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Sample records for alpine plant communities

  1. Ethnobotany of medicinal plants among the communities of Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayani, Sadaf; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Sultana, Shazia; Khan Shinwari, Zabta; Zafar, Muhammed; Yaseen, Ghulam; Hussain, Manzoor; Bibi, Tahira

    2015-04-22

    To best of our knowledge it is first quantitative ethno-botanical study from Alpine and Sub-alpine, Western Himalaya of Pakistan. The study aims to report, compare the uses and highlight the ethno-botanical significance of medicinal plants for treatment of various diseases. A total of 290 (278 males and 12 females) informants including 14 Local Traditional Healers (LTHs) were interviewed. Information was collected using semi-structured interviews, analyzed and compared by quantitative ethno-botanical indices such as Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Relative frequency of citation (RFC), use value (UV), Fidelity Level (FL) and Jaccard index (JI). A total of 125 plant species (Gymnosperms 7 species, Monocotyledons 2 and 116 Di-cotyledons) belonging to 41 families are collected, identified and ethno-botanically assessed. The most dominant family is Ranunculaceae (20 species) followed by Rosaceae (14 species). In diseases treated, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) diseases have highest proportion (27.5%) followed by respiratory diseases (20%) in the mountain communities. The most dominant life form of plants used is herbs (78%) followed by shrubs (19%) while the most commonly used plant parts are leaves (44 reports) followed by underground part, the roots (37 reports). The highest ICF (0.68) is found for ear, nose and eye disease category followed by respiratory disorders (0.46). There are 15 medicinal plants having 100% FL. Use value (UV) and Relative frequency of citation (RFC) range from 0.03 to 0.53 and 0.04 to 0.23 respectively. In comparison, maximum similarity index is found in the studies with JI 19.52 followed by 17.39. Similarity percentage of plant uses range from 1.69% to 19.52% while dissimilarity percentage varies from 0% to 20%. The Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan are rich in medicinal plants and still need more research exploration. On the other hand, ethno-botanical knowledge in study areas is decreasing day by day due to high emigration rates

  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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Drivers of spatial heterogeneity in nitrogen processing among three alpine plant communities in the Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.; Beers, A.; Grinath, J.; Bowman, W. D.

    2017-12-01

    Nitrogen cycling across the globe has been fundamentally altered due to regional elevated N deposition and there is a cascade of ecosystem consequences including shifts in species composition, eutrophication, and soil acidification. Making predictions that encompass the factors that drive these ecosystem changes has frequently been limited to single ecosystem types, or areas with fairly homogenous abiotic conditions. The alpine is an ecosystem type that exhibits changes under relatively low levels of N depositions due to short growing seasons and shallow soils limiting N storage. While recent work provided estimates for the magnitude of N associated with ecosystem changes, less is known about the within-site factors that may interact to stabilize or amplify the differential response of N pools under future conditions of resource deposition. To examine numerous potential within-site and regional factors (both biotic and abiotic) affecting ecosystem N pools we examined the relationship between those factors and a suite of ecosystem pools of N followed by model selection procedures and structural equation modelling. Measurements were conducted at Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research site and in Rocky Mountain National Park in three distinct alpine meadow ecosystems (dry, moist, and wet meadows). These meadows span a moisture gradient as well as plant community composition, thereby providing high variability of potential biotic and abiotic drivers across small spatial scales in the alpine. In general, regional scale abiotic factors such as site levels of annual average N deposition or precipitation were poor predictors of seasonal pools of N, while spring soil water pools of N were negatively correlated with elevation. Models containing multiple abiotic and biotic drivers, however, were best at predicting soil and plant pools of N across the two sites. Future analysis will include highlight interactions among with-site factors affecting N pools in the alpine using

  6. [Relation between species distribution of plant community and soil factors under grazing in alpine meadow].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Yu Jie; Yang, Si Wei; Wang, Gui Zhen; Liu, Li; Du, Guo Zhen; Hua, Li Min

    2017-12-01

    The research selected the alpine meadow located in the northeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to study the changes of vegetation community and soil properties under different grazing intensities, as well as the quantitative relation between the distribution patterns of plant species and the physical and chemical properties of soil. The results showed that the grazing caused the differentiation of the initial vegetation community with the dominant plants, Elymus nutans and Stipa grandis. In the plots with high and low grazing intensities, the dominant plants had changed to Kobresia humilis and Melissitus ruthenica, and E. nutans and Poa crymophila, respectively. With the increase of grazing intensity, the plant richness, importance value and biomass were significantly decreased. The sequence of plant species importance value in each plot against grazing intensity could be fitted by a logarithmic model. The number of required plant species was reduced while the importance value of the remaining plant species accounted for 50% of the importance value in the whole vegetation community. The available P, available K, soil compaction, soil water content, stable infiltration rate and large aggregate index were significantly changed with grazing intensity, however, the changes were different. The CCA ordination showed that the soil compaction was the key factor affecting the distribution pattern of the plant species under grazing. The variance decomposition indicated that the soil factors together explained 30.5% of the distribution of the plant species, in particular the soil physical properties alone explained 22.8% of the distribution of the plant species, which had the highest rate of contribution to the plant species distribution. The soil physical properties affected the distribution pattern of plant species on grazed alpine meadow.

  7. The relative role of dispersal and local interactions for alpine plant community diversity under simulated climate warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klanderud, K.; Totland, Oe. [Norwegian Univ. of Life Science, Dept. of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Aas (Norway)

    2007-08-15

    Most studies on factors determining diversity are conducted in temperate or warm regions, whereas studies in climatically harsh and low productivity areas, such as alpine regions, are rare. We examined the relative roles of seed availability and different biotic and abiotic factors for the diversity of an alpine plant community in southern Norway. Furthermore, because climate warming is predicted to be an important driver of alpine species diversity, we assessed how the relative impacts of dispersal and local interactions on diversity might change under experimental warming (open top chambers, OTCs). Addition of seeds from 27 regional species increased community diversity. The establishment of the species was negatively related both to the diversity of the existing system and the cover of the abundant dwarf shrub Dryas octopetala. These results show that both species dispersal limitation and local biotic interactions are important factors for alpine plant community diversity. Despite relatively harsh environmental conditions and low productivity, competition from the resident vegetation appeared to have a greater role for species establishment and diversity than facilitation and experimental warming. Higher temperature appeared to increase the negative relationship between resident species diversity and species establishment. This may suggest that climate warming can increase the role of interspecific competition for alpine plant community structure, and thus alter the long-term effects of biotic interactions on diversity. (au)

  8. How cushion communities are maintained in alpine ecosystems: A review and case study on alpine cushion plant reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianguo Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Cushion species occur in nearly all alpine environments worldwide. In past decades, the adaptive and ecosystem-engineering roles of such highly specialized life forms have been well studied. However, the adaptive strategies responsible for cushion species reproductive success and maintenance in severe alpine habitats remain largely unclear. In this study, we reviewed the current understanding of reproductive strategies and population persistence in alpine cushion species. We then present a preliminary case study on the sexual reproduction of Arenaria polytrichoides (Caryophyllaceae, a typical cushion species inhabiting high elevations of the Himalaya Hengduan Mountains, which is a hotspot for diversification of cushion species. Finally, we highlight the limitations of our current understanding of alpine cushion species reproduction and propose future directions for study.

  9. Working toward integrated models of alpine plant distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bradley Z; Randin, Christophe F; Boulangeat, Isabelle; Lavergne, Sébastien; Thuiller, Wilfried; Choler, Philippe

    2013-10-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) have been frequently employed to forecast the response of alpine plants to global changes. Efforts to model alpine plant distribution have thus far been primarily based on a correlative approach, in which ecological processes are implicitly addressed through a statistical relationship between observed species occurrences and environmental predictors. Recent evidence, however, highlights the shortcomings of correlative SDMs, especially in alpine landscapes where plant species tend to be decoupled from atmospheric conditions in micro-topographic habitats and are particularly exposed to geomorphic disturbances. While alpine plants respond to the same limiting factors as plants found at lower elevations, alpine environments impose a particular set of scale-dependent and hierarchical drivers that shape the realized niche of species and that require explicit consideration in a modelling context. Several recent studies in the European Alps have successfully integrated both correlative and process-based elements into distribution models of alpine plants, but for the time being a single integrative modelling framework that includes all key drivers remains elusive. As a first step in working toward a comprehensive integrated model applicable to alpine plant communities, we propose a conceptual framework that structures the primary mechanisms affecting alpine plant distributions. We group processes into four categories, including multi-scalar abiotic drivers, gradient dependent species interactions, dispersal and spatial-temporal plant responses to disturbance. Finally, we propose a methodological framework aimed at developing an integrated model to better predict alpine plant distribution.

  10. Alpine vegetation communities and the alpine-treeline ecotone boundary in New England as biomonitors for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth D. Kimball; Douglas M. Weihrauch

    2000-01-01

    This study mapped and analyzed the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE) boundary and alpine plant communities on the Presidential Range, New Hampshire and Mount Katahdin, Maine. These are sensitive biomonitoring parameters for plant community responses to climatic change. The ATE boundary spans a considerable elevational range, suggesting that shorter growing seasons with...

  11. Strong Regionality and Dominance of Anaerobic Bacterial Taxa Characterize Diazotrophic Bacterial Communities of the Arcto-Alpine Plant Species Oxyria digyna and Saxifraga oppositifolia.

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    Kumar, Manoj; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Nissinen, Riitta

    2017-01-01

    Arctic and alpine biomes are most often strongly nitrogen-limited, and hence biological nitrogen fixation is a strong driver of these ecosystems. Both biomes are characterized by low temperatures and short growing seasons, but they differ in seasonality of solar radiation and in soil water balance due to underlying permafrost in the Arctic. Arcto-alpine plant species are well-adapted to the low temperatures that prevail in their habitats, and plant growth is mainly limited by the availability of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, due to slow mineralization. Nitrogen fixing bacteria are likely important for plant growth in these habitats, but very little is known of these bacteria or forces shaping their communities. In this study, we characterized the potential nitrogen fixing bacterial (PNFB) communities associated with two arcto-alpine pioneer plant species, Oxyria digyna (mountain sorrel) and Saxifraga oppositifolia (blue saxifrage), in three climate regions. Both of these plants readily colonize low nutrient mineral soils. Our goal was to investigate how climate (region) and, on the other hand, host plant and plant species shape these communities. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study describing PNFB communities associated with pioneer plants in different arcto-alpine biomes. Replicate samples were taken from two arctic regions, Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund, and one alpine region, Mayrhofen. In these, the PNFB communities in the bulk and rhizosphere soils and the plant endospheres were characterized by nifH -targeted PCR and massive parallel sequencing. The data revealed strong effects of climatic region on the dominating nitrogen fixers. Specifically, nifH sequences related to Geobacter (δ- Proteobacteria ) were present in high relative abundances in the nitrogen-fixing communities in the Mayrhofen and Kilpisjärvi regions, while members of the Clostridiales prevailed in the Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund regions. The bulk and rhizosphere soil

  12. Strong Regionality and Dominance of Anaerobic Bacterial Taxa Characterize Diazotrophic Bacterial Communities of the Arcto-Alpine Plant Species Oxyria digyna and Saxifraga oppositifolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manoj Kumar

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Arctic and alpine biomes are most often strongly nitrogen-limited, and hence biological nitrogen fixation is a strong driver of these ecosystems. Both biomes are characterized by low temperatures and short growing seasons, but they differ in seasonality of solar radiation and in soil water balance due to underlying permafrost in the Arctic. Arcto-alpine plant species are well-adapted to the low temperatures that prevail in their habitats, and plant growth is mainly limited by the availability of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, due to slow mineralization. Nitrogen fixing bacteria are likely important for plant growth in these habitats, but very little is known of these bacteria or forces shaping their communities. In this study, we characterized the potential nitrogen fixing bacterial (PNFB communities associated with two arcto-alpine pioneer plant species, Oxyria digyna (mountain sorrel and Saxifraga oppositifolia (blue saxifrage, in three climate regions. Both of these plants readily colonize low nutrient mineral soils. Our goal was to investigate how climate (region and, on the other hand, host plant and plant species shape these communities. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study describing PNFB communities associated with pioneer plants in different arcto-alpine biomes. Replicate samples were taken from two arctic regions, Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund, and one alpine region, Mayrhofen. In these, the PNFB communities in the bulk and rhizosphere soils and the plant endospheres were characterized by nifH-targeted PCR and massive parallel sequencing. The data revealed strong effects of climatic region on the dominating nitrogen fixers. Specifically, nifH sequences related to Geobacter (δ-Proteobacteria were present in high relative abundances in the nitrogen-fixing communities in the Mayrhofen and Kilpisjärvi regions, while members of the Clostridiales prevailed in the Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund regions. The bulk and

  13. Functional traits drive plant community and ecosystem response to global change across arctic and alpine environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chisholm, Chelsea Lee

    hierarchical Bayesian modelling. Here I found that competition is generally stronger in warmer climates, and that functional traits do not consistently predict growth across climate space. I also demonstrated that the inclusion of functional trait information as stabilizing niche differences in competition...... delayed in ice-rich areas. Finally, colleagues and I used an observational approach to assess changes in nutrient dynamics across replicated treeline transects in temperate regions around the globe, where we found consistent temperature-mediated changes in both ground-layer plant and soil nutrients across...

  14. A global analysis of bidirectional interactions in alpine plant communities shows facilitators experiencing strong reciprocal fitness costs.

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    Schöb, Christian; Michalet, Richard; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Brooker, Rob W; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cook, Bradley J; Kikvidze, Zaal; Lortie, Christopher J; Xiao, Sa; Al Hayek, Patrick; Anthelme, Fabien; Cranston, Brittany H; García, Mary-Carolina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Reid, Anya M; le Roux, Peter C; Lingua, Emanuele; Nyakatya, Mawethu J; Touzard, Blaise; Zhao, Liang; Callaway, Ragan M

    2014-04-01

    Facilitative interactions are defined as positive effects of one species on another, but bidirectional feedbacks may be positive, neutral, or negative. Understanding the bidirectional nature of these interactions is a fundamental prerequisite for the assessment of the potential evolutionary consequences of facilitation. In a global study combining observational and experimental approaches, we quantified the impact of the cover and richness of species associated with alpine cushion plants on reproductive traits of the benefactor cushions. We found a decline in cushion seed production with increasing cover of cushion-associated species, indicating that being a benefactor came at an overall cost. The effect of cushion-associated species was negative for flower density and seed set of cushions, but not for fruit set and seed quality. Richness of cushion-associated species had positive effects on seed density and modulated the effects of their abundance on flower density and fruit set, indicating that the costs and benefits of harboring associated species depend on the composition of the plant assemblage. Our study demonstrates 'parasitic' interactions among plants over a wide range of species and environments in alpine systems, and we consider their implications for the possible selective effects of interactions between benefactor and beneficiary species. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. Uptake and allocation of 15N in alpine plants. Implications for the importance of competitive ability in predicting community structure in a stressful environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theodose, T.A.; Jaeger, C.H.; Bowman, W.D.; Schardt, J.C.

    1996-01-01

    Several potential components of competitive ability were determined for 13 plant species in a N-limited alpine moist meadow community in order to determine if competition had an influence on relative abundance in this stressful environment. The components of competitive ability examined were 15 N uptake rate, 15 N allocation, whole plant biomass, root:shoot ratio, and tissue N concentrations. It was hypothesized that 15 N uptake rate would be the component most correlated with relative abundance. However, 15 N uptake rate was negatively correlated with percent cover in the community. In contrast, whole plant biomass and root:shoot ratio were positively correlated with relative abundance. Tissue N concentrations and 15 N allocation were not important predictors of relative abundance. These results suggest that in a harsh environment, high resource uptake rates are not indicative of competitive ability, but may instead by a mechanism by which rare species are able to coexist with competitive dominants. (au) 47 refs

  16. Phosphorus and Defoliation Interact and Improve the Growth and Composition of the Plant Community and Soil Properties in an Alpine Pasture of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Juan; Nie, Zhongnan; Jiao, Ting; Zhang, Degang

    2015-01-01

    Pasture degradation caused by overgrazing and inappropriate fertiliser management is a major production and environmental threat in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Previous research has focused on the effects of mixed nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertiliser and reduced grazing pressure on the plant community of the grassland; however, the role of P and how it interacts with various defoliation (the process of the complete or partial removal of the above-ground parts of plants by grazing or cutting) intensities on the plant and soil of the grassland ecosystem have not been quantified. A field experiment was conducted to quantify how P application in combination of defoliation pressure could impact the dynamic change of the plant and soil in a native alpine grassland ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China, from May 2012 to September 2014. A split-plot design with 4 replicates and repeated measures was used to determine the growth and composition of plant community and soil physical and chemical properties under various levels of P fertiliser and defoliation intensity. The results showed that applying 20 kg P/ha increased the herbage yield of Melissitus ruthenica by 68% and total pasture yield by 25%. Close defoliation favoured the growth and plant frequency of the shorter species, whereas lax defoliation favoured that of the taller plant species. Medium P rate and cutting to 3 cm above ground gave an overall best outcome in pasture yield, quality and frequency and soil moisture and nutrient concentration. Application of P fertiliser with a moderate defoliation pressure to promote legume growth and N fixation has the potential to achieve multiple benefits in increasing pasture and livestock production and improving environmental sustainability in the alpine pasture of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a fragile and P-deficient ecosystem zone in China and its western neighbouring countries.

  17. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

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    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.

  18. Frost resistance of alpine woody plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert eNeuner

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. 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

    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...... vascular plant groups. Also, limitation of soil nutrient availability caused by labile C addition decreased the relative proportion of green shoots in evergreen shrubs, although these were expected to cope better with the nutrient limitation than the opportunistic graminoids, which, by contrast, were...... unaffected. Reduced fungal biomass due to benomyl addition was accompanied by increased evergreen shrub and clubmoss biomass. Taken together, the effects of treatments were most pronounced 16 years after initiation of the experiment, but despite changes in biomass the overall plant community composition...

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthelme, Fabien; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Dangles, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    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 climate change.

  2. 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

  3. Mountain Plant Community Sentinels: AWOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, G. P.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain plant communities are thought to be sensitive to climate change. Because climatic gradients are steep on mountain slopes, the spatial response of plant communities to climate change should be compressed and easier to detect. These expectations have led to identifying mountain plant communities as sentinels for climate change. This idea has, however, been criticized. Two critiques, for alpine treeline and alpine tundra, are rehearsed and supplemented. The critique of alpine treeline as sentinel is bolstered with new model results on the confounding role of dispersal mechanisms and sensitivity to climatic volatility. In alpine tundra, for which background turnover rates have yet to be established, community composition may reflect environmental gradients only for extremes where effects of climate are most indirect. Both plant communities, while primarily determined by energy at broad scales, may respond to water as a proximate driver at local scales. These plant communities may not be in equilibrium with climate, and differently scaled time lags may mean that ongoing vegetation change may not signal ongoing climate change (or lack thereof). In both cases a double-whammy is created by scale dependence for time lags and for drivers leading to confusion, but these cases present opportunities for insights into basic ecology.

  4. 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.

  5. Cuticular waxes in alpine meadow plants: climate effect inferred from latitude gradient in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yanjun; Guo, Na; He, Yuji; Gao, Jianhua

    2015-09-01

    Alpine meadow ecosystems are susceptible to climate changes. Still, climate impact on cuticular wax in alpine meadow plants is poorly understood. Assessing the variations of cuticular wax in alpine meadow plants across different latitudes might be useful for predicting how they may respond to climate change. We studied nine alpine meadows in a climate gradient in the east side of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, with mean annual temperature ranging from -7.7 to 3.2°C. In total, 42 plant species were analyzed for cuticular wax, averaged 16 plant species in each meadow. Only four plant species could be observed in all sampling meadows, including Kobresia humilis,Potentilla nivea,Anaphalis lacteal, and Leontopodium nanum. The amounts of wax compositions and total cuticular wax in the four plant species varied among sampling meadows, but no significant correlation could be observed between them and temperature, precipitation, and aridity index based on plant species level. To analyze the variations of cuticular wax on community level, we averaged the amounts of n-alkanes, aliphatic acids, primary alcohols, and total cuticular wax across all investigated plant species in each sampling site. The mean annual temperature, mean temperature in July, and aridity index were significantly correlated with the averaged amounts of wax compositions and total cuticular wax. The average chain length of n-alkanes in both plant and soil linearly increased with increased temperature, whereas reduced with increased aridity index. No significant correlation could be observed between mean annual precipitation and mean precipitation from June to August and the cuticular wax amounts and average chain length. Our results suggest that the survival of some alpine plants in specific environments might be depended on their abilities in adjusting wax deposition on plant leaves, and the alpine meadow plants as a whole respond to climate change, benefiting the stability of alpine meadow ecosystem.

  6. Forgotten Edible alpine plants in the canton of Valais

    OpenAIRE

    Abbet, Christian Paul

    2014-01-01

    Tradition possesses plenty of forgotten wild edible plants and may help researchers in the quest for new food varieties. Swiss alpine cantons, especially the canton of Valais, have still had a viable tradition. However, societal changes and extensive urbanization have caused this knowledge to be confined to lateral valleys. This contribution aimed to document wild edible plants which were collected in the canton of Valais. 38 informants originating from four different valleys of the canton (V...

  7. 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 floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  8. Distribution, species diversity and composition of plant communities in relation to various affecting factors in an alpine grassland at Bandipora, Kashmir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dad, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides a broad understanding of vascular plant richness and community structure of mountain grassland (Matri) at Bandipora, Kashmir and links it various environmental variables. Employing a stratified sampling design, six sites were selected wherein vegetation was sampled by placing quadrats (n=210). Elucidating an important effect of topography and anthropic pressure, numerical classification TWINSPAN segregated the quadrats into seven community types. Contrary to species rich communities which showed an explicit composition and localized distribution, the other communities depicted a vague composition and stretched unevenly between the lower and middle altitudes. Using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), elevation and disturbance were found as most influencing factors whereas steepness of slope, organic carbon, soil reaction (pH) and soil salinity (electrical conductivity) were other important factors. Indices of diversity measured at two measurement scales varied differently between communities and at a macro scale (site level) highest values were recorded in least disturbed communities. However, on a micro scale (quadrat level) the indices behaved differently. For effective conservation of these species rich grasslands, acknowledging the local level variability in vegetation structure is all but crucial. (author)

  9. Functional traits and root morphology of alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Mandy; Stroude, Raphaël; Buttler, Alexandre; Rixen, Christian

    2011-09-01

    Vegetation has long been recognized to protect the soil from erosion. Understanding species differences in root morphology and functional traits is an important step to assess which species and species mixtures may provide erosion control. Furthermore, extending classification of plant functional types towards root traits may be a useful procedure in understanding important root functions. In this study, pioneer data on traits of alpine plant species, i.e. plant height and shoot biomass, root depth, horizontal root spreading, root length, diameter, tensile strength, plant age and root biomass, from a disturbed site in the Swiss Alps are presented. The applicability of three classifications of plant functional types (PFTs), i.e. life form, growth form and root type, was examined for above- and below-ground plant traits. Plant traits differed considerably among species even of the same life form, e.g. in the case of total root length by more than two orders of magnitude. Within the same root diameter, species differed significantly in tensile strength: some species (Geum reptans and Luzula spicata) had roots more than twice as strong as those of other species. Species of different life forms provided different root functions (e.g. root depth and horizontal root spreading) that may be important for soil physical processes. All classifications of PFTs were helpful to categorize plant traits; however, the PFTs according to root type explained total root length far better than the other PFTs. The results of the study illustrate the remarkable differences between root traits of alpine plants, some of which cannot be assessed from simple morphological inspection, e.g. tensile strength. PFT classification based on root traits seems useful to categorize plant traits, even though some patterns are better explained at the individual species level.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Zinger

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  18. Communities of Putative Ericoid Mycorrhizal Fungi Isolated from Alpine Dwarf Shrubs in Japan: Effects of Host Identity and Microhabitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, Takahiko; Nara, Kazuhide

    2017-06-24

    Dwarf shrubs of the family Ericaceae are common in arctic and alpine regions. Many of these plants are associated with ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) fungi, which allow them to take nutrients and water from the soil under harsh environmental conditions and, thus, affect host plant survival. Despite the importance of ERM fungi to alpine plant communities, limited information is available on the effects of microhabitat and host identity on ERM fungal communities. We investigated the communities of putative ERM fungi isolated from five dwarf shrub species (Arcterica nana, Diapensia lapponica, Empetrum nigrum, Loiseleuria procumbens, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea) that co-occur in an alpine region of Japan, with reference to distinct microhabitats provided by large stone pine (Pinus pumila) shrubs (i.e. bare ground, the edge of stone pine shrubs, and the inside of stone pine shrubs). We obtained 703 fungal isolates from 222 individual plants. These isolates were classified into 55 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) based on the sequencing of internal transcribed spacer regions in ribosomal DNA. These putative ERM fungal communities were dominated by Helotiales fungi for all host species. Cistella and Trimmatostroma species, which have rarely been detected in ERM roots in previous studies, were abundant. ERM fungal communities were significantly different among microhabitats (R 2 =0.28), while the host effect explained less variance in the fungal communities after excluding the microhabitat effect (R 2 =0.17). Our results suggest that the host effect on ERM fungal communities is minor and the distributions of hosts and fungal communities may be assessed based on microhabitat conditions.

  19. [Litter decomposition and soil faunal diversity of two understory plant debris in the alpine timberline ecotone of western Sichuan in a snow cover season].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Run-lian; Chen, Ya-mei; Deng, Chang-chun; Yan, Wan-qin; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Yang

    2015-03-01

    In order to understand the relationship between litter decomposition and soil fauna diversity during snow cover season, litterbags with plant debris of Actinothuidium hookeri, Cystopteris montana, two representative understory plants in the alpine timberline ecotone, and their mixed litter were incubated in the dark coniferous forest, timberline and alpine meadow, respectively. After a snow cover season, the mass loss and soil fauna in litterbags were investigated. After decomposition with a snow cover season, alpine meadow showed the highest mass loss of plant debris in comparison with coniferous forest and timberline, and the mass loss of A. hookeri was more significant. The mixture of two plants debris accelerated the mass loss, especially in the timberline. A total of 968 soil invertebrates, which belonged to 5 classes, 10 orders and 35 families, were captured in litterbags. Acarina and Collembola were the dominant groups in plant debris. The numbers of individuals and groups of soil faunal communities in litter of timberline were higher than those of alpine meadow and dark coniferous forest. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that the groups of soil animals were related closely with the average temperature, and endemic species such as Isoptera and Geophilomorpha were observed only in coniferous forest, while Hemiptera and Psocoptera only in.the alpine meadow. The diversity of soil faunal community was more affected by plant debris varieties in the timberline than in the coniferous forest and alpine meadow. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the average temperature and snow depth explained 30.8% of the variation of litter mass loss rate, soil animals explained 8.3%, and altogether explained 34.1%. Snow was one of the most critical factors impacting the decomposition of A. hookeri and C. montana debris in the alpine timberline ecotone.

  20. Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community structure and functioning along a nitrogen enrichment gradient in an alpine meadow ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Shengjing; Liu, Yongjun; Luo, Jiajia; Qin, Mingsen; Johnson, Nancy Collins; Öpik, Maarja; Vasar, Martti; Chai, Yuxing; Zhou, Xiaolong; Mao, Lin; Du, Guozhen; An, Lizhe; Feng, Huyuan

    2018-03-30

    Nitrogen (N) availability is increasing dramatically in many ecosystems, but the influence of elevated N on the functioning of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in natural ecosystems is not well understood. We measured AM fungal community structure and mycorrhizal function simultaneously across an experimental N addition gradient in an alpine meadow that is limited by N but not by phosphorus (P). AM fungal communities at both whole-plant-community (mixed roots) and single-plant-species (Elymus nutans roots) scales were described using pyro-sequencing, and the mycorrhizal functioning was quantified using a mycorrhizal-suppression treatment in the field (whole-plant-community scale) and a glasshouse inoculation experiment (single-plant-species scale). Nitrogen enrichment progressively reduced AM fungal abundance, changed AM fungal community composition, and shifted mycorrhizal functioning towards parasitism at both whole-plant-community and E. nutans scales. N-induced shifts in AM fungal community composition were tightly linked to soil N availability and/or plant species richness, whereas the shifts in mycorrhizal function were associated with the communities of specific AM fungal lineages. The observed changes in both AM fungal community structure and functioning across an N enrichment gradient highlight that N enrichment of ecosystems that are not P-limited can induce parasitic mycorrhizal functioning and influence plant community structure and ecosystem sustainability. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  1. Revitalizing traditional ecological knowledge: a study in an Alpine rural community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  2. Revitalizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Study in an Alpine Rural Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  3. Experimental soil warming shifts the fungal community composition at the alpine treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solly, Emily F; Lindahl, Björn D; Dawes, Melissa A; Peter, Martina; Souza, Rômulo C; Rixen, Christian; Hagedorn, Frank

    2017-07-01

    Increased CO 2 emissions and global warming may alter the composition of fungal communities through the removal of temperature limitation in the plant-soil system, faster nitrogen (N) cycling and changes in the carbon (C) allocation of host plants to the rhizosphere. At a Swiss treeline featuring Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata, the effects of multiple years of CO 2 enrichment and experimental soil warming on the fungal community composition in the organic horizons were analysed using 454-pyrosequencing of ITS2 amplicons. Sporocarp production and colonization of ectomycorrhizal root tips were investigated in parallel. Fungal community composition was significantly altered by soil warming, whereas CO 2 enrichment had little effect. Tree species influenced fungal community composition and the magnitude of the warming responses. The abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungal taxa was positively correlated with N availability, and ectomycorrhizal taxa specialized for conditions of high N availability proliferated with warming, corresponding to considerable increases in inorganic N in warmed soils. Traits related to N utilization are important in determining the responses of ectomycorrhizal fungi to warming in N-poor cold ecosystems. Shifts in the overall fungal community composition in response to higher temperatures may alter fungal-driven processes with potential feedbacks on ecosystem N cycling and C storage at the alpine treeline. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Geochip-based analysis of microbial communities in alpine meadow soils in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Lu, Zhenmei; Liu, Shanshan; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Ren, Zuohua; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang

    2013-03-29

    GeoChip 3.0, a microbial functional gene array, containing ~28,000 oligonucleotide probes and targeting ~57,000 sequences from 292 functional gene families, provided a powerful tool for researching microbial community structure in natural environments. The alpine meadow is a dominant plant community in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, hence it is important to profile the unique geographical flora and assess the response of the microbial communities to environmental variables. In this study, Geochip 3.0 was employed to understand the microbial functional gene diversity and structure, and metabolic potential and the major environmental factors in shaping microbial communities structure of alpine meadow soil in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. A total of 6143 microbial functional genes involved in carbon degradation, carbon fixation, methane oxidation and production, nitrogen cycling, phosphorus utilization, sulphur cycling, organic remediation, metal resistance, energy process and other category were detected in six soil samples and high diversity was observed. Interestingly, most of the detected genes associated with carbon degradation were derived from cultivated organisms. To identify major environmental factors in shaping microbial communities, Mantel test and CCA Statistical analyses were performed. The results indicated that altitude, C/N, pH and soil organic carbon were significantly (P the microbial functional structure and a total of 80.97% of the variation was significantly explained by altitude, C/N and pH. The C/N contributed 38.2% to microbial functional gene variation, which is in accordance with the hierarchical clustering of overall microbial functional genes. High overall functional genes and phylogenetic diversity of the alpine meadow soil microbial communities existed in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Most of the genes involved in carbon degradation were derived from characterized microbial groups. Microbial composition and structures variation were

  5. 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.

  6. Plant community mediation of ecosystem responses to global change factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.

    2017-12-01

    Human alteration of the numerous environmental drivers affecting ecosystem processes is unprecedented in the last century, including changes in climate regimes and rapid increases in the availability of biologically active nitrogen (N). Plant communities may offer stabilizing or amplifying feedbacks mediating potential ecosystem responses to these alterations, and my research seeks to examine the conditions associated with when plant feedbacks are important for ecosystem change. My dissertation research focused on the unintended consequences of N deposition into natural landscapes, including alpine ecosystems which are particularly susceptible to adverse environmental impacts. In particular, I examined alpine plant and soil responses to N deposition 1) across multiple spatial scales throughout the Southern Rocky Mountains, 2) among diverse plant communities associated with unique environmental conditions common in the alpine of this region, and 3) among ecosystem pools of N contributing to stabilization of N inputs within those communities. I found that communities responded to inputs of N differently, often associated with traits of dominant plant species but these responses were intimately linked with the abiotic conditions of each independent community. Even so, statistical models predicting metrics of N processing in the alpine were improved by encompassing both abiotic and biotic components of the main community types.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...... revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine...... 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. [Diversity of soil nematode communities in the subalpine and alpine forests of western Sichuan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ya; Yang, Wan Qin; Wu, Fu Zhong; Yang, Fan; Lan, Li Ying; Liu, Yu Wei; Guo, Cai Hong; Tan, Bo

    2017-10-01

    In order to understand the diversity of soil nematodes in the subalpine/alpine forests of the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, soil nematodes in the primary forest, mixed forest and secondary forest of Abies faxoniana were extracted by elutriation and sugar-centrifugation method in July 2015, and the composition and structure characteristics of soil nematode communities were studied in the three forests at different altitudes. A total of 37950 soil nematodes were collected, which belonged to 20 families and 27 genera, and the mean density was 4217 ind·100 g -1 dry soil. Filenchus was the dominant genus in the primary forest, and Filenchus and Pararotylenchus in the mixed forest and secondary forest, respectively. The individual number of each dominant genus was significantly affected by forest type. All nematode individuals were classified into the four trophic groups of bacterivores, fungivores, plant-parasites and omnivore-predators. The fungivores were dominant in the primary and secondary forest and the bacterivores in the mixed forest. The number of soil nematode c-p (colonizer-persister) groups of c-p 1, c-p 2, c-p 3 and c-p 4 accounted for 6.1%, 51.1%, 30.0% and 12.7% of the total nematode abundance, respectively. The maturity index (MI), the total maturity index (∑MI) and the plant parasitic index (PPI) of soil nematodes decreased gradually with the increase of altitude. The nematode channel ratio in the mixed forest was higher than 0.5, but that in the primary forest and secondary forest was below 0.5. The forest type significantly affected the soil nematode maturity index and channel ratio, but the forest type, soil layer and their interaction had no significant effect on the diversity index. There were obvious diffe-rences in the composition, nutrient structure and energy flow channel of soil nematodes in the subalpine/alpine forests of western Sichuan, providing an important reference for understanding the function of soil nematodes in soil processes

  14. Community-specific hydraulic conductance potential of soil water decomposed for two Alpine grasslands by small-scale lysimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenck, Georg; Leitinger, Georg; Obojes, Nikolaus; Hofmann, Magdalena; Newesely, Christian; Deutschmann, Mario; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich

    2018-02-01

    For central Europe in addition to rising temperatures an increasing variability in precipitation is predicted. This will increase the probability of drought periods in the Alps, where water supply has been sufficient in most areas so far. For Alpine grasslands, community-specific imprints on drought responses are poorly analyzed so far due to the sufficient natural water supply. In a replicated mesocosm experiment we compared evapotranspiration (ET) and biomass productivity of two differently drought-adapted Alpine grassland communities during two artificial drought periods divided by extreme precipitation events using high-precision small lysimeters. The drought-adapted vegetation type showed a high potential to utilize even scarce water resources. This is combined with a low potential to translate atmospheric deficits into higher water conductance and a lower biomass production as those measured for the non-drought-adapted type. The non-drought-adapted type, in contrast, showed high water conductance potential and a strong increase in ET rates when environmental conditions became less constraining. With high rates even at dry conditions, this community appears not to be optimized to save water and might experience drought effects earlier and probably more strongly. As a result, the water use efficiency of the drought-adapted plant community is with 2.6 gDW kg-1 of water much higher than that of the non-drought-adapted plant community (0.16 gDW kg-1). In summary, the vegetation's reaction to two covarying gradients of potential evapotranspiration and soil water content revealed a clear difference in vegetation development and between water-saving and water-spending strategies regarding evapotranspiration.

  15. Phenotypic variation in nurse traits and community feedbacks define an alpine community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalet, Richard; Xiao, Sa; Touzard, Blaise; Smith, David S; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Callaway, Ragan M; Whitham, Thomas G

    2011-05-01

    Much is known about facilitation, but virtually nothing about the underlying genetic and evolutionary consequences of this important interaction. We assessed the potential of phenotypic differences in facilitative effects of a foundation species to determine the composition of an Alpine community in Arizona. Two phenotypes of Geum rossii occur along a gradient of disturbance, with 'tight' competitive cushions in stable conditions and 'loose' facilitative cushions in disturbed conditions. A common-garden study suggested that field-based traits may have a genetic basis. Field experiments showed that the reproductive fitness of G. rossii cushions decreased with increasing facilitation. Finally, using a dual-lattice model we showed that including the cost and benefit of facilitation may contribute to the co-occurrence of genotypes with contrasting facilitative effects. Our results indicate that changes in community composition due to phenotypic differences in facilitative effects of a foundation species may in turn affect selective pressures on the foundation species. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Long-term N and P additions alter the scaling of plant nitrogen to phosphorus in a Tibetan alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Juanjuan; Yan, Xuebin; Su, Fanglong; Li, Zhen; Wang, Ying; Wei, Yanan; Ji, Yangguang; Yang, Yi; Zhou, Xianhui; Guo, Hui; Hu, Shuijin

    2018-06-01

    Nitrogen and phosphorus are two important nutrient elements for plants. The current paradigm suggests that the scaling of plant tissue N to P is conserved across environments and plant taxa because these two elements are coupled and coordinately change with each other following a constant allometric trajectory. However, this assumption has not been vigorously examined, particularly in changing N and P environments. We propose that changes in relative availability of N and P in soil alter the N to P relationship in plants. Taking advantage of a 4-yr N and P addition experiment in a Tibetan alpine meadow, we examined changes in plant N and P concentrations of 14 common species. Our results showed that while the scaling of N to P under N additions was similar to the previously reported pattern with a uniform 2/3 slope of the regression between log N and log P, it was significantly different under P additions with a smaller slope. Also, graminoids had different responses from forbs. These results indicate that the relative availability of soil N and P is an important determinant regulating the N and P concentrations in plants. These findings suggest that alterations in the N to P relationships may not only alter plant photosynthate allocation to vegetative or reproductive organs, but also regulate the metabolic and growth rate of plant and promote shifts in plant community composition in a changing nutrient loading environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. [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

  18. 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. © 2016 by The Mycological Society of America.

  19. Spring diet and trophic partitioning in an alpine lizard community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The influences of species interactions on habitat use, restrictions in trophic availability and evolutionary history as determinant factors are discussed. Keywords: trophic ecology, communities, pseudocommunity analysis, Lacerta perspicillata, Lacerta andreanszkyi, Podarcis vaucheri, Quedenfeldtia trachyblepharus, Morocco ...

  20. Ecological implications of reduced pollen deposition in alpine plants: a case study using a dominant cushion plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Anya; Hooper, Robyn; Molenda, Olivia; Lortie, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Alpine plant distribution and thermic vegetation indicator on Gloria summits in the central Greater Caucasus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gigauri, K.; Abdaladze, O.; Nakhutsrishvili, G

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of plant species within alpine areas is often directly related to climate or climate-influenced ecological factors. Responding to observed changes in plant species, cover and composition on the GLORIA summits in the Central Caucasus, an extensive setup of 1m * 1m permanent plots was established at the treeline-alpine zones and nival ecotone (between 2240 and 3024 m a.s.l.) on the main watershed range of the Central Greater Caucasus nearby the Cross Pass, Kazbegi region, Georgia. Recording was repeated in a representative selection of 64 quadrates in 2008. The local climatic factors - average soil T degree C and growing degree days (GDD) did not show significant increasing trends. For detection of climate warming we used two indices: thermic vegetation indicator S and thermophilization indicator D. They were varying along altitudinal and exposition gradients. The thermic vegetation indicator decrease in all monitoring summits. The abundance rank of the dominant and endemic species did not change during monitoring period. (author)

  2. Inflorescences of alpine cushion plants freeze autonomously and may survive subzero temperatures by supercooling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacker, Jürgen; Ladinig, Ursula; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2011-01-01

    Freezing patterns in the high alpine cushion plants Saxifraga bryoides, Saxifraga caesia, Saxifraga moschata and Silene acaulis were studied by infrared thermography at three reproductive stages (bud, anthesis, fruit development). The single reproductive shoots of a cushion froze independently in all four species at every reproductive stage. Ice formation caused lethal damage to the respective inflorescence. After ice nucleation, which occurred mainly in the stalk or the base of the reproductive shoot, ice propagated throughout that entire shoot, but not into neighboring shoots. However, anatomical ice barriers within cushions were not detected. The naturally occurring temperature gradient within the cushion appeared to interrupt ice propagation thermally. Consequently, every reproductive shoot needed an autonomous ice nucleation event to initiate freezing. Ice nucleation was not only influenced by minimum temperatures but also by the duration of exposure. At moderate subzero exposure temperatures (−4.3 to −7.7 °C) the number of frozen inflorescences increased exponentially. Due to efficient supercooling, single reproductive shoots remained unfrozen down to −17.4 °C (cooling rate 6 K h−1). Hence, the observed freezing pattern may be advantageous for frost survival of individual inflorescences and reproductive success of high alpine cushion plants, when during episodic summer frosts damage can be avoided by supercooling. PMID:21151351

  3. 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.

  4. PV plants for Alpine huts: Installation and operating experience at seven ENEL plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belli, G.; Iliceto, A.; Previ, A.

    1988-01-01

    The problem of supplying electric power to isolated users far from the electricity distribution grid is one of general interest. Such consumers are nowadays generally supplied with electricity produced by small diesel generator-sets, and only recently have photovoltaic arrays and wind-turbines offered an alternative to the internal combustion engine. ENEL, as a State-owned electricity utility, is interested in the development of this particular application of renewable energy sources. Enlarging a low-voltage distribution network to connect consumers whose power requirements are extremely low (about 1000 kWh/year) may, in certain conditions, be uneconomical, both for the utility, which has to absorb most of the expense involved in construction and maintenance, and for the consumer himself. The paper reports the design criteria, the tests and the problems encountered in electrifying seven alpine huts belonging to CAI (Italian Alpine Club)

  5. Altered precipitation patterns and simulated nitrogen deposition effects on phenology of common plant species in a Tibetan Plateau alpine meadow

    Science.gov (United States)

    The interactive effects of five seasonal precipitation distribution patterns and two levels of N deposition (ambient and doubled) on phenological traits of six dominant plant species were studied in an alpine meadow of the Tibetan Plateau for two consecutive years. Seasonal precipitation patterns i...

  6. What are the most crucial soil factors for predicting the distribution of alpine plant species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, A.; Pinto-Figueroa, E.; Yashiro, E.; Guisan, A.

    2017-12-01

    Nowadays the use of species distribution models (SDM) is common to predict in space and time the distribution of organisms living in the critical zone. The realized environmental niche concept behind the development of SDM imply that many environmental factors must be accounted for simultaneously to predict species distributions. Climatic and topographic factors are often primary included, whereas soil factors are frequently neglected, mainly due to the paucity of soil information available spatially and temporally. Furthermore, among existing studies, most included soil pH only, or few other soil parameters. In this study we aimed at identifying what are the most crucial soil factors for explaining alpine plant distributions and, among those identified, which ones further improve the predictive power of plant SDMs. To test the relative importance of the soil factors, we performed plant SDMs using as predictors 52 measured soil properties of various types such as organic/inorganic compounds, chemical/physical properties, water related variables, mineral composition or grain size distribution. We added them separately to a standard set of topo-climatic predictors (temperature, slope, solar radiation and topographic position). We used ensemble forecasting techniques combining together several predictive algorithms to model the distribution of 116 plant species over 250 sites in the Swiss Alps. We recorded the variable importance for each model and compared the quality of the models including different soil proprieties (one at a time) as predictors to models having only topo-climatic variables as predictors. Results show that 46% of the soil proprieties tested become the second most important variable, after air temperature, to explain spatial distribution of alpine plants species. Moreover, we also assessed that addition of certain soil factors, such as bulk soil water density, could improve over 80% the quality of some plant species models. We confirm that soil p

  7. Divergence in cryptic leaf colour provides local camouflage in an alpine plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Yang; Chen, Zhe; Stevens, Martin; Sun, Hang

    2017-10-11

    The efficacy of camouflage through background matching is highly environment-dependent, often resulting in intraspecific colour divergence in animals to optimize crypsis in different visual environments. This phenomenon is largely unexplored in plants, although several lines of evidence suggest they do use crypsis to avoid damage by herbivores. Using Corydalis hemidicentra, an alpine plant with cryptic leaf colour, we quantified background matching between leaves and surrounding rocks in five populations based on an approximate model of their butterfly enemy's colour perception. We also investigated the pigment basis of leaf colour variation and the association between feeding risk and camouflage efficacy. We show that plants exhibit remarkable colour divergence between populations, consistent with differences in rock appearances. Leaf colour varies because of a different quantitative combination of two basic pigments-chlorophyll and anthocyanin-plus different air spaces. As expected, leaf colours are better matched against their native backgrounds than against foreign ones in the eyes of the butterfly. Furthermore, improved crypsis tends to be associated with a higher level of feeding risk. These results suggest that divergent cryptic leaf colour may have evolved to optimize local camouflage in various visual environments, extending our understanding of colour evolution and intraspecific phenotype diversity in plants. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Diversity and community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with Larix chinensis across the alpine treeline ecotone of Taibai Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Qisheng; Huang, Jian; Long, Dongfeng; Wang, Xiaobing; Liu, Jianjun

    2017-07-01

    Alpine treeline ecotones represent ecosystems that are vulnerable to climate change. We investigated the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) community, which has potential to stabilize alpine ecosystems. ECM communities associated with Larix chinensis were studied in four zones along a natural ecotone from a mixed forest stand over pure forest stands, the timberline, and eventually, the treeline (3050-3450 m) in Tabai Mountain, China. Sixty operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of ECM fungi were identified by sequencing the rDNA internal transcribed spacer of ECM tips. The richness of ECM species increased with elevation. The soil C/N ratio was the most important factor explaining ECM species richness. The treeline zone harbored some unique ECM fungi whereas no unique genera were observed in the timberline and pure forest zone. Elevation and topography were equally important factors influencing ECM communities in the alpine region. We suggest that a higher diversity of the ECM fungal community associated with L. chinensis in the treeline zone could result from niche differentiation.

  9. 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

  10. Comparison of adult physical activity levels in three Swiss alpine communities with varying access to motorized transportation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dombois, Oliver Thommen; Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte; Martin-Diener, Eva

    2007-09-01

    To compare physical activity levels of residents of three Swiss alpine communities with varying access to motorized transport and to investigate whether socio-demographic factors, the settlement structure or means of transport affect these levels. Between January and February 2004 a computer assisted telephone interview was conducted with 901 randomly selected adults aged 18 years or older living in three Swiss alpine communities. In particular, information on moderate and vigorous intensity physical activities and on transport behaviour was collected. Respondents were categorized as 'sufficiently active' or 'insufficiently active' according to self-reported physical activity. People living in community 1 without access to motorized traffic were significantly more likely to be sufficiently active (Sex- and age-adjusted prevalences of sufficient total physical activity, 43.9% 95% CI: 38.3%-49.8%) compared to individuals living in the other two communities (community 2: 35.9%, 95% CI: 30.6%-41.6%, community 3: 32.7%, 95% CI: 27.5%-38.3%). The differences were due to higher levels of moderate physical activities. Vigorous physical activity levels did not differ between the communities. Community differences were explained by passive means of transport to work and for leisure time activities. Although the environment encountered in the three alpine communities is generally conducive to physical activity the majority of the participants did not achieve recommended activity levels. Passive mode of transport to work and during leisure time was strongly associated with insufficient total physical activity. Walking and cycling for transportation is thus a promising approach to promote health enhancing physical activity.

  11. Multiscale landscape genomic models to detect signatures of selection in the alpine plant Biscutella laevigata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leempoel, Kevin; Parisod, Christian; Geiser, Céline; Joost, Stéphane

    2018-02-01

    Plant species are known to adapt locally to their environment, particularly in mountainous areas where conditions can vary drastically over short distances. The climate of such landscapes being largely influenced by topography, using fine-scale models to evaluate environmental heterogeneity may help detecting adaptation to micro-habitats. Here, we applied a multiscale landscape genomic approach to detect evidence of local adaptation in the alpine plant Biscutella laevigata . The two gene pools identified, experiencing limited gene flow along a 1-km ridge, were different in regard to several habitat features derived from a very high resolution (VHR) digital elevation model (DEM). A correlative approach detected signatures of selection along environmental gradients such as altitude, wind exposure, and solar radiation, indicating adaptive pressures likely driven by fine-scale topography. Using a large panel of DEM-derived variables as ecologically relevant proxies, our results highlighted the critical role of spatial resolution. These high-resolution multiscale variables indeed indicate that the robustness of associations between genetic loci and environmental features depends on spatial parameters that are poorly documented. We argue that the scale issue is critical in landscape genomics and that multiscale ecological variables are key to improve our understanding of local adaptation in highly heterogeneous landscapes.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Siles, J. A.; Cajthaml, Tomáš; Minerbi, S.; Margesin, R.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 92, č. 3 (2016), fiw008 ISSN 0168-6496 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : Alpine soil s * forest * altitude Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.720, year: 2016

  15. 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.

  16. Phototolerance of lichens, mosses and higher plants in an alpine environment: analysis of photoreactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heber, U; Bilger, W; Bligny, R; Lange, O L

    2000-11-01

    Adaptation to excessive light is one of the requirements of survival in an alpine environment particularly for poikilohydric organisms which in contrast to the leaves of higher plants tolerate full dehydration. Changes in modulated chlorophyll fluorescence and 820-nm absorption were investigated in the lichens Xanthoria elegans (Link) Th. Fr. and Rhizocarpon geographicum (L.) DC, in the moss Grimmia alpestris Limpr. and the higher plants Geum montanum L., Gentiana lutea L. and Pisum sativum L., all collected at altitudes higher than 2000 m above sea level. In the dehydrated state, chlorophyll fluorescence was very low in the lichens and the moss, but high in the higher plants. It increased on rehydration in the lichens and the moss, but decreased in the higher plants. Light-induced charge separation in photosystem II was indicated by pulse-induced fluorescence increases only in dried leaves, not in the dry moss and dry lichens. Strong illumination caused photodamage in the dried leaves, but not in the dry moss and dry lichens. Light-dependent increases in 820-nm absorption revealed formation of potential quenchers of chlorophyll fluorescence in all dehydrated plants, but energy transfer to quenchers decreased chlorophyll fluorescence only in the moss and the lichens, not in the higher plants. In hydrated systems, coupled cyclic electron transport is suggested to occur concurrently with linear electron transport under strong actinic illumination particularly in the lichens because far more electrons became available after actinic illumination for the reduction of photo-oxidized P700 than were available in the pool of electron carriers between photosystems II and I. In the moss Grimmia, but not in the lichens or in leaves, light-dependent quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence was extensive even under nitrogen, indicating anaerobic thylakoid acidification by persistent cyclic electron transport. In the absence of actinic illumination, acidification by ca. 8% CO2 in

  17. Alpine tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Macchiavelli

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The spectacular increase in tourism in the Alps in recent decades has been founded mainly on the boom in skiing, resulting in both strong real estate development and an increasing array of infrastructures and ski runs. Today the ski market seems to have virtually reached saturation point and the winter sports sector needs to diversify its offer through innovation. After a review of the main factors of change in mountain tourism, the paper presents a grid for interpreting the life cycle of alpine destinations, identifying the phases that characterize their evolution. The conditions that may favour innovation in alpine tourism are then identified, as well as the contradictions that frequently accompany them. In most cases, innovation is the result of a process that begins within the alpine community, frequently encouraged and supported by national and international institutions and with whose help structural difficulties are successfully overcome.La forte croissance qu’ont connue les pays alpins dans les dernières décennies a surtout été fondée sur l’offre des activités du ski, avec comme conséquence, un massif développement immobilier et la multiplication d’infrastructures et de pistes. Aujourd’hui, le marché du ski semble arriver à saturation, la Convention alpine a mis un frein à la poursuite du développement des domaines skiables et on observe donc avec intérêt la diversification de l’offre soutenue par l’innovation. Après avoir rappelé les facteurs de changement en cours les plus significatifs dans le tourisme montagnard, l’article présente une grille interprétative de l’évolution des destinations touristiques alpines, identifiant les phases qui ont caractérisé son développement. Ensuite, l’article propose une réflexion sur certaines conditions qui peuvent favoriser l’innovation dans le tourisme alpin, ainsi que sur les contradictions qui accompagnent souvent ces conditions. Dans la plupart des cas

  18. 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

  19. Alpine Plant Monitoring for Global Climate Change; Analysis of the Four California GLORIA Target Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, A.; Westfall, R. D.; Millar, C. I.

    2007-12-01

    The Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) is an international research project with the goal to assess climate-change impacts on vegetation in alpine environments worldwide. Standardized protocols direct selection of each node in the network, called a Target Region (TR), which consists of a set of four geographically proximal mountain summits at elevations extending from treeline to the nival zone. For each summit, GLORIA specifies a rigorous mapping and sampling design for data collection, with re-measurement intervals of five years. Whereas TRs have been installed in six continents, prior to 2004 none was completed in North America. In cooperation with the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains (CIRMOUNT), California Native Plant Society, and the White Mountain Research Station, four TRs have been installed in California: two in the Sierra Nevada and two in the White Mountains. We present comparative results from analyses of baseline data across these four TRs. The number of species occurring in the northern Sierra (Tahoe) TR was 35 (16 not found in other TRs); in the central Sierra (Dunderberg) TR 65 species were found. In the White Mountains, 54 species were found on the granitic/volcanic soils TR and 46 (19 not found in other TRs) on the dolomitic soils TR. In all, we observed 83 species in the Sierra Nevada range TRs and 75 in the White Mountain TRs. Using a mixed model ANOVA of percent cover from summit-area-sections and quadrat data, we found primary differences to be among mountain ranges. Major soil differences (dolomite versus non-dolomite) also contribute to floristic differentiation. Aspect did not seem to contribute significantly to diversity either among or within target regions. Summit floras in each target region comprised groups of two distinct types of species: those with notably broad elevational ranges and those with narrow elevational ranges. The former we propose to be species that

  20. Nutrient and energy content, in vitro ruminal fermentation characteristics and methanogenic potential of alpine forage plant species during early summer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayanegara, Anuraga; Marquardt, Svenja; Kreuzer, Michael; Leiber, Florian

    2011-08-15

    Plants growing on alpine meadows are reported to be rich in phenols. Such compounds may affect ruminal fermentation and reduce the plants' methanogenic potential, making alpine grazing advantageous in this respect. The objective of this study was to quantify nutrients and phenols in Alpine forage grasses, herbs and trees collected over 2 years and, in a 24 h in vitro incubation, their effects on ruminal fermentation parameters. The highest in vitro gas production, resulting in metabolisable energy values around 10 MJ kg⁻¹, were found with Alchemilla xanthochlora and Crepis aurea (herbaceous species) and with Sambucus nigra leaves and flowers (tree species). Related to the amount of total gas production, methane formation was highest with Nardus stricta, and lowest with S. nigra and A. xanthochlora. In addition, Castanea sativa leaves led to an exceptional low methane production, but this was accompanied by severely impaired ruminal fermentation. When the data were analysed by principal component analysis, phenol concentrations were negatively related with methane proportion in total gas. Variation in methane production potential across the investigated forages was small. The two goals of limited methane production potential and high nutritive value for ruminants were met best by A. xanthochlora and S. nigra. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. Spatially Distributed, Coupled Modeling of Plant Growth, Nitrogen and Water Fluxes in an Alpine Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, K.

    2001-12-01

    Carbon, water and nitrogen fluxes are closely coupled. They interact and have many feedbacks. Human interference, in particular through land use management and global change strongly modifies these fluxes. Increasing demands and conflicting interests result in an increasing need for regulation targeting different aspects of the system. Without being their main target, many of these measures directly affect water quantity, quality and availability. Improved management and planning of our water resources requires the development of integrated tools, in particular since interactions of the involved environmental and social systems often lead to unexpected or adverse results. To investigate the effect of plant growth, land use management and global change on water fluxes and quality, the PROcess oriented Modular EnvironmenT and Vegetation Model (PROMET-V) was developed. PROMET-V models the spatial patterns and temporal course of water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes using process oriented and mechanistic model components. The hydrological model is based on the Penman-Monteith approach, it uses a plant-physiological model to calculate the canopy conductance, and a multi-layer soil water model. Plant growth for different vegetation is modelled by calculating canopy photosynthesis, respiration, phenology and allocation. Plant growth and water fluxes are coupled directly through photosynthesis and transpiration. Many indirect feedbacks and interactions occur due to their mutual dependency upon leaf area, root distribution, water and nutrient availability for instance. PROMET-V calculates nitrogen fluxes and transformations. The time step used depends upon the modelled process and varies from 1 hour to 1 day. The kernel model is integrated in a raster GIS system for spatially distributed modelling. PROMET-V was tested in a pre-alpine landscape (Ammer river, 709 km**2, located in Southern Germany) which is characterized by small scale spatial heterogeneities of climate, soil and

  3. 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.

  4. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  5. Community attitudes toward nuclear plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peelle, E.

    1982-01-01

    Among the many effects of the accident at Three Mile Island are impacts upon other communities that currently host nuclear-power reactors. Because studies on communities' reactions not immediately available, this chapter reviews existing studies and speculates about possible effects. The patterns and variations in impacts on and responses of nuclear host communities have been the subject of studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) since 1972. This essay presents results from four post-licensing studies of host communities - Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Waterford, Connecticut (PL-1), and Brunswick, North Carolina, and Appling-Toombs counties, Georgia (PL-2) - along with case study and attitude survey information from two additional communities in which reactors are under construction: Hartsville, Tennessee, and Cherokee County, South Carolina. Differences and similarities between the sites have been assessed in terms of differences in input and social structure; factors affecting the generally favorable attitudes toward local nuclear plants are discussed

  6. Allelopathic dominance ofMiscanthus transmorrisonensis in an alpine grassland community in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, C H; Lee, Y F

    1991-11-01

    A study site located at 2600 m elevation in Tartarchia Anpu, Nantou county, Taiwan, exhibits a unique grassland community composed of two principal species,Miscanthus transmorrisonensis andYushinia niitakayamensis, and 35 other species. The relative frequencies of the two species are 12% and 11%, while their relative coverages are 25% and 19.5%, respectively. The values for the remaining 35 species are lower than4% each, while species diversity of the community is -3.04839, indicating great diversity. To elucidate the mechanism of dominance ofM. transmorrisonensis, allelopathic evaluation of the plant was conducted. Aqueous extracts of M.Transmorrisonensis plant parts with two ecotypes were bioassayed. The extracts showed significant phytotoxic effects on seed germination and radicle growth of four tested plants: rye grass, lettuce, and two varieties of Chinese cabbage. In addition, rhizosphere soils underMiscanthus also exhibited significant phytotoxicity, indicating that allelopathic interaction was involved. Some responsible phytotoxic phenolics, namely, p-coumaric, ferulic, vanillic, protocatechuic, o-hydroxyphenylacetic, andm-hydroxyphenylacetic acids, and 4-hydroxycoumarin and phloridzin were identified. Allelopathy thus can play an important role in regulating plant diversity in the field.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Insights into microbial communities mediating the bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil from an Alpine former military site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siles, José A; Margesin, Rosa

    2018-05-01

    The study of microbial communities involved in soil bioremediation is important to identify the specific microbial characteristics that determine improved decontamination rates. Here, we characterized bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in terms of (i) abundance (using quantitative PCR) and (ii) taxonomic diversity and structure (using Illumina amplicon sequencing) during the bioremediation of long-term hydrocarbon-contaminated soil from an Alpine former military site during 15 weeks comparing biostimulation (inorganic NPK fertilization) vs. natural attenuation and considering the effect of temperature (10 vs. 20 °C). Although a considerable amount of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) loss could be attributed to natural attenuation, significantly higher TPH removal rates were obtained with NPK fertilization and at increased temperature, which were related to the stimulation of the activities of indigenous soil microorganisms. Changing structures of bacterial and fungal communities significantly explained shifts in TPH contents in both natural attenuation and biostimulation treatments at 10 and 20 °C. However, archaeal communities, in general, and changing abundances and diversities in bacterial and fungal communities did not play a decisive role on the effectiveness of soil bioremediation. Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidia classes, within bacterial community, and undescribed/novel groups, within fungal community, proved to be actively involved in TPH removal in natural attenuation and biostimulation at both temperatures.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Plant diversity and plant identity influence Fusarium communities in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Nicholas; Kinkel, Linda; Kistler, H Corby

    2017-01-01

    Fusarium communities play important functional roles in soil and in plants as pathogens, endophytes, and saprotrophs. This study tests how rhizosphere Fusarium communities may vary with plant species, changes in the diversity of the surrounding plant community, and soil physiochemical characteristics. Fusarium communities in soil associated with the roots of two perennial prairie plant species maintained as monocultures or growing within polyculture plant communities were characterized using targeted metagenomics. Amplicon libraries targeting the RPB2 locus were generated from rhizosphere soil DNAs and sequenced using pyrosequencing. Sequences were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and assigned a taxonomy using the Evolutionary Placement Algorithm. Fusarium community composition was differentiated between monoculture and polyculture plant communities, and by plant species in monoculture, but not in polyculture. Taxonomic classification of the Fusarium OTUs showed a predominance of F. tricinctum and F. oxysporum as well of the presence of a clade previously only found in the Southern Hemisphere. Total Fusarium richness was not affected by changes in plant community richness or correlated with soil physiochemical characteristics. However, OTU richness within two predominant phylogenetic lineages within the genus was positively or negatively correlated with soil physiochemical characteristics among samples within each lineage. This work shows that plant species, plant community richness, and soil physiochemical characteristics may all influence the composition and richness of Fusarium communities in soil.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röder, Gregory; Rahier, Martine; Naisbit, Russell E

    2011-05-04

    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.

  14. 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

    2011-05-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Clonal Re-Introduction of Endangered Plant Species: The Case of German False Tamarisk in Pre-Alpine Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christiane; Kollmann, Johannes

    2012-08-01

    The scope of re-introduction as a measure for plant species protection is increasing, but as long as no standardized methods are available, species-specific assessments are necessary to determine whether seeds, adult plants or plant fragments should be used. The endangered German False Tamarisk ( Myricaria germanica), which occurs on gravel bars along pre-alpine rivers, is difficult to grow from seeds. Thus, propagation of stem cuttings was investigated as an alternative method. Experiments were conducted in a greenhouse and a field site with three treatments: cutting length 5 or 10 cm, vertical burial 5 or 10 cm, and water level low or high. Plants grown in the greenhouse were transplanted to the River Isar to test establishment of rooted cuttings on gravel bars. The cuttings in the greenhouse showed high survival (34-96 %). Survival and biomass production were greatest for 10-cm cuttings buried at 10-cm depth, while only one of the 5-cm cuttings survived at this depth, and no significant effect of variation in water level was observed. None of the cuttings transplanted to field sites survived, most likely because of drought stress and competition. We conclude that for re-introduction of Myricaria germanica rooted cuttings can be easily produced in large quantities, while transplantation to near-natural environments has to be improved to reduce mortality.

  17. 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.

  18. Vascular plant species richness along environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone in central Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsujino, Riyou; Yumoto, Takakazu

    2013-03-01

    In order to clarify how vegetation types change along the environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone and the determinant factors that define plant species richness, we established 360 plots (each 4 × 10 m) within which the vegetation type, species richness, elevation, topographic position index (TPI), slope inclination, and ground light index (GLI) of the natural vegetation were surveyed. Mean elevation, TPI, slope inclination, and GLI differed across vegetation types. Tree species richness was negatively correlated with elevation, whereas fern and herb species richness were positively correlated. Tree species richness was greater in the upper slope area than the lower slope area, whereas fern and herb species richness were greater in the lower slope area. Ferns and trees species richness were smaller in the open canopy, whereas herb species richness was greater in the open canopy. Vegetation types were determined firstly by elevation and secondary by topographic configurations, such as topographic position, and slope inclination. Elevation and topography were the most important factors affecting plant richness, but the most influential variables differed among plant life-form groups. Moreover, the species richness responses to these environmental gradients greatly differed among ferns, herbs, and trees.

  19. Embracing community ecology in plant microbiome research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, F.; Raaijmakers, J.M.

    2018-01-01

    Community assembly is mediated by selection, dispersal, drift, and speciation. Environmental selection is mostly used to date to explain patterns in plant microbiome assembly, whereas the influence of the other processes remains largely elusive. Recent studies highlight that adopting community

  20. Alpine dams

    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.

  1. Increased precipitation accelerates soil organic matter turnover associated with microbial community composition in topsoil of alpine grassland on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Conghai; Wang, Zongli; Si, Guicai; Lei, Tianzhu; Yuan, Yanli; Zhang, Gengxin

    2017-10-01

    Large quantities of carbon are stored in alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau, which is extremely sensitive to climate change. However, it remains unclear whether soil organic matter (SOM) in different layers responds to climate change analogously, and whether microbial communities play vital roles in SOM turnover of topsoil. In this study we measured and collected SOM turnover by the 14 C method in alpine grassland to test climatic effects on SOM turnover in soil profiles. Edaphic properties and microbial communities in the northwestern Qinghai Lake were investigated to explore microbial influence on SOM turnover. SOM turnover in surface soil (0-10 cm) was more sensitive to precipitation than that in subsurface layers (10-40 cm). Precipitation also imposed stronger effects on the composition of microbial communities in the surface layer than that in deeper soil. At the 5-10 cm depth, the SOM turnover rate was positively associated with the bacteria/fungi biomass ratio and the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, both of which are related to precipitation. Partial correlation analysis suggested that increased precipitation could accelerate the SOM turnover rate in topsoil by structuring soil microbial communities. Conversely, carbon stored in deep soil would be barely affected by climate change. Our results provide valuable insights into the dynamics and storage of SOM in alpine grasslands under future climate scenarios.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamtsho, Karma; Sridith, Kitichate

    2015-01-01

    A survey was conducted from March to September 2012 along the altitudinal gradient of the Jomokungkhar trail in the Merak Himalaya of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary to study the floristic compositions 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-Rhododendron Woodland Community; (3) Juniperus Scrub Community; (4) Rhododendron Krummholz and (5) Alpine Meadow, based on the floristic compositions. In addition, it was noticed that the fragile alpine environment of the Merak Himalaya has high plant diversity and important plants that are susceptible to the anthropogenic pressures.

  3. Linkages of plant stoichiometry to ecosystem production and carbon fluxes with increasing nitrogen inputs in an alpine steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yunfeng; Li, Fei; Zhou, Guoying; Fang, Kai; Zhang, Dianye; Li, Changbin; Yang, Guibiao; Wang, Guanqin; Wang, Jun; Yang, Yuanhe

    2017-12-01

    Unprecedented levels of nitrogen (N) have entered terrestrial ecosystems over the past century, which substantially influences the carbon (C) exchange between the atmosphere and biosphere. Temperature and moisture are generally regarded as the major controllers over the N effects on ecosystem C uptake and release. N-phosphorous (P) stoichiometry regulates the growth and metabolisms of plants and soil organisms, thereby affecting many ecosystem C processes. However, it remains unclear how the N-induced shift in the plant N:P ratio affects ecosystem production and C fluxes and its relative importance. We conducted a field manipulative experiment with eight N addition levels in a Tibetan alpine steppe and assessed the influences of N on aboveground net primary production (ANPP), gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and net ecosystem exchange (NEE); we used linear mixed-effects models to further determine the relative contributions of various factors to the N-induced changes in these parameters. Our results showed that the ANPP, GEP, ER, and NEE all exhibited nonlinear responses to increasing N additions. Further analysis demonstrated that the plant N:P ratio played a dominate role in shaping these C exchange processes. There was a positive relationship between the N-induced changes in ANPP (ΔANPP) and the plant N:P ratio (ΔN:P), whereas the ΔGEP, ΔER, and ΔNEE exhibited quadratic correlations with the ΔN:P. In contrast, soil temperature and moisture were only secondary predictors for the changes in ecosystem production and C fluxes along the N addition gradient. These findings highlight the importance of plant N:P ratio in regulating ecosystem C exchange, which is crucial for improving our understanding of C cycles under the scenarios of global N enrichment. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  6. Plant succession and approaches to community restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. Roundy

    2005-01-01

    The processes of vegetation change over time, or plant succession, are also the processes involved in plant community restoration. Restoration efforts attempt to use designed disturbance, seedbed preparation and sowing methods, and selection of adapted and compatible native plant materials to enhance ecological function. The large scale of wildfires and weed invasion...

  7. Alpine ethnobotany in Italy: traditional knowledge of gastronomic and medicinal plants among the Occitans of the upper Varaita valley, Piedmont.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieroni, Andrea; Giusti, Maria Elena

    2009-11-06

    A gastronomic and medical ethnobotanical study was conducted among the Occitan communities living in Blins/Bellino and Chianale, in the upper Val Varaita, in the Piedmontese Alps, North-Western Italy, and the traditional uses of 88 botanical taxa were recorded. Comparisons with and analysis of other ethnobotanical studies previously carried out in other Piemontese and surrounding areas, show that approximately one fourth of the botanical taxa quoted in this survey are also known in other surrounding Occitan valleys. It is also evident that traditional knowledge in the Varaita valley has been heavily eroded. This study also examined the local legal framework for the gathering of botanical taxa, and the potential utilization of the most quoted medicinal and food wild herbs in the local market, and suggests that the continuing widespread local collection from the wild of the aerial parts of Alpine wormwood for preparing liquors (Artemisia genipi, A. glacialis, and A. umbelliformis) should be seriously reconsidered in terms of sustainability, given the limited availability of these species, even though their collection is culturally salient in the entire study area.

  8. Reduced early growing season freezing resistance in alpine treeline plants under elevated atmospheric CO2.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martin, M.; Gavazov, K.S.; Körner, S.; Rixen, C.

    2010-01-01

    The frequency of freezing events during the early growing season and the vulnerability to freezing of plants in European high-altitude environments could increase under future atmospheric and climate change. We tested early growing season freezing sensitivity in 10 species, from four plant

  9. Elevation gradient of successful plant traits for colonizing alpine summits under climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matteodo, Magalì; Wipf, Sonja; Stöckli, Veronika; Rixen, Christian; Vittoz, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    Upward migration of plant species due to climate change has become evident in several European mountain ranges. It is still, however, unclear whether certain plant traits increase the probability that a species will colonize mountain summits or vanish, and whether these traits differ with elevation. Here, we used data from a repeat survey of the occurrence of plant species on 120 summits, ranging from 2449 to 3418 m asl, in south-eastern Switzerland to identify plant traits that increase the probability of colonization or extinction in the 20th century. Species numbers increased across all plant traits considered. With some traits, however, numbers increased proportionally more. The most successful colonizers seemed to prefer warmer temperatures and well-developed soils. They produced achene fruits and/or seeds with pappus appendages. Conversely, cushion plants and species with capsule fruits were less efficient as colonizers. Observed changes in traits along the elevation gradient mainly corresponded to the natural distribution of traits. Extinctions did not seem to be clearly related to any trait. Our study showed that plant traits varied along both temporal and elevational gradients. While seeds with pappus seemed to be advantageous for colonization, most of the trait changes also mirrored previous gradients of traits along elevation and hence illustrated the general upward migration of plant species. An understanding of the trait characteristics of colonizing species is crucial for predicting future changes in mountain vegetation under climate change. (letter)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Evaluating pesticide effects on freshwater invertebrate communities in alpine environment: a model ecosystem experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, A; Carolli, M; Varolo, E; Villa, S; Vighi, M

    2012-10-01

    Pesticide loads in streams are potentially one of the most relevant stressors for macroinvertebrate communities. Nevertheless, real effects provoked at the community level are still largely unknown. Model ecosystems are frequently used as tools for the risk assessment of pesticides, especially for their regulation, however, they can be also applied to site-specific risk assessment in order to gain better understanding of the responses of aquatic ecosystems to chemical stress. In the present work, an experimental system was composed of 5 artificial streams that reproduced a mountain lotic environment under controlled conditions. This study was aimed to better understand, whether (and how) the biological community was influenced by pesticides pulse exposures. 5 mixture load events were simulated over the productive season (March-July 2010): biological community was regularly sampled and nominal concentrations of water were tested. The results were interpreted comparing the output of different metrics and statistical methodologies. The sensitivity of different metrics was analyzed considering single exposure events (maximum Toxic Units) as well as overall temporal trends. Results showed how some common taxonomic metrics (e.g. taxa richness, Shannon's index, total abundance of organisms, and the Extended Biotic Index) were not suitable to identify the effects of pesticides at community level. On the contrary EPT%, SPEAR(pesticide) and the Principal Response Curve methodology proved to be sensitive to this kind of stress, providing comparable results. Temporal trends of these metrics proved to be related to the concentration of chemicals. Remarkably, the first Principal Response Curve illustrates the trend followed by the most vulnerable species, while the second is more related to the trend of opportunistic species. A high potential risk for the invertebrate community was highlighted by a statistically significant decline of 40 points (comparison with the control) in

  12. 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 growth part, where growth is assumed to be proportional to a power function of the size of the individual, and a term that reduces the relative growth rate as a decreasing function of the individual plant size and the competitive interactions from other plants in the neighbourhood....

  13. The aliphatic hydrocarbon distributions of terrestrial plants around an alpine lake: a pilot study from Lake Ximencuo, Eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Yang; Jia, Jihong; Cao, Jicheng

    2017-12-01

    As part of an investigation of the sources of aliphatic hydrocarbons to the sediments of alpine Lake Ximencuo, leaves of the eight dominant vascular plants were collected and their hydrocarbon contents were analyzed. A series of unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons were identified in the plant leaves; in particular, Festuca sp. contain a series of n-alkadienes that have rarely been reported in previous studies. The comparison of n-alkane proxies (ACL 27-33, ACL T, P aq, and CPI) and δ13Corg among plant leaves, surface soils, and lake sediments suggests that organic proxies have been altered to varying degrees during the transport and burial process of organic materials. It is believed that microbial reworking and source changes have great impacts on organic proxies in the alpine lake system. In addition, the cluster analysis for plant leaves depending on n-alkane compositions and the ACL T proxy generates similar results. Accordingly, we postulate that the average chain length of plant waxes might be a potential indicator of plant classification in regions such as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

  14. Aspect has a greater impact on alpine soil bacterial community structure than elevation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jieyun; Anderson, Barbara J; Buckley, Hannah L; Lewis, Gillian; Lear, Gavin

    2017-03-01

    Gradients in environmental conditions, including climate factors and resource availability, occur along mountain inclines, providing a 'natural laboratory' to explore their combined impacts on microbial distributions. Conflicting spatial patterns observed across elevation gradients in soil bacterial community structure suggest that they are driven by various interacting factors at different spatial scales. Here, we investigated the relative impacts of non-resource (e.g. soil temperature, pH) and resource conditions (e.g. soil carbon and nitrogen) on the biogeography of soil bacterial communities across broad (i.e. along a 1500 m mountain elevation gradient) and fine sampling scales (i.e. along sunny and shady aspects of a mountain ridge). Our analysis of 16S rRNA gene data confirmed that when sampling across distances of soil pH. These findings highlight the need to incorporate knowledge of multiple factors, including site aspect and soil pH for the appropriate use of elevation gradients as a proxy to explore the impacts of climate change on microbial community composition. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Predicting plant distribution in an heterogeneous Alpine landscape: does soil matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, Aline; Cianfrani, Carmen; Pradervand, Jean-Nicolas; Guisan, Antoine

    2016-04-01

    Topographic and climatic factors are usually used to predict plant distribution because they are known to explain their presence or absence. Soil properties have been widely shown to influence plant growth and distributions. However, they are rarely taken into account as predictors of plant species distribution models (SDM) in an edaphically heterogeneous landscape. Or, when it happens, interpolation techniques are used to project soil factors in space. In heterogeneous landscape, such as in the Alps region, where soil properties change abruptly as a function of environmental conditions over short distances, interpolation techniques require a huge quantities of samples to be efficient. This is costly and time consuming, and bring more errors than predictive approach for an equivalent number of samples. In this study we aimed to assess whether soil proprieties may be generalized over entire mountainous geographic extents and can improve predictions of plant distributions over traditional topo-climatic predictors. First, we used a predictive approach to map two soil proprieties based on field measurements in the western Swiss Alps region; the soil pH and the ratio of stable isotopes 13C/12C (called δ13CSOM). We used ensemble forecasting techniques combining together several predictive algorithms to build models of the geographic variation in the values of both soil proprieties and projected them in the entire study area. As predictive factors, we employed very high resolution topo-climatic data. In a second step, output maps from the previous task were used as an input for vegetation regional models. We integrated the predicted soil proprieties to a set of basic topo-climatic predictors known to be important to model plants species. Then we modelled the distribution of 156 plant species inhabiting the study area. Finally, we compared the quality of the models having or not soil proprieties as predictors to evaluate their effect on the predictive power of our models

  16. 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.

  17. Baselines to detect population stability of the threatened alpine plant Packera franciscana (Asteraceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    James F. Fowler; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Shaula Hedwall

    2015-01-01

    Population size and density estimates have traditionally been acceptable ways to track species’ response to changing environments; however, species' population centroid elevation has recently been an equally important metric. Packera franciscana (Greene) W.A. Weber and A. Love (Asteraceae; San Francisco Peaks ragwort) is a single mountain endemic plant found only...

  18. 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

    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...

  19. 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

    - 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...

  20. Forest Plant community changes during 1989-2007 in response to climate warming in the Jura Mountains (France and Switzerland)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenoir, Jonathan; Gégout, J.C.; Dupouey, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    Question: How strong are climate warming-driven changes within mid-elevation forest communities? Observations of plant community change within temperate mountain forest ecosystems in response to recent warming are scarce in comparison to high-elevation alpine and nival ecosystems, perhaps...... reflecting the confounding influence of forest stand dynamics. Location: Jura Mountains (France and Switzerland). Methods: We assessed changes in plant community composition by surveying 154 Abies alba forest vegetation relevés (550-1,350 m a.s.l.) in 1989 and 2007. Over this period, temperatures increased...... while precipitation did not change. Correspondence analysis (CA) and ecological indicator values were used to measure changes in plant community composition. Relevés in even- and uneven-aged stands were analysed separately to determine the influence of forest stand dynamics. We also analysed changes...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  3. Ozone sensitivity of plants in natural communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Treshow, M; Stewart, D

    1973-07-01

    Field fumigation studies conducted in grassland, oak, aspen, and conifer, communities established the injury threshold of prevalent plant species to ozone. Several important species, including Bromus tectorum, Quercus gambelii, and Populus tremuloides, were injured by a single 2-hours exposure to 15 pphM ozone. Over half the perennial forbs and woody species studied were visibly injured at concentrations of 30 pphM ozone or less. It is postulated that lower concentrations at prolonged or repeated exposures to ozone may impair growth and affect community vigor and stability. Continued exposure of natural plant communities to ozone is expected to initiate major shifts in the plant composition of communities. 10 references, 4 figures, 1 table.

  4. Plant-plant competition outcomes are modulated by plant effects on the soil bacterial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hortal, S; Lozano, Y M; Bastida, F; Armas, C; Moreno, J L; Garcia, C; Pugnaire, F I

    2017-12-19

    Competition is a key process that determines plant community structure and dynamics, often mediated by nutrients and water availability. However, the role of soil microorganisms on plant competition, and the links between above- and belowground processes, are not well understood. Here we show that the effects of interspecific plant competition on plant performance are mediated by feedbacks between plants and soil bacterial communities. Each plant species selects a singular community of soil microorganisms in its rhizosphere with a specific species composition, abundance and activity. When two plant species interact, the resulting soil bacterial community matches that of the most competitive plant species, suggesting strong competitive interactions between soil bacterial communities as well. We propose a novel mechanism by which changes in belowground bacterial communities promoted by the most competitive plant species influence plant performance and competition outcome. These findings emphasise the strong links between plant and soil communities, paving the way to a better understanding of plant community dynamics and the effects of soil bacterial communities on ecosystem functioning and services.

  5. 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. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Native plant community response to alien plant invasion and removal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jara ANDREU

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Given the potential ecological impacts of invasive species, removal of alien plants has become an important management challenge and a high priority for environmental managers. To consider that a removal effort has been successful requires both, the effective elimination of alien plants and the restoration of the native plant community back to its historical composition and function. We present a conceptual framework based on observational and experimental data that compares invaded, non-invaded and removal sites to quantify invaders’ impacts and native plant recover after their removal. We also conduct a meta-analysis to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of plant invaders and the consequences of their removal on the native plant community, across a variety of ecosystems around the world. Our results that invasion by alien plants is responsible for a local decline in native species richness and abundance. Our analysis also provides evidence that after removal, the native vegetation has the potential to recover to a pre-invasion target state. Our review reveal that observational and experimental approaches are rarely used in concert, and that reference sites are scarcely employed to assess native species recovery after removal. However, we believe that comparing invaded, non-invaded and removal sites offer the opportunity to obtain scientific information with relevance for management.

  8. Nuclear power plant and the host community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsson, G

    1978-10-27

    A councillor from a small Swedish community (Kaevlinge) in the vicinity of the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant describes the effects which the plant has had on neighbouring communities. The effect on the labour market has been small at Kaevlinge, both during routine operation and construction phases. This is however, a fairly densely populated area with a population of half a million in a radius of 30 km. The situation is different at Oskarshamn or Oesthammar. Neither has there been any special economic benefit, due to Swedish taxation laws. There has been little local anxiety due to the proximity of the nuclear power plant. Certain local planning problems have been caused by restricted zones and power cables. Cooperation between the local authorities and the utility has been good.

  9. Le tourisme alpin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Macchiavelli

    2009-06-01

    tourism are then identified, as well as the contradictions that frequently accompany them. In most cases, innovation is the result of a process that begins within the alpine community, frequently encouraged and supported by national and international institutions and with whose help structural difficulties are successfully overcome.

  10. Fungal associations of roots of dominant and sub-dominant plants in high-alpine vegetation systems with special reference to mycorrhiza.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haselwandter, K; Read, D J

    1980-04-01

    Types of root infection were analysed in healthy dominant and sub-dominant plants of zonal and azonal vegetation above the timberline in the Central and Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria. In the open nival zone vegetation, infection by fungi of the Rhizoctonia type was predominant, vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection, which was mostly of the fine endophyte (Glomus tenuis) type, being light and mainly restricted to grasses in closed vegetation patches. More extensive Glomus tenuis infection was found in the alpine grass heath, but in Carex, Rhizoctonia was again the most important fungus. The ericaceous plants of the dwarf shrub heath have typical ericoid infection, but quantitative analysis reveals a decrease of infection intensity with increase of altitude. The possible function of the various types of root infection are discussed, and the status of Rhizoctonia as a possible mycorrhizal fungus is considered.

  11. Teasing apart plant community responses to N enrichment: the roles of resource limitation, competition and soil microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Suding, Katharine N

    2016-10-01

    Although ecologists have documented the effects of nitrogen enrichment on productivity, diversity and species composition, we know little about the relative importance of the mechanisms driving these effects. We propose that distinct aspects of environmental change associated with N enrichment (resource limitation, asymmetric competition, and interactions with soil microbes) drive different aspects of plant response. We test this in greenhouse mesocosms, experimentally manipulating each factor across three ecosystems: tallgrass prairie, alpine tundra and desert grassland. We found that resource limitation controlled productivity responses to N enrichment in all systems. Asymmetric competition was responsible for diversity declines in two systems. Plant community composition was impacted by both asymmetric competition and altered soil microbes, with some contributions from resource limitation. Results suggest there may be generality in the mechanisms of plant community change with N enrichment. Understanding these links can help us better predict N response across a wide range of ecosystems. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. The Effect of Re-Planting Trees on Soil Microbial Communities in a Wildfire-Induced Subalpine Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ed-Haun Chang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire often causes tremendous changes in ecosystems, particularly in subalpine and alpine areas, which are vulnerable due to severe climate conditions such as cold temperature and strong wind. This study aimed to clarify the effect of tree re-planting on ecosystem services such as the soil microbial community after several decades. We compared the re-planted forest and grassland with the mature forest as a reference in terms of soil microbial biomass C and N (Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activities, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA composition, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE. The Cmic and Nmic did not differ among the grassland, re-planted forest and mature forest soil; however, ratios of Cmic/Corg and Nmic/Ntot decreased from the grassland to re-planted forest and mature forest soil. The total PLFAs and those attributed to bacteria and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria did not differ between the re-planted forest and grassland soil. Principle component analysis of the PLFA content separated the grassland from re-planted forest and mature forest soil. Similarly, DGGE analysis revealed changes in both bacterial and fungal community structures with changes in vegetation. Our results suggest that the microbial community structure changes with the re-planting of trees after a fire event in this subalpine area. Recovery of the soil microbial community to the original state in a fire-damaged site in a subalpine area may require decades, even under a re-planted forest.

  13. 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

  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. Comparative seed germination traits in alpine and subalpine grasslands: higher elevations are associated with warmer germination temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, E; Jiménez-Alfaro, B; Bueno, Á

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination traits in alpine grasslands are poorly understood, despite the sensitivity of these communities to climate change. We hypothesise that germination traits predict species occurrence along the alpine-subalpine elevation gradient. Phylogenetic comparative analyses were performed using fresh seeds of 22 species from alpine and subalpine grasslands (1600-2400 m) of the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain (43° N, 5° W). Laboratory experiments were conducted to characterise germinability, optimum germination temperature and effect of cold and warm stratification on dormancy breaking. Variability in these traits was reduced by phylogenetic principal component analysis (phyl.PCA). Phylogenetic generalised least squares regression (PGLS) was used to fit a model in which species average elevation was predicted from their position on the PCA axes. Most subalpine species germinated in snow-like conditions, whereas most alpine species needed accumulation of warm temperatures. Phylogenetic signal was low. PCA1 ordered species according to overall germinability, whilst PCA2 ordered them according to preference for warm or cold germination. PCA2 significantly predicted species occurrence in the alpine-subalpine gradient, as higher elevation species tended to have warmer germination preferences. Our results show that germination traits in high-mountain grasslands are closely linked to the alpine-subalpine gradient. Alpine species, especially those from stripped and wind-edge communities, prefer warmer germination niches, suggesting that summer emergence prevents frost damage during seedling establishment. In contrast, alpine snowfield and subalpine grassland plants have cold germination niches, indicating that winter emergence may occur under snow to avoid drought stress. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stemmer, Michael; Hromatka, Angelika; Lettner, Herbert; Strebl, Friederike

    2005-01-01

    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 2 SO 4 -extractable and microbially stored 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 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 137 Cs amounted to 0.64 ± 0.14 kBq m -2 which corresponds to about 1.2-2.7% of the total 137 Cs soil inventory. At lower altitudes, microbial 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 137 Cs and fungal biomass was found, which indicates a possible role of fungal biomass in the storage and turnover of 137 Cs in soils and in the 137 Cs uptake by plants

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terashima, Mia; Umezawa, Kazuhiro; Mori, Shoichi; Kojima, Hisaya; Fukui, Manabu

    2017-01-01

    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.

  18. Bacterial community in the rumen of Tibetan sheep and Gansu alpine fine-wool sheep grazing on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jinqiang; Li, Yongjuan; Luo, Yuzhu

    2017-05-12

    The rumen microbiome plays a vital role in ruminant nutrition and health, and its community is affected by environmental factors. However, little is known about the rumen bacterial community of ruminants living in the special ecological environment of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) of China. The objectives of this study were to investigate the rumen bacterial community of the typical plateau sheep (Tibetan sheep, TS, and Gansu alpine fine-wool sheep, GS) grazing on the QTP, using 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, and to evaluate the relationship between the rumen bacterial community and the QTP environment. A total of 116 sequences (201 clones) were examined and divided into 53 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the TS library and 46 OTUs in the GS library. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequences that belonged to the Firmicutes were the most predominant bacteria in both TS and GS libraries, representing 79.4% and 62.8% of the total clones, respectively. The remaining sequences belonged to Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, or were unclassified bacteria. Sequence analysis revealed that the TS and GS rumens harbored many novel sequences associated with uncultured bacteria that accounted for 63.6% and 46.8% of the total clones, respectively. Comparison of the composition and diversity of the TS and GS rumen bacteria revealed few overlapping known bacteria between the two breeds, and a higher diversity in TS. The rumen bacteria of the plateau sheep showed higher percentages of bacteria that belonged to Firmicutes and novel species compared with the low-elevation sheep. The unique bacterial community in the plateau sheep rumens is perhaps one of the major reasons that they can adapt to the harsh plateau environment. These results can help identify the rumen bacterial community of the ruminants in the QTP, and provide bacteria resources and basic data to improve ruminant productivity.

  19. 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

  20. Alpine research today

    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

  1. 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)

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Contrasting response of coexisting plant’s water-use patterns to experimental precipitation manipulation in an alpine grassland community of Qinghai Lake watershed, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Yan; He, Bin; Liu, Jinzhao; Jiang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Cicheng

    2018-01-01

    Understanding species-specific changes in water-use patterns under recent climate scenarios is necessary to predict accurately the responses of seasonally dry ecosystems to future climate. In this study, we conducted a precipitation manipulation experiment to investigate the changes in water-use patterns of two coexisting species (Achnatherum splendens and Allium tanguticum) to alterations in soil water content (SWC) resulting from increased and decreased rainfall treatments. The results showed that the leaf water potential (Ψ) of A. splendens and A. tanguticum responded to changes in shallow and middle SWC at both the control and treatment plots. However, A. splendens proportionally extracted water from the shallow soil layer (0–10cm) when it was available but shifted to absorbing deep soil water (30–60 cm) during drought. By contrast, the A. tanguticum did not differ significantly in uptake depth between treatment and control plots but entirely depended on water from shallow soil layers. The flexible water-use patterns of A.splendens may be a key factor facilitating its dominance and it better acclimates the recent climate change in the alpine grassland community around Qinghai Lake. PMID:29677195

  6. [Nitrogen bio-cycle in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jing; Zhao, Jing-zhu; Deng, Hong-bing; Wu, Gang; Hao, Ying-jie; Shang, Wen-yan

    2005-03-01

    The nitrogen bio-cycle was discussed in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain through compartment model. The alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was compared with Arctic tundra by the common ratio of genus and species in this paper. It was found that the 89.3% of genus and 58.6% of species was the common between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra while 95.5% of lichen genus and 58.7% lichen species, 82.1% of moss genus and 76.3% of moss species, 93.1% of vascular bundle genus and 40.5% of vascular bundle species were the common, respectively, which made vegetation type or community to be similar between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra. The total storage of nitrogen was 65220.6 t in the vegetation-plant system of Changbai Mountain, of which soil pool amounted to 99.3%. The nitrogen storage of each compartment was as follows: the vegetation pool, litterfall pool and soil pool were 237.4 t, 145.3 t and 64837.9 t respectively. The transferable amounts of nitrogen were 131.7 t x a(-1), 58 t/a and 73.7 t x a(-1) in the aboveground plant, belowground root system and litterfall of alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain.

  7. Plant community variability on a small area in southeastern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    James G. MacCracken; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen

    1984-01-01

    Plant communities are inherently variable due to a number of environmental and biological forces. Canopy cover and aboveground biomass were determined for understory vegetation in plant communities of a prairie grassland-forest ecotone in southeastern Montana. Vegetation units were described using polar ordination and stepwise discriminant analysis. Nine of a total of...

  8. Plant community analysis and ecology of afromontane and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plant communities of the forests of southwestern Ethiopia were described based on floristic analysis of the data collected between February 1995 and May 1996. Floristic analysis is based on the cover-abundance values of both woody and herbaceous species. Plant community-environment relationship was assessed ...

  9. Responses of the functional structure of soil microbial community to livestock grazing in the Tibetan alpine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yunfeng; Wu, Linwei; Lin, Qiaoyan; Yuan, Mengting; Xu, Depeng; Yu, Hao; Hu, Yigang; Duan, Jichuang; Li, Xiangzhen; He, Zhili; Xue, Kai; van Nostrand, Joy; Wang, Shiping; Zhou, Jizhong

    2013-02-01

    Microbes play key roles in various biogeochemical processes, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. However, changes of microbial community at the functional gene level by livestock grazing, which is a global land-use activity, remain unclear. Here we use a functional gene array, GeoChip 4.0, to examine the effects of free livestock grazing on the microbial community at an experimental site of Tibet, a region known to be very sensitive to anthropogenic perturbation and global warming. Our results showed that grazing changed microbial community functional structure, in addition to aboveground vegetation and soil geochemical properties. Further statistical tests showed that microbial community functional structures were closely correlated with environmental variables, and variations in microbial community functional structures were mainly controlled by aboveground vegetation, soil C/N ratio, and NH4 (+) -N. In-depth examination of N cycling genes showed that abundances of N mineralization and nitrification genes were increased at grazed sites, but denitrification and N-reduction genes were decreased, suggesting that functional potentials of relevant bioprocesses were changed. Meanwhile, abundances of genes involved in methane cycling, C fixation, and degradation were decreased, which might be caused by vegetation removal and hence decrease in litter accumulation at grazed sites. In contrast, abundances of virulence, stress, and antibiotics resistance genes were increased because of the presence of livestock. In conclusion, these results indicated that soil microbial community functional structure was very sensitive to the impact of livestock grazing and revealed microbial functional potentials in regulating soil N and C cycling, supporting the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating the consequence of land-use and/or climate changes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Site and plant species are important determinants of the Methylobacterium community composition in the plant phyllosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Claudia; Ramette, Alban; Frances, Lisa; Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Vorholt, Julia A

    2010-06-01

    The plant phyllosphere constitutes a habitat for numerous microorganisms; among them are members of the genus Methylobacterium. Owing to the ubiquitous occurrence of methylobacteria on plant leaves, they represent a suitable target for studying plant colonization patterns. The influence of the factor site, host plant species, time and the presence of other phyllosphere bacteria on Methylobacterium community composition and population size were evaluated in this study. Leaf samples were collected from Arabidopsis thaliana or Medicago truncatula plants and from the surrounding plant species at several sites. The abundance of cultivable Methylobacterium clearly correlated with the abundance of other phyllosphere bacteria, suggesting that methylobacteria constitute a considerable and rather stable fraction of the phyllosphere microbiota under varying environmental conditions. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was applied to characterize the Methylobacterium community composition and showed the presence of similar communities on A. thaliana plants at most sites in 2 consecutive years of sampling. A substantial part of the observed variation in the community composition was explained by site and plant species, especially in the case of the plants collected at the Arabidopsis sites (50%). The dominating ARISA peaks that were detected on A. thaliana plants were found on other plant species grown at the same site, whereas some different peaks were detected on A. thaliana plants from other sites. This indicates that site-specific factors had a stronger impact on the Methylobacterium community composition than did plant-specific factors and that the Methylobacterium-plant association is not highly host plant species specific.

  13. Seasonal variations in CO2 and CH4 fluxes of four different plant compositions of a Sphagnum-dominated Alpine peat bog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drollinger, Simon; Maier, Andreas; Karer, Jasmin; Glatzel, Stephan

    2017-04-01

    Peatlands are the only type of ecosystems which have the ability to accumulate significant amounts of carbon (C) under undisturbed conditions. The amount of C sequestered in peatlands depends on the balance between gross primary production, ecosystem respiration and decomposition of plant material. Sphagnum-dominated bogs possess the greatest peat accumulation potential of all peatlands, thus in turn, feature highest C release potentials. Many studies report about the C balances of undisturbed northern peat bogs, however, little is known about the effects of peatland degradation on the C balance between different plant compositions within peat bog ecosystems. Particularly in the Alpine region, where temperature increase during the last century has been almost twice as high as the global mean. The investigated peat bog is located in the inner Alpine Enns valley in the Eastern Alps, Austria (N 47˚ 34.873' E 14˚ 20.810'). It is a pine peat bog covered by Sphagnum mosses and a present extent of about 62 ha. Due to increasing differences in surface height of the peatland compared to the surrounding areas and related lowered water retention capacity attributed to the subsidence of the adjacent intensively managed meadows on deeply drained peat soils, the function of the peatland as a carbon sink is strongly endangered. Hence, the current mean water table depth of the central peat bog area is about -12 cm. To reveal differences in peatland-atmosphere C exchanges within the peatland ecosystem, we investigated CO2 and CH4 fluxes of four different vegetation compositions (PM1-PM4) at the treeless central peat bog area. PM1 is dominated by the graminoids Rhynchospora alba and Eriophorum vaginatum. PM2 is inhabited by small individuals (< 35 cm) of the conifer Pinus mugo, whereas PM3 is dominated by the ericaceous plant Calluna vulgaris. PM4 again is populated by Pinus mugo, but higher growing (35 - 60 cm) and with corresponding higher amount of biomass. Fluxes were measured

  14. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species: The roles of community attributes, Bromus interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits [Chapter 10

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromus hereafter) 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...

  15. Application of heat stress in situ demonstrates a protective role of irradiation on photosynthetic performance in alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchner, Othmar; Stoll, Magdalena; Karadar, Matthias; Kranner, Ilse; Neuner, Gilbert

    2015-04-01

    The impact of sublethal heat on photosynthetic performance, photosynthetic pigments and free radical scavenging activity was examined in three high mountain species, Rhododendron ferrugineum, Senecio incanus and Ranunculus glacialis using controlled in situ applications of heat stress, both in darkness and under natural solar irradiation. Heat treatments applied in the dark reversibly reduced photosynthetic performance and the maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv /Fm), which remained impeded for several days when plants were exposed to natural light conditions subsequently to the heat treatment. In contrast, plants exposed to heat stress under natural irradiation were able to tolerate and recover from heat stress more readily. The critical temperature threshold for chlorophyll fluorescence was higher under illumination (Tc (')) than in the dark (Tc). Heat stress caused a significant de-epoxidation of the xanthophyll cycle pigments both in the light and in the dark conditions. Total free radical scavenging activity was highest when heat stress was applied in the dark. This study demonstrates that, in the European Alps, heat waves can temporarily have a negative impact on photosynthesis and, importantly, that results obtained from experiments performed in darkness and/or on detached plant material may not reliably predict the impact of heat stress under field conditions. © 2014 The Authors. Plant, Cell & Environment published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Growth and reproduction of the alpine grasshopper Miramella alpina feeding on CO2-enriched dwarf shrubs at treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asshoff, Roman; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2005-01-01

    The consequences for plant-insect interactions of atmospheric changes in alpine ecosystems are not well understood. Here, we tested the effects of elevated CO(2) on leaf quality in two dwarf shrub species (Vaccinium myrtillus and V. uliginosum) and the response of the alpine grasshopper (Miramella alpina) feeding on these plants in a field experiment at the alpine treeline (2,180 m a.s.l.) in Davos, Switzerland. Relative growth rates (RGR) of M. alpina nymphs were lower when they were feeding on V. myrtillus compared to V. uliginosum, and were affected by elevated CO(2) depending on plant species and nymph developmental stage. Changes in RGR correlated with CO(2)-induced changes in leaf water, nitrogen, and starch concentrations. Elevated CO(2) resulted in reduced female adult weight irrespective of plant species, and prolonged development time on V. uliginosum only, but there were no significant differences in nymphal mortality. Newly molted adults of M. alpina produced lighter eggs and less secretion (serving as egg protection) under elevated CO(2). When grasshoppers had a choice among four different plant species grown either under ambient or elevated CO(2), V. myrtillus and V. uliginosum consumption increased under elevated CO(2) in females while it decreased in males compared to ambient CO(2)-grown leaves. Our findings suggest that rising atmospheric CO(2) distinctly affects leaf chemistry in two important dwarf shrub species at the alpine treeline, leading to changes in feeding behavior, growth, and reproduction of the most important insect herbivore in this system. Changes in plant-grasshopper interactions might have significant long-term impacts on herbivore pressure, community dynamics and ecosystem stability in the alpine treeline ecotone.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Vicariance, long-distance dispersal, and regional extinction-recolonization dynamics explain the disjunct circumpolar distribution of the arctic-alpine plant Silene acaulis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gussarova, Galina; Allen, Geraldine A; Mikhaylova, Yulia; McCormick, Laurie J; Mirré, Virginia; Marr, Kendrick L; Hebda, Richard J; Brochmann, Christian

    2015-10-01

    Many arctic-alpine species have vast geographic ranges, but these may encompass substantial gaps whose origins are poorly understood. Here we address the phylogeographic history of Silene acaulis, a perennial cushion plant with a circumpolar distribution except for a large gap in Siberia. We assessed genetic variation in a range-wide sample of 103 populations using plastid DNA (pDNA) sequences and AFLPs (amplified fragment length polymorphisms). We constructed a haplotype network and performed Bayesian phylogenetic analyses based on plastid sequences. We visualized AFLP patterns using principal coordinate analysis, identified genetic groups using the program structure, and estimated genetic diversity and rarity indices by geographic region. The history of the main pDNA lineages was estimated to span several glaciations. AFLP data revealed a distinct division between Beringia/North America and Europe/East Greenland. These two regions shared only one of 17 pDNA haplotypes. Populations on opposite sides of the Siberian range gap (Ural Mountains and Chukotka) were genetically distinct and appear to have resulted from postglacial leading-edge colonizations. We inferred two refugia in North America (Beringia and the southern Rocky Mountains) and two in Europe (central-southern Europe and northern Europe/East Greenland). Patterns in the East Atlantic region suggested transoceanic long-distance dispersal events. Silene acaulis has a highly dynamic history characterized by vicariance, regional extinction, and recolonization, with persistence in at least four refugia. Long-distance dispersal explains patterns across the Atlantic Ocean, but we found no evidence of dispersal across the Siberian range gap. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  20. Climate change and alpine stream biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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...

  1. 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

    2017-10-18

    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

  2. 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.

  3. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

  4. 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

    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...... abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects...... and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during...

  5. Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, K W; Svejcar, T J; Bates, J D

    2009-09-01

    Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of historical disturbance patterns under modern conditions and the interactions among disturbances are issues that ecologists must address to protect and restore native plant communities. We evaluated the response of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh plant communities to their historical disturbance regime compared to other disturbance regimes. The historical disturbance regime of these plant communities was periodic fires with minimal grazing by large herbivores. We also investigated the influence of prior disturbance (grazing) on the response of these communities to subsequent disturbance (burning). Treatments were: (1) ungrazed (livestock grazing excluded since 1936) and unburned, (2) grazed and unburned, (3) ungrazed and burned (burned in 1993), and (4) grazed and burned. The ungrazed-burned treatment emulated the historical disturbance regime. Vegetation cover, density, and biomass production were measured the 12th, 13th, and 14th year post-burning. Prior to burning the presence of Bromus tectorum L., an exotic annual grass, was minimal (resilience to more severe disturbances. Modern deviations from historical conditions can alter ecosystem response to disturbances, thus restoring the historical disturbance regime may not be an appropriate strategy for all ecosystems.

  6. Spatial distribution and environmental analysis of the alpine flora in the Pyrenees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Gómez

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of the digital edition of the “Atlas of the vascular flora of the Pyrenees” (www.florapyrenaea. org, the alpine flora of this mountain range is delimited in order to know its diversity and the different patterns of its spatial distribution, along with some other environmental characteristics. The Pyrenean alpine flora is made up of 645 taxa (630 species and 15 subspecies. All the administrative regions harbour more than 60% of the alpine plants, with Catalonia and Aragon reaching the highest values (around 90%. Along the altitudinal gradient, the highest plant diversity is found between 2300 and 2600 m. a. s. l., although 25% of the total alpine flora goes beyond 3000 m. On the other hand, a remarkable number of alpine plants live in the lowlands, and thus more than 300 alpine plants can be found below 1500 m. The average altitude range of the alpine plants is 1369 m, 300 m wider than that observed for the whole Pyrenean flora. Life-forms, habitat distribution and habitat naturalness of alpine plants are significantly different from those of the whole Pyrenean flora. Distribution of abundance categories also shows values of rarity significantly lower among alpine plants than for the whole flora. More than half the Pyrenean endemic plants are present in the alpine flora. High diversity and wide ecological amplitude of the alpine flora must be taken into account either when considering vulnerability of alpine plants facing “global change” or when addressing conservation policies for the whole Pyrenees from a common perspective.

  7. Measuring competition in plant communities where it is difficult to distinguish individual plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2011-01-01

    A novel method for measuring plant-plant interactions in undisturbed semi-natural and natural plant communities where it is difficult to distinguish individual plants is discussed. It is assumed that the ecological success of the different plant species in the plant community may be adequately...... measured by plant cover and vertical density (a measure that is correlated to the 3-dimensional space occupancy and biomass). Both plant cover and vertical density are measured in a standard pin-point analysis in the beginning and at the end of the growing season. In the outlined competition model....... The method allows direct measurements of the competitive effects of neighbouringzplants on plant performance and the estimation of parameters that describe the ecological processes of plantplant interactions during the growing season as well as the process of survival and recruitment between growing seasons...

  8. Evapotranspiration in three plant communities of a Rhigozum ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration losses in three Rhigozum trichotomum plant communities namely, pure grass, pure R. trichotomum and a mixed stand of grass and R. trichotomum were determined during the 1985-86 growing season. Three hydrologically isolated plots in each community type were irrigated and changes in soil water ...

  9. Vertebrate herbivores influence soil nematodes by modifying plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Olff, Han; Duyts, Henk; van der Putten, Wim H.

    Abiotic soil properties, plant community composition, and herbivory all have been reported as important factors influencing the composition of soil communities. However, most studies thus far have considered these factors in isolation, whereas they strongly interact in the field. Here, we study how

  10. 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

  11. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a 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. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  12. Photosynthetic response of an alpine plant, Rhododendron delavayi Franch, to water stress and recovery: the role of mesophyll conductance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanfei eCai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Rhododendron delavayi Franch is an evergreen shrub or small tree with large scarlet flowers that makes it highly attractive as an ornamental species. The species is native to southwest China and southeast Asia, especially the Himalayan region, showing good adaptability and tolerance to drought. To understand the water stress coping mechanisms of R. delavayi, we analysed the plant’s photosynthetic performance during water stress and recovery. In particular, we looked at the regulation of stomatal (gs and mesophyll conductance (gm, and maximum rate of carboxylation (Vcmax. After four days of water stress treatment, the net CO2 assimilation rate (AN declined slightly while gs and gm were not affected and stomatal limitation (SL was therefore negligible. At this stage mesophyll conductance limitation (MCL and biochemical limitation (BL constituted the main limitation factors. After eight days of water stress treatment, AN, gs and gm had decreased notably. At this stage SL increased markedly and MCL even more so, while BL remained relatively constant. After re-watering, the recovery of AN, gs and gm was rapid, although remaining below the levels of the control plants, while Vcmax fully regained control levels after three days of re-watering. MCL remained the main limitation factor irrespective of the degree of photosynthetic recovery. In conclusion, in our experiment MCL was the main photosynthetic limitation factor of R. delavayi under water stress and during the recovery phase, with the regulation of gm probably being the result of interactions between the environment and leaf anatomical features.

  13. 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

  14. The potential for retreating alpine glaciers to alter alpine ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.; Baron, J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate. In mid-latitude alpine ecosystems the presence of glaciers and rock glaciers govern rates and ecology of alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems. Changes in the thermal environment due to the loss of isothermal habitat and inputs from glacier melt chemistry are altering alpine ecosystems in unpredictable ways. In particular, glacier may be a source of nitrogen that is altering alpine ecosystem dynamics. Loch Vale Watershed (LVWS) located within Rocky Mountain National Park. LVWS contains a surface glacier (Andrew's glacier) and a rock glacier (Taylor's glacier) at the headwater of each of the two drainages within the watershed. We collected precipitation from a National Atmospheric Deposition Site and surface water from multiple alpine lakes and streams during a particularly high and low snow year in the Colorado Front Range. We also sampled stream and lake sediments at each site to analyze the associated microbial community. Concentrations of nitrate and ammonium, relative abundance of amoA (the gene responsible for a key step in the microbial nitrification pathway), and the dual isotope signal to nitrate all point to snow melt as a key deliverer of nitrogen to ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range. However, late summer surface water chemistry is isotopically similar to the chemistry of glacial ice. This suggests that retreating glacier may be an additional source of N to alpine ecosystems and have the potential to alter microbial community composition, biogeochemical rate processes, and ecosystem function. These dynamics are most likely not unique to the Colorado Front Range and should be globally distributed as glaciers continue to retreat in high altitude ecosystems around the world.

  15. Rhododendron aureum Georgi formed a special soil microbial community and competed with above-ground plants on the tundra of the Changbai Mountain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaolong; Li, Lin; Zhao, Wei; Zhao, Jiaxin; Chen, Xia

    2017-09-01

    Rhododendron aureum Georgi is a perennial evergreen dwarf shrub that grows at all elevations within the alpine tundra of northern China. Previous research has investigated the plant communities of R. aureum ; however, little information is available regarding interspecific competition and underground soil microbial community composition. The objective of our study was to determine whether the presence of R. aureum creates a unique soil microbiome and to investigate the relationship between R. aureum and other plant species. Our study site ranged from 1,800 to 2,600 m above sea level on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountain. The results show that the soil from sites with an R. aureum community had a higher abundance of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and a higher resistance to pathogens than soils from sites without R. aureum . We emphasize that R. aureum promotes a unique soil microbial community structure that is distinct from those associated with other plants. Elevation and microbial biomass were the main influencing factors for plant community structure. Analysis of interspecific relationships reveals that R. aureum is negatively associated with most other dominant shrubs and herbs, suggesting interspecific competition. It is necessary to focus on other dominant species if protection and restoration of the R. aureum competition is to occur. In the future, more is needed to prove whether R. aureum decreases species diversity in the tundra ecosystems of Changbai Mountain.

  16. Rural and school community in appreciating knowledge on medical plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Souza Carneiro

    2016-05-01

    Isolated communities in the urban environment still use medicinal plants, but such knowledge is not always passed on to new generations. In this scenario, we propose a study with students, teachers, and community residents from Córrego da Ema, Amontada, Ceará, Brazil, aiming to know the wisdom of medicinal plants in a small rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid region. We interviewed the medicinal plant connoisseurs, named as local experts, by using the “snow ball” method. We applied questionnaires to investigate Elementary School students’ knowledge on medicinal plants (pre-tour. These actions provided a basis for planning guided-tours, activities aimed at 51 students, which we carried out along with the 10 experts and 2 local school teachers, whose results (post-tour were assessed by using the same pre-tour questionnaire. Most local experts were women (80%, their families had many people and low education level, factors that contribute to using medicinal plants. Experts cited 35 medicinal plant species. Students cited 24 pre-tour plant species and 28 post-tour plant species. Students increased their knowledge, as there was also a post-tour increase in therapeutic indications and preparation methods, as mentioned. The school played an important role in appreciating this intangible heritage, because it enabled actions involving formal and informal education.

  17. Rural and school community in appreciating knowledge on medical plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Souza Carneiro

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Isolated communities in the urban environment still use medicinal plants, but such knowledge is not always passed on to new generations. In this scenario, we propose a study with students, teachers, and community residents from Córrego da Ema, Amontada, Ceará, Brazil, aiming to know the wisdom of medicinal plants in a small rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid region. We interviewed the medicinal plant connoisseurs, named as local experts, by using the “snow ball” method. We applied questionnaires to investigate Elementary School students’ knowledge on medicinal plants (pre-tour. These actions provided a basis for planning guided-tours, activities aimed at 51 students, which we carried out along with the 10 experts and 2 local school teachers, whose results (post-tour were assessed by using the same pre-tour questionnaire. Most local experts were women (80%, their families had many people and low education level, factors that contribute to using medicinal plants. Experts cited 35 medicinal plant species. Students cited 24 pre-tour plant species and 28 post-tour plant species. Students increased their knowledge, as there was also a post-tour increase in therapeutic indications and preparation methods, as mentioned. The school played an important role in appreciating this intangible heritage, because it enabled actions involving formal and informal education.

  18. Genetic diversity within a dominant plant outweighs plant species diversity in structuring an arthropod community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

    Plant biodiversity is being lost at a rapid rate. This has spurred much interest in elucidating the consequences of this loss for higher trophic levels. Experimental tests have shown that both plant species diversity and genetic diversity within a plant species can influence arthropod community structure. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in separate systems, so their relative importance is currently unresolved. Furthermore, potential interactions between the two levels of diversity, which likely occur in natural systems, have not been investigated. To clarify these issues, we conducted three experiments in a freshwater sand dune ecosystem. We (1) independently manipulated plant species diversity, (2) independently manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, and (3) jointly manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant and species diversity. We found that genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, more strongly influenced arthropod communities than plant species diversity, but this effect was dependent on the presence of other species. In species mixtures, A. breviligulata genetic diversity altered overall arthropod community composition, and arthropod richness and abundance peaked at the highest level of genetic diversity. Positive nonadditive effects of diversity were detected, suggesting that arthropods respond to emergent properties of diverse plant communities. However, in the independent manipulations where A. breviligulata was alone, effects of genetic diversity were weaker, with only arthropod richness responding. In contrast, plant species diversity only influenced arthropods when A. breviligulata was absent, and then only influenced herbivore abundance. In addition to showing that genetic diversity within a dominant plant species can have large effects on arthropod community composition, these results suggest that understanding how species

  19. Plant reproduction is altered by simulated herbicide drift to constructed 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...

  20. Classification of the eastern alpine vegetation of Lesotho | Morris ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Five vegetation communities in the alpine catchment of Lesotho were identified by hierarchical classification of the botanical composition data. Discriminant analysis indicated that these communities occupy particular topographic positions. The community-environmental relationships identified in this study were similar to ...

  1. Management of plant communities on set-aside land and its effects on earthworm communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gormsen, D.; Hedlund, K.; Korthals, G. W.; Mortimer, S. R.; Pižl, Václav; Šmilauerová, M.; Sugg, E.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 40, 3-4 (2004), s. 123-128 ISSN 1164-5563 Grant - others:Evropská unie(XE) ENV4-CT95-0002 Keywords : earthworm community * plant community * land use Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.776, year: 2004

  2. 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

  3. Plant Communities Suitable for Green Roofs in Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Gioannini

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In extensive green roof settings, plant communities can be more robust than monocultures. In addition, native plants might be hardier and more ecologically sound choices than non-native plants in green roof systems. The objectives of this research were to (1 compare the performance of plant communities with that of monocultures and (2 compare the growth of natives to non-natives in a simulated green roof setting. We conducted a two-year experiment at an outdoor site in a desert environment using four plant morphological types (groundcover, forb, succulent and grass. Native plants selected were Chrysactinia mexicana, Melampodium leucanthum, Euphorbia antisyphilitica, and Nassella tenuissima, and non-natives were Delosperma nubigenum, Stachys byzantina, Sedum kamtschiaticum and Festuca glauca. Plants were assigned randomly to either monoculture or community and grown in 1 m × 1 m custom-built trays filled with 15 cm of a proprietary blend of 50/20/30 lightweight aggregate/sand/compost (by volume. Native forb, Melampodium, in community had greater coverage for four of the five measurements in the first year over native forb in monoculture and non-native forb regardless of setting. Native forb coverage was also greater than non-native forb for three of the four measurements in year 2, regardless of setting. Coverage of native grass was significantly greater than non-native grasses throughout the experiment. Coverage was also greater for eight of nine measurements for native succulent over non-natives succulent. However, non-native groundcover coverage was significantly greater than native groundcover for seven of nine measurements. On 1 November 2016, relative water content (RWC for succulents (p = 0.0424 was greatest for native Euphorbia in monoculture at 88%. Native Euphorbia also had greater RWC than non-native Sedum on 4 April 2017 (78% and 4 July 2017 (80%. However, non-native Sedum had greater root length (6548 cm, root dry weight (12.1 g

  4. Plant Community Diversity After Herbicide Control of Spotted Knapweed

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

    Herbicides were applied to four west-central Montana sites with light to moderate spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.) infestations. Althought knapweed suppression was high, 2 years after the spraying the communities were not converted to grass monocultures. No large declines in plant diversity were caused by the herbicides, and small depressions were probably transitory. By the third year, diversity had increased.

  5. Vascular plant diversity and community Structure of nandi forests ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abundance data of species was used for species diversity, similarity, species richness estimation and plant community analysis. PC-ORD, CANOCO and EstimateS were used to analyze the data. A total of 321 species ... Keywords: floristic composition, ordination, rarefaction, species accumulation, species richness.

  6. Functional diversity in plant communities: Theory and analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plant functional diversity in community has become a key point in ecology studies recently. The development of species functional diversity was reviewed in the present work. Based on the former original research papers and reviews, we discussed the concept and connotation and put forward a new definition of functional ...

  7. A baseline classification of riparian woodland plant communities in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plots were placed along a gradient from the main water body to the drier fringe of the riparian zone. Plant species present in each plot were recorded with their estimated percentage cover using the Braun–Blanquet cover abundance scale. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to determine vegetation communities.

  8. Plant community development is affected by nutrients and soil biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Deyn, G.B.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    1 Plant community development depends to a great extent on the availability of soil nutrients, but recent studies underline the role of symbiotic, herbivorous and pathogenic soil biota. We tested for interactions between these biotic and abiotic factors by studying the effects of additional

  9. 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

  10. The nuclear power plant and the host community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsson, G.

    1978-01-01

    A councillor from a small Swedish community (Kaevlinge) in the vicinity of the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant describes the effects which the plant has had on neighbouring communities. The effect on the labour market has been small at Kaevlinge, both during routine operation and construction phases. This is however, a fairly densely populated area with a population of half a million in a radius of 30 km. The situation is different at Oskarshamn or Oesthammar. Neither has there been any special economic benefit, due to Swedish taxation laws. There has been little local anxiety due to the proximity of the nuclear power plant. Certain local planning problems have been caused by restricted zones and power cables. Cooperation between the local authorities and the utility has been good. (JIW)

  11. 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.

  12. Ethnobotany of dye plants in Dong communities of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yujing; Ahmed, Selena; Liu, Bo; Guo, Zhiyong; Huang, Weijuan; Wu, Xianjin; Li, Shenghua; Zhou, Jiangju; Lei, Qiyi; Long, Chunlin

    2014-02-19

    Dyes derived from plants have an extensive history of use for coloring food and clothing in Dong communities and other indigenous areas in the uplands of China. In addition to use as coloring agents, Dong communities have historically utilized dye plants for their value for enhancing the nutritive, medicinal and preservative properties of foods. However, the persistence of plant-derived dyes and associated cultural practices and traditional knowledge is threatened with rapid socio-economic change in China. Research is needed to document the ethnobotany of dye plants in indigenous communities towards their conservation and potential commercialization as a sustainable means of supporting local development initiatives. Semi-structured surveys on plants used for coloring agents and associated traditional knowledge were conducted in fifteen Dong villages of Tongdao County in Hunan Province of South Central China during 2011-2012. Transect walks were carried out with key informants identified from semi-structured surveys to collect samples and voucher specimens for each documented plant species for taxonomic identification. Dong households at the study sites utilize the flowers, bark, stems, tubers and roots of 13 plant species from 9 families as dyes to color their customary clothing and food. Out of the documented plants, a total of 7 are used for coloring food, 3 for coloring clothing and 3 for both food and clothing. Documented plants consist of 3 species that yield black pigments, 3 for brownish red/russet pigments, 3 for red pigments, 2 for dark blue pigments and 2 for yellow pigments. In addition to dyes, the plants have multiple uses including medicinal, ornamental, sacrificial, edible, and for timber. The use of dyes derived from plants persists at the study sites for their important role in expressing Dong cultural identity through customary clothing and food. Further research is needed to evaluate the safety of dye plants, their efficacy in enhancing food

  13. 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. PMID:27427960

  14. 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.

  15. 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. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Community-level plant-soil feedbacks explain landscape distribution of native and non-native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulmatiski, Andrew

    2018-02-01

    Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have gained attention for their potential role in explaining plant growth and invasion. While promising, most PSF research has measured plant monoculture growth on different soils in short-term, greenhouse experiments. Here, five soil types were conditioned by growing one native species, three non-native species, or a mixed plant community in different plots in a common-garden experiment. After 4 years, plants were removed and one native and one non-native plant community were planted into replicate plots of each soil type. After three additional years, the percentage cover of each of the three target species in each community was measured. These data were used to parameterize a plant community growth model. Model predictions were compared to native and non-native abundance on the landscape. Native community cover was lowest on soil conditioned by the dominant non-native, Centaurea diffusa , and non-native community cover was lowest on soil cultivated by the dominant native, Pseudoroegneria spicata . Consistent with plant growth on the landscape, the plant growth model predicted that the positive PSFs observed in the common-garden experiment would result in two distinct communities on the landscape: a native plant community on native soils and a non-native plant community on non-native soils. In contrast, when PSF effects were removed, the model predicted that non-native plants would dominate all soils, which was not consistent with plant growth on the landscape. Results provide an example where PSF effects were large enough to change the rank-order abundance of native and non-native plant communities and to explain plant distributions on the landscape. The positive PSFs that contributed to this effect reflected the ability of the two dominant plant species to suppress each other's growth. Results suggest that plant dominance, at least in this system, reflects the ability of a species to suppress the growth of dominant competitors

  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. 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; Pstrategy (R 2=0.047; P=0.42). This reflected a general shift of plant strategy from stress tolerant to competitive (rather than ruderal as expected) and suggested that the mechanism of graze to affect plant community is different from that of other disturbance like fire, clipping, till, etc. The particular selective foraging and escaping from feces may provide more opportunities for competitive than ruderal strategy to dominant the community. This study demonstrated that CSR plant strategy be a useful tool to evaluate the effects of abiotic and biotic factors

  19. Characterisation of alpine skis

    OpenAIRE

    Wikerman, Fredrik

    2016-01-01

    Skiing is a fast and competitive sport where skiers must push their performance limit to win medals, the di↵erence can be within hundreds of a second. Therefore, technical improvements are essential for assisting in the skier’s improvement. This thesis project is a joint project between KTH and the Swedish Ski Association and Swedish Ski Team with the purpose of obtaining a better understanding of the structural properties of alpine skis, aiming to improve the individual selection process of ...

  20. The microbially mediated soil organic carbon loss under degenerative succession in an alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Liu, Xiao; Cong, Jing; Lu, Hui; Sheng, Yuyu; Wang, Xiulei; Li, Diqiang; Liu, Xueduan; Yin, Huaqun; Zhou, Jizhong; Deng, Ye

    2017-07-01

    Land-cover change has long been recognized as having marked effect on the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC). However, the microbially mediated processes and mechanisms on SOC are still unclear. In this study, the soil samples in a degenerative succession from alpine meadow to alpine steppe meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau were analysed using high-throughput technologies, including Illumina sequencing and geochip functional gene arrays. The soil microbial community structure and diversity were significantly (p carbon degradation genes (e.g., pectin and hemicellulose) was significantly higher in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow, but the relative abundance of soil recalcitrant carbon degradation genes (e.g., chitin and lignin) showed the opposite tendency. The Biolog Ecoplate experiment showed that microbially mediated soil carbon utilization was more active in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow. Consequently, more soil labile carbon might be decomposed in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow. Therefore, the degenerative succession of alpine meadow because of climate change or anthropogenic activities would most likely decrease SOC and nutrients medicated by changing soil microbial community structure and their functional potentials for carbon decomposition. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. SYMBIOTIC N2 FIXATION IN ALPINE TUNDRA: ECOSYSTEM INPUT AND VARIATION IN FIXATION RATES AMONG PLANT COMMUNITIES (R823442)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  2. The role of plant mycorrhizal type and status in modulating the relationship between plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenkamp, Lena; Moora, Mari; Öpik, Maarja; Davison, John; Gerz, Maret; Männistö, Minna; Jairus, Teele; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin

    2018-01-25

    Interactions between communities of plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi shape fundamental ecosystem properties. Experimental evidence suggests that compositional changes in plant and AM fungal communities should be correlated, but empirical data from natural ecosystems are scarce. We investigated the dynamics of covariation between plant and AM fungal communities during three stages of grassland succession, and the biotic and abiotic factors shaping these dynamics. Plant communities were characterised using vegetation surveys. AM fungal communities were characterised by 454-sequencing of the small subunit rRNA gene and identification against the AM fungal reference database MaarjAM. AM fungal abundance was estimated using neutral-lipid fatty acids (NLFAs). Multivariate correlation analysis (Procrustes) revealed a significant relationship between plant and AM fungal community composition. The strength of plant-AM fungal correlation weakened during succession following cessation of grassland management, reflecting changes in the proportion of plants exhibiting different AM status. Plant-AM fungal correlation was strong when the abundance of obligate AM plants was high, and declined as the proportion of facultative AM plants increased. We conclude that the extent to which plants rely on AM symbiosis can determine how tightly communities of plants and AM fungi are interlinked, regulating community assembly of both symbiotic partners. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  3. Mapping of aggregated floodplain plant communities using image fusion of CASI and LiDAR data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verrelst, J.; Geerling, G.W.; Sykora, K.V.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.

    2009-01-01

    Combined optical and laser altimeter data offer the potential to map and monitor plant communities based on their spectral and structural characteristics. A problem unresolved is, however, that narrowly defined plant communities, i.e. plant communities at a low hierarchical level of classification

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. The impact of plant chemical diversity on plant-herbivore interactions at the community level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Diego; Jaramillo, Alejandra; Marquis, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the role of diversity in ecosystem processes and species interactions is a central goal of ecology. For plant-herbivore interactions, it has been hypothesized that when plant species diversity is reduced, loss of plant biomass to herbivores increases. Although long-standing, this hypothesis has received mixed support. Increasing plant chemical diversity with increasing plant taxonomic diversity is likely to be important for plant-herbivore interactions at the community level, but the role of chemical diversity is unexplored. Here we assess the effect of volatile chemical diversity on patterns of herbivore damage in naturally occurring patches of Piper (Piperaceae) shrubs in a Costa Rican lowland wet forest. Volatile chemical diversity negatively affected total, specialist, and generalist herbivore damage. Furthermore, there were differences between the effects of high-volatility and low-volatility chemical diversity on herbivore damage. High-volatility diversity reduced specialist herbivory, while low-volatility diversity reduced generalist herbivory. Our data suggest that, although increased plant diversity is expected to reduce average herbivore damage, this pattern is likely mediated by the diversity of defensive compounds and general classes of anti-herbivore traits, as well as the degree of specialization of the herbivores attacking those plants.

  7. 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.

  8. Abandoned floodplain plant communities along a regulated dryland river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, L. V.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; House, P. K.

    2014-01-01

    Rivers and their floodplains worldwide have changed dramatically over the last century because of regulation by dams, flow diversions and channel stabilization. Floodplains no longer inundated by river flows following dam-induced flood reduction comprise large areas of bottomland habitat, but the effects of abandonment on plant communities are not well understood. Using a hydraulic flow model, geomorphic mapping and field surveys, we addressed the following questions along the Bill Williams River, Arizona: (i) What per cent of the bottomland do abandoned floodplains comprise? and (ii) Are abandoned floodplains quantitatively different from adjacent xeric and riparian surfaces in terms of vegetation composition and surface sediment? We found that nearly 70% of active channel and floodplain area was abandoned following dam installation. Abandoned floodplains along the Bill Williams River tend to be similar to each other yet distinct from neighbouring habitats: they have been altered physically from their historic state, leading to distinct combinations of surface sediments, hydrology and plant communities. Abandoned floodplains may transition to xeric communities over time but are likely to retain some riparian qualities as long as there is access to relatively shallow ground water. With expected increases in water demand and drying climatic conditions in many regions, these surfaces and associated vegetation will continue to be extensive in riparian landscapes worldwide

  9. Observed long-term greening of alpine vegetation—a case study in the French Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Corona, Monica C.; Dentant, Cédric; Bonet, Richard; Thuiller, Wilfried; Choler, Philippe

    2017-11-01

    We combined imagery from multiple sources (MODIS, Landsat-5, 7, 8) with land cover data to test for long-term (1984-2015) greening or browning trends of vegetation in a temperate alpine area, the Ecrins National Park, in the context of recent climate change and domestic grazing practices. We showed that over half (56%) of the Ecrins National Park displayed significant increases in peak normalized difference vegetation index (NDVImax) over the last 16 years (2000-2015). Importantly, the highest proportional increases in NDVImax occurred in rocky habitats at high elevations (> 2500 m a.s.l.). While spatial agreement in the direction of change in NDVImax as detected by MODIS and Landsat was high (76% overlap), correlations between log-response ratio values were of moderate strength (approx. 0.3). In the context of above treeline habitats, we found that proportional increases in NDVImax were higher between 1984 and 2000 than between 2000 and 2015, suggesting a slowing of greening dynamics during the recent decade. The timing of accelerated greening prior to 2000 coincided with a pronounced increase in the amount of snow-free growing degree-days that occurred during the 1980s and 1990s. In the case of grasslands and low-shrub habitats, we did not find evidence for a negative effect of grazing on greening trends, possibly due to the low grazing intensity typically found in the study area. We propose that the emergence of a longer and warmer growing season enabled high-elevation plant communities to produce more biomass, and also allowed for plant colonization of habitats previously characterized by long-lasting snow cover. Increasing plant productivity in an alpine context has potential implications for biodiversity trajectories and for ecosystem services in mountain landscapes. The presented evidence for long-term greening trends in a representative region of the European Alps provides the basis for further research on mechanisms of greening in alpine landscapes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  14. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  15. Community leaders' perspectives on socio-economic impacts of power-plant development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hastings, M.; Cawley, M.E.

    1981-01-01

    The primary focus of this research effort was to identify and measure the socioeconomic impacts of power plant development on non-metropolitan host communities. A mail survey, distributed to community leaders in 100 power plant communities east of the Mississippi River, was utilized to gather information from 713 respondents. Community leaders were questioned as to the plant's impact on (a) community groups, (b) aspects of community life, (c) overall community acceptance and (d) attitudes toward power plant development. Overall, the trends and patterns of plant impact on the host communities were found to be largely positive. Specifically, local employment opportunities were generally enhanced with the advent of the power plant. Directly related to power plant development was the overall improvement of the local economic situation. Off-shoots from such in the economic area included related general improvements in the community quality of life. While the vast majority of community leaders responded with positive comments on power plant presence, adverse impacts were also mentioned. Negative comments focused on environmental problems, deterioration of roads and traffic conditions, and the possibility of nuclear accidents. Despite these negative impacts, almost two-thirds of the community leaders would definitely support the reconstruction of the same energy facility. Power plant development, therefore, is generally perceived as both a positive and beneficial asset for the host area. (author)

  16. 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

  17. Interspecific nutrient transfer in a tallgrass prairie plant community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.E.F.; Hartnett, D.C.; Hetrick, B.A.D.; Schwab, A.P.

    1996-01-01

    Interplant nutrient transfer may be an important ecological process in grasslands, and may significantly influence plant neighborhood interactions. We investigated the potential for phosphorus transfer between the dominant grass Andropogon gerardii and several neighboring plant species in tallgrass prairie via a field 32PO4 labelling experiment. The mean amount of 32P received from donor shoots differed significantly among neighboring species and decreased with increasing distance from the donor. In general, forbs and cool-season C3 grasses received more labelled 32P than warm-season C4 grasses. Phosphorus transfer occurred over distances up to 0.5 m. The effects of species and distance on movement of phosphorus changed with increasing time after labelling. The relative mass of receiver and donor shoots did not affect amounts of 32P transfer. A benomyl fungicide treatment, applied to suppress mycorrhizal activity, likely did not affect existing vegetative hyphae and did not affect the amount of 32P transferred. These studies demonstrate that: (1) phosphorus is transferred among neighboring species in tallgrass prairie plant communities, (2) phosphorus may be transferred over significantly greater distances than reported in other grasslands, and (3) there is differential transfer among co-occurring species. Hypothesized mechanisms accounting for these patterns in tallgrass prairie include mycorrhizal hyphal interconnections and/or extensive and differential root and rhizosphere overlap among neighboring species

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

  19. 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

  20. Changes in plant species richness induce functional shifts in soil nematode communities in experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

    Full Text Available Changes in plant diversity may induce distinct changes in soil food web structure and accompanying soil feedbacks to plants. However, knowledge of the long-term consequences of plant community simplification for soil animal food webs and functioning is scarce. Nematodes, the most abundant and diverse soil Metazoa, represent the complexity of soil food webs as they comprise all major trophic groups and allow calculation of a number of functional indices.We studied the functional composition of nematode communities three and five years after establishment of a grassland plant diversity experiment (Jena Experiment. In response to plant community simplification common nematode species disappeared and pronounced functional shifts in community structure occurred. The relevance of the fungal energy channel was higher in spring 2007 than in autumn 2005, particularly in species-rich plant assemblages. This resulted in a significant positive relationship between plant species richness and the ratio of fungal-to-bacterial feeders. Moreover, the density of predators increased significantly with plant diversity after five years, pointing to increased soil food web complexity in species-rich plant assemblages. Remarkably, in complex plant communities the nematode community shifted in favour of microbivores and predators, thereby reducing the relative abundance of plant feeders after five years.The results suggest that species-poor plant assemblages may suffer from nematode communities detrimental to plants, whereas species-rich plant assemblages support a higher proportion of microbivorous nematodes stimulating nutrient cycling and hence plant performance; i.e. effects of nematodes on plants may switch from negative to positive. Overall, food web complexity is likely to decrease in response to plant community simplification and results of this study suggest that this results mainly from the loss of common species which likely alter plant-nematode interactions.

  1. Climate impacts on bird and plant communities from altered animal-plant interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Maron, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of climate change to declining populations of organisms remains a question of outstanding concern. Much attention to declining populations has focused on how changing climate drives phenological mismatches between animals and their food. Effects of climate on plant communities may provide an alternative, but particularly powerful, influence on animal populations because plants provide their habitats. Here, we show that abundances of deciduous trees and associated songbirds have declined with decreasing snowfall over 22 years of study in montane Arizona, USA. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that declining snowfall indirectly influences plants and associated birds by allowing greater over-winter herbivory by elk (Cervus canadensis). We excluded elk from one of two paired snowmelt drainages (10 ha per drainage), and replicated this paired experiment across three distant canyons. Over six years, we reversed multi-decade declines in plant and bird populations by experimentally inhibiting heavy winter herbivory associated with declining snowfall. Moreover, predation rates on songbird nests decreased in exclosures, despite higher abundances of nest predators, demonstrating the over-riding importance of habitat quality to avian recruitment. Thus, our results suggest that climate impacts on plant–animal interactions can have forceful ramifying effects on plants, birds, and ecological interactions.

  2. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Claudia; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, Martina; Püschel, David; Frouz, Jan; Rydlová, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community assembly during primary succession has so far received little attention. It remains therefore unclear, which of the factors, driving AMF community composition, are important during ecosystem development. We addressed this question on a large spoil heap, which provides a mosaic of sites in different successional stages under different managements. We selected 24 sites of c. 12, 20, 30, or 50 years in age, including sites with spontaneously developing vegetation and sites reclaimed by alder plantations. On each site, we sampled twice a year roots of the perennial rhizomatous grass Calamagrostis epigejos (Poaceae) to determine AMF root colonization and diversity (using 454-sequencing), determined the soil chemical properties and composition of plant communities. AMF taxa richness was unaffected by site age, but AMF composition variation increased along the chronosequences. AMF communities were unaffected by soil chemistry, but related to the composition of neighboring plant communities of the sampled C. epigejos plants. In contrast, the plant communities of the sites were more distinctively structured than the AMF communities along the four successional stages. We conclude that AMF and plant community successions respond to different factors. AMF communities seem to be influenced by biotic rather than by abiotic factors and to diverge with successional age. PMID:28473828

  3. 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

  4. Comparing herbaceous plant communities in active and passive riparian restoration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Understanding the efficacy of passive (reduction or cessation of environmental stress and active (typically involving planting or seeding restoration strategies is important for the design of successful revegetation of degraded riparian habitat, but studies explicitly comparing restoration outcomes are uncommon. We sampled the understory herbaceous plant community of 103 riparian sites varying in age since restoration (0 to 39 years and revegetation technique (active, passive, or none to compare the utility of different approaches on restoration success across sites. We found that landform type, percent shade, and summer flow helped explain differences in the understory functional community across all sites. In passively restored sites, grass and forb cover and richness were inversely related to site age, but in actively restored sites forb cover and richness were inversely related to site age. Native cover and richness were lower with passive restoration compared to active restoration. Invasive species cover and richness were not significantly different across sites. Although some of our results suggest that active restoration would best enhance native species in degraded riparian areas, this work also highlights some of the context-dependency that has been found to mediate restoration outcomes. For example, since the effects of passive restoration can be quite rapid, this approach might be more useful than active restoration in situations where rapid dominance of pioneer species is required to arrest major soil loss through erosion. As a result, we caution against labeling one restoration technique as better than another. Managers should identify ideal restoration outcomes in the context of historic and current site characteristics (as well as a range of acceptable alternative states and choose restoration approaches that best facilitate the achievement of revegetation goals.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Plant pathogens structure arthropod communities across multiple spatial and temporal scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tack, A.J.M.; Dicke, M.

    2013-01-01

    Plant pathogens and herbivores frequently co-occur on the same host plants. Despite this, little is known about the impact of their interactions on the structure of plant-based ecological communities. Here, we synthesize evidence that indicates that plant pathogens may profoundly impact arthropod

  8. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G; Parth, Myriam; Szunyogh, Ilona; Semmelrock, Ines; Sochurek, Susanne; Pinheiro, Marcia; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2013-05-13

    Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms' specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms containing more plant

  9. Pesticides from wastewater treatment plant effluents affect invertebrate communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münze, Ronald; Hannemann, Christin; Orlinskiy, Polina; Gunold, Roman; Paschke, Albrecht; Foit, Kaarina; Becker, Jeremias; Kaske, Oliver; Paulsson, Elin; Peterson, Märit; Jernstedt, Henrik; Kreuger, Jenny; Schüürmann, Gerrit; Liess, Matthias

    2017-12-01

    We quantified pesticide contamination and its ecological impact up- and downstream of seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in rural and suburban areas of central Germany. During two sampling campaigns, time-weighted average pesticide concentrations (c TWA ) were obtained using Chemcatcher® passive samplers; pesticide peak concentrations were quantified with event-driven samplers. At downstream sites, receiving waters were additionally grab sampled for five selected pharmaceuticals. Ecological effects on macroinvertebrate structure and ecosystem function were assessed using the biological indicator system SPEAR pesticides (SPEcies At Risk) and leaf litter breakdown rates, respectively. WWTP effluents substantially increased insecticide and fungicide concentrations in receiving waters; in many cases, treated wastewater was the exclusive source for the neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid and imidacloprid in the investigated streams. During the ten weeks of the investigation, five out of the seven WWTPs increased in-stream pesticide toxicity by a factor of three. As a consequence, at downstream sites, SPEAR values and leaf litter degradation rates were reduced by 40% and 53%, respectively. The reduced leaf litter breakdown was related to changes in the macroinvertebrate communities described by SPEAR pesticides and not to altered microbial activity. Neonicotinoids showed the highest ecological relevance for the composition of invertebrate communities, occasionally exceeding the Regulatory Acceptable Concentrations (RACs). In general, considerable ecological effects of insecticides were observed above and below regulatory thresholds. Fungicides, herbicides and pharmaceuticals contributed only marginally to acute toxicity. We conclude that pesticide retention of WWTPs needs to be improved. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Plant community structure in an oligohaline tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, J.S.; Grace, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    An oligohaline tidal marsh on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA was characterized with respect to the distributions and abundances of plant species over spatial and temporal gradients using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). In addition, the species distributions were correlated to several physical environmental factors using Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA). The distributions of species were best correlated with distance from Lake Pontchartrain, and to a lesser extent with elevation and substrate organic matter. They were least correlated with mean soil salinity (referred to here as background salinity). Of the three mid-seasonal dominant species, the perennial grass, Spartina patens, is the most salt tolerant and was found closest to the lake. Further inland the dominant perennial was Sagittaria lancifolia, which has a salt tolerance less than that of Spartina patens. The perennial sedge, Cladium jamaicense, which is the least salt tolerant of the three, was dominant furthest inland. Background salinity levels were generally low (interactions likely also play a role in structuring the plant community. The distributions of several annuals depended on the size and life history of the mid-seasonal dominant perennials. Most of the annuals frequently co-occurred with Sagittaria lancifolia, which was the shortest in stature and had the least persistent canopy of the three mid-seasonal dominant perennials.

  11. Stability of Soil Organic Matter in Alpine Ecosystems: No Relationship with Vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matteodo, M.; Sebag, D.; Vittoz, P.; Verrecchia, E. P.

    2016-12-01

    There is an emerging understanding of mechanisms governing soil organic matter (SOM) stability, which is challenging the historical view of carbon persistence1. According to this alternative vision, SOM stability is not directly regulated by the molecular structure of plant inputs (i.e. the historical view), but the biotic and abiotic conditions of the surrounding environment which play a major role and mediate the influence of compound chemistry. The persistence of SOM is thus influenced by ecological conditions, controlling the access and activity of decomposers' enzymes and being ecosystem-dependent. In this study, we investigated differences of (1) carbon content, and (2) stability of organic matter in litter and organomineral layers from the most widespread plant communities at the subalpine-alpine level of the Swiss Alps. For this purpose, 230 samples from 47 soil profiles have been analysed across seven plant communities, along a subalpine-alpine elevation gradient. Both calcareous and siliceous grasslands were studied, as well as snowbed and ridge communities. Aboveground litter and A horizons were sampled and analysed using Rock-Eval Pyrolysis, a proxy-technique commonly used for the investigation of organic matter composition and stability2,3. Results show that the litter layers of the seven plant communities are significantly different in terms of total organic carbon (TOC) content, but slightly variable in terms of stability. The situation is radically different in the organomineral horizons where the amount of organic carbon is interestingly homogeneous, as well as the SOM stability. In mineral horizons, the amount and stability of SOM are mainly driven by the geological settings, and therefore vary in the different plant communities. These results show a clear disconnection between organic, organomineral, and mineral horizons in terms of factors governing soil organic matter stability. Consistent with the recent view of the carbon balance, plant input

  12. Mineralogical composition changes of postagrogenic soils under different plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churilin, Nikita; Chizhikova, Natalia; Varlamov, Evgheni; Churilina, Alexandra

    2017-04-01

    Plant communities play the leading role in transformation of soil. The need of studying former arable lands increases due to large number of abandoned lands in Russia. It is necessary to study mineralogical composition of soils involved into natural processes to understand the trends of their development after agricultural activities in the past. The aim of the study is to identify changes in mineralogical composition of soils under the influence of different plant communities. Soils were sampled in the south of Arkhangelsk region, Ustyansky district, near Akichkin Pochinok village. Soils are formed on clay moraine of Moscow glaciation. Soil profiles were dug on interfluve. We selected 4 plant communities on different stages of succession: upland meadow with domination of sod grasses (Phleum pratense, Agrostis tenuis), 16-year-old birch forest where dominants are herbaceous plants such as Poa sp., Chamerion angustiflium, Agrostis tenuis, 16-year-old spruce forest with no herbaceous vegetation and 70-year-old bilberry spruce forest with domination of Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea. To separate soil fractions mineral content. We noticed a clear differentiation of studied soils both in the content of fraction and composition of minerals. Mineralogical composition and major mineral phases correlation of profiles under 70 years and 16 years of spruce forests are different. Mineralogical content in upper part of profile under the young spruce is more differentiated than in old spruce forest: the amount of quartz and kaolinite increases in upper horizon, although in this case the overall pattern of profile formation of clay material during podzolization remains unchanged. There is more substantial desilting under the birch forest, compared with profile under the spruce of same age within top 50 cm. Under the meadow vegetation we've discovered differentiation in mineral composition. Upper horizons contain smectite phase and differ from the underlying

  13. Plant traits determine the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-García, Álvaro; Varela-Cervero, Sara; Vasar, Martti; Öpik, Maarja; Barea, José M; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción

    2017-12-01

    Functional diversity in ecosystems has traditionally been studied using aboveground plant traits. Despite the known effect of plant traits on the microbial community composition, their effects on the microbial functional diversity are only starting to be assessed. In this study, the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities associated with plant species differing in life cycle and growth form, that is, plant life forms, was determined to unravel the effect of plant traits on the functional diversity of this fungal group. The results of the 454 pyrosequencing showed that the AM fungal community composition differed across plant life forms and this effect was dependent on the soil collection date. Plants with ruderal characteristics tended to associate with phylogenetically clustered AM fungal communities. By contrast, plants with resource-conservative traits associated with phylogenetically overdispersed AM fungal communities. Additionally, the soil collected in different seasons yielded AM fungal communities with different phylogenetic dispersion. In summary, we found that the phylogenetic structure, and hence the functional diversity, of AM fungal communities is dependent on plant traits. This finding adds value to the use of plant traits for the evaluation of belowground ecosystem diversity, functions and processes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Soil microbial abundance, activity and diversity response in two different altitude-adapted plant communities affected by wildfire in Sierra Nevada National Park (Granada, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bárcenas-Moreno, Gema; Zavala, Lorena; Jordan, Antonio; Bååth, Erland; Mataix-Beneyto, Jorge

    2013-04-01

    Plant communities can play an important role in fire severity and post-fire ecosystem recovery due to their role as combustible and different plant-soil microorganisms interactions. Possible differences induced by plant and microorganisms response after fire could affect the general ecosystem short and long-term response and its sustainability. The main objective of this work was the evaluation of the effect of wildfire on soil microbial abundance, activity and diversity in two different plant communities associated to different altitudes in Sierra Nevada National Park (Granada, Spain). Samples were collected in two areas located on the Sierra Nevada Mountain between 1700 and 2000 m above sea level which were affected by a large wildfire in 2005. Two samplings were carried out 8 and 20 months after fire and samples were collected in both burned and unburned (control) zones in each plant community area. Area A is located at 1700m and it is formed by Quercus rotundifolia forest while area B is located at 2000 m altitude and is composed of alpine vegetation formed by creeping bearing shrubs. Microbial biomass measured by Fumigation-Extraction method followed the same trend in both areas showing slight and no significant differences between burned and unburned area during the study period while viable and cultivable bacteria abundance were markedly higher in fire affected samples than in the control ones in both samplings. Viable and cultivable filamentous fungi had different behavior depending of plant vegetation community studied showing no differences between burned and unburned area in area A while was significantly higher in burned samples than in the control ones in area B. Microbial activity monitoring with soil microbial respiration appears to had been affected immediately after fire since microbial respiration was lower in burned samples from area A than in unburned one only 8 months after fire and no significant differences were observed between burned and

  15. Restructuring of endophytic bacterial communities in grapevine yellows-diseased and recovered Vitis vinifera L. plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Daniela; Casati, Paola; Crepaldi, Paola; Daffonchio, Daniele; Quaglino, Fabio; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Bianco, Piero Attilio

    2011-07-01

    Length heterogeneity-PCR assays, combined with statistical analyses, highlighted that the endophytic bacterial community associated with healthy grapevines was characterized by a greater diversity than that present in diseased and recovered plants. The findings suggest that phytoplasmas can restructure the bacterial community by selecting endophytic strains that could elicit a plant defense response.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Effects of plant diversity on primary production and species interactions in brackish water angiosperm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

    Research on plant biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has mainly focused on terrestrial ecosystems, and our understanding of how plant species diversity and interactions affect processes in marine ecosystems is still limited. To investigate if plant species richness and composition influence...... plant productivity in brackish water angiosperm communities, a 14 wk field experiment was conducted. Using a replacement design with a standardized initial aboveground biomass, shoots of Zostera marina, Potamogeton filiformis and P. perfoliatus were planted on a shallow, sandy bottom in replicated...

  19. Effects of species' similarity and dominance on the functional and phylogenetic structure of a plant meta-community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalmandrier, L; Münkemüller, T; Lavergne, S; Thuiller, W

    2015-01-01

    Different assembly processes drive the spatial structure of meta-communities (beta-diversity). Recently, functional and phylogenetic diversities have been suggested as indicators of these assembly processes. Assuming that diversity is a good proxy for niche overlap, high beta-diversity along environmental gradients should be the result of environmental filtering while low beta-diversity should stem from competitive interactions. So far, studies trying to disentangle the relative importance of these assembly processes have provided mixed results. One reason for this may be that these studies often rely on a single measure of diversity and thus implicitly make a choice on how they account for species relative abundances and how species similarities are captured by functional traits or phylogeny. Here, we tested the effect of gradually scaling the importance of dominance (the weight given to dominant vs. rare species) and species similarity (the weight given to small vs. large similarities) on resulting beta-diversity patterns of an alpine plant meta-community. To this end, we combined recent extensions of the Hill numbers framework with Pagel's phylogenetic tree transformation approach. We included functional (based on the leaf-height-seed spectrum) and phylogenetic facets of beta-diversity in our analysis and explicitly accounted for effects of environmental and spatial covariates. We found that functional beta-diversity, was high when the same weight was given to dominant vs. rare species and to large vs. small species' similarities. In contrast, phylogenetic beta-diversity was low when greater weight was given to dominant species and small species' similarities. Those results suggested that different environments along the gradients filtered different species according to their functional traits, while, the same competitive lineages dominated communities across the gradients. Our results highlight that functional vs. phylogenetic facets, presence-absence vs

  20. Effects of floral morphology on flower temperature increment in alpine plants%高山植物花形态特征对花温度积累的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张国鹏; 杨明柳; 程贤训; 孟丽华

    2017-01-01

    Low temperature of alpine environment would limits the development of reproductive organs and pollination process, and thus flower structures that increase the temperatures within flowers and inflorescence will protect anthers and ovules from the low temperature and then increase the reproductive success.In this study, we investigated the flower and leaf temperature of 64 alpine plants with an infrared camera equipped with a macro-lens, and then calculated the flower temperature increment (FTI) by subtracting the leaf temperature from the temperature of the reproductive organs.Based on these data, we examined the effects of phylogeny, flowers size, symmetry and color on the FTI.Our result showed that the phylogenetic signal of FTI among different species was weak, indicating that FTI among different species might result from the various demands to temperature, independent of phylogenetic relationship.Furthermore, FTI increased with the increase of flower size, and FTI increased more quickly in zygomorphic flower than in actinomorphic flowers, but the effects of symmetry and color on the averaged FTI were minor across all species.Our results suggest that the differences in FTI are great among different species, but the contribution of FTI on plant reproductive success need to be clarified in future researches.%高山生态系统的低温环境不利于植物繁殖器官的发育和传粉过程,因此能改善花内或花序温度的结构对植物繁殖具有积极意义.该研究利用红外测温仪测量了高寒草甸中64种植物的花温度和叶温度以计算花温度积累,并检测了系统发育、花大小、花对称方式和花大小对花温度积累的影响.结果表明:所测量的64种植物种类,花部温度均高于叶部温度.花温度积累的系统发育信号较弱,表明物种间花温度积累的差异可能主要与不同物种对温度的需求有关.花温度积累与花大小存在显著的正相关关系,且两侧对称花的温

  1. 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.

  2. Changing expectations: a longitudinal study of community attitudes toward a nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughey, J.B.; Lounsbury, J.W.; Sundstrom, E.; Mattingly, T.J. Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Initial and 5-year follow-up interviews were conducted with 213 residents of the host community for a nuclear power plant. The purpose was to determine possible changes in attitudes toward the plant and expectations about potential outcomes associated with construction. Large negative changes in attitudes toward the plant were noted and were accompanied most notably by decreased expectations of positive outcomes. The structure of the expectations remained essentially stable over the 5-year period. Perceptions of hazards, community disruption, and economic benefits as measured early in construction and during peak construction were found to be the best predictors of acceptance of the nuclear plant. Initial expectations were found to predict overall attitude toward the plant 5 years later. Results were discussed in terms of implications for social impact assessment, large-scale community change, and the predictability of community attitudes toward nuclear power plant construction

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostenko, O.; Grootemaat, Saskia S.; Van der Putten, 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

  4. The role of biotic interactions in plant community assembly: What is the community species pool?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Švamberková, Eva; Vítová, Alena; Lepš, Jan

    2017-11-01

    Differences in plant species composition between a community and its species pool are considered to reflect the effect of community filters. If we define the species pool as a set of species able to reach a site and form a viable population in a given abiotic environment (i.e. to pass the dispersal and abiotic filter), the difference in species composition should correspond to the effect of biotic interactions. However, most of the operational definitions of the species pool are based on co-occurrence patterns and thus also reflect the effect of biotic relationships, including definitions based on functional plant traits, Ellenberg indicator values or Beals index. We conducted two seed introduction experiments in an oligotrophic wet meadow with the aim of demonstrating that many species excluded, according to the above definitions, from a species pool are in fact able to establish there successfully if competition is removed. In sowing experiments, we studied the establishment and survival of species after the removal of competition (i.e. in artificial gaps) and in intact vegetation. We also investigated inter-annual variability of seed germination and seedling establishment and competitive exclusion of sown species. The investigated species also included those from very different habitats (i.e. species with very low corresponding Beals index or Ellenberg indicator values that were different from the target community weighted mean). Many of these species were able to grow in the focal wet meadow if competition was removed, but they did not establish and survive in the intact community. These species are thus not limited by abiotic conditions, but by the biotic filter. We also recorded a great inter-annual variability in seed germination and seedling establishment. Competitive exclusion of species with different ecological requirements could be quite fast (one and half seasons) in some species, but some non-resident species were able to survive several seasons; the

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) w...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Timmers, Ruud A.; Rothballer, Michael; Strik, David P. B. T. B.; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael; Hartmann, Anton; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees

    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 the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode–rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) w...

  9. Broad-Scale Comparison of Photosynthesis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Plant Communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Krause-Jensen, D.

    1997-01-01

    Comparisons of photosynthesis in terrestrial and aquatic habitats have been impaired by differences in methods and time-scales of measurements. We compiled information on gross photosynthesis at high irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency at low irradiance from 109 published terrestrial studies...... communities probably due to more efficient light utilization and gas exchange in the terrestrial habitats. By contrast only small differences were found within different aquatic plant communities or within different terrestrial plant communities....... of forests, grasslands and crops and 319 aquatic studies of phytoplankton, macrophyte and attached microalgal communities to test if specific differences existed between the communities. Maximum gross photosynthesis and photosynthetic efficiency were systematically higher in terrestrial than in aquatic...

  10. Changes in uranium plant community leaders' attitudes toward nuclear power: before and after TMI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winfield-Laird, I.; Hastings, M.; Cawley, M.E.

    1982-01-01

    The results of an investigation of the reactions of community leaders in nuclear power plant host communities toward nuclear power following the accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) are reported. Public and private sector officials were surveyed in ten general areas covering their attitudes toward and the continued use of nuclear power as compared to other fuel types, and the reassessment of the local plant impact on different community groups and aspects of community life. Information is compared with findings from a similar study conducted with the same community leaders prior to the TMI accident. The results indicate that community leaders' attitudes remained highly favorable toward the continued use of nuclear power. Three-fourths of the sample indicated that they would probably or definitely allow the continued use of nuclear power as compared to other fuel types, and the reassessment of the local majority still view the plant presence as having a positive impact on their communities. (author)

  11. 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

  12. Genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores define arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Posy E; Lamit, Louis J; Keith, Arthur R; Newcombe, George; Gehring, Catherine A; Whitham, Thomas G; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-07-01

    Plant resistance to pathogens or insect herbivores is common, but its potential for indirectly influencing plant-associated communities is poorly known. Here, we test whether pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and herbivory depend on plant resistance to pathogens and/or herbivores, and address the overarching interacting foundation species hypothesis that genetics-based interactions among a few highly interactive species can structure a much larger community. In a manipulative field experiment using replicated genotypes of two Populus species and their interspecific hybrids, we found that genetic variation in plant resistance to both pathogens and insect herbivores modulated the strength of pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and insect herbivory. First, due in part to the pathogens' differential impacts on leaf biomass among the two Populus species and the hybrids, the pathogen most strongly impacted arthropod community composition, richness, and abundance on the pathogen-susceptible tree species. Second, we found similar patterns comparing pathogen-susceptible and pathogen-resistant genotypes within species. Third, within a plant species, pathogens caused a fivefold greater reduction in herbivory on insect-herbivore-susceptible plant genotypes than on herbivore-resistant genotypes, demonstrating that the pathogen-herbivore interaction is genotype dependent. We conclude that interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores can structure multitrophic communities, supporting the interacting foundation species hypothesis. Because these interactions are genetically based, evolutionary changes in genetic resistance could result in ecological changes in associated communities, which may in turn feed back to affect plant fitness.

  13. Temporal dynamics of soil nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Sohlenius, B.; Bostrom, S.; Palmborg, C.; Bengtsson, J.; Berg, M.P.; Kuss-Danell, K.

    2011-01-01

    We report here on an 8-year study examining links between plant and nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment, located in the north of Sweden on previous agricultural soil. The examined plots contained 1, 4 and 12 common grassland plant species from three functional groups;

  14. Long-term effects of plant diversity and composition on soil nematode communities in grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Bengtsson, J.; Sohlenius, B.; Berg, M.P.; Petchey, O.; Palmborg, C.; Huss-Daniel, K.

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity and diversity 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

  15. Comparing arbuscular mycorrhizal communities of individual plants in a grassland biodiversity experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gamper, H.A.; Hol, W.H.G.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Plants differ greatly in the soil organisms colonizing their roots. However, how soil organism assemblages of individual plant roots can be influenced by plant community properties remains poorly understood. We determined the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Jacobaea vulgaris

  16. Fire and invasive exotic plant species in eastern oak communities: an assessment of current knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner

    2006-01-01

    Successful regeneration of oak-dominated communities in the Eastern United States historically requires disturbance such as fire, making them vulnerable to invasion by exotic plants. Little is currently known about the effects of fire on invasive plant species and the effects of invasive plant species on fire regimes of this region. Seventeen common eastern invaders...

  17. Interspecific Plant Interactions Reflected in Soil Bacterial Community Structure and Nitrogen Cycling in Primary Succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knelman, Joseph E; Graham, Emily B; Prevéy, Janet S; Robeson, Michael S; Kelly, Patrick; Hood, Eran; Schmidt, Steve K

    2018-01-01

    Past research demonstrating the importance plant-microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem succession has focused on how plants condition soil microbial communities, impacting subsequent plant performance and plant community assembly. These studies, however, largely treat microbial communities as a black box. In this study, we sought to examine how emblematic shifts from early successional Alnus viridus ssp. sinuata (Sitka alder) to late successional Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) in primary succession may be reflected in specific belowground changes in bacterial community structure and nitrogen cycling related to the interaction of these two plants. We examined early successional alder-conditioned soils in a glacial forefield to delineate how alders alter the soil microbial community with increasing dominance. Further, we assessed the impact of late-successional spruce plants on these early successional alder-conditioned microbiomes and related nitrogen cycling through a leachate addition microcosm experiment. We show how increasingly abundant alder select for particular bacterial taxa. Additionally, we found that spruce leachate significantly alters the composition of these microbial communities in large part by driving declines in taxa that are enriched by alder, including bacterial symbionts. We found these effects to be spruce specific, beyond a general leachate effect. Our work also demonstrates a unique influence of spruce on ammonium availability. Such insights bolster theory relating the importance of plant-microbe interactions with late-successional plants and interspecific plant interactions more generally.

  18. Staying cool: preadaptation to temperate climates required for colonising tropical alpine-like environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berit Gehrke

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant species tend to retain their ancestral ecology, responding to temporal, geographic and climatic changes by tracking suitable habitats rather than adapting to novel conditions. Nevertheless, transitions into different environments or biomes still seem to be common. Especially intriguing are the tropical alpine-like areas found on only the highest mountainous regions surrounded by tropical environments. Tropical mountains are hotspots of biodiversity, often with striking degrees of endemism at higher elevations. On these mountains, steep environmental gradients and high habitat heterogeneity within small spaces coincide with astounding species diversity of great conservation value. The analysis presented here shows that the importance of in situ speciation in tropical alpine-like areas has been underestimated. Additionally and contrary to widely held opinion, the impact of dispersal from other regions with alpine-like environments is relatively minor compared to that of immigration from other biomes with a temperate (but not alpine-like climate. This suggests that establishment in tropical alpine-like regions is favoured by preadaptation to a temperate, especially aseasonal, freezing regime such as the cool temperate climate regions in the Tropics. Furthermore, emigration out of an alpine-like environment is generally rare, suggesting that alpine-like environments – at least tropical ones – are species sinks.

  19. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Janoušková

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:28738069

  1. Litter Accumulation and Nutrient Content of Roadside Plant Communities in Sichuan Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Huiqin; Monaco, Thomas

    2017-08-30

    It is widely recognized that feedbacks exist between plant litter and plant community species composition, but this relationship is difficult to interpret over heterogeneous conditions typical of modified environments such as roadways. Given the need to expedite natural recovery of disturbed areas through restoration interventions, we characterized litter accumulation and nutrient content (i.e., organic carbon, total N, and P) and quantified their association with key plant species. Plant species cover and litter characteristics were sampled at 18 successional forest plant communities along major roadways in Sichuan Basin, western China. Variation in litter across communities was assessed with principal component analysis (PCA) and species with the highest correlation to PCA axes were determined with Pearson's r coefficients. Plant communities with the longest time since road construction (i.e., 70 years) were distinctly different in litter total N and organic carbon compared to plant communities with a shorter disturbance history. We encountered 59 plant species across sampling plots, but only four rare species (i.e., frequency plant litter across heavily disturbed landscapes and how litter characteristics and rare plant species are correlated.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Litter Accumulation and Nutrient Content of Roadside Plant Communities in Sichuan Basin, China

    OpenAIRE

    He, Huiqin; Monaco, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    It is widely recognized that feedbacks exist between plant litter and plant community species composition, but this relationship is difficult to interpret over heterogeneous conditions typical of modified environments such as roadways. Given the need to expedite natural recovery of disturbed areas through restoration interventions, we characterized litter accumulation and nutrient content (i.e., organic carbon, total N, and P) and quantified their association with key plant species. Plant spe...

  5. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities

    OpenAIRE

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-01-01

    Background Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in ...

  6. Bottom-up and top-down effects on plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Lara; Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Sanders, Nate

    2016-01-01

    -down) and soil nitrogen (bottom-up) were manipulated over six years in an existing old-field community. We tracked plant α and β diversity - within plot richness and among plot biodiversity- and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) over the course of the experiment. We found that bottom-up factors...... affected ANPP while top-down factors influenced plant community structure. Across years, while N reduction lowered ANPP by 10%, N reduction did not alter ANPP relative to control plots. Further, N reduction lowered ANPP by 20% relative to N addition plots. On the other hand, the reduction of insect...... community composition via shifts in plant dominance....

  7. Riparian vegetation in the alpine connectome: Terrestrial-aquatic and terrestrial-terrestrial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaharescu, Dragos G; Palanca-Soler, Antonio; Hooda, Peter S; Tanase, Catalin; Burghelea, Carmen I; Lester, Richard N

    2017-12-01

    Alpine regions are under increased attention worldwide for their critical role in early biogeochemical cycles, their high sensitivity to environmental change, and as repositories of natural resources of high quality. Their riparian ecosystems, at the interface between aquatic and terrestrial environments, play important geochemical functions in the watershed and are biodiversity hotspots, despite a harsh climate and topographic setting. With climate change rapidly affecting the alpine biome, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the extent of interactions between riparian surface, lake and catchment environments. A total of 189 glacial - origin lakes were surveyed in the Central Pyrenees to test how key elements of the lake and terrestrial environments interact at different scales to shape riparian plant composition. Secondly, we evaluated how underlying ecotope features drive the formation of natural communities potentially sensitive to environmental change and assessed their habitat distribution. At the macroscale, vegetation composition responded to pan-climatic gradients altitude and latitude, which captured in a narrow geographic area the transition between large European climatic zones. Hydrodynamics was the main catchment-scale factor connecting riparian vegetation with major water fluxes, followed by topography and geomorphology. Lake sediment Mg and Pb, and water Mn and Fe contents reflected local influences from mafic bedrock and soil water saturation. Community analysis identified four keystone ecosystems: (i) damp ecotone, (ii) snow bed-silicate bedrock, (iii) wet heath, and (iv) calcareous substrate. These communities and their connections with ecotope elements could be at risk from a number of environmental change factors including warmer seasons, snow line and lowland species advancement, increased nutrient/metal input and water level fluctuations. The results imply important natural terrestrial-aquatic linkages in the riparian environment

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Interspecific Plant Interactions Reflected in Soil Bacterial Community Structure and Nitrogen Cycling in Primary Succession

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E. Knelman

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Past research demonstrating the importance plant–microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem succession has focused on how plants condition soil microbial communities, impacting subsequent plant performance and plant community assembly. These studies, however, largely treat microbial communities as a black box. In this study, we sought to examine how emblematic shifts from early successional Alnus viridus ssp. sinuata (Sitka alder to late successional Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce in primary succession may be reflected in specific belowground changes in bacterial community structure and nitrogen cycling related to the interaction of these two plants. We examined early successional alder-conditioned soils in a glacial forefield to delineate how alders alter the soil microbial community with increasing dominance. Further, we assessed the impact of late-successional spruce plants on these early successional alder-conditioned microbiomes and related nitrogen cycling through a leachate addition microcosm experiment. We show how increasingly abundant alder select for particular bacterial taxa. Additionally, we found that spruce leachate significantly alters the composition of these microbial communities in large part by driving declines in taxa that are enriched by alder, including bacterial symbionts. We found these effects to be spruce specific, beyond a general leachate effect. Our work also demonstrates a unique influence of spruce on ammonium availability. Such insights bolster theory relating the importance of plant–microbe interactions with late-successional plants and interspecific plant interactions more generally.

  14. 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...

  15. Nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community: diversity and effects on community-wide floral nectar traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28717591

  16. 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.

  17. Floristic diversity and distribution pattern of plant communities along altitudinal gradient in Sangla Valley, Northwest Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Pankaj; Rana, J C; Devi, Usha; Randhawa, S S; Kumar, Rajesh

    2014-01-01

    Himalayas are globally important biodiversity hotspots and are facing rapid loss in floristic diversity and changing pattern of vegetation due to various biotic and abiotic factors. This has necessitated the qualitative and quantitative assessment of vegetation here. The present study was conducted in Sangla Valley of northwest Himalaya aiming to assess the structure of vegetation and its trend in the valley along the altitudinal gradient. In the forest and alpine zones of the valley, 15 communities were recorded. Study revealed 320 species belonging to 199 genera and 75 families. Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Apiaceae, and Ranunculaceae were dominant. Among genera, Artemisia followed by Polygonum, Saussurea, Berberis, and Thalictrum were dominant. Tree and shrub's density ranged from 205 to 600 and from 105 to 1030 individual per hectare, respectively, whereas herbs ranged from 22.08 to 78.95 individual/m(2). Nearly 182 species were native to the Himalaya. Maximum altitudinal distribution of few selected climate sensitive species was found to be highest in northeast and north aspects. This study gives an insight into the floristic diversity and community structure of the fragile Sangla Valley which was hitherto not available.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26966659

  3. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Inventory of the Alpine Flora of Haramosh and Bagrote Valleys (Karakoram Range) District Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, S. W.; Abbas, Q.; Khatoon, S.; Raza, G.; Hussain, A.

    2016-01-01

    Inventorying of plant biodiversity of Haramosh and Bugrote valleys (District Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan) was done for fourteen years from 2001- 2014. The fourteen years inventorying revealed a rich plant biodiversity consisting of 232 species belonging to 106 genera and 34 families of flowering plants. The Alpine zone had 18 genera with 4 or more species; Pedicularis with 10 species was the largest genus of this zone, followed by Potentilla and Carex (each with 9 species) and Draba (8 species). Genera containing 9 or 10 species occurred only in Alpine zone. In the Alpine zone, 15 of the larger families were represented by 189 species, forming 81.46 percent of the Alpine flora. Although the highest number of species belonging to these larger families was present in the subalpine zone, but in terms of percentage their contribution was the highest in the Alpine flora. Percentage-wise the contribution of these families gradually increased from Desert zone to Alpine zone, because of their particular distribution patterns. Although the total number of species was the highest in the Subalpine zone, but in the species specific to any one zone, the Alpine zone had the highest number, that is, 96 of the total 232 species of Alpine zone were exclusively found in this zone only. Out of these 96 species specific to the Alpine zone, 53 belonged to such 22 genera that were exclusively found in the Alpine zone only. The Alpine zone was characterized by herbs and low shrubs, with Potentilla species as the dominants. A clear trend of migration of certain species both from lower to higher latitudes and altitudes was observed. The species richness index of Alpine zone however showed increasing trend probably due to species migrations towards the alpine zone. The major threats to the plant biodiversity were recognized as the deforestation and habitat loss due to over-exploitation of species, over-grazing by livestock, and climate changes due to global warming, which were

  6. The Community's research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    The programme, adopted by the Council of the European Communities, seeks to promote a number of research and development projects as well as the identification of guiding principles. The projects concern the following subjects: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontaminations for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific waste materials (steel, concrete and graphite); large transport containers for radioactive waste arising from decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; and influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  7. 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.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25225376

  8. Hydrologic linkages drive spatial structuring of bacterial assemblages and functioning in alpine floodplains

    OpenAIRE

    Freimann, Remo; Bürgmann, Helmut; Findlay, Stuart E.G.; Robinson, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial community assembly and microbial functions are affected by a number of different but coupled drivers such as local habitat characteristics, dispersal rates, and species interactions. In groundwater systems, hydrological flow can introduce spatial structure and directional dependencies among these drivers. We examined the importance of hydrology in structuring bacterial communities and their function within two alpine floodplains during different hydrological states. Piezometers were...

  9. Effects of migratory geese on plant communities of an Alaskan salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacheis, Amy B.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ruess, Roger W.

    2001-01-01

    1. We studied the effects of lesser snow geese (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) on two salt marsh plant communities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, a stopover area used during spring migration. From 1995 to 1997 we compared plant species composition and biomass on plots where geese were excluded from feeding with paired plots where foraging could occur. 2. Foraging intensity was low (650-1930 goose-days km-2) compared to other goose-grazing systems. 3. Canada geese fed mainly on above-ground shoots of Triglochin maritimum, Puccinellia spp. and Carex ramenskii, whereas the majority of the snow goose diet consisted of below-ground tissues of Plantago maritima and Triglochin maritimum. 4. Plant communities responded differently to goose herbivory. In the sedge meadow community, where feeding was primarily on above-ground shoots, there was no effect of grazing on the dominant species Carex ramenskii and Triglochin maritimum. In the herb meadow community, where snow geese fed on Plantago maritima roots and other below-ground tissues, there was a difference in the relative abundance of plant species between treatments. Biomass of Plantago maritima and Potentilla egedii was lower on grazed plots compared with exclosed, whereas biomass of Carex ramenskii was greater on grazed plots. There was no effect of herbivory on total standing crop biomass in either community. The variable effect of herbivory on Carex ramenskii between communities suggests that plant neighbours and competitive interactions are important factors in a species' response to herbivory. In addition, the type of herbivory (above- or below-ground) was important in determining plant community response to herbivory. 5. Litter accumulation was reduced in grazed areas compared with exclosed in both communities. Trampling of the previous year's litter into the soil surface by geese incorporated more litter into soils in grazed areas. 6. This study illustrates that even light herbivore

  10. 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.

  11. Rapid plant evolution in the presence of an introduced species alters community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David Solance; Lau, Matthew K; Jacobs, Ryan; Monroy, Jenna A; Shuster, Stephen M; Whitham, Thomas G

    2015-10-01

    Because introduced species may strongly interact with native species and thus affect their fitness, it is important to examine how these interactions can cascade to have ecological and evolutionary consequences for whole communities. Here, we examine the interactions among introduced Rocky Mountain elk, Cervus canadensis nelsoni, a common native plant, Solidago velutina, and the diverse plant-associated community of arthropods. While introduced species are recognized as one of the biggest threats to native ecosystems, relatively few studies have investigated an evolutionary mechanism by which introduced species alter native communities. Here, we use a common garden design that addresses and supports two hypotheses. First, native S. velutina has rapidly evolved in the presence of introduced elk. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk flowered nearly 3 weeks before plants originating from sites without elk. Second, evolution of S. velutina results in a change to the plant-associated arthropod community. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk supported an arthropod community that had ~35 % fewer total individuals and a different species composition. Our results show that the impacts of introduced species can have both ecological and evolutionary consequences for strongly interacting species that subsequently cascade to affect a much larger community. Such evolutionary consequences are likely to be long-term and difficult to remediate.

  12. 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]. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Comparison of bacterial and fungal communities between natural and planted pine forests in subtropical China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Ming; Meng, Han; Li, Ke; Wan, Jia-Rong; Quan, Zhe-Xue; Fang, Chang-Ming; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Li, Bo

    2012-01-01

    To improve our understanding of the changes in bacterial and fungal diversity in natural pine and planted forests in subtropical region of China, we examined bacterial and fungal communities from a native and a nearby planted pine forest of the Mt. Lushan by constructing clone libraries of 16S and 18S rRNA genes. For bacterial communities, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were dominant bacterial taxa in both two types of forest soils. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index, rarefaction curve analysis, and LibShuff analysis suggest that these two forests contained similar diversity of bacterial communities. Low soil acidity (pH ≈ 4) of our study forests might be one of the most important selection factors determining growth of acidophilic Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria. However, the natural forest harbored greater level of fungal diversity than the planted forest according to the Shannon-Wiener diversity index and rarefaction curve analysis. Basidiomycota and Ascomycota were dominant fungal taxa in the soils of natural and planted forests, respectively. Our results suggest that fungal community was more sensitive than the bacterial community in characterizing the differences in plant cover impacts on the microbial flora in the natural and planted forests. The natural and planted forests may function differently due to the differences in soil fungal diversity and relative abundance.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia rosea Dieback and partial community disassembly following experimental storm surge in a coastal pitcher plant bog.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Abbott

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krüger, C.; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, M.; Püschel, D.; Frouz, J.; Rydlová, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 20 (2017), s. 1-16, č. článku 719. ISSN 1664-302X Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : biodiversity * community ecology * fungal and plant succession Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  20. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 18, April (2016), EGU2016-8464 ISSN 1607-7962. [European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016. 17.04.2016-22.04.2016, Vienna] Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : earthworms * succession * plant communities * Collembola communities * post-mining sites Subject RIV: DF - Soil Science

  1. Global environmental change effects on plant community composition trajectories depend upon management legacies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perring, Michael P.; Bernhardt-Römermann, Markus; Baeten, Lander; Midolo, Gabriele; Blondeel, Haben; Depauw, Leen; Landuyt, Dries; Maes, Sybryn L.; Lombaerde, De Emiel; Carón, Maria Mercedes; Vellend, Mark; Brunet, Jörg; Chudomelová, Markéta; Decocq, Guillaume; Diekmann, Martin; Dirnböck, Thomas; Dörfler, Inken; Durak, Tomasz; Frenne, De Pieter; Gilliam, Frank S.; Hédl, Radim; Heinken, Thilo; Hommel, Patrick; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Kirby, Keith J.; Kopecký, Martin; Lenoir, Jonathan; Li, Daijiang; Máliš, František; Mitchell, Fraser J.G.; Naaf, Tobias; Newman, Miles; Petřík, Petr; Reczyńska, Kamila; Schmidt, Wolfgang; Standovár, Tibor; Świerkosz, Krzysztof; Calster, Van Hans; Vild, Ondřej; Wagner, Eva Rosa; Wulf, Monika; Verheyen, Kris

    2018-01-01

    The contemporary state of functional traits and species richness in plant communities depends on legacy effects of past disturbances. Whether temporal responses of community properties to current environmental changes are altered by such legacies is, however, unknown. We expect global environmental

  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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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 maxim...

  8. Microbial Communities in Danish Wastewater Treatment Plants with Nutrient Removal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz

    Activated sludge treatment plants are the most used wastewater treatment systems worldwide for biological nutrient removal from wastewater. Nevertheless, the treatment systems have been for many years operated as so called “black-box”, where specific process parameters were adjusted without...... 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...

  9. Abiotic and biotic controls of spatial pattern at alpine treeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Xiao, Ningchuan; Alftine, K.J.; Bekker, Mathew; Butler, David R.; Brown, Daniel G.; Cairns, David M.; Fagre, Daniel; Walsh, Stephen J.

    2000-01-01

    At alpine treeline, trees and krummholz forms affect the environment in ways that increase their growth and reproduction. We assess the way in which these positive feedbacks combine in spatial patterns to alter the environment in the neighborhood of existing plants. The research is significant because areas of alpine tundra are susceptible to encroachment by woody species as climate changes. Moreover, understanding the general processes of plant invasion is important. The importance of spatial pattern has been recognized, but the spatial pattern of positive feedbacks per se has not been explored in depth. We present a linked set of models of vegetation change at an alpine forest-tundra ecotone. Our aim is to create models that are as simple as possible in order to test specific hypotheses. We present results from a model of the resource averaging hypothesis and the positive feedback switch hypothesis of treelines. We compare the patterns generated by the models to patterns observed in fine scale remotely sensed data.

  10. Climate change and mountain Grouse: recent evidences from alpine habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brugnoli A

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Current climate change, referring as well to the observed rain and temperature patterns as to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions, has a deep influence on biotic communities and, in particular, on mountain Grouse. These species show great adaptation to coldness, are highly sedentary and have quite “strict” ecological requirements, when it deals with habitat selection. Moreover, their alpine ranges are dangerously marginal to the main distribution areas, which increases the risk of dramatic changes in occurrence, demography and ecology. However, not all the species will predictably be exposed in the same way to the menace of climate change over the next 50-100 years. This article gives a brief review of the main data acquired in the alpine environment in this matter. It also underlines the utmost need to proceed with research and monitoring activities, in order to effectively adapt and manage conservation strategies on mid-long terms.

  11. Impact of climatic change on alpine ecosystems: inference and prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel G. Yoccoz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems will be greatly impacted by climatic change, but other factors, such as land use and invasive species, are likely to play an important role too. Climate can influence ecosystems at several levels. We describe some of them, stressing methodological approaches and available data. Climate can modify species phenology, such as flowering date of plants and hatching date in insects. It can also change directly population demography (survival, reproduction, dispersal, and therefore species distribution. Finally it can effect interactions among species – snow cover for example can affect the success of some predators. One characteristic of alpine ecosystems is the presence of snow cover, but surprisingly the role played by snow is relatively poorly known, mainly for logistical reasons. Even if we have made important progress regarding the development of predictive models, particularly so for distribution of alpine plants, we still need to set up observational and experimental networks which properly take into account the variability of alpine ecosystems and of their interactions with climate.Les écosystèmes alpins vont être grandement influencés par les changements climatiques à venir, mais d’autres facteurs, tels que l’utilisation des terres ou les espèces invasives, pourront aussi jouer un rôle important. Le climat peut influencer les écosystèmes à différents niveaux, et nous en décrivons certains, en mettant l’accent sur les méthodes utilisées et les données disponibles. Le climat peut d’abord modifier la phénologie des espèces, comme la date de floraison des plantes ou la date d’éclosion des insectes. Il peut ensuite affecter directement la démographie des espèces (survie, reproduction, dispersion et donc à terme leur répartition. Il peut enfin agir sur les interactions entre espèces – le couvert neigeux par exemple modifie le succès de certains prédateurs. Une caractéristique des

  12. Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake, A Guide to Identification, Communities, & Bird Habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Downard, Rebekah; Frank, Maureen; Perkins, Jennifer; Kettenring, Karin; Larese-Casanova, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake: a guide to identification, communities, & bird habitat is a wetland plant identification guide, resulting from collaborative research efforts about Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetland conditions and bird habitat. Dr. Rebekah Downard collected dissertation field data from GSL wetlands during 2012–2015, the majority of which informed this work. Dr. Maureen Frank contributed her guide to GSL wetland vegetation and how to manage native plants as high-quality habitat f...

  13. THE CONCENTRATION OF PHOTOSINTHESIS PIGMENTS IN THE ANTHROPOGENIC PLANT COMMUNITIES IN TOBOLSK TOWN

    OpenAIRE

    Еlena Ivanovna Popova

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthesis means a lot in the life of a plant body. For the normal photosynthesis process it is necessary to have certain external and internal conditions. The topic of the research is the study of photosynthesis pigments in anthropogenic plant communities. The aim of our work was to study the pigment composition plants of anthropogenic phytocenoses. Methods: we have used the spectrophotometric method to define the concentration of pigments. Results: the research has shown that the concen...

  14. The Root-Associated Microbial Community of the World's Highest Growing Vascular Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angel, Roey; Conrad, Ralf; Dvorsky, Miroslav; Kopecky, Martin; Kotilínek, Milan; Hiiesalu, Inga; Schweingruber, Fritz; Doležal, Jiří

    2016-08-01

    Upward migration of plants to barren subnival areas is occurring worldwide due to raising ambient temperatures and glacial recession. In summer 2012, the presence of six vascular plants, growing in a single patch, was recorded at an unprecedented elevation of 6150 m.a.s.l. close to the summit of Mount Shukule II in the Western Himalayas (Ladakh, India). Whilst showing multiple signs of stress, all plants have managed to establish stable growth and persist for several years. To learn about the role of microbes in the process of plant upward migration, we analysed the root-associated microbial community of the plants (three individuals from each) using microscopy and tagged amplicon sequencing. No mycorrhizae were found on the roots, implying they are of little importance to the establishment and early growth of the plants. However, all roots were associated with a complex bacterial community, with richness and diversity estimates similar or even higher than the surrounding bare soil. Both soil and root-associated communities were dominated by members of the orders Sphingomonadales and Sphingobacteriales, which are typical for hot desert soils, but were different from communities of temperate subnival soils and typical rhizosphere communities. Despite taxonomic similarity on the order level, the plants harboured a unique set of highly dominant operational taxonomic units which were not found in the bare soil. These bacteria have been likely transported with the dispersing seeds and became part of the root-associated community following germination. The results indicate that developing soils act not only as a source of inoculation to plant roots but also possibly as a sink for plant-associated bacteria.

  15. Insect herbivory and plant adaptation in an early successional community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Fines, Daniel M; Bogdanowicz, Steve; Huber, Meret

    2018-05-01

    To address the role of insect herbivores in adaptation of plant populations and the persistence of selection through succession, we manipulated herbivory in a long-term field experiment. We suppressed insects in half of 16 plots over nine years and examined the genotypic structure and chemical defense of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a naturally colonizing perennial apomictic plant. Insect suppression doubled dandelion abundance in the first few years, but had negligible effects thereafter. Using microsatellite DNA markers, we genotyped >2500 plants and demonstrate that insect suppression altered the genotypic composition of plots in both sampling years. Phenotypic and genotypic estimates of defensive terpenes and phenolics from the field plots allowed us to infer phenotypic plasticity and the response of dandelion populations to insect-mediated natural selection. The effects of insect suppression on plant chemistry were, indeed, driven both by plasticity and plant genotypic identity. In particular, di-phenolic inositol esters were more abundant in plots exposed to herbivory (due to the genotypic composition of the plots) and were also induced in response to herbivory. This field experiment thus demonstrates evolutionary sorting of plant genotypes in response to insect herbivores that was in same direction as the plastic defensive response within genotypes. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Experimental restoration of a fen plant community after peat mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cobbaert, D.; Rochefort, L.; Price, J.S. [Univ. Laval, Sainte-Foy (Canada). Dept. de Phytologie

    2004-11-01

    Methods: The effectiveness of introducing fen plants with the application of donor diaspore material was tested. The donor diaspore material, containing seeds, rhizomes, moss fragments, and other plant propagules, was collected from two different types of natural fens. We tested whether the application of straw mulch would increase fen species cover and biodiversity compared to control plots without straw mulch. Terrace levels of different peat depths (15 cm, 40 cm, and 56 cm) were created to test the effects of different environmental site conditions on the success of re-vegetation. Results: Applying donor seed bank from natural fens was found to significantly increase fen plant cover and richness after the two growing seasons. Straw mulch proved to significantly increase fen plant richness. The intermediate terrace level (40 cm) had the highest fen plant establishment. Compared to reference sites, the low terrace level (15 cm) was richer in base cations, whereas the high terrace level (56 cm) was much drier. Conclusions: The application of donor diaspore material was demonstrated as an effective technique for establishing vascular fen plants. Further rewetting measures are considered necessary at the restoration site to create a fen ecosystem rather than simply restoring some fen species (Location: Riviere-du-Loup peatland, southern Quebec, Canada at 100 m a.s.l.)

  17. Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants used by Saperas community of Khetawas, Jhajjar District, Haryana, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Sunil

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plants have traditionally been used as a source of medicine in India by indigenous people of different ethnic groups inhabiting various terrains for the control of various ailments afflicting human and their domestic animals. The indigenous community of snake charmers belongs to the 'Nath' community in India have played important role of healers in treating snake bite victims. Snake charmers also sell herbal remedies for common ailments. In the present paper an attempt has been made to document on ethno botanical survey and traditional medicines used by snake charmers of village Khetawas located in district Jhajjar of Haryana, India as the little work has been made in the past to document the knowledge from this community. Methods Ethno botanical data and traditional uses of plants information was obtained by semi structured oral interviews from experienced rural folk, traditional herbal medicine practitioners of the 'Nath' community. A total of 42 selected inhabitants were interviewed, 41 were male and only one woman. The age of the healers was between 25 years and 75 years. The plant specimens were identified according to different references concerning the medicinal plants of Haryana and adjoining areas and further confirmation from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. Results The present study revealed that the people of the snake charmer community used 57 medicinal plants species that belonged to 51 genera and 35 families for the treatment of various diseases. The study has brought to light that the main diseases treated by this community was snakebite in which 19 different types of medicinal plants belongs to 13 families were used. Significantly higher number of medicinal plants was claimed by men as compared to women. The highest numbers of medicinal plants for traditional uses utilized by this community were belonging to family Fabaceae. Conclusion This community carries a vast knowledge of medicinal plants but as

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    2013-02-01

    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.

  20. Invasion of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha (Cactaceae into plant communities of the Karadag Nature Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina V. Fateryga

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The results of a study of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha naturalised in the Karadag Nature Reserve (southeastern part of the Crimean Peninsula are presented. There, the largest coenopopulations of Opuntia plants are confined to the «biostation» territory (bordering with the park, administrative buildings and housing estate. Twelve localities were described in the Karadag Reserve. These differ by phytocoenotic characteristics, area and floristic composition. Seven localities include only O. humifusa plants; four ones include only O. phaeacantha individuals; and both the species are present on the twelfth locality. The total number of individuals of each species and ontogenetic structure of the population were studied in each locality. The total number of O. humifusa individuals in the Karadag Reserve is more than 600 plants within the «biostation» territory, while the total number of O. phaeacantha plants is about 400 individuals. Studying of the plant communities has been carried out according to the Braun-Blanquet method. Opuntia plants form derivate communities within degraded steppes, phryganoid-steppes, and semi-desert badland phytocoenoses almost at all studied localities. A significant number of synanthropic species (including alien plants was found within these communities. Opuntia plants are able to self-reproduce predominantly vegetatively. Self-seeding reproduction occurs less frequently. Both species can be considered as invasive plants because they have a high adaptive capacity.

  1. Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Resulting From Tourism Travel in an Alpine Setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer Unger

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Tourism—with its social, economic, and ecological dimensions—can be an important driver of sustainable development of alpine communities. Tourism is essential for local people's incomes and livelihoods, but it can also have a major impact on the local environment, landscape aesthetics, and (mainly through tourist transport global climate change. A project currently underway is developing the Austrian mountain municipality of Alpbach into a role model for competitive and sustainable year-round alpine tourism using an integrated and spatially explicit approach that considers energy demand and supply related to housing, infrastructure, and traffic in the settlement and the skiing area. As the first outcome of the project, this article focuses on the development of the Model of Alpine Tourism and Transportation, a geographic information system–based tool for calculating, in detail, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from travel to a single alpine holiday destination. Analysis results show that it is crucial to incorporate both direct and indirect energy use and emissions as each contributes significantly to the climate impact of travel. The study fills a research gap in carbon impact appraisal studies of tourism transport in the context of alpine tourism at the destination level. Our findings will serve as a baseline for the development of comprehensive policies and agendas promoting the transformation toward sustainable alpine tourism.

  2. Structure and composition of oligohaline marsh plant communities exposed to salinity pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2000-01-01

    The response of two oligohaline marsh macrophyte communities to pulses of increased salinity was studied over a single growing season in a greenhouse experiment. The plant communities were allowed a recovery period in freshwater following the pulse events. The experimental treatments included: (1) salinity influx rate (rate of salinity increase from 0 to 12 gl-1); (2) duration of exposure to elevated salinity; and (3) water depth. The communities both included Sagittaria lancifolia L.; the codominant species were Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roemer and J.A. Schultes in community 1 and Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volk. ex Schinz and R. Keller in community 2. Effects of the treatments on sediment chemical characteristics (salinity, pH, redox potential, and sulfide and ammonium concentrations) and plant community attributes (aboveground and belowground biomass, stem density, leaf tissue nutrients, and species richness) were examined. The treatment effects often interacted to influence sediment and plant communities characteristics following recovery in fresh water. Salinity influx rate per se, however, had little effect on the abiotic or biotic response variables; significant influx effects were found when the 0 gl-1 (zero influx) treatment was compared to the 12 gl-1 treatments, regardless of the rate salinity was raised. A salinity level of 12 gl-1 had negative effects on plant community structure and composition; these effects were usually associated with 3 months of salinity exposure. Water depth often interacted with exposure duration, but increased water depth did independently decrease the values of some community response measures. Community 1 was affected more than community 2 in the most extreme salinity treatment (3 months exposure/15-cm water depth). Although species richness in both communities was reduced, structural changes were more dramatic in community 1. Biomass and stem density were reduced in community 1 overall and in both dominant species

  3. Alpine Windharvest: development of information base regarding potentials and the necessary technical, legal and socio-economic conditions for expanding wind energy in the Alpine Space - Alpine Space wind map - Modeling approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffner, B.; Remund, J. [Meteotest, Berne (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    This report presents describes the development work carried out by the Swiss meteorology specialists of the company METEOTEST as part of a project carried out together with the Swiss wind-energy organisation 'Suisse Eole'. The framework for the project is the EU Interreg IIIB Alpine Space Programme, a European Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project investigated the use of digital relief-analysis. The series of reports describes the development and use of a basic information system to aid the investigation of the technical, legal and socio-economical conditions for the use of wind energy in the alpine area. This report discusses two modelling approaches investigated for use in the definition of a wind map for the alpine area. The method chosen and its application are discussed. The various sources of information for input to the model are listed and discussed.

  4. Plants of the fynbos biome harbour host species-specific bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyambo, Tsakani; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Cowan, Don A; Valverde, Angel

    2016-08-01

    The fynbos biome in South Africa is globally recognised as a plant biodiversity hotspot. However, very little is known about the bacterial communities associated with fynbos plants, despite interactions between primary producers and bacteria having an impact on the physiology of both partners and shaping ecosystem diversity. This study reports on the structure, phylogenetic composition and potential roles of the endophytic bacterial communities located in the stems of three fynbos plants (Erepsia anceps, Phaenocoma prolifera and Leucadendron laureolum). Using Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA sequencing we found that different subpopulations of Deinococcus-Thermus, Alphaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Firmicutes dominated the endophytic bacterial communities. Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria were prevalent in P. prolifera, whereas Deinococcus-Thermus dominated in L. laureolum, revealing species-specific host-bacteria associations. Although a high degree of variability in the endophytic bacterial communities within hosts was observed, we also detected a core microbiome across the stems of the three plant species, which accounted for 72% of the sequences. Altogether, it seems that both deterministic and stochastic processes shaped microbial communities. Endophytic bacterial communities harboured putative plant growth-promoting bacteria, thus having the potential to influence host health and growth. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexander, Jake M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind...... plant species' spread along elevational gradients, "establishment lags" following their arrival in recipient communities, and "extinction lags" of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic...... turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species' range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our...

  6. Response of alpine vegetation growth dynamics to snow cover phenology on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, X.; Wu, C.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine vegetation plays a crucial role in global energy cycles with snow cover, an essential component of alpine land cover showing high sensitivity to climate change. The Tibetan Plateau (TP) has a typical alpine vegetation ecosystem and is rich of snow resources. With global warming, the snow of the TP has undergone significant changes that will inevitably affect the growth of alpine vegetation, but observed evidence of such interaction is limited. In particular, a comprehensive understanding of the responses of alpine vegetation growth to snow cover variability is still not well characterized on TP region. To investigate this, we calculated three indicators, the start (SOS) and length (LOS) of growing season, and the maximum of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVImax) as proxies of vegetation growth dynamics from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data for 2000-2015. Snow cover duration (SCD) and melt (SCM) dates were also extracted during the same time frame from the combination of MODIS and the Interactive Multi-sensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) data. We found that the snow cover phenology had a strong control on alpine vegetation growth dynamics. Furthermore, the responses of SOS, LOS and NDVImax to snow cover phenology varied among plant functional types, eco-geographical zones, and temperature and precipitation gradients. The alpine steppes showed a much stronger negative correlation between SOS and SCD, and also a more evidently positive relationship between LOS and SCD than other types, indicating a longer SCD would lead to an earlier SOS and longer LOS. Most areas showed positive correlation between SOS and SCM, while a contrary response was also found in the warm but drier areas. Both SCD and SCM showed positive correlations with NDVImax, but the relationship became weaker with the increase of precipitation. Our findings provided strong evidences between vegetation growth and snow cover phenology, and changes in

  7. Coincidence of the alpine-nival ecotone with the summer snowline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gottfried, M; Toechterle, R; Grabherr, G; Hantel, M; Maurer, C; Pauli, H

    2011-01-01

    The alpine-nival ecotone is the transition between the lower located alpine grassland/tundra zone and the upper located sparsely vegetated nival zone in the mountains. Its characteristics are qualitatively known. Here we study the dynamics of the ecotone through a quantitative approach based on plant data (from Mt Schrankogel, 3497 m, observations 1994 and 2004) and snow data (from 268 routine climate stations in the Alps, observations 1975-2004). We introduce the nivality index as the area ratio of nival and alpine plants, and the snow duration as the length of the summer snow cover. We fit a nonlinear probabilistic model to our field data; it yields state functions of both quantities. The nivality index curve comprises the entire information of the plant data in one analytical function; the snow duration curve represents the equivalent for the full snow data set. Thus all relevant parameters of both quantities follow from the respective state function. We find that the analytical profile of the alpine-nival ecotone at Mt Schrankogel (based on nivality index observations from the altitude interval 2910-3090 m) happens to sit right in the center of the independently determined summer snow profile across the entire Alps; specifically, the central altitude of the Schrankogel ecotone coincides almost perfectly with the central altitude of Alpine snow duration. Both state functions show extreme temperature sensitivity at 2967 m (vegetation) and 2897 m (snow), and both altitudes exhibit a positive trend during the measurement period.

  8. Coincidence of the alpine-nival ecotone with the summer snowline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gottfried, M; Toechterle, R; Grabherr, G [Research Platform Mountain Limits, University of Vienna, Faculty Center of Biodiversity, Rennweg 14, Wien 1030 (Austria); Hantel, M; Maurer, C [Research Platform Mountain Limits, University of Vienna, Theoretical Meteorology Research Forum, Berggasse 11, Wien 1090 (Austria); Pauli, H, E-mail: michael.hantel@univie.ac.at [Institute of Mountain Research (IGF), Austrian Academy of Sciences, c/o Faculty Center of Biodiversity, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, 1030 Wien (Austria)

    2011-01-15

    The alpine-nival ecotone is the transition between the lower located alpine grassland/tundra zone and the upper located sparsely vegetated nival zone in the mountains. Its characteristics are qualitatively known. Here we study the dynamics of the ecotone through a quantitative approach based on plant data (from Mt Schrankogel, 3497 m, observations 1994 and 2004) and snow data (from 268 routine climate stations in the Alps, observations 1975-2004). We introduce the nivality index as the area ratio of nival and alpine plants, and the snow duration as the length of the summer snow cover. We fit a nonlinear probabilistic model to our field data; it yields state functions of both quantities. The nivality index curve comprises the entire information of the plant data in one analytical function; the snow duration curve represents the equivalent for the full snow data set. Thus all relevant parameters of both quantities follow from the respective state function. We find that the analytical profile of the alpine-nival ecotone at Mt Schrankogel (based on nivality index observations from the altitude interval 2910-3090 m) happens to sit right in the center of the independently determined summer snow profile across the entire Alps; specifically, the central altitude of the Schrankogel ecotone coincides almost perfectly with the central altitude of Alpine snow duration. Both state functions show extreme temperature sensitivity at 2967 m (vegetation) and 2897 m (snow), and both altitudes exhibit a positive trend during the measurement period.

  9. 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

  10. Advances in modeling trait-based plant community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Daniel C; Laughlin, David E

    2013-10-01

    In this review, we examine two new trait-based models of community assembly that predict the relative abundance of species from a regional species pool. The models use fundamentally different mathematical approaches and the predictions can differ considerably. Maxent obtains the most even probability distribution subject to community-weighted mean trait constraints. Traitspace predicts low probabilities for any species whose trait distribution does not pass through the environmental filter. Neither model maximizes functional diversity because of the emphasis on environmental filtering over limiting similarity. Traitspace can test for the effects of limiting similarity by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variation. The range of solutions in both models could be used to define the range of natural variability of community composition in restoration projects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Stubble field plant communities of the Mazowiecki Landscape Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Skrajna

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The characteristics of communities found in unploughed stubble fields of the Mazowiecki Landscape Park and its agricultural buffer zone are presented in the paper. The association Echinochloo-Setarietum divided into a typical variant, the variant with Galinsoga parviflora, and the variant with Bidens tripartite, was the most frequently noted and floristically differentiated association. Patches of Digitarietum ischaemi were also frequently observed in stubble fields on the poorest habitats. Rarely, on fertile soils, small patches of floristically rich communities with Veronica agrestis were recorded. Periodically, excessively wet habitats were seldom occupied by the speciesrichest phytocoenoses of Centunculo-Anthoceretum punctati. Single patches of the community with Setaria pumila, the form with Aphanes arvensis, were observed only in the south-eastern part of the Park.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of water table position and plant functional group on plant community, aboveground production, and peat properties in a peatland mesocosm experiment (PEATcosm)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynette R. Potvin; Evan S. Kane; Rodney A. Chimner; Randall K. Kolka; Erik A. Lilleskov

    2015-01-01

    Aims Our objective was to assess the impacts of water table position and plant functional type on peat structure, plant community composition and aboveground plant production. Methods We initiated a full factorial experiment with 2 water table (WT) treatments (high and low) and 3 plant functional groups (PFG: sedge, Ericaceae,...

  14. 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.

  15. Litter drives ecosystem and plant community changes in cattail invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Goldberg, Deborah E

    2009-03-01

    Invaded systems are commonly associated with a change in ecosystem processes and a decline in native species diversity; however, many different causal pathways linking invasion, ecosystem change, and native species decline could produce this pattern. The initial driver of environmental change may be anthropogenic, or it may be the invader itself; and the mechanism behind native species decline may be the human-induced environmental change, competition from the invader, or invader-induced environmental change (non-trophic effects). We examined applicability of each of these alternate pathways in Great Lakes coastal marshes invaded by hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca). In a survey including transects in three marshes, we found that T. x glauca was associated with locally high soil nutrients, low light, and large amounts of litter, and that native diversity was highest in areas of shallow litter depth. We tested whether live T. x glauca plants or their litter induced changes in the environment and in diversity with a live plant and litter transplant experiment. After one year, Typha litter increased soil NH4+ and N mineralization twofold, lowered light levels, and decreased the abundance and diversity of native plants, while live Typha plants had no effect on the environment or on native plants. This suggests that T. x glauca, through its litter production, can cause the changes in ecosystem processes that we commonly attribute to anthropogenic nutrient loading and that T. x glauca does not displace native species through competition for resources, but rather affects them non-trophically through its litter. Moreover, because T. x glauca plants were taller when grown with their own litter, we suggest that this invader may produce positive feedbacks and change the environment in ways that benefit itself and may promote its own invasion.

  16. 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.

  17. Life form succession in plant communities on colliery waste tips

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Down, C G

    1973-01-01

    Five disused colliery waste tips in the Somerset Coalfield, 12, 15, 21, 55 and 98 years old, respectively, were examined to determine the life forms of the naturally-occurring vascular plant species. Hemicryptophytes comprised between 68 and 79% of the number of species on each tip. Rosette hemicryptophytes comprised 31.8% of the species on the 12-year tip, declining to 11.8% on the 98-year tip. It is suggested that artificial planting of rosette hemicryptophytes may be beneficial in reclamation schemes. 3 tables.

  18. [Soil catalase activity of main plant communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Guo, Jixun; Zhu, Li

    2002-06-01

    The seasonal dynamics of soil catalase activity of three different plants communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China were in a parabolas shape. The seasonal variation of Chloris virgata community was greater than those of Leymus chinensis community and Puccinellia tenuiflora community, and "seed effect" might be the main reason. The correlation between the activity of soil catalase in different soil layers and environmental factors were analyzed. The results showed that the activity of soil catalase was decreased gradually with depth of soil layer. The activity of soil catalase was closely correlated with rainfall and air temperature, and it was affected by soil temperature, soil moisture, and their interactions. The correlation between the activity and aboveground vegetation was very significant, and the growing condition of plant communities could be reflected by the activity of soil catalase.

  19. Soil microbial responses to climate warming in Northern Andean alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallery, R. E.; Lasso, E.

    2017-12-01

    The historically cooler temperatures and waterlogged soils of tropical alpine grasslands (páramo) have resulted in low decomposition rates and a large buildup of organic matter, making páramo one of the most important carbon sinks in tropical biomes. The climatic factors that favored the carbon accumulation are changing, and as a result páramo could play a disproportionate role in driving climate feedbacks through increased carbon released from these large soil carbon stores. Open top chamber warming experiments were established in the Colombian Andes in 2016 to quantify the magnitude of climate change on carbon balance and identify microbial and plant traits that regulate these impacts. Two focal sites differ in mean annual temperature, precipitation, and plant community richness. Heterotrophic respiration (RH,) was measured from soil cores incubated at temperatures representing current and projected warming. The warming effect on RH was sensitive to soil moisture, which could reflect shifts in microbial community composition and/or extracellular enzyme production or efficiency as soils dry. Bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in ambient and warmed plots were measured through high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and ITS1 rRNA gene regions. Communities showed strong spatial structuring both within and among páramo, reflecting the topographic heterogeneity of these ecosystems. Significant differences in relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa between páramo could be largely explained by soil bulk density, water holding capacity, and non-vascular plant cover. Phototrophs common to anoxic soils (e.g., Rhodospirillaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae) were abundant. Taxa within Euryarchaeota were recovered, suggesting methanogenesis potential. Exploration of the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of methane flux is needed in these seasonally anoxic soils whose dynamics could have significant implications for the global climate system.

  20. Dispersal and life span spectra in plant communities : a key to safe site dynamics, species coexistence and conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strykstra, RJ; Bekker, RM; Van Andel, J

    Dispersal and life span of individual plant species within five plant communities were assessed to obtain a characterization of these communities in this respect. Such a characterization is important in the context of restoration and maintenance. The most frequent species of five communities were

  1. Interior West community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu. Xiao

    2007-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  2. Central Florida community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Shannon N. Albers; Qingfu Xiao

    2010-01-01

    Trees make our cities more attractive and provide many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest control, liability, cleanup, and removal...

  3. Desert Southwest Community Tree Guide: Benefits, Costs and Strategic Planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greg McPherson; J.R. Simpson; P.J. Peper; S.E. Maco; Q. Xiao; E. Mulrean

    2004-01-01

    This report quantifies benefits and costs for typical large-, medium-, small-stature, deciduous trees (Fraxinus uhdei, Prosopis chilensis, Acacia farnesiana), as well as a conifer (Pinus halapensis). The analysis assumed that trees were planted in a residential yard site or a public (street/park) site, a 40-year time frame, and...

  4. Lower Midwest community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Kelaine E. Vargas; Qingfu Xiao

    2009-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  5. Tropical community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu Xiao

    2008-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  6. Midwest community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Scott E. Maco; Shelley L. Gardner; Shauna K. Cozad; Qingfu Xiao

    2006-01-01

    This report quantifies benefits and costs for typical small, medium, and large deciduous (losing their leaves every autumn) trees: crabapple, red oak, and hackberry (see "Common and Scientific Names" section). The analysis assumed that trees were planted in a residential yard or public site (streetside or park) with a 60 percent survival rate over a 40-year...

  7. Northeast community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Kelaine E. Vargas; Qingfu Xiao

    2007-01-01

    Trees make our cities more attractive and provide many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest control, liability, cleanup, and removal...

  8. Ecological surveys of certain plant communities around urban areas ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It was also observed that certain edaphic and human activity, discharge of pollutants with out any pretreatment was found responsible for variation in the nature, structure and composition of vegetation. The plant growth and their continuity was in danger in many disturb areas, especially in some coastal areas where salinity ...

  9. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, D. B.; Fisher, R. A.; Wardle, D. A.

    2011-08-01

    Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R) is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon (C) balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. However, developing a mechanistic understanding of the determinants of R is complicated by the presence of multiple different sources of respiratory C within soil - such as soil microbes, plant roots and their mycorrhizal symbionts - each with their distinct dynamics and drivers. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Despite often large variation amongst studies and methods, several general trends emerge. Mechanisms whereby plants affect R may be grouped into effects on belowground C allocation, aboveground litter properties and microclimate. Within vegetation types, the amount of C diverted belowground, and hence R, may be controlled mainly by the rate of photosynthetic C uptake, while amongst vegetation types this should be more dependent upon the specific C allocation strategies of the plant life form. We make the case that plant community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on R in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community and/or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. We also suggest that under a warmer future climate, many plant communities may shift towards dominance by fast growing plants which

  10. Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant community: implications for ecosystem function and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieleman, Catherine M; Branfireun, Brian A; McLaughlin, James W; Lindo, Zoë

    2015-01-01

    The composition of a peatland plant community has considerable effect on a range of ecosystem functions. Peatland plant community structure is predicted to change under future climate change, making the quantification of the direction and magnitude of this change a research priority. We subjected intact, replicated vegetated poor fen peat monoliths to elevated temperatures, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and two water table levels in a factorial design to determine the individual and synergistic effects of climate change factors on the poor fen plant community composition. We identify three indicators of a regime shift occurring in our experimental poor fen system under climate change: nonlinear decline of Sphagnum at temperatures 8 °C above ambient conditions, concomitant increases in Carex spp. at temperatures 4 °C above ambient conditions suggesting a weakening of Sphagnum feedbacks on peat accumulation, and increased variance of the plant community composition and pore water pH through time. A temperature increase of +4 °C appeared to be a threshold for increased vascular plant abundance; however the magnitude of change was species dependent. Elevated temperature combined with elevated CO2 had a synergistic effect on large graminoid species abundance, with a 15 times increase as compared to control conditions. Community analyses suggested that the balance between dominant plant species was tipped from Sphagnum to a graminoid-dominated system by the combination of climate change factors. Our findings indicate that changes in peatland plant community composition are likely under future climate change conditions, with a demonstrated shift toward a dominance of graminoid species in poor fens. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Wastewater treatment plant effluent introduces recoverable shifts in microbial community composition in urban streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledford, S. H.; Price, J. R.; Ryan, M. O.; Toran, L.; Sales, C. M.

    2017-12-01

    New technologies are allowing for intense scrutiny of the impact of land use on microbial communities in stream networks. We used a combination of analytical chemistry, real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and targeted amplicon sequencing for a preliminary study on the impact of wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge on urban streams. Samples were collected on two dates above and below treatment plants on the Wissahickon Creek, and its tributary, Sandy Run, in Montgomery County, PA, USA. As expected, effluent was observed to be a significant source of nutrients and human and non-specific fecal associated taxa. There was an observed increase in the alpha diversity at locations immediately below effluent outflows, which contributed many taxa involved in wastewater treatment processes and nutrient cycling to the stream's microbial community. Unexpectedly, modeling of microbial community shifts along the stream was not controlled by concentrations of measured nutrients. Furthermore, partial recovery, in the form of decreasing abundances of bacteria and nutrients associated with wastewater treatment plant processes, nutrient cycling bacteria, and taxa associated with fecal and sewage sources, was observed between effluent sources. Antecedent moisture conditions impacted overall microbial community diversity, with higher diversity occurring after rainfall. These findings hint at resilience in stream microbial communities to recover from wastewater treatment plant effluent and are vital to understanding the impacts of urbanization on microbial stream communities.

  14. Fungal Communities in Rhizosphere Soil under Conservation Tillage Shift in Response to Plant Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziting Wang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Conservation tillage is an extensively used agricultural practice in northern China that alters soil texture and nutrient conditions, causing changes in the soil microbial community. However, how conservation tillage affects rhizosphere and bulk soil fungal communities during plant growth remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect of long-term (6 years conservation (chisel plow, zero and conventional (plow tillage during wheat growth on the rhizosphere fungal community, using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS gene and quantitative PCR. During tillering, fungal alpha diversity in both rhizosphere and bulk soil were significantly higher under zero tillage compared to other methods. Although tillage had no significant effect during the flowering stage, fungal alpha diversity at this stage was significantly different between rhizosphere and bulk soils, with bulk soil presenting the highest diversity. This was also reflected in the phylogenetic structure of the communities, as rhizosphere soil communities underwent a greater shift from tillering to flowering compared to bulk soil communities. In general, less variation in community structure was observed under zero tillage compared to plow and chisel plow treatments. Changes in the relative abundance of the fungal orders Capnodiales, Pleosporales, and Xylariales contributed the highest to the dissimilarities observed. Structural equation models revealed that the soil fungal communities under the three tillage regimes were likely influenced by the changes in soil properties associated with plant growth. This study suggested that: (1 differences in nutrient resources between rhizosphere and bulk soils can select for different types of fungi thereby increasing community variation during plant growth; (2 tillage can alter fungal communities' variability, with zero tillage promoting more stable communities. This work suggests that long-term changes in

  15. Planting Seeds to Grow Healthy Children: Strategic Community Partnerships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicea-Planas, Jessica; Sullivan, Kelly; Tran, Hang; Cruz, Anna

    2018-02-01

    More than one third of U.S adults are considered obese, and childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Food security can influence obesity, in particular, within inner cities where access to healthy food is often limited. The use of a mobile food truck program (with refrigeration) was implemented in two large inner cities in Connecticut as part of an initiative aimed at helping low-income families with young children gain access to healthy food and nutrition education. Collaborating with community child care centers was used. The experiences of the families who participated in the program were assessed via focus groups. Main ideas derived from the focus groups were participant satisfaction with money saving suggestions, ideas for how to make healthier choices, and excitement about opportunities to receive foods that they would not normally buy. This innovative mobile food truck program demonstrated the value of strategic community partnerships to influence health.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The importance of a taste. A comparative study on wild food plant consumption in twenty-one local communities in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binda Riccardo

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A comparative food ethnobotanical study was carried out in twenty-one local communities in Italy, fourteen of which were located in Northern Italy, one in Central Italy, one in Sardinia, and four in Southern Italy. 549 informants were asked to name and describe food uses of wild botanicals they currently gather and consume. Data showed that gathering, processing and consuming wild food plants are still important activities in all the selected areas. A few botanicals were quoted and cited in multiple areas, demonstrating that there are ethnobotanical contact points among the various Italian regions (Asparagus acutifolius, Reichardia picroides, Cichorium intybus, Foeniculum vulgare, Sambucus nigra, Silene vulgaris, Taraxacum officinale, Urtica dioica, Sonchus and Valerianella spp.. One taxon (Borago officinalis in particular was found to be among the most quoted taxa in both the Southern and the Northern Italian sites. However, when we took into account data regarding the fifteen most quoted taxa in each site and compared and statistically analysed these, we observed that there were a few differences in the gathering and consumption of wild food plants between Northern and Southern Italy. In the North, Rosaceae species prevailed, whereas in the South, taxa belonging to the Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, and Liliaceae s.l. families were most frequently cited. We proposed the hypothesis that these differences may be due to the likelihood that in Southern Italy the erosion of TK on wild vegetables is taking place more slowly, and also to the likelihood that Southern Italians' have a higher appreciation of wild vegetables that have a strong and bitter taste. A correspondence analysis confirmed that the differences in the frequencies of quotation of wild plants within the Northern and the Southern Italian sites could be ascribed only partially to ethnic/cultural issues. An additional factor could be recent socio-economic shifts, which may be having

  19. [Effects of alien species Robinia pseudoacacia on plant community functional structure in hilly-gully region of Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Duo Ju; Wen, Zhong Ming; Zhang, Jing; Tao, Yu; Zeng, Hong Wen; Tang, Yang

    2018-02-01

    To investigate the effects of the introduction of Robinia pseudoacacia on the functional structure of plant communities, we selected paired-plots of R. pseudoacacia communities and native plant communities across different vegetation zones, i.e., steppe zone, forest-steppe zone, forest zone in hilly-gully region of Loess Plateau, China. We measured several functional characteristics and then compared the functional structures of R. pseudoacacia and native plant communities in different vegetation zones. The results showed that the variation of the functional traits across different vegetation zones were consistent in R. pseudoacacia community and native plant community, including leaf carbon concentration, leaf nitrogen concentration, leaf phosphorus concentration, specific leaf area, and leaf tissue density. The leaf carbon concentration, leaf nitrogen concentration, and specific leaf area of the R. pseudoacacia community were significantly higher than those of the native plant community. The trend of change that the functional diversity indices, i.e., FR ic , FE ve , FD iv , FD is , Rao of the R. pseudoacacia community and the native plant community with vegetation zones were different. The introduction of R. pseudoacacia enhanced the plant community functional diversity in the forest zone but reduced community functional diversity in the steppe zone.

  20. Temperature-driven flower longevity in a high-alpine species of Oxalis influences reproductive assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Mary T K; Dudley, Leah S; Jespersen, Gus; Pacheco, Diego A; Cavieres, Lohengrin A

    2013-12-01

    How high-alpine plants confront stochastic conditions for animal pollination is a critical question. We investigated the effect of temperature on potential flower longevity (FL) measured in pollinator-excluded flowers and actual FL measured in pollinated flowers in self-incompatible Oxalis compacta and evaluated if plastically prolonged potential FL can ameliorate slow pollination under cool conditions. Pollinator-excluded and hand-pollinated flowers were experimentally warmed with open-top chambers (OTCs) on a site at 3470 m above sea level (asl). Flower-specific temperatures, and pollinator-excluded and open-pollination flower life-spans were measured at six alpine sites between 3100 and 3470 m asl. Fruit set was analyzed in relation to inferred pollination time. Warming reduced potential FL. Variable thermal conditions across the alpine landscape predicted potential and actual FL; flower senescence was pollination-regulated. Actual FL and potential FL were coupled. Prolonged potential FL generally increased fruit set under cooler conditions. Plastic responses permit virgin flowers of O. compacta to remain open longer under cooler temperatures, thereby ameliorating slow pollination, and to close earlier when pollination tends to be faster under warmer conditions. Plastic potential FL provides adaptive advantages in the cold, thermally variable alpine habitat, and has important implications for reproductive success in alpine plants in a warming world. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  1. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krüger, Claudia; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, Martina; Püschel, David; Frouz, J.; Rydlová, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 20 (2017), s. 1-16, č. článku 719. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-10377S; GA ČR GA15-05466S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity * community ecology * fungal and plant succession Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  2. Ignored fungal community in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants: diversity and altitudinal characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Lihua; Li, Yi; Xu, Lingling; Wang, Peifang; Zhang, Wenlong; Wang, Chao; Cai, Wei; Wang, Linqiong

    2017-02-01

    Fungi are important contributors to the various functions of activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs); however, the diversity and geographic characteristics of fungal populations have remained vastly unexplored. Here, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and 454 pyrosequencing were combined to investigate the abundance and diversity of the activated sludge fungal communities from 18 full-scale municipal WWTPs in China. Phylogenetic taxonomy revealed that the members of the fungal communities were assigned to 7 phyla and 195 genera. Ascomycota and Basidiomycota were the most abundant phyla, dominated by Pluteus, Wickerhamiella, and Penicillium. Twenty-three fungal genera, accounting for 50.1 % of the total reads, were shared by 18 WWTPs and constituted a core fungal community. The fungal communities presented similar community diversity but different community structures across the WWTPs. Significant distance decay relationships were observed for the dissimilarity in fungal community structure and altitudinal distance between WWTPs. Additionally, the community evenness increased from 0.25 to 0.7 as the altitude increased. Dissolved oxygen and the C/N ratio were determined to be the most dominant contributors to the variation in fungal community structure via redundancy analysis. The observed data demonstrated the diverse occurrence of fungal species and gave a marked view of fungal community characteristics based on the previously unexplored fungal communities in activated sludge WWTPs.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Microbe-mediated plant-soil feedback in pioneer stages of secondary succession causes long-lasting historical contingency effects in plant community composition.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Bezemer, T.M.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    Soil microbes and soil fauna have been assumed to play a key role in interspecific plant competition and successional community development. It has been suggested that plants can influence their performance by changing the composition of their associated soil communities. Such feedback effects may

  7. Contrasting trait responses in plant communities to experimental and geographic variation in precipitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Goldstein, Leah; Kraft, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    Patterns of precipitation are likely to change significantly in the coming century, with important but poorly understood consequences for plant communities. Experimental and correlative studies may provide insight into expected changes, but little research has addressed the degree of concordance...... between these approaches. We synthesized results from four experimental water addition studies with a correlative analysis of community changes across a large natural precipitation gradient in the United States. We investigated whether community composition, summarized with plant functional traits......, responded similarly to increasing precipitation among studies and sites. In field experiments, increased precipitation favored species with small seed size,short leaf life span and high leaf nitrogen (N) concentration. However, with increasing precipitation along the natural gradient, community composition...

  8. The Communities' research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    This is the first progress report of the European Community's programme (1979-1983) of research on the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. It shows the status of the programme on 31 December 1980. The programme seeks to promote a number of research and development projects as well as the identification of guiding principles. The projects concern the following subjects: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontamination for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific waste materials: steel, concrete and graphite; large transport containers for radioactive was produced in the dismantling of nuclear power plants; estimation of the quantities of radioactive wastes arising from decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  9. Design of community biogas plant for cooking and lighting from cowdung (a proposal case study)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mekki, Ibtisam I.

    1999-01-01

    A calculation design for community biogas plant was proposed for a village in Sudan consisting 100 families, each consisting of 6 persons (adult). Two children are equivalent to one person. Based on the requirement for cooking and lighting, the community biogas plant is deigned for production of total biogas of 360 m-3 gas per day. This volume of the gas will be produced from total dung per day of 6000kg. This amount of dung will expect to obtained from 600 cows. The actual digester volume equal to 60.5m-3. The layout of the plant was designed of two identical plants, each consisted of 3 digester, i.e. 6digesters will be needed.(Author)

  10. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wen

    Full Text Available The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC, and soil total nitrogen (TN were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  11. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Lu; Dong, Shikui; Li, Yuanyuan; Li, Xiaoyan; Shi, Jianjun; Wang, Yanlong; Liu, Demei; Ma, Yushou

    2013-01-01

    The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC), and soil total nitrogen (TN) were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe) were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  12. Linking the development and functioning of a carnivorous pitcher plant's microbial digestive community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, David W

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystem development theory predicts that successional turnover in community composition can influence ecosystem functioning. However, tests of this theory in natural systems are made difficult by a lack of replicable and tractable model systems. Using the microbial digestive associates of a carnivorous pitcher plant, I tested hypotheses linking host age-driven microbial community development to host functioning. Monitoring the yearlong development of independent microbial digestive communities in two pitcher plant populations revealed a number of trends in community succession matching theoretical predictions. These included mid-successional peaks in bacterial diversity and metabolic substrate use, predictable and parallel successional trajectories among microbial communities, and convergence giving way to divergence in community composition and carbon substrate use. Bacterial composition, biomass, and diversity positively influenced the rate of prey decomposition, which was in turn positively associated with a host leaf's nitrogen uptake efficiency. Overall digestive performance was greatest during late summer. These results highlight links between community succession and ecosystem functioning and extend succession theory to host-associated microbial communities.

  13. Spectral identification of plant communities for mapping of semi-natural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Anne; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Ejrnæs, Rasmus

    2000-01-01

    identification of plant communities was based on a hierarchical approach relating the test sites to i) management (Ma) and ii) flora (Fl) using spectral consistency and separability as the main criteria. Evaluation of spectral consistency was based on unsupervised clustering of test sites of Ma classes 1 to 7...... as a measure of plant community heterogeneity within management classes. The spectral analysis as well as the maximum likelihood classification indicated that the source of spectral variation within management classes might be related to vegetation composition....

  14. Training of nuclear power plant personnel in the member states of the European Community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misenta, R.; Matfield, R.S.; Volta, G.; Ancarani, A.; Lhoir, J.

    1981-01-01

    After the Three Mile Island accident the Commission of the European Communities undertook various actions in order to assess the status of the training of nuclear power plant personnel with particular attention to their training for incidents and accidents. This presentation attempts a review of the training situation in the six member states of the European Community together with some other European states, that are operating nuclear power plants. Schemes for the training of control room operators, shift leaders, major European training centres and simulator training will be described

  15. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-12-01

    Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in both the greenhouse and laboratory by growing associated plants, Melaleuca ericifolia, Rumex conglomeratus, and model plant, Lactuca sativa at varying densities with the allelopathic plant, P. australis, its litter and leachate of P. australis litter. This study investigated the potential interacting influences of allelopathy and resource competition on plant growth-density relationships. In greenhouse, the root exudates mediated effects showed the strongest growth inhibition of M. ericifolia at high density whereas litter mediated results revealed increased growth at medium density treatments compared to low and high density. Again, laboratory experiments related to seed germination and seedling growth of L. sativa and R. conglomeratus exhibited phytotoxicity decreased showing positive growth as plant density increased and vice versa. Overall, the differential effects were observed among experiments but maximum individual plant biomass and some other positive effects on plant traits such as root and shoot length, chlorophyll content occurred at an intermediate density. This was attributed to the sharing of the available phytotoxin among plants at high densities which is compatible to density-dependent phytotoxicity model. The results demonstrated that plant-plant interference is the combined effect of allelopathy and resource competition with many other factors but this experimental design, target-neighbor mixed-culture in combination of plant grown at varying densities with varying

  16. Bacterial communities associated with culex mosquito larvae and two emergent aquatic plants of bioremediation importance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dagne Duguma

    Full Text Available Microbes are important for mosquito nutrition, growth, reproduction and control. In this study, we examined bacterial communities associated with larval mosquitoes and their habitats. Specifically, we characterized bacterial communities associated with late larval instars of the western encephalitis mosquito (Culextarsalis, the submerged portions of two emergent macrophytes (California bulrush, Schoenoplectuscalifornicus and alkali bulrush, Schoenoplectusmaritimus, and the associated water columns to investigate potential differential use of resources by mosquitoes in different wetland habitats. Using next-generation sequence data from 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions, the alpha diversity of mosquito gut microbial communities did not differ between pond mesocosms containing distinct monotypic plants. Proteobacteria, dominated by the genus Thorsellia (Enterobacteriaceae, was the most abundant phylum recovered from C. tarsalis larvae. Approximately 49% of bacterial OTUs found in larval mosquitoes were identical to OTUs recovered from the water column and submerged portions of the two bulrushes. Plant and water samples were similar to one another, both being dominated by Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia phyla. Overall, the bacterial communities within C. tarsalis larvae were conserved and did not change across sampling dates and between two distinct plant habitats. Although Thorsellia spp. dominated mosquito gut communities, overlap of mosquito gut, plant and water-column OTUs likely reveal the effects of larval feeding. Future research will investigate the role of the key indicator groups of bacteria across the different developmental stages of this mosquito species.

  17. Seasonal Variations in the Structure of Phytoplankton Communities near Nuclear Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.-K.; Choi, H.-C.; Moon, H.-T.

    2015-01-01

    To investigate effects of thermal discharge effluent from nuclear power plants on the surrounding marine environment, especially on the phytoplankton community, environmental data gained by seasonal survey around Hanbit and Hanul nuclear power plants during the periods of 11 years from 1999 to 2009 were analysed. The data used were from environmental survey and assessment around Hanbit and Hanul nuclear power plants of Korea during the period of 11 years from 1999 to 2009. The purposes of this study are (1) to evaluate the effect of operation of nuclear power plants on phytoplankton community, (2) to find out whether the thermal discharge affected negatively phytoplankton community, and (3) to evaluate the difference of thermal discharge influence on phytoplankton community between West and East coastal area, Korea. Through this study, (1) quantitative evaluation of the effect of thermal discharge effluent on marine ecology, especially on abundance and biomass of phytoplankton were performed, (2) found that depending on the season, the effect of thermal discharge effluent from nuclear power plant on the marine environment is not always negative (i.e. warm water may increase or prevent decline of abundance in seasons with low temperature such as winter in Hanbit area), and (3) found that same thermal discharge effluent rate to different marine environments, such as west and east coast of Korea, does not result in same effect on the marine ecosystem. (author)

  18. Local Plant Diversity Across Multiple Habitats Supports a Diverse Wild Bee Community in Pennsylvania Apple Orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammerer, Melanie A; Biddinger, David J; Rajotte, Edwin G; Mortensen, David A

    2016-02-01

    Wild pollinators supply essential, historically undervalued pollination services to crops and other flowering plant communities with great potential to ensure agricultural production against the loss of heavily relied upon managed pollinators. Local plant communities provision wild bees with crucial floral and nesting resources, but the distribution of floristic diversity among habitat types in North American agricultural landscapes and its effect on pollinators are diverse and poorly understood, especially in orchard systems. We documented floristic diversity in typical mid-Atlantic commercial apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) orchards including the forest and orchard-forest edge ("edge") habitats surrounding orchards in a heterogeneous landscape in south-central Pennsylvania, USA. We also assessed the correlation between plant richness and orchard pollinator communities. In this apple production region, edge habitats are the most species rich, supporting 146 out of 202 plant species recorded in our survey. Plant species richness in the orchard and edge habitats were significant predictors of bee species richness and abundance in the orchard, as well as landscape area of the forest and edge habitats. Both the quantity and quality of forest and edges close to orchards play a significant role in provisioning a diverse wild bee community in this agroecosystem. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Ethnomedicinal plants of the Bauri tribal community of Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Protiva Rani; Islam, Md Tabibul; Mostafa, Mohd Nabil; Rahmatullah, Mohammed

    2013-01-01

    Bangladesh reportedly has more than 100 tribal communities; however, documentation of their medicinal practices is markedly absent. The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the little known Bauri tribe of Bangladesh, whose tribal medicinal practices are yet to be documented. The survey was carried out among the Bauri tribal community of Purbo Tila village in Moulvibazar District. The community is believed to be the only Bauri community in the country and had four tribal healers who continue their traditional medicinal practices. Interviews of the healers were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method where the healers took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal plants. Here they identified the plants and described their uses. The Bauri healers were observed to use 40 different plant species and one bird species for treatment of ailments such as fever, respiratory tract disorders, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, eye problems like cataract and conjunctivitis, jaundice, abscess, cardiovascular disorders, urinary problems, paralysis, dog bite, snake bite, helminthiasis, lesions on the tongue or lips and piles. Leaves were the major plant part used and constituted 38.3% of total uses followed by fruits at 14.9%. A review of the relevant scientific literature showed that a number of medicinal plants used by the Bauri healers possess pharmacological activities, which were in line with the traditional uses, thus validating their use by the Bauri tribe.

  20. Socioeconomic impacts of nuclear power plant siting: a case study of two New England communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purdy, B.J.

    1976-01-01

    An examination is presented of the social, economic and political/institutional impacts of two operating nuclear power complexes on two New England communities. The work is one of a series planned to broaden knowledge of the effects of large energy-generating facilities upon the social structure of local communities. Its primary objectives are to investigate and assess social and economic impacts resulting from construction and operation of nuclear power plants and to generate hypotheses about such impacts for future testing

  1. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gerven, Luuk P A; de Klein, Jeroen J M; Gerla, Daan J; Kooi, Bob W; Kuiper, Jan J; Mooij, Wolf M

    2015-07-01

    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 high supply of light and nutrients, floating plants always dominate due to their primacy for light, even when submerged plants have lower minimal resource requirements. The model also shows that floating-plant dominance cannot be an alternative stable state in light-limited environments but only in nutrient-limited environments, depending on the plants' resource consumption traits. Compared to unlayered communities, the asymmetry in competition for light-coincident with symmetry in competition for nutrients-leads to fundamentally different results: competition outcomes can no longer be predicted from species traits such as minimal resource requirements ([Formula: see text] rule) and resource consumption. Also, the same two species can, depending on the environment, coexist or be alternative stable states. When applied to two common plant species in temperate regions, both the model and field data suggest that floating-plant dominance is unlikely to be an alternative stable state.

  2. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Previous field observations indicated that earthworms promote late-successional plant species and reduce collembolan numbers at post-mining sites in the Sokolov coal mining district (Czech Republic). Here, we established a laboratory pot experiment to test the effect of earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa Savigny and Lumbricus rubellus Hoffm.) and litter of low, medium, and high quality (the grass Calamagrostis epigejos, the willow Salix caprea, and the alder Alnus glutinosa, respectively) on late successional plants (grasses Arrhenatherum elatius and Agrostis capillaris, legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium medium, and non-leguminous dicots Centaurea jacea and Plantago lanceolata) in spoil substrate originating from Sokolov post-mining sites and naturally inhabited by abundant numbers of Collembola. The earthworms increased plant biomass, especially that of the large-seeded A. elatius, but reduced the number of plant individuals, mainly that of the small-seeded A. capillaris and both legumes. Litter quality affected plant biomass, which was highest with S. caprea litter, but did not change the number of plant individuals. Litter quality did not modify the effect of earthworms on plants; the effect of litter quality and earthworms was only additive. Species composition of Collembola community was altered by litter quality, but earthworms reduced the number of individuals, increased the number of species, and increased species evenness consistently across the litter qualities. Because the results of this experiment were consistent with the field observations, we conclude that earthworms help drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities on post-mining sites.

  3. Leaf-litter microfungal community on poor fen plant debris in Torfy Lake area (Central Poland)

    OpenAIRE

    Mateusz Wilk; Agnieszka Banach; Julia Pawłowska; Marta Wrzosek

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to initially evaluate the species diversity of microfungi growing on litter of 15 plant species occurring on the poor fen and neighbouring area of the Torfy Lake, Masovian voivodeship, Poland. The lake is located near the planned road investment (construction of the Warsaw southern express ring road S2). The place is biologically valuable as there are rare plant communities from Rhynchosporion albae alliance protected under the Habitats Directive adopted by the E...

  4. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Janoušková, Martina; Krak, Karol; Vosátka, Miroslav; Püschel, David; Štorchová, Helena

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 7 (2017), s. 1-21, č. článku e0181525. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LH14285 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61389030 Keywords : inoculation * arbuscular mycorrhiza * community Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (UEB-Q) OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany; Plant sciences, botany (UEB-Q) Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  5. 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...

  6. Complex responses of spring alpine vegetation phenology to snow cover dynamics over the Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Siyuan; Wang, Xiaoyue; Chen, Guangsheng; Yang, Qichun; Wang, Bin; Ma, Yuanxu; Shen, Ming

    2017-09-01

    Snow cover dynamics are considered to play a key role on spring phenological shifts in the high-latitude, so investigating responses of spring phenology to snow cover dynamics is becoming an increasingly important way to identify and predict global ecosystem dynamics. In this study, we quantified the temporal trends and spatial variations of spring phenology and snow cover across the Tibetan Plateau by calibrating and analyzing time series of the NOAA AVHRR-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) during 1983-2012. We also examined how snow cover dynamics affect the spatio-temporal pattern of spring alpine vegetation phenology over the plateau. Our results indicated that 52.21% of the plateau experienced a significant advancing trend in the beginning of vegetation growing season (BGS) and 34.30% exhibited a delaying trend. Accordingly, the snow cover duration days (SCD) and snow cover melt date (SCM) showed similar patterns with a decreasing trend in the west and an increasing trend in the southeast, but the start date of snow cover (SCS) showed an opposite pattern. Meanwhile, the spatial patterns of the BGS, SCD, SCS and SCM varied in accordance with the gradients of temperature, precipitation and topography across the plateau. The response relationship of spring phenology to snow cover dynamics varied within different climate, terrain and alpine plant community zones, and the spatio-temporal response patterns were primarily controlled by the long-term local heat-water conditions and topographic conditions. Moreover, temperature and precipitation played a profound impact on diverse responses of spring phenology to snow cover dynamics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Ethnobotany of wild plants used for starting fermented beverages in Shui communities of southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Liya; Zhuo, Jingxian; Lei, Qiyi; Zhou, Jiangju; Ahmed, Selena; Wang, Chaoying; Long, Yuxiao; Li, Feifei; Long, Chunlin

    2015-05-28

    Shui communities of southwest China have an extensive history of using wild plants as starters (Xiaoqu) to prepare fermented beverages that serve important roles in interpersonal relationships and cultural events. While the practice of using wild plants as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages was once prevalent throughout China, this tradition has seen a decline nationally since the 1930s. The traditional technique of preparing fermented beverages from wild plant starters remains well preserved in the Shui communities in southwest China and provides insight on local human-environment interactions and conservation of plant biodiversity for cultural purposes. The present study sought to examine the ethnobotany of wild plants used as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages including an inventory of plants used as a starter in liquor fermentation and associated knowledge and practices. Field surveys were carried out that consisted of semi-structured surveys and plant species inventories. One hundred forty-nine informants in twenty Shui villages were interviewed between July 2012 and October 2014 to document knowledge associated with wild plants used as a liquor fermentation starter. The inventories involved plant voucher specimens and taxonomic identification of plant collections. A total of 103 species in 57 botanical families of wild plants were inventoried and documented that are traditionally used as starters for preparing fermented beverages by Shui communities. The majority of the species (93.2%) have multiple uses in addition to being used as a starter with medicinal purposes being the most prevalent. Shui women are the major harvesters and users of wild plants used as starters for preparing fermented beverages and transfer knowledge orally from mother to daughter. Findings from this study can serve as a basis for future investigation on fermented beverages and foods and associated knowledge and cultural practices. However, with rapid

  8. How plants connect pollination and herbivory networks and their contribution to community stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauve, Alix M C; Thébault, Elisa; Pocock, Michael J O; Fontaine, Colin

    2016-04-01

    Pollination and herbivory networks have mainly been studied separately, highlighting their distinct structural characteristics and the related processes and dynamics. However, most plants interact with both pollinators and herbivores, and there is evidence that both types of interaction affect each other. Here we investigated the way plants connect these mutualistic and antagonistic networks together, and the consequences for community stability. Using an empirical data set, we show that the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks is not random and promotes community stability. Analyses of the structure of binary and quantitative networks show different results: the plants' generalism with regard to pollinators is positively correlated to their generalism with regard to herbivores when considering binary interactions, but not when considering quantitative interactions. We also show that plants that share the same pollinators do not share the same herbivores. However, the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks promotes stability for both binary and quantitative networks. Our results highlight the relevance of considering the diversity of interaction types in ecological communities, and stress the need to better quantify the costs and benefits of interactions, as well as to develop new metrics characterizing the way different interaction types are combined within ecological networks.

  9. Environmental and community controls on plant canopy chemistry in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlin, Kyla M; Asner, Gregory P; Field, Christopher B

    2013-04-23

    Understanding how and why plant communities vary across space has long been a goal of ecology, yet parsing the relative importance of different influences has remained a challenge. Species-specific models are not generalizable, whereas broad plant functional type models lack important detail. Here we consider plant trait patterns at the local scale and ask whether plant chemical traits are more closely linked to environmental gradients or to changes in species composition. We used the visible-to-shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectrometer of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to develop maps of four plant chemical traits--leaf nitrogen per mass, leaf carbon per mass, leaf water concentration, and canopy water content--across a diverse Mediterranean-type ecosystem (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, CA). For all four traits, plant community alone was the strongest predictor of trait variation (explaining 46-61% of the heterogeneity), whereas environmental gradients accounted for just one fourth of the variation in the traits. This result emphasizes the critical role that species composition plays in mediating nutrient and carbon cycling within and among different communities. Environmental filtering and limits to similarity can act strongly, simultaneously, in a spatially heterogeneous environment, but the local-scale environmental gradients alone cannot account for the variation across this landscape.

  10. Forest Plant and Bird Communities in the Lau Group, Fiji

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Background We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km2), Nayau (18.4 km2), and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km2), islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity. Methodology/Principal Findings All trees >5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m2 each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging) than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness). Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons) recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited) island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba. Conclusions/Significance Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human

  11. Impacts of nuclear power plant developments on community service capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krannich, R.S.

    1978-03-01

    With the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969 a legislative mandate was established to assess ''socioeconomic'' as well as environmental consequences of large-scale development projects. However, the developing literature base in the area of socioeconomics has exhibited a pronounced tendency to stress social and economic pathologies associated with the so-called ''boom town'' syndrome. While boom growth and associated problems do appear to provide relevant conceptualizations of the socioeconomic impacts of energy resource development projects in geographically isolated sectors of the western United States, the argument is presented that such a perspective is generally inappropriate when assessing the consequences of nuclear power plant developments. Survey data on 21 nuclear generating facilities are analyzed in order to provide a comparative perspective on socioeconomic consequences and factors which may influence their relative importance

  12. Diversity reduces invasibility in experimental plant communities: the role of plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ruijven, J.; De Deyn, G.B.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    Several studies have presented experimental evidence that diversity reduces invasibility in grassland communities. The interpretation of these results has been disputed recently and it was proposed that sampling effects were responsible for the observed decrease of invasibility with diversity. The

  13. Semaine alpine 2008 : innover (dans) les Alpes

    OpenAIRE

    Bourdeau, Philippe; Bourdeau, Philippe; Corneloup, Jean; Corneloup, Jean; Finger-Stich, Andréa; Finger-Stich, Andréa; Giraut, Frédéric; Giraut, Frédéric; Kohler, Yann; Kohler, Yann; Macchiavelli, Andrea; Macchiavelli, Andrea; Scheurer, Thomas; Scheurer, Thomas; Ullrich, Aurelia

    2009-01-01

    Ce premier dossier en ligne se penche sur une question de grande actualité : l’innovation, pour interroger les conceptions et mises en œuvre de démarches innovantes dans les contextes montagnards. Ces textes sont issus de la « Semaine alpine », qui s’est déroulée en juin 2008 à l’Argentière-La Bessée, dans les Hautes-Alpes (France). Ces « Semaines alpines », en alternance avec les « Forums alpins », rassemblent tous les deux ans des chercheurs et des acteurs locaux de l’ensemble de l’arc alp...

  14. Habitat template approach for green roofs using a native rocky sea coast plant community in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagase, Ayako; Tashiro-Ishii, Yurika

    2018-01-15

    The present study examined whether it is possible to simulate a local herbaceous coastal plant community on a roof, by studying the natural habitats of rocky sea coast plants and their propagation and performance on a green roof. After studying the natural habitat of coastal areas in Izu peninsula, a germination and cutting transplant study was carried out using herbaceous plants from the Jogasaki sea coast. Many plant species did not germinate at all and the use of cuttings was a better method than direct seeding. The green roof was installed in the spring of 2012 in Chiba city. Thirteen plant species from the Jogasaki sea coast, which were successfully propagated, were planted in three kinds of substrate (15 cm depth): pumice, roof tile and commercial green roof substrate. The water drainage was restricted and a reservoir with 5 cm depth of water underlaid the substrate to simulate a similar growing environment to the sea coast. Volcanic rocks were placed as mulch to create a landscape similar to that on the Jogasaki sea coast. Plant coverage on the green roof was measured every month from June 2012 to October 2014. All plants were harvested and their dry shoot weight was measured in December 2014. The type of substrate did not cause significant differences in plant survival and dry shoot weight. Sea coast plant species were divided into four categories: vigorous growth; seasonal change; disappearing after a few years; limited growth. Understanding the ecology of natural habitats was important to simulating a local landscape using native plant communities on the green roof. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Inter-plant communication through mycorrhizal networks mediates complex adaptive behaviour in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzelak, Monika A; Asay, Amanda K; Pickles, Brian J; Simard, Suzanne W

    2015-05-15

    Adaptive behaviour of plants, including rapid changes in physiology, gene regulation and defence response, can be altered when linked to neighbouring plants by a mycorrhizal network (MN). Mechanisms underlying the behavioural changes include mycorrhizal fungal colonization by the MN or interplant communication via transfer of nutrients, defence signals or allelochemicals. We focus this review on our new findings in ectomycorrhizal ecosystems, and also review recent advances in arbuscular mycorrhizal systems. We have found that the behavioural changes in ectomycorrhizal plants depend on environmental cues, the identity of the plant neighbour and the characteristics of the MN. The hierarchical integration of this phenomenon with other biological networks at broader scales in forest ecosystems, and the consequences we have observed when it is interrupted, indicate that underground 'tree talk' is a foundational process in the complex adaptive nature of forest ecosystems. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  16. The factors controlling species density in herbaceous plant communities: An assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.

    1999-01-01

    This paper evaluates both the ideas and empirical evidence pertaining to the control of species density in herbaceous plant communities. While most theoretical discussions of species density have emphasized the importance of habitat productivity and disturbance regimes, many other factors (e.g. species pools, plant litter accumulation, plant morphology) have been proposed to be important. A review of literature presenting observations on the density of species in small plots (in the vicinity of a few square meters or less), as well as experimental studies, suggests several generalizations: (1) Available data are consistent with an underlying unimodal relationship between species density and total community biomass. While variance in species density is often poorly explained by predictor variables, there is strong evidence that high levels of community biomass are antagonistic to high species density. (2) Community biomass is just one of several factors affecting variations in species density. Multivariate analyses typically explain more than twice as much variance in species density as can be explained by community biomass alone. (3) Disturbance has important and sometimes complex effects on species density. In general, the evidence is consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis but exceptions exist and effects can be complex. (4) Gradients in the species pool can have important influences on patterns of species density. Evidence is mounting that a considerable amount of the observed variability in species density within a landscape or region may result from environmental effects on the species pool. (5) Several additional factors deserve greater consideration, including time lags, species composition, plant morphology, plant density and soil microbial effects. Based on the available evidence, a conceptual model of the primary factors controlling species density is presented here. This model suggests that species density is controlled by the effects of

  17. Plant community responses to simultaneous changes in temperature, nitrogen availability, and invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Increasing rates of change in climate have been observed across the planet and have contributed to the ongoing range shifts observed for many species. Although ecologists are now using a variety of approaches to study how much and through what mechanisms increasing temperature and nutrient pollution may influence the invasions inherent in range shifts, accurate predictions are still lacking.In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment, simultaneously manipulating warming, nitrogen addition and introduction of Pityopsis aspera, to determine how range-shifting species affect a plant community. We quantified the resident community using ordination scores, then used structural equation modeling to examine hypotheses related to how plants respond to a network of experimental treatments and environmental variables. Variation in soil pH explained plant community response to nitrogen addition in the absence of invasion. However, in the presence of invasion, the direct effect of nitrogen on the community was negligible and soil moisture was important for explaining nitrogen effects. We did not find effects of warming on the native plant community in the absence of invasion. In the presence of invasion, however, warming had negative effects on functional richness directly and invasion and herbivory explained the overall positive effect of warming on the plant community.This work highlights the variation in the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for explaining independent and collective climate change effects over a short time scale. Future work should consider the complex and non-additive relationships among factors of climate change and invasion in order to capture more ecologically relevant features of our changing environment.

  18. Soil-landform-plant communities relationships of a periglacial landscape at Potter Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelking, E. L.; Schaefer, C. E. R.; Fernandes Filho, E. I.; de Andrade, A. M.; Spielmann, A. A.

    2014-08-01

    Integrated studies on the interplay between soils, periglacial geomorphology and plant communities are crucial for the understanding of climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems of Maritime Antarctica, one of the most sensitive areas to global warming. Knowledge on physical environmental factors that influence plant communities can greatly benefit studies on monitoring climate change in Maritime Antarctica, where new ice-free areas are being constantly exposed, allowing plant growth and organic carbon inputs. The relationship between topography, plant communities and soils was investigated in Potter Peninsula, King George Island, Maritime Antarctica. We mapped the occurrence and distribution of plant communities and identified soil-landform-vegetation relationships. The vegetation map was obtained by classification of a Quickbird image, coupled with detailed landform and characterization of 18 soil profiles. The sub-formations were identified and classified, and we also determined the total elemental composition of lichens, mosses and grasses. Plant communities at Potter Peninsula occupy 23% of the ice-free area, at different landscape positions, showing decreasing diversity and biomass from the coastal zone to inland areas where sub-desert conditions prevail. There is a clear dependency between landform and vegetated soils. Soils with greater moisture or poorly drained, and acid to neutral pH, are favourable for mosses subformations. Saline, organic-matter rich ornithogenic soils of former penguin rookeries have greater biomass and diversity, with mixed associations of mosses and grasses, while stable felseenmeers and flat rocky cryoplanation surfaces are the preferred sites for Usnea and Himantormia lugubris lichens, at the highest surface. Lichens subformations cover the largest vegetated area, showing varying associations with mosses.

  19. Soil-landform-plant-community relationships of a periglacial landscape on Potter Peninsula, maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelking, E. L.; Schaefer, C. E. R.; Fernandes Filho, E. I.; de Andrade, A. M.; Spielmann, A. A.

    2015-05-01

    Integrated studies on the interplay between soils, periglacial geomorphology and plant communities are crucial for the understanding of climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems of maritime Antarctica, one of the most sensitive areas to global warming. Knowledge on physical environmental factors that influence plant communities can greatly benefit studies on the monitoring of climate change in maritime Antarctica, where new ice-free areas are being constantly exposed, allowing plant growth and organic carbon inputs. The relationship between topography, plant communities and soils was investigated on Potter Peninsula, King George Island, maritime Antarctica. We mapped the occurrence and distribution of plant communities and identified soil-landform-vegetation relationships. The vegetation map was obtained by classification of a QuickBird image, coupled with detailed landform and characterization of 18 soil profiles. The sub-formations were identified and classified, and we also determined the total elemental composition of lichens, mosses and grasses. Plant communities on Potter Peninsula occupy 23% of the ice-free area, at different landscape positions, showing decreasing diversity and biomass from the coastal zone to inland areas where sub-desert conditions prevail. There is a clear dependency between landform and vegetated soils. Soils that have greater moisture or are poorly drained, and with acid to neutral pH, are favourable for moss sub-formations. Saline, organic-matter-rich ornithogenic soils of former penguin rookeries have greater biomass and diversity, with mixed associations of mosses and grasses, while stable felsenmeers and flat rocky cryoplanation surfaces are the preferred sites for Usnea and Himantormia lugubris lichens at the highest surface. Lichens sub-formations cover the largest vegetated area, showing varying associations with mosses.

  20. Importance of earthworm-seed interactions for the composition and structure of plant communities: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forey, Estelle; Barot, Sébastien; Decaëns, Thibaud; Langlois, Estelle; Laossi, Kam-Rigne; Margerie, Pierre; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-11-01

    Soil seed bank composition and dynamics are crucial elements for the understanding of plant population and community ecology. Earthworms are increasingly recognized as important dispersers and predators of seeds. Through direct and indirect effects they influence either positively or negatively the establishment and survival of seeds and seedlings. Seedling establishment is affected by a variety of earthworm-mediated mechanisms, such as selective seed ingestion and digestion, acceleration or deceleration of germination, and seed transport. Earthworm casts deposited on the soil surface and the entrance of earthworm burrows often contain viable seeds and constitute important regeneration niches for plant seedlings and therefore likely favour specific seed traits. However, the role of earthworms as seed dispersers, mediators of seed bank dynamics and seed predators has not been considered in concert. The overall effect of earthworms on plant communities remains little understood. Most knowledge is based on laboratory studies on temperate species and future work has to explore the biological significance of earthworm-seed interactions under more natural conditions. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on earthworm-seed interactions and discuss factors determining these interactions. We highlight that this interaction may be an underappreciated, yet major driving force for the dynamics of soil seed banks and plant communities which most likely have experienced co-evolutionary processes. Despite the experimental bias, we hypothesize that the knowledge gathered in the present review is of crucial relevance for restoration and conservation ecology. For instance, as earthworms emerge as successful and ubiquitous invaders in various ecosystems, the summarized information might serve as a basis for realistic estimations and modelling of consequences on native plant communities. We depict promising directions of future research and point to the need to consider

  1. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  2. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities.

  3. 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...... a maximum likelihood approach to inference where problems arise due to unknown interaction radii for the plants. We next demonstrate that a Bayesian approach provides a flexible framework for incorporating prior information concerning the interaction radii. From an ecological perspective, we are able both...

  4. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, D. B.; Fisher, R. A.; Wardle, D. A.

    2011-03-01

    Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R) is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Plant species consistently exhibit cohesive suites of traits, linked to contrasting life history strategies, which exert a variety of impacts on R. As such, we propose that plant community shifts towards dominance by fast growing plants with nutrient rich litter could provide a major, though often neglected, positive feedback to climate change. Within vegetation types, belowground carbon flux will mainly be controlled by photosynthesis, while amongst vegetation types this flux will be more dependent upon the specific characteristics of the plant life form. We also make the case that community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on ecosystem processes in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community, or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate-vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. This situation could, however, be relatively easily improved with targeted experimental and field studies. Finally, we identify key gaps in knowledge and recommend them as priorities for future work. These include the patterns of photosynthate partitioning amongst belowground components, ecosystem level effects of individual plant traits

  5. A tale of two single mountain alpine endemics: Packera franciscana and Erigeron mancus

    Science.gov (United States)

    James F. Fowler; Carolyn H. Sieg; Brian M. Casavant; Addie E. Hite

    2012-01-01

    Both the San Francisco Peaks ragwort, Packera franciscana and the La Sal daisy, Erigeron mancus are endemic to treeline/alpine habitats of the single mountain they inhabit. There is little habitat available for these plant species to migrate upward in a warming climate scenario. For P. franciscana, 2008 estimates indicate over 18,000 ramets in a 4 m band along a...

  6. Nematode community shifts in response to experimental warming and canopy conditions are associated with plant community changes in the temperate-boreal forest ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Madhav Prakash; Reich, Peter B; Fisichelli, Nicholas A; Stefanski, Artur; Cesarz, Simone; Dobies, Tomasz; Rich, Roy L; Hobbie, Sarah E; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2014-06-01

    Global climate warming is one of the key forces driving plant community shifts, such as range shifts of temperate species into boreal forests. As plant community shifts are slow to observe, ecotones, boundaries between two ecosystems, are target areas for providing early evidence of ecological responses to warming. The role of soil fauna is poorly explored in ecotones, although their positive and negative effects on plant species can influence plant community structure. We studied nematode communities in response to experimental warming (ambient, +1.7, +3.4 °C) in soils of closed and open canopy forest in the temperate-boreal ecotone of Minnesota, USA and calculated various established nematode indices. We estimated species-specific coverage of understory herbaceous and shrub plant species from the same experimental plots and tested if changes in the nematode community are associated with plant cover and composition. Individual nematode trophic groups did not differ among warming treatments, but the ratio between microbial-feeding and plant-feeding nematodes increased significantly and consistently with warming in both closed and open canopy areas and at both experimental field sites. The increase in this ratio was positively correlated with total cover of understory plant species, perhaps due to increased predation pressure on soil microorganisms causing higher nutrient availability for plants. Multivariate analyses revealed that temperature treatment, canopy conditions and nematode density consistently shaped understory plant communities across experimental sites. Our findings suggest that warming-induced changes in nematode community structure are associated with shifts in plant community composition and productivity in the temperate-boreal forest ecotones.

  7. Ecological assembly rules in plant communities--approaches, patterns and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Davison, John; Dubuis, Anne; Guisan, Antoine; Lepš, Jan; Lindborg, Regina; Moora, Mari; Pärtel, Meelis; Pellissier, Loic; Pottier, Julien; Vittoz, Pascal; Zobel, Kristjan; Zobel, Martin

    2012-02-01

    Understanding how communities of living organisms assemble has been a central question in ecology since the early days of the discipline. Disentangling the different processes involved in community assembly is not only interesting in itself but also crucial for an understanding of how communities will behave under future environmental scenarios. The traditional concept of assembly rules reflects the notion that species do not co-occur randomly but are restricted in their co-occurrence by interspecific competition. This concept can be redefined in a more general framework where the co-occurrence of species is a product of chance, historical patterns of speciation and migration, dispersal, abiotic environmental factors, and biotic interactions, with none of these processes being mutually exclusive. Here we present a survey and meta-analyses of 59 papers that compare observed patterns in plant communities with null models simulating random patterns of species assembly. According to the type of data under study and the different methods that are applied to detect community assembly, we distinguish four main types of approach in the published literature: species co-occurrence, niche limitation, guild proportionality and limiting similarity. Results from our meta-analyses suggest that non-random co-occurrence of plant species is not a widespread phenomenon. However, whether this finding reflects the individualistic nature of plant communities or is caused by methodological shortcomings associated with the studies considered cannot be discerned from the available metadata. We advocate that more thorough surveys be conducted using a set of standardized methods to test for the existence of assembly rules in data sets spanning larger biological and geographical scales than have been considered until now. We underpin this general advice with guidelines that should be considered in future assembly rules research. This will enable us to draw more accurate and general

  8. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T J; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R

    2009-06-12

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  9. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T.J.; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R.

    2009-01-01

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  10. Medicinal wild plant knowledge and gathering patterns in a Mapuche community from North-western Patagonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estomba, Diego; Ladio, Ana; Lozada, Mariana

    2006-01-03

    Medicinal plant use has persisted as a long standing tradition in the Mapuche communities of Southern Argentina and Chile. An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in the rural Curruhuinca community located near the mountain city of San Martin de los Andes, Argentina. Semi-structured interviews were carried out on 22 families in order to examine the present use of medicinal plants and their reputed therapeutic effects. Ecological variables, such as distance to the gathering site and biogeographical origin were also analyzed. Our results showed that the Curruhuinca dwellers cited 89 plant species for medicinal purposes, both of native and exotic origin. They know about 47 native plants, of which they use 40, and they know of 42 exotic medicinal plants of which they use 34. A differential pattern was observed given that only native species, relevant for the traditional Mapuche medicine, were collected at more distant gathering sites. The interviewees mentioned 268 plant usages. Those most frequently reported had therapeutic value for treating digestive ailments (33%), as analgesic/anti-inflammatory (25%) and antitusive (13%). Native species were mainly cited as analgesics, and for gynecological, urinary and "cultural syndrome" effects, whereas exotic species were mainly cited for digestive ailments. The total number of medicinal plants known and used by the interviewees was positively correlated with people's age, indicating that this ancient knowledge tends to disappear in the younger generations.

  11. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANAND S. BISHT

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bisht AS, Sharma KD. 2014. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India. Biodiversitas 15: 92-98. Garhwal Himalaya possesses luxuriant a varied vegetation with in the Himalaya region. Almost every plant has economic value in the form of shelter, food, water, medicine, fuel and industrial products and fodder. Surveys were conducted in entire Bharsar, Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, India in order to get information on traditional uses of plants by local inhabitants. A total of 169 plants were collected of which 40 species of vegetables, 19 species of forest and agroforestry, 24 species of ornamental flower, 71 species of less known medicinal plants and 15 species of agricultural crops were found economically important as they are used by the people frequently for various purposes.

  12. Waste processing plant eco-auditing system for minimization of environmental risk: European Communities regulatory proposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brunetti, N.

    1993-01-01

    This paper delineates a system of process control and monitoring checks to be applied to municipal-industrial waste processing and disposal plants to ensure their energy efficient, environmentally safe and reliable operation. In line with European Communities environmental protection strategies, this eco-auditing system requires the preparation of environmental impacts statements on a regular basis during plant operation, as well as, prior to plant start-up. Continuous plant environmental compatibility evaluations are to ascertain: material and energy inputs and outputs; the composition and amounts of exhaust gases released into the atmosphere and the integrity of treatment liquids; control and monitoring instrumentation reliability. The implementation of the auditing system is to be carried out under the supervision of authorized auditing personnel. Waste processing and disposal plants are to make maximum use of energy and materials recovery processes so as to minimize energy consumption and risk to the environment

  13. The consequences of elevated CO² and land use in alpine ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Inauen, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    The consequences of elevated CO2 and land use in alpine ecosystems This PhD thesis addresses two main aspects of Global Change and their impacts on alpine vegetation and eco-hydrology, (1) the steadily increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as well as (2) land use and its current decline across the Alps. Current and future rises of atmospheric CO2 concentration are commonly expected to stimulate photosynthesis and to reduce carbon limitation of plant growth. Whether this hypoth...

  14. Plant invasions: Merging the concepts of species invasiveness and community invasibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 3 (2006), s. 409-431 ISSN 0309-1333 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * species invasiveness * community invasibility Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.278, year: 2006

  15. Does the edge effect influence plant community structure in a tropical dry forest?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diogo Gallo Oliveira

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Edge effects are considered a key factor in regulating the structure of plant communities in different ecosystems. However, regardless to few studies, edge influence does not seem to be decisive in semiarid regions such as the Brazilian tropical dry forest known as Caatinga but this issue remains inconclusive. The present study tests the null hypothesis that the plant community of shrubs and trees does not change in its structure due to edge effects. Twenty-four plots (20 x 20 m were set up in a fragment of Caatinga, in which 12 plots were in the forest edges and 12 plots were inside the fragment. Tree richness, abundance and species composition did not differ between edge and interior plots. The results of this study are in agreement with the pattern previously found for semiarid environments and contrasts with previous results obtained in different environments such as Rainforests, Savanna and Forest of Araucaria, which indicate abrupt differences between the border and interior of the plant communities in these ecosystems, and suggest that the community of woody plants of the Caatinga is not ecologically affected by the presence of edges.

  16. The Effects of Disturbance History on Ground-Layer Plant Community Composition in British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ton

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities are sensitive to perturbations and may display alternative recovery pathways depending on disturbance history. In sub-boreal lodgepole pine forests of central interior British Columbia, Canada, fire and logging are two widespread landscape disturbances that overlap in many regions. We asked whether cumulative, short-interval disturbance from logging and fire resulted in different ground-layer plant communities than resulted from fire alone. Using field-collected data, we compared the taxonomic composition and functional traits of 3-year old plant communities that were either harvested 6-to-13 years prior, or not harvested prior to being burned in a large stand-replacing fire. The taxonomic composition diverged between the two treatments, driven primarily by differences in a few key indicator species such as Petasites frigidus and Vaccinium membranaceum. Analysis of individual species’ morphological traits indicated that only a few species vary in size in relation to disturbance history. Our data suggest that a history of forest harvest leaves a subtle footprint on post-fire ground-layer plant communities at early stages of succession.

  17. Establishment of different riparian plant communities from the same soil seed bank

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

  18. Phytosociology and plant community utilisation by vervet monkeys of the Blydeberg Conservancy, Limpopo Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S. Barret

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The plant communities of the Blydeberg Conservancy were investigated as part of a research project on the foraging ecology of vervet monkeys Cercopithecus aethiops pygerythrus (senso lato in mixed lowveld bushveld and sour lowveld bushveld areas. To date there are no formal management plans for vervet monkeys. This is attributed to the limited knowledge of vervets and their utilisation of and impacts on ecosystems. From a TWINSPAN classification refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, ten plant communities that can be placed into four major groups were identified. A classification and description of these communities, including a vegetation map are presented. Diagnostic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species of tree, shrub, herb and grass strata are outlined. Of the ten available plant communities, the vervets utilised only six during the study period. There was an abundant supply of various food sources throughout the year, with movement patterns mostly coinciding with the fruiting times of several tree and other plant species.

  19. Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey S. Ward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.

  20. Resurvey of historical vegetation plots: a tool for understanding long-term dynamics of plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hédl, Radim; Brnhardt-Römermann, M.; Grytnes, J.-A.; Jurasinski, G.; Ewald, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 2 (2017), s. 161-163 ISSN 1402-2001 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : global change * plant communities * plot resurveys Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.474, year: 2016

  1. Volatile-mediated suppression of plant pathogens is related to soil properties and microbial community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Agtmaal, M.; Straathof, A.L.; Termorshuizen, Aad J; Lievens, Bart; Hoffland, Ellis; De Boer, W.

    2018-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the soil microbial community produces a suite of volatile organic compounds that suppress plant pathogens. However, it remains unknown which soil properties and management practices influence volatile-mediated pathogen suppression. The aim of this study was to

  2. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rídl, Jakub; Kolář, Michal; Strejček, M.; Strnad, Hynek; Štursa, P.; Pačes, Jan; Macek, T.; Uhlík, O.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, JUN 24 (2016), č. článku 995. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-28283S Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : microbial community structure * plants * fertilization * contaminated soil * functional potential Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  3. Volatile-mediated suppression of plant pathogens is related to soil properties and microbial community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agtmaal, van Maaike; Straathof, Angela L.; Termorshuizen, Aad; Lievens, Bart; Hoffland, Ellis; Boer, de Wietse

    2018-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the soil microbial community produces a suite of volatile organic compounds that suppress plant pathogens. However, it remains unknown which soil properties and management practices influence volatile-mediated pathogen suppression. The aim of this study was to

  4. Plant Community and Soil Environment Response to Summer Fire in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is a keystone process in many ecosystems, especially grasslands. However, documentation of plant community and soil environment responses to fire is limited for semiarid grasslands relative to that for mesic grasslands. Replicated summer fire research is lacking, but much needed because summe...

  5. Plant secondary metabolite-induced shifts in bacterial community structure and degradative ability in contaminated soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Uhlík, O.; Musilová, L.; Rídl, Jakub; Hroudová, Miluše; Vlček, Čestmír; Koubek, J.; Holečková, M.; Mackova, M.; Macek, T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 97, č. 20 (2013), s. 9245-9256 ISSN 0175-7598 Grant - others:EK(XE) 265946; GA MŠk(CZ) ME10041 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : plant secondary metabolites (PSM) * bacterial community * metabolic activity * bioremediation * pyrosequencing Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.811, year: 2013

  6. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. M. Connolly; D. E. Pearson; R. N. Mack

    2014-01-01

    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...

  7. Dissimilar response of plant and soil biota communities to long-term nutrient adition in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der A.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Korevaar, H.; Schouten, A.J.; Jagers op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.

    2009-01-01

    The long-term effect of fertilizers on plant diversity and productivity is well known, but long-term effects on soil biota communities have received relatively little attention. Here, we used an exceptional long-lasting (>40 years) grassland fertilization experiment to investigate the long-term

  8. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant's microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcom, Ian N; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have been developed in response. To determine whether the removal of micropollutants in ecological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is promoted by the plant-microbe interactions, as has been reported for other recalcitrant xenobiotics, biofilm microbial communities growing on the surfaces of plant roots were profiled by whole metagenome sequencing and compared to the microbial communities residing in the wastewater. In this study, the concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were quantified in each treatment tank of the ecological WWTP treating human wastewater at a highway rest stop and visitor center in Vermont. The concentrations of detected PPCPs were substantially greater than values reported for conventional WWTPs likely due to onsite recirculation of wastewater. The greatest reductions in PPCPs concentrations were observed in the anoxic treatment tank where Bacilli dominated the biofilm community. Benzoate degradation was the most abundant xenobiotic metabolic category identified throughout the system. Collectively, the microbial communities residing in the wastewater were taxonomically and metabolically more diverse than the immersed plant root biofilm. However, greater heterogeneity and higher relative abundances of xenobiotic metabolism genes was observed for the root biofilm.

  9. Properties of native plant communities do not determine exotic success during early forest succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldo Compagnoni; Charles B. Halpern

    2009-01-01

    Considerable research has been devoted to understanding how plant invasions are influenced by properties of the native community and to the traits of exotic species that contribute to successful invasion. Studies of invasibility are common in successionally stable grasslands, but rare in recently disturbed or seral forests. We used 16 years of species richness and...

  10. Squared Euclidean distance: a statistical test to evaluate plant community change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond D. Ratliff; Sylvia R. Mori

    1993-01-01

    The concepts and a procedure for evaluating plant community change using the squared Euclidean distance (SED) resemblance function are described. Analyses are based on the concept that Euclidean distances constitute a sample from a population of distances between sampling units (SUs) for a specific number of times and SUs. With different times, the distances will be...

  11. Blue oak plant communities of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark I. Borchert; Nancy D. Cunha; Patricia C. Krosse; Marcee L. Lawrence

    1993-01-01

    An ecological classification system has been developed for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service. As part of that classification effort, blue oak (Quercus douglasii) woodlands and forests of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties in Los Padres National Forest were classified into I3 plant communities using...

  12. Negative Plant–Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonanomi, G.; Rietkerk, M.G.; 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

  13. Phyllosphere Microbiota Composition and Microbial Community Transplantation on Lettuce Plants Grown Indoors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Thomas R.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The aerial surfaces of plants, or phyllosphere, are microbial habitats important to plant and human health. In order to accurately investigate microbial interactions in the phyllosphere under laboratory conditions, the composition of the phyllosphere microbiota should be representative of the diversity of microorganisms residing on plants in nature. We found that Romaine lettuce grown in the laboratory contained 10- to 100-fold lower numbers of bacteria than age-matched, field-grown lettuce. The bacterial diversity on laboratory-grown plants was also significantly lower and contained relatively higher proportions of Betaproteobacteria as opposed to the Gammaproteobacteria-enriched communities on field lettuce. Incubation of field-grown Romaine lettuce plants in environmental growth chambers for 2 weeks resulted in bacterial cell densities and taxa similar to those on plants in the field but with less diverse bacterial populations overall. In comparison, the inoculation of laboratory-grown Romaine lettuce plants with either freshly collected or cryopreserved microorganisms recovered from field lettuce resulted in the development of a field-like microbiota on the lettuce within 2 days of application. The survival of an inoculated strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 was unchanged by microbial community transfer; however, the inoculation of E. coli O157:H7 onto those plants resulted in significant shifts in the abundance of certain taxa. This finding was strictly dependent on the presence of a field-associated as opposed to a laboratory-associated microbiota on the plants. Phyllosphere microbiota transplantation in the laboratory will be useful for elucidating microbial interactions on plants that are important to agriculture and microbial food safety. PMID:25118240

  14. Endemic plants harbour specific Trichoderma communities with an exceptional potential for biocontrol of phytopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachow, Christin; Berg, Christian; Müller, Henry; Monk, Jana; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-10-10

    Trichoderma strains exhibit enormous potential for applications in biotechnology, in particular as biocontrol agents against pathogens. However, little is known about the diversity of plant-associated Trichoderma communities at a global scale and their antagonistic spectrum. In order to gather information about structure and function, we compared Trichoderma biomes of endemic (Aeonium, Diospyros, Hebe, Rhododendron) and cosmopolitan plants (Zea mays) in a global study encompassing the area Northwest Africa to New Zealand via the European Alps and Madagascar. At the quantitative level we found no differences between cosmopolitan and endemic plants. Statistically significant differences were detected at the qualitative level: Trichoderma populations of endemic plants were highly specific and diverse with hot spots appearing in Madagascar and New Zealand. By contrast, maize plants from all sites shared the majority of Trichoderma species (65.5%). Interestingly, the high above ground biodiversity in ecosystems containing endemic plants was confirmed by a high below ground Trichoderma diversity. Despite the differences, we found a global Trichoderma core community shared by all analysed plants, which was dominated by T. koningii and T. koningiopsis. Amplicon-based network analyses revealed a high similarity between maize Trichoderma grown world-wide and distinct populations of endemic plants. Furthermore, Trichoderma strains from endemic plants showed a higher antagonistic activity against fungal pathogens compared to maize-associated strains. Our results showed that endemic plants are associated with a specific Trichoderma microbiome which possesses a high antagonistic activity indicating that it has potential to be used for biocontrol purposes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Indigenous uses of ethnomedicinal plants among forest-dependent communities of Northern Bengal, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Antony Joseph; Biswakarma, Saroj; Pala, Nazir A; Shukla, Gopal; Vineeta; Kumar, Munesh; Chakravarty, Sumit; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2018-01-26

    Traditional knowledge on ethnomedicinal plant is slowly eroding. The exploration, identification and documentation on utilization of ethnobotanic resources are essential for restoration and preservation of ethnomedicinal knowledge about the plants and conservation of these species for greater interest of human society. The study was conducted at fringe areas of Chilapatta Reserve Forest in the foothills of the eastern sub-Himalayan mountain belts of West Bengal, India, from December 2014 to May 2016. Purposive sampling method was used for selection of area. From this area which is inhabited by aboriginal community of Indo-Mongoloid origin, 400 respondents including traditional medicinal practitioners were selected randomly for personal interview schedule through open-ended questionnaire. The questionnaire covered aspects like plant species used as ethnomedicines, plant parts used, procedure for dosage and therapy. A total number of 140 ethnomedicinal species was documented, in which the tree species (55) dominated the lists followed by herbs (39) and shrubs (30). Among these total planted species used for ethnomedicinal purposes, 52 species were planted, 62 species growing wild or collected from the forest for use and 26 species were both wild and planted. The present study documented 61 more planted species as compared to 17 planted species documented in an ethnomedicinal study a decade ago. The documented species were used to treat 58 human diseases/ailments including nine species used to eight diseases/ailments of domestic animals. Stomach-related problems were treated by maximum number of plants (40 species) followed by cuts and wounds with 27 plant species and least with one species each for 17 diseases or ailments. Maximum number of 12 diseases/ailments was cured by Melia azedarach followed by Centella asiatica and Rauvolfia serpentina which were used to cure 11 diseases/ailments each. The list of 140 plant species indicates that the Chilapatta Reserve Forest

  16. The most used medicinal plants by communities in Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka, Southwestern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randrianarivony, Tabita N; Ramarosandratana, Aro Vonjy; Andriamihajarivo, Tefy H; Rakotoarivony, Fortunat; Jeannoda, Vololoniaina H; Randrianasolo, Armand; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2017-03-09

    This paper reports a study undertaken in three remote communities (Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka), located in Sakaraha, Southwestern Madagascar. Not only villages are far away from sanitary infrastructures and doctors but drugs and consulting fees are unaffordable to villagers. They rely essentially on natural resources for health care as for most of rural areas in Madagascar. This paper aims to document medicinal plants used by communities in Sakaraha and to present the most important plant species used in traditional medicine. Semi - structured interview was conducted within 214 informants in 34 villages of the study area. Different ailments encountered in the site study were classified in various categories. For data analysis, frequency of citation (Fq), Informant Consensus Factor (Fic), Fidelity Level (FL) and Use Value (UV) were assessed to find agreement among informants about the use of plants as remedies. Mann-Whitney, Kruskall-Wallis and Spearman correlation tests were performed to determine use of medicinal plants following social status of informants. A total of 235 medicinal plant species belonging to 198 genera and 75 families were inventoried. The richest families in species used for medicinal purposes were: Fabaceae, Apocynaceae, Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Asteraceae, and Poaceae. Plant species cited by informants were used to treat 76 various ailments classified in 13 categories. Leaves and leafy twigs were the most used plant parts and decoction was the mostly cited way of preparation of these medicinal plants species. In average, local people cited 6.7 ± 6.03 medicinal taxa among them, Cedrelopsis grevei is the most cited medicinal plants (Fq. 0.28). With Cedrelopsis grevei (UV = 0.48), Henonia scoparia (UV = 0.43) are mostly used species. Leonotis nepetifolia (FL = 96%) and Strychnos henningsii (FL = 92%) are plant species claimed by high percentage of informants to treat the Digestive System Disorder. This study

  17. Use and management of traditional medicinal plants by Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Around 80% of the people of Ethiopia are estimated to be relying on medicinal plants for the treatment of different types of human health problems. The purpose of this study was to describe and analyse the use and management of medicinal plants used for the treatment of human health problems by the Maale and Ari communities in southern Ethiopia. Methods Quantitative and qualitative ethnobotanical field inquiries and analytical methods including individual and focus group discussions (18), observations, individual interviews (n = 74), preference ranking and paired comparison were used. Data were collected in three study sites and from two markets; the latter surveyed every 15 days from February 2011 to February 2012. Results A total of 128 medicinal plant species, belonging to 111 genera and 49 families, used as herbal medicine by Maale and Ari communities were documented. Predominantly harvested plant parts were leaves, which are known to have relatively low impact on medicinal plant resources. Species with high familiarity indices included Solanum dasyphyllum, Indigofera spicata, Ruta chalepensis, Plumbago zeylanica and Meyna tetraphylla. Low Jaccards similarity indices (≤ 0.33) indicated little correspondence in medicinal plant use among sites and between ethnic communities. The dominant ways of medicinal plant knowledge acquisition and transfer is vertical: from parents to children through oral means. Gender and site significantly influenced the number of human medicinal plants known currently in the study sites. Age was only a factor of significance in Maale. Marketing of medicinal plants harvested from wild and semi-wild stands is not common. Expansion of agricultural land and lack of cultivation efforts by local communities are mentioned by locals to affect the availability of medicinal plant resources. Conclusion S. dasyphyllum, I. spicata, P. zeylanica, M. tetraphylla, and Oxalis radicosa need to be considered for phytochemical and

  18. Water Source Utilization of Hammock and Pine Rockland Plant Communities in the Everglades, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, A. K.; Sternberg, L.; Miralles-Wilhelm, F.

    2007-12-01

    South Florida has a mosaic of plant communities resulting from topographical differences, spatially varying hydroperiods and fire. The only plant communities not flooded in the wet season are hardwood hammocks and often pine rocklands. Natural fires burn off litter accumulated in pine rocklands, with the exception of organic matter in sinkholes in the limestone bedrock. This relative lack of soil is thought to constrain pineland plants in the Everglades to depend upon groundwater that is typically low in nutrients. In contrast, adjoining hardwood hammocks have accumulated an organic soil layer that traps rainwater and nutrients. Plants in hammocks may be able to utilize this water and thereby access nutrients present in the litter. Hammocks are thus viewed as localized areas of high nutrients and instances of vegetation feedback upon the oligotrophic everglades landscape enabling establishment and survival of flood-intolerant tropical hardwood species. This study examines water source use and couples it to foliar nutrient concentrations of plants found in hammocks and pinelands. We examined the δ2H and δ18O of stem waters in plants in Everglades National Park and compared those with the δ2H and δ18O of potential water sources. In the wet season hammock plants accessed both groundwater and water in the surface organic soil layer while in the dry season they relied more on groundwater. A similar seasonal shift was observed in pineland plants; however groundwater constituted a much higher proportion of total water uptake throughout the year under observation. Concomitant with differential water utilization by hammock and pineland plant communities, we observed hammock plants having a significantly higher annual mean foliar N and P concentration than pineland plants. Most hammock species are intolerant of flooded soils and are thus constrained by the high water table in the wet season, yet access the lowered groundwater table in the dry season due to drying up of

  19. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J; Sanders, Nathan J; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-02-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: "dispersal lags" affecting plant species' spread along elevational gradients, "establishment lags" following their arrival in recipient communities, and "extinction lags" of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species' range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Herbicide and fertilizers promote analogous phylogenetic responses but opposite functional responses in plant communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Wisz, Mary S; Strandberg, Beate; Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    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 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 not phylogenetically conserved. Species richness also decreased with increasing levels of nitrogen and glyphosate. Our results suggest that predicting the cumulative effects of agrochemicals is more complex than anticipated due to their distinct selection of traits that may or may not be conserved phylogenetically. Precautionary efforts to mitigate drift of agricultural chemicals into semi-natural habitats are warranted to prevent unforeseeable biodiversity shifts. (paper)

  1. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M.; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I.; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-01-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: “dispersal lags” affecting plant species’ spread along elevational gradients, “establishment lags” following their arrival in recipient communities, and “extinction lags” of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species’ range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. PMID:29112781

  2. Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12 in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4, double (S7, and triple (S12 compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63, but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7 than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12. The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands.

  3. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C R S; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C; Piccolo, Marisa C; Peixoto, Raquel S; Greer, Charles W; Rosado, Alexandre S

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  4. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia C R S Teixeira

    Full Text Available Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies, Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  5. Plant and Bird Presence Strongly Influences the Microbial Communities in Soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C. R. S.; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C.; Piccolo, Marisa C.; Peixoto, Raquel S.; Greer, Charles W.; Rosado, Alexandre S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific. PMID:23840411

  6. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridl, Jakub; Kolar, Michal; Strejcek, Michal; Strnad, Hynek; Stursa, Petr; Paces, Jan; Macek, Tomas; Uhlik, Ondrej

    2016-01-01

    Plant-microbe interactions are of particular importance in polluted soils. This study sought to determine how selected plants (horseradish, black nightshade and tobacco) and NPK mineral fertilization shape the structure of soil microbial communities in legacy contaminated soil and the resultant impact of treatment on the soil microbial community functional potential. To explore these objectives, we combined shotgun metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene amplicon high throughput sequencing with data analysis approaches developed for RNA-seq. We observed that the presence of any of the selected plants rather than fertilization shaped the microbial community structure, and the microbial populations of the root zone of each plant significantly differed from one another and/or from the bulk soil, whereas the effect of the fertilizer proved to be insignificant. When we compared microbial diversity in root zones versus bulk soil, we observed an increase in the relative abundance of Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria or Bacteroidetes, taxa which are commonly considered copiotrophic. Our results thus align with the theory that fast-growing, copiotrophic, microorganisms which are adapted to ephemeral carbon inputs are enriched in the vegetated soil. Microbial functional potential indicated that some genetic determinants associated with signal transduction mechanisms, defense mechanisms or amino acid transport and metabolism differed significantly among treatments. Genetic determinants of these categories tend to be overrepresented in copiotrophic organisms. The results of our study further elucidate plant-microbe relationships in a contaminated environment with possible implications for the phyto/rhizoremediation of contaminated areas.

  7. THE CONCENTRATION OF PHOTOSINTHESIS PIGMENTS IN THE ANTHROPOGENIC PLANT COMMUNITIES IN TOBOLSK TOWN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Еlena Ivanovna Popova

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthesis means a lot in the life of a plant body. For the normal photosynthesis process it is necessary to have certain external and internal conditions. The topic of the research is the study of photosynthesis pigments in anthropogenic plant communities. The aim of our work was to study the pigment composition plants of anthropogenic phytocenoses. Methods: we have used the spectrophotometric method to define the concentration of pigments. Results: the research has shown that the concentration of a – chlorophyll, b – chlorophyll and carotenoids changes depending on the site conditions. The maximal concentration of a and b chlorophyll is found on less polluted areas. High carotenoid concentration was found in stress anthropogenic conditions. On the one hand, this carotenoid concentration decreases the stress effect. On the other hand it fulfils the protection function, preventing the chlorophyll molecules and other organic substances from destruction. In the research you will find the species composition of vascular plants on the sites under research. Jaccard’s coefficient of community has been defined. Field of application of results: the data can be used to predict the dynamics of populations and communities of plants in the contaminated areas and monitor the status of natural ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmers, Ruud A; Rothballer, Michael; Strik, David P B T B; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael; Hartmann, Anton; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees

    2012-04-01

    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 the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) were located on the root surfaces, but they were more abundant colonising the graphite granular electrode. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria dominated the area where most of the EAB were found, indicating that the current was probably generated via the hydrolysis of cellulose. Due to the presence of oxygen and nitrate, short-chain fatty acid-utilising denitrifiers were the major competitors for the electron donor. Acetate-utilising methanogens played a minor role in the competition for electron donor, probably due to the availability of graphite granules as electron acceptors.

  9. Local temperatures inferred from plant communities suggest strong spatial buffering of climate warming across Northern Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenoir, Jonathan; Graae, Bente; Aarrestad, Per

    2013-01-01

    -change impacts. Is this local spatial buffering restricted to topographically complex terrains? To answer this, we here study fine-grained thermal variability across a 2500-km wide latitudinal gradient in Northern Europe encompassing a large array of topographic complexities. We first combined plant community...... data, Ellenberg temperature indicator values, locally measured temperatures (LmT) and globally interpolated temperatures (GiT) in a modelling framework to infer biologically relevant temperature conditions from plant assemblages within community-inferred temperatures: CiT). We...... temperature indicator values in combination with plant assemblages explained 46-72% of variation in LmT and 92-96% of variation in GiT during the growing season (June, July, August). Growing-season CiT range within 1-km(2) units peaked at 60-65°N and increased with terrain roughness, averaging 1.97 °C (SD = 0...

  10. Seedling recruitment of forb species under experimental microhabitats in alpine grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, S. S.; Yu, L.; Lin, W. G.; Pingi, T. F.

    2015-01-01

    Which factors limit plant seedling recruitment in alpine meadow of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), China? This study examined the relative influence of seed mass and microsites (resulted from grazing disturbance) on field seedling emergence and survival of nineteen alpine herbaceous species with a range of traits in QTP. Seed mass had significant effects on seedling emergence and survival eliminating influence of light and nutrient variances among these species. The larger-seed species had more advantageous than the smaller-seed species in seedling survival, but it was disadvatage for seedling emergence, especially under high nutrient availability and low light intensity conditions. Light had obvious effects on seedling survival, but less effects on seedling emergence for these species. Moreover, nutrient and light treatments altered the regression relationships of seed mass and seedling emergence and survival and the order of significances was L25>L50>L100>L10>L4. These results suggested that seed mass may restrict seedling recruitment processes, however, light and nutrient availability all have significant effects on seedling emergence and survival for these alpine species. Moderate light intensity was propitious to seedling emergence and survival in alpine grassland. This suggests that ecological factors in alpine grassland provide a stochastic influence on different seed-mass species. These trends may help to explain why many small-seeded species of Asteraceae and Gramineae tend to be more abundant in disturbed habitats. (author)

  11. Climate interacts with soil to produce beta diversity in Californian plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Going, B M; Harrison, S P; Anacker, B L; Safford, H D

    2013-09-01

    Spatially distinct communities can arise through interactions and feedbacks between abiotic and biotic factors. We suggest that, for plants, patches of infertile soils such as serpentine may support more distinct communities from those in the surrounding non-serpentine matrix in regions where the climate is more productive (i.e., warmer and/or wetter). Where both soil fertility and climatic productivity are high, communities may be dominated by plants with fast-growing functional traits, whereas where either soils or climate impose low productivity, species with stress-tolerant functional traits may predominate. As a result, both species and functional composition may show higher dissimilarity between patch and matrix in productive climates. This pattern may be reinforced by positive feedbacks, in which higher plant growth under favorable climate and soil conditions leads to higher soil fertility, further enhancing plant growth. For 96 pairs of sites across a 200-km latitudinal gradient in California, we found that the species and functional dissimilarities between communities on infertile serpentine and fertile non-serpentine soils were higher in more productive (wetter) regions. Woody species had more stress-tolerant functional traits on serpentine than non-serpentine soil, and as rainfall increased, woody species functional composition changed toward fast-growing traits on non-serpentine, but not on serpentine soils. Soil organic matter increased with rainfall, but only on non-serpentine soils, and the difference in organic matter between soils was positively correlated with plant community dissimilarity. These results illustrate a novel mechanism wherein climatic productivity is associated with higher species, functional, and landscape-level dissimilarity (beta diversity).

  12. Tourism and Water: Themes of the Alpine Convention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imhof, R.

    2012-04-01

    1) The contribution reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the point of view of the Permanent Secretariat. The Alpine Convention is a multilateral framework treaty signed in 1991 by the eight states of the Alpine bow as well as the European Community. Its main objectives are the sustainable development of the Alpine territory and the safeguarding of the interests of the people living within it, embracing the environmental, social and economic dimensions in the broadest sense. In order to achieve its objectives, over the years the Framework Convention has been equipped with a large number of thematic protocols, e.g. on tourism. The overall objective of the Protocol on Tourism, which first came into force in 2002, is to contribute to sustainable development in the Alpine region within the existing institutional framework, by encouraging environmentally-friendly tourism through specific measures and recommendations which take the interests of both the local population and tourists into account. The provisions of the Protocol on Tourism primarily concern tourism management and controlling tourist flows, structural developments such as ski lifts and ski slopes, accommodation and the balanced development of economically weak areas. Guidelines, development plans, sectoral plans have to be adopted at the appropriate territorial level in order to enable to assess the impact of tourism development on, inter alia, water. This extends also to ski slopes developments. For example the production of artificial snow production may be authorized only if the location's hydrological, climatic and ecological conditions allow. Water is listed among the twelve themes in relation to which the Contracting Parties are supposed to take measures and coordinate their policies (Article 2 of the Framework Convention). The Alpine Convention aims to preserve and re-establish healthy water systems, especially keeping waters clean and protecting the natural

  13. Restructuring of Endophytic Bacterial Communities in Grapevine Yellows-Diseased and Recovered Vitis vinifera L. Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Daniela; Casati, Paola; Crepaldi, Paola; Daffonchio, Daniele; Quaglino, Fabio; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Bianco, Piero Attilio

    2011-01-01

    Length heterogeneity-PCR assays, combined with statistical analyses, highlighted that the endophytic bacterial community associated with healthy grapevines was characterized by a greater diversity than that present in diseased and recovered plants. The findings suggest that phytoplasmas can restructure the bacterial community by selecting endophytic strains that could elicit a plant defense response. PMID:21622794

  14. Influence of flooding and landform properties on riparian plant communities in an old-growth northern hardwood watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. Charles Goebel; Kurt S. Pregitzer; Brian J. Palik

    2012-01-01

    In most forested landscapes, the organization of plant communities across stream valleys is thought to be regulated by a complex set of interactions including flooding, landform properties, and vegetation. However, few studies have directly examined the relative influence of frequent and infrequent flooding, as well as landform properties, on riparian plant community...

  15. Effects of Plant Genotype and Growth Stage on the Betaproteobacterial Communities Associated with Different Potato Cultivars in Two Fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Inceoglu, O.; Salles, J.F.; Overbeek, van L.S.; Elsas, van J.D.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are dynamic and susceptible to changes in plant conditions. Among the bacteria, the betaproteobacteria play key roles in nutrient cycling and plant growth promotion, and hence the dynamics of their community structures in the rhizosphere should be

  16. Medicinal, Aromatic and Cosmetic (MAC) plants for community health and bio-cultural diversity conservation in Bali, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leurs, Liesbeth Nathalie

    2010-01-01

    The general aim of this ethno-botanical study is to document, describe and analyse the Balinese community members’ knowledge, belief and practices with regard to medicinal, aromatic and cosmetic (MAC) plants in relation to community health and bio-cultural diversity conservation of MAC plants. This

  17. Traditional uses of medicinal plants used by Indigenous communities for veterinary practices at Bajaur Agency, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Muhammad Abdul; Khan, Amir Hasan; Adnan, Muhammad; Ullah, Habib

    2018-01-29

    The pastoral lifestyle of Indigenous communities of Bajaur Agency is bringing them close to natural remedies for treating their domestic animals. Several studies have been conducted across the globe describing the importance of traditional knowledge in veterinary care. Therefore, this study was planned with the aim to record knowledge on ethnoveterinary practices from the remote areas and share sit with other communities through published literature. Data was gathered from community members through semi-structured interviews and analyzed through informant consensus factor (Fic) to evaluate the consent of current ethnoveterinary practices among the local people. In total, 73 medicinal plants were recorded under the ethnoveterinary practices. Most widely used medicinal plants with maximum use reports (URs) were Visnaga daucoides Gaertn., Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Solanum virginianum L., Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Glycyrrhiza glabra L., and Curcuma longa L. New medicinal values were found with confidential level of citations for species including Heracleum candicans and Glycerhiza glabra. Family Apiaceae was the utmost family with high number (7 species) of medicinal plants. Maximum number of medicinal plants (32) was used for gastric problems. High Fic was recorded for dermatological (0.97) followed by reproductive (0.93) and gastrointestinal disorders (0.92). The main route of remedies administration was oral. Current study revealed that the study area has sufficient knowledge on ethnoveterinary medicinal plants. This knowledge is in the custody of nomadic grazers, herders, and aged community members. Plants with new medicinal uses need to be validated phytochemically and pharmacologically for the development of new alternative drugs for veterinary purposes.

  18. Wild plant species growing closely connected in a subalpine meadow host distinct root-associated bacterial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Aleklett

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant roots are known to harbor large and diverse communities of bacteria. It has been suggested that plant identity can structure these root-associated communities, but few studies have specifically assessed how the composition of root microbiota varies within and between plant species growing under natural conditions. We assessed the community composition of endophytic and epiphytic bacteria through high throughput sequencing using 16S rDNA derived from root tissues collected from a population of a wild, clonal plant (Orange hawkweed–Pilosella aurantiaca as well as two neighboring plant species (Oxeye daisy–Leucanthemum vulgare and Alsike clover–Trifolium hybridum. Our first goal was to determine if plant species growing in close proximity, under similar environmental conditions, still hosted unique root microbiota. Our results showed that plants of different species host distinct bacterial communities in their roots. In terms of community composition, Betaproteobacteria (especially the family Oxalobacteraceae were found to dominate in the root microbiota of L. vulgare and T. hybridum samples, whereas the root microbiota of P. aurantiaca had a more heterogeneous distribution of bacterial abundances where Gammaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria occupied a larger portion of the community. We also explored the extent of individual variance within each plant species investigated, and found that in the plant species thought to have the least genetic variance among individuals (P. aurantiaca still hosted just as diverse microbial communities. Whether all plant species host their own distinct root microbiota and plants more closely related to each other share more similar bacterial communities still remains to be fully explored, but among the plants examined in this experiment there was no trend that the two species belonging to the same family shared more similarities in terms of bacterial community composition.

  19. Strong shift in the diazotrophic endophytic bacterial community inhabiting rice (Oryza sativa) plants after flooding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrando, Lucía; Fernández Scavino, Ana

    2015-09-01

    Flooding impacts soil microbial communities, but its effect on endophytic communities has rarely been explored. This work addresses the effect of flooding on the abundance and diversity of endophytic diazotrophic communities on rice plants established in a greenhouse experiment. The nifH gene was significantly more abundant in roots after flooding, whereas the nifH gene copy numbers in leaves were unaffected and remained low. The PCA (principal component analysis) of T-RFLP (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) profiles indicated that root communities of replicate plots were more similar and diverse after flooding than before flooding. The nifH libraries obtained by cloning and 454 pyrosequencing consistently showed a remarkable shift in the diazotrophic community composition after flooding. Gammaproteobacteria (66-98%), mainly of the genus Stenotrophomonas, prevailed in roots before flooding, whereas Betaproteobacteria was the dominant class (26-34%) after flooding. A wide variety of aerotolerant and anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria (e.g. Dechloromonas, Rhodopseudomonas, Desulfovibrio, Geobacter, Chlorobium, Spirochaeta, Selenomonas and Dehalobacter) with diverse metabolic traits were retrieved from flooded rice roots. These findings suggest that endophytic communities could be significantly impacted by changes in plant-soil conditions derived from flooding during rice cropping. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Leaf-litter microfungal community on poor fen plant debris in Torfy Lake area (Central Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Wilk

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to initially evaluate the species diversity of microfungi growing on litter of 15 plant species occurring on the poor fen and neighbouring area of the Torfy Lake, Masovian voivodeship, Poland. The lake is located near the planned road investment (construction of the Warsaw southern express ring road S2. The place is biologically valuable as there are rare plant communities from Rhynchosporion albae alliance protected under the Habitats Directive adopted by the European Union. On the examined plant debris 73 taxa of fungi were recorded (3 basidiomycetes, 13 ascomycetes, 2 zygomycetes, 43 anamorphic ascomycetes, 12 unidentified. Two of them, Dicranidion sp. and Wentiomyces sp. are presented here as new to Poland. Among the plant species examined, the litter of Rhododendron tomentosum harbored the highest number of fungal taxa (16. The highest percents of substrate-specific microfungi (i.e. recorded only on one plant species was noted on R. tomentosum (81.3 %, and Pteridium aquilinum (75%. It is emphasized that the lake area should be protected not only because of rare plant community but also because of the uniqueness and diversity of mycobiota.

  1. Annual glyphosate treatments alter growth of unaffected bentgrass (Agrostis weeds and plant community composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collin W Ahrens

    Full Text Available Herbicide resistance is becoming more common in weed ecotypes and crop species including turfgrasses, but current gaps in knowledge limit predictive ecological risk assessments and risk management plans. This project examined the effect of annual glyphosate applications on the vegetative growth and reproductive potential of two weedy bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (CB and redtop (RT, where the glyphosate resistance (GR trait was mimicked by covering the bentgrass plants during glyphosate application. Five field plots were studied in habitats commonly inhabited by weedy bentgrasses including an agricultural hayfield, natural meadow, and wasteland. Results showed that annual glyphosate treatment improved bentgrass survivorship, vegetative growth, and reproductive potential compared with bentgrass in unsprayed subplots. In the second year of growth, RT plants had an 86-fold increase in flower number in glyphosate-treated subplots versus controls, while CB plants had a 20-fold increase. At the end of the three year study, plant community composition had changed in glyphosate-treated subplots in hayfield and meadow plots compared to controls. Soils in subplots receiving glyphosate had higher nitrate concentrations than controls. This is the first study to mimic the GR trait in bentgrass plants with the goal of quantifying bentgrass response to glyphosate selection pressure and understanding the impacts on surrounding plant communities.

  2. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach.

  3. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are