss species of this kind of vegetation was evaluated. The study area covered the Piedmontese sector of the Graian Alps, the eastern sector of the Aosta Valley as well as certain localities of the Pennine Alps, the Canavese district and the Maritime Alps. They have a rocky substratum representative of the various regional lithologies and include the main sectors characterised by the highest precipitation. Three hundred and twenty two relevées were made using the phytosociological method and the pH and the conductivity of the water table and its depth were measured directly. Cluster Analysis allowed a classification of the samples and the identification of various groups of plant communities. Ordination performed by DCA and CCA allowed us to identify the ecological features of the various plant communities by using the values of the main environmental parameters, measured directly in the field, and certain climatic parameters (altitude and mean annual precipitation available. The use of climatic parameters is an important result for identifying communities which show greater oceanicity, something that is underlined also by the presence of indicator species such as Sphagnum papillosum and S. subnitens. Furthermore the communities are arranged in a "poor-rich" gradient, and are also profoundly influenced by depth to water table which is inversely correlated to the pH. Therefore we find certain kinds of communities all with a very low water table and which are little affected by its chemistry. Other groups share the fact that the water table is outcropping or near the surface and are distinguishable for their pH values and conductivity. We discuss the different response of the bryophytes and vascular plants of these communities to the environmental parameters considered, in light of their

  9. Microbial Community Analysis of Colored Snow from an Alpine Snowfield in Northern Japan Reveals the Prevalence of Betaproteobacteria with Snow Algae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mia Terashima

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Psychrophilic algae blooms can be observed coloring the snow during the melt season in alpine snowfields. These algae are important primary producers on the snow surface environment, supporting the microbial community that coexists with algae, which includes heterotrophic bacteria and fungi. In this study, we analyzed the microbial community of green and red-colored snow containing algae from Mount Asahi, Japan. We found that Chloromonas spp. are the dominant algae in all samples analyzed, and Chlamydomonas is the second-most abundant genus in the red snow. For the bacterial community profile, species belonging to the subphylum Betaproteobacteria were frequently detected in both green and red snow, while members of the phylum Bacteroidetes were also prominent in red snow. Furthermore, multiple independently obtained strains of Chloromonas sp. from inoculates of red snow resulted in the growth of Betaproteobacteria with the alga and the presence of bacteria appears to support growth of the xenic algal cultures under laboratory conditions. The dominance of Betaproteobacteria in algae-containing snow in combination with the detection of Chloromonas sp. with Betaproteobacteria strains suggest that these bacteria can utilize the available carbon source in algae-rich environments and may in turn promote algal growth.

  10. Extensive range persistence in peripheral and interior refugia characterizes Pleistocene range dynamics in a widespread Alpine plant species (Senecio carniolicus, Asteraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar García, Pedro; Winkler, Manuela; Flatscher, Ruth; Sonnleitner, Michaela; Krejčíková, Jana; Suda, Jan; Hülber, Karl; Schneeweiss, Gerald M; Schönswetter, Peter

    2012-03-01

    Recent evidence suggests that survival of arctic-alpine organisms in peripheral or interior glacial refugia are not mutually exclusive and may both be involved in shaping an organism's Pleistocene history, yet potentially at different time levels. Here, we test this hypothesis in a high-mountain plant (diploid lineage of Senecio carniolicus, Asteraceae) from the Eastern European Alps, in which patterns of morphological variation and current habitat requirements suggest survival in both types of refugia. To this end, we used AFLPs, nuclear and plastid DNA sequences and analysed them, among others, within a graph theoretic framework and using novel Bayesian methods of phylogeographic inference. On the basis of patterns of genetic diversity, occurrence of rare markers, distribution of distinct genetic lineages and patterns of range connectivity both interior refugia in the formerly strongly glaciated central Alps and peripheral refugia along the southern margin of the Alps were identified. The presence of refugia congruently inferred by markers resolving at different time levels suggests that these refugia acted as such throughout several glacial cycles. The high degree of range persistence together with gradual range expansion, which contrasts with the extent of range shifts implied for other Alpine species, is likely responsible for incipient lineage differentiation evident from the genetic data. Replacing a simplistic peripheral vs. interior refugia dualism by more complex models involving both types of refugia and considering different time levels will help identifying common phylogeographic patterns with respect to, for instance, location of refugia and colonization routes and elucidating their underlying genetic and/or ecological causes. DNA sequences have been deposited in GenBank under accession nos. FR796701–FR797793 and nos. HE614296–HE614583.

  11. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Mediation of Plant-Plant Interactions in a Marshland Plant Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Obligate aerobic AMF taxa have high species richness under waterlogged conditions, but their ecological role remains unclear. Here we focused on AM fungal mediation of plant interactions in a marshland plant community. Five cooccurring plant species were chosen for a neighbor removal experiment in which benomyl was used to suppress AMF colonization. A Phragmites australis removal experiment was also performed to study its role in promoting AMF colonization by increasing rhizosphere oxygen concentration. Mycorrhizal fungal effects on plant interactions were different for dominant and subdominant plant species. AMF colonization has driven positive neighbor effects for three subdominant plant species including Kummerowia striata, Leonurus artemisia, and Ixeris polycephala. In contrast, AMF colonization enhanced the negative effects of neighbors on the dominant Conyza canadensis and had no significant impact on the neighbor interaction to the dominant Polygonum pubescens. AM colonization was positively related to oxygen concentration. P. australis increased oxygen concentration, enhanced AMF colonization, and was thus indirectly capable of influencing plant interactions. Aerobic AM fungi appear to be ecologically relevant in this wetland ecosystem. They drive positive neighbor interactions for subdominant plant species, effectively increasing plant diversity. We suggest, therefore, that AM fungi may be ecologically important even under waterlogged conditions.

  12. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal mediation of plant-plant interactions in a marshland plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Sun, Qixiang; Koide, Roger T; Peng, Zhenhua; Zhou, Jinxing; Gu, Xungang; Gao, Weidong; Yu, Meng

    2014-01-01

    Obligate aerobic AMF taxa have high species richness under waterlogged conditions, but their ecological role remains unclear. Here we focused on AM fungal mediation of plant interactions in a marshland plant community. Five cooccurring plant species were chosen for a neighbor removal experiment in which benomyl was used to suppress AMF colonization. A Phragmites australis removal experiment was also performed to study its role in promoting AMF colonization by increasing rhizosphere oxygen concentration. Mycorrhizal fungal effects on plant interactions were different for dominant and subdominant plant species. AMF colonization has driven positive neighbor effects for three subdominant plant species including Kummerowia striata, Leonurus artemisia, and Ixeris polycephala. In contrast, AMF colonization enhanced the negative effects of neighbors on the dominant Conyza canadensis and had no significant impact on the neighbor interaction to the dominant Polygonum pubescens. AM colonization was positively related to oxygen concentration. P. australis increased oxygen concentration, enhanced AMF colonization, and was thus indirectly capable of influencing plant interactions. Aerobic AM fungi appear to be ecologically relevant in this wetland ecosystem. They drive positive neighbor interactions for subdominant plant species, effectively increasing plant diversity. We suggest, therefore, that AM fungi may be ecologically important even under waterlogged conditions.

  13. Plant toxicity, adaptive herbivory, and plant community dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhilan Feng; Rongsong Liu; Donald L. DeAngelis; John P. Bryant; Knut Kielland; F. Stuart Chapin; Robert K. Swihart

    2009-01-01

    We model effects of interspecific plant competition, herbivory, and a plant's toxic defenses against herbivores on vegetation dynamics. The model predicts that, when a generalist herbivore feeds in the absence of plant toxins, adaptive foraging generally increases the probability of coexistence of plant species populations, because the herbivore switches more of...

  14. Simulated heat waves affected alpine grassland only in combination with drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Boeck, Hans J.; Bassin, Seraina; Verlinden, Maya; Zeiter, Michaela; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2016-04-01

    The Alpine region is warming fast, leading to an increase in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Currently, it is unclear whether alpine ecosystems are sensitive or resistant to such extremes. In an experiment carried out in the Swiss Alps, we subjected Swiss alpine grassland communities to heat waves with varying intensity (5-10 °C warming) by transplanting monoliths to four different elevations (2440-660 m a.s.l.) for 17 days. Half of the monoliths were regularly irrigated while the other half were deprived of irrigation to additionally induce a drought at each site. We found that heat waves had no significant short-term impacts on fluorescence (Fv/Fm, a stress indicator), senescence and aboveground productivity if irrigation was provided. However, when heat waves coincided with drought, plants showed clear signs of stress, resulting in vegetation browning and reduced phytomass production. This likely resulted from direct drought effects, but also, as measurements of stomatal conductance and canopy temperatures suggest, from increased high-temperature stress as water scarcity decreased heat mitigation through transpiration. The immediate responses to heat waves (with or without droughts) recorded in these alpine grasslands were similar to those observed in the more extensively studied grasslands from temperate climates. Climate extreme impacts may differ in the longer run, however, because the short growing season in alpine environments likely constrains recovery.

  15. Phylogenetic conservatism and climate factors shape flowering phenology in alpine meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lanping; Li, Zhikuo; Cadotte, Marc W; Jia, Peng; Chen, Guanguang; Jin, Lanna S; Du, Guozhen

    2016-10-01

    The study of phylogenetic conservatism in alpine plant phenology is critical for predicting climate change impacts; currently we have a poor understanding of how phylogeny and climate factors interactively influence plant phenology. Therefore, we explored the influence of phylogeny and climate factors on flowering phenology in alpine meadows. For two different types of alpine plant communities, we recorded phenological data, including flowering peak, first flower budding, first flowering, first fruiting and the flowering end for 62 species over the course of 5 years (2008-2012). From sequences in two plastid regions, we constructed phylogenetic trees. We used Blomberg's K and Pagel's lambda to assess the phylogenetic signal in phenological traits and species' phenological responses to climate factors. We found a significant phylogenetic signal in the date of all reproductive phenological events and in species' phenological responses to weekly day length and temperature. The number of species in flower was strongly associated with the weekly day lengths and followed by the weekly temperature prior to phenological activity. Based on phylogenetic eigenvector regression (PVR) analysis, we found a highly shared influence of phylogeny and climate factors on alpine species flowering phenology. Our results suggest the phylogenetic conservatism in both flowering and fruiting phenology may depend on the similarity of responses to external environmental cues among close relatives.

  16. Ecological implications of reduced pollen supply in the alpine: a case study using a dominant cushion plant species [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/3xc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anya Reid

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The reproductive assurance hypothesis states that self-incompatible female plants must produce twice the number of seeds relative to their self-compatible hermaphroditic counterparts to persist in gynodioecious populations. This is a viable life-history strategy, provided that pollination rates are sufficiently high. However, reduced pollination rates in alpine plants are likely due to climate induced plant-pollinator mismatches and general declines in pollinators. Using a gynodioecious population of the dominant plant Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae, we tested the reproductive assurance hypothesis and also the stress gradient hypothesis with a series of pollinator exclusion trials and extensive measurements of subsequent reproductive output (gender ratio, plant size, percent fruit-set, fruit weight, seeds per fruit, total seeds, seed weight, and seed germination. The reproductive assurance hypothesis was supported with female plants being more sensitive to and less likely to be viable under reductions in pollination rates. These findings are the first to show that the stress gradient hypothesis is also supported under a gradient of pollen supply instead of environmental limitations. Beneficiary abundance was negatively correlated to percent fruit-set under current pollen supply, but became positive under reduced pollen supply suggesting that there are important plant-plant-pollinator interactions related to reproduction in these alpine plant species.

  17. Contrasting species-environment relationships in communities of testate amoebae, bryophytes and vascular plants along the fen-bog gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Lamentowicz, Lukasz; van der Knaap, Willem O; Gabka, Maciej; Mitchell, Edward A D

    2010-04-01

    We studied the vegetation, testate amoebae and abiotic variables (depth of the water table, pH, electrical conductivity, Ca and Mg concentrations of water extracted from mosses) along the bog to extremely rich fen gradient in sub-alpine peatlands of the Upper Engadine (Swiss Alps). Testate amoeba diversity was correlated to that of mosses but not of vascular plants. Diversity peaked in rich fen for testate amoebae and in extremely rich fen for mosses, while for testate amoebae and mosses it was lowest in bog but for vascular plants in extremely rich fen. Multiple factor and redundancy analyses (RDA) revealed a stronger correlation of testate amoebae than of vegetation to water table and hydrochemical variables and relatively strong correlation between testate amoeba and moss community data. In RDA, hydrochemical variables explained a higher proportion of the testate amoeba and moss data than water table depth. Abiotic variables explained a higher percentage of the species data for testate amoebae (30.3% or 19.5% for binary data) than for mosses (13.4%) and vascular plants (10%). These results show that (1) vascular plant, moss and testate amoeba communities respond differently to ecological gradients in peatlands and (2) testate amoebae are more strongly related than vascular plants to the abiotic factors at the mire surface. These differences are related to vertical trophic gradients and associated niche differentiation.

  18. Plant genetics shapes inquiline community structure across spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutsinger, Gregory M; Cadotte, Marc W; Sanders, Nathan J

    2009-04-01

    Recent research in community genetics has examined the effects of intraspecific genetic variation on species diversity in local communities. However, communities can be structured by a combination of both local and regional processes and to date, few community genetics studies have examined whether the effects of instraspecific genetic variation are consistent across levels of diversity. In this study, we ask whether host-plant genetic variation structures communities of arthropod inquilines within distinct habitat patches--rosette leaf galls on tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima). We found that genetic variation determined inquiline diversity at both local and regional spatial scales, but that trophic-level responses varied independently of one another. This result suggests that herbivores and predators likely respond to heritable plant traits at different spatial scales. Together, our results show that incorporating spatial scale is essential for predicting the effects of genetically variable traits on different trophic levels and levels of diversity within the communities that depend on host plants.

  19. Bacterial Communities Associated with Different Anthurium andraeanum L. Plant Tissues

    OpenAIRE

    Sarria-Guzmán, Yohanna; Chávez-Romero, Yosef; Gómez-Acata, Selene; Montes-Molina, Joaquín Adolfo; Morales-Salazar, Eleacin; Dendooven,Luc; Yendi E. Navarro-Noya

    2016-01-01

    Plant-associated microbes have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for plant health. The bacterial community structure of healthy Anthurium andraeanum L. plants was studied by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing associated with different plant parts and the rhizosphere. A limited number of bacterial taxa, i.e., Sinorhizobium, Fimbriimonadales, and Gammaproteobacteria HTCC2089 were enriched in the A. andraeanum rhizosphere. Endophytes were more diverse in the roots than in th...

  20. Plant community controls on short-term ecosystem nitrogen retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-05-01

    Retention of nitrogen (N) is a critical ecosystem function, especially in the face of widespread anthropogenic N enrichment; however, our understanding of the mechanisms involved is limited. Here, we tested under glasshouse conditions how plant community attributes, including variations in the dominance, diversity and range of plant functional traits, influence N uptake and retention in temperate grassland. We added a pulse of (15) N to grassland plant communities assembled to represent a range of community-weighted mean plant traits, trait functional diversity and divergence, and species richness, and measured plant and microbial uptake of (15) N, and leaching losses of (15) N, as a short-term test of N retention in the plant-soil system. Root biomass, herb abundance and dominant plant traits were the main determinants of N retention in the plant-soil system: greater root biomass and herb abundance, and lower root tissue density, increased plant (15) N uptake, while higher specific leaf area and root tissue density increased microbial (15) N uptake. Our results provide novel, mechanistic insight into the short-term fate of N in the plant-soil system, and show that dominant plant traits, rather than trait functional diversity, control the fate of added N in the plant-soil system.

  1. Complementarity in mineral nitrogen use among dominant plant species in a subalpine community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornon, André; Escaravage, Nathalie; Lamaze, Thierry

    2007-11-01

    The underlying mechanisms that enable plant species to coexist are poorly understood. Complementarity in resource use is among the major mechanisms proposed that could favor species coexistence but is insufficiently documented. In alpine soil, low temperatures are a major constraint for the supply of plant nitrogen. We carried out (15)N labeling of soil mineral N to determine to what extent four major species of a subalpine community compete for N, or develop ionic (NH(4)(+) vs. NO(3)(-)) or temporal complementarity. The Poaceae took up much more (15)N per soil area unit than the ericaceous species, and all species displayed three major strategies in exploiting (15)N: (1) uptake mainly early in the growing season (Vaccinium myrtillus), (2) uptake at a slow and similar rate throughout the growing season (Rhododendron ferrugineum), and (3) uptake at high rates over the growing season (Festuca eskia and Nardus stricta). However, while F. eskia used (15)NH(4)(+) mainly early and (15)NO(3)(-) mainly late in the growing season, the reverse was observed for N. stricta. Taking into account (15)N dilution in soil NH(4)(+) and NO(3)(-) pools, we calculated that NH(4)(+) provided more than 80% of the mineral N uptake in Ericaceae and about 60% in grasses. Together, such ionic and temporal complementarity would reduce competition between species and could be a major mechanism promoting species diversity.

  2. Plant toxicity, adaptive herbivory, and plant community dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Z.; Liu, R.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Bryant, J.P.; Kielland, K.; Stuart, Chapin F.; Swihart, R.K.

    2009-01-01

    We model effects of interspecific plant competition, herbivory, and a plant's toxic defenses against herbivores on vegetation dynamics. The model predicts that, when a generalist herbivore feeds in the absence of plant toxins, adaptive foraging generally increases the probability of coexistence of plant species populations, because the herbivore switches more of its effort to whichever plant species is more common and accessible. In contrast, toxin-determined selective herbivory can drive plant succession toward dominance by the more toxic species, as previously documented in boreal forests and prairies. When the toxin concentrations in different plant species are similar, but species have different toxins with nonadditive effects, herbivores tend to diversify foraging efforts to avoid high intakes of any one toxin. This diversification leads the herbivore to focus more feeding on the less common plant species. Thus, uncommon plants may experience depensatory mortality from herbivory, reducing local species diversity. The depensatory effect of herbivory may inhibit the invasion of other plant species that are more palatable or have different toxins. These predictions were tested and confirmed in the Alaskan boreal forest. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  3. Host plant species determines symbiotic bacterial community mediating suppression of plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Seung Ho; Scully, Erin D.; Peiffer, Michelle; Geib, Scott M.; Rosa, Cristina; Hoover, Kelli; Felton, Gary W.

    2017-01-01

    Herbivore associated bacteria are vital mediators of plant and insect interactions. Host plants play an important role in shaping the gut bacterial community of insects. Colorado potato beetles (CPB; Leptinotarsa decemlineata) use several Solanum plants as hosts in their natural environment. We previously showed that symbiotic gut bacteria from CPB larvae suppressed jasmonate (JA)-induced defenses in tomato. However, little is known about how changes in the bacterial community may be involved in the manipulation of induced defenses in wild and cultivated Solanum plants of CPB. Here, we examined suppression of JA-mediated defense in wild and cultivated hosts of CPB by chemical elicitors and their symbiotic bacteria. Furthermore, we investigated associations between the gut bacterial community and suppression of plant defenses using 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Symbiotic bacteria decreased plant defenses in all Solanum hosts and there were different gut bacterial communities in CPB fed on different host plants. When larvae were reared on different hosts, defense suppression differed among host plants. These results demonstrate that host plants influence herbivore gut bacterial communities and consequently affect the herbivore’s ability to manipulate JA-mediated plant defenses. Thus, the presence of symbiotic bacteria that suppress plant defenses might help CPB adapt to host plants. PMID:28045052

  4. Plant communities of the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A plant community analysis was performed as per a request by Dr. Thomas J. Rice of Cal Poly State University to enhance the detailed soil survey of Pixley National...

  5. Fire-Dependent Plant Communities (burn_plan_p)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Park Service, Department of the Interior — The Fire-Dependent Plant Communities (burn_plan_p) data layer was developed in conjunction with the St Croix National Scenic Riverway's Fire Management Plan. It...

  6. Phylogeography of an alpine plant (Bupleurum smithii, Apiaceae) endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and adjacent regions inferred from chloroplast DNA sequence variation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cai ZHAO; Xiang-Guang MA; Qian-Long LIANG; Chang-Bao WANG; Xing-Jin HE

    2013-01-01

    To obtain a better understanding of how Quaternary climatic oscillations influenced range distributions and intraspecific split of alpine plants on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and in adjacent regions,we investigated the extant phylogeographical structure of Bupleurum smithii in this area based on 22 populations and 103 individuals spanning the entire distribution region of this species using chloroplast DNA sequences.Two major haplotype lineages were identified,and at least two corresponding glacial refugia maintaining in the northeastern and eastern edge of the QTP during the Last Glacial Maximum were revealed.Secondary contact between populations and efficient gene flow were also found between two major haplotype lineages.In addition,based on the geographic distribution of haplotypes,we found that populations on the platform derived from individuals that recolonized this area from refugia situated at the northeastem and eastern edges of the QTP,and that B.smithii recolonized from southern to northern China during inter-and post-glacial periods.

  7. Nitrogen transformation in alpine soils of the Northern Caucasus: effect of nitrogen source and low temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarov, Mikhail; Ermak, Anton; Malysheva, Tatiana; Mulyukova, Olga

    2010-05-01

    The alpine landscape supports a variety of plant communities whose distribution corresponds to their topographic position. Topography controls snow accumulation and hence soil winter temperature, length of growing season and soil water availability. The research was conducted at the Teberda Biosphere Reserve (Northern Caucasus, Russia). The study sites were located at Mt. Malaya Khatipara (43°27'N, 41°42'E) between 2700 and 2750 m a.s.l. The investigated toposequence was representative of the soil and plant community associations in the alpine zone of the Teberda Reserve: the wind-exposed ridges and upper slopes are covered by low-productive alpine lichen heaths; intermediate topographic positions are occupied by the most productive grasslands and meadows; the slope bottom is occupied by low-productive snowbed community. Under intensive snow cover accumulation typical for many alpine ecosystems, the temperature of soil within winter makes nearby 0 °C, while in case of absence or thin snow cover, characteristic for a lichen heath, the temperature can fall to -10 °C. The influence of nitrogen source, low temperatures and soil drying on processes of nitrogen mineralization, nitrification and plant/microbial immobilization was studied in the field and laboratory incubation experiments. 15N labeled ammonium, nitrate, glycine and aspartic acid were injected in situ before growth of aboveground biomass into the soil of lichen heath to investigate how the different nitrogen sources was subsequently utilized and cycled in the ecosystem. We analyzed the distribution of 15N between plants, soil microorganisms and different soil nitrogen compounds during all growing season in order to reveal differences for separate nitrogen sources. We concluded that the soil microorganisms were more efficient than plants in nitrogen uptake (especially amino acids) under natural conditions. In the laboratory, fresh and dry-rewetted soils of different alpine ecosystems were incubated at

  8. Independent variations of plant and soil mixtures reveal soil feedback effects on plant community overyielding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, M.; Mommer, L.; Caluwe, de H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Putten, van der W.H.; Kroon, de H.

    2013-01-01

    1. Recent studies have shown that the positive relationship between plant diversity and plant biomass ('overyielding') can be explained by soil pathogens depressing productivity more in low than in high diverse plant communities. However, tests of such soil effects in field studies were constrained

  9. Independent variations of plant and soil mixtures reveal soil feedback effects on plant community overyielding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, M.; Mommer, L.; De Caluwe, H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Van der Putten, W.H.; De Kroon, H.

    2013-01-01

    * Recent studies have shown that the positive relationship between plant diversity and plant biomass (‘overyielding’) can be explained by soil pathogens depressing productivity more in low than in high diverse plant communities. However, tests of such soil effects in field studies were constrained b

  10. Host plant species determines symbiotic bacterial community mediating suppression of plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbivore associated bacteria are vital mediators of plant and insect interactions. Host plants play an important role in shaping the gut bacterial community of insects. Colorado potato beetles (CPB; Leptinotarsa decemlineata) use several Solanum plants as hosts in their natural environment. We prev...

  11. On community matrix theory in experimental plant ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. F. Dormann

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available In multi-species communities the stability of a system is difficult to assess from field observations. This is the case for example for competitive interactions in plant communities. If a mathematical model can be formulated that underlies the processes in the community, a community matrix can be constructed whose elements represent the effects of each species onto every other (and itself at equilibrium. The most common competition model is the Lotka-Volterra equation set. It contains interspecific competition coefficients to represent the interactions between species. In plant community ecology several attempts have been made to quantify competitive interactions and to assemble a community matrix, so far with limited success. In this paper we discuss a method to use pairwise interaction coefficients from experimental plant communities to analyse feasibility and stability of multi-species sets. The approach is contrasted with that of Wilson and Roxburgh (1992 and is illustrated using data from Roxburgh and Wilson (2000a. Results from Wilson and from this study differ (some times substantially, with our approach being more pessimistic about stability and coexistence in plant communities.

  12. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  13. Contrasting effects of different mammalian herbivores on sagebrush plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari E Veblen

    Full Text Available Herbivory by both grazing and browsing ungulates shapes the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems worldwide, and both types of herbivory have been implicated in major ecosystem state changes. Despite the ecological consequences of differences in diets and feeding habits among herbivores, studies that experimentally distinguish effects of grazing from spatially co-occurring, but temporally segregated browsing are extremely rare. Here we use a set of long-term exclosures in northern Utah, USA, to determine how domestic grazers vs. wild ungulate herbivores (including browsers and mixed feeders affect sagebrush-dominated plant communities that historically covered ~62 million ha in North America. We sampled plant community properties and found that after 22 years grazing and browsing elicited perceptible changes in overall plant community composition and distinct responses by individual plant species. In the woody layer of the plant community, release from winter and spring wild ungulate herbivory increased densities of larger Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata, ssp. wyomingensis at the expense of small sagebrush, while disturbance associated with either cattle or wild ungulate activity alone was sufficient to increase bare ground and reduce cover of biological soil crusts. The perennial bunchgrass, bottlebrush squirretail (Elymus elymoides, responded positively to release from summer cattle grazing, and in turn appeared to competitively suppress another more grazing tolerant perennial grass, Sandberg's blue grass (Poa secunda. Grazing by domestic cattle also was associated with increased non-native species biomass. Together, these results illustrate that ungulate herbivory has not caused sagebrush plant communities to undergo dramatic state shifts; however clear, herbivore-driven shifts are evident. In a dry, perennial-dominated system where plant community changes can occur very slowly, our results provide insights into

  14. Stability of alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Huakun; ZHOU Li; ZHAO Xinquan; LIU Wei; LI Yingnian; GU Song; ZHOU Xinmin

    2006-01-01

    The meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is considered to be sensitive to climate change. An understanding of the alpine meadow ecosystem is therefore important for predicting the response of ecosystems to climate change. In this study, we use the coefficients of variation (Cv) and stability (E) obtained from the Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station to characterize the ecosystem stability. The results suggest that the net primary production of the alpine meadow ecosystem was more stable (Cv = 13.18%) than annual precipitation (Cv = 16.55%) and annual mean air temperature (Cv = 28.82%). The net primary production was insensitive to either the precipitation (E = 0.0782) or air temperature (E = 0.1113). In summary, the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau is much stable. Comparison of alpine meadow ecosystem stability with other five natural grassland ecosystems in Israel and southern African indicates that the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is the most stable ecosystem. The alpine meadow ecosystem with relatively simple structure has high stability, which indicates that community stability is not only correlated with biodiversity and community complicity but also with environmental stability. An average oscillation cycles of 3―4 years existed in annual precipitation, annual mean air temperature, net primary production and the population size of consumers at the Haibei natural ecosystem. The high stability of the alpine meadow ecosystem may be resulting also from the adaptation of the ecosystem to the alpine environment.

  15. Conservation and restoration of indigenous plants to improve community livelihoods: the Useful Plants Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

    Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership (MSBP) is one of the largest ex situ plant conservation initiatives, which is focused on saving plants in and from regions most at risk, particularly in drylands. Seeds are collected and stored in seed banks in the country of origin and duplicated in the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK. The MSBP also strengthens the capacity of local communities to successfully conserve and sustainably use indigenous plants, which are important for their wellbeing. Since 2007, high quality seed collections and research information have been gathered on ca. 700 useful indigenous plant species that were selected by communities in Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Mexico and South Africa through Project MGU - The Useful Plants Project. These communities range from various farmer's groups and organisations to traditional healers, organic cotton/crop producers and primary schools. The information on seed conservation and plant propagation was used to train communities and to propagate ca. 200 species that were then planted in local gardens, and as species reintroduced for reforestation programmes and enriching village forests. Experimental plots have also been established to further investigate the field performance (plant survival and growth rate) of indigenous species, using low cost procedures. In addition, the activities support revenue generation for local communities directly through the sustainable use of plant products or indirectly through wider environmental and cultural services. This project has confirmed the potential of biodiversity conservation to improve food security and human health, enhance community livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of land and people to the changing climate. This approach of using indigenous species and having local communities play a central role from the selection of species to their planting and establishment, supported by complementary research, may represent a model for other regions of the world, where

  16. Influence of plant community composition on biomass production in planted grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henschell, Max A; Webster, Christopher R; Flaspohler, David J; Fortin, Chad R

    2015-01-01

    United States energy policy mandates increased use of renewable fuels. Restoring grasslands could contribute to a portion of this requirement through biomass harvest for bioenergy use. We investigated which plant community characteristics are associated with differences in biomass yield from a range of realistic native prairie plantings (n = 11; i.e., conservation planting, restoration, and wildlife cover). Our primary goal was to understand whether patterns in plant community composition and the Floristic Quality Index (FQI) were related to productivity as evidenced by dormant season biomass yield. FQI is an objective measure of how closely a plant community represents that of a pre-European settlement community. Our research was conducted in planted fields of native tallgrass prairie species, and provided a gradient in floristic quality index, species richness, species diversity, and species evenness in south-central Wisconsin during 2008 and 2009. We used a network of 15 randomly located 1 m2 plots within each field to characterize the plant community and estimate biomass yield by clipping the plots at the end of each growing season. While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05). Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models. Concordantly, plots with biomass yield in the lowest quartile (biomass yield biomass yield > 5800 kh/ha). Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity.

  17. Microbial community structure in the rhizosphere of rice plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björn eBreidenbach

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The microbial community in the rhizosphere environment is critical for the health of land plants and the processing of soil organic matter. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which rice plants shape the microbial community in rice field soil over the course of a growing season. Rice (Oryza sativa was cultivated under greenhouse conditions in rice field soil from Vercelli, Italy and the microbial community in the rhizosphere of planted soil microcosms was characterized at four plant growth stages using quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag analysis and compared to that of unplanted bulk soil. The abundances of 16S rRNA genes in the rice rhizosphere were on average twice that of unplanted bulk soil, indicating a stimulation of microbial growth in the rhizosphere. Soil environment type (i.e. rhizosphere versus bulk soil had a greater effect on the community structure than did time (e.g. plant growth stage. Numerous phyla were affected by the presence of rice plants, but the strongest effects were observed for Gemmatimonadetes, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. With respect to functional groups of microorganisms, potential iron reducers (e.g. Geobacter, Anaeromyxobacter and fermenters (e.g. Clostridiaceae, Opitutaceae were notably enriched in the rhizosphere environment. A Herbaspirillum species was always more abundant in the rhizosphere than bulk soil and was enriched in the rhizosphere during the early stage of plant growth.

  18. Contemporary gene flow and mating system of Arabis alpina in a Central European alpine landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Buehler, D.; Graf, R; Holderegger, R; Gugerli, F.

    2017-01-01

    Background and Aims Gene flow is important in counteracting the divergence of populations but also in spreading genes among populations. However, contemporary gene flow is not well understood across alpine landscapes. The aim of this study was to estimate contemporary gene flow through pollen and to examine the realized mating system in the alpine perennial plant, Arabis alpina (Brassicaceae). Methods An entire sub-alpine to alpine landscape of 2 km2 was exhaustively sampled in the Swiss Alps...

  19. Alpine Ecosystems of Northwest Yunnan, China: an Initial Assessment for Conservation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Implementing conservation actions on-the-ground is not a straightforward process,especially when faced with high scientific uncertainty due to limited available information. This is especially acute in regions of the world that harbor many unique species that have not been well studied, such as the alpine zone of the Hengduan Mountains of Northwest Yunnan (NWY), a global biodiversity hotspot and site of The Nature Conservancy's Yunnan Great Rivers Project. We conducted a quantitative, but rapid regional-level assessment of the alpine flora across NWY to provide a broad-based understanding of local and regional patterns of the alpine flora, the first large-scale analysis of alpine biodiversity patterns in this region. Multivariate analyses were used to classify the major plant community types and link community patterns to habitat variables. Our analysis indicated that most species had small distributions and/or small population sizes. Strong patterns emerged with higher diversity in the more northern mountains, but beta diversity was high, averaging only 10% among sites. The ordinations indicated that elevation and geographic location were the dominant environmental gradients underlying the differences in the species composition among communities. The high beta diversity across the alpine of these mountains implies that conservation strategies ultimately will require the protection of large numbers of species over a large geographical area. However, prioritization should be given to areas where potential payoffs are greatest. Sites with high species richness also have a greater number of endemic species, and, by focusing efforts on these sites, conservation investments would be maximized by protecting the greatest number of unique species.

  20. Differentiation in drought tolerance mirrors the geographic distributions of alpine plants on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and adjacent highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Li-Hua; Yang, Jie; Guo, Wen; Tian, Bin; Chen, Guang-Jie; Yang, Yong-Ping; Duan, Yuan-Wen

    2017-01-01

    Climatic tolerance, especially drought tolerance, is one of the major factors shaping the geographic distributions of plant species. Thus, the general decline in rainfall from the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains (HHM) to the inner Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) might account for the significant differences in species distributions and richness between the two regions. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a water stress experiment using four Anisodus species (A. tanguticus, A. luridus, A. carniolicoides and A. acutangulus), which were treated with different levels of water stress in a glasshouse, and examined their differences in physiological responses. The results suggest that A. tanguticus, which inhabits the inner QTP, generally has higher fitness under severe water stress than the other species based on its high root:shoot ratio, long-term water use efficiency and photosynthetic rate, indicating that it possesses a genetically based drought tolerance mechanism. Our results suggest that plant species inhabiting the inner QTP may be more drought tolerant than those inhabiting the HHM regions. This provides a new example supporting the hypothesis that climatic tolerance plays a major role in shaping plant distributions on the QTP and its adjacent highlands and presents new insights into the patterns of geographic distribution and diversity of the plants inhabiting these areas. PMID:28195162

  1. Effects of grassland vegetation restorations on poisonous plants in alpine meadow%草地植被恢复措施对高寒草甸有毒植物的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏斌; 葛庆征; 张灵菲; 张燕堃; 李娜娜; 张卫国; 江小雷

    2012-01-01

    In order to verify effects of different grassland vegetation restorations on species composition, diversity and biomass of poisonous plants in alpine meadow, the sample plots of natural grassland were imposed with sward ripping, reseeding, fertilization and integrated treatments. The results showed that there were significant differences in species compositions and proportions of poisonous plants in different sample plots (P〈0.05). Compared with the control, the species number and Shannon-Wiener index of poisonous plants in the communities were reduced significantly by treatments of reseeding, sward ripping and fertilization (P〈0.05). The order of species number and Shannon-Wiener index of poisonous plants in different sample plots was reseeding〈fertilization=integrated treatments sward ripping 〈 control and rcseeding〈sward ripping〈fertilization〈control〈integrated treatments, respectively. At the same time, reseeding, fertilization and integrated treatments reduced the aboveground biomass of poisonous plants effectively (P〈0.05), but the sward ripping increased their aboveground biomass (P〉0.05). The order of aboveground biomass of poisonous plants was reseeding 〈 integrated treatments 〈 fertilization control〈ward ripping. In the reseeding plots, Elymus nutans became a single dominant community so that the species number, diversity index and aboveground biomass of poisonous plants were dropped to the lowest points. Thus, to improve the degraded grassland of noxious and miscellaneous grass type, reseeding is regarded as one of the optimal measures for grassland restoration.%通过对高寒草甸天然草地实施划破、补播、施肥及综合处理,探讨了不同草地植被恢复措施对高寒草甸有毒植物物种组成、多样性及生物量的影响。结果表明,不同处理草地中,有毒植物的组成及比例差异显著(P〈0.05)。与对照相比,补播、划破和施肥均不同程度地降低了群落

  2. Rapid response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities to short-term fertilization in an alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingjia Xiang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP is home to the vast grassland in China. The QTP grassland ecosystem has been seriously degraded by human land use practices and climate change. Fertilization is used in this region to increase vegetation yields for grazers. The impact of long-term fertilization on plant and microbial communities has been studied extensively. However, the influence of short-term fertilization on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF communities in the QTP is largely unknown, despite their important functional role in grassland ecosystems. Methods: We investigated AMF community responses to three years of N and/or P addition at an experimental field site on the QTP, using the Illumina MiSeq platform (PE 300. Results: Fertilization resulted in a dramatic shift in AMF community composition and NP addition significantly increased AMF species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Aboveground biomass, available phosphorus, and NO3− were significantly correlated with changes in AMF community structure. Changes in these factors were driven by fertilization treatments. Thus, fertilization had a large impact on AMF communities, mediated by changes in aboveground productivity and soil chemistry. Discussion: Prior work has shown how plants often lower their reliance on AMF symbioses following fertilization, leading to decrease AMF abundance and diversity. However, our study reports a rise in AMF diversity with fertilization treatment. Because AMF can provide stress tolerance to their hosts, we suggest that extreme weather on the QTP may help drive a positive relationship between fertilizer amendment and AMF diversity.

  3. Nitrogen Fixing Legumes in the Plant Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A.A. Al-Fredan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problems statement: Numerous authors have used energetic to explain the ecological success of N-fixing plants. Legume biodiversity assessment, species dynamics, nitrogen fixation monitoring and environment impact assessment of these ecological events in Al-Hassa Oasis, Saudi Arabia are rare and need to be continuous and more frequent. Approach: Thus the objectives of this study were to analyze legume abundance within and outside Al-Hassa Oasis and relate it to the distribution of the different genera. Results: Thirty two legume plant species from 20 genera have been recorded within and outside the Oasis. The largest genera were Cassia (4 species, Indigofera (4 and Acacia (3. Annual herbs were the dominant growth form (34% of species recorded, followed by shrubs (28%, perennial herbs (19% and trees (19%. Eighteen alien plant species were recorded (maybe an underestimated number. The nitrogen fixation of the legume plant species in Al-Hassa Oasis was estimated/analyzing the fixing potentiality of these species and nonfixing reference species (Panicum turgidum using the 15N natural abundance method. Species with great nitrogen fixing capacity in Al-Hassa include: Medicago sativa, Vicia faba, Vicia sativa, Melitotus indicus, Dolicus lablab, Melitotus alba and Cliforia ternate. The mean biological fixation contribution of most of the recorded legume plants were high, varying from 3.9% (Indigofera argentea to 64.6% (Medicago sativa. Conclusion: Al-Hassa Oasis is richer than expected based on its location within the desert zone. This study confirms the importance of the Oasis for national flora conservation in the Kingdom. results showed a good potential for use of the 15N natural abundance methodology for evaluating the nitrogen fixation ability of the legume plants under field conditions as well as for the estimation of %Ndfa.

  4. Plant community succession in modern Yellow River Delta, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Data were collected in different successional stages using a simultaneous sampling method and analyzed through quantitative classification method. Three large groups and 12 classes were made to represent the community patterns of three succession stages and 12 succession communities. The succession series of plant community in the study area was as follows:saline bare land→community Suaeda salsa→community Tamarix chinensis→grassland. Succession degree and succession process of 12 succession communities were calculated. Most of these communities were in the lower succession stage, however,community Phragmites communis+Glycine soja and community Imperata cylindrica+G. soja were close to the succession stage of grassland climax. Five species diversity indices were used to study the changes in species richness, species evenness and diversity during succession of community. Heterogeneity index and richness index increased gradually during the community succession process, but species evenness tended to decrease with succession development. The relation between succession and environment was studied by ordination technique, and the results showed that the soil salt content was an important factor to halarch succession of the modern Yellow River Delta. It affected community structure, species composition and succession process.

  5. Models of plant populations and communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huston, M.

    1990-01-01

    This document is the overview of the plant section in the book, {und Individual-Based Models and Approaches in Ecology}. A brief description of each of the chapters is provided, as well as a comparison of the models presented in each chapter. Four of the six chapters deal with single species interactions, one dealt with a two species system (plants and pollinators) and one deals with multispecies interactions. Both i-state distribution models and i-state configuration models are discussed. (MHB)

  6. A Proposed Aquatic Plant Community Biotic Index for Wisconsin Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Stanley; Weber, Steven; Shaw, Byron

    2000-11-01

    The Aquatic Macrophyte Community Index (AMCI) is a multipurpose tool developed to assess the biological quality of aquatic plant communities in lakes. It can be used to specifically analyze aquatic plant communities or as part of a multimetric system to assess overall lake quality for regulatory, planning, management, educational, or research purposes. The components of the index are maximum depth of plant growth; percentage of the littoral zone vegetated; Simpson's diversity index; the relative frequencies of submersed, sensitive, and exotic species; and taxa number. Each parameter was scaled based on data distributions from a statewide database, and scaled values were totaled for the AMCI value. AMCI values were grouped and tested by ecoregion and lake type (natural lakes and impoundments) to define quality on a regional basis. This analysis suggested that aquatic plant communities are divided into four groups: (1) Northern Lakes and Forests lakes and impoundments, (2) North-Central Hardwood Forests lakes and impoundments, (3) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains lakes, and (4) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains impoundments, Driftless Area Lakes, and Mississippi River Backwater lakes. AMCI values decline from group 1 to group 4 and reflect general water quality and human use trends in Wisconsin. The upper quartile of AMCI values in any region are the highest quality or benchmark plant communities. The interquartile range consists of normally impacted communities for the region and the lower quartile contains severely impacted or degraded plant communities. When AMCI values were applied to case studies, the values reflected known impacts to the lakes. However, quality criteria cannot be used uncritically, especially in lakes that initially have low nutrient levels.

  7. Major plant communities of the Marakele National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.J. van Staden

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available To manage and conserve any national park efficiently, a profound knowledge of the ecology is a prerequisite, and to achieve that an inventory of the biotic and abiotic components must be undertaken. As a contribution to such a program this information was collected for Marakele National Park. The study area covers 290.51 km² in the southwestern part of the Limpopo Province. The underlying parent rock of the study area is sandstone, shale and mudstone with several diabase dykes. The soils range from shallow to deep sandy soils on sandstone and clayey soils on diabase and mudstone. The rainfall varies from 556 mm to 630 mm per annum, mainly during the summer months. The study area experiences warm summers with temperatures of up to 32 ºC and cool, dry winters with frost in the low-lying areas. The vegetation of the study area was classified in a hierarchical, plant sociological system by using TWINSPAN and the Braun - Blanquet technique. The floristic data from 130 relevés were classified to identify five major plant communities, namely one forest community, three savanna/grassland communities and one wetland community. These plant communities were ecologically interpreted by habitat.The phytosociological table was condensed to a synoptic table to describe the major plant communities.

  8. Experiment, monitoring, and gradient methods used to infer climate change effects on plant communities yield consistent patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Henry, Gregory H R; Hollister, Robert D; Fosaa, Anna Maria; Gould, William A; Hermanutz, Luise; Hofgaard, Annika; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg S; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg I; Jorgenson, Janet C; Lévesque, Esther; Magnusson, Borgþór; Molau, Ulf; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Oberbauer, Steven F; Rixen, Christian; Tweedie, Craig E; Walker, Marilyn D; Walker, Marilyn

    2015-01-13

    Inference about future climate change impacts typically relies on one of three approaches: manipulative experiments, historical comparisons (broadly defined to include monitoring the response to ambient climate fluctuations using repeat sampling of plots, dendroecology, and paleoecology techniques), and space-for-time substitutions derived from sampling along environmental gradients. Potential limitations of all three approaches are recognized. Here we address the congruence among these three main approaches by comparing the degree to which tundra plant community composition changes (i) in response to in situ experimental warming, (ii) with interannual variability in summer temperature within sites, and (iii) over spatial gradients in summer temperature. We analyzed changes in plant community composition from repeat sampling (85 plant communities in 28 regions) and experimental warming studies (28 experiments in 14 regions) throughout arctic and alpine North America and Europe. Increases in the relative abundance of species with a warmer thermal niche were observed in response to warmer summer temperatures using all three methods; however, effect sizes were greater over broad-scale spatial gradients relative to either temporal variability in summer temperature within a site or summer temperature increases induced by experimental warming. The effect sizes for change over time within a site and with experimental warming were nearly identical. These results support the view that inferences based on space-for-time substitution overestimate the magnitude of responses to contemporary climate warming, because spatial gradients reflect long-term processes. In contrast, in situ experimental warming and monitoring approaches yield consistent estimates of the magnitude of response of plant communities to climate warming.

  9. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced...... exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species...... in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional...

  10. PLANT COMMUNITIES ON COASTAL DUNES IN LAZIO (ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. STANISCI

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the paper is to describe the conservation state of the dune plant communities of Lazio (central Italy, using both original and already published phytosociological relevés. This case study in particular analyses the effects of human disturbance on the species composition and the vegetation zonation in coastal sandy landscape, already classified in three land facets. 13 plant associations were recognised and 9 of them were identified as potential natural vegetation types for the sandy coastal ecosystems of Lazio. Incidence of ruderal species and alien taxa were calculated for each plant community and for each land facet. The results have produced evidence that, even if Lazio coastline is largely occupied by human settlements or infrastructures, several sites still preserve an high plant communities diversity and few alien taxa inside the natural habitats occur. On the contrary where the human impact is intense, dune plant communities disappear or if they are still present, the vegetation zonation is incomplete, ruderals are abundant and alien species are locally common. A data-base of dune plant diversity was realised for a monitoring purpose.

  11. Plant reproduction is altered by simulated herbicide drift toconstructed plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbicide drift may have unintended impacts on native vegetation, adversely affecting structure and function of plant communities. However, these potential effects have been rarely studied or quantified. To determine potential ecological effects of herbicide drift, we construct...

  12. Plant communities along the Eerste River, Western Cape, South Africa: Community descriptions and implications for restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clifton S. Meek

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Riparian plant communities fulfil many functions, including the provision of corridors linking protected areas and other zones of high conservation value. These habitats across much of South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region, especially in the lowlands, have been heavily impacted and degraded by human activities. There is increasing interest in the restoration of degraded riparian zones and the ecosystem services they provide to enhance the conservation value of landscapes. Previous studies of riparian vegetation in the Cape Floristic Region focused on pristine headwater systems, and little is known about human-impacted communities that make up most of the riparian vegetation in downstream areas. More information is needed on the composition of these plant communities to establish a baseline for management intervention. The riparian zone of the Eerste River in South Africa’s Western Cape province provides a good opportunity to study the features of riparian vegetation along the entire gradient, from pristine vegetation in a protected area through different levels of human-mediated degradation. Riparian vegetation was surveyed in 150 plots along the entire length of the Eerste River (ca. 40 km. Data were analysed using the vegetation classification and analysis software package JUICE. Final groupings were plotted onto a two-dimensional detrended correspondence analysis plane to check the position of the communities in the reduced multidimensional space. Ten distinct plant communities were identified, including several novel communities dominated by alien plant species. Descriptions of each plant community are presented. Diagnostic, constant and dominant species are listed and the major structural and ecological characteristics of each community are described. Conservation implications: Major changes to hydrological and soil properties, nutrient dynamics and disturbance regimes and plant species composition along sections of the riparian zone

  13. Functionally and phylogenetically diverse plant communities key to soil biota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milcu, Alexandru; Allan, Eric; Roscher, Christiane; Jenkins, Tania; Meyer, Sebastian T; Flynn, Dan; Bessler, Holger; Buscot, François; Engels, Christof; Gubsch, Marlén; König, Stephan; Lipowsky, Annett; Loranger, Jessy; Renker, Carsten; Scherber, Christoph; Schmid, Bernhard; Thébault, Elisa; Wubet, Tesfaye; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2013-08-01

    Recent studies assessing the role of biological diversity for ecosystem functioning indicate that the diversity of functional traits and the evolutionary history of species in a community, not the number of taxonomic units, ultimately drives the biodiversity--ecosystem-function relationship. Here, we simultaneously assessed the importance of plant functional trait and phylogenetic diversity as predictors of major trophic groups of soil biota (abundance and diversity), six years from the onset of a grassland biodiversity experiment. Plant functional and phylogenetic diversity were generally better predictors of soil biota than the traditionally used species or functional group richness. Functional diversity was a reliable predictor for most biota, with the exception of soil microorganisms, which were better predicted by phylogenetic diversity. These results provide empirical support for the idea that the diversity of plant functional traits and the diversity of evolutionary lineages in a community are important for maintaining higher abundances and diversity of soil communities.

  14. Effects of diversity and identity of the neighbouring plant community on the abundance of arthropods onindividual ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostenko, O.; Grootemaat, S.; Putten, van der W.H.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2012-01-01

    The diversity of plant community can greatly affect the abundance and diversity of arthropods associated to that community, but can also influence the composition or abundance of arthropods on individual plants growing in that community. We sampled arthropods and recorded plant size of individual

  15. Response of the phytoplankton community to water quality in a local alpine glacial lake of Xinjiang Tianchi, China: potential drivers and management implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiaotian; Song, Shuai; Lu, Yonglong; Wang, Tieyu; Liu, Zhaoyang; Li, Qifeng; Zhang, Meng; Suriyanarayanan, Sarvajayakesavalu; Jenkins, Alan

    2017-08-31

    Eutrophication has become one of the most serious threats to aquatic ecosystems in the world. With the combined drivers of climate change and human activities, eutrophication has expanded from warm shallow lakes to cold-water lakes in relatively high latitude regions and has raised greater concerns over lake aquatic ecosystem health. A two-year field study was carried out to investigate water quality, phytoplankton characteristics and eutrophication status in a typical alpine glacial lake of Tianchi, a scenic area and an important drinking water source in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, in 2014 and 2015. Clear seasonal and annual variations of nutrients and organic pollutants were found especially during rainy seasons. For the phytoplankton community, Bacillariophyta held the dominant position in terms of both species and biomass throughout the year, suggesting the dominant characteristics of diatoms in the phytoplankton structure in such a high-altitude cold-water lake. This was quite different from plain and warm lakes troubled with cyanobacterial blooming. Moreover, the dominant abundance of Cyclotella sp. in Tianchi might suggest regional warming caused by climate change, which might have profound effects on the local ecosystems and hydrological cycle. Based on water quality parameters, a comprehensive trophic level index TLI (Σ) was calculated to estimate the current status of eutrophication, and the results inferred emerging eutrophication in Tianchi. Results from Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) and correlation analysis of phytoplankton genera and physico-chemical variables of water indicated that abiotic factors significantly influenced the phytoplankton community and its succession in Tianchi Lake. These abiotic factors could explain 77.82% of the total variance, and ammonium was identified as the most discriminant variable, which could explain 41% of the total variance followed by TP (29%). An estimation of annual nutrient loadings to

  16. Bacterial Communities Associated with Different Anthurium andraeanum L. Plant Tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarria-Guzmán, Yohanna; Chávez-Romero, Yosef; Gómez-Acata, Selene; Montes-Molina, Joaquín Adolfo; Morales-Salazar, Eleacin; Dendooven, Luc; Navarro-Noya, Yendi E.

    2016-01-01

    Plant-associated microbes have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for plant health. The bacterial community structure of healthy Anthurium andraeanum L. plants was studied by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing associated with different plant parts and the rhizosphere. A limited number of bacterial taxa, i.e., Sinorhizobium, Fimbriimonadales, and Gammaproteobacteria HTCC2089 were enriched in the A. andraeanum rhizosphere. Endophytes were more diverse in the roots than in the shoots, whereas all shoot endophytes were found in the roots. Streptomyces, Flavobacterium succinicans, and Asteroleplasma were only found in the roots, Variovorax paradoxus only in the stem, and Fimbriimonas 97%-OTUs only in the spathe, i.e., considered specialists, while Brevibacillus, Lachnospiraceae, Pseudomonas, and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes were generalist and colonized all plant parts. The anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria Lachnospiraceae, Clostridium sp., and Clostridium bifermentans colonized the shoot system. Phylotypes belonging to Pseudomonas were detected in the rhizosphere and in the substrate (an equiproportional mixture of soil, cow manure, and peat), and dominated the endosphere. Pseudomonas included nine 97%-OTUs with different patterns of distribution and phylogenetic affiliations with different species. P. pseudoalcaligenes and P. putida dominated the shoots, but were also found in the roots and rhizosphere. P. fluorescens was present in all plant parts, while P. resinovorans, P. denitrificans, P. aeruginosa, and P. stutzeri were only detected in the substrate and rhizosphere. The composition of plant-associated bacterial communities is generally considered to be suitable as an indicator of plant health. PMID:27524305

  17. Negative Plant-Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonanomi, G.; Rietkerk, M.; Dekker, S.C.; Mazzoleni, S.

    2005-01-01

    Increasing evidence shows that facilitative interaction and negative plant¿soil feedback are driving factors of plant population dynamics and community processes. We studied the intensity and the relative impact of negative feedback on clonal growth and seed germination of Scirpus holoschoenus, a

  18. Negative Plant-Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonanomi, G.; Rietkerk, M.; Dekker, S.C.; Mazzoleni, S.

    2005-01-01

    Increasing evidence shows that facilitative interaction and negative plant¿soil feedback are driving factors of plant population dynamics and community processes. We studied the intensity and the relative impact of negative feedback on clonal growth and seed germination of Scirpus holoschoenus, a `r

  19. Assessing the effects of abiotic stress and livestock grazing disturbance on an alpine grassland with CSR model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Luo, Peng; Mou, Chengxiang; Yang, Hao; Mo, Li; Luo, Chuan; Kattge, Jens

    2016-04-01

    How the abiotic factors represented by cold environment and biotic factors represented by livestock grazing will affect the vegetation structure of alpine grassland is a core issue in understanding the cause of biodiversity change on Tibetan Plateau. Past studies on changes of floristic composition, growth forms did not adequately answer question. Given the fact that the response of plant to environment change depend on its life strategy, a synthetical method that based on plant life strategy may deepen our understanding of the mechanism. Using Grime's concept of CSR plant classification, we carried out a vegetation survey along a gradient (three levels) of graze intensity on the south-east of Tibet Plateau, in order to evaluate the role and mechanism of abiotic stress and grazing disturbance in driving plant diversity change, by analyzing the plant life strategy compositions in each of the community and by comparing the characteristic of the strategy compositions along the graze gradient. When the graze intensity was relative low, the dominant plant life strategy gathered in the stress tolerance corner, which conformed the theory of environmental filter, indicating that the ideal top plant community may be dominated by the species with stress tolerant strategy. We also found that the response of strategy dominance to graze intensity increase is positively correlated with the competitive capacity (R 2=0.671; PCSR plant strategy be a useful tool to evaluate the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on plant community assembly of alpine grassland, which may contribute to predict the impacts of climate change and human activity on alpine grassland plant diversity and ecosystem service function related.

  20. Advanced inflow forecasting for a hydropower plant in an Alpine hydropower regulated catchment - coupling of operational and hydrological forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilg, Anna-Maria; Schöber, Johannes; Huttenlau, Matthias; Messner, Jakob; Achleitner, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    Hydropower is a renewable energy source which can help to stabilize fluctuations in the volatile energy market. Especially pumped-storage infrastructures in the European Alps play an important role within the European energy grid system. Today, the runoff of rivers in the Alps is often influenced by cascades of hydropower infrastructures where the operational procedures are triggered by energy market demands, water deliveries and flood control aspects rather than by hydro-meteorological variables. An example for such a highly hydropower regulated river is the catchment of the river Inn in the Eastern European Alps, originating in the Engadin (Switzerland). A new hydropower plant is going to be built as transboundary project at the boarder of Switzerland and Austria using the water of the Inn River. For the operation, a runoff forecast to the plant is required. The challenge in this case is that a high proportion of runoff is turbine water from an upstream situated hydropower cascade. The newly developed physically based hydrological forecasting system is mainly capable to cover natural hydrological runoff processes caused by storms and snow melt but can model only a small degree of human impact. These discontinuous parts of the runoff downstream of the pumped storage are described by means of an additional statistical model which has been developed. The main goal of the statistical model is to forecast the turbine water up to five days in advance. The lead time of the data driven model exceeds the lead time of the used energy production forecast. Additionally, the amount of turbine water is linked to the need of electricity production and the electricity price. It has been shown that especially the parameters day-ahead prognosis of the energy production and turbine inflow of the previous week are good predictors and are therefore used as input parameters for the model. As the data is restricted due to technical conditions, so-called Tobit models have been used to

  1. Island biogeography of tropical alpine floras

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sklenář, P.; Hedberg, I.; Cleef, A.

    2013-01-01

    Aim We analysed the effects of alpine area, geographical distance between mountains and isolation due to topography on mountain plant species richness, regional species turnover and patterns of species distribution. Location Equatorial mountains of East Africa, South America and New Guinea. Methods

  2. Plant Community Characteristics of Trampling Disturbance Kobresia humilis Community along the Road in Naqu, Tibet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Jinhua; LIU Shuzhen; ZHANG Xinquan; YAN Yan; ZHANG Jianguo

    2006-01-01

    The change of plant community character during recovery succession processes of high mountain meadow in Naqu, Tibet, was investigated. The results show that there are 41 plant species in the inventoried quadrates. The high-plants in four big families plays important roles in natural vegetation recovery, while Kobresia play an important role in climax communities. The plant species components changed with each succession stage. The plant species were mainly annual and biennial during the early succession stage, and perennial during the medium; and dominated by Kobresia humilis during the late. Potentilla bifurca and Potentilla tanaletfolia were both found in all stages. The accumulated number of family, genus, and species during the succession process varied quadric with the stages. The main plant community characteristics varied logistically with the succession stages except the height. The community characteristics mainly affected by dominant species which were changed in same rhythms. The biomass under ground was far more than the up-ground. The plant diversity inflated in the medium stage.

  3. Plant traits and soil properties in pasture mini-patches in an alpine meadow%高寒草甸草地微斑块植物特征及其土壤性质的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    石明明; 张永超; 张典业; 任运涛; 宗文杰; 傅华; 牛得草

    2015-01-01

    meadows with a light,moderate,and heavy density of plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae )burrows.The plant community structure and soil properties were evaluated for five types of patches in meadows with a moderate number of burrows.Some mini-patches were characterized by a high a-bundance of a single species,with mini-patch areas ranging from 0.5 m2 to 100 m2 in an alpine meadow (not in-cluding background patches).These types of patches were named according to the main plant species.We chose three approximately 1-hectare sample sites with different burrow densities;light,moderate,and heavy. Three quadrats (20 m×20 m)were placed randomly to determine the types,number,and area of patches with-in each site.We chose five types of patches from the three sample sites,and selected three typical patches for each type to determine the plant community structure and soil properties.Quadrat sampling (1 m×1 m)was used to determine basic plant traits (composition,height,cover degree,above-ground biomass of vegetation) and soil properties (organic carbon,pH,total nitrogen,available nitrogen,total phosphorus,available phos-phorus)in the patches.The meadows with moderate burrow density had the most types of patches and the greatest abundance of patches.The total area of patches tended to increase with greater deterioration caused by plateau pika.The number and areas of Potentilla anserine ,Ligularia virgaurea ,and Anemone rivularis pat-ches tended to increase,and their areas increased dramatically from the moderate to heavy burrow density.The number and areas of Anaphalis lacteal and Leontopodium japonicum patches tended to decrease,and these patches tend to disappear from as the burrow density increased from moderate to heavy.There were few main types of pasture mini-patches,and the pattern of patches was relatively simple under heavy burrow density.An abnormal increase in the biomass of a single species was the main characteristic of the patches.The expanding propagation of single

  4. Dispersal potential in plant communities depends on environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ozinga, W.A.; Bekker, R.M.; Schaminée, J.H.J.; Groenendael, van J.M.

    2004-01-01

    Local plant communities can only function within a metacommunity context if they are connected by appropriate dispersal vectors, accommodating the transport of propagules between sites. The capacity for long-distance dispersal may be a key factor in the survival of local populations, especially in f

  5. Dispersal potential in plant communities depends on environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ozinga, W.A.; Bekker, R.M.; Schaminée, J.H.J.; Groenendael, J.M. van

    2004-01-01

    1 Local plant communities can only function within a metacommunity context if they are connected by appropriate dispersal vectors, accommodating the transport of propagules between sites. The capacity for long-distance dispersal may be a key factor in the survival of local populations, especially in

  6. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Cronin, J.T.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Thro

  7. Andean shrublands of Moquegua, South Peru: Prepuna plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montesinos, D.B.; Cleef, A.M.; Sykora, K.V.

    2012-01-01

    A syntaxonomic overview of shrubland vegetation in the southern Andean regions of Peru is presented. For each plant community, information is given on physiognomy, floristic diversity, ecology and geographical distribution. The shrub vegetation on the slopes of the upper Tambo river valley includes

  8. Les barrages alpins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  9. Assessing the diversity of bacterial communities associated with plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreote, Fernando Dini; Azevedo, João Lúcio; Araújo, Welington Luiz

    2009-01-01

    Plant–bacteria interactions result from reciprocal recognition between both species. These interactions are responsible for essential biological processes in plant development and health status. Here, we present a review of the methodologies applied to investigate shifts in bacterial communities associated with plants. A description of techniques is made from initial isolations to culture-independent approaches focusing on quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction in real time (qPCR), Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE), clone library construction and analysis, the application of multivariate analyses to microbial ecology data and the upcoming high throughput methodologies such as microarrays and pyrosequencing. This review supplies information about the development of traditional methods and a general overview about the new insights into bacterial communities associated with plants. PMID:24031382

  10. Effects of trampling limitation on coastal dune plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Riccardo; Jucker, Tommaso; Prisco, Irene; Carboni, Marta; Battisti, Corrado; Acosta, Alicia T R

    2012-03-01

    Sandy coastlines are sensitive ecosystems where human activities can have considerable negative impacts. In particular, trampling by beach visitors is a disturbance that affects dune vegetation both at the species and community level. In this study we assess the effects of the limitation of human trampling on dune vegetation in a coastal protected area of Central Italy. We compare plant species diversity in two recently fenced sectors with that of an unfenced area (and therefore subject to human trampling) using rarefaction curves and a diversity/dominance approach during a two year study period. Our results indicate that limiting human trampling seems to be a key factor in driving changes in the plant diversity of dune systems. In 2007 the regression lines of species abundance as a function of rank showed steep slopes and high Y-intercept values in all sectors, indicating a comparable level of stress and dominance across the entire study site. On the contrary, in 2009 the regression lines of the two fenced sectors clearly diverge from that of the open sector, showing less steep slopes. This change in the slopes of the tendency lines, evidenced by the diversity/dominance diagrams and related to an increase in species diversity, suggests the recovery of plant communities in the two fences between 2007 and 2009. In general, plant communities subject to trampling tended to be poorer in species and less structured, since only dominant and tolerant plant species persisted. Furthermore, limiting trampling appears to have produced positive changes in the dune vegetation assemblage after a period of only two years. These results are encouraging for the management of coastal dune systems. They highlight how a simple and cost-effective management strategy, based on passive recovery conservation measures (i.e., fence building), can be a quick (1–2 years) and effective method for improving and safeguarding the diversity of dune plant communities.

  11. Invasive Plants in the Coastal Vegetal Communities in Valencia (Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco FERRER MERINO

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available A botanical survey has been conducted to determine the influence of invasive species on the main indigenous communities in the Spanish Mediterranean coast and evaluate the current status of these communities in the eastern coast of Spain. The work was done in about 35 km of coastline located in Valencia (Spain. A total of 361 species cataloged are present in the study area, belonging to 79 different families. 49 of them have been inventoried invasive species which currently affect 38 plant communities. For this cause, we have developed a map of location finding out the area occupied by the same at every point and key to indigenous communities it affects. The plant communities characteristic of semi-mobile dunes Centaureo maritimae-Echietum sabulicolae and Medicagini marinae-Ammophiletum australis have turned out to have a greater degree of invasion. Carpobrotus edulis, Agave americana, Arundo donax, Oxalis pes-caprae and Cortaderia sellowiana are invasive species that cause further encroachment, both in area as a number of vegetation communities they affect.

  12. Habitat Fragmentation Drives Plant Community Assembly Processes across Life Stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guang; Feeley, Kenneth J; Yu, Mingjian

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS) vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST). Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation.

  13. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species – the roles of community attributes, Bromus Interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne; Germino, Matthew; Belnap, Jayne; Brown, Cynthia; Schupp, Eugene W.; St. Clair, Samuel B

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromushereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in particular ambient and soil temperatures, have significant effects on the ability of Bromus to establish and spread. Seasonality of precipitation relative to temperature influences plant community resistance toBromus through effects on soil water storage, timing of water and nutrient availability, and dominant plant life forms. Differences among plant communities in how well soil resource use by the plant community matches resource supply rates can influence the magnitude of resource fluctuations due to either climate or disturbance and thus the opportunities for invasion. The spatial and temporal patterns of resource availability and acquisition of growth resources by Bromus versus native species strongly influence resistance to invasion. Traits of Bromus that confer a “priority advantage” for resource use in many communities include early-season germination and high growth and reproductive rates. Resistance to Bromus can be overwhelmed by high propagule supply, low innate seed dormancy, and large, if short-lived, seed banks. Biological crusts can inhibit germination and establishment of invasive annual plants, including several annual Bromus species, but are effective only in the absence of disturbance. Herbivores can have negative direct effects on Bromus, but positive indirect effects through decreases in competitors. Management strategies can be improved through increased understanding of community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species.

  14. Homestead tree planting in two rural Swazi communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, James A.

    1990-01-01

    Tree planting practices were investigated on a total of 95 homesteads in two communities in rural Swaziland. Information was also collected on socioeconomic characteristics of the homesteads. In both the study areas, Sigombeni and Bhekinkosi, there was considerable variation amongst individual homesteads in size, relative wealth (as indicated by cattle and motor vehicle ownership), and amount and types of trees planted. Eighty-five percent of all homesteads in Sigombeni and 73% in Bhekinkosi had planted at least one tree. Common forms of planting included small woodlots, fruit trees, and ornamentals. Virtually all the woodlots consisted of two introduced wattle species (Acacia mearnsii and A. decurrens). The most commonly planted fruit trees were avocados, bananas, and peaches. No complex or labor-intensive agroforestry practices (such as maize/leucaena intercropping) were observed. There was some evidence that the poorest and newest homesteads were the least likely to have planted any trees and that the richest homesteads were the most likely to have planted woodlots. The results indicate that forestry research and extension efforts should take into account homestead characteristics, and strive to offer a range of tree planting options that vary in input requirements, labor needs, and complexity.

  15. 高原鼠兔扰动对高寒草地植物群落特征的影响%Impacts of Ochotona pallasi disturbance on alpine grassland community characteristics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵国琴; 李广泳; 马文虎; 赵殿智; 李小雁

    2013-01-01

    Plateau pika is the main fossorial mammal in the alpine grassland in Qinghai Lake Watershed of Northwest China.Based on the field investigation data from 18 alpine grassland quadrats in the Watershed,and by using redundancy analysis (RDA) and the surface fitting offered by ‘ R-Vegan',the disturbance intensity of plateau pika (Ochotona pallasi) was classified as four levels.In order to explore the impacts of plateau pika disturbance on the alpine grassland ecosystem and its grazing quality,the community characteristics under different disturbance intensities by plateau pika were analyzed,and a conceptual model about the alpine grassland community succession was proposed.The results showed that with the increase of the disturbance intensity,the dominant species changed from Juncus roemerianus to Poa pratensis and Laux maritima.When the disturbance was small,the community had high quantitative values of coverage,aboveground biomass,biodiversity,and species richness,but the proportion of weeds was also high.When the disturbance was large,the quantitative values were the lowest,while the proportion of weeds was the highest.When the disturbance was moderate,the community had relatively high quantitative values,and the proportion of grasses and sedges was the highest.It was concluded that the community's characteristic values under low plateau pika disturbance intensity were high but the grazing quality was low,while high disturbance intensity resulted in the grassland degradation.Therefore,the disturbance intensity in the threshold could maintain the stability of alpine grassland ecosystem and improve its grazing quality.%高原鼠兔是青海湖流域高寒草地主要的啮齿动物.本文基于R-Vegan中的RDA排序方法,以有效洞口数差异将高原鼠兔扰动强度划分为4组,分析不同扰动强度下高寒草地植物群落特征,进而提出群落演替的概念模型,探究高原鼠兔扰动对高寒草地生态系统及放牧质量的影响.结果

  16. Plant communities of the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theo H.C. Mostert

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld is one of eight major vegetation types (MVT described for the Soutpansberg-Blouberg region. The plant communities of this MVT are described in detail. Main ecological drivers of the vegetation structure and species composition of these communities are discussed and some conservation recommendations are made. Phytosociological data from a subset of 72 Braun-Blanquet sample plots collected in the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld were classified using Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN and ordinated using a Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DECORANA. The resulting classification was further refined with table-sorting procedures based on the Braun-Blanquet floristic-sociological approach to vegetation classification using the computer software MEGATAB and JUICE. Eight plant communities were identified and described as Commiphora tenuipetiolata-Adansonia digitata short open woodland, Ledebouria ovatifolia-Commiphora mollis short bushland, Phyllanthus reticulatus-Acacia nigrescens short bushland, Tinnea rhodesiana-Combretum apiculatum short bushland, Dichrostachys cinerea subsp. africana-Spirostachys africana low thickets, Themeda triandra-Pterocarpus rotundifolius short closed grassland on steep basaltic slopes, Cyperus albostriatus-Syzygium cordatum sandveld wetlands, and Sesamothamnus lugardii-Catophractes alexandri tall sparse shrubland. These plant communities are event-driven ecosystems, predominantly infl uenced by frequent droughts, exposure to desiccation and unpredictable rainfall events. The complex topography of the Soutpansberg further contributes to the aridity of these ecosystems. The classifi cation and ordination analyses show similar groupings in the vegetation of the Soutpansberg Arid Mountain Bushveld. This confi rms the usefulness of complimentary analysis, using both classifi cation and ordination methods on a single data set in order to examine patterns and to search for

  17. Diversity of MAPs in some plant communities of Stara Planina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obratov-Petković Dragica

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The high floristic diversity of Stara Planina was the starting base for the research of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs in individual forest and meadow communities. The sites Javor and Prelesje, forest community Fagetum moesiacae montanum B. Jov. 1953, pioneer community of birch Betuletum verrucosae s.l. and meadow community Agrostietum vulgaris (capillaris Pavlović, Z. 1955, were researched as follows: soil types, floristic composition and structure of the community, percentage of MAPs, as well as the selection of species which, according to the predetermined criteria can be recommended for further exploitation. The study shows that the soil of the forest communities is eutric brown, and meadow soils are dystric and eutric humus-siliceous. The percentage of MAPs in the floristic structure of the study sites in forest and meadow communities is 32.35%. The following species can be recommended for the collection and utilisation: Hypericum perforatum L., Asperula odorata L., Dryopteris filix-mas (L Schott. Urtica dioica L., Euphorbia amygdaloides L., Prunella grandiflora L. Tanacetum vulgare L., Achillea millefolium L., Rumex acetosa L., Campanula glomerata L., Stachys officinalis (L Trevis., Plantago lanceolata W. et K., Potentilla erecta (L Rauchel, Chamaespartium sagittale (L P. Gibbs. Cynanchum vincetoxicum (L Pers., Euphrasia stricta Host., Fagus moesiaca (Matt Liebl. and Fragaria vesca L.

  18. Functionally and phylogenetically diverse plant communities key to soil biota

    OpenAIRE

    Milcu, Alexandru; Allan, Eric; Roscher, Christiane; Jenkins, Tania; Sebastian T Meyer; Flynn, Dan; Bessler, Holger; Buscot, François; Engels, Christof; Gubsch, Marlén; König, Stephan; Lipowsky, Annett; Loranger, Jessy; Renker, Carsten; Scherber, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies assessing the role of biological diversity for ecosystem functioning indicate that the diversity of functional traits and the evolutionary history of species in a community, not the number of taxonomic units, ultimately drives the biodiversity–ecosystem-function relationship. Here, we simultaneously assessed the importance of plant functional trait and phylogenetic diversity as predictors of major trophic groups of soil biota (abundance and diversity), six years from the onset ...

  19. Plant genetics predicts intra-annual variation in phytochemistry and arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimp, G M; Wooley, S; Bangert, R K; Young, W P; Martinsen, G D; Keim, P; Rehill, B; Lindroth, R L; Whitham, T G

    2007-12-01

    With the emerging field of community genetics, it is important to quantify the key mechanisms that link genetics and community structure. We studied cottonwoods in common gardens and in natural stands and examined the potential for plant chemistry to be a primary mechanism linking plant genetics and arthropod communities. If plant chemistry drives the relationship between plant genetics and arthropod community structure, then several predictions followed. We would find (i) the strongest correlation between plant genetic composition and chemical composition; (ii) an intermediate correlation between plant chemical composition and arthropod community composition; and (iii) the weakest relationship between plant genetic composition and arthropod community composition. Our results supported our first prediction: plant genetics and chemistry had the strongest correlation in the common garden and the wild. Our results largely supported our second prediction, but varied across space, seasonally, and according to arthropod feeding group. Plant chemistry played a larger role in structuring common garden arthropod communities relative to wild communities, free-living arthropods relative to leaf and stem modifiers, and early-season relative to late-season arthropods. Our results did not support our last prediction, as host plant genetics was at least as tightly linked to arthropod community structure as plant chemistry, if not more so. Our results demonstrate the consistency of the relationship between plant genetics and biodiversity. Additionally, plant chemistry can be an important mechanism by which plant genetics affects arthropod community composition, but other genetic-based factors are likely involved that remain to be measured.

  20. Using Plant Phylogenetic Relatedness as a Predictor for Plants' Control on Soil Microbial Communities and Nitrogen Cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, T.; Bowman, W. D.

    2016-12-01

    Despite the known importance of soil microbes and their influence on soil processes, a mechanistic understanding is still needed to predict how plants and soil microbes interact at scales that are relevant to community and ecosystem-scale processes. Closely related plant species have similar traits aboveground, but we don't know whether this is also true for belowground traits that affect soil microbial community structure and function. Determining how tightly plant phylogeny and plant functional traits are linked to soil microbial communities is a useful approach for discovering plant-microbe associations that are generalizable across plant species (a limitation of studies that employ a single or few plant species). Using this approach, we conducted a greenhouse study with seven congeneric grasses (genus Poa) and their native soils to examine whether plants' influences on microbial community structure were consistent with plant phylogenetic relatedness and/or plant functional traits. Seeds of each Poa species were planted in native soil (from the seed source population) as well as a homogenized soil from all seven populations. Additionally, a nitrogen treatment was added to address how an environmental change (such as nitrogen deposition) alters plant-microbe associations. Rhizosphere community composition of bacteria and fungi was obtained via marker gene sequencing to compare community composition across plant species. Patterns in plant-microbe associations across plant species reveal plant control on nutrient cycling via plant species' influence on microbial community structure. These results determine if we are ready to generalize about plant-microbe interactions at the genus level, an important stepping-stone to applying knowledge of plant-microbe interactions to larger ecological scales.

  1. Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Schmid, Bernhard; Petermann, Jana S; Yadav, Varuna; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Flynn, Dan F B

    2014-11-06

    In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures and negative plant-soil feedbacks in monocultures. Here we show that selection for niche differentiation between species can drive this increasing biodiversity effect. Growing 12 grassland species in test monocultures and mixtures, we found character displacement between species and increased biodiversity effects when plants had been selected over 8 years in species mixtures rather than in monocultures. When grown in mixtures, relative differences in height and specific leaf area between plant species selected in mixtures (mixture types) were greater than between species selected in monocultures (monoculture types). Furthermore, net biodiversity and complementarity effects were greater in mixtures of mixture types than in mixtures of monoculture types. Our study demonstrates a novel mechanism for the increase in biodiversity effects: selection for increased niche differentiation through character displacement. Selection in diverse mixtures may therefore increase species coexistence and ecosystem functioning in natural communities and may also allow increased mixture yields in agriculture or forestry. However, loss of biodiversity and prolonged selection of crops in monoculture may compromise this potential for selection in the longer term.

  2. Plant Community Traits of Shohada Protected Area, West Azerbijan, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdollah HASSANZADEH GORTTAPEH

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Shohada Protected Area, consisting of Shohada Valley and its adjacent areas with an area of 577 hectares is located in south of Urmia, and is known as an important natural plant station of Urmia. It is studied with respect to the important factors which influence the vegetation cover in whole, particularly, with regard the composition and formation of plant communities. To study the area, Brown-Blanquets method was used. Plant samples were taken from 77 sample plots. The study resulted in recognition of four herbaceous types and seven shrub types in the studied area. In addition, the investigation led to the fact that the most important factors which influence the vegetation cover, are: geographical orientation, altitude, gradient and soil texture. The study also resulted in preparation of a colored vegetation map with a scale of 1:20000.

  3. Hemiparasitic plant impacts animal and plant communities across four trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, S E; Green, P; Massey, F P; Press, M C P; Stewart, J A; John, E A

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the impact of species on community structure is a fundamental question in ecology. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that both subdominant species and parasites can have disproportionately large effects on other organisms. Here we report those impacts for a species that is both subdominant and parasitic, the hemiparasite Rhinanthus minor. While the impact of parasitic angiosperms on their hosts and, to a lesser degree, coexisting plant species, has been well characterized, much less is known about their effects on higher trophic levels: We experimentally manipulated field densities of the hemiparasite Rhinanthus minor in a species-rich grassland, comparing the plant and invertebrate communities in plots where it was removed, present at natural densities, or present at enhanced densities. Plots with natural and enhanced densities of R. minor had lower plant biomass than plots without the hemiparasite, but enhanced densities almost doubled the abundance of invertebrates within the plots across all trophic levels, with effects evident in herbivores, predators, and detritivores. The hemiparasite R. minor, despite being a subdominant and transient component within plant communities that it inhabits, has profound effects on four different trophic levels. These effects persist beyond the life of the hemiparasite, emphasizing its role as a keystone species in grassland communities.

  4. Soil nitrogen dynamics and productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain, China%长白山高山苔原雪斑大白花地榆群落土壤氮素动态与生产力的关系

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐倩倩; 刘琪璟; 张国春

    2011-01-01

    Aims Snowpack plant communities in alpine tundra are active in comparison with surrounding vegetation, despite the short growing season due to thick snow cover. Our objective was to understand the growth mechanism of snowpack communities.Methods The nutrient dynamics and primary productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was investigated in different seasons.Important findings Soil temperature under snowpack during winter was warmer than snow-free areas, and the minimum temperature was significantly higher. Litter decomposition and nitrogen mineralization under snowpack were active even in winter, and nitrogen content was high with rapid mineralization. Annual net primary productivity was 4 046 kg·hm-2·a-1. The unique hydro-thermo conditions, nutrient cycling features and high leaf area index were key factors maintaining community structure and primary productivity.%在高山苔原冬季积雪覆盖的群落生长季短,但明显比周围群落生长茂盛.为了说明雪斑地段群落生长机理,对长白山苔原雪斑土壤氮素动态以及大白花地榆(Sanguisorba sitchensis)群落生产力进行了连续测定.雪斑群落土壤冬季相对温暖,最低日平均温度-1.4℃,裸露地段-16.9℃,全年水分条件充足;积雪期凋落物分解和氮矿化均在进行,土壤具有很高的氮素含量及矿化速率.大白花地榆地上部分净初级生产力为4 046 kg·hm·a.正是独特的水热条件和养分条件,以及具有很大的叶面积同化器官,高山苔原雪斑地段的大白花地榆群落才得以维持生存并表现出很高的生产力水平.

  5. Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Alexandra J; de Kroon, Hans; Visser, Eric J W; Buchmann, Tina; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Ravenek, Janneke; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Mommer, Liesje

    2017-01-01

    Flooding is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future. The ecological consequences of flooding are the combined result of species-specific plant traits and ecological context. However, the majority of past flooding research has focused on individual model species under highly controlled conditions. An early summer flooding event in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, provided the opportunity to assess flooding responses of 60 grassland species in monocultures and 16-species mixtures. We examined plant biomass, species-specific traits (plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), root aerenchyma, starch content) and soil porosity. We found that, on average, plant species were less negatively affected by the flood when grown in higher-diversity plots in July 2013. By September 2013, grasses were unaffected by the flood regardless of plant diversity, and legumes were severely negatively affected regardless of plant diversity. Plants with greater SLA and more root aerenchyma performed better in September. Soil porosity was higher in higher-diversity plots and had a positive effect on plant performance. As floods become more frequent and severe in the future, growing flood-sensitive plants in higher-diversity communities and in soil with greater soil aeration may attenuate the most negative effects of flooding.

  6. Impact of plant invasions on local arthropod communities: a meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hengstum, T.; Hooftman, D.A.P.; Oostermeijer, J.G.B.; van Tienderen, P.H.

    2014-01-01

    1. Invasive plants can have a major impact on local plant and animal communities. However, effects of plant invasions on arthropod communities and the potential drivers have rarely been studied. 2. We present a meta-analysis of 56 studies on the impact of plant invasions on abundance and richness of

  7. Impact of plant invasions on local arthropod communities: a meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hengstum, T.; Hooftman, D.A.P.; Oostermeijer, J.G.B.; van Tienderen, P.H.

    2014-01-01

    1. Invasive plants can have a major impact on local plant and animal communities. However, effects of plant invasions on arthropod communities and the potential drivers have rarely been studied. 2. We present a meta-analysis of 56 studies on the impact of plant invasions on abundance and richness of

  8. Development of an improved compact package plant for small community waste-water treatment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hulsman, A

    1993-01-01

    Full Text Available The challenges facing the design and operation of small community wastewater treatment plants are discussed. The package plant concept is considered and the consequent development of a compact intermittently aerated activated sludge package plant...

  9. Arctic Late Cretaceous and Paleocene Plant Community Succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Alexei; Spicer, Robert; Daly, Robert; Jolley, David; Ahlberg, Anders; Moiseeva, Maria

    2010-05-01

    The Arctic abounds with Late Cretaceous and Paleocene plant fossils attesting to a thriving, diverse, but now extinct polar ecosystem that sequestered vast amounts of carbon. Through detailed examination of plant remains and their distributions in time and space with respect to their entombing sedimentary facies, it has been possible to reconstruct changes in Arctic vegetation composition and dynamics through the Late Cretaceous and into the Paleocene. Based on over 10,000 leaf remains, fossil wood and palynomorph assemblages from northeastern Russia and northern Alaska and palynological data from elsewhere in the Arctic we identify a number of successional plant communities (SPCs) representing seral development from early (pioneer), through middle to late SPCs and climax vegetation. We recognise that (1) Equisetites and some ferns (typically Birisia, but after the beginning of the Maastrichtian, Onoclea) were obligatory components of the early SPCs; (2) first rare angiosperms (e.g. the dicot Vitiphyllum multifidum) appeared in the middle SPCs of the Arctic in the Early - Middle Albian; (3) from late Albian times onwards angiosperms became abundant in the middle SPCs of the Arctic, but were still rare in the earlier and later SPCs; (4) monocots appeared in the Maastrichtian early SPCs; (5) all Arctic Cretaceous late SPCs (and climax vegetation) were dominated by conifers; (6) Arctic SPCs were more numerous and diverse under warm climates than cold; (7) during the Albian and late Cretaceous, advanced (Cenophytic, angiosperm-dominated) plant communities coexisted with those of a more relictual (Mesophytic, dominated by ferns and gymnosperms) aspect, and plants composing these communities did not mix; (8) coal-forming environments (mires) remained conifer, fern and bryophyte dominated throughout the late Cretaceous and Paleocene with little penetration of woody angiosperm components and thus are conservative and predominantly Mesophytic in character; (9) bryophytes

  10. Responses of community characteristics,soil carbon and nitrogen to different grazing management in Tibet alpine wetlands%放牧管理对西藏高寒沼泽植物群落结构和土壤碳氮的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    曲广鹏; 参木友; 赵景学; 田莉华

    2016-01-01

    The study was conducted in Tibet wetlands which were under three types of grazing management (winter grazing,winter-spring grazing and free grazing).We observed vegetation and soil properties of the wet-lands,such as plant height,coverage,community characteristics,aboveground biomass and soil carbon and nitro-gen.Our study results showed no significant difference in total coverage of the vegetation among different graz-ing management.However,the plant height and plant height coverage of dominant species were significantly. Grazing management have a remarkable effects on community characteristics and diversity index.Grazing signif-icantly decreased plant height,coverage as well as the dominance index of the dominant species in alpine wet-lands.Aboveground biomass and belowground biomass decreased with grazing pressure.In addition,grazing also significantly decreased soil carbon and nitrogen in alpine wetlands.Our study suggested that winter grazing management is the optimal utilization model of the alpine wetlands in Tibet.%对西藏当雄县3种不同放牧管理模式(冬季放牧、冬春季放牧和全年放牧)下的高寒沼泽的植物群落结构和土壤碳氮进行了调查。调查发现,3种放牧管理模式下的高寒沼泽植物群落总盖度差异不显著,而优势物种藏嵩草的高度和盖度差异显著;放牧管理对沼泽群落结构和物种多样性影响较大,随着放牧强度的增加,物种丰富度增加;放牧利用显著降低了高寒沼泽湿地群落优势物种藏嵩草的高度和盖度,其优势度也显著降低,使得高寒沼泽逐渐退化。冬季放牧、冬春季放牧和全年放牧沼泽地上生物量和地下生物量依次降低。同时,随着放牧强度的增加,高寒沼泽表层土壤有机碳氮的含量也显著降低,且高寒沼泽表层土壤碳氮与地上和地下生物量显著正相关。通过对比分析,冬季放牧是当前西藏高寒沼泽较好的放牧管理模式。

  11. 紫穗槐表型可塑性及植株资源分配对高寒生境的响应%Response of phenotypic plasticity and plant resource allocation of Amorpha fruiticosa to alpine habitat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁坤伦; 张洪荣; 张丽静; 代万安; 李晓忠; 周志宇; 刘雪云; 王瑞

    2012-01-01

    17 morphological characteristic indexes and 11 nutritive elements of five different parts of Amorpha fruiticosa firstly planted in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau(Lhasa,Maqu) were investigated to understand the response of phenotypic plasticity and plant resource allocation of Amorpha fruiticosa to alpine habitat.The results of this study showed that phenotypic differences of A.fruiticosa was found in the two investigation regions,especially,the root morphological indexes were greatly different.The biomass proportion and nutritive element concentrations of different parts of A.fruiticosa was different between Lhasa region and Maqu region,which was caused by the response of plant resource allocation to alpine habitat.The correlation relationship between morphological indexes and nutrient element concentrations of A.fruiticosa was complex among two regions.%对在西藏拉萨市和甘肃玛曲县青藏高原区种植的紫穗槐(Amorpha fruticosa)17项形态特征指标及其5个不同构件11种营养元素含量进行比较分析。结果表明,1)两地区紫穗槐表型特征存在差异,特别是地下部分形态指标差异显著;2)紫穗槐不同构件生物量比重、各个营养元素含量存在不同程度差异,且地区间相应指标也存在差异,是植株资源分配对高寒生境的响应所引起的;3)两地区紫穗槐形态指标与其营养元素含量均存在复杂的相关关系。

  12. Interactive effects of mycorrhizae and a root hemiparasite on plant community productivity and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Claudia; Rissmann, Cornelia; Hempel, Stefan; Renker, Carsten; Buscot, François; Prati, Daniel; Auge, Harald

    2009-02-01

    Plant communities can be affected both by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and hemiparasitic plants. However, little is known about the interactive effects of these two biotic factors on the productivity and diversity of plant communities. To address this question, we set up a greenhouse study in which different AMF inocula and a hemiparasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor) were added to experimental grassland communities in a fully factorial design. In addition, single plants of each species in the grassland community were grown with the same treatments to distinguish direct AMF effects from indirect effects via plant competition. We found that AMF changed plant community structure by influencing the plant species differently. At the community level, AMF decreased the productivity by 15-24%, depending on the particular AMF treatment, mainly because two dominant species, Holcus lanatus and Plantago lanceolata, showed a negative mycorrhizal dependency. Concomitantly, plant diversity increased due to AMF inoculation and was highest in the treatment with a combination of two commercial AM strains. AMF had a positive effect on growth of the hemiparasite, and thereby induced a negative impact of the hemiparasite on host plant biomass which was not found in non-inoculated communities. However, the hemiparasite did not increase plant diversity. Our results highlight the importance of interactions with soil microbes for plant community structure and that these indirect effects can vary among AMF treatments. We conclude that mutualistic interactions with AMF, but not antagonistic interactions with a root hemiparasite, promote plant diversity in this grassland community.

  13. Conceptual hierarchical modeling to describe wetland plant community organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, A.M.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Allen, T.F.H.

    2010-01-01

    Using multivariate analysis, we created a hierarchical modeling process that describes how differently-scaled environmental factors interact to affect wetland-scale plant community organization in a system of small, isolated wetlands on Mount Desert Island, Maine. We followed the procedure: 1) delineate wetland groups using cluster analysis, 2) identify differently scaled environmental gradients using non-metric multidimensional scaling, 3) order gradient hierarchical levels according to spatiotem-poral scale of fluctuation, and 4) assemble hierarchical model using group relationships with ordination axes and post-hoc tests of environmental differences. Using this process, we determined 1) large wetland size and poor surface water chemistry led to the development of shrub fen wetland vegetation, 2) Sphagnum and water chemistry differences affected fen vs. marsh / sedge meadows status within small wetlands, and 3) small-scale hydrologic differences explained transitions between forested vs. non-forested and marsh vs. sedge meadow vegetation. This hierarchical modeling process can help explain how upper level contextual processes constrain biotic community response to lower-level environmental changes. It creates models with more nuanced spatiotemporal complexity than classification and regression tree procedures. Using this process, wetland scientists will be able to generate more generalizable theories of plant community organization, and useful management models. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2009.

  14. Exploring the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan: a case study from the Merak Himalaya

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jamtsho, Karma; Sridith, Kitichate

    2015-01-01

    ... and the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan. The vegetation of the sampled plots is classified into five types of communities based on the hierarchical cluster analysis at similarity index 63% viz., (1) Riverine Community; (2) Abies...

  15. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANTONIO B. PEREIRA

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications.

  16. Contribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of sedges to soil aggregation along an altitudinal alpine grassland gradient on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Junling; Gai, Jingping; Cai, Xiaobu; Christie, Peter; Li, Xiaolin

    2015-08-01

    The diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in sedges on the Tibetan Plateau remains largely unexplored, and their contribution to soil aggregation can be important in understanding the ecological function of AMF in alpine ecosystems. Roots of Kobresia pygmaea C.B. Clarke and Carex pseudofoetida Kük. in alpine Kobresia pastures along an elevational transect (4149-5033 m) on Mount Mila were analysed for AMF diversity. A structural equation model was built to explore the contribution of biotic factors to soil aggregation. Sedges harboured abundant AMF communities covering seven families and some operational taxonomic units are habitat specific. The two plant species hosted similar AMF communities at most altitudes. The relative abundance of the two sedges contributed largely to soil macroaggregates, followed by extraradical mycorrhizal hyphae (EMH) and total glomalin-related soil protein (T-GRSP). The influence of plant richness was mainly due to its indirect influence on T-GRSP and EMH. There was a strong positive correlation between GRSP and soil total carbon and nitrogen. Our results indicate that mycorrhization might not be a major trait leading to niche differentiation of the two co-occurring sedge species. However, AMF contribute to soil aggregation and thus may have the potential to greatly influence C and N cycling in alpine grasslands.

  17. Species area relationships in mediterranean-climate plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2003-01-01

    Aim To determine the best-fit model of species–area relationships for Mediterranean-type plant communities and evaluate how community structure affects these species–area models.Location Data were collected from California shrublands and woodlands and compared with literature reports for other Mediterranean-climate regions.Methods The number of species was recorded from 1, 100 and 1000 m2 nested plots. Best fit to the power model or exponential model was determined by comparing adjusted r2 values from the least squares regression, pattern of residuals, homoscedasticity across scales, and semi-log slopes at 1–100 m2 and 100–1000 m2. Dominance–diversity curves were tested for fit to the lognormal model, MacArthur's broken stick model, and the geometric and harmonic series.Results Early successional Western Australia and California shrublands represented the extremes and provide an interesting contrast as the exponential model was the best fit for the former, and the power model for the latter, despite similar total species richness. We hypothesize that structural differences in these communities account for the different species–area curves and are tied to patterns of dominance, equitability and life form distribution. Dominance–diversity relationships for Western Australian heathlands exhibited a close fit to MacArthur's broken stick model, indicating more equitable distribution of species. In contrast, Californian shrublands, both postfire and mature stands, were best fit by the geometric model indicating strong dominance and many minor subordinate species. These regions differ in life form distribution, with annuals being a major component of diversity in early successional Californian shrublands although they are largely lacking in mature stands. Both young and old Australian heathlands are dominated by perennials, and annuals are largely absent. Inherent in all of these ecosystems is cyclical disequilibrium caused by periodic fires. The

  18. 基于数字相机图像的西藏当雄高寒草地群落物候模拟%Simulations of phenology in alpine grassland communities in Damxung, Xizang, based on digital camera images

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周磊; 何洪林; 张黎; 孙晓敏; 石培礼; 任小丽; 于贵瑞

    2012-01-01

    .m. to 5:00 p.m. local time each day. We extracted red, green, and blue color channel brightness data for a region-of-interest (ROI) from each image (ROI, the subset of image, can better describe the target's characters). The size of ROI is [100:180] and [10:380]), and it composed the different greenness indices according to the equations. We confirmed the best one that can reflect the size of leaf area index and variations in chlorophyll content by comparing different indices. Important findings The absolute greenness index (2GRB) is able to describe the canopy status qualitatively and quantitatively and is powerful in tracking community phenological stages. This indicates that digital cameras can be used in monitoring real-time phenology of alpine grassland community. Linear regression analysis of soil moisture indicates greenness is best explained by surface soil moisture (≤10 cm). By comparing canopy phenological events with conventional meteorological data, we also speculate that precipitation plays a critical role in triggering the spring phenological response in semiarid alpine grassland.

  19. Population and community ecology of the rare plant amsinckia grandiflora

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsen, T.M.

    1996-11-01

    Research was conducted between the fall of 1992 and the spring on the population and community ecology of the rare annual plant, Amsinckia glandiflora (Gray) Kleeb. ex Greene (Boraginaceae). The research goal was to investigate the causes of the species rarity, data useful to restorative efforts. The work focused on the examination of competitive suppression by exotic annual grasses; comparisons with common, weedy congener; and the role of litter cover and seed germination and seedling establishment. Annual exotic grasses reduced A. grandiflora reproductive output to a greater extent than did the native perennial bunch grass.

  20. Everglades Plant Community Response to 20th Century Hydrologic Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willard, D. A.; Bernhardt, C. E.; Holmes, C. W.; Weimer, L. M.

    2002-05-01

    Pollen records in sediment cores from sites in the historic Everglades allowed us to document the natural variability of the ecosystem over the past 2,000 years and contrast it to 20th century changes in wetland plant communities. The natural system included extensive water-lily sloughs, sawgrass ridges, and scattered tree islands extending from Lake Okeechobee southward through Shark River Slough. Between ~1000 AD and 1200 AD, weedy species such as Amaranthus (water hemp) became more abundant, indicating decreased annual rainfall, shorter hydroperiods, and shallower water depths during this time. After ~1200 AD, vegetation returned to its pre-1000 AD composition. During the 20th century, two phases of hydrologic alteration occurred. Completed by 1930, the first phase included construction of the Hoover Dike, canals linking Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Tamiami Trail. Reconstructions of plant communities indicate that these changes shortened hydroperiods and lowered water depths throughout the Everglades. The extent of water-lily slough communities decreased, and tree islands became larger in Shark River Slough. The second phase resulted from construction of canals and levees in the 1950s, creating three Water Conservation Areas. The response of plant communities to these changes varied widely depending on location in the Everglades. In Loxahatchee NWR, weedy and short-hydroperiod plant species became more abundant in marshes, and species composition of tree islands changed. In Water Conservation Area 2A, cattail replaced sawgrass in marshes with high nutrient influx; the ridge and slough structure of the marshes was replaced by more homogeneous sawgrass marshes; sustained high water levels for more than a decade resulted in loss of tree islands that had existed for more than 1,000 years. In Everglades National Park, the extent of slough vegetation decreased further. Near Florida Bay, the rate of mangrove intrusion into fresh-water marshes

  1. Engineering a plant community to deliver multiple ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkey, Jonathan; Döring, Thomas; Baddeley, John; Collins, Rosemary; Roderick, Stephen; Jones, Hannah; Watson, Christine

    2015-06-01

    The sustainable delivery of multiple ecosystem services requires the management of functionally diverse biological communities. In an agricultural context, an emphasis on food production has often led to a loss of biodiversity to the detriment of other ecosystem services such as the maintenance of soil health and pest regulation. In scenarios where multiple species can be grown together, it may be possible to better balance environmental and agronomic services through the targeted selection of companion species. We used the case study of legume-based cover crops to engineer a plant community that delivered the optimal balance of six ecosystem services: early productivity, regrowth following mowing, weed suppression, support of invertebrates, soil fertility building (measured as yield of following crop), and conservation of nutrients in the soil. An experimental species pool of 12 cultivated legume species was screened for a range of functional traits and ecosystem services at five sites across a geographical gradient in the United Kingdom. All possible species combinations were then analyzed, using a process-based model of plant competition, to identify the community that delivered the best balance of services at each site. In our system, low to intermediate levels of species richness (one to four species) that exploited functional contrasts in growth habit and phenology were identified as being optimal. The optimal solution was determined largely by the number of species and functional diversity represented by the starting species pool, emphasizing the importance of the initial selection of species for the screening experiments. The approach of using relationships between functional traits and ecosystem services to design multifunctional biological communities has the potential to inform the design of agricultural systems that better balance agronomic and environmental services and meet the current objective of European agricultural policy to maintain viable food

  2. A Phloem-Feeding Insect Transfers Bacterial Endophytic Communities between Grapevine Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiàn Lòpez-Fernàndez

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial endophytes colonize the inner tissues of host plants through the roots or through discontinuities on the plant surface, including wounds and stomata. Little is known regarding a possible role of insects in acquiring and transmitting non-phytopathogenic microorganisms from plant to plant, especially those endophytes that are beneficial symbionts providing plant protection properties and homeostatic stability to the host. To understand the ecological role of insects in the transmission of endophytic bacteria, we used freshly hatched nymphs of the American sap-feeding leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus (vector to transfer microorganisms across grapevine plants. After contact with the vector, sink plants were colonized by a complex endophytic community dominated by Proteobacteria, highly similar to that present in source plants. A similar bacterial community, but with a higher ratio of Firmicutes, was found on S. titanus. Insects feeding only on sink plants transferred an entirely different bacterial community dominated by Actinobacteria, where Mycobacterium sp., played a major role. Despite the fact that insects dwelled mostly on plant stems, the bacterial communities in plant roots resembled more closely those inside and on insects, when compared to those of above-ground plant organs. We prove here the potential of insect vectors to transfer entire endophytic bacterial communities between plants. We also describe the role of plants and bacterial endophytes in establishing microbial communities in plant-feeding insects.

  3. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kardol, Paul; Cregger, Melissa A; Campany, Courtney E; Classen, Aimee T

    2010-03-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric and climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the soil communities that depend on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and precipitation in Tennessee (USA). Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils) and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: (1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activity, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate-change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in our study, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water. (2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning, and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate-change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. These results indicate that accurate assessments of climate-change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate-change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the

  4. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Cregger, Melissa [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [ORNL; Classen, Aimee T [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the microbial communities that feed on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and water availability. Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils), and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: 1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. In sum, these results indicate that accurate assessments of climate change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the direct

  5. A preliminary classification of wetland plant communities in north-central Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowardin, L.M.; Johnson, D.H.

    1973-01-01

    A classification of wetland plant communities was developed for a study area in north-central Minnesota in order to analyze data on waterfowl use of habitat that were gathered by radio telemetry. The classification employs features of several earlier classifications in addition to new classes for bogs and lakeshore communities. Brief descriptions are given for each community, and the important plant species are listed. Discriminant function analysis was used for 40 plant species. Seventy-five percent of the stands studied were classified correctly by this technique. Average probabilities of assignment to communities were calculated and helped to identify distinct and poorly defined communities as well as the relationship among communities.

  6. Coastal Freshwater Wetland Plant Community Response to Seasonal Drought and Flooding in Northwestern Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    In tropical wet-dry climates, seasonal hydrologic cycles drive wetland plant community change and produce distinct seasonal plant assemblages. In this study, we examined the plant community response to seasonal flooding and drought in a large coastal freshwater wetland in northwe...

  7. Rhizosphere microbial community and its response to plant species and soil history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garbeva, P.V.; van Elsas, J.D.; Van Veen, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    The plant rhizosphere is a dynamic environment in which many parameters may influence the population structure, diversity and activity of the microbial community. Two important factors determining the structure of microbial community present in the vicinity of plant roots are plant species and soil

  8. Biotic and abiotic properties mediating plant diversity effects on soil microbial communities in an experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Lange

    Full Text Available Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs. In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities.

  9. Biotic and abiotic properties mediating plant diversity effects on soil microbial communities in an experimental grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Markus; Habekost, Maike; Eisenhauer, Nico; Roscher, Christiane; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christof; Oelmann, Yvonne; Scheu, Stefan; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Gleixner, Gerd

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness) and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs). In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities.

  10. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs beneath individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, M.T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; van Hal, R.; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Scheu, S.; Setälä, H.; Milauer, P.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and

  11. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, M.T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; Hal, R. van; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; Ruiter, P.C. de; Scheu, S.; Setala, H.; Smilauer, P.; Putten, W.H. van der

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and provi

  12. Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    CaraDonna, Paul J; Iler, Amy M; Inouye, David W

    2014-04-01

    Phenology--the timing of biological events--is highly sensitive to climate change. However, our general understanding of how phenology responds to climate change is based almost solely on incomplete assessments of phenology (such as first date of flowering) rather than on entire phenological distributions. Using a uniquely comprehensive 39-y flowering phenology dataset from the Colorado Rocky Mountains that contains more than 2 million flower counts, we reveal a diversity of species-level phenological shifts that bring into question the accuracy of previous estimates of long-term phenological change. For 60 species, we show that first, peak, and last flowering rarely shift uniformly and instead usually shift independently of one another, resulting in a diversity of phenological changes through time. Shifts in the timing of first flowering on average overestimate the magnitude of shifts in the timing of peak flowering, fail to predict shifts in the timing of last flowering, and underrepresent the number of species changing phenology in this plant community. Ultimately, this diversity of species-level phenological shifts contributes to altered coflowering patterns within the community, a redistribution of floral abundance across the season, and an expansion of the flowering season by more than I mo during the course of our study period. These results demonstrate the substantial reshaping of ecological communities that can be attributed to shifts in phenology.

  13. Metaproteomics of complex microbial communities in biogas plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyer, Robert; Kohrs, Fabian; Reichl, Udo; Benndorf, Dirk

    2015-09-01

    Production of biogas from agricultural biomass or organic wastes is an important source of renewable energy. Although thousands of biogas plants (BGPs) are operating in Germany, there is still a significant potential to improve yields, e.g. from fibrous substrates. In addition, process stability should be optimized. Besides evaluating technical measures, improving our understanding of microbial communities involved into the biogas process is considered as key issue to achieve both goals. Microscopic and genetic approaches to analyse community composition provide valuable experimental data, but fail to detect presence of enzymes and overall metabolic activity of microbial communities. Therefore, metaproteomics can significantly contribute to elucidate critical steps in the conversion of biomass to methane as it delivers combined functional and phylogenetic data. Although metaproteomics analyses are challenged by sample impurities, sample complexity and redundant protein identification, and are still limited by the availability of genome sequences, recent studies have shown promising results. In the following, the workflow and potential pitfalls for metaproteomics of samples from full-scale BGP are discussed. In addition, the value of metaproteomics to contribute to the further advancement of microbial ecology is evaluated. Finally, synergistic effects expected when metaproteomics is combined with advanced imaging techniques, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metabolomics are addressed.

  14. Links between Plant and Rhizoplane Bacterial Communities in Grassland Soils, Characterized Using Molecular Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, Naoise; Daniell, Timothy J.; Singh, Brajesh K.; Papert, Artemis; McNicol, James W.; Prosser, James I.

    2005-01-01

    Molecular analysis of grassland rhizosphere soil has demonstrated complex and diverse bacterial communities, with resultant difficulties in detecting links between plant and bacterial communities. These studies have, however, analyzed “bulk” rhizosphere soil, rather than rhizoplane communities, which interact most closely with plants through utilization of root exudates. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that plant species was a major driver for bacterial rhizoplane community composition on individual plant roots. DNA extracted from individual roots was used to determine plant identity, by analysis of the plastid tRNA leucine (trnL) UAA gene intron, and plant-related bacterial communities. Bacterial communities were characterized by analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes using two fingerprinting methods: terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Links between plant and bacterial rhizoplane communities could not be detected by visual examination of T-RFLP patterns or DGGE banding profiles. Statistical analysis of fingerprint patterns did not reveal a relationship between bacterial community composition and plant species but did demonstrate an influence of plant community composition. The data also indicated that topography and other, uncharacterized, environmental factors are important in driving bacterial community composition in grassland soils. T-RFLP had greater potential resolving power than DGGE, but findings from the two methods were not significantly different. PMID:16269710

  15. Seep carbonates and chemosynthetic coral communities in the Early Paleocene alpine accretionary wedge: evidences from the Bocco Shale (Internal Liguride ophiolitic sequence, Northern Apennine, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandolfi, Luca; Boschi, Chiara; Luvisi, Edoardo; Alessandro, Ellero; Marroni, Michele; Meneghini, Francesca

    2014-05-01

    In Northern Apennines, the Internal Liguride units are characterized by an ophiolite sequence that represents the stratigraphic base of a Late Jurassic-Early Paleocene sedimentary cover. The Bocco Shale represents the youngest deposit recognized in the sedimentary cover of the ophiolite sequence, sedimented just before the inception of subduction-related deformation history. The Bocco Shale has been interpreted as a fossil example of deposits related to the frontal tectonic erosion of the alpine accretionary wedge slope. The frontal tectonic erosion resulted in a large removal of material from the accretionary wedge front reworked as debris flows and slide deposits sedimented on the lower plate above the trench deposits. These trench-slope deposits may have been successively deformed and metamorphosed during the following accretion processes. The frontal tectonic erosion can be envisaged as a common process during the convergence-related evolution of the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin in the Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary time span. In the uppermost Internal Liguride tectonic unit (Portello Unit of Pandolfi and Marroni. 1997), that crops-out in Trebbia Valley, several isolated blocks of authigenic carbonates, unidentificated corals and intrabasinal carbonatic arenites have been recognized inside the fine-grained sediments that dominate the Early Paleocene Lavagnola Fm. (cfr. Bocco Shale Auctt.). The preliminary data on stable isotopes from blocks of authigenic carbonates (up to 1 m thick and 3 m across) and associated corals archive a methane signatures in their depleted carbon isotope pattern (up to δ13C -30‰ PDB) and suggest the presence of chemosynthetic paleocommunities. The seep-carbonates recognized at the top of Internal Liguride succession (cfr. Bocco Shale Auctt.) occur predominantly as blocks in very thick mudstone-dominated deposits and probably developed in an environment dominated by the expulsion of large volume of cold methane-bearing fluids

  16. Alpine biodiversity and assisted migration: The case of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Ramsay, Nathan G.; Klingler, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Alpine mammals are predicted to be among the species most threatened by climate change, due to the projected loss and further fragmentation of alpine habitats. As temperature or precipitation regimes change, alpine mammals may also be faced with insurmountable barriers to dispersal. The slow rate or inability to adjust to rapidly shifting environmental conditions may cause isolated alpine species to become locally extirpated, resulting in reduced biodiversity. One proposed method for mitigating the impacts of alpine species loss is assisted migration. This method, which involves translocating a species to an area with more favourable climate and habitat characteristics, has become the subject of debate and controversy in the conservation community. The uncertainty associated with climate change projections, coupled with the thermal sensitivity of many alpine mammals, makes it difficult to a priori assess the efficacy of this technique as a conservation management tool. Here we present the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a case study. American pikas inhabit rocky areas throughout the western US, and populations in some mountainous areas have become locally extirpated in recent years. We review known climatic and habitat requirements for this species, and also propose protocols designed to reliably identify favourable relocation areas. We present data related to the physiological constraints of this species and outline specific requirements which must be addressed for translocation of viable populations, including wildlife disease and genetic considerations. Finally, we discuss potential impacts on other alpine species and alpine communities, and overall implications for conserving alpine biodiversity in a changing climate.

  17. NEW ASPECTS OF THE ALPINE VEGETATION OF PARÂNG MOUNTAINS (SOUTH CARPATHIANS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SIMON TIBOR

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available 4 plant communities unknown in the the European syntaxonomy are described from the alpine and subalpine belts of Parâng Mountains, based on vegetation studies of the authors during 1955–1960. These are: Arabis alpina-Saxifraga aizoides, Arabis alpina-Delphinium elatum, Dianthus tenuifolius-Festuca dalmatica and the Primula minima-Dryas octopetala communities. These communities could be described later as new associations in the possession of more relevés from different localities. The East and South Carpathian Doronico carpatici-Festucetum pictae association is distinguished under this new name from the Festucetum pictae Krajina described from the Tatra Mountains. 7 further associations are found as new to the Parâng Mountains.

  18. Distribution patterns and changes of aquatic plant communities in Napahai Wetland in northwestern Yunnan Plateau,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Derong XIAO; Kun TIAN; Hua YUAN; Yuming YANG; Ningyun LI; Shouguo XU

    2008-01-01

    Using GPS technology and community research methods for plant communities,we investigated the distribution patterns of aquatic plant communities in the high plateaus of the Napahai Wetlands,Yunnan,China,as well as the species changes of plant communities compared with that of 24 years ago since 2005.We found that the types and numbers of aquatic plant communities have changed.Some pollution-tolerant,nutrient-loving plant communities such as Scirpus tabernaemontani,Zizania caduciflora,Myriophyllum spicatum,and Azolla imbricata flourished,while the primary aquatic plant com-munities were reduced or even disappeared.The number of aquatic plant communities were increased from nine to 12 with the addition of two new emergent plant com-munities and one new floating-leaved plant community.The increase in emergent plant communities was signifi-cant.From east to west and from south to north,various types of plant communities were continuously distributed,including floating-leaved plant communities,emergent plant communities and submerged plant communities.The composition of the communities became more com-plicated and the number of accompanying species increased,while the percentage ratio of dominant plant species declined.In 2005,the coverage of emergent plant communities was the largest (528.42 hm2) followed by submerged plant communities (362.50 hm2) and the float-ing-leaf plant communities was the smallest (70.23 hm2).The variations in the distribution of aquatic plant com-munities in the Napahai Wetlands reflect the natural responses to the change of the wetland ecological envir-onment.This study indicates that human disturbances have led to an inward movement of the wetland shoreline,a decrease in water quality and a reduction in wetland habitat.

  19. Influences of plant type on bacterial and archaeal communities in constructed wetland treating polluted river water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yan; Yi, Hao; Chen, Sili; Zhang, Zhengke; Cui, Kai; Bing, Yongxin; Zhuo, Qiongfang; Li, Bingxin; Xie, Shuguang; Guo, Qingwei

    2016-10-01

    Both bacteria and archaeal communities can play important roles in biogeochemical processes in constructed wetland (CW) system. However, the influence of plant type on microbial community in surface water CW remains unclear. The present study investigated bacterial and archaeal communities in five surface water CW systems with different plant species. The abundance, richness, and diversity of both bacterial and archaeal communities considerably differed in these five CW systems. Compared with the other three CW systems, the CW systems planted with Vetiveria zizanioides or Juncus effusus L. showed much higher bacterial abundance but lower archaeal abundance. Bacteria outnumbered archaea in each CW system. Moreover, the CW systems planted with V. zizanioides or J. effusus L. had relatively lower archaeal but higher bacterial richness and diversity. In each CW system, bacterial community displayed much higher richness and diversity than archaeal community. In addition, a remarkable difference of both bacterial and archaeal community structures was observed in the five studied CW systems. Proteobacteria was the most abundant bacterial group (accounting for 33-60 %). Thaumarchaeota organisms (57 %) predominated in archaeal communities in CW systems planted with V. zizanioides or J. effusus L., while Woesearchaeota (23 or 24 %) and Euryarchaeota (23 or 15 %) were the major archaeal groups in CW systems planted with Cyperus papyrus or Canna indica L. Archaeal community in CW planted with Typha orientalis Presl was mainly composed of unclassified archaea. Therefore, plant type exerted a considerable influence on microbial community in surface water CW system.

  20. Phylogenetic composition of host plant communities drives plant-herbivore food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volf, Martin; Pyszko, Petr; Abe, Tomokazu; Libra, Martin; Kotásková, Nela; Šigut, Martin; Kumar, Rajesh; Kaman, Ondřej; Butterill, Philip T; Šipoš, Jan; Abe, Haruka; Fukushima, Hiroaki; Drozd, Pavel; Kamata, Naoto; Murakami, Masashi; Novotny, Vojtech

    2017-05-01

    Insects tend to feed on related hosts. The phylogenetic composition of host plant communities thus plays a prominent role in determining insect specialization, food web structure, and diversity. Previous studies showed a high preference of insect herbivores for congeneric and confamilial hosts suggesting that some levels of host plant relationships may play more prominent role that others. We aim to quantify the effects of host phylogeny on the structure of quantitative plant-herbivore food webs. Further, we identify specific patterns in three insect guilds with different life histories and discuss the role of host plant phylogeny in maintaining their diversity. We studied herbivore assemblages in three temperate forests in Japan and the Czech Republic. Sampling from a canopy crane, a cherry picker and felled trees allowed a complete census of plant-herbivore interactions within three 0·1 ha plots for leaf chewing larvae, miners, and gallers. We analyzed the effects of host phylogeny by comparing the observed food webs with randomized models of host selection. Larval leaf chewers exhibited high generality at all three sites, whereas gallers and miners were almost exclusively monophagous. Leaf chewer generality dropped rapidly when older host lineages (5-80 myr) were collated into a single lineage but only decreased slightly when the most closely related congeneric hosts were collated. This shows that leaf chewer generality has been maintained by feeding on confamilial hosts while only a few herbivores were shared between more distant plant lineages and, surprisingly, between some congeneric hosts. In contrast, miner and galler generality was maintained mainly by the terminal nodes of the host phylogeny and dropped immediately after collating congeneric hosts into single lineages. We show that not all levels of host plant phylogeny are equal in their effect on structuring plant-herbivore food webs. In the case of generalist guilds, it is the phylogeny of deeper

  1. Abiotic drivers and plant traits explain landscape-scale patterns in soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T; Manning, Pete; Tallowin, Jerry R B; Mortimer, Simon R; Pilgrim, Emma S; Harrison, Kathryn A; Hobbs, Phil J; Quirk, Helen; Shipley, Bill; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Kattge, Jens; Bardgett, Richard D

    2012-11-01

    The controls on aboveground community composition and diversity have been extensively studied, but our understanding of the drivers of belowground microbial communities is relatively lacking, despite their importance for ecosystem functioning. In this study, we fitted statistical models to explain landscape-scale variation in soil microbial community composition using data from 180 sites covering a broad range of grassland types, soil and climatic conditions in England. We found that variation in soil microbial communities was explained by abiotic factors like climate, pH and soil properties. Biotic factors, namely community-weighted means (CWM) of plant functional traits, also explained variation in soil microbial communities. In particular, more bacterial-dominated microbial communities were associated with exploitative plant traits versus fungal-dominated communities with resource-conservative traits, showing that plant functional traits and soil microbial communities are closely related at the landscape scale.

  2. Humans as long-distance dispersers of rural plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair G Auffret

    Full Text Available Humans are known for their capacity to disperse organisms long distances. Long-distance dispersal can be important for species threatened by habitat destruction, but research into human-mediated dispersal is often focused upon few and/or invasive species. Here we use citizen science to identify the capacity for humans to disperse seeds on their clothes and footwear from a known species pool in a valuable habitat, allowing for an assessment of the fraction and types of species dispersed by humans in an alternative context. We collected material from volunteers cutting 48 species-rich meadows throughout Sweden. We counted 24,354 seeds of 197 species, representing 34% of the available species pool, including several rare and protected species. However, 71 species (36% are considered invasive elsewhere in the world. Trait analysis showed that seeds with hooks or other appendages were more likely to be dispersed by humans, as well as those with a persistent seed bank. More activity in a meadow resulted in more dispersal, both in terms of species and representation of the source communities. Average potential dispersal distances were measured at 13 km. We consider humans capable seed dispersers, transporting a significant proportion of the plant communities in which they are active, just like more traditional vectors such as livestock. When rural populations were larger, people might have been regular and effective seed dispersers, and the net rural-urban migration resulting in a reduction in humans in the landscape may have exacerbated the dispersal failure evident in declining plant populations today. With the fragmentation of habitat and changes in land use resulting from agricultural change, and the increased mobility of humans worldwide, the dispersal role of humans may have shifted from providers of regular local and landscape dispersal to providers of much rarer long-distance and regional dispersal, and international invasion.

  3. Effects of warming and grazing on soil N availability, species composition, and ANPP in an alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shiping; Duan, Jichuang; Xu, Guangping; Wang, Yanfen; Zhang, Zhenhua; Rui, Yichao; Luo, Caiyun; Xu, Burenbayin; Zhu, Xiaoxue; Chang, Xiaofeng; Cui, Xiaoyong; Niu, Haishan; Zhao, Xinquan; Wang, Wenying

    2012-11-01

    Uncertainty about the effects of warming and grazing on soil nitrogen (N) availability, species composition, and aboveground net primary production (ANPP) limits our ability to predict how global carbon sequestration will vary under future warming with grazing in alpine regions. Through a controlled asymmetrical warming (1.2/1.7 degrees C during daytime/nighttime) with a grazing experiment from 2006 to 2010 in an alpine meadow, we found that warming alone and moderate grazing did not significantly affect soil net N mineralization. Although plant species richness significantly decreased by 10% due to warming after 2008, we caution that this may be due to the transient occurrence or disappearance of some rare plant species in all treatments. Warming significantly increased graminoid cover, except in 2009, and legume cover after 2008, but reduced non-legume forb cover in the community. Grazing significantly decreased cover of graminoids and legumes before 2009 but increased forb cover in 2010. Warming significantly increased ANPP regardless of grazing, whereas grazing reduced the response of ANPP to warming. N addition did not affect ANPP in both warming and grazing treatments. Our findings suggest that soil N availability does not determine ANPP under simulated warming and that heavy grazing rather than warming causes degradation of the alpine meadows.

  4. Asynchronous responses of soil microbial community and understory plant community to simulated nitrogen deposition in a subtropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianping; Liu, Wenfei; Fan, Houbao; Huang, Guomin; Wan, Songze; Yuan, Yinghong; Ji, Chunfeng

    2013-10-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition greatly affects ecosystem processes and properties. However, few studies have simultaneously examined the responses of both the above- and belowground communities to N deposition. Here, we investigated the effects of 8 years of simulated N deposition on soil microbial communities and plant diversity in a subtropical forest. The quantities of experimental N added (g of N m(-2) year(-1)) and treatment codes were 0 (N0, control), 6 (N1), 12 (N2), and 24 (N3). Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis was used to characterize the soil microbial community while plant diversity and coverage were determined in the permanent field plots. Microbial abundance was reduced by the N3 treatment, and plant species richness and coverage were reduced by both N2 and N3 treatments. Declines in plant species richness were associated with decreased abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increased bacterial stress index, and reduced soil pH. The plasticity of soil microbial community would be more related to the different responses among treatments when compared with plant community. These results indicate that long-term N deposition has greater effects on the understory plant community than on the soil microbial community and different conservation strategies should be considered.

  5. Bacterial communities involved in sulfur transformations in wastewater treatment plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Daniel Derrossi; de Andrade, Pedro Avelino Maia; Durrer, Ademir; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Corção, Gertrudes; Brandelli, Adriano

    2016-12-01

    The main sulfate-reducing (SRB) and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) in six wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located at southern Brazil were described based on high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rDNA. Specific taxa of SRB and SOB were correlated with some abiotic factors, such as the source of the wastewater, oxygen content, sample type, and physical chemical attributes of these WWTPs. When the 22 families of SRB and SOB were clustered together, the samples presented a striking distribution, demonstrating grouping patterns according to the sample type. For SOB, the most abundant families were Spirochaetaceae, Chromatiaceae, Helicobacteriaceae, Rhodospirillaceae, and Neisseriaceae, whereas, for SRB, were Syntrophaceae, Desulfobacteraceae, Nitrospiraceae, and Desulfovibriaceae. The structure and composition of the major families related to the sulfur cycle were also influenced by six chemical attributes (sulfur, potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and nitrogen). Sulfur was the chemical attribute that most influenced the variation of bacterial communities in the WWTPs (λ = 0.14, p = 0.008). The OTUs affiliated to Syntrophus showed the highest response to the increase of total sulfur. All these findings can contribute to improve the understanding in relation to the sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing communities in WWTPs aiming to reduce H2S emissions.

  6. Relationships between functional diversity and aboveground biomass production in the Northern Tibetan alpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Juntao; Jiang, Lin; Zhang, Yangjian

    2016-09-26

    Functional diversity, the extent of functional differences among species in a community, drives biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) relationships. Here, four species traits and aboveground biomass production (ABP) were considered. We used two community-wide measures of plant functional composition, (1) community weighted means of trait values (CWM) and (2) functional trait diversity based on Rao's quadratic diversity (FDQ) to evaluate the effects of functional diversity on the ABP in the Northern Tibetan alpine grasslands. Both species and functional diversity were positively related to the ABP. Functional trait composition had a larger predictive power for the ABP than species diversity and FDQ, indicating a primary dependence of ecosystem property on the identity of dominant species in our study system. Multivariate functional diversity was ineffective in predicting ecosystem function due to the trade-offs among different traits or traits selection criterions. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms driving the BEF relationships in stressed ecosystems, and especially emphasizes that abiotic and biotic factors affect the BEF relationships in alpine grasslands.

  7. Land-use intensity and host plant identity interactively shape communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in roots of grassland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vályi, Kriszta; Rillig, Matthias C; Hempel, Stefan

    2015-03-01

    We studied the effect of host plant identity and land-use intensity (LUI) on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, Glomeromycota) communities in roots of grassland plants. These are relevant factors for intraradical AMF communities in temperate grasslands, which are habitats where AMF are present in high abundance and diversity. In order to focus on fungi that directly interact with the plant at the time, we investigated root-colonizing communities. Our study sites represent an LUI gradient with different combinations of grazing, mowing, and fertilization. We used massively parallel multitag pyrosequencing to investigate AMF communities in a large number of root samples, while being able to track the identity of the host. We showed that host plants significantly differed in AMF community composition, while land use modified this effect in a plant species-specific manner. Communities in medium and low land-use sites were subsets of high land-use communities, suggesting a differential effect of land use on the dispersal of AMF species with different abundances and competitive abilities. We demonstrate that in these grasslands, there is a small group of highly abundant, generalist fungi which represent the dominating species in the AMF community.

  8. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kembel, Steven W; O'Connor, Timothy K; Arnold, Holly K; Hubbell, Stephen P; Wright, S Joseph; Green, Jessica L

    2014-09-23

    The phyllosphere--the aerial surfaces of plants, including leaves--is a ubiquitous global habitat that harbors diverse bacterial communities. Phyllosphere bacterial communities have the potential to influence plant biogeography and ecosystem function through their influence on the fitness and function of their hosts, but the host attributes that drive community assembly in the phyllosphere are poorly understood. In this study we used high-throughput sequencing to quantify bacterial community structure on the leaves of 57 tree species in a neotropical forest in Panama. We tested for relationships between bacterial communities on tree leaves and the functional traits, taxonomy, and phylogeny of their plant hosts. Bacterial communities on tropical tree leaves were diverse; leaves from individual trees were host to more than 400 bacterial taxa. Bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were dominated by a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. Host attributes including plant taxonomic identity, phylogeny, growth and mortality rates, wood density, leaf mass per area, and leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were correlated with bacterial community structure on leaves. The relative abundances of several bacterial taxa were correlated with suites of host plant traits related to major axes of plant trait variation, including the leaf economics spectrum and the wood density-growth/mortality tradeoff. These correlations between phyllosphere bacterial diversity and host growth, mortality, and function suggest that incorporating information on plant-microbe associations will improve our ability to understand plant functional biogeography and the drivers of variation in plant and ecosystem function.

  9. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change.

  10. Endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial communities isolated from the medicinal plants Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiellini, Carolina; Maida, Isabel; Emiliani, Giovanni; Mengoni, Alessio; Mocali, Stefano; Fabiani, Arturo; Biffi, Sauro; Maggini, Valentina; Gori, Luigi; Vannacci, Alfredo; Gallo, Eugenia; Firenzuoli, Fabio; Fani, Renato

    2014-09-01

    In this work we analyzed the composition and structure of cultivable bacterial communities isolated from the stem/leaf and root compartments of two medicinal plants, Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench and Echinacea angustifolia (DC.) Hell, grown in the same soil, as well as the bacterial community from their rhizospheric soils. Molecular PCR-based techniques were applied to cultivable bacteria isolated from the three compartments of the two plants. The results showed that the two plants and their respective compartments were characterized by different communities, indicating a low degree of strain sharing and a strong selective pressure within plant tissues. Pseudomonas was the most highly represented genus, together with Actinobacteria and Bacillus spp. The presence of distinct bacterial communities in different plant species and among compartments of the same plant species could account for the differences in the medicinal properties of the two plants. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  11. Responses of plant functional traits and soil factors to slope aspect in alpine meadow of South Gansu, Northwest China%甘南高寒草甸植物功能性状和土壤因子对坡向的响应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘旻霞; 马建祖

    2012-01-01

    This paper studied the plant functional traits, soil factors, and their relationships at different slope aspects in the alpine meadow of South Gansu. On the sunny slope, grasses were the dominant functional groups; while on the shady slope, forbs and shrubs dominated. The plant community biomass was significantly higher on shady slope than on sunny slope, while the leaf N/P ratio was in adverse. The leaf phosphorus content, specific leaf area, and plant average height at different slope aspects were in the order of shady slope > partial shady slope > sunny slope, whereas the leaf nitrogen content on different slopes had less difference. The survival strategies of the vegetations on sunny and shady slopes had great changes, reflecting in the differences in the plant leaf traits and dominant functional groups. Soil temperature was in the order of sunny slope > partial shady slope > shady slope, while soil water content was in the order of shady slope> partial shady slope > sunny slope. Soil total phosphorus content increased from the sunny slope to the shady slope, while the other soil nutrients contents showed the sequence of shady slope > sunny slope > partial shady slope. The specific leaf area and plant average height were significantly positively correlated to the soil organic carbon, total phosphorous, and water contents, and significantly negatively correlated to soil pH. Soil water content and soil pH co-affected the distribution patterns of plant functional traits and soil nutrients at different slope aspects of alpine meadow.%研究甘南高寒草甸不同坡向植物功能性状和土壤因子及二者的关系.结果表明:禾草是阳坡的优势功能群,杂草和灌木是阴坡的优势功能群.阴坡植物群落生物量显著大于阳坡,但叶片氮磷比显著小于阳坡.不同坡向上,除叶片氮含量变化不显著外,叶片磷含量、比叶面积和物种平均高度大小均为阴坡>偏阴坡>阳坡.植被的生存策略在阴阳坡

  12. Interactive effects of root endophytes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on an experimental plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rillig, Matthias C; Wendt, Stefanie; Antonovics, Janis; Hempel, Stefan; Kohler, Josef; Wehner, Jeannine; Caruso, Tancredi

    2014-01-01

    Plant-soil microbial interactions have moved into focus as an important mechanism for understanding plant coexistence and composition of communities. Both arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) as well as other root endophytic fungi co-occur in plant roots, and therefore have the potential to influence relative abundances of plant species in local assemblages. However, no study has experimentally examined how these key root endosymbiont groups might interact and affect plant community composition. Here, using an assemblage of five plant species in mesocosms in a fully factorial experiment, we added an assemblage of AM fungi and/or a mixture of root endophytic fungal isolates, all obtained from the same grassland field site. The results demonstrate that the AM fungi and root endophytes interact to affect plant community composition by changing relative species abundance, and consequently aboveground productivity. Our study highlights the need to explicitly consider interactions of root-inhabiting fungal groups in studies of plant assemblages.

  13. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmers, R.A.; Rothballer, M.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Engel, M.; Schulz, M.; Hartmann, A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2012-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into

  14. A Post Licensing Study of Community Effects at Two Operating Nuclear Power Plants. Final Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purdy, Bruce J.; And Others

    In an effort to identify and assess the social, economic, and political effects of nuclear power plant construction and operation upon two host communities (Plymouth, Massachusetts and Waterford, Connecticut), a post-licensing review revealed that the primary impact of the nuclear power plants in both communities was an increase in the property…

  15. Eco-geophysical imaging of watershed-scale soil patterns links with plant community spatial patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    The extent to which soil resource availability, nutrients or 1 moisture, control the structure, function and diversity of plant communities has aroused considerable interest in the past decade, and remains topical in light of global change. Numerous plant communities are controlled either by water o...

  16. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmers, R.A.; Rothballer, M.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Engel, M.; Schulz, M.; Hartmann, A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2012-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into th

  17. Soil phosphorus depletion and shifts in plant communities change bacterial community structure in a long-term grassland management trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adair, Karen L; Wratten, Steve; Lear, Gavin

    2013-06-01

    Agricultural systems rely on healthy soils and their sustainability requires understanding the long-term impacts of agricultural practices on soils, including microbial communities. We examined the impact of 17 years of land management on soil bacterial communities in a New Zealand randomized-block pasture trial. Significant variation in bacterial community structure related to mowing and plant biomass removal, while nitrogen fertilizer had no effect. Changes in soil chemistry and legume abundance described 52% of the observed variation in the bacterial community structure. Legumes (Trifolium species) were absent in unmanaged plots but increased in abundance with management intensity; 11% of the variation in soil bacterial community structure was attributed to this shift in the plant community. Olsen P explained 10% of the observed heterogeneity, which is likely due to persistent biomass removal resulting in P limitation; Olsen P was significantly lower in plots with biomass removed (14 mg kg(-1) ± 1.3SE) compared with plots that were not mown, or where biomass was left after mowing (32 mg kg(-1) ± 1.6SE). Our results suggest that removal of plant biomass and associated phosphorus, as well as shifts in the plant community, have greater long-term impacts on soil bacterial community structure than application of nitrogen fertilizers.

  18. Developing restoration planting mixes for active ski slopes: a multi-site reference community approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Jennifer Williamson

    2012-03-01

    Downhill ski areas occupy large expanses of mountainous lands where restoration of ecosystem function is of increasing importance and interest. Establishing diverse native plant communities on ski runs should enhance sediment and water retention, wildlife habitat, biodiversity and aesthetics. Because ski slopes are managed for recreation, ski slope revegetation mixes must consist of low-stature or herbaceous plants that can tolerate typical environmental conditions on ski slopes (high elevation, disturbed soils, open, steep slopes). The most appropriate reference communities for selecting ski slope revegetation species are thus successional, or seral plant communities in similar environments (i.e., other ski slopes). Using results from a broad-scale reference community analysis, I evaluated plant communities naturally occurring on ski slopes from 21 active and abandoned ski areas throughout the northern Sierra Nevada to identify native plant species suitable for use in ski slope restoration. I constructed a baseline planting palette of regionally appropriate plant species (for restoration of either newly created or already existing ski runs) that is functionally diverse and is likely to succeed across a broad range of environments. I also identify a more comprehensive list of species for more specialized planting mixes based on site-specific goals and particular environmental settings. Establishing seral plant communities may be an appropriate restoration goal for many other types of managed lands, including roadsides, firebreaks and utility rights-of-way. This study describes an ecological (and potentially cost-effective) approach to developing restoration planting palettes for such managed lands.

  19. Effects of invasive species on plant communities: an example using submersed aquatic plants at the regional level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Submerged aquatic plants have a key role in maintaining functioning aquatic ecosystems through their effects in the hydrological regime, sedimentation, nutrient cycling and habitats of associated fauna. Modifications of aquatic plant communities, as for example through the introduction of invasive s...

  20. Links between plant and fungal communities across a deforestation chronosequence in the Amazon rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rebecca C; Paula, Fabiana S; Mirza, Babur S; Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Nüsslein, Klaus; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2014-07-01

    Understanding the interactions among microbial communities, plant communities and soil properties following deforestation could provide insights into the long-term effects of land-use change on ecosystem functions, and may help identify approaches that promote the recovery of degraded sites. We combined high-throughput sequencing of fungal rDNA and molecular barcoding of plant roots to estimate fungal and plant community composition in soil sampled across a chronosequence of deforestation. We found significant effects of land-use change on fungal community composition, which was more closely correlated to plant community composition than to changes in soil properties or geographic distance, providing evidence for strong links between above- and below-ground communities in tropical forests.

  1. Biological support media influence the bacterial biofouling community in reverse osmosis water reclamation demonstration plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrera, Isabel; Mas, Jordi; Taberna, Elisenda; Sanz, Joan; Sánchez, Olga

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of the bacterial community developed in different stages of two reverse osmosis (RO) water reclamation demonstration plants designed in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Tarragona (Spain) was characterized by applying 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The plants were fed by secondary treated effluent to a conventional pretreatment train prior to the two-pass RO system. Plants differed in the material used in the filtration process, which was sand in one demonstration plant and Scandinavian schists in the second plant. The results showed the presence of a highly diverse and complex community in the biofilms, mainly composed of members of the Betaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes in all stages, with the presence of some typical wastewater bacteria, suggesting a feed water origin. Community similarities analyses revealed that samples clustered according to filter type, highlighting the critical influence of the biological supporting medium in biofilm community structure.

  2. Polyphasic analyses of methanogenic archaeal communities in agricultural biogas plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettmann, E; Bergmann, I; Pramschüfer, S; Mundt, K; Plogsties, V; Herrmann, C; Klocke, M

    2010-04-01

    Knowledge of the microbial consortia participating in the generation of biogas, especially in methane formation, is still limited. To overcome this limitation, the methanogenic archaeal communities in six full-scale biogas plants supplied with different liquid manures and renewable raw materials as substrates were analyzed by a polyphasic approach. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was carried out to quantify the methanogenic Archaea in the reactor samples. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) was used to support and complete the FISH analysis. Five of the six biogas reactors were dominated by hydrogenotrophic Methanomicrobiales. The average values were between 60 to 63% of archaeal cell counts (FISH) and 61 to 99% of archaeal 16S rRNA gene copies (Q-PCR). Within this order, Methanoculleus was found to be the predominant genus as determined by amplified rRNA gene restriction analysis. The aceticlastic family Methanosaetaceae was determined to be the dominant methanogenic group in only one biogas reactor, with average values for Q-PCR and FISH between 64% and 72%. Additionally, in three biogas reactors hitherto uncharacterized but potentially methanogenic species were detected. They showed closest accordance with nucleotide sequences of the hitherto unclassified CA-11 (85%) and ARC-I (98%) clusters. These results point to hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis as a predominant pathway for methane synthesis in five of the six analyzed biogas plants. In addition, a correlation between the absence of Methanosaetaceae in the biogas reactors and high concentrations of total ammonia (sum of NH(3) and NH(4)(+)) was observed.

  3. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Ding

    Full Text Available Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  4. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Tao; Melcher, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  5. Differences in gypsum plant communities associated with habitat fragmentation and livestock grazing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pueyo, Y; Alados, C L; Barrantes, O; Komac, B; Rietkerk, M

    2008-06-01

    The negative consequences of habitat fragmentation for plant communities have been documented in many regions of the world. In some fragmented habitats, livestock grazing has been proposed to be a dispersal mechanism reducing isolation between fragments. In others, grazing acts together with fragmentation in a way that increases habitat degradation. Iberian gypsum plant communities have been grazed and fragmented by agricultural practices for centuries. Although their conservation is considered a priority by the European Community, the effects of fragmentation on gypsum plant communities and the possible role of livestock grazing remain unknown. In addition, a substantial proportion of plant species growing in gypsum environments are gypsum specialists. They could be particularly affected by fragmentation, as was found for other habitat specialists (i.e., serpentine and calcareous specialists). In this study (1) we investigated the effect of fragmentation and grazing on gypsum plant community composition (species and life-forms), and (2) we tested to see if gypsum specialists were differently affected by fragmentation and grazing than habitat generalists. A vegetation survey was conducted in the largest gypsum outcrop of Europe (Middle Ebro Valley, northeast Spain). Fragmented and continuous sites in grazed and ungrazed areas were compared. Measurements related to species and composition of life-forms were contrasted first for the whole gypsum plant community and then specifically for the gypsum specialists. In the whole community, our results showed lower plant species diversity in fragmented sites, mainly due to the larger dominance of species more tolerant to fragmented habitat conditions. With livestock grazing, the plant species richness and the similarity in plant species composition between remnants was larger, suggesting that animals were acting as dispersal agents between fragments. As expected, gypsum specialists were less abundant in fragmented areas

  6. Contrasting microbial biogeographical patterns between anthropogenic subalpine grasslands and natural alpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geremia, Roberto A; Pușcaș, Mihai; Zinger, Lucie; Bonneville, Jean-Marc; Choler, Philippe

    2016-02-01

    The effect of plant species composition on soil microbial communities was studied at the multiregional level. We compared the soil microbial communities of alpine natural grasslands dominated by Carex curvula and anthropogenic subalpine pastures dominated by Nardus stricta. We conducted paired sampling across the Carpathians and the Alps and used Illumina sequencing to reveal the molecular diversity of soil microbes. We found that bacterial and fungal communities exhibited contrasting regional distributions and that the distribution in each grassland is well discriminated. Beta diversity of microbial communities was much higher in C. curvula grasslands due to a marked regional effect. The composition of grassland-type core microbiomes suggest that C. curvula, and N. stricta to a lesser extent, tend to select a cohort of microbes related to antibiosis/exclusion, pathogenesis and endophytism. We discuss these findings in light of the postglacial history of the studied grasslands, the habitat connectivity and the disturbance regimes. Human-induced disturbance in the subalpine belt of European mountains has led to homogeneous soil microbial communities at large biogeographical scales. Our results confirm the overarching role of the dominant grassland plant species in the distribution of microbial communities and highlight the relevance of biogeographical history.

  7. Psychological Impact of a Nuclear Power Plant: Changing Perceptions of Community and Neighborhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughey, Joseph B.

    1986-01-01

    Examines change in attitude toward community and descriptions of neighborhood environments of 217 residents of rural host community for a nuclear power plant. Finds negative attitude change and less positive descriptions of neighborhoods. Discusses implications for community psychology and preventive intervention. (LFL)

  8. Large herbivores change the direction of interactions within plant communities along a salt marsh stress gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Howison, Ruth A.; Olff, Han; Steever, Rutger; Smit, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Question: How multiple abiotic stress factors combined with herbivory affect interactions within plant communities is poorly understood. We ask how large herbivore grazing affects the direction of plant-plant interactions along an environmental gradient in a salt marsh. Location: Grazed (cattle) and

  9. Interplay between Senecio jacobaea and plant, soil, and aboveground insect community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Korpershoek, H.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    To elucidate the factors that affect the performance of plants in their natural environment, it is essential to study interactions with other neighboring plants, as well as with above- and belowground higher trophic organisms. We used a long-term field experiment to study how local plant community d

  10. Long-term effects of plant diversity and composition on soil nematode communities in model grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viketoft, Maria; Bengtsson, Janne; Sohlenius, Björn; Berg, Matty P; Petchey, Owen; Palmborg, Cecilia; Huss-Danell, Kerstin

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity anddiversity influence soil organism communities. We examine the effects of grassland plant species growing alone and together up to a richness of 12 species on nematode diversity and feeding group composition, eight years after the establishment of experimental grassland plots at the BIODEPTH site in northern Sweden. This is a substantially longer time than most other experimental studies of plant effects on soil fauna. We address the hypotheses that (la) higher species or functional diversity of plants increases nematode diversity, as well as influences nematode community composition. Alternatively, (1b) individual plant species traits are most important for nematode diversity and community composition. (2) Plant effects on soil organisms will decrease with increasing number of trophic links between plants and soil fauna. Plant species identity was often more important than plant diversity for nematode community composition, supporting hypothesis 1b. There was a weak positive relation between plant and nematode richness;which could be attributed to the presence of the legume Trifolium pratense, but also to some other plant species, suggesting a selection or sampling effect. Several plant species in different functional groups affected nematode community composition. For example, we found that legumes increased bacterial-feeding nematodes, most notably r-selected Rhabditida, while fungal-feeding nematodes were enhanced by forbs. Other bacterial feeders and obligate root feeders were positively related to grasses. Plant effects were usually stronger on plant-, bacterial- and fungal-feeding nematodes than on omnivores/predators, which supports hypothesis 2. Our study suggests that plant identity has stronger effects than plant diversity on nematode community composition, but when comparing our results with similar previous studies the effects of particular plant species appear to vary. We

  11. A network model for plant-pollinator community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Colin; Yang, Suann; Albert, Réka; Shea, Katriona

    2011-01-04

    Community assembly models, usually constructed for food webs, are an important component of our understanding of how ecological communities are formed. However, models for mutualistic community assembly are still needed, especially because these communities are experiencing significant anthropogenic disturbances that affect their biodiversity. Here, we present a unique network model that simulates the colonization and extinction process of mutualistic community assembly. We generate regional source pools of species interaction networks on the basis of statistical properties reported in the literature. We develop a dynamic synchronous Boolean framework to simulate, with few free parameters, the dynamics of new mutualistic community formation from the regional source pool. This approach allows us to deterministically map out every possible trajectory of community formation. This level of detail is rarely observed in other analytic approaches and allows for thorough analysis of the dynamical properties of community formation. As for food web assembly, we find that the number of stable communities is quite low, and the composition of the source pool influences the abundance and nature of community outcomes. However, in contrast to food web assembly, stable mutualistic communities form rapidly. Small communities with minor fluctuations in species presence/absence (self-similar limit cycles) are the most common community outcome. The unique application of this Boolean network approach to the study of mutualistic community assembly offers a great opportunity to improve our understanding of these critical communities.

  12. A more holistic understanding of soil organic matter pools of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia Franco, Noelia; Wiesmeier, Martin; Kiese, Ralf; Dannenmann, Michael; Wolf, Benjamin; Brandhuber, Robert; Beck, Robert; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2016-04-01

    , SEM, NanoSIMS) and the dynamics of plant and microbial communities will help us to fill knowledge gaps in the interaction of C and N dynamics in alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils and the rhizosphere under climate and land management changes.

  13. Mathematical modeling of heat transfer in plant community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finnikov K.A.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The conductive, convective and radiation heat exchange process in a natural system including plants aggregation, air lower layer and ground upper layer, is examined. The mathematical model of process is formulated in 1d unsteady approach. The numerical simulation of plants aggregation cooling is performed for the case of a radiation frost. It is found up that mutual influence of plants in an aggregation on the heat exchange with environment grows with the increase of plants size and plants number per ground area. The influence leads to that lower parts of plants are cooled slower, while upper parts are cooled faster. The estimations are made for the quantity of heat emitted in a thermogenic plant that is enough to prevent the plant cold stress. It is shown that in presence of enforced air flow the rate of plants cooling is noticeably lower, as well as the quantity of heat enough to prevent the plant cold stress.

  14. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janoušková, Martina; Krak, Karol; Vosátka, Miroslav; Püschel, David; Štorchová, Helena

    2017-01-01

    Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may improve plant performance at disturbed sites, but inoculation may also suppress root colonization by native AMF and decrease the diversity of the root-colonizing AMF community. This has been shown for the roots of directly inoculated plants, but little is known about the stability of inoculation effects, and to which degree the inoculant and the inoculation-induced changes in AMF community composition spread into newly emerging seedlings that were not in direct contact with the introduced propagules. We addressed this topic in a greenhouse experiment based on the soil and native AMF community of a post-mining site. Plants were cultivated in compartmented pots with substrate containing the native AMF community, where AMF extraradical mycelium radiating from directly inoculated plants was allowed to inoculate neighboring plants. The abundances of the inoculated isolate and of native AMF taxa were monitored in the roots of the directly inoculated plants and the neighboring plants by quantitative real-time PCR. As expected, inoculation suppressed root colonization of the directly inoculated plants by other AMF taxa of the native AMF community and also by native genotypes of the same species as used for inoculation. In the neighboring plants, high abundance of the inoculant and the suppression of native AMF were maintained. Thus, we demonstrate that inoculation effects on native AMF propagate into plants that were not in direct contact with the introduced inoculum, and are therefore likely to persist at the site of inoculation.

  15. Micro-climatic controls and warming effects on flowering time in alpine snowbeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbognani, Michele; Bernareggi, Giulietta; Perucco, Francesco; Tomaselli, Marcello; Petraglia, Alessandro

    2016-10-01

    Alpine snowbed communities are among the habitats most threatened by climate change. The warmer temperature predicted, coupled with advanced snowmelt time, will influence flowering phenology, which is a key process in species adaptation to changing environmental conditions and plant population dynamics. However, we know little about the effects of changing micro-climate on flowering time in snowbeds and the mechanisms underlying such phenological responses. The flowering phenology of species inhabiting alpine snowbeds was assessed with weekly observations over five growing seasons. We analysed flowering time in relation to micro-climatic variation in snowmelt date, soil and air temperature, and experimental warming during the snow-free period. This approach allowed us to test hypotheses concerning the processes driving flowering phenology. The plants were finely tuned with inter-annual and intra-seasonal variations of their micro-climate, but species did not track the same micro-climatic feature to flower. At the growing-season time-scale, the air surrounding the plants was the most common trigger of the blooming period. However, at the annual time-scale, the snowmelt date was the main controlling factor for flowering time, even in warmer climate. Moreover, spatial patterns of the snowmelt influenced the developmental rate of the species because in later snowmelt sites the plants needed a lower level of heat accumulation to enter anthesis. Phenological responses to experimental warming differed among species, were proportional to the pre-flowering time-span of plants, and did not show consistent trends of change over time. Finally, warmer temperature produced an overall increase of flowering synchrony both within and among plant species.

  16. Semenic Mountains’ alpine skiing area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petru BANIAȘ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper presents, after a short history of alpine skiing which describes apparition, necessity, utility and universality of skiing during time, a comparative study referring to the alpine skiing domain in the Semenic Mountains area. In the paper are also presented general notions about alpine skiing methodology together with an ample description of the plateau area form Semenic Mountains, describing localization and touristic potential. Based on the SWOT analysis made for each slope, was realized a complex analysis of the entire skiing domain, an analysis which includes technical, financial, climatic and environmental aspects, along with an analysis of the marketing policy applied for the specific zone.

  17. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Rodrigues

    Full Text Available The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum, another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica, and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima. The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME. Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that

  18. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Richard R; Pineda, Rosana P; Barney, Jacob N; Nilsen, Erik T; Barrett, John E; Williams, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum), another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica), and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima). The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME). Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that nitrogen

  19. An integrated geochemical, geophysical and mineralogical study of river sediments in alpine area and soil samples near steel plant, in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irfan, M. I.; Meisel, T.

    2012-04-01

    Concentration of nickel and chromium in any part of the ecosystem is important for environmental concerns in particular human health due to the reason that some species of them can cause health problem e.g. dermatitis and cancer. Sediment samples collected form a river Vordernberger Bach (Leoben, Austria) in an alpine region and soil samples collected in an area adjacent to steel production unit in same narrow valley were investigated. In previous studies a correlation between magnetic susceptibility values and concentration of nickel and chromium showed that a magnetic susceptibility meter can be used to point out the contaminated areas as in-situ device. The purpose of the whole study is to understand the real (point or diffuse, anthropogenic or geogenic) sources of contamination of soils, water and river sediments through heavy metal deposition. Unseparated, magnetic and non-magnetic fractions of soil samples were investigated for geochemical and mineralogical aspects with XRF, ICP-MS, EMPA, Multi-Functional Kappabridge (MFK1) and laser ablation coupled with ICP-MS. Mineralogical study of sediment samples for several sampling points with higher Ni and Cr content was performed. Sediment samples were sieved below 1.4 mm and then a concentrate of heavy minerals was prepared in the field through panning. Concentrated heavy minerals were then subjected for heavy liquid separation in the laboratory. Separated magnetic and non-magnetic fractions below 0.71/0.1 mm and density greater than 2.9 g/cm3 were selected for mineralogical investigation. The abundance of typical anthropogenic particles, e.g., spherical, tinder, roasted ores, iron and steel mill slag was observed under the microscope. Magnetite (mostly anthropogenic), maghemite, chromspinel, chromite (type I & II), (Ca,Al)-ferrite, wustite, apatite (anthropogenic), olivine mixed crystals, calcium silicate and spinel (anthropogenic) are found in magnetic fraction. Non-magnetic fractions contain hematite, siderite

  20. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  1. Responses of community-level plant-insect interactions to climate warming in a meadow steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hui; Zou, Xuehui; Wang, Deli; Wan, Shiqiang; Wang, Ling; Guo, Jixun

    2015-12-21

    Climate warming may disrupt trophic interactions, consequently influencing ecosystem functioning. Most studies have concentrated on the temperature-effects on plant-insect interactions at individual and population levels, with a particular emphasis on changes in phenology and distribution. Nevertheless, the available evidence from the community level is limited. A 3-year field manipulative experiment was performed to test potential responses of plant and insect communities, and plant-insect interactions, to elevated temperature in a meadow steppe. Warming increased the biomass of plant community and forbs, and decreased grass biomass, indicating a shift from grass-dominant to grass-forb mixed plant community. Reduced abundance of the insect community under warming, particularly the herbivorous insects, was attributed to lower abundance of Euchorthippus unicolor and a Cicadellidae species resulting from lower food availability and higher defensive herbivory. Lower herbivore abundance caused lower predator species richness because of reduced prey resources and contributed to an overall decrease in insect species richness. Interestingly, warming enhanced the positive relationship between insect and plant species richness, implying that the strength of the plant-insect interactions was altered by warming. Our results suggest that alterations to plant-insect interactions at a community level under climate warming in grasslands may be more important and complex than previously thought.

  2. Responses of community-level plant-insect interactions to climate warming in a meadow steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hui; Zou, Xuehui; Wang, Deli; Wan, Shiqiang; Wang, Ling; Guo, Jixun

    2015-01-01

    Climate warming may disrupt trophic interactions, consequently influencing ecosystem functioning. Most studies have concentrated on the temperature-effects on plant-insect interactions at individual and population levels, with a particular emphasis on changes in phenology and distribution. Nevertheless, the available evidence from the community level is limited. A 3-year field manipulative experiment was performed to test potential responses of plant and insect communities, and plant-insect interactions, to elevated temperature in a meadow steppe. Warming increased the biomass of plant community and forbs, and decreased grass biomass, indicating a shift from grass-dominant to grass-forb mixed plant community. Reduced abundance of the insect community under warming, particularly the herbivorous insects, was attributed to lower abundance of Euchorthippus unicolor and a Cicadellidae species resulting from lower food availability and higher defensive herbivory. Lower herbivore abundance caused lower predator species richness because of reduced prey resources and contributed to an overall decrease in insect species richness. Interestingly, warming enhanced the positive relationship between insect and plant species richness, implying that the strength of the plant-insect interactions was altered by warming. Our results suggest that alterations to plant-insect interactions at a community level under climate warming in grasslands may be more important and complex than previously thought. PMID:26686758

  3. Strong linkage between plant and soil fungal communities along a successional coastal dune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy-Bolduc, Alice; Laliberté, Etienne; Boudreau, Stéphane; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Complex interactions between plants and soil microorganisms drive key ecosystem and community properties such as productivity and diversity. In nutrient-poor systems such as sand dunes, plant traits and fungal symbioses related to nutrient acquisition can strongly influence vegetation dynamics. We investigated plant and fungal communities in a relic foredune plain located on an archipelago in Québec, Canada. We detected distinct communities across the edaphic and successional gradient. Our results showed a clear increase in plant species richness, as well as in the diversity of nutrient-acquisition strategies. We also found a strong correlation between aboveground vegetation and soil fungal communities, and both responded similarly to soil physicochemical properties. Soil pH influenced the composition of plant and fungal communities, and could act as an important environmental filter along this relic foredune plain. The increasing functional diversity in plant nutrient-acquisition strategies across the gradient might favor resource partitioning and facilitation among co-occurring plant species. The coordinated changes in soil microbial and plant communities highlight the importance of aboveground-belowground linkages and positive biotic interactions during ecological succession in nutrient-poor environments.

  4. Species divergence and trait convergence in experimental plant community assembly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fukami, T.; Bezemer, T.M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2005-01-01

    Despite decades of research, it remains controversial whether ecological communities converge towards a common structure determined by environmental conditions irrespective of assembly history. Here, we show experimentally that the answer depends on the level of community organization considered. In

  5. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Dan E; Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  6. An account of the plant communities of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm, Orange Free State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J.A. Werger

    1973-09-01

    Full Text Available As part of the IBP survey of conservation sites, the vegetation of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm,Orange Free State, was surveyed and analysed according to the Braun-Blanquet phytosociological method. A classification of the plant communities occurring there is given. A way by which a hierarchical classification of plant communities in South Africa community is physiognomically classified according of this system are discussed briefly.could be constructed, is suggested. Each plant to Fosberg's (1967 system. Two disadvantages of this system are discussed briefly.

  7. [Effects of phytase transgenic corn planting on soil nematode community].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zong-Chao; Su, Ying; Mou, Wen-Ya; Liu, Man-Qiang; Chen, Xiao-Yun; Chen, Fa-Jun

    2014-04-01

    A healthy soil ecosystem is essential for nutrient cycling and energy conversion, and the impact of exogenous genes from genetically modified crops had aroused wide concerns. Phytase transgenic corn (i. e., the inbred line BVLA430101) was issued a bio-safety certificate on 27 September 2009 in China, which could improve the efficiency of feed utilization, reduce environmental pollution caused by animal manure. In this study, the abundance of trophic groups, community structure and ecological indices of soil nematodes were studied over the growing cycle of phytase transgenic corn (ab. transgenic corn) and control conventional parental corn (ab. control corn) in the field. Totally 29 and 26 nematode genera were isolated from transgenic corn and control corn fields, respectively. The abundances of bacterivores and omnivores-predators, the total number of soil nematodes, and the Shannon index (H) were significantly greater under transgenic corn than under control corn, while the opposite trend was found for the relative abundance of herbivores and the maturity index (Sigma MI) of soil nematodes. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) did not detect any significant effects of transgenic corn on the composition and abundance of nematode trophic groups and ecological indices of soil nematodes. Furthermore, the Student-T test showed that the abundances of bacterivores and omnivores-predators and the total number of soil nematodes during the milk-ripe stage were significant higher in the transgenic corn field than in the control corn field. The effects of transgenic corn planting on soil nematodes might be related to the increase in the nitrogen content of field soil under transgenic corn compared to control corn.

  8. Relative Importance and Knowledge Distribution of Medicinal Plants in a Kichwa Community in the Ecuadorian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Joseph Doyle

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional knowledge, such as knowledge of the use of plants as medicine, influences how indigenous people manage forest resources. Gender and age-associated differences in traditional knowledge may impact forest resource management because of the traditional division of labor. We interviewed 18 men and 18 women between 9 and 74 years old in San José de Payamino, an indigenous community of the Kichwa ethnicity in the Ecuadorian Amazon, to determine if there are gender or age-associated differences in medicinal plant knowledge among the Payamino people and to identify the most important species from a sample of medicinal plants. Individuals were interviewed using a tablet that displayed images of 34 plants, which had been cited by traditional healers in the community. Quantitative analysis provided insight into the relative importance of plants in the sample as well as the distribution of medicinal plant knowledge among members of the community. The most important plants were Tradescantia zanonia and Monolena primuliflora. These plants should be considered candidates for further investigation. There was a positive correlation between age and knowledge of medicinal plants, but no significant difference between genders. Our results suggest that an interview method that relies on digital images can reveal differences in the importance of medicinal plants as well as provide insight into the distribution of traditional medical knowledge. While men and women are likely to manage forest resources similarly, younger members of the community may not have the same regard for forest resources as their elder counterparts.

  9. Potential sources of microbial colonizers in an initial soil ecosystem after retreat of an alpine glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rime, Thomas; Hartmann, Martin; Frey, Beat

    2016-07-01

    Rapid disintegration of alpine glaciers has led to the formation of new terrain consisting of mineral debris colonized by microorganisms. Despite the importance of microbial pioneers in triggering the formation of terrestrial ecosystems, their sources (endogenous versus exogenous) and identities remain elusive. We used 454-pyrosequencing to characterize the bacterial and fungal communities in endogenous glacier habitats (ice, sub-, supraglacial sediments and glacier stream leaving the glacier forefront) and in atmospheric deposition (snow, rain and aeolian dust). We compared these microbial communities with those occurring in recently deglaciated barren soils before and after snow melt (snow-covered soil and barren soil). Atmospheric bacteria and fungi were dominated by plant-epiphytic organisms and differed from endogenous glacier habitats and soils indicating that atmospheric input of microorganisms is not a major source of microbial pioneers in newly formed soils. We found, however, that bacterial communities in newly exposed soils resembled those of endogenous habitats, which suggests that bacterial pioneers originating from sub- and supraglacial sediments contributed to the colonization of newly exposed soils. Conversely, fungal communities differed between habitats suggesting a lower dispersal capability than bacteria. Yeasts putatively adapted to cold habitats characteristic of snow and supraglacial sediments were similar, despite the fact that these habitats were not spatially connected. These findings suggest that environmental filtering selects particular fungi in cold habitats. Atmospheric deposition provided important sources of dissolved organic C, nitrate and ammonium. Overall, microbial colonizers triggering soil development in alpine environments mainly originate from endogenous glacier habitats, whereas atmospheric deposition contributes to the establishment of microbial communities by providing sources of C and N.

  10. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-07-01

    Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km(2), and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactive effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m(2) quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs (Eurybia divaricata, Maianthemum racemosum, Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  11. Is fire exclusion in mountain big sagebrush communities prudent? Soil nutrient, plant diversity, and arthropod response to burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire has largely been excluded from many mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle) communities. Land and wildlife managers are especially reluctant to reintroduce fire in mountain big sagebrush plant communities, especially those communities without significan...

  12. Petroleum Contamination and Plant Identity Influence Soil and Root Microbial Communities While AMF Spores Retrieved from the Same Plants Possess Markedly Different Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bachir Iffis

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a promising in situ green technology based on the use of plants to cleanup soils from organic and inorganic pollutants. Microbes, particularly bacteria and fungi, that closely interact with plant roots play key roles in phytoremediation processes. In polluted soils, the root-associated microbes contribute to alleviation of plant stress, improve nutrient uptake and may either degrade or sequester a large range of soil pollutants. Therefore, improving the efficiency of phytoremediation requires a thorough knowledge of the microbial diversity living in the rhizosphere and in close association with plant roots in both the surface and the endosphere. This study aims to assess fungal ITS and bacterial 16S rRNA gene diversity using high-throughput sequencing in rhizospheric soils and roots of three plant species (Solidago canadensis, Populus balsamifera, and Lycopus europaeus growing spontaneously in three petroleum hydrocarbon polluted sedimentation basins. Microbial community structures of rhizospheric soils and roots were compared with those of microbes associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF spores to determine the links between the root and rhizosphere communities and those associated with AMF. Our results showed a difference in OTU richness and community structure composition between soils and roots for both bacteria and fungi. We found that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP concentrations have a significant effect on fungal and bacterial community structures in both soils and roots, whereas plant species identity showed a significant effect only on the roots for bacteria and fungi. Our results also showed that the community composition of bacteria and fungi in soil and roots varied from those associated with AMF spores harvested from the same plants. This let us to speculate that in petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils, AMF may release chemical compounds by which they recruit beneficial microbes to tolerate

  13. Petroleum Contamination and Plant Identity Influence Soil and Root Microbial Communities While AMF Spores Retrieved from the Same Plants Possess Markedly Different Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iffis, Bachir; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising in situ green technology based on the use of plants to cleanup soils from organic and inorganic pollutants. Microbes, particularly bacteria and fungi, that closely interact with plant roots play key roles in phytoremediation processes. In polluted soils, the root-associated microbes contribute to alleviation of plant stress, improve nutrient uptake and may either degrade or sequester a large range of soil pollutants. Therefore, improving the efficiency of phytoremediation requires a thorough knowledge of the microbial diversity living in the rhizosphere and in close association with plant roots in both the surface and the endosphere. This study aims to assess fungal ITS and bacterial 16S rRNA gene diversity using high-throughput sequencing in rhizospheric soils and roots of three plant species (Solidago canadensis, Populus balsamifera, and Lycopus europaeus) growing spontaneously in three petroleum hydrocarbon polluted sedimentation basins. Microbial community structures of rhizospheric soils and roots were compared with those of microbes associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) spores to determine the links between the root and rhizosphere communities and those associated with AMF. Our results showed a difference in OTU richness and community structure composition between soils and roots for both bacteria and fungi. We found that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP) concentrations have a significant effect on fungal and bacterial community structures in both soils and roots, whereas plant species identity showed a significant effect only on the roots for bacteria and fungi. Our results also showed that the community composition of bacteria and fungi in soil and roots varied from those associated with AMF spores harvested from the same plants. This let us to speculate that in petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils, AMF may release chemical compounds by which they recruit beneficial microbes to tolerate or degrade the

  14. Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    European earthworms are colonizing earthworm-free northern hardwood forests across North America. Leading edges of earthworm invasion provide an opportunity to investigate the response of understory plant communities to earthworm invasion and whether the species composition of the earthworm community influences that response. Four sugar maple-dominated forest sites with active earthworm invasions were identified in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota, USA. In each site, we established a 30 x 150 m sample grid that spanned a visible leading edge of earthworm invasion and sampled earthworm populations and understory vegetation over four years. Across leading edges of earthworm invasion, increasing total earthworm biomass was associated with decreasing diversity and abundance of herbaceous plants in two of four study sites, and the abundance and density of tree seedlings decreased in three of four study sites. Sample points with the most diverse earthworm species assemblage, independent of biomass, had the lowest plant diversity. Changes in understory plant community composition were most affected by increasing biomass of the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus. Where L. rubellus was absent there was a diverse community of native herbaceous plants, but where L. rubellus biomass reached its maximum, the herbaceous-plant community was dominated by Carex pensylvanica and Arisaema triphyllum and, in some cases, was completely absent. Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community.

  15. Endophytic Fungal Communities Associated with Vascular Plants in the High Arctic Zone Are Highly Diverse and Host-Plant Specific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

    Full Text Available This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs. Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems.

  16. Flora and ecological characteristics of rare plant communities on the southern slope of Shennongjia Mountain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    According to the investigation of sampling area of 6800 m2 on the south slope of Shennongjia Mountain, there were 126 vascular plant species, belonging to 108 genera and 64 families, in the investigated rare plant communities, of which 9 rare plant species were recorded, accounting for 27.3% of the total rare plants. The communities were about 30 m in height and were divided into three layers as tree layer, shrub layer, and herb layer. The flora of the communities had obvious temperate character. Phanerophytes (accounted for 65.9%), Mesophyllous (62.7%), Papyraceous (84.1%), simple leaf (83.3%), un-entire leaf (69.8%) were dominant in life form, leaf size class, leaf texture, leaf form, and leaf margin respectively. According to important value of species, the communities were divided into three types as Davidia involucrata + Litsea pungens community, Cercidiphyllum japanicum + Padus wilsonii community, and Padus wilsonii + Acer mono community. The indexes of species diversity of tree layer had little difference among communities and evenness was high. The results indicated that the communities had complex structure and relative stability.

  17. The effects of glyphosate and aminopyralid on an artifical plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    The US EPA has responsibility for registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The potential adverse effects of pesticides to nontarget terrestrial plant communities are a concern that must be addressed in the pesticide regist...

  18. Population Age Structures of Tree Species in Four Plant Communities in the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The primary objective of the present study was to determine the age structures of species occurring in four plant communities in the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, by...

  19. Structural Comparisons Of Four Plant Communities In the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Four plant communities in the Great Dismal Swamp, located on the coastal plain in southeastern Virginia, were sampled and estimates of density, basal area and...

  20. Characteristics, classification and ordination of riparian plant communities in the Three-Gorges areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Sixteen different vegetation types of grassland and shrubland were selected to study the component and diversity of plant species of riparian plant communities along main channel in the Three-Gorges areas. Species richness (s), Simpson index (D), and Shannon-Weiner index (H) were used to study the biodiversity and the hierarchical classification was carried out by the methods of TWINSPAN and DCA ordination. The results showed that the components of flora were complex and dominated by the temperate type in the riparian plant communities. Species diversity was not different between the communities, but Shannon-Weiner indexes of different layers in some grassland were significantly different. TWINSPAN and DCA indicated that riparian plant communities distributed along the gradient of moisture.

  1. The effects of glyphosate and aminopyralid on an artifical plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    The US EPA has responsibility for registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The potential adverse effects of pesticides to nontarget terrestrial plant communities are a concern that must be addressed in the pesticide regist...

  2. Large grazers modify effects of aboveground–belowground interactions on small-scale plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Geuverink, E.; Olff, H.

    2012-01-01

    Aboveground and belowground organisms influence plant community composition by local interactions, and their scale of impact may vary from millimeters belowground to kilometers aboveground. However, it still poorly understood how large grazers that select their forage on large spatial scales

  3. Large grazers modify effects of aboveground-belowground interactions on small-scale plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Geuverink, Elzemiek; Olff, Han; Schmid, Bernhard

    Aboveground and belowground organisms influence plant community composition by local interactions, and their scale of impact may vary from millimeters belowground to kilometers aboveground. However, it still poorly understood how large grazers that select their forage on large spatial scales

  4. Notification: Hotline Complaint – Drinking Water Treatment Plant at the Fort Belknap Indian Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Project #OA-FY13-0076, November 13, 2012. On March 22, 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) received a hotline complaint on the construction of the Drinking Water Treatment Plant (DWTP) at the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

  5. Management of aspen plant communities on the National Elk Refuge, Wyoming

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — There are 1,860 acres (753 ha) of aspen (Populus tremuloides) plant communities on the National Elk Refuge (NER). Aspen is an important tree species on the Refuge,...

  6. Subalpine meadow plant communities in Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 2011-2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This publication presents data collected within meadows from samples used to assess meadow plant community responses to recreational pack stock as part of a USGS...

  7. Nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community: diversity and effects on community-wide floral nectar traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azucena Canto

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We characterize the diversity of nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community at different hierarchical sampling levels, measure the associations between yeasts and nectariferous plants, and measure the effect of yeasts on nectar traits. Using a series of hierarchically nested sampling units, we extracted nectar from an assemblage of host plants that were representative of the diversity of life forms, flower shapes, and pollinator types in the tropical area of Yucatan, Mexico. Yeasts were isolated from single nectar samples; their DNA was identified, the yeast cell density was estimated, and the sugar composition and concentration of nectar were quantified using HPLC. In contrast to previous studies from temperate regions, the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in the plant community was characterized by a relatively high number of equally common species with low dominance. Analyses predict highly diverse nectar yeast communities in a relatively narrow range of tropical vegetation, suggesting that the diversity of yeasts will increase as the number of sampling units increases at the level of the species, genera, and botanical families of the hosts. Significant associations between specific yeast species and host plants were also detected; the interaction between yeasts and host plants impacted the effect of yeast cell density on nectar sugars. This study provides an overall picture of the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in tropical host plants and suggests that the key factor that affects the community-wide patterns of nectar traits is not nectar chemistry, but rather the type of yeasts interacting with host plants.

  8. Herbicide and fertilizers promote analogous phylogenetic responses but opposite functional responses in plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Wisz, Mary S.; Strandberg, Beate

    2014-01-01

    on long-term experiment we show that fertilizer and herbicides (glyphosate) have contrasting effects on functional structure, but can increase phylogenetic diversity in semi-natural plant communities. We found that an increase in nitrogen promoted an increase in the average specific leaf area and canopy...... height at the community level, but an increase in glyphosate promoted a decrease in those traits. Phylogenetic diversity of plant communities increased when herbicide and fertilizer were applied together, likely because functional traits facilitating plant success in those conditions were......Throughout the world, herbicides and fertilizers change species composition in agricultural communities, but how do the cumulative effects of these chemicals impact the functional and phylogenetic structure of non-targeted communities when they drift into adjacent semi-natural habitats? Based...

  9. Linking land-use intensification, plant communities, and ecosystem processes in lowland Bolivia

    OpenAIRE

    Carreno Rocabado, I.G.

    2013-01-01

    Land-use intensification (LUI) is one of the main global drivers of biodiversity loss with negative impact on ecosystem processes and the services that societies derive from the ecosystems. The effect of LUI on ecosystem processes can be direct through changes in environmental conditions and indirect through changes in plant community. In this dissertation I explored the mechanisms through which land-use intensification affects plant community assembly and ecosystem processes in the Bolivian ...

  10. Establishment of different riparian plant communities from the same soil seed bank

    OpenAIRE

    ter Heerdt, Gerhardus

    2016-01-01

    This thesis shows that weather conditions during the first year of establishment, strongly affect the composition of riparian plant communities. This is one of the factors determining if some goals of the Water Framework Directive and Natura 2000, reed beds and accompanying bird species, can be met. Increased summer drought due to climate change will make it more difficult to reach these goals. The composition of riparian plant communities establishing during a drawdown can vary largely. For ...

  11. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

  12. Seed bank and big sagebrush plant community composition in a range margin for big sagebrush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martyn, Trace E.; Bradford, John B.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Laurenroth, William K.

    2016-01-01

    The potential influence of seed bank composition on range shifts of species due to climate change is unclear. Seed banks can provide a means of both species persistence in an area and local range expansion in the case of increasing habitat suitability, as may occur under future climate change. However, a mismatch between the seed bank and the established plant community may represent an obstacle to persistence and expansion. In big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) plant communities in Montana, USA, we compared the seed bank to the established plant community. There was less than a 20% similarity in the relative abundance of species between the established plant community and the seed bank. This difference was primarily driven by an overrepresentation of native annual forbs and an underrepresentation of big sagebrush in the seed bank compared to the established plant community. Even though we expect an increase in habitat suitability for big sagebrush under future climate conditions at our sites, the current mismatch between the plant community and the seed bank could impede big sagebrush range expansion into increasingly suitable habitat in the future.

  13. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2].

  14. Changes in community-level riparian plant traits over inundation gradients, Colorado River, Grand Canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy-Sulentic, Miles; Kolb, Thomas; Merritt, David; Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara E.; Sarr, Daniel; Shafroth, Patrick B.

    2017-01-01

    Comparisons of community-level functional traits across environmental gradients have potential for identifying links among plant characteristics, adaptations to stress and disturbance, and community assembly. We investigated community-level variation in specific leaf area (SLA), plant mature height, seed mass, stem specific gravity (SSG), relative cover of C4 species, and total plant cover over hydrologic zones and gradients in years 2013 and 2014 in the riparian plant community along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Vegetation cover was lowest in the frequently inundated active channel zone, indicating constraints on plant establishment and production by flood disturbance and anaerobic stress. Changes in trait values over hydrologic zones and inundation gradients indicate that frequently inundated plots exhibit a community-level ruderal strategy with adaptation to submergence (high SLA and low SSG, height, seed mass, C4 relative cover), whereas less frequently inundated plots exhibit adaptation to drought and infrequent flood disturbance (low SLA and high SSG, height, seed mass, C4 relative cover). Variation in traits not associated with inundation suggests niche differentiation and multiple modes of community assembly. The results enhance understanding of future responses of riparian communities of the Grand Canyon to anticipated drying and changes in hydrologic regime.

  15. Community-Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae larvae (43% in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height, and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio. Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of

  16. Community-Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Pfestorf, Hans; Jeltsch, Florian; Wurst, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae) larvae (43%) in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height), and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio). Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of insect root

  17. Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia rosea) Dieback and Partial Community Disassembly following Experimental Storm Surge in a Coastal Pitcher Plant Bog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Matthew J.; Battaglia, Loretta L.

    2015-01-01

    Sea-level rise and frequent intense hurricanes associated with climate change will result in recurrent flooding of inland systems such as Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs by storm surges. These surges can transport salt water and sediment to freshwater bogs, greatly affecting their biological integrity. Purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia rosea) are Gulf Coast pitcher plant bog inhabitants that could be at a disadvantage under this scenario because their pitcher morphology may leave them prone to collection of saline water and sediment after a surge. We investigated the effects of storm surge water salinity and sediment type on S. rosea vitality, plant community structure, and bog soil-water conductivity. Plots (containing ≥1 ramet of S. rosea) were experimentally flooded with fresh or saline water crossed with one of three sediment types (local, foreign, or no sediment). There were no treatment effects on soil-water conductivity; nevertheless, direct exposure to saline water resulted in significantly lower S. rosea cover until the following season when a prescribed fire and regional drought contributed to the decline of all the S. rosea to near zero percent cover. There were also significant differences in plant community structure between treatments over time, reflecting how numerous species increased in abundance and a few species decreased in abundance. However, in contrast to S. rosea, most of the other species in the community appeared resilient to the effects of storm surge. Thus, although the community may be somewhat affected by storm surge, those few species that are particularly sensitive to the storm surge disturbance will likely drop out of the community and be replaced by more resilient species. Depending on the longevity of these biological legacies, Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs may be incapable of fully recovering if they become exposed to storm surge more frequently due to climate change. PMID:25874369

  18. [Insect community structure and its stability in a Zanthoxylum bungeanum garden with different planting pattern].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Ming; Li, Qiang; Chen, Guo-Hua; Yang, Jie; Gao, Xin; Song, Jia-Xiong

    2009-08-01

    An investigation was made on the insect community composition and structure in a Zanthoxylum bungeanum garden with corn-soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping, soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping, corn - Z. bungeanum intercropping, and only Z. bungeanum planting in Zhaotong City of Yunnan Province, and the community character index and principal component analysis were used to study the characters and stability of the insect community. A total of 326 insect species were recorded. In intercropped plots, the abundance, diversity, and evenness index of insect community were higher while the dominance index was lower, compared with those in monocultured Z. bungeanum plot. The diversity index of insect community decreased in the order of corn-soybean- Z. bungeanum intercropping > soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping > corn - Z. bungeanum intercropping > only Z. bungeanum planting, and the insect community in corn-soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping plot was relatively stable.

  19. Plant genotype shapes ant-aphid interactions: implications for community structure and indirect plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms by which plant genotype shapes arthropod community structure. In a field experiment, we measured the effects of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) genotype and ants on milkweed arthropods. Populations of the ant-tended aphid Aphis asclepiadis and the untended aphid Myzocallis asclepiadis varied eight- to 18-fold among milkweed genotypes, depending on aphid species and whether ants were present. There was no milkweed effect on predatory arthropods. Ants increased Aphis abundance 59%, decreased Myzocallis abundance 52%, and decreased predator abundance 56%. Milkweed genotype indirectly influenced ants via direct effects on Aphis and Myzocallis abundance. Milkweed genotype also modified ant-aphid interactions, influencing the number of ants attracted per Aphis and Myzocallis. While ant effects on Myzocallis were consistently negative, effects on Aphis ranged from antagonistic to mutualistic among milkweed genotypes. As a consequence of milkweed effects on ant-aphid interactions, ant abundance varied 13-fold among milkweed genotypes, and monarch caterpillar survival was negatively correlated with genetic variation in ant abundance. We speculate that heritable variation in milkweed phloem sap drives these effects on aphids, ants, and caterpillars. In summary, milkweed exerts genetic control over the interactions between aphids and an ant that provides defense against foliage-feeding caterpillars.

  20. Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuncan Si

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process.

  1. Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process.

  2. Effects of changes in plant species richness and community traits on carabid assemblages and feeding guilds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Putten, van der W.H.; Turin, H.; Wagenaar, R.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2008-01-01

    Experiments were conducted between 2001 and 2003 in constructed plant communities that were set up in 1996 on abandoned agricultural land. The primary aim of the experiment was to study how different secondary vegetation succession scenarios influence community development of invertebrates in differ

  3. Influences of space, soil, nematodes and plants on microbial community composition of chalk grassland soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yergeau, E.; Bezemer, T.M.; Hedlund, K.; Mortimer, S.R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial communities respond to a variety of environmental factors related to resources (e.g. plant and soil organic matter), habitat (e.g. soil characteristics) and predation (e.g. nematodes, protozoa and viruses). However, the relative contribution of these factors on microbial community composit

  4. Chronic wind and plant communities in dunes: Total biomass, inter-specific competition, and species abundance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    He, W.M.; Xi, W.M.; Anten, N.P.R.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wind is an important ecological factor, but its direct roles in shaping plant communities remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that chronic wind can modulate community productivity, inter-specific competition, and species abundance in inland dunes. We conducted an experiment with three

  5. Selective waterfowl herbivory affects species dominance in a submerged plant community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santamaria, L.

    2002-01-01

    I used a field experiment to test the hypothesis that waterfowl affect not only the abundance, but also the composition of submerged plant communities. A simple community was chosen for this purpose, composed of two taxa with contrasting distributions along a depth (shore-centre) gradient. I compare

  6. Microbial Communities in Danish Wastewater Treatment Plants with Nutrient Removal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz

    that plants with return sludge Side-Stream Hydrolysis (SSH) instead of the normal anaerobic process tank tended to have significantly fewer unwanted GAOs in contrast to many plants with traditional mainstream anaerobic tank and thus it was proposed that this system might be an effective strategy of control...

  7. Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Beck, Robert; Brandhuber, Robert; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Garcia Franco, Noelia; von Gillhaußen, Phillip; Jentsch, Anke; Kiese, Ralf; Krämer, Alexander; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Köllner, Thomas; Poppenborg, Patrick; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wolf, Benjamin; Dannenmann, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The development of ecologically as well as economically sustainable management options for the carbon- and nitrogen rich alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate poses a grand scientific and socio- economical challenge. The transdisciplinary SUSALPS project starting in 2016 aims to essentially improve the knowledge on the functionality of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils using both natural-scientific/ technical and socio economical approaches. The project is building on existing infrastructure of German grassland-ecosystem-research like the pre-alpine TERENO (Terrestrial ecosystem observation network observatory) observatory sites, the EVENT and SIGNAL sites as well as long term LfL (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft) sites, plus a new additional high elevation (1400m a.s.l) site in the Bavarian Alps. The site setup along the elevational gradient on the edge of the Alps (1400 m to 300 m) is used for space-for-time climate change experiments which are combined with extensive and intensive management treatments. A key focus of SUSALPS will be the characterization of combined climate change/management effects on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. Hence, we will evaluate the influence of different management options and current and future climate changes on the soil microbiome and associated biogeochemical processes in the plant-soil-system, on nitrogen use efficiency, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as on leaching of environmentally relevant compounds. For this purpose, we simulate the predicted climate change in the region by translocation of large lysimeters (1m2, 1.4m depth; TERENO lysimeters, translocated in 2011) for measurements of biosphere-atmosphere hydrosphere exchange of environmentally relevant C and N compounds as well as by newly transferred smaller plant-soil-mesocosms used for destructive biogeochemical process studies. By closely linking this experimental work with biogeochemical and

  8. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with

  9. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Gerven, Luuk P.A.; de Klein, J.J.M; Gerla, Daan J.; Kooi, B.W.; Kuiper, Jan J.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at h

  10. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerven, van Luuk P.A.; Klein, de Jeroen J.M.; Gerla, Daan J.; Kooi, Bob W.; Kuiper, Jan J.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that a

  11. Competition for Light and Nutrients in Layered Communities of Aquatic Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gerven, L.P.A.; de Klein, J.J.M.; Gerla, D.J.; Kooi, B.W.; Kuiper, J.J.; Mooij, W.M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at h

  12. Hierarchical spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illian, Janine B.; Møller, Jesper; Waagepetersen, Rasmus

    2009-01-01

    A complex multivariate spatial point pattern of a plant community with high biodiversity is modelled using a hierarchical multivariate point process model. In the model, interactions between plants with different post-fire regeneration strategies are of key interest. We consider initially a maximum...

  13. Spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illian, Janine; Møller, Jesper; Waagepetersen, Rasmus Plenge

    A complex multivariate spatial point pattern for a plant community with high biodiversity is modelled using a hierarchical multivariate point process model. In the model, interactions between plants with different post-fire regeneration strategies are of key interest. We consider initially...

  14. Plant growth and soil microbial community structure of legumes and grasses grown in monoculture or mixture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Meimei; CHEN Baodong; MARSCHNER Petra

    2008-01-01

    A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to investigate the influence of soil moisture eontent on plant growth and the rhizospheremicrobial community structure of four plant species (white clover, alfalfa, sudan grass, tall fescue), grown individually or in a mixture.The soil moisture content was adjusted to 55% or 80% water holding capacity (WHC). The results indicated that the total plant biomassof one pot was lower at 55% WHC. At a given soil moisture, the total plant biomass of white clover and tall fescue in the mixture waslower than that in a monoculture, indicating their poor competitiveness. For leguminous plants, the decrease in soil moisture reducedthe total microbial biomass, bacterial biomass, fungal biomass, and fungal/baeterial ratio in soil as assessed by the phospholipid fattyacid analysis, whereas, lower soil moisture increased those parameters in the tall fescue. The microbial biomass in the soil with legumeswas higher than that in the soil with grasses and the two plant groups differed in soil microbial community composition. At high soilmoisture content, microbial communities of the plant mixture were similar to those of the legume monoculture, and the existenceof legumes in the mixture enhanced the bacterial and fungal biomass in the soil compared to the grasses grown in the monoculture,indicating that legumes played a dominant role in the soil microbial community changes in the plant mixture.

  15. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale. PMID:27149113

  16. Effects of single and multiple applications of glyphosate and aminopyralid on simple constructed plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant tests required for the registration of pesticides are generally performed under controlled laboratory/greenhouse conditions using single exposures, and the results may or may not be relevant to protecting plant communities or ecosystems. We report results from a field test ...

  17. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with th

  18. Ethnoveterinary medicinal plants used by the Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kidane, B.; Maesen, van der L.J.G.; Andel, van T.; Asfaw, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance: Livestock production is an integral part of the agricultural system in Ethiopia. Medicinal plants are used and are important for rural communities for the treatment of livestock diseases. We studied and analysed the traditional medicinal plants used for the treatment

  19. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Zwolicki

    Full Text Available We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina. Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale.

  20. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale.

  1. Design of alpine skis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordt, Alison Audrey

    Models were developed to calculate the mechanical properties and the turning characteristics of alpine skis. The skis considered are constructed of layers of materials which may include wood, foam, metal, plastics, and fiber reinforced composites. The ski may be manufactured with or without camber and sidecut. The first model, and the corresponding SKI-MECH computer code, yields the mass, the bending and torsional stiffness distributions along the length, the flex, the twist, the natural frequencies, and the pressure distribution along the base of the ski. The second model, and the corresponding SKI-TURN code, simulates the motion of a skier of given height, weight, and skill level going down a smooth slope while executing a constant radius turn. The computer code provides the time it requires the skier to complete the turn. Both the SKI-MECH and SKI-TURN codes were verified by comparing the outputs of these codes to laboratory data and to data generated by skiers executing turns on a hill. The results of the model and the data are in good agreement lending confidence to the models and the computer codes. Numerical results are also presented which illustrate the usefulness of the computer codes for assessing the performance of skis and shed light on the role sidecut plays in affecting an efficient turn.

  2. Nighttime warming enhances drought resistance of plant communities in a temperate steppe

    OpenAIRE

    Zhongling Yang; Lin Jiang; Fanglong Su; Qian Zhang; Jianyang Xia; Shiqiang Wan

    2016-01-01

    Drought events could have profound influence on plant community structure and ecosystem function, and have subsequent impacts on community stability, but we know little about how different climate warming scenarios affect community resistance and resilience to drought. Combining a daytime and nighttime warming experiment in the temperate steppe of north China with a natural drought event during the study period, we tested how daytime and nighttime warming influences drought resistance and res...

  3. Hydrology, shore morphology and species traits affect seed dispersal, germination and community assembly in shoreline plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Leeuwen, C.H.A.; Sarneel, J.M.; van Paassen, José; Rip, W.J.; Bakker, E.S.

    2014-01-01

    Summary 1.Seed dispersal and germination are two primary processes influencing plant community assembly. On freshwater shores, water levels regulate both processes. However, it is still unclear how water levels, shore morphology and species traits interactively affect seed dispersal and germination,

  4. Species richness and floristic composition of Choco Region plant communities Species richness and floristic composition of Choco Region plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gentry Alwyn H.

    1986-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chocó phytogeographical region of coastal Colombia and adjacent Ecuador is well known as a region of unusually high endemism in plants (GENTRY, 1982a, 1986b, birds (TERBORGH & WINTER, 1982, and butterflies (BROWN, 1975, 1982. The region is also reputed to be unusually diverse biologically (GENTRY, 1978, 1982a but much of the data base for this assumption is rather anecdotal and for birds and heliconiinae butterflies (probably the best known groups of organisms it is clear that faunistic community diversity of the coastal Chocó is substantially less than in much of upper Amazonia (J. TERBORGH, pers. comm., K. BROWN, pers. comm.. El Choco la región fitogeográfica de la costa de Colombia y adyacente al Ecuador es conocido como una región de inusualmente alto endemismo en plantas (Gentry, 1982a, 1986b, pájaros (Terborgh y Winter, 1982, y las mariposas (Brown, 1975, 1982. La región también es conocida por ser inusualmente diversa biológicamente (Gentry, 1978, 1982a, pero gran parte de la base de datos para estesuposición es bastante anecdótico y para las aves y mariposas Heliconiinae (prooably los grupos más conocidos de organismos, está claro que la diversidad faunística comunidad del Chaco costera es sustancialmente menor que en gran parte de la Amazonia superior (J. Terborgh, com. pers., K . BROWN, com. pers..El único dato de nivel comunitario disponible para las plantas de la costa Colombia es la forma incompleta analizado 1000 m2 muestra de todas las plantas de más de2.5 cm dbh procedente de Tutunendó, incluido en Gentry (1982b de los patrones de diversidad neotropicales. Choco muestra de Gentry tenía el más alto número de especies de una serie de sitios de muestra y similares que llegaron a la conclusión de que nivel de riqueza de especies vegetales comunidad aumenta directamente con la precipitación. Muchos 1.000 m2 adicionales están disponibles, tanto desde el Chocoregión y de las especies ricas en bosques de Alto

  5. A Hardy Plant Facilitates Nitrogen Removal via Microbial Communities in Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands in Winter

    OpenAIRE

    Penghe Wang; Hui Zhang; Jie Zuo; Dehua Zhao; Xiangxu Zou; Zhengjie Zhu; Nasreen Jeelani; Xin Leng; Shuqing An

    2016-01-01

    The plants effect in subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SSF-CWs) is controversial, especially at low temperatures. Consequently, several SSF-CWs planted with Iris pseudacorus (CWI) or Typha orientalis Presl. (CWT) and several unplanted ones (CWC) were set up and fed with secondary effluent of sewage treatment plant during the winter in Eastern China. The 16S rDNA Illumina Miseq sequencing analysis indicated the positive effects of I. pseudacorus on the bacterial community richness and dive...

  6. Above–belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Root- and shoot-feeding herbivores have the capacity to influence one another by modifying the chemistry of the shared host plant. This can alter rates of nutrient mineralisation and uptake by neighbouring plants and influence plant–plant competition, particularly in mixtures combining grasses and legumes. Root herbivory-induced exudation of nitrogen (N) from legume roots, for example, may increase N acquisition by co-occurring grasses, with knock-on effects on grassland community compositi...

  7. Predictive occurrence models for coastal wetland plant communities: delineating hydrologic response surfaces with multinomial logistic regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snedden, Gregg A.; Steyer, Gregory D.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding plant community zonation along estuarine stress gradients is critical for effective conservation and restoration of coastal wetland ecosystems. We related the presence of plant community types to estuarine hydrology at 173 sites across coastal Louisiana. Percent relative cover by species was assessed at each site near the end of the growing season in 2008, and hourly water level and salinity were recorded at each site Oct 2007–Sep 2008. Nine plant community types were delineated with k-means clustering, and indicator species were identified for each of the community types with indicator species analysis. An inverse relation between salinity and species diversity was observed. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) effectively segregated the sites across ordination space by community type, and indicated that salinity and tidal amplitude were both important drivers of vegetation composition. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) and Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) were used to predict the probability of occurrence of the nine vegetation communities as a function of salinity and tidal amplitude, and probability surfaces obtained from the MLR model corroborated the CCA results. The weighted kappa statistic, calculated from the confusion matrix of predicted versus actual community types, was 0.7 and indicated good agreement between observed community types and model predictions. Our results suggest that models based on a few key hydrologic variables can be valuable tools for predicting vegetation community development when restoring and managing coastal wetlands.

  8. Intraspecific trait variation drives functional responses of old-field plant communities to nutrient enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefert, Andrew; Ritchie, Mark E

    2016-05-01

    Environmental changes are expected to shift the distribution of functional trait values in plant communities through a combination of species turnover and intraspecific variation. The strength of these shifts may depend on the availability of individuals with trait values adapted to new environmental conditions, represented by the functional diversity (FD) of existing community residents or dispersal from the regional species pool. We conducted a 3-year nutrient- and seed-addition experiment in old-field plant communities to examine the contributions of species turnover and intraspecific variation to community trait shifts, focusing on four key plant functional traits: vegetative height, leaf area, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf dry matter content (LDMC). We further examined the influence of initial FD and seed availability on the strength of these shifts. Community mean height, leaf area, and SLA increased in response to fertilization, and these shifts were driven almost entirely by intraspecific variation. The strength of intraspecific shifts in height and leaf area was positively related to initial intraspecific FD in these traits. Intraspecific trait responses to fertilization varied among species, with species of short stature displaying stronger shifts in SLA and LDMC but weaker shifts in leaf area. Trait shifts due to species turnover were generally weak and opposed intraspecific responses. Seed addition altered community taxonomic composition but had little effect on community trait shifts. These results highlight the importance of intraspecific variation for short-term community functional responses and demonstrate that the strength of these responses may be mediated by community FD.

  9. Responses of alpine biodiversity to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Yang Liu; Jian Zhang; Wanqin Yang

    2009-01-01

    The alpine belt is the temperature-driven treeless region between the timberline and the snowline. Alpine belts are ideal sites for monitoring climate change because species in mountain habitats are especially sensitive to climate change. Global warming is shifting the distribution of alpine biodiversity and is leading to glacial retreat, implying that alterations in alpine biodiversity are indicators of climate change. Therefore, more attention has been given to changes in species compositio...

  10. The root herbivore history of the soil affects the productivity of a grassland plant community and determines plant response to new root herbivore attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens. Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition, with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands.

  11. Methylobacterium-induced endophyte community changes correspond with protection of plants against pathogen attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardanov, Pavlo; Sessitsch, Angela; Häggman, Hely; Kozyrovska, Natalia; Pirttilä, Anna Maria

    2012-01-01

    Plant inoculation with endophytic bacteria that normally live inside the plant without harming the host is a highly promising approach for biological disease control. The mechanism of resistance induction by beneficial bacteria is poorly understood, because pathways are only partly known and systemic responses are typically not seen. The innate endophytic community structures change in response to external factors such as inoculation, and bacterial endophytes can exhibit direct or indirect antagonism towards pathogens. Earlier we showed that resistance induction by an endophytic Methylobacterium sp. in potato towards Pectobacterium atrosepticum was dependent on the density of the inoculum, whereas the bacterium itself had no antagonistic activity. To elucidate the role of innate endophyte communities in plant responses, we studied community changes in both in vitro and greenhouse experiments using various combinations of plants, endophyte inoculants, and pathogens. Induction of resistance was studied in several potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cultivars by Methylobacterium sp. IMBG290 against the pathogens P. atrosepticum, Phytophthora infestans and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, and in pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) by M. extorquens DSM13060 against Gremmeniella abietina. The capacities of the inoculated endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains to induce resistance were dependent on the plant cultivar, pathogen, and on the density of Methylobacterium spp. inoculum. Composition of the endophyte community changed in response to inoculation in shoot tissues and correlated with resistance or susceptibility to the disease. Our results demonstrate that endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains have varying effects on plant disease resistance, which can be modulated through the endophyte community of the host.

  12. Economically and ecologically important plant communities in high altitude coniferous forest of Malam Jabba, Swat, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sher, Hassan; Al Yemeni, Mohammad

    2011-01-01

    A study on the economically important plant communities was carried out during summer 2008 in various parts of Malam Jabba valley, Swat. The principal aim of the study was phytosociological evaluation with special reference to the occurrence of commercially important medicinal plant species in coniferous forest of the study area. Secondly to prepare ethnobotanical inventory of the plant resources of the area, as well as to evaluate the conservation status of important medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) through rapid vulnerable assessment (RVA) procedure. The study documented 90 species of ethnobotanical importance, out of these 71 spp used as medicinal plant, 20 spp fodder plant, 10 spp vegetables, 14 spp wild fruit, 18 spp fuel wood, 9 spp furniture and agricultural tools, 9 spp thatching, fencing and hedges, 4 spp honey bee, 2 spp evil eyes, 2 spp religious and 3 spp as poison. Phytosociologically six plant communities were found, comprising five herbs-shrubs-trees communities and one meadow community. Further study is, therefore, required to quantify the availability of species and to suggest suitable method for their production and conservation. Recommendations are also given in the spheres of training in identification, sustainable collection, value addition, trade monitoring and cooperative system of marketing.

  13. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  14. Rhizosphere microbial community structure in relation to root location and plant iron nutritional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, C H; Crowley, D E

    2000-01-01

    Root exudate composition and quantity vary in relation to plant nutritional status, but the impact of the differences on rhizosphere microbial communities is not known. To examine this question, we performed an experiment with barley (Hordeum vulgare) plants under iron-limiting and iron-sufficient growth conditions. Plants were grown in an iron-limiting soil in root box microcosms. One-half of the plants were treated with foliar iron every day to inhibit phytosiderophore production and to alter root exudate composition. After 30 days, the bacterial communities associated with different root zones, including the primary root tips, nonelongating secondary root tips, sites of lateral root emergence, and older roots distal from the tip, were characterized by using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fingerprints generated by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our results showed that the microbial communities associated with the different root locations produced many common 16S rDNA bands but that the communities could be distinguished by using correspondence analysis. Approximately 40% of the variation between communities could be attributed to plant iron nutritional status. A sequence analysis of clones generated from a single 16S rDNA band obtained at all of the root locations revealed that there were taxonomically different species in the same band, suggesting that the resolving power of DGGE for characterization of community structure at the species level is limited. Our results suggest that the bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are substantially different in different root zones and that a rhizosphere community may be altered by changes in root exudate composition caused by changes in plant iron nutritional status.

  15. Physical and institutional vulnerability assessment method applied in Alpine communities. Preliminary Results of the SAMCO-ANR Project in the Guil Valley (French Southern Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, Benoit; Dujarric, Constance; Puissant, Anne; Lissak, Candide; Viel, Vincent; Bétard, François; Madelin, Malika; Fort, Monique; Arnaud-Fassetta, Gilles

    2015-04-01

    The Guil catchment is particularly prone to torrential and gravitational hazards such as floods, debris flows, landslides or avalanches due to several predisposing factors (bedrock supplying abundant debris, strong hillslope-channel connectivity) in a context of summer Mediterranean rainstorms as triggers. These hazards severely impact the local population (fatalities, destruction of buildings and infrastructures, loss of agricultural land, road closures). Since the second half of the 20th century, the progressive decline of agro-pastoralism and the development of tourism activities led to a concentration of human stakes on alluvial cones and valley bottom, therefore an increase of vulnerability for mountainous communities. Following the 1957 and 2000 catastrophic floods and the 1948 and 2008 avalanche episodes, some measures were taken to reduce exposure to risks (engineering works, standards of construction, rescue training…). Nevertheless, in front of urban expansion (land pressures and political pressures) and obsolescence of the existing protective measures, it is essential to reassess the vulnerability of the stakes exposed to hazards. Vulnerability analysis is, together with hazard evaluation, one of the major steps of risk assessment. In the frame of the SAMCO project designed for mountain risk assessment, our goal is to estimate specific form of vulnerability for communities living in the Upper Guil catchment in order to provide useful documentation for a better management of the valley bottom and the implementation of adequate mitigation measures. Here we present preliminary results on three municipalities of the upper Guil catchment: Aiguilles, Abriès, and Ristolas. We propose an empirical semi-quantitative indicator of potential hazards consequences on element at risk (based on GIS) with an application to different (local and regional scale) scales. This indicator, called Potential Damage Index, enable us to describe, quantify, and visualize direct

  16. Traits related to species persistence and dispersal explain changes in plant communities subjected to habitat loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marini, Lorenzo; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Heikkinen, Risto

    2012-01-01

    Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal...... in determining dynamics of species communities in fragmented landscapes is still limited. The primary aim of this study was to test how plant traits related to persistence and dispersal and their interactions modify plant species vulnerability to decreasing habitat area and increasing isolation. Location Five...... of habitat loss on plant species richness was pervasive across different regions, whereas the effect of habitat isolation on species richness was not evident. This area effect was, however, not equal for all the species, and life-history traits related to both species persistence and dispersal modified plant...

  17. Community Visions for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ormsbee, Lindell e [Civil Engineering, Univ. of KY; Kipp, James A [Univ. of KY, Kentucky water research Institute

    2011-09-01

    This report focuses on assessing community preferences for the future use of the PGDP site, given the site's pending closure by US DOE. The project approach fostered interaction and engagement with the public based on lessons learned at other complex DOE environmental cleanup sites and upon the integration of a number of principles and approaches to public engagement from the Project Team's local, state, regional and international public engagement experience. The results of the study provide the community with a record of the diversity of values and preferences related to the environmental cleanup and future use of the site.

  18. The influence of environmental variables on the distribution of diatom communities in an alpine proglacial stream, Taillon-Babiétous catchment, french Pyrénées

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown, L. E.

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Algae are important components of stream ecosystems but their distribution in alpine streams has received little attention. We studied diatom communities within a small alpine glacierized catchment (Taillon-Gabiétous, French Pyrénées to explore longitudinal patterns in diatom genera and identify principal physicochemical habitat variables determining distributions. Diatoms, hydrochemical and physical habitat data were collected from four sites along the Taillon Glacier stream and one site on a groundwater fed tributary (Tourettes between July-August, 2002 (peak glacial melt. Diatom genera increased from three at the glacier snout to 13 approximately 1.2 km downstream, influenced predominantly by increased water temperature, channel stability and conductivity. Cymbella, Fragilaria and Navicula dominated at all sites. Cocconeis was relatively abundant in the Tourettes groundwater stream where higher water temperature may have enhanced colonisation.

    [fr]
    Bien que les algues soient d'importants composants des écosystèmes des eaux courantes, leur distribution dans les torrents de montagne a été peu étudiée. Nous avons étudié ici les communautés de Diatomées dans un petit bassin alpin soumis à l'influence glaciaire (Taillon-Gabiétous, Pyrénées françaises dans le but d'explorer les modèles de distribution longitudinale des genres de Diatomées et d'identifier les principaux paramètres physico-chimiques de l'habitat qui les conditionne. Aussi bien les Diatomées que les données hydrochimiques et physiques ont été échantillonnés en quatre points au long du ruisseau du glacier du Taillon et sur un autre point dans l'eau d'un ruisseau tributaire (Tourettes entre Juillet et Août 2002, précisément pendant la période de fusion maximale. Les genres de Diatomées augmentent depuis 3 au bord du glacier jusqu'à 13 à 1,2 km plus bas, grâce à l'augmentation de la température de l'eau, à sa

  19. La recherche alpine aujourd’hui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Jacques Brun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine research benefits from several international coordination networks, only one of which – ISCAR (the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps – works solely in the Alpine arc. The creation of ISCAR is a consequence of the input and involvement of various Alpine partners around the Alpine Convention. Alpine research now aims to promote an integrated vision of Alpine territories focusing on creating and maintaining spatial and temporal networks of sustainable relationships between humans and the other components of the ecosphere. It combines resource usage with conservation of the biological and cultural diversity that makes up the Alpine identity. This article aims to show: (1 how international Alpine research coordination is organised; (2 the role played by the Alpine Convention as a framework of reference for specifically Alpine research; and (3 the role that the ISCAR international commit-tee and the Interreg “Alpine Space” programmes play in uniting research around territorial challenges relating to biodiversity conservation and territorial development.La recherche sur les Alpes bénéficie de plusieurs réseaux de coordination internationaux dont un seul, le comité international recherche alpine (ISCAR, se consacre exclusivement à l’arc alpin. La création de l’ISCAR est une retombée de la mobilisation des divers partenaires alpins autour de la mise en place de la Convention alpine. Aujourd’hui, la recherche alpine vise à promouvoir une vision intégrée des territoires centrée sur la création et le maintien d’un réseau spatial et temporel de relations durables entre les hommes et les autres composantes de l’écosphère. Elle associe étroitement la mise en valeur des ressources et la conservation des diversités biologiques et culturelles qui constituent l’identité alpine. Cet article a pour ambition de montrer : (1 comment s’organise la coordination internationale des recherches sur les

  20. Simulation of plant communities with a cellular automaton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gassmann, F. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    With a modelling approach based on cellular automata, five observed types of plant development can be simulated. In addition, the proposed model shows a strong tendency towards the formation of patches and a high degree of dynamical and structural instability leading to limits of predictability for the asymptotic solution chosen by the system among several possible metastable patterns (multistability). Further, external fluctuations can be shown to have advantages for certain plant types. The presented model unifies the fundamental dichotomy in vegetation dynamics between determinism (understood as predictability) and disorder (chance effects) by showing the outcome of both classical theories as special cases. (author) 2 figs., 4 refs.

  1. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Struttmann, Nicole E; Galen, Candace

    2014-12-01

    We use an extensive historical data set on bumble bee host choice collected almost 50 years ago by L. W. Macior (Melanderia 15:1-59, 1974) to examine how resource partitioning by bumble bees varies over a 2,700-m altitudinal gradient at four hierarchical scales: individual, colony, species and community. Bumble bee behavior, resource overlap between castes, and plant-bumble bee networks change with altitude in accordance with tightening temporal constraints on flowering and colony growth in alpine habitats. Individual bees were more likely to collect pollen from multiple sources at high altitude. Between-caste foraging niche overlap increased with altitude. Similarly, alpine forager networks were more highly nested than either subalpine or montane networks due to increased asymmetric specialization. However, interspecific resource partitioning showed a more complex spatial pattern with low niche overlap at intermediate altitude (subalpine) compared to montane (disturbed) and alpine (unproductive) sites. Results suggest that spatial variation in interspecific resource partitioning is driven by a shift in the behavior of long-tongued bumble bees. Long-tongued bumble bees specialized in the subalpine but generalized in montane and alpine zones. Our reanalysis of Macior's data shows that bumble bee behavior varies substantially with altitude influencing plant-bumble bee interaction networks. Results imply that pollination services to alpine host plants will change dramatically as subalpine species with unique foraging strategies move upward under global warming.

  2. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant-herbivore relationships.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, Philip G. [University of Wisconsin; Orrock, John L. [University of Wisconsin

    2015-04-01

    1. Past land use can create altered soil conditions and plant communities that persist for decades, although the effects of these altered conditions on consumers are rarely investigated. 2. Using a large-scale field study at 36 sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands, we examined whether historic agricultural land use leads to differences in the abundance and community composition of insect herbivores (grasshoppers, families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae). 3. We measured the cover of six plant functional groups and several environmental variables to determine whether historic agricultural land use affects the relationships between plant cover or environmental conditions and grasshopper assemblages. 4. Land-use history had taxa-specific effects and interacted with herbaceous plant cover to alter grasshopper abundances, leading to significant changes in community composition. Abundance of most grasshopper taxa increased with herbaceous cover in woodlands with no history of agriculture, but there was no relationship in post-agricultural woodlands. We also found that grasshopper abundance was negatively correlated with leaf litter cover. Soil hardness was greater in post-agricultural sites (i.e. more compacted) and was associated with grasshopper community composition. Both herbaceous cover and leaf litter cover are influenced by fire frequency, suggesting a potential indirect role of fire on grasshopper assemblages. 5. Our results demonstrate that historic land use may create persistent differences in the composition of grasshopper assemblages, while contemporary disturbances (e.g. prescribed fire) may be important for determining the abundance of grasshoppers, largely through the effect of fire on plants and leaf litter. Therefore, our results suggest that changes in the contemporary management regimes (e.g. increasing prescribed fire) may not be sufficient to shift the structure of grasshopper communities in post-agricultural sites towards communities in

  3. Spatial processes structuring riparian plant communities in agroecosystems: implications for restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, Bérenger; González, Eduardo; Vanasse, Anne; Aubin, Isabelle; Poulin, Monique

    2016-10-01

    The disruption of hydrological connectivity by human activities such as flood regulation or land-use changes strongly impacts riparian plant communities. However, landscape-scale processes have generally been neglected in riparian restoration projects as opposed to local conditions, even though such processes might largely influence community recovery. We surveyed plant composition of field edges and riverbanks in 51 riparian zones restored by tree planting (565 1-m(2) plots) within two agricultural watersheds in southeastern Québec, Canada. Once the effects of environmental variables (hydrology, soil, agriculture, landscape, restoration) were partialled out, three models of spatial autocorrelation based on Moran's eigenvector maps and asymmetric eigenvector maps were compared to quantify the pathways and direction of the spatial processes structuring riparian communities. The ecological mechanisms underlying predominant spatial processes were then assessed by regression trees linking species response to spatial gradients to seed and morphological traits. The structure of riparian communities was predominantly related to unidirectional spatial gradients from upstream to downstream along watercourses, which contributed more to species composition than bidirectional gradients along watercourses or overland. Plant traits selected by regression trees explained 22% of species response to unidirectional upstream-downstream gradients in field edges and 24% in riverbanks, and predominantly corresponded to seed traits rather than morphological traits of the adult plants. Our study showed that even in agriculturally open landscapes, water flow remains a major force structuring spatially riparian plant communities by filtering species according to their seed traits, thereby suggesting long-distance dispersal as a predominant process. Preserving hydrological connectivity at the watershed-scale and restoring riparian plant communities from upstream to downstream should be

  4. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance.

  5. Effects of Host Plant Factors on the Bacterial Communities Associated with Two Whitefly Sibling Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Ming-Ming; Guo, Lei; Tao, Yun-Li; Zhang, You-Jun; Wan, Fang-Hao; Chu, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Although discrepancy in the specific traits and ecological characteristics of Bemisia tabaci between species are partially attributed to the B. tabaci-associated bacteria, the factors that affect the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacteria are not well-understood. We used the metagenomic approach to characterize the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community because the approach is an effective tool to identify the bacteria. To investigate the effects of the host plant and a virus, tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), on the bacterial communities of B. tabaci sibling species B and Q, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with whitefly B and Q collected from healthy cotton, healthy tomato, and TYLCV-infected tomato. The analysis used miseq-based sequencing of a variable region of the bacterial 16S rDNA gene. For the bacteria associated with B. tabaci, we found that the influence of the host plant species was greater than that of the whitefly cryptic species. With further analysis of host plants infected with the TYLCV, the virus had no significant effects on the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community. The effects of different plant hosts and TYLCV-infection on the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacterial communities were successfully analyzed in this study. To explain why B. tabaci sibling species with different host ranges differ in performance, the analysis of the bacterial community may be essential to the explanation.

  6. Changes in soil bacterial communities induced by the invasive plant Pennisetum setaceum in a semiarid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, Gema; Caravaca, Fuensanta; del Mar Alguacil, María; Fernández-López, Manuel; José Fernández-González, Antonio; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Invasive alien species are considered as a global threat being among the main causes of biodiversity loss. Plant invasions have been extensively studied from different disciplines with the purpose of identifying predictor traits of invasiveness and finding solutions. However, less is known about the implication of the rhizosphere microbiota in these processes, even when it is well known the importance of the interaction between plant rhizosphere and microbial communities. The objective of this study was to determine whether native and invasive plants support different bacterial communities in their rhizospheres and whether there are bacterial indicator species that might be contributing to the invasion process of these ecosystems. We carried out a study in five independent locations under Mediterranean semiarid conditions, where the native Hyparrhenia hirta is being displaced by Pennisetum setaceum, an aggressive invasive Poaceae and soil bacterial communities were amplified and 454-pyrosequenced. Changes in the composition and structure of the bacterial communities, owing to the invasive status of the plant, were detected when the richness and alpha-diversity estimators were calculated as well as when we analyzed the PCoA axes scores. The Indicator Species Analysis results showed a higher number of indicators for invaded communities at all studied taxonomic levels. In conclusion, the effect of the invasiveness and its interaction with the soil location has promoted shifts in the rhizosphere bacterial communities which might be facilitating the invader success in these ecosystems.

  7. Coal mining activities change plant community structure due to air pollution and soil degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Bhanu; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Singh, Siddharth

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of coal mining activities on the community structures of woody and herbaceous plants. The response of individual plants of community to defilement caused by coal mining was also assessed. Air monitoring, soil physico-chemical and phytosociological analyses were carried around Jharia coalfield (JCF) and Raniganj coalfield. The importance value index of sensitive species minified and those of tolerant species enhanced with increasing pollution load and altered soil quality around coal mining areas. Although the species richness of woody and herbaceous plants decreased with higher pollution load, a large number of species acclimatized to the stress caused by the coal mining activities. Woody plant community at JCF was more affected by coal mining than herbaceous community. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that structure of herbaceous community was mainly driven by soil total organic carbon, soil nitrogen, whereas woody layer community was influenced by sulphur dioxide in ambient air, soil sulphate and soil phosphorus. The changes in species diversity observed at mining areas indicated an increase in the proportion of resistant herbs and grasses showing a tendency towards a definite selection strategy of ecosystem in response to air pollution and altered soil characteristics.

  8. Relative importance of abiotic, biotic, and disturbance drivers of plant community structure in the sagebrush steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rachel M; Bakker, Jonathan D; Vincent, John B; Davies, G Matt

    2017-04-01

    Abiotic conditions, biotic factors, and disturbances can act as filters that control community structure and composition. Understanding the relative importance of these drivers would allow us to understand and predict the causes and consequences of changes in community structure. We used long-term data (1989-2002) from the sagebrush steppe in the state of Washington, USA, to ask three questions: (1) What are the key drivers of community-level metrics of community structure? (2) Do community-level metrics and functional groups differ in magnitude or direction of response to drivers of community structure? (3) What is the relative importance of drivers of community structure? The vegetation in 2002 was expressed as seven response variables: three community-level metrics (species richness, total cover, compositional change from 1989 to 2002) and the relative abundances of four functional groups. We used a multi-model inference framework to identify a set of top models for each response metric beginning from a global model that included two abiotic drivers, six disturbances, a biotic driver (initial plant community), and interactions between the disturbance and biotic drivers. We also used a permutational relative variable importance metric to rank the influence of drivers. Moisture availability was the most important driver of species richness and of native forb cover. Fire was the most important driver of shrub cover and training area usage was important for compositional change, but disturbances, including grazing, were of secondary importance for most other variables. Biotic drivers, as represented by the initial plant communities, were the most important driver for total cover and for the relative covers of exotics and native grasses. Our results indicate that the relative importance of drivers is dependent on the choice of metric, and that drivers such as disturbance and initial plant community can interact. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. The Upper Mississippi River floodscape: spatial patterns of flood inundation and associated plant community distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.; Yin, Yao; Hoy, Erin E.

    2016-01-01

    Questions How is the distribution of different plant communities associated with patterns of flood inundation across a large floodplain landscape? Location Thirty-eight thousand nine hundred and seventy hectare of floodplain, spanning 320 km of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). Methods High-resolution elevation data (Lidar) and 30 yr of daily river stage data were integrated to produce a ‘floodscape’ map of growing season flood inundation duration. The distributions of 16 different remotely sensed plant communities were quantified along the gradient of flood duration. Results Models fitted to the cumulative frequency of occurrence of different vegetation types as a function of flood duration showed that most types exist along a continuum of flood-related occurrence. The diversity of community types was greatest at high elevations (0–10 d of flooding), where both upland and lowland community types were found, as well as at very low elevations (70–180 d of flooding), where a variety of lowland herbaceous communities were found. Intermediate elevations (20–60 d of flooding) tended to be dominated by floodplain forest and had the lowest diversity of community types. Conclusions Although variation in flood inundation is often considered to be the main driver of spatial patterns in floodplain plant communities, few studies have quantified flood–vegetation relationships at broad scales. Our results can be used to identify targets for restoration of historical hydrological regimes or better anticipate hydro-ecological effects of climate change at broad scales.

  10. Tracking fungal community responses to maize plants by DNA- and RNA-based pyrosequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiko E Kuramae

    Full Text Available We assessed soil fungal diversity and community structure at two sampling times (t1 = 47 days and t2 = 104 days of plant age in pots associated with four maize cultivars, including two genetically modified (GM cultivars by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 18S rRNA gene using DNA and RNA templates. We detected no significant differences in soil fungal diversity and community structure associated with different plant cultivars. However, DNA-based analyses yielded lower fungal OTU richness as compared to RNA-based analyses. Clear differences in fungal community structure were also observed in relation to sampling time and the nucleic acid pool targeted (DNA versus RNA. The most abundant soil fungi, as recovered by DNA-based methods, did not necessary represent the most "active" fungi (as recovered via RNA. Interestingly, RNA-derived community compositions at t1 were highly similar to DNA-derived communities at t2, based on presence/absence measures of OTUs. We recovered large proportions of fungal sequences belonging to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Basidiomycota, especially at the RNA level, suggesting that these important and potentially beneficial fungi are not affected by the plant cultivars nor by GM traits (Bt toxin production. Our results suggest that even though DNA- and RNA-derived soil fungal communities can be very different at a given time, RNA composition may have a predictive power of fungal community development through time.

  11. Alpine Skiing in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez-Gimenez, Antonio; Fernandez-Rio, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many students settle indoors in the winter. However, this does not mean that winter should be a period of time with no physical activity. Several snow activities could be practiced during those months, such as ice-skating, ice-hockey, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, or snowboarding. In order to counteract the tendency for…

  12. Evapotranspiration over spatially extensive plant communities in the Big Cypress National Preserve, southern Florida, 2007-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, W. Barclay; Lopez, Christian D.; Duever, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) was quantified over plant communities within the Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP) using the eddy covariance method for a period of 3 years from October 2007 to September 2010. Plant communities selected for study included Pine Upland, Wet Prairie, Marsh, Cypress Swamp, and Dwarf Cypress. These plant communities are spatially extensive in southern Florida, and thus, the ET measurements described herein can be applied to other humid subtropical locations such as the Everglades.

  13. Biomass, Leaf Area, and Resource Availability of Kudzu Dominated Plant Communities Following Herbicide Treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.T. Rader

    2001-10-01

    Kudzu is an exotic vine that threatens the forests of the southern U.S. Five herbicides were tested with regard to their efficacy in controlling kudzu, community recover was monitored, and interactions with planted pines were studied. The sites selected were old farm sites dominated by kudzu.These were burned following herbicide treatment. The herbicides included triclopyr, clopyralid, metsulfuron, tebuthiuron, and picloram plus 2,4-D. Pine seedlings were planted the following year. Regression equations were developed for predicting biomass and leaf area. Four distinct plant communities resulted from the treatments. The untreated check continued to be kudzu dominated. Blackberry dominated the clopyradid treatment. Metsulfron, trychlopyr and picloram treated sites resulted in herbaceous dominated communities. The tebuthiuron treatment maintained all vegetation low.

  14. Assembly patterns of plant functional traits in alpine meadow under disturbances by mowing and fertilization%刈割与施肥干扰下高寒草甸植物功能性状的构建模式

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吕美强; 朱志红; 李英年; 姚天华; 潘石玉; 孔彬彬

    2014-01-01

    Aims Fully understanding the assembly patterns of plant functional traits in plant communities is a big challenge in the study of community ecology. The assembly patterns in alpline meadow and driving factors are still poorly known. In this study, experiments with different mowing intensities and various treatments of fertilization were conducted in alpline meadow for the purpose of improving the understanding of the assembly patterns of plant functional traits in plant community. Methods Data on functional diversity of 10 traits for 33 species from 108 quadrats (with varying combinations of mowing and fertilization) were analyzed by randomizations tests, ANCOVA and regression analysis, respec-tively, for the trait convergence/divergence. Important findings None of the traits studied showed consistently significant convergence or divergence pattern in integral gradients of fertilization and mowing treatments, while the ratios of quadrats assembled under determi-nistic and stochastic processes were 82.7% and 17.3%, respectively. Among the functional traits tested, growth form, life cycle, aboveground dry mass per plant, leaf area and leaf dry mass showed a stochastic pattern of as-sembly, but they were not affected by variations in mowing treatments and community characteristics (i.e. above-ground net primary productivity, biomass loss and vegetation height). Convergence or divergence patterns were shown in traits such as plant inclination, reproductive modes, nitrogen fixation, plant height and specific leaf area, which were affected by variations in mowing treatments and community characteristics. Among them, assembly patterns of plant inclination and specific leaf area were only affected by community characteristics, while nitrogen fixation, reproductive modes and plant height were affected by both mowing treatments and community charac-teristics. Moreover, the patterns of assembly varied by traits. Aboveground net primary productivity and biomass loss well

  15. Use of Medical Plants in Schools Communities from Sinop, Mato Grosso.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Urtado

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This study was conducted in Sinop, Mato Grosso, on two school communities. It was applied semi-structured questionnaires with questions focused on socioeconomic and the use of medicinal plants. It has as finality proved the effective use of medicinal plants on the everyday and a levy of the most used plant. The general profile of the respondents has shown that the women detain the major part of the knowledge, and that pass this uses to the future generations and friends, and find these plants on specialty stores, backyards, supermarket, root stores, bush and fairs. The plants that were found more frequently was (Ruta graveolens L., Babosa (Aloe vera L., Erva-Cidreira (Lippia alba Mill., Erva-Santa-Maria (Chenopodium ambrosioides L., Boldo (Plectranthus amboinicus Spreng., Hortel(Menta x vilosa Huds. e Terramicina (Alternanthera dentata Moench..Keywords: medical plants, Sinop, school.

  16. [Noise-reduction function and its affecting factors of urban plant communities in Shanghai].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qing-Fei; Zheng, Si-Jun; Xia, Lei; Wu, Hai-Ping; Zhang, Ming-Li; Li, Ming-Sheng

    2007-10-01

    The factor analysis on the relationships between excess noise attenuation (decrement after noise propagating 30 m) and 8 structural characteristics of 19 urban plant communities in Shanghai showed that all the plant communities had notable effects on reducing noise, and the noise attenuation ability of the communities was significantly higher than that of lawn (P attenuation ability, i.e., those of > or = 10 dB(A), 6-10 dB(A), and attenuation ability of the communities were leaf area index, average bifurcate height, average height, coverage, and average canopy diameter, and their correlation coefficients with noise attenuation were 0.343, 0.318, 0.285, 0.226 and 0.193, respectively. These five factors had a cumulative contribution rate of 65.47%, suggesting that they should be considered in stress when designing urban greenbelt for noise reduction.

  17. Activation of the jasmonic acid plant defence pathway alters the composition of rhizosphere bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalhais, Lilia C; Dennis, Paul G; Badri, Dayakar V; Tyson, Gene W; Vivanco, Jorge M; Schenk, Peer M

    2013-01-01

    Jasmonic acid (JA) signalling plays a central role in plant defences against necrotrophic pathogens and herbivorous insects, which afflict both roots and shoots. This pathway is also activated following the interaction with beneficial microbes that may lead to induced systemic resistance. Activation of the JA signalling pathway via application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) alters the composition of carbon containing compounds released by roots, which are implicated as key determinants of rhizosphere microbial community structure. In this study, we investigated the influence of the JA defence signalling pathway activation in Arabidopsis thaliana on the structure of associated rhizosphere bacterial communities using 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing. Application of MeJA did not directly influence bulk soil microbial communities but significant changes in rhizosphere community composition were observed upon activation of the jasmonate signalling pathway. Our results suggest that JA signalling may mediate plant-bacteria interactions in the soil upon necrotrophic pathogen and herbivorous insect attacks.

  18. Plant and soil fungal but not soil bacterial communities are linked in long-term fertilized grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassman, Noriko A.; Leite, Marcio F. A.; Pan, Yao; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes A.; Kuramae, Eiko E.

    2016-03-01

    Inorganic fertilization and mowing alter soil factors with subsequent effects-direct and indirect - on above- and below-ground communities. We explored direct and indirect effects of long-term fertilization (N, P, NPK, Liming) and twice yearly mowing on the plant, bacterial and fungal communities and soil factors. We analyzed co-variation using 16S and 18S rRNA genes surveys, and plant frequency and edaphic factors across treatments. The plant and fungal communities were distinct in the NPK and L treatments, while the bacterial communities and soil factors were distinct in the N and L treatments. Plant community diversity and evenness had low diversity in the NPK and high diversity in the liming treatment, while the diversity and evenness of the bacterial and fungal communities did not differ across treatments, except of higher diversity and evenness in the liming treatment for the bacteria. We found significant co-structures between communities based on plant and fungal comparisons but not between plant and bacterial nor bacterial and fungal comparisons. Our results suggested that the plant and fungal communities are more tightly linked than either community with the bacterial community in fertilized soils. We found co-varying plant, bacterial and fungal taxa in different treatments that may indicate ecological interactions.

  19. Ecological effects of transgene persistence on plant communities in the presence and absence of drift levels of glyphosate herbicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2005, plant communities were constructed in outdoor sunlit chambers that contained 3 round tubs having a surface area of 1.2 m2 and a depth of 0.6 m. Six plant types were planted in triplicate using the same spatial arrangement in each tub. Three of the six plant types were se...

  20. Ecological effects of transgene persistence on plant communities in the presence and absence of drift levels of glyphosate herbicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2005, plant communities were constructed in outdoor sunlit chambers that contained 3 round tubs having a surface area of 1.2 m2 and a depth of 0.6 m. Six plant types were planted in triplicate using the same spatial arrangement in each tub. Three of the six plant types were se...