WorldWideScience

Sample records for below-ground ecosystem function

  1. Arctic ecosystem functional zones: identification and quantification using an above and below ground monitoring strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Susan S.; Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan B.; Dafflon, Baptiste; Dou, Shan; Kneafsey, Tim J.; Peterson, John E.; Tas, Neslihan; Torn, Margaret S.; Phuong Tran, Anh; Ulrich, Craig; Wainwright, Haruko; Wu, Yuxin; Wullschleger, Stan

    2015-04-01

    Although accurate prediction of ecosystem feedbacks to climate requires characterization of the properties that influence terrestrial carbon cycling, performing such characterization is challenging due to the disparity of scales involved. This is particularly true in vulnerable Arctic ecosystems, where microbial activities leading to the production of greenhouse gasses are a function of small-scale hydrological, geochemical, and thermal conditions influenced by geomorphology and seasonal dynamics. As part of the DOE Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic), we are advancing two approaches to improve the characterization of complex Arctic ecosystems, with an initial application to an ice-wedge polygon dominated tundra site near Barrow, AK, USA. The first advance focuses on developing a new strategy to jointly monitor above- and below- ground properties critical for carbon cycling in the tundra. The strategy includes co-characterization of properties within the three critical ecosystem compartments: land surface (vegetation, water inundation, snow thickness, and geomorphology); active layer (peat thickness, soil moisture, soil texture, hydraulic conductivity, soil temperature, and geochemistry); and permafrost (mineral soil and ice content, nature, and distribution). Using a nested sampling strategy, a wide range of measurements have been collected at the study site over the past three years, including: above-ground imagery (LiDAR, visible, near infrared, NDVI) from various platforms, surface geophysical datasets (electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, seismic), and point measurements (such as CO2 and methane fluxes, soil properties, microbial community composition). A subset of the coincident datasets is autonomously collected daily. Laboratory experiments and new inversion approaches are used to improve interpretation of the field geophysical datasets in terms of ecosystem properties. The new strategy has significantly advanced our ability

  2. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  3. Mechanisms of below-ground carbon cycling in subarctic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsrud, Maria

    2004-10-01

    Some components of the below-ground carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystems are still poorly understood. A better understanding will be necessary to predict adequately the impacts of global change factors on C cycling and storage, especially in high-latitude ecosystems, where much of the C is stored below-ground. In this work some of the mechanisms of the below-ground C cycle in subarctic ecosystems were studied and responses to present and potential future environmental conditions assessed. Using {sup 14}C pulse-labelling, C allocation to above-ground biomass, rhizomes, coarse roots, fine roots, hair roots, ericoid mycorrhizas, microbes and dissolved organic C (DOC) was determined repeatedly over the growing season in four of the most common vegetation types of the Scandinavian subarctic: (1) Dry dwarf shrub tundra; (2) Semi-wet mire; (3) Wet mire; and (4) the understorey of subarctic birch forest. Effects of increased temperatures, increased atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations and both factors in combination on below-ground C allocation, ericoid mycorrhizal colonisation and functioning were studied in an full-factorial open-top chamber experiment. Furthermore, responses of ericoid mycorrhizal colonisation rates to environmental variation during the growing season were investigated. Ecosystem C partitioning varied temporally in all studied ecosystems, possibly indicating changes in growth, nutrient uptake or C storage by vegetation. The relative importance of C pools with 'fast' versus 'slow' turnover rates varied spatially, among vegetation types. Therefore it is important for global change studies to consider the possible effects of vegetation changes on ecosystem C dynamics. Allocation of recent assimilates to fast-turnover C pools such as hair roots and DOC was particularly high in a dwarf shrub tundra making them quantitatively interesting pools to consider in studies of ecosystem C dynamics. Furthermore, a significant proportion of

  4. Spatio-temporal variability and restoration effects on below-ground biodiversity and soil ecosystem functioning at the Thur floodplain, Switzerland

    OpenAIRE

    Samaritani, Emanuela; Mitchell, Edward A. D.

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity and its link to ecosystem functioning are the main subjects of a large variety of studies nowadays, because of the tremendous rapidity at which they are altered as a consequence of direct human impact or as a delayed effect of global changes. Floodplains are acknowledged to be among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, in terms of species diversity, but also genetic, habitat and functional diversity. Restoration projects aiming at recovering the biodiversity and associated ...

  5. Untangling positive and negative biotic interactions: views from above and below ground in a forest ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Rebecca A; Reich, Peter B; Palik, Brian J

    2010-12-01

    In ecological communities, the outcome of plant-plant interactions represents the net effect of positive and negative interactions occurring above and below ground. Untangling these complex relationships can provide a better understanding of mechanisms that underlie plant-plant interactions and enhance our ability to predict population, community, and ecosystem effects of biotic interactions. In forested ecosystems, tree seedlings interact with established vegetation, but the mechanisms and outcomes of these interactions are not well understood. To explore such mechanisms, we manipulated above- and belowground interactions among tree seedlings, shrubs, and trees and monitored seedling survival and growth of six species (Pinus banksiana, Betula papyrifera, P. resinosa, Quercus rubra, P. strobus, and Acer rubrum) in mature pine-dominated forest in northern Minnesota, USA. The forest had a moderately open canopy and sandy soils. Understory manipulations were implemented in the forest interior and in large gaps and included removal of shrubs (no interactions), tieback of shrubs (belowground), removal of shrubs with addition of shade (aboveground), and unmanipulated shrubs (both below- and aboveground). We found that shrubs either suppressed or facilitated seedling survival and growth depending on the seedling species, source of interaction (e.g., above- or belowground), and ecological context (e.g., gap or forest interior). In general, shrubs strongly influenced survival and growth in gaps, with more modest effects in the forest interior. In gaps, the presence of shrub roots markedly decreased seedling growth and survival, supporting the idea that belowground competition may be more important in dry, nutrient-poor sites. Shrub shade effects were neutral for three species and facilitative for the other three. Facilitation was more likely for shade-tolerant species. In the forest interior, shrub shade negatively affected seedling survival for the most shade

  6. Long-term resilience of above- and below ground ecosystem components among contrasting ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardle, David A; Jonsson, Micael

    2014-07-01

    While several studies have explored how short-term ecological responses to disturbance vary among ecosystems, experimental studies of how contrasting ecosystems recover from disturbance in the longer term are few. We performed a simple long-term experiment on each of 30 contrasting forested islands in northern Sweden that vary in size; as size decreases, time since fire increases, soil fertility and ecosystem productivity declines, and plant species diversity increases. We predicted that resilience of understory plant community properties would be greatest on the larger, more productive islands, and that this would be paralleled by greater resilience of soil biotic and abiotic properties. For each island, we applied three disturbance treatments of increasing intensity to the forest understory once in 1998, i.e., light trimming, heavy trimming, and burning; a fourth treatment was an undisturbed control. We measured recovery of the understory vascular plant community annually over the following 14 years, and at that time also assessed recovery of mosses and several belowground variables. Consistent with our predictions, vascular plant whole-community variables (total cover, species richness, diversity [Shannon's H'], and community composition) recovered significantly more slowly on the smaller (least fertile) than the larger islands, but this difference was not substantial, and only noticeable in the most severely disturbed treatment. When an index of resilience was used, we were unable to detect effects of island size on the recovery of any property. We found that mosses and one shrub species (Empetrum hermaphroditum) recovered particularly slowly, and the higher abundance of this shrub on small islands was sufficient to explain any slower recovery of whole-ecosystem variables on those islands. Further, several belowground variables had not fully recovered from the most intense disturbance after 14 yr, and counter to our predictions, the degree of their recovery was

  7. Alternations of Structure and Functional Activity of Below Ground Microbial Communities at Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    He, Zhili; Xu, Meiying; Deng, Ye; Kang, Sanghoon; Wu, Liyou; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Reich, Peter B.; Zhou, Jizhong

    2010-05-17

    The global atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by more than 30percent since the industrial revolution. Although the stimulating effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on plant growth and primary productivity have been well studied, its influences on belowground microbial communities are poorly understood and controversial. In this study, we showed a significant change in the structure and functional potential of soil microbial communities at eCO2 in a grassland ecosystem, the BioCON (Biodiversity, CO2 and Nitrogen) experimental site (http://www.biocon.umn.edu/) using a comprehensive functional gene array, GeoChip 3.0, which contains about 28,0000 probes and covers approximately 57,000 gene variants from 292 functional gene families involved in carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur cycles as well as other functional processes. GeoChip data indicated that the functional structure of microbial communities was markedly different between ambient CO2 (aCO2) and eCO2 by detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) of all 5001 detected functional gene probes although no significant differences were detected in the overall microbial diversity. A further analysis of 1503 detected functional genes involved in C, N, P, and S cycles showed that a considerable portion (39percent) of them were only detected under either aCO2 (14percent) or eCO2 (25percent), indicating that the functional characteristics of the microbial community were significantly altered by eCO2. Also, for those shared genes (61percent) detected, some significantly (p<0.05) changed their abundance at eCO2. Especially, genes involved in labile C degradation, such as amyA, egl, and ara for starch, cellulose, and hemicelluloses, respectively, C fixation (e.g., rbcL, pcc/acc), N fixation (nifH), and phosphorus utilization (ppx) were significantly increased under eCO2, while those involved in decomposing recalcitrant C, such as glx, lip, and mnp for lignin degradation remained unchanged. This study provides insights

  8. Above and below ground carbon stocks in northeast Siberia tundra ecosystems: a comparison between disturbed and undisturbed areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, L. R.; Pena, H., III; Curasi, S. R.; Ramos, E.; Loranty, M. M.; Alexander, H. D.; Natali, S.

    2014-12-01

    Changes in arctic tundra vegetation have the potential to alter the regional carbon (C) budget, with feedback implications for global climate. A number of studies have documented both widespread increases in productivity as well as shifts in the dominant vegetation. In particular, shrubs have been replacing other vegetation, such as graminoids, in response to changes in their environment. Shrub expansion is thought to be facilitated by exposure of mineral soil and increased nutrient availability, which are often associated with disturbance. Such disturbances can be naturally occurring, typically associated with permafrost degradation or with direct anthropogenic causes such as infrastructure development. Mechanical disturbance associated with human development is not uncommon in tundra and will likely become more frequent as warming makes the Arctic more hospitable for resource extraction and other human activities. As such, this type of disturbance will become an increasingly important component of tundra C balance. Both increased productivity and shrub expansion have clear impacts on ecosystem C cycling through increased C uptake and aboveground (AG) storage. What is less clear, however, are the concurrent changes in belowground (BG) C storage. Here we inventoried AG and BG C stocks in disturbed and undisturbed tundra ecosystems to determine the effects of disturbance on tundra C balance. We measured differences in plant functional type, AG and BG biomass, soil C, and specific leaf area (SLA) for the dominant shrub (Salix) in 2 tundra ecosystems in northern Siberia—an undisturbed moist acidic tundra and an adjacent ecosystem that was used as a road ~50 years ago. Deciduous shrubs and grasses dominated both ecosystems, but biomass for both functional types was higher in the disturbed area. SLA was also higher inside the disturbance. Conversely, nonvascular plants and evergreen shrubs were less abundant in the disturbed area. BG plant biomass was substantially

  9. Identifying qualitative effects of different grazing types on below-ground communities and function in a long-term field experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macdonald, Catriona A.; Crawley, Michael J.; Wright, Denis J.

    2015-01-01

    on some soil functions involved in carbon cycling, microbial diversity, structure and functional composition. Both rabbit and invertebrate grazing impacted soil functions and microbial community structure. All functional community measures (functions, biogeochemical cycling genes, network association...... for ecosystem functions. The mechanism behind these impacts are likely to be driven by both direct effects of grazing altering the pattern of nutrient inputs and by indirect effects through changes in plant species composition. However, we could not entirely discount that the pesticide used to exclude...

  10. Above- and Below-ground Biomass, Net Ecosystem Carbon Exchange, and Soil Respiration in a Poplar Populus deltoides Bartr.) stand : Changes after 3 years of Growth under Elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron-Gafford, G. A.; Grieve, K.; Bil, K.; Kudeyarov, V.; Handley, L.; Murthy, R.

    2003-12-01

    Stands of cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr.) trees were grown as a coppiced system under ambient (40 Pa), twice ambient (80 Pa), and three times ambient (120 Pa) partial pressure CO2 for the past three years in the Intensively-managed Forest Mesocosm (IFM) of the Biosphere 2 Center. Over three years Net Ecosystem CO2 exchange (NECE) was measured continuously and in the third year, nine whole trees were harvested from each CO2 treatment over the growing season. Both above- and below-ground parameters were measured. Three years of growth under elevated CO2 showed the expected stimulation in foliar biomass (8.7, 11.9, and 13.1 kg for the 40, 80, and 120 Pa treatments, respectively). Rates of NECE also followed an expected increase with elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, with maximum CO2 uptake rates reaching 10.5, 15.6, and 19.6 μ moles m-2 s-1 in the 40, 80, and 120 Pa treatments, respectively. However, above ground woody biomass and root biomass were not much stimulated beyond 80 Pa CO2. Wood/foliage and above/below ground biomass ratios reflect this decline. Under conditions of non-limiting nutrients and water, we found consistent increases in the above/below ground biomass ratio and wood to foliage biomass ratios in the 80 compared to the 40 Pa pCO2. Woody biomass production and the above/below ground biomass ratio were lower under the 120 Pa than any other treatment. Although biomass production did not change appreciably between 80 and 120 Pa CO2 treatments, both substrate induced and in-situ soil respiration values are also significantly higher in the 120Pa treatment, though no differences were present prior to CO2 treatments (Murthy et al. 2003). The unique closed-system operation of the IFM allowed for measures of soil CO2 efflux to be measured at both the soil collar and stand scales using a box model that takes into account all inputs and outputs from the stand. In-situ soil respiration rates increased significantly with increased atmospheric CO2

  11. Ecosystem functioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jax, Kurt

    2010-01-01

    "In the face of decreasing biodiversity and ongoing global changes, maintaining ecosystem functioning is seen both as a means to preserve biological diversity as well as for safeguarding human well...

  12. Imaging spectroscopy links aspen genotype with below-ground processes at landscape scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madritch, Michael D; Kingdon, Clayton C; Singh, Aditya; Mock, Karen E; Lindroth, Richard L; Townsend, Philip A

    2014-01-01

    Fine-scale biodiversity is increasingly recognized as important to ecosystem-level processes. Remote sensing technologies have great potential to estimate both biodiversity and ecosystem function over large spatial scales. Here, we demonstrate the capacity of imaging spectroscopy to discriminate among genotypes of Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen), one of the most genetically diverse and widespread forest species in North America. We combine imaging spectroscopy (AVIRIS) data with genetic, phytochemical, microbial and biogeochemical data to determine how intraspecific plant genetic variation influences below-ground processes at landscape scales. We demonstrate that both canopy chemistry and below-ground processes vary over large spatial scales (continental) according to aspen genotype. Imaging spectrometer data distinguish aspen genotypes through variation in canopy spectral signature. In addition, foliar spectral variation correlates well with variation in canopy chemistry, especially condensed tannins. Variation in aspen canopy chemistry, in turn, is correlated with variation in below-ground processes. Variation in spectra also correlates well with variation in soil traits. These findings indicate that forest tree species can create spatial mosaics of ecosystem functioning across large spatial scales and that these patterns can be quantified via remote sensing techniques. Moreover, they demonstrate the utility of using optical properties as proxies for fine-scale measurements of biodiversity over large spatial scales.

  13. Mycorrhizal associations of Salix repens L. communities in succession of dune ecosystems I Above-ground and below-ground views of ectomycorrhizal fungi in relation to soil chemistry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijden, van der E.W.; Vries, de F.W.; Kuyper, T.W.

    2000-01-01

    The diversity of ectomycorrhizal (EcM) communities in 16 stands of Salix repens L. growing under a variety of environmental conditions was studied by repeated sampling of EcM sporocarps and ectomycorrhizas, to assess the possible correspondence between above- and below-ground views of fungal taxa. A

  14. Below-ground carbon flux and partitioning: global patterns and response to temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.M. Litton; C.P. Giardina

    2008-01-01

    1. The fraction of gross primary production (GPP) that is total below-ground carbon flux (TBCF) and the fraction of TBCF that is below-ground net primary production (BNPP) represent globally significant C fluxes that are fundamental in regulating ecosystem C balance. However, global estimates of the partitioning of GPP to TBCF and of TBCF to BNPP, as well as the...

  15. Carbon and nitrogen stocks and below ground allometry in temperate mangroves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Hugh Bulmer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Mangroves play an important role in the storage of carbon (C and nitrogen (N within estuarine systems, yet are being lost at an alarming rate throughout the tropics. In contrast, temperate mangroves have increased in area at many locations in recent decades. Field surveys, sediment sampling, allometry, and C and N analysis were used to determine total C and N stocks in five temperate Avicennia marina subsp. australasica forests in New Zealand. This is the first study developing allometric functions to estimate root biomass C and N stocks for A. marina. A. marina forests stored 117.1 ± 16.8 t C ha-1 and 15.4 ± 1.0 t N ha-1 in above and below ground biomass and sediment to 100 cm depth. Below ground biomass and sediment C and N stocks contributed 88 ± 3% and 99% ± 0.4% to total C and N stocks, respectively, emphasising the importance of below ground biomass and sediment in mangrove ecosystems. The results of this study can be used to inform management decisions for estuarine and coastal ecosystems, currently undergoing rapid changes in mangrove area.

  16. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aerts Raf

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Globally, forests cover nearly one third of the land area and they contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Both the extent and quality of forest habitat continue to decrease and the associated loss of biodiversity jeopardizes forest ecosystem functioning and the ability of forests to provide ecosystem services. In the light of the increasing population pressure, it is of major importance not only to conserve, but also to restore forest ecosystems. Ecological restoration has recently started to adopt insights from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF perspective. Central is the focus on restoring the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we provide an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from this BEF-perspective. Restoring multiple forest functions requires multiple species. It is highly unlikely that species-poor plantations, which may be optimal for above-ground biomass production, will outperform species diverse assemblages for a combination of functions, including overall carbon storage and control over water and nutrient flows. Restoring stable forest functions also requires multiple species. In particular in the light of global climatic change scenarios, which predict more frequent extreme disturbances and climatic events, it is important to incorporate insights from the relation between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem functioning into forest restoration projects. Rather than focussing on species per se, focussing on functional diversity of tree species assemblages seems appropriate when selecting tree species for restoration. Finally, also plant genetic diversity and above - below-ground linkages should be considered during the restoration process, as these likely have prominent but until now poorly understood effects at the level of the ecosystem. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an

  17. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, M Luke; Dickie, Ian A; Eissenstat, David M; Fahey, Timothy J; Fernandez, Christopher W; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A; Iversen, Colleen M; Jackson, Robert B; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J; Phillips, Richard P; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Pritchard, Seth G; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-08-01

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain because of the challenges of consistently measuring and interpreting fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots ≤ 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are either separated into individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine-root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally - a c. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand below-ground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.

  18. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta Forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne C S McIntosh

    Full Text Available Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR of the forest floor microbial community environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide

  19. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Anne C S; Macdonald, S Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  20. Below-ground carbon transfer among Betula nana may increase with warming in Arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deslippe, Julie R; Simard, Suzanne W

    2011-11-01

    • Shrubs are expanding in Arctic tundra, but the role of mycorrhizal fungi in this process is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that mycorrhizal networks are involved in interplant carbon (C) transfer within a tundra plant community. • Here, we installed below-ground treatments to control for C transfer pathways and conducted a (13)CO(2)-pulse-chase labelling experiment to examine C transfer among and within plant species. • We showed that mycorrhizal networks exist in tundra, and facilitate below-ground transfer of C among Betula nana individuals, but not between or within the other tundra species examined. Total C transfer among conspecific B. nana pairs was 10.7 ± 2.4% of photosynthesis, with the majority of C transferred through rhizomes or root grafts (5.2 ± 5.3%) and mycorrhizal network pathways (4.1 ± 3.3%) and very little through soil pathways (1.4 ± 0.35%). • Below-ground C transfer was of sufficient magnitude to potentially alter plant interactions in Arctic tundra, increasing the competitive ability and mono-dominance of B. nana. C transfer was significantly positively related to ambient temperatures, suggesting that it may act as a positive feedback to ecosystem change as climate warms.

  1. Below-ground competitiveness of adult beech and spruce trees

    OpenAIRE

    Nikolova, Petia Simeonova

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the field study was to quantify the below-ground competitiveness of 50 to 60-year-old beech (Fagus sylvatica) and spruce (Picea abies) trees by means of space-related cost/benefit relationships. The study was conducted at the experimental site “Kranzberger Forst” within the framework of the interdisciplinary research program Sonderforschungsbereich 607 (SFB 607; Project B4) “Growth and Parasite Defence – Competition for Resources in Economical Plants from Agronomy and Forestry”. It...

  2. Below-ground process responses to elevated CO2 and temperature: a discussion of observations, measurement methods, and models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elise Pendall; Scott Bridgham; Paul J. Hanson; Bruce Hungate; David W. Kicklighter; Dale W. Johnson; Beverly E. Law; Yiqi Luo; J. Patrick Megonigal; Maria Olsrud; Michael G. Ryan; Shiqiang Wan

    2004-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 and temperatures are probably altering ecosystem carbon cycling, causing both positive and negative feedbacks to climate. Below-ground processes play a key role in the global carbon (C) cycle because they regulate storage of large quantities of C, and are potentially very sensitive to direct and indirect effects of elevated...

  3. How to calculate stress in above/below ground transition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schnackenberg, P.J.

    1976-11-01

    Stresses and deflections occur in natural gas pipe lines at the transition from the below ground (fully restrained) to the above ground (unrestrained) condition. Analysis of the stresses and deflections in transition areas, resulting from internal pressure/temperature change, is necessary in determining anchor block requirements and design. Longitudinal deflections are used to determine whether an anchor block is required. Anchor block forces required to maintain the pipe in a fully constrained condition are then determined. A brief review of the analysis that resulted in more accurate solutions for deflection and anchor block forces is presented. Sample calculations are given for line sizes up to 41-cm OD, pressure to 193 bars, and temperatures to 72/sup 0/C. (JRD)

  4. Space sequestration below ground in old-growth spruce-beech forests—signs for facilitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolte, Andreas; Kampf, Friederike; Hilbrig, Lutz

    2013-01-01

    Scientists are currently debating the effects of mixing tree species for the complementary resource acquisition in forest ecosystems. In four unmanaged old-growth spruce-beech forests in strict nature reserves in southern Sweden and northern Germany we assessed forest structure and fine rooting profiles and traits (≤2 mm) by fine root sampling and the analysis of fine root morphology and biomass. These studies were conducted in selected tree groups with four different interspecific competition perspectives: (1) spruce as a central tree, (2) spruce as competitor, (3) beech as a central tree, and (4) beech as competitor. Mean values of life fine root attributes like biomass (FRB), length (FRL), and root area index (RAI) were significantly lower for spruce than for beech in mixed stands. Vertical profiles of fine root attributes adjusted to one unit of basal area (BA) exhibited partial root system stratification when central beech is growing with spruce competitors. In this constellation, beech was able to raise its specific root length (SRL) and therefore soil exploration efficiency in the subsoil, while increasing root biomass partitioning into deeper soil layers. According to relative values of fine root attributes (rFRA), asymmetric below-ground competition was observed favoring beech over spruce, in particular when central beech trees are admixed with spruce competitors. We conclude that beech fine rooting is facilitated in the presence of spruce by lowering competitive pressure compared to intraspecific competition whereas the competitive pressure for spruce is increased by beech admixture. Our findings underline the need of spatially differentiated approaches to assess interspecific competition below ground. Single-tree approaches and simulations of below-ground competition are required to focus rather on microsites populated by tree specimens as the basic spatial study area. PMID:24009616

  5. Are above- and below-ground phenology in sync?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramoff, Rose Z; Finzi, Adrien C

    2015-02-01

    Globally, root production accounts for 33-67% of terrestrial net primary productivity and influences decomposition via root production and turnover, carbon (C) allocation to mycorrhizal fungi and root exudation. As recognized above ground, the timing of phenological events affects terrestrial C balance, yet there is no parallel understanding for below-ground phenology. In this paper we examine the phenology of root production and its relationship to temperature, soil moisture, and above-ground phenology. Synthesizing 87 observations of whole-plant phenology from 40 studies, we found that, on average, root growth occurs 25 ± 8 d after shoot growth but that the offset between the peak in root and shoot growth varies > 200 d across biomes (boreal, temperate, Mediterranean, and subtropical). Root and shoot growth are positively correlated with median monthly temperature and mean monthly precipitation in boreal, temperate, and subtropical biomes. However, a temperature hysteresis in these biomes leads to the hypothesis that internal controls over C allocation to roots are an equally, if not more, important driver of phenology. The specific mechanisms are as yet unclear but they are likely mediated by some combination of photoassimilate supply, hormonal signaling, and growth form.

  6. Effects of above- and below-ground competition from shrubs on photosynthesis, transpiration and growth in Quercus robur L

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anna M. Jensen; Magnus Lof; Emile S. Gardiner

    2011-01-01

    For a tree seedling to successfully establish in dense shrubbery, it must maintain function under heterogeneous resource availability. We evaluated leaf-level acclimation in photosynthetic capacity, seedling-level transpiration, and seedling morphology and growth to gain an understanding of the effects of above- and below-ground competition on Quercus robur seedlings....

  7. Luxury consumption of soil nutrients: a possible competitive strategy in above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology for slow-growing arctic vegetation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.; Williams, M.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Shaver, G.R.

    2003-01-01

    1 A field-experiment was used to determine how plant species might retain dominance in an arctic ecosystem receiving added nutrients. We both measured and modelled the above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology of non-acidic tussock tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, after 4

  8. Aridity increases below-ground niche breadth in grass communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, Bradley J.; Bradford, John B.; Munson, Seth M.; Gremer, Jennifer R.

    2017-01-01

    Aridity is an important environmental filter in the assembly of plant communities worldwide. The extent to which root traits mediate responses to aridity, and how they are coordinated with leaf traits, remains unclear. Here, we measured variation in root tissue density (RTD), specific root length (SRL), specific leaf area (SLA), and seed size within and among thirty perennial grass communities distributed along an aridity gradient spanning 190–540 mm of climatic water deficit (potential minus actual evapotranspiration). We tested the hypotheses that traits exhibited coordinated variation (1) among species, as well as (2) among communities varying in aridity, and (3) functional diversity within communities declines with increasing aridity, consistent with the “stress-dominance” hypothesis. Across communities, SLA and RTD exhibited a coordinated response to aridity, shifting toward more conservative (lower SLA, higher RTD) functional strategies with increasing aridity. The response of SRL to aridity was more idiosyncratic and was independent of variation in SLA and RTD. Contrary to the stress-dominance hypothesis, the diversity of SRL values within communities increased with aridity, while none of the other traits exhibited significant diversity responses. These results are consistent with other studies that have found SRL to be independent of an SLA–RTD axis of functional variation and suggest that the dynamic nature of soil moisture in arid environments may facilitate a wider array of resource capture strategies associated with variation in SRL.

  9. EnviroAtlas - Below Ground Live Tree Biomass Carbon Storage for the Conterminous United States- Forested

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This EnviroAtlas dataset includes the average below ground live tree root dry biomass estimate for the Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) 12-digit Hydrologic Unit...

  10. Above- and below-ground carbon stocks in an indigenous tree (Mytilaria laosensis) plantation chronosequence in subtropical China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Angang; Jia, Hongyan; Zhao, Jinlong; Tao, Yi; Li, Yuanfa

    2014-01-01

    More than 60% of the total area of tree plantations in China is in subtropical, and over 70% of subtropical plantations consist of pure stands of coniferous species. Because of the poor ecosystem services provided by pure coniferous plantations and the ecological instability of these stands, a movement is under way to promote indigenous broadleaf plantation cultivation as a promising alternative. However, little is known about the carbon (C) stocks in indigenous broadleaf plantations and their dependence on stand age. Thus, we studied above- and below-ground biomass and C stocks in a chronosequence of Mytilaria laosensis plantations in subtropical China; stands were 7, 10, 18, 23, 29 and 33 years old. Our assessments included tree, shrub, herb and litter layers. We used plot-level inventories and destructive tree sampling to determine vegetation C stocks. We also measured soil C stocks by analyses of soil profiles to 100 cm depth. C stocks in the tree layer dominated the above-ground ecosystem C pool across the chronosequence. C stocks increased with age from 7 to 29 years and plateaued thereafter due to a reduction in tree growth rates. Minor C stocks were found in the shrub and herb layers of all six plantations and their temporal fluctuations were relatively small. C stocks in the litter and soil layers increased with stand age. Total above-ground ecosystem C also increased with stand age. Most increases in C stocks in below-ground and total ecosystems were attributable to increases in soil C content and tree biomass. Therefore, considerations of C sequestration potential in indigenous broadleaf plantations must take stand age into account.

  11. Shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra: Betula nana effects on above- and below-ground litter decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, Jennie R; Buckeridge, Kate M; van de Weg, Martine J; Shaver, Gaius R; Schimel, Joshua P; Gough, Laura

    2017-03-06

    Rapid arctic vegetation change as a result of global warming includes an increase in the cover and biomass of deciduous shrubs. Increases in shrub abundance will result in a proportional increase of shrub litter in the litter community, potentially affecting carbon turnover rates in arctic ecosystems. We investigated the effects of leaf and root litter of a deciduous shrub, Betula nana, on decomposition, by examining species-specific decomposition patterns, as well as effects of Betula litter on the decomposition of other species. We conducted a two-year decomposition experiment in moist acidic tundra in northern Alaska, where we decomposed three tundra species (Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Rhododendron palustre, and Eriophorum vaginatum) alone and in combination with Betula litter. Decomposition patterns for leaf and root litter were determined using three different measures of decomposition (mass loss, respiration, extracellular enzyme activity). We report faster decomposition of Betula leaf litter compared to other species, with support for species differences coming from all three measures of decomposition. Mixing effects were less consistent among the measures, with negative mixing effects shown only for mass loss. In contrast, there were few species differences or mixing effects for root decomposition. Overall, we attribute longer-term litter mass loss patterns in to patterns created by early decomposition processes in the first winter. We note numerous differences for species patterns between leaf and root decomposition, indicating that conclusions from leaf litter experiments should not be extrapolated to below-ground decomposition. The high decomposition rates of Betula leaf litter aboveground, and relatively similar decomposition rates of multiple species below, suggest a potential for increases in turnover in the fast-decomposing carbon pool of leaves and fine roots as the dominance of deciduous shrubs in the Arctic increases, but this outcome may be tempered

  12. Mapping Above- and Below-Ground Carbon Pools in Boreal Forests: The Case for Airborne Lidar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, Terje; Næsset, Erik; Ohlson, Mikael; Bolstad, Paul V; Kolka, Randall

    2015-01-01

    A large and growing body of evidence has demonstrated that airborne scanning light detection and ranging (lidar) systems can be an effective tool in measuring and monitoring above-ground forest tree biomass. However, the potential of lidar as an all-round tool for assisting in assessment of carbon (C) stocks in soil and non-tree vegetation components of the forest ecosystem has been given much less attention. Here we combine the use airborne small footprint scanning lidar with fine-scale spatial C data relating to vegetation and the soil surface to describe and contrast the size and spatial distribution of C pools within and among multilayered Norway spruce (Picea abies) stands. Predictor variables from lidar derived metrics delivered precise models of above- and below-ground tree C, which comprised the largest C pool in our study stands. We also found evidence that lidar canopy data correlated well with the variation in field layer C stock, consisting mainly of ericaceous dwarf shrubs and herbaceous plants. However, lidar metrics derived directly from understory echoes did not yield significant models. Furthermore, our results indicate that the variation in both the mosses and soil organic layer C stock plots appears less influenced by differences in stand structure properties than topographical gradients. By using topographical models from lidar ground returns we were able to establish a strong correlation between lidar data and the organic layer C stock at a stand level. Increasing the topographical resolution from plot averages (~2000 m2) towards individual grid cells (1 m2) did not yield consistent models. Our study demonstrates a connection between the size and distribution of different forest C pools and models derived from airborne lidar data, providing a foundation for future research concerning the use of lidar for assessing and monitoring boreal forest C.

  13. Does Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function Literature Neglect Tropical Ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, David A; York, Paul H; Rasheed, Michael A; Northfield, Tobin D

    2017-05-01

    Current evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but few studies have addressed tropical ecosystems where the highest levels of biodiversity occur. We develop two hypotheses for the implications of generalizing from temperate studies to tropical ecosystems, and discuss the need for more tropical research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Obscuring ecosystem function with application of the ecosystem services concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Markus J; Hall, Damon M; Feldpausch-Parker, Andrea M; Peterson, Tarla Rai

    2010-02-01

    Conservationists commonly have framed ecological concerns in economic terms to garner political support for conservation and to increase public interest in preserving global biodiversity. Beginning in the early 1980s, conservation biologists adapted neoliberal economics to reframe ecosystem functions and related biodiversity as ecosystem services to humanity. Despite the economic success of programs such as the Catskill/Delaware watershed management plan in the United States and the creation of global carbon exchanges, today's marketplace often fails to adequately protect biodiversity. We used a Marxist critique to explain one reason for this failure and to suggest a possible, if partial, response. Reframing ecosystem functions as economic services does not address the political problem of commodification. Just as it obscures the labor of human workers, commodification obscures the importance of the biota (ecosystem workers) and related abiotic factors that contribute to ecosystem functions. This erasure of work done by ecosystems impedes public understanding of biodiversity. Odum and Odum's radical suggestion to use the language of ecosystems (i.e., emergy or energy memory) to describe economies, rather than using the language of economics (i.e., services) to describe ecosystems, reverses this erasure of the ecosystem worker. Considering the current dominance of economic forces, however, implementing such solutions would require social changes similar in magnitude to those that occurred during the 1960s. Niklas Luhmann argues that such substantive, yet rapid, social change requires synergy among multiple societal function systems (i.e., economy, education, law, politics, religion, science), rather than reliance on a single social sphere, such as the economy. Explicitly presenting ecosystem services as discreet and incomplete aspects of ecosystem functions not only allows potential economic and environmental benefits associated with ecosystem services, but also

  15. Interactions between above ground and below ground biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems; patterns, mechanisms and feedbacks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooper, D.V.; Bignell, D.E.; Brown, V.K.; Brussaard, L.; Dangerfield, J.M.; Wall, D.H.; Wardle, D.A.; Coleman, D.C.; Giller, K.E.; Lavelle, P.; Putten, van der W.H.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Rusek, J.; Silver, W.L.; Tiedje, J.M.; Wolters, V.

    2000-01-01

    Assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington 98225-9160 10: Professor at the Laboratoire d'Ecologie de Sols Tropicaux, ORSTOM/Université Paris VI, 32 Avenue Henri Varagnat, 93143 Bondy, France 11: Senior scientist at the Centre for

  16. Above- and below-ground net primary productivity across ten Amazonian forests on contrasting soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. E. O. C. Aragão

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The net primary productivity (NPP of tropical forests is one of the most important and least quantified components of the global carbon cycle. Most relevant studies have focused particularly on the quantification of the above-ground coarse wood productivity, and little is known about the carbon fluxes involved in other elements of the NPP, the partitioning of total NPP between its above- and below-ground components and the main environmental drivers of these patterns. In this study we quantify the above- and below-ground NPP of ten Amazonian forests to address two questions: (1 How do Amazonian forests allocate productivity among its above- and below-ground components? (2 How do soil and leaf nutrient status and soil texture affect the productivity of Amazonian forests? Using a standardized methodology to measure the major elements of productivity, we show that NPP varies between 9.3±1.3 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 (mean±standard error, at a white sand plot, and 17.0±1.4 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 at a very fertile Terra Preta site, with an overall average of 12.8±0.9 Mg C ha−1 yr−1. The studied forests allocate on average 64±3% and 36±3% of the total NPP to the above- and below-ground components, respectively. The ratio of above-ground and below-ground NPP is almost invariant with total NPP. Litterfall and fine root production both increase with total NPP, while stem production shows no overall trend. Total NPP tends to increase with soil phosphorus and leaf nitrogen status. However, allocation of NPP to below-ground shows no relationship to soil fertility, but appears to decrease with the increase of soil clay content.

  17. Above- and below-ground net primary productivity across ten Amazonian forests on contrasting soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. E. O. C. Aragão

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The net primary productivity (NPP of tropical forests is one of the most important and least quantified components of the global carbon cycle. Most relevant studies have focused particularly on the quantification of the above-ground coarse wood productivity, and little is known about the carbon fluxes involved in other elements of the NPP, the partitioning of total NPP between its above- and below-ground components and the main environmental drivers of these patterns. In this study we quantify the above- and below-ground NPP of ten Amazonian forests to address two questions: (1 How do Amazonian forests allocate productivity among its above- and below-ground components? (2 How do soil and leaf nutrient status and soil texture affect the productivity of Amazonian forests? Using a standardized methodology to measure the major elements of productivity, we show that NPP varies between 9.3±1.3 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 (mean±standard error, at a white sand plot, and 17.0±1.4 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 at a very fertile Terra Preta site, with an overall average of 12.8±0.9 Mg C ha−1 yr−1. The studied forests allocate on average 64±3% and 36±3% of the total NPP to the above- and below-ground components, respectively. The ratio of above-ground and below-ground NPP is almost invariant with total NPP. Litterfall and fine root production both increase with total NPP, while stem production shows no overall trend. Total NPP tends to increase with soil phosphorus and leaf nitrogen status. However, allocation of NPP to below-ground shows no relationship to soil fertility, but appears to decrease with the increase of soil clay content.

  18. No consistent effect of plant species richness on resistance to simulated climate change for above- or below-ground processes in managed grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dormann, Carsten F; von Riedmatten, Lars; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael

    2017-06-17

    Species richness affects processes and functions in many ecosystems. Since management of temperate grasslands is directly affecting species composition and richness, it can indirectly govern how systems respond to fluctuations in environmental conditions. Our aim in this study was to investigate whether species richness in managed grasslands can buffer the effects of drought and warming manipulations and hence increase the resistance to climate change. We established 45 plots in three regions across Germany, each with three different management regimes (pasture, meadow and mown pasture). We manipulated spring warming using open-top chambers and summer drought using rain-out shelters for 4 weeks. Measurements of species richness, above- and below-ground biomass and soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations showed significant but inconsistent differences among regions, managements and manipulations. We detected a three-way interaction between species richness, management and region, indicating that our study design was sensitive enough to detect even intricate effects. We could not detect a pervasive effect of species richness on biomass differences between treatments and controls, indicating that a combination of spring warming and summer drought effects on grassland systems are not consistently moderated by species richness. We attribute this to the relatively high number of species even at low richness levels, which already provides the complementarity required for positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. A review of the literature also indicates that climate manipulations largely fail to show richness-buffering, while natural experiments do, suggesting that such manipulations are milder than reality or incur treatment artefacts.

  19. Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Heard, Matthew S; Isaac, Nick J B; Roy, David B; Procter, Deborah; Eigenbrod, Felix; Freckleton, Rob; Hector, Andy; Orme, C David L; Petchey, Owen L; Proença, Vânia; Raffaelli, David; Suttle, K Blake; Mace, Georgina M; Martín-López, Berta; Woodcock, Ben A; Bullock, James M

    2015-11-01

    Accelerating rates of environmental change and the continued loss of global biodiversity threaten functions and services delivered by ecosystems. Much ecosystem monitoring and management is focused on the provision of ecosystem functions and services under current environmental conditions, yet this could lead to inappropriate management guidance and undervaluation of the importance of biodiversity. The maintenance of ecosystem functions and services under substantial predicted future environmental change (i.e., their 'resilience') is crucial. Here we identify a range of mechanisms underpinning the resilience of ecosystem functions across three ecological scales. Although potentially less important in the short term, biodiversity, encompassing variation from within species to across landscapes, may be crucial for the longer-term resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they underpin.

  20. Allometric scaling relationship between above- and below-ground biomass within and across five woody seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Dongliang; Ma, Yuzhu; Zhong, Quanling; Xu, Weifeng

    2014-10-01

    Allometric biomass allocation theory predicts that leaf biomass (M L ) scaled isometrically with stem (M S ) and root (M R ) biomass, and thus above-ground biomass (leaf and stem) (M A ) and root (M R ) scaled nearly isometrically with below-ground biomass (root) for tree seedlings across a wide diversity of taxa. Furthermore, prior studies also imply that scaling constant should vary with species. However, litter is known about whether such invariant isometric scaling exponents hold for intraspecific biomass allocation, and how variation in scaling constants influences the interspecific scaling relationship between above- and below-ground biomass. Biomass data of seedlings from five evergreen species were examined to test scaling relationships among biomass components across and within species. Model Type II regression was used to compare the numerical values of scaling exponents and constants among leaf, stem, root, and above- to below-ground biomass. The results indicated that M L and M S scaled in an isometric or a nearly isometric manner with M R , as well as M A to M R for five woody species. Significant variation was observed in the Y-intercepts of the biomass scaling curves, resulting in the divergence for intraspecific scaling and interspecific scaling relationships for M L versus M S and M L versus M R , but not for M S versus M R and M A versus M R . We conclude, therefore, that a nearly isometric scaling relationship of M A versus M R holds true within each of the studied woody species and across them irrespective the negative scaling relationship between leaf and stem.

  1. Above- and below-ground effects of plant diversity depend on species origin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuebbing, Sara E.; Classen, Aimee Taylor; Sanders, Nate

    2015-01-01

    Although many plant communities are invaded by multiple nonnative species, we have limited information on how a species' origin affects ecosystem function. We tested how differences in species richness and origin affect productivity and seedling establishment. We created phylogenetically paired...... native and nonnative plant communities in a glasshouse experiment to test diversity-productivity relationships and responsible mechanisms (i.e. selection or complementarity effects). Additionally, we tested how productivity and associated mechanisms influenced seedling establishment. We used diversity...

  2. Soil Organic Carbon and Below Ground Biomass: Development of New GLOBE Special Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Elissa; Haskett, Jonathan

    1999-01-01

    A scientific consensus is building that changes in the atmospheric concentrations of radiatively active gases are changing the climate (IPCC, 1990). One of these gases CO2 has been increasing in concentration due to additions from anthropogenic sources that are primarily industrial and land use related. The soil contains a very large pool of carbon, estimated at 1550 Gt (Lal 1995) which is larger than the atmospheric and biosphere pools of carbon combined (Greenland, 1995). The flux between the soil and the atmosphere is very large, 60 Pg C/yr (Lal 1997), and is especially important because the soil can act as either a source or a sink for carbon. On any given landscape, as much as 50% of the biomass that provides the major source of carbon can be below ground. In addition, the movement of carbon in and out of the soil is mediated by the living organisms. At present, there is no widespread sampling of soil biomass in any consistent or coordinated manner. Current large scale estimates of soil carbon are limited by the number and widely dispersed nature of the data points available. A measurement of the amount of carbon in the soil would supplement existing carbon data bases as well as provide a benchmark that can be used to determine whether the soil is storing carbon or releasing it to the atmosphere. Information on the below ground biomass would be a valuable addition to our understanding of net primary productivity and standing biomass. The addition of these as special measurements within GLOBE would be unique in terms of areal extent and continuity, and make a real contribution to scientific understanding of carbon dynamics.

  3. Ecosystem Function: Cyanobacteria Solutions, A Missed Opportunity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stream and wetland riparian functions integrate the relationships between species, their habitats and fostering ecosystem resilience, which is critical to resilience – i.e., ensuring long-term sustainability. These relationships are dependent on the drivers of ecological functio...

  4. Ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    1994-01-01

    The article highlights a workshop held in Key West, Florida in November 1993 attended by a group of 35 international scientists where topics of ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs were discussed.

  5. Conifer encroachment and hydrology: Altered above and below ground hydrologic fluxes in western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, R. J.; Link, T. E.; Heinse, R.; Seyfried, M. S.

    2013-12-01

    Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) occupy 9 million acres in Oregon, California, Idaho, and Nevada. In many of these areas juniper has expanded 10-fold since Euro-American settlement into what was mostly sagebrush steppe due to grazing, changes in fire regimes, and climate. Despite the importance of elucidating if juniper encroachment appreciably changes semi-arid hydrology, there have been few process-based studies linking above and below ground hydrologic fluxes or that assess variations across a gradient of shrub to tree-dominated areas. Our objectives are to determine: A) the differences in interception and throughfall at a lower density juniper stand dominated by low sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula) and a moderate density juniper stand dominated by juniper, B) soil moisture dynamics between lower and moderate density juniper stands, and C) how those above and below ground processes are linked. Our study area was located at the USDA-ARS Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho. We used multiple methods to measure and estimate above and below ground hydrologic fluxes. Above ground precipitation was estimated with large (approximately 5.5 m2) precipitation lysimeters; two located under tree canopies and two in the open. Soil moisture was measured continuously at four trees and across both plots once every 1 - 2 months once snow melted. Continuous measurements under the canopy consisted of four soil moisture probes each; two outside and under the canopy at 15 cm and 60 cm. Plot wide soil moisture changes were estimated based on changes in conductivity measured with electromagnetic induction (EMI) at both 0-75 cm and 0-150 cm. Results show some clear patterns in differences in hydrologic fluxes across the two stands. Rain and snow throughfall from mid-October through mid-April under the canopy was 289 mm, compared to 381 mm outside the canopy, therefore interception was 24% of incoming precipitation. Snowmelt rates

  6. Remote sensing of essential ecosystem functional variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaraz-Segura, D.; Bagnato, C. E.; Paruelo, J. M.; Berbery, E. H.; Cabello, J.; Castro, A.; Cazorla, B. P.; Epstein, H. E.; Fernández, N.; Jobbagy, E. G.; Oyonarte, C.; Pacheco, M.; Peñas, J.; Vallejos, M.

    2016-12-01

    Essential Biodiversity Variables should inform on the status of the three dimensions recognised for biodiversity: composition, structure and function. Whereas composition and structure (from genes to ecosystems) have been traditionally used to assess biodiversity status, functional components of biodiversity, particularly at the ecosystem level, have been scarcely included. Satellite remote sensing can provide multiple descriptors of ecosystem function, though their relevance as essential biodiversity variables still needs to be assessed. Time-series of spectral data derived from satellite images can inform on key attributes of the dynamics of carbon, water, energy balance, disturbance regime or nutrient cycling. These ecosystem functional attributes can be integrated to identify Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs), defined as groups of ecosystems with similar dynamics of matter and energy exchanges between the biota and the physical environment. Most popular EFTs used the three most informative metrics of the seasonal curves of spectral vegetation indices as surrogates of the most integrative descriptor of ecosystem functioning, the primary production dynamics: annual mean (estimator of primary production), seasonal coefficient of variation (descriptor of seasonality), and date of maximum (indicator of phenology). To search for simple metrics that could be used as a set of highly informative ecosystem functional attributes, we extended the analysis to the global scale across all terrestrial biomes and to other key dimensions of ecosystem functioning, i.e., albedo and surface temperature (related to the energy balance) and evapotranspiration (related to the water cycle and the energy balance). The three first axes of a Principal Component Analysis run on the average seasonal dynamics of each variable and biome explained from 85% to 97% of variance. From more than 20 summary metrics analysed, the annual mean was highly correlated to the first axis (r2>0.9). The second

  7. Ectomycorrhizal communities above and below ground and truffle productivity in a Tuber aestivum orchard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Salerni

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: The diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities (EM above (EMFb and below (EMMt ground associated with Quercus cerris L., Q. pubescens Willd., and Pinus nigra J.F.Arnold was analyzed.Area of study: A 20 year-old orchard that produces Tuber aestivum truffles, located a few kilometers from Chiusi della Verna (latitude 43° 41’ 53’’; longitude 11° 56’ 9’’ in Tuscany (central Italy was observed.Material and Methods: This investigation combined analyses of EMFb, EMMt, T. aestivum productivity, different host trees, and statistical data on community ecology.Main results: The EM communities showed high species richness and differed slightly in relation to both the host tree and their location above or below ground, providing frequent findings of Tricholoma and Tomentella, respectively. Positive correlations were found between the number of truffles and host trees, and between the weight and number of truffles and EMFb.Research highlights: Mycorrhizal fungi and truffle production are not in competition.Key words: Fungal communities; fruiting bodies; morphotypes; Tuber aestivum; competition; Italy.

  8. Planting depth and rhizome size effects on below ground growth of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    reza vali allah poor

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available An experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of planting depth and rhizome sizes on below ground growth of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L. at research glasshouse of Mashhad Unversity in 2001. Factorial experiment containing 2 factors of planting depth (10, 20 and 40‌cm and rhizome sizes (1,2 and 3 buds or 4,7 and 10 gr with two replications in completely randomized block design was employed. Development of different variables during growing season including root and mother rhizome dry weight were measured.The highest and the lowest root dry weight (RDWhave been seen in depth of 20 and 40 cm‌, respectively. About 100 days after planting (DAP, RDW increaseed very slowly but thenafter increased faster‌. Rhizome of any sizes in‌ 20 cm, gave the highest RDW‌. Three-bud rhizomes produced the highest RDW and 1-bud rhizome produced the lowest. Mother rhizome dry weight (MRDW reduced untill 60 days after planting. After 75th day, MRDW has increased and all plants started to fill their mother rhizome and finally rhizome of depth 20 cm produced the highest dry weight. In 160 days after planting, mother rhizomes started to lose their weight‌. 1and 3 -bud mother rhizome produce the lowest and highest MRDW, respectively.

  9. Root proliferation and seed yield in response to spatial heterogeneity of below-ground competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Erin E; Gersani, Mordechai; Brown, Joel S

    2005-11-01

    Here, we tested the predictions of a 'tragedy of the commons' model of below-ground plant competition in annual plants that experience spatial heterogeneity in their competitive environment. Under interplant competition, the model predicts that a plant should over-proliferate roots relative to what would maximize the collective yield of the plants. We predict that a plant will tailor its root proliferation to local patch conditions, restraining root production when alone and over-proliferating in the presence of other plants. A series of experiments were conducted using pairs of pea (Pisum sativum) plants occupying two or three pots in which the presence or absence of interplant root competition was varied while nutrient availability per plant was held constant. In two-pot experiments, competing plants produced more root mass and less pod mass per individual than plants grown in isolation. In three-pot experiments, peas modulated this response to conditions at the scale of individual pots. Root proliferation in the shared pot was higher compared with the exclusively occupied pot. Plants appear to display sophisticated nutrient foraging with outcomes that permit insights into interplant competition.

  10. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi alter above- and below-ground chemical defense expression differentially among Asclepias species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel L Vannette

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Belowground symbionts of plants can have substantial influence on plant growth and nutrition. Recent work demonstrates that mycorrhizal fungi can affect plant resistance to herbivory and the performance of above and belowground herbivores. Although these examples emerge from diverse systems, it is unclear if plant species that express similar defensive traits respond similarly to fungal colonization, but comparative work may inform this question. To examine the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF on the expression of chemical resistance, we inoculated 8 species of Asclepias (milkweed--which all produce toxic cardenolides--with a community of AMF. We quantified plant biomass, foliar and root cardenolide concentration and composition, and assessed evidence for a growth-defense tradeoff in the presence and absence of AMF. As expected, total foliar and root cardenolide concentration varied among milkweed species. Importantly, the effect of mycorrhizal fungi on total foliar cardenolide concentration also varied among milkweed species, with foliar cardenolides increasing or decreasing, depending on the plant species. We detected a phylogenetic signal to this variation; AMF fungi reduced foliar cardenolide concentrations to a greater extent in the clade including A. curassavica than in the clade including A. syriaca. Moreover, AMF inoculation shifted the composition of cardenolides in above- and below-ground plant tissues in a species-specific fashion. Mycorrhizal inoculation changed the relative distribution of cardenolides between root and shoot tissue in a species-specific fashion, but did not affect cardenolide diversity or polarity. Finally, a tradeoff between plant growth and defense in non-mycorrhizal plants was mitigated completely by AMF inoculation. Overall, we conclude that the effects of AMF inoculation on the expression of chemical resistance can vary among congeneric plant species, and ameliorate tradeoffs between growth and

  11. Above- and below-ground competition in high and low irradiance: tree seedling responses to a competing liana Byttneria grandifolia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, J.Y.; Bongers, F.; Cao, K.F.; Cai, Z.Q.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract: In tropical forests, trees compete not only with other trees, but also with lianas, which may limit tree growth and regeneration. Liana effects may depend on the availability of above- and below-ground resources and differ between tree species. We conducted a shade house experiment to test

  12. Influence of transplant size on the above- and below-ground performance of four contrasting field-grown lettuce cultivars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kerbiriou, P.J.; Stomph, T.J.; Lammerts Van Bueren, E.; Struik, P.C.

    2013-01-01

    Background and aims: Modern lettuce cultivars underperform under conditions of variable temporal and spatial resource availability, common in organic or low-input production systems. Information is scarce on the impact of below-ground traits on such resource acquisition and performance of field-grow

  13. Influence of transplant size on the above- and below-ground performance of four contrasting field-grown lettuce cultivars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kerbiriou, P.J.; Stomph, T.J.; Lammerts Van Bueren, E.; Struik, P.C.

    2013-01-01

    Background and aims: Modern lettuce cultivars underperform under conditions of variable temporal and spatial resource availability, common in organic or low-input production systems. Information is scarce on the impact of below-ground traits on such resource acquisition and performance of field-grow

  14. Effects of the 100-year most severe El Niño driven drought on above and below ground CO2 exchanges in a seasonal tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detto, M.; Muller-Landau, H. C.; Davies, S. J.; Rubio Ramos, V. E.

    2015-12-01

    The role of environmental drivers in regulating carbon exchanges, such as the combined effects of different meteorological and hydrological factors, are still poorly understood in many tropical forests. For example, Central American tropical forests are characterized by a distinct dry season with large atmospheric evaporative demand, driven by solar radiations and sustained winds. In contrast, during the wet seasons, cloudiness results in lower radiation inputs but higher diffuse fraction, and higher water availability. Our site, Barro Colorado Island, located in Gatun Lake, Central Panama, averages 2800 mm of annual precipitation, with a pronounced dry season in Jan-Apr. Forest age varies between 100 and >400 yr. In July 2012, an eddy covariance system was installed on a 41 m tower on the top plateau of the island. In the current year (2015) the island is experiencing the most severe El Niño driven drought on record (precipitation is measured since 1921). The eddy covariance measurements show that carbon and water fluxes are strongly influenced by hydrological conditions. Prolonged dry spells during the dry season limit both above ground fluxes (ET and GPP) and below ground processes (root and microbial activities). Light use efficiency is about 30% lower during the dry season and evapotranspiration can be as 40% below potential. These decreases in ecosystem functions are driven primarily by a combination of structural (reduction in leaf area) and physiological (stomata regulation) adaptation. Similarly, soil effluxes respond strongly to hydrological conditions. In the dry season, lower soil respiration rates are spaced out by rare rain events generating large pulses. In contrast, during the wet season, frequent rain events suppress soil CO2effluxes, because of reduced diffusivity and oxygen depletion. Diurnal variation of soil respiration also suggested a potential translocation of photosynthates from leaf to roots to increase nutrient uptake during the dry

  15. Total Ecosystem Carbon Stock

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Total ecosystem carbon includes above- and below-ground live plant components (such as leaf, branch, stem and root), dead biomass (such as standing dead wood, down...

  16. Selecting cost effective and policy-relevant biological indicators for European monitoring of soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.s.; Römbke, J.; Schmelz, R.m.; Scheffczyk, A.; Faber, J.h.; Bloem, Jaap; Pérès, G.; Cluzeau, D.; Chabbi, A.; Suhadolc, M.; Sousa, J.p.; Martins Da Silva, P.; Carvalho, F.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.; Francisco, R.; Pereira, C.; Bonkowski, M.; Geisen, S.; Bardgett, R.d.; De Vries, F.t.; Bolger, T.; Dirilgen, T.; Schmidt, O.; Winding, A.; Hendriksen, N.b.; Johansen, A.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Bru, D.; Thomson, B.; Griffiths, R.i.; Bailey, M.j.; Keith, A.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.; Hannula, S.e.; Creamer, R.; Stone, D.

    2016-01-01

    Soils provide many ecosystem services that are ultimately dependent on the local diversity and below ground abundance of organisms. Soil biodiversity is affected negatively by many threats and there is a perceived policy requirement for the effective biological monitoring of soils at the European le

  17. Maximum entropy models of ecosystem functioning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bertram, Jason, E-mail: jason.bertram@anu.edu.au [Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200 (Australia)

    2014-12-05

    Using organism-level traits to deduce community-level relationships is a fundamental problem in theoretical ecology. This problem parallels the physical one of using particle properties to deduce macroscopic thermodynamic laws, which was successfully achieved with the development of statistical physics. Drawing on this parallel, theoretical ecologists from Lotka onwards have attempted to construct statistical mechanistic theories of ecosystem functioning. Jaynes’ broader interpretation of statistical mechanics, which hinges on the entropy maximisation algorithm (MaxEnt), is of central importance here because the classical foundations of statistical physics do not have clear ecological analogues (e.g. phase space, dynamical invariants). However, models based on the information theoretic interpretation of MaxEnt are difficult to interpret ecologically. Here I give a broad discussion of statistical mechanical models of ecosystem functioning and the application of MaxEnt in these models. Emphasising the sample frequency interpretation of MaxEnt, I show that MaxEnt can be used to construct models of ecosystem functioning which are statistical mechanical in the traditional sense using a savanna plant ecology model as an example.

  18. Maximum entropy models of ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertram, Jason

    2014-12-01

    Using organism-level traits to deduce community-level relationships is a fundamental problem in theoretical ecology. This problem parallels the physical one of using particle properties to deduce macroscopic thermodynamic laws, which was successfully achieved with the development of statistical physics. Drawing on this parallel, theoretical ecologists from Lotka onwards have attempted to construct statistical mechanistic theories of ecosystem functioning. Jaynes' broader interpretation of statistical mechanics, which hinges on the entropy maximisation algorithm (MaxEnt), is of central importance here because the classical foundations of statistical physics do not have clear ecological analogues (e.g. phase space, dynamical invariants). However, models based on the information theoretic interpretation of MaxEnt are difficult to interpret ecologically. Here I give a broad discussion of statistical mechanical models of ecosystem functioning and the application of MaxEnt in these models. Emphasising the sample frequency interpretation of MaxEnt, I show that MaxEnt can be used to construct models of ecosystem functioning which are statistical mechanical in the traditional sense using a savanna plant ecology model as an example.

  19. The roots of diversity: below ground species richness and rooting distributions in a tropical forest revealed by DNA barcodes and inverse modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Andrew Jones

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plants interact with each other, nutrients, and microbial communities in soils through extensive root networks. Understanding these below ground interactions has been difficult in natural systems, particularly those with high plant species diversity where morphological identification of fine roots is difficult. We combine DNA-based root identification with a DNA barcode database and above ground stem locations in a floristically diverse lowland tropical wet forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, where all trees and lianas >1 cm diameter have been mapped to investigate richness patterns below ground and model rooting distributions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: DNA barcode loci, particularly the cpDNA locus trnH-psba, can be used to identify fine and small coarse roots to species. We recovered 33 species of roots from 117 fragments sequenced from 12 soil cores. Despite limited sampling, we recovered a high proportion of the known species in the focal hectare, representing approximately 14% of the measured woody plant richness. This high value is emphasized by the fact that we would need to sample on average 13 m(2 at the seedling layer and 45 m(2 for woody plants >1 cm diameter to obtain the same number of species above ground. Results from inverse models parameterized with the locations and sizes of adults and the species identifications of roots and sampling locations indicates a high potential for distal underground interactions among plants. CONCLUSIONS: DNA barcoding techniques coupled with modeling approaches should be broadly applicable to studying root distributions in any mapped vegetation plot. We discuss the implications of our results and outline how second-generation sequencing technology and environmental sampling can be combined to increase our understanding of how root distributions influence the potential for plant interactions in natural ecosystems.

  20. A Methodology to Map Ecosystem Functions to Support Ecosystem Services Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mik Petter

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The project developed and trialed a method of mapping ecosystem functions in South East Queensland using biophysical data layers in preference to land use surrogates. Biophysical data and surrogates were identified for 19 ecosystem functions and maps were produced for each. Data layers for each ecosystem function were standardized for mapping purposes using existing expert advice or data quantiling. Two versions of the total ecosystem function overlap maps were also produced, showing areas of high ecosystem function that have the potential to contribute to high ecosystem service provision. This method was successfully used to replace land use surrogates in most cases, and produced maps that planners and decision makers considered credible. The mapping exercise allowed an ecosystem services framework (the SEQ Ecosystem Services Framework to be embedded in a statutory planning document, used in a State of the Region Report and to influence planning decisions at a local government level.

  1. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-05-19

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  2. Completing below-ground carbon budgets for pastures, recovering forests, and mature forests of Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Eric A.; Nepstad, Daniel C.; Trumbore, Susan E.

    1995-01-01

    This progress report covers the following efforts initiated for the year: year-round monthly soil CO2 flux measurements were started in both primary and secondary forests and in managed and degraded pastures; root sorting and weighing has begun and all four ecosystems at Paragominas have been analyzed through samples; regional modeling of soil water dynamics and minimum rooting depth has been done and the RADAMBRASIL soils database has been digitized and a 20 year record of the precipitation for the region has been produced, along with a hydrological ('bucket-tipping') model that will run within a GIS framework; prototype tension lysimeters have been designed and installed in soil pits to begin assessing the importance of DOC as a source of organic matter in deep soils; and many publications, listed in this document, have resulted from this year's research. Two of the papers published are included with this annual report document.

  3. Positive effects of organic farming on below-ground mutualists: large-scale comparison of mycorrhizal fungal communities in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbruggen, Erik; Röling, Wilfred F M; Gamper, Hannes A; Kowalchuk, George A; Verhoef, Herman A; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2010-06-01

    *The impact of various agricultural practices on soil biodiversity and, in particular, on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), is still poorly understood, although AMF can provide benefit to plants and ecosystems. Here, we tested whether organic farming enhances AMF diversity and whether AMF communities from organically managed fields are more similar to those of species-rich grasslands or conventionally managed fields. *To address this issue, the AMF community composition was assessed in 26 arable fields (13 pairs of organically and conventionally managed fields) and five semi-natural grasslands, all on sandy soil. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism community fingerprinting was used to characterize AMF community composition. *The average number of AMF taxa was highest in grasslands (8.8), intermediate in organically managed fields (6.4) and significantly lower in conventionally managed fields (3.9). Moreover, AMF richness increased significantly with the time since conversion to organic agriculture. AMF communities of organically managed fields were also more similar to those of natural grasslands when compared with those under conventional management, and were less uniform than their conventional counterparts, as expressed by higher beta-diversity (between-site diversity). *We suggest that organic management in agro-ecosystems contributes to the restoration and maintenance of these important below-ground mutualists.

  4. The intestinal ecosystem in chronic functional constipation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoppi, G; Cinquetti, M; Luciano, A; Benini, A; Muner, A; Bertazzoni Minelli, E

    1998-08-01

    Chronic functional constipation is common in infants, and the bacterial composition of stools in this condition is not known. The study aims were to: (i) investigate the composition of the intestinal ecosystem in chronic functional constipation; (ii) establish whether the addition of the water-holding agent calcium polycarbophil to the diet induces an improvement in constipation; and (iii) determine the composition of the intestinal ecosystem after the use of this agent. In total, 42 children (20F, 22M; mean age: 8.6 +/- 2.9 y) were studied. Twenty-eight children with functional chronic constipation without anatomical disorders were treated double-blind in random sequence for 1 month with an oral preparation of calcium polycarbophil (0.62 g/twice daily) or placebo. Intestinal flora composition was evaluated by standard microbiological methods and biochemical assays on faecal samples collected before and after treatment. Fourteen healthy children were studied as controls. The results show that (i) the constipated children presented a significant increase in clostridia and bifidobacteria in faeces compared to healthy subjects--different species of clostridia and enterobacteriaceae were frequently isolated; no generalized overgrowth was observed; Clostridia outnumbered bacteroides and E. coli mean counts by 2-3log, while bacteroides and E. coli counts were similar (5-6 log10/g fresh faeces); these intestinal disturbances could be defined as a dysbiosis, i.e. a quantitative alteration in the relative proportions of certain intestinal bacterial species. (ii) Clinical resolution of constipation was achieved only in 43% of treated children and an improvement in 21% (one bowel movement every 2 d). (iii) Calcium polycarbophil treatment induced no significant changes in the composition of the intestinal ecosystem, nor in blood chemistry parameters.

  5. Low below-ground organic carbon storage in a subarctic Alpine permafrost environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, M.; Kuhry, P.; Hugelius, G.

    2015-03-01

    This study investigates the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in Tarfala Valley, northern Sweden. Field inventories, upscaled based on land cover, show that this alpine permafrost environment does not store large amounts of SOC, with an estimate mean of 0.9 ± 0.2 kg C m-2 for the upper meter of soil. This is 1 to 2 orders of magnitude lower than what has been reported for lowland permafrost terrain. The SOC storage varies for different land cover classes and ranges from 0.05 kg C m-2 for stone-dominated to 8.4 kg C m-2 for grass-dominated areas. No signs of organic matter burial through cryoturbation or slope processes were found, and radiocarbon-dated SOC is generally of recent origin (distribution in Tarfala Valley, based on the bottom temperature of snow measurements and a logistic regression model, showed that at an altitude where permafrost is probable the SOC storage is very low. In the high-altitude permafrost zones (above 1500 m), soils store only ca. 0.1 kg C m-2. Under future climate warming, an upward shift of vegetation zones may lead to a net ecosystem C uptake from increased biomass and soil development. As a consequence, alpine permafrost environments could act as a net carbon sink in the future, as there is no loss of older or deeper SOC from thawing permafrost.

  6. Plant functional traits, functional diversity, and ecosystem functioning: current knowledge and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingjie Lei

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Increasing attention has recently been focused on the linkages between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning. A comprehensive understanding of these linkages can facilitate to address the ecological consequences of plant species loss induced by human activities and climate change, and provide theoretical support for ecological restoration and ecosystem management. In recent twenty years, the evidence of strong correlations between plant functional traits and changes in ecosystem processes is growing. More importantly, ecosystem functioning can be predicted more precisely, using plant functional trait diversity (i.e., functional diversity than species diversity. In this paper, we first defined plant functional traits and their important roles in determining ecosystem processes. Then, we review recent advances in the relationships between ecosystem functions and plant functional traits and their diversity. Finally, we propose several important future research directions, including (1 exploration of the relationships between aboveground and belowground plant traits and their roles in determining ecosystem functioning, (2 incorporation of the impacts of consumer and global environmental change into the correlation between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning, (3 effects of functional diversity on ecosystem multifunctionality, and (4 examination of the functional diversity-ecosystem functioning relationship at different temporal and spatial scales.

  7. Functional Valuation of Ecosystem Services on Bonaire: an ecological analysis of ecosystem functions provided by coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beek, van I.J.M.

    2011-01-01

    This research is a semi-quantitative analysis of the functional value of coral reef habitats on Bonaire to support ecosystem services. It is part of an economic valuation study of marine and terrestrial ecosystem services on Bonaire.

  8. Functional Valuation of Ecosystem Services on Bonaire: an ecological analysis of ecosystem functions provided by coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beek, van I.J.M.

    2011-01-01

    This research is a semi-quantitative analysis of the functional value of coral reef habitats on Bonaire to support ecosystem services. It is part of an economic valuation study of marine and terrestrial ecosystem services on Bonaire.

  9. From individuals to ecosystem function: toward an integration of evolutionary and ecosystem ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Peckarsky, Barbara L; Preisser, Evan L; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Vonesh, James R

    2008-09-01

    An important goal in ecology is developing general theory on how the species composition of ecosystems is related to ecosystem properties and functions. Progress on this front is limited partly because of the need to identify mechanisms controlling functions that are common to a wide range of ecosystem types. We propose that one general mechanism, rooted in the evolutionary ecology of all species, is adaptive foraging behavior in response to predation risk. To support our claim, we present two kinds of empirical evidence from plant-based and detritus-based food chains of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The first kind comes from experiments that explicitly trace how adaptive foraging influences ecosystem properties and functions. The second kind comes from a synthesis of studies that individually examine complementary components of particular ecosystems that together provide an integrated perspective on the link between adaptive foraging and ecosystem function. We show that the indirect effects of predators on plant diversity, plant productivity, nutrient cycling, trophic transfer efficiencies, and energy flux caused by consumer foraging shifts in response to risk are qualitatively different from effects caused by reductions in prey density due to direct predation. We argue that a perspective of ecosystem function that considers effects of consumer behavior in response to predation risk will broaden our capacity to explain the range of outcomes and contingencies in trophic control of ecosystems. This perspective also provides an operational way to integrate evolutionary and ecosystem ecology, which is an important challenge in ecology.

  10. Advances in research of function and valuation of ecosystem services

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Liu; Qi Feng

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that there is an economic progress beyond the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while global GDP has increased more than three-fold since 1950, whereas ecosystems have been largely occupied and depleted. Since the 1990s, emphasis has focused on function and valuation of ecosystem services, which is rarely treated as a market issue. This paper reviews recent developments on measures to evaluate and assess ecosystem services, while elucidating the function of ecosystem services. On the one hand, functions of ecosystem services are subdivided into several items such as gas reg-ulation, water regulation, soil and nutrient recycling. Also, there exist intellectually guided functions of ecosystem services, such as culture and recreation. On the other hand, ecosystems can be viewed as a supplier in the trade between human beings and natural resources such that all resources can be labeled and quantified.

  11. Testing the growth rate hypothesis in vascular plants with above- and below-ground biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qiang; Wu, Honghui; He, Nianpeng; Lü, Xiaotao; Wang, Zhiping; Elser, James J; Wu, Jianguo; Han, Xingguo

    2012-01-01

    The growth rate hypothesis (GRH) proposes that higher growth rate (the rate of change in biomass per unit biomass, μ) is associated with higher P concentration and lower C:P and N:P ratios. However, the applicability of the GRH to vascular plants is not well-studied and few studies have been done on belowground biomass. Here we showed that, for aboveground, belowground and total biomass of three study species, μ was positively correlated with N:C under N limitation and positively correlated with P:C under P limitation. However, the N:P ratio was a unimodal function of μ, increasing for small values of μ, reaching a maximum, and then decreasing. The range of variations in μ was positively correlated with variation in C:N:P stoichiometry. Furthermore, μ and C:N:P ranges for aboveground biomass were negatively correlated with those for belowground. Our results confirm the well-known association of growth rate with tissue concentration of the limiting nutrient and provide empirical support for recent theoretical formulations.

  12. Testing the growth rate hypothesis in vascular plants with above- and below-ground biomass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Yu

    Full Text Available The growth rate hypothesis (GRH proposes that higher growth rate (the rate of change in biomass per unit biomass, μ is associated with higher P concentration and lower C:P and N:P ratios. However, the applicability of the GRH to vascular plants is not well-studied and few studies have been done on belowground biomass. Here we showed that, for aboveground, belowground and total biomass of three study species, μ was positively correlated with N:C under N limitation and positively correlated with P:C under P limitation. However, the N:P ratio was a unimodal function of μ, increasing for small values of μ, reaching a maximum, and then decreasing. The range of variations in μ was positively correlated with variation in C:N:P stoichiometry. Furthermore, μ and C:N:P ranges for aboveground biomass were negatively correlated with those for belowground. Our results confirm the well-known association of growth rate with tissue concentration of the limiting nutrient and provide empirical support for recent theoretical formulations.

  13. Carbon transfer from photosynthesis to below ground fine root/hyphae respiration in Quercus serrata using stable carbon isotope pulse labeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dannoura, M.; Kominami, Y.; Takanashi, S.; Takahashi, K.

    2013-12-01

    Studying carbon allocation in trees is a key to better understand belowground carbon cycle and its response to climate change. Tracing 13C in tree and soil compartments after pulse labeling is one of powerful tool to study the fate of carbon in forest ecosystems. This experiment was conducted in Yamashiro experimental forest, Kyoto, Japan. Annual mean temperature and precipitation from 1994 to 2009 are 15.5 ° C and 1,388 mm respectively. The branch pulse labeling were done 7 times in 2011 using same branch of Quercus serrata (H:11.7 m, DBH; 33.7 cm) to see seasonal variations of carbon velocity. Whole crown labeling of Quercus serrata (H:9 m, DBH; 13.7 cm) was done in 2012 to study carbon allocation and to especially focus on belowground carbon flux until to the hyphae respiration. Pure 13CO2 (99.9%) was injected to the labeling chamber which was set to branch or crown. Then, after one hour of branch labeling and 3.5 hour for crown labeling, the chamber was opened. Trunk respiration chambers, fine root chambers and hyphae chambers were set to the target tree to trace labeled carbon in the CO2 efflux. 41 μm mesh was used to exclude ingrowth of roots into hyphae chambers. The results show that the velocity of carbon through the tree varied seasonally, with higher velocity in summer than autumn, averaging 0.47 m h-1. Half-lives of labeled carbon in autotrophic respiration were similar above and below ground during the growing season, but they were twice longer in trunk than in root in autumn. From the whole crown labeling done end of growing season, the 13CO2 signal was observed 25 hours after labeling in trunk chamber and 34-37.7 hours after labeling in fine root and hyphae respiration almost simultaneously. Half-lives of 13 was longer in trunk than below ground. Trunk respiration was still using labelled carbon during winter suggesting that winter trunk respiration is partly fueled by carbon stored in the trunk at the end of the growing season.

  14. Is the simple auger coring method reliable for below-ground standing biomass estimation in Eucalyptus forest plantations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levillain, Joseph; Thongo M'Bou, Armel; Deleporte, Philippe; Saint-André, Laurent; Jourdan, Christophe

    2011-07-01

    Despite their importance for plant production, estimations of below-ground biomass and its distribution in the soil are still difficult and time consuming, and no single reliable methodology is available for different root types. To identify the best method for root biomass estimations, four different methods, with labour requirements, were tested at the same location. The four methods, applied in a 6-year-old Eucalyptus plantation in Congo, were based on different soil sampling volumes: auger (8 cm in diameter), monolith (25 × 25 cm quadrate), half Voronoi trench (1·5 m(3)) and a full Voronoi trench (3 m(3)), chosen as the reference method. With the reference method (0-1m deep), fine-root biomass (FRB, diameter biomass (MRB diameter 2-10 mm) at 2·0 t ha(-1), coarse-root biomass (CRB, diameter >10 mm) at 5·6 t ha(-1) and stump biomass at 6·8 t ha(-1). Total below-ground biomass was estimated at 16·2 t ha(-1) (root : shoot ratio equal to 0·23) for this 800 tree ha(-1) eucalypt plantation density. The density of FRB was very high (0·56 t ha(-1)) in the top soil horizon (0-3 cm layer) and decreased greatly (0·3 t ha(-1)) with depth (50-100 cm). Without labour requirement considerations, no significant differences were found between the four methods for FRB and MRB; however, CRB was better estimated by the half and full Voronoi trenches. When labour requirements were considered, the most effective method was auger coring for FRB, whereas the half and full Voronoi trenches were the most appropriate methods for MRB and CRB, respectively. As CRB combined with stumps amounted to 78 % of total below-ground biomass, a full Voronoi trench is strongly recommended when estimating total standing root biomass. Conversely, for FRB estimation, auger coring is recommended with a design pattern accounting for the spatial variability of fine-root distribution.

  15. Distributional (in)congruence of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, C.; Boit, A.; Mori, S.; Vonk, J.A.; Dyer, S.D.; Faggiano, L.; Geisen, S.; González, A.L.; Kaspari, M.; Lavorel, S.; Marquet, P.A.; Rossberg, A.G.; Sterner, R.W.; Voigt, W.; Wall, D.H.

    2012-01-01

    The majority of research on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in laboratories has concentrated on a few traits, but there is increasing evidence from the field that functional diversity controls ecosystem functioning more often than does species number. Given the importance of traits as predictors

  16. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Bender, S Franz; Widmer, Franco; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2014-04-08

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth's biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability.

  17. Influence of transplant size on the above- and below-ground performance of four contrasting field-grown lettuce cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline Julie Kerbiriou

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Background and aims: Modern lettuce cultivars underperform under conditions of variable temporal and spatial resource availability, common in organic or low-input production systems. Information is scarce on the impact of below-ground traits on such resource acquisition and performance of field-grown lettuce; exploring genetic variation in such traits might contribute to strategies to select for cultivars robust enough to perform well in the field, even under stress.Methods: To investigate the impact of below-ground (root development and resource capture on above-ground (shoot weight, leaf area traits, different combinations of shoot and root growth were created using transplants of different sizes in three field experiments. Genetic variation in morphological and physiological below- and above-ground responses to different types of transplant shocks was assessed using four cultivars. Results: Transplanting over-developed seedling did not affect final yield of any of the four cultivars. Small transplant size persistently impacted growth and delayed maturity. The cultivars with overall larger root weights and rooting depth, ‘Matilda’ and ‘Pronto’, displayed a slightly higher growth rate in the linear phase leading to better yields than ‘Mariska’ which had a smaller root system and a slower linear growth despite a higher maximal exponential growth rate. ‘Nadine’, which had the highest physiological nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE, g dry matter produced per g N accumulated in the head among the tested cultivars, gave most stable yields over seasons and locations. Conclusions: Robustness was conferred by a large root system exploring deep soil layers. More roots generally correlated with improved nitrate capture in a soil layer and cultivars with a larger root system may therefore perform better in harsh environmental conditions; increased NUE can also confer robustness at low cost for the plant, and secure stable yields under a wide

  18. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, Daniel J; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2) plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2)) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2)). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  19. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Hocking

    Full Text Available Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp. likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2 plots and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2 where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2. In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders. Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  20. Linking Ecosystem Services Benefit Transfer Databases and Ecosystem Services Production Function Libraries

    Science.gov (United States)

    The quantification or estimation of the economic and non-economic values of ecosystem services can be done from a number of distinct approaches. For example, practitioners may use ecosystem services production function models (ESPFMs) for a particular location, or alternatively, ...

  1. Linking Ecosystem Services Benefit Transfer Databases and Ecosystem Services Production Function Libraries

    Science.gov (United States)

    The quantification or estimation of the economic and non-economic values of ecosystem services can be done from a number of distinct approaches. For example, practitioners may use ecosystem services production function models (ESPFMs) for a particular location, or alternatively, ...

  2. Emergent global patterns of ecosystem structure and function from a mechanistic general ecosystem model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harfoot, Michael B J; Newbold, Tim; Tittensor, Derek P; Emmott, Stephen; Hutton, Jon; Lyutsarev, Vassily; Smith, Matthew J; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purves, Drew W

    2014-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude) across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate), community (e.g., biomass turnover rates), ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids), and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure) that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures.

  3. Emergent global patterns of ecosystem structure and function from a mechanistic general ecosystem model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael B J Harfoot

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate, community (e.g., biomass turnover rates, ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids, and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures.

  4. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  5. Functional traits in agriculture: agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Stephen A; Karp, Daniel S; DeClerck, Fabrice; Kremen, Claire; Naeem, Shahid; Palm, Cheryl A

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services.

  6. Disentangling above- and below-ground facilitation drivers in arid environments: the role of soil microorganisms, soil properties and microhabitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Yudi M; Armas, Cristina; Hortal, Sara; Casanoves, Fernando; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2017-03-06

    Nurse plants promote establishment of other plant species by buffering climate extremes and improving soil properties. Soil biota plays an important role, but an analysis to disentangle the effects of soil microorganisms, soil properties and microclimate on facilitation is lacking. In three microhabitats (gaps, small and large Retama shrubs), we placed six microcosms with sterilized soil, two per soil origin (i.e. from each microhabitat). One in every pair received an alive, and the other a sterile, inoculum from its own soil. Seeds of annual plants were sown into the microcosms. Germination, survival and biomass were monitored. Soil bacterial communities were characterized by pyrosequencing. Germination in living Retama inoculum was nearly double that of germination in sterile inoculum. Germination was greater under Retama canopies than in gaps. Biomass was up to three times higher in nurse than in gap soils. Soil microorganisms, soil properties and microclimate showed a range of positive to negative effects on understory plants depending on species identity and life stage. Nurse soil microorganisms promoted germination, but the effect was smaller than the positive effects of soil properties and microclimate under nurses. Nurse below-ground environment (soil properties and microorganisms) promoted plant growth and survival more than nurse microhabitat. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Riparian ecosystems and buffers - multiscale structure, function, and management: introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathleen A. Dwire; Richard R. Lowrance

    2006-01-01

    Given the importance of issues related to improved understanding and management of riparian ecosystems and buffers, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) sponsored a Summer Specialty Conference in June 2004 at Olympic Valley, California, entitled 'Riparian Ecosystems and Buffers: Multiscale Structure, Function, and Management.' The primary objective...

  8. Above- and below-ground responses of four tundra plant functional types to deep soil heating and surface soil fertilization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Peng; Limpens, Juul; Mommer, Liesje; Ruijven, van Jasper; Nauta, Ake L.; Berendse, Frank; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Blok, Daan; Maximov, Trofim C.; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.

    2017-01-01

    Climate warming is faster in the Arctic than the global average. Nutrient availability in the tundra soil is expected to increase by climate warming through (i) accelerated nutrient mobilization in the surface soil layers, and (ii) increased thawing depths during the growing season which

  9. Species richness and biomass explain spatial turnover in ecosystem functioning across tropical and temperate ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Andrew D; Weigelt, Patrick; Jochum, Malte; Ott, David; Hodapp, Dorothee; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Brose, Ulrich

    2016-05-19

    Predicting ecosystem functioning at large spatial scales rests on our ability to scale up from local plots to landscapes, but this is highly contingent on our understanding of how functioning varies through space. Such an understanding has been hampered by a strong experimental focus of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research restricted to small spatial scales. To address this limitation, we investigate the drivers of spatial variation in multitrophic energy flux-a measure of ecosystem functioning in complex communities-at the landscape scale. We use a structural equation modelling framework based on distance matrices to test how spatial and environmental distances drive variation in community energy flux via four mechanisms: species composition, species richness, niche complementarity and biomass. We found that in both a tropical and a temperate study region, geographical and environmental distance indirectly influence species richness and biomass, with clear evidence that these are the dominant mechanisms explaining variability in community energy flux over spatial and environmental gradients. Our results reveal that species composition and trait variability may become redundant in predicting ecosystem functioning at the landscape scale. Instead, we demonstrate that species richness and total biomass may best predict rates of ecosystem functioning at larger spatial scales.

  10. Simulated Sea-Level Rise Effects on the Above and Below-Ground Growth of Two Tidal Marsh Plant Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, L. M.; Callaway, J. C.; Kelly, M.

    2011-12-01

    Sea-level is expected to rise between 55 and 140 cm in the next century and is likely to have significant effects on the distribution and maintenance of tidal wetlands; however, little is known about the effects of increased sea level on Pacific coast tidal marsh vegetation. We initiated a field experiment in March 2011 to examine how increased depth and duration of inundation affect above and below-ground growth of two tidal wetland plant species: Schoenoplectus acutus and S. americanus. PVC planters, referred to as marsh organs, were installed at fixed elevations in channels at two ancient marshes in the San Francisco Bay Estuary: Browns Island and Rush Ranch. Each marsh organ structure is comprised of five rows of three six-inch PVC pipes, with each row 15cm lower than the row above, and was filled with surrounding mudflat sediment. Elevations span 60 cm and were chosen to be lower than the average current elevations of both species at each marsh to reflect projected increases in sea level. Rhizomes were collected from Browns Island, the less-saline site, and were cut to uniform sizes before planting. In every row, each species was grown individually and together. On a monthly basis, plant heights were recorded and pore-water sulfide concentration, salinity, and soil oxidation-reduction potential were measured. Schoenoplectus americanus growth and density significantly decreased with increased inundation at both sites. Schoenoplectus acutus growth was impacted more significantly at lower elevations at Rush Ranch but had little variation in density and growth across elevations at Browns Island. Salinity and sulfide concentrations varied little across elevations within a site but differed between sites. Above and belowground biomass will be collected in September 2011 to measure total annual productivity. The experiment provides basic yet crucial information on the impacts of increased inundation on tidal wetland vegetation and insight into potential changes in

  11. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences.

  12. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mouillot

    Full Text Available Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees, we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by

  13. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Baraloto, Christopher; Chave, Jerome; Galzin, Rene; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Kulbicki, Michel; Lavergne, Sebastien; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouquet, Nicolas; Paine, C E Timothy; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees), we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by ecosystems across

  14. Maintaining ecosystem function and services in logged tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, David P; Tobias, Joseph A; Sheil, Douglas; Meijaard, Erik; Laurance, William F

    2014-09-01

    Vast expanses of tropical forests worldwide are being impacted by selective logging. We evaluate the environmental impacts of such logging and conclude that natural timber-production forests typically retain most of their biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, as well as their carbon, climatic, and soil-hydrological ecosystem services. Unfortunately, the value of production forests is often overlooked, leaving them vulnerable to further degradation including post-logging clearing, fires, and hunting. Because logged tropical forests are extensive, functionally diverse, and provide many ecosystem services, efforts to expand their role in conservation strategies are urgently needed. Key priorities include improving harvest practices to reduce negative impacts on ecosystem functions and services, and preventing the rapid conversion and loss of logged forests.

  15. Structure and functioning of dryland ecosystems in a changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David J.; Soliveres, Santiago; Kéfi, Sonia; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Bowker, Matthew A.; García-Palacios, Pablo; Gaitán, Juan; Gallardo, Antonio; Lázaro, Roberto; Berdugo, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how drylands respond to ongoing environmental change is extremely important for global sustainability. Here we review how biotic attributes, climate, grazing pressure, land cover change and nitrogen deposition affect the functioning of drylands at multiple spatial scales. Our synthesis highlights the importance of biotic attributes (e.g. species richness) in maintaining fundamental ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, illustrate how N deposition and grazing pressure are impacting ecosystem functioning in drylands worldwide, and highlight the importance of the traits of woody species as drivers of their expansion in former grasslands. We also emphasize the role of attributes such as species richness and abundance in controlling the responses of ecosystem functioning to climate change. This knowledge is essential to guide conservation and restoration efforts in drylands, as biotic attributes can be actively managed at the local scale to increase ecosystem resilience to global change. PMID:28239303

  16. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Mateos, David; Power, Mary E; Comín, Francisco A; Yockteng, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Wetlands are among the most productive and economically valuable ecosystems in the world. However, because of human activities, over half of the wetland ecosystems existing in North America, Europe, Australia, and China in the early 20th century have been lost. Ecological restoration to recover critical ecosystem services has been widely attempted, but the degree of actual recovery of ecosystem functioning and structure from these efforts remains uncertain. Our results from a meta-analysis of 621 wetland sites from throughout the world show that even a century after restoration efforts, biological structure (driven mostly by plant assemblages), and biogeochemical functioning (driven primarily by the storage of carbon in wetland soils), remained on average 26% and 23% lower, respectively, than in reference sites. Either recovery has been very slow, or postdisturbance systems have moved towards alternative states that differ from reference conditions. We also found significant effects of environmental settings on the rate and degree of recovery. Large wetland areas (>100 ha) and wetlands restored in warm (temperate and tropical) climates recovered more rapidly than smaller wetlands and wetlands restored in cold climates. Also, wetlands experiencing more (riverine and tidal) hydrologic exchange recovered more rapidly than depressional wetlands. Restoration performance is limited: current restoration practice fails to recover original levels of wetland ecosystem functions, even after many decades. If restoration as currently practiced is used to justify further degradation, global loss of wetland ecosystem function and structure will spread.

  17. Evaluation of carbon stocks in above- and below-ground biomass in Central Africa: case study of Lesio-louna tropical rainforest of Congo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.; Ekoungoulou, R.; Loumeto, J. J.; Ifo, S. A.; Bocko, Y. E.; Koula, F. E.

    2014-07-01

    The study was aimed to estimate the carbon stocks of above- and below-ground biomass in Lesio-louna forest of Congo. The methodology of allometric equations was used to measure the carbon stocks of Lesio-louna natural forest. We are based precisely on the model II which is also called non-destructive method or indirect method of measuring carbon stocks. While there has been use of parameters such as the DBH and wood density. The research was done with 22 circular plots each 1256 m2. In the 22 plots studied, 19 plots are in the gallery forest and three plots in the secondary forest. Also, 22 circular plots were distributed in 5 sites studies of Lesio-louna forest, including: Inkou forest island, Iboubikro, Ngoyili, Blue lake and Ngambali. So, there are two forest types (secondary forest and gallery forest) in this forest ecosystem. In the 5 sites studied, we made measurements on a total of 347 trees with 197 trees for the class of 10-30 cm diameter, 131 trees for the class of 30-60 cm diameter and 19 trees in the diameter class > 60 cm. The results show that in the whole forest, average carbon stock for the 22 plots of the study was 168.601 t C ha-1 for AGB, or 81% and 39.551 t C ha-1 for BGB, or 19%. The total carbon stocks in all the biomass was 3395.365 t C for AGB, which is 3.395365 × 10-6 Gt C and 909.689934 t C for BGB, which was 9.09689934 × 10-7 Gt C. In this forest, the carbon stock was more important in AGB compared to BGB with respectively 3395.365 t C against 909.689934 t C. Plot10 (AGB = 363.899 t C ha-1 and BGB = 85.516 t C ha-1) was the most dominant in terms of carbon quantification in Lesio-louna.

  18. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-12-08

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.

  19. Contrasting tropical estuarine ecosystem functioning and stability: A comparative study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva, Maria Ching

    2015-03-01

    A comparative study of the Sine-saloum (Senegal) and Gambia (The Gambia) estuaries was performed based on trophic model outputs that describe the system structure and functioning. These trophic models were constructed such as to differentiate main energetic flows in the systems and express how climate change may have impacted ecosystem resilience to change. Estuarine fish assemblages are highly resilient despite exposure to vast hydrodynamic variations and stress. Coupled with strong anthropogenic-driven stresses such as fisheries and climate change, ecosystems may undergo severe regime shifts that may weaken their resilience and stability. Taxonomically related and morphologically similar species do not necessarily play similar ecological roles in these two ecosystems. Biomass and production in the Sine-saloum are concentrated at trophic levels (TLs) 2 and 3, while for the Gambia, both are concentrated at TL3. Higher TL biomasses in Gambia compared to Sine-Saloum may be explained by the latter ecosystem being characterized by inverse hypersalinity. Higher TL of production in Sine-Saloum is due to higher exploitations compared to Gambia where fishing activities are still less developed. High production and consumption rates of some groups in both ecosystems indicate high system productivity. Elevated productivity may be due to higher abundance of juvenile fishes in most groups that utilize the latter as refuge and/or nursery zones. Both ecosystems are phytoplankton-driven. Differences in group trophic and ecological roles are mainly due to adaptive responses of these species to seasonal and long-term climate and anthropogenic stressors. System indicators suggest different levels of ecosystem resilience and stability as a function of biodiversity. Relevance of other observations on ecosystem functioning and indicators in relation to perturbation is discussed.

  20. The Functionally-Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator Version 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2017-06-02

    The Functionally-Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) is a vegetation model for use in Earth system models (ESMs). The model includes a size- and age-structured representation of tree dynamics, competition between functionally diverse plant functional types, and the biophysics underpinning plant growth, competition, mortality, as well as the carbon, water, and energy exchange with the atmosphere. The FATES model is designed as a modular vegetation model that can be integrated within a host land model for inclusion in ESMs. The model is designed for use in global change studies to understand and project the responses and feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and the Earth system under changing climate and other forcings.

  1. Ecosystem restoration strengthens pollination network resilience and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N; Mougal, James; Whittington, Andrew E; Valentin, Terence; Gabriel, Ronny; Olesen, Jens M; Blüthgen, Nico

    2017-02-09

    Land degradation results in declining biodiversity and the disruption of ecosystem functioning worldwide, particularly in the tropics. Vegetation restoration is a common tool used to mitigate these impacts and increasingly aims to restore ecosystem functions rather than species diversity. However, evidence from community experiments on the effect of restoration practices on ecosystem functions is scarce. Pollination is an important ecosystem function and the global decline in pollinators attenuates the resistance of natural areas and agro-environments to disturbances. Thus, the ability of pollination functions to resist or recover from disturbance (that is, the functional resilience) may be critical for ensuring a successful restoration process. Here we report the use of a community field experiment to investigate the effects of vegetation restoration, specifically the removal of exotic shrubs, on pollination. We analyse 64 plant-pollinator networks and the reproductive performance of the ten most abundant plant species across four restored and four unrestored, disturbed mountaintop communities. Ecosystem restoration resulted in a marked increase in pollinator species, visits to flowers and interaction diversity. Interactions in restored networks were more generalized than in unrestored networks, indicating a higher functional redundancy in restored communities. Shifts in interaction patterns had direct and positive effects on pollination, especially on the relative and total fruit production of native plants. Pollinator limitation was prevalent at unrestored sites only, where the proportion of flowers producing fruit increased with pollinator visitation, approaching the higher levels seen in restored plant communities. Our results show that vegetation restoration can improve pollination, suggesting that the degradation of ecosystem functions is at least partially reversible. The degree of recovery may depend on the state of degradation before restoration

  2. Relationships between anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem functions in UK blanket bogs: linking process understanding to ecosystem service valuation

    OpenAIRE

    Evans, CD; Bonn, A; Holden, J; Reed, MS; Evans, MG; Worrall, F.; J. Couwenberg; Parnell, M

    2014-01-01

    Quantification and valuation of ecosystem services are critically dependent on the quality of underpinning science. While key ecological processes may be understood, translating this understanding into quantitative relationships suitable for use in an ecosystem services context remains challenging. Using blanket bogs as a case study, we derived quantitative 'pressure-response functions' linking anthropogenic pressures (drainage, burning, sulphur and nitrogen deposition) with ecosystem functio...

  3. Ecosystem functions of oil palm plantations - a review

    OpenAIRE

    Dislich, Claudia; Keyel, Alexander C.; Salecker, Jan; Kisel, Yael; Meyer, Katrin M.; Corre, Marife D.; Faust, Heiko; Hess, Bastian; Knohl, Alexander; Kreft, Holger; Meijide, Ana; Nurdiansyah, Fuad; Otten, Fenna; Pe'er, Guy; Steinebach, Stefanie

    2015-01-01

    Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly in the last decades. This large-scale land-use change has had great impacts on both the areas converted to oil palm and their surroundings. Howev-er, research on the impacts of oil palm agriculture is scattered and patchy, and no clear overview ex-ists. Here, we address this gap through a systematic and comprehensive literature review of all ecosys-tem functions in oil palm plantations. We compare ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations to those ...

  4. Linking community size structure and ecosystem functioning using metabolic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yvon-Durocher, Gabriel; Allen, Andrew P

    2012-11-05

    Understanding how biogeochemical cycles relate to the structure of ecological communities is a central research question in ecology. Here we approach this problem by focusing on body size, which is an easily measured species trait that has a pervasive influence on multiple aspects of community structure and ecosystem functioning. We test the predictions of a model derived from metabolic theory using data on ecosystem metabolism and community size structure. These data were collected as part of an aquatic mesocosm experiment that was designed to simulate future environmental warming. Our analyses demonstrate significant linkages between community size structure and ecosystem functioning, and the effects of warming on these links. Specifically, we show that carbon fluxes were significantly influenced by seasonal variation in temperature, and yielded activation energies remarkably similar to those predicted based on the temperature dependencies of individual-level photosynthesis and respiration. We also show that community size structure significantly influenced fluxes of ecosystem respiration and gross primary production, particularly at the annual time-scale. Assessing size structure and the factors that control it, both empirically and theoretically, therefore promises to aid in understanding links between individual organisms and biogeochemical cycles, and in predicting the responses of key ecosystem functions to future environmental change.

  5. Epiphyte-cover on seagrass (Zostera marina L. leaves impedes plant performance and radial O2 loss from the below-ground tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasper Elgetti Brodersen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The O2 budget of seagrasses is a complex interaction between several sources and sinks, which is strongly regulated by light availability and mass transfer over the diffusive boundary layer (DBL surrounding the plant. Epiphyte growth on leaves may thus strongly affect the O2 availability of the seagrass plant and its capability to aerate its rhizosphere as a defence against plant toxins.We used electrochemical and fiber-optic microsensors to quantify the O2 flux, DBL and light microclimate around leaves with and without filamentous algal epiphytes. We also quantified the below-ground radial O2 loss from roots (~1 mm from the root-apex to elucidate how this below-ground oxic microzone was affected by the presence of epiphytes.Epiphyte-cover on seagrass leaves (~21% areal cover resulted in reduced light quality and quantity for photosynthesis, thus leading to reduced plant fitness. A ~4 times thicker diffusive boundary layer around leaves with epiphyte-cover impeded gas (and nutrient exchange with the surrounding water-column and thus the amount of O2 passively diffusing into the leaves in darkness. During light exposure of the leaves, radial oxygen loss from the below-ground tissue was ~2 times higher from plants without epiphyte-cover. In contrast, no O2 was detectable at the surface of the root-cap tissue of plants with epiphyte-cover during darkness, leaving the plants more susceptible to sulphide intrusion.Epiphyte growth on seagrass leaves thus negatively affects the light climate and O2 uptake in darkness, hampering the plants performance and thereby reducing the oxidation capability of its below-ground tissue.

  6. Microbes as Engines of Ecosystem Function: When Does Community Structure Enhance Predictions of Ecosystem Processes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Emily B; Knelman, Joseph E; Schindlbacher, Andreas; Siciliano, Steven; Breulmann, Marc; Yannarell, Anthony; Beman, J M; Abell, Guy; Philippot, Laurent; Prosser, James; Foulquier, Arnaud; Yuste, Jorge C; Glanville, Helen C; Jones, Davey L; Angel, Roey; Salminen, Janne; Newton, Ryan J; Bürgmann, Helmut; Ingram, Lachlan J; Hamer, Ute; Siljanen, Henri M P; Peltoniemi, Krista; Potthast, Karin; Bañeras, Lluís; Hartmann, Martin; Banerjee, Samiran; Yu, Ri-Qing; Nogaro, Geraldine; Richter, Andreas; Koranda, Marianne; Castle, Sarah C; Goberna, Marta; Song, Bongkeun; Chatterjee, Amitava; Nunes, Olga C; Lopes, Ana R; Cao, Yiping; Kaisermann, Aurore; Hallin, Sara; Strickland, Michael S; Garcia-Pausas, Jordi; Barba, Josep; Kang, Hojeong; Isobe, Kazuo; Papaspyrou, Sokratis; Pastorelli, Roberta; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Lindström, Eva S; Basiliko, Nathan; Nemergut, Diana R

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth's biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: 'When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?' We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  7. Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Solan, Martin

    2010-07-12

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH(4)-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO(4)-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty.

  8. Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T.; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M.; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C. L.; Solan, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH4-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO4-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty. PMID:20513718

  9. Functional complexity and ecosystem stability: an experimental approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Voris, P.; O' Neill, R.V.; Shugart, H.H.; Emanuel, W.R.

    1978-01-01

    The complexity-stability hypothesis was experimentally tested using intact terrestrial microcosms. Functional complexity was defined as the number and significance of component interactions (i.e., population interactions, physical-chemical reactions, biological turnover rates) influenced by nonlinearities, feedbacks, and time delays. It was postulated that functional complexity could be nondestructively measured through analysis of a signal generated from the system. Power spectral analysis of hourly CO/sub 2/ efflux, from eleven old-field microcosms, was analyzed for the number of low frequency peaks and used to rank the functional complexity of each system. Ranking of ecosystem stability was based on the capacity of the system to retain essential nutrients and was measured by net loss of Ca after the system was stressed. Rank correlation supported the hypothesis that increasing ecosystem functional complexity leads to increasing ecosystem stability. The results indicated that complex functional dynamics can serve to stabilize the system. The results also demonstrated that microcosms are useful tools for system-level investigations.

  10. Forecasting Urban Forest Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenberg, James W. N.; Millward, Andrew A.; Nowak, David J.; Robinson, Pamela J.; Ellis, Alexis

    2017-03-01

    The benefits derived from urban forest ecosystems are garnering increasing attention in ecological research and municipal planning. However, because of their location in heterogeneous and highly-altered urban landscapes, urban forests are vulnerable and commonly suffer disproportionate and varying levels of stress and disturbance. The objective of this study is to assess and analyze the spatial and temporal changes, and potential vulnerability, of the urban forest resource in Toronto, Canada. This research was conducted using a spatially-explicit, indicator-based assessment of vulnerability and i-Tree Forecast modeling of temporal changes in forest structure and function. Nine scenarios were simulated for 45 years and model output was analyzed at the ecosystem and municipal scale. Substantial mismatches in ecological processes between spatial scales were found, which can translate into unanticipated loss of function and social inequities if not accounted for in planning and management. At the municipal scale, the effects of Asian longhorned beetle and ice storm disturbance were far less influential on structure and function than changes in management actions. The strategic goals of removing invasive species and increasing tree planting resulted in a decline in carbon storage and leaf biomass. Introducing vulnerability parameters in the modeling increased the spatial heterogeneity in structure and function while expanding the disparities of resident access to ecosystem services. There was often a variable and uncertain relationship between vulnerability and ecosystem structure and function. Vulnerability assessment and analysis can provide strategic planning initiatives with valuable insight into the processes of structural and functional change resulting from management intervention.

  11. Forecasting Urban Forest Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenberg, James W N; Millward, Andrew A; Nowak, David J; Robinson, Pamela J; Ellis, Alexis

    2017-03-01

    The benefits derived from urban forest ecosystems are garnering increasing attention in ecological research and municipal planning. However, because of their location in heterogeneous and highly-altered urban landscapes, urban forests are vulnerable and commonly suffer disproportionate and varying levels of stress and disturbance. The objective of this study is to assess and analyze the spatial and temporal changes, and potential vulnerability, of the urban forest resource in Toronto, Canada. This research was conducted using a spatially-explicit, indicator-based assessment of vulnerability and i-Tree Forecast modeling of temporal changes in forest structure and function. Nine scenarios were simulated for 45 years and model output was analyzed at the ecosystem and municipal scale. Substantial mismatches in ecological processes between spatial scales were found, which can translate into unanticipated loss of function and social inequities if not accounted for in planning and management. At the municipal scale, the effects of Asian longhorned beetle and ice storm disturbance were far less influential on structure and function than changes in management actions. The strategic goals of removing invasive species and increasing tree planting resulted in a decline in carbon storage and leaf biomass. Introducing vulnerability parameters in the modeling increased the spatial heterogeneity in structure and function while expanding the disparities of resident access to ecosystem services. There was often a variable and uncertain relationship between vulnerability and ecosystem structure and function. Vulnerability assessment and analysis can provide strategic planning initiatives with valuable insight into the processes of structural and functional change resulting from management intervention.

  12. Predicting richness effects on ecosystem function in natural communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dangles, Olivier; Crespo-Pérez, Verónica; Andino, Patricio

    2011-01-01

    . Despite the increased complexity of experimental and theoretical studies on the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) relationship, a major challenge is to demonstrate whether the observed importance of biodiversity in controlled experimental systems also persists in nature. Due...... revealed that richness and identity effects on decomposition rates were lost with increasing shredder community complexity. Our approach of combining experimental and empirical data with modeling in species-poor ecosystems may serve as an impetus for new B-EF studies. If theory can explain B-EF in low...... among the three shredder species, indicating complementary resource use and/or facilitation. By integrating survey and experimental data in surface response analyses we found that observed B-EF patterns fit those predicted by a linear model that described litter decomposition rates as a function...

  13. Function of Wildfire-Deposited Pyrogenic Carbon in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa R. A. Pingree

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Fire is an important driver of change in most forest, savannah, and prairie ecosystems and fire-altered organic matter, or pyrogenic carbon (PyC, conveys numerous functions in soils of fire-maintained terrestrial ecosystems. Although an exceptional number of recent review articles and books have addressed agricultural soil application of charcoal or biochar, few reviews have addressed the functional role of naturally formed PyC in fire-maintained ecosystems. Recent advances in molecular spectroscopic techniques have helped strengthen our understanding of PyC as a ubiquitous, complex material that is capable of altering soil chemical, physical, and biological properties and processes. The uniquely recalcitrant nature of PyC in soils is partly a result of its stable C = C double-bonded, graphene-like structure and C-rich, N-poor composition. This attribute allows it to persist in soils for hundreds to thousands of years and represent net ecosystem C sequestration in fire-maintained ecosystems. The rapid formation of PyC during wildfire or anthropogenic fire events short-circuits the normally tortuous pathway of recalcitrant soil C formation. Existing literature also suggests that PyC provides an essential role in the cycling of certain nutrients, greatly extending the timeframe by which fires influence soil processes and facilitating recovery in ecosystems where organic matter inputs are low and post-fire surface soil bacterial and fungal activity is reduced. The high surface area of PyC allows for the adsorption a broad spectrum of organic compounds that directly or indirectly influence microbial processes after fire events. Adsorption capacity and microsite conditions created by PyC yields a “charosphere” effect in soil with heightened microbial activity in the vicinity of PyC. In this mini-review, we explore the function of PyC in natural and semi-natural settings, provide a mechanistic approach to understanding these functions, and examine

  14. Biological factors of natural and artificial ecosystems stable (unstable) functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nikolai S.

    The problem of sustainable development of humanity on Earth and the problem of supporting human life in space have the same scientific and methodological bases. The key to solve both problems is a long term maintenance of balanced material cycle. As a whole, natural or artificial ecosystems are to be more closed than open, but their elements (links of systems) are to be substantially open in interactions with each other. Prolonged stable interactions of different links have to have unique joint results - closed material cycling or biotic turnover. It is necessary to include, at least, three types of main links into any system to support real material cycling: producers, consumers, reducers. Producer links are now under studies in many laboratories. It is evident that the higher productivity of link, the lower link stability. Especially, it concerns with parasite impact to plants. As usual, artificial ecosystems are more simple (incomplete) than natural ecosystems, sometimes, they have not enough links for prolonged stable functioning. For example, life support system for space flight can be incomplete in consumer link, having only some crew persons, instead of interacting populations of consumers. As for reducer link, it is necessary to "organize" a special coordinated work of microbial biocenoses to fulfill proper cycling. Possible evolution of links, their self development is a matter of special attention for the maintenance of prolonged stable functioning. It's the most danger for systems with populations of quickly reproducing, so-called, R - strategists, according to symbols of logistic equation. From another side, quick reproduction of R - strategists is able to increase artificial ecosystems and their links functioning. After some damages of system, R - strategist's link can be quickly "self repaired" up to level of normal functioning. Some experimental data of this kind and mathematical models are to be discussed in the paper. This work is supported by

  15. The effects of initial planting density on above- and below-ground biomass in a 25-year-old Fagus orientalis Lipsky plantation in Hopa, Turkey

    OpenAIRE

    Güner, Sinan; Yağcı, Volkan; Tilki, Fahrettin; Çelik, Nejat

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the influence of initial planting density on above- and below- ground biomass in 25 years old oriental beech stands located in Hopa, Artvin, Turkey. The initial spacings used in this study were 0.7 x 2.0 m ( high planting density) and 2.0 x 2.0 m (low planting density). To analyse the planting density response of trees of different sizes (diameter), the sample trees within each stand density class were classified into four dbh classes (dbh1, dbh2, dbh3, ...

  16. Microbes as engines of ecosystem function: when does community structure enhance predictions of ecosystem processes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  17. Realizing ecosystem services: wetland hydrologic function along a gradient of ecosystem condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Daniel L; Cohen, Matthew J

    2013-10-01

    Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services, from habitat provision to pollutant removal, floodwater storage, and microclimate regulation. Delivery of particular services relies on specific ecological functions, and thus to varying degree on wetland ecological condition, commonly quantified as departure from minimally impacted reference sites. Condition assessments are widely adopted as regulatory indicators of ecosystem function, and for some services (e.g., habitat) links between condition and function are often direct. For others, however, links are more tenuous, and using condition alone to enumerate ecosystem value (e.g., for compensatory mitigation) may underestimate important services. Hydrologic function affects many services cited in support of wetland protection both directly (floodwater retention, microclimate regulation) and indirectly (biogeochemical cycling, pollutant removal). We investigated links between condition and hydrologic function to test the hypothesis, embedded in regulatory assessment of wetland value, that condition predicts function. Condition was assessed using rapid and intensive approaches, including Florida's official wetland assessment tool, in 11 isolated forested wetlands in north Florida (USA) spanning a land use intensity gradient. Hydrologic function was assessed using hydrologic regime (mean, variance, and rates of change of water depth), and measurements of groundwater exchange and evapotranspiration (ET). Despite a wide range in condition, no systematic variation in hydrologic regime was observed; indeed reference sites spanned the full range of variation. In contrast, ET was affected by land use, with higher rates in intensive (agriculture and urban) landscapes in response to higher leaf area. ET determines latent heat exchange, which regulates microclimate, a valuable service in urban heat islands. Higher ET also indicates higher productivity and thus carbon cycling. Groundwater exchange regularly reversed flow direction

  18. Contrasting biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in phylogenetic and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steudel, Bastian; Hallmann, Christine; Lorenz, Maike; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Prinz, Kathleen; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Feussner, Ivo; Martini, Johannes W R; Kessler, Michael

    2016-10-01

    It is well known that ecosystem functioning is positively influenced by biodiversity. Most biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have measured biodiversity based on species richness or phylogenetic relationships. However, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that ecosystem functioning should be more closely related to functional diversity than to species richness. We applied different metrics of biodiversity in an artificial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment using 64 species of green microalgae in combinations of two to 16 species. We found that phylogenetic and functional diversity were positively correlated with biomass overyield, driven by their strong correlation with species richness. At low species richness, no significant correlation between overyield and functional and phylogenetic diversity was found. However, at high species richness (16 species), we found a positive relationship of overyield with functional diversity and a negative relationship with phylogenetic diversity. We show that negative phylogenetic diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can result from interspecific growth inhibition. The opposing performances of facilitation (functional diversity) and inhibition (phylogenetic diversity) we observed at the 16 species level suggest that phylogenetic diversity is not always a good proxy for functional diversity and that results from experiments with low species numbers may underestimate negative species interactions.

  19. Plant species and functional group combinations affect green roof ecosystem functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Lundholm

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or

  20. Parrots as key multilinkers in ecosystem structure and functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Rojas, Abraham; Dénes, Francisco V; Tella, José L

    2015-09-01

    Mutually enhancing organisms can become reciprocal determinants of their distribution, abundance, and demography and thus influence ecosystem structure and dynamics. In addition to the prevailing view of parrots (Psittaciformes) as plant antagonists, we assessed whether they can act as plant mutualists in the dry tropical forest of the Bolivian inter-Andean valleys, an ecosystem particularly poor in vertebrate frugivores other than parrots (nine species). We hypothesised that if interactions between parrots and their food plants evolved as primarily or facultatively mutualistic, selection should have acted to maximize the strength of their interactions by increasing the amount and variety of resources and services involved in particular pairwise and community-wide interaction contexts. Food plants showed different growth habits across a wide phylogenetic spectrum, implying that parrots behave as super-generalists exploiting resources differing in phenology, type, biomass, and rewards from a high diversity of plants (113 species from 38 families). Through their feeding activities, parrots provided multiple services acting as genetic linkers, seed facilitators for secondary dispersers, and plant protectors, and therefore can be considered key mutualists with a pervasive impact on plant assemblages. The number of complementary and redundant mutualistic functions provided by parrots to each plant species was positively related to the number of different kinds of food extracted from them. These mutually enhancing interactions were reflected in species-level properties (e.g., biomass or dominance) of both partners, as a likely consequence of the temporal convergence of eco-(co)evolutionary dynamics shaping the ongoing structure and organization of the ecosystem. A full assessment of the, thus far largely overlooked, parrot-plant mutualisms and other ecological linkages could change the current perception of the role of parrots in the structure, organization, and

  1. Tricholoma matsutake in a natural Pinus densiflora forest: correspondence between above- and below-ground genets, association with multiple host trees and alteration of existing ectomycorrhizal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lian, Chunlan; Narimatsu, Maki; Nara, Kazuhide; Hogetsu, Taizo

    2006-01-01

    Tricholoma matsutake (matsutake) is an ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungus that produces economically important mushrooms in Japan. Here, we use microsatellite markers to identify genets of matsutake sporocarps and below-ground ECM tips, as well as associated host genotypes of Pinus densiflora. We also studied ECM fungal community structure inside, beneath and outside the matsutake fairy rings, using morphological and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) polymorphism analysis. Based on sporocarp samples, one to four genets were found within each fairy ring, and no genetic differentiation among six sites was detected. Matsutake ECM tips were only found beneath fairy rings and corresponded with the genotypes of the above-ground sporocarps. We detected nine below-ground matsutake genets, all of which colonized multiple pine trees (three to seven trees per genet). The ECM fungal community beneath fairy rings was species-poor and significantly differed from those inside and outside the fairy rings. We conclude that matsutake genets occasionally establish from basidiospores and expand on the root systems of multiple host trees. Although matsutake mycelia suppress other ECM fungi during expansion, most of them may recover after the passage of the fairy rings.

  2. Contrasting land uses in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral systems generated patchy diversity patterns of vascular plants and below-ground microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagella, Simonetta; Filigheddu, Rossella; Caria, Maria Carmela; Girlanda, Mariangela; Roggero, Pier Paolo

    2014-12-01

    The aims of this paper were (i) to define how contrasting land uses affected plant biodiversity in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral-systems across a gradient of disturbance regimes: cork oak forests, secondary grasslands, hay crops, grass covered vineyards, tilled vineyards; (ii) to determine whether these patterns mirrored those of below-ground microorganisms and whether the components of γ-diversity followed a similar model. The disturbance regimes affected plant assemblage composition. Species richness decreased with increasing land use intensity, the Shannon index showed the highest values in grasslands and hay crops. Plant assemblage composition patterns mirrored those of Basidiomycota and Ascomycota. Richness in Basidiomycota, denitrifying bacteria and microbial biomass showed the same trend as that observed for vascular plant richness. The Shannon index pattern of below-ground microorganisms was different from that of plants. The plant γ-diversity component model weakly mirrored those of Ascomycota. Patchy diversity patterns suggest that the maintenance of contrasting land uses associated with different productions typical of agro-silvo-pastoral-systems can guarantee the conservation of biodiversity.

  3. The Evolutionary Legacy of Diversification Predicts Ecosystem Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yguel, Benjamin; Jactel, Hervé; Pearse, Ian S; Moen, Daniel; Winter, Marten; Hortal, Joaquin; Helmus, Matthew R; Kühn, Ingolf; Pavoine, Sandrine; Purschke, Oliver; Weiher, Evan; Violle, Cyrille; Ozinga, Wim; Brändle, Martin; Bartish, Igor; Prinzing, Andreas

    2016-10-01

    Theory suggests that the structure of evolutionary history represented in a species community may affect its functioning, but phylogenetic diversity metrics do not allow for the identification of major differences in this structure. Here we propose a new metric, ELDERness (for Evolutionary Legacy of DivERsity) to estimate evolutionary branching patterns within communities by fitting a polynomial function to lineage-through-time (LTT) plots. We illustrate how real and simulated community branching patterns can be more correctly described by ELDERness and can successfully predict ecosystem functioning. In particular, the evolutionary history of branching patterns can be encapsulated by the parameters of third-order polynomial functions and further measured through only two parameters, the "ELDERness surfaces." These parameters captured variation in productivity of a grassland community better than existing phylogenetic diversity or diversification metrics and independent of species richness or presence of nitrogen fixers. Specifically, communities with small ELDERness surfaces (constant accumulation of lineages through time in LTT plots) were more productive, consistent with increased productivity resulting from complementary lineages combined with niche filling within lineages. Overall, while existing phylogenetic diversity metrics remain useful in many contexts, we suggest that our ELDERness approach better enables testing hypotheses that relate complex patterns of macroevolutionary history represented in local communities to ecosystem functioning.

  4. Extinction and ecosystem function in the marine benthos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solan, Martin; Cardinale, Bradley J; Downing, Amy L; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Ruesink, Jennifer L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2004-11-12

    Rapid changes in biodiversity are occurring globally, yet the ecological impacts of diversity loss are poorly understood. Here we use data from marine invertebrate communities to parameterize models that predict how extinctions will affect sediment bioturbation, a process vital to the persistence of aquatic communities. We show that species extinction is generally expected to reduce bioturbation, but the magnitude of reduction depends on how the functional traits of individual species covary with their risk of extinction. As a result, the particular cause of extinction and the order in which species are lost ultimately govern the ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss.

  5. Functional consequences of realistic biodiversity changes in a marine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Friberg, Sara E; Gonzalez-Dorantes, Cirse A; Williams, Susan L

    2008-01-22

    Declines in biodiversity have prompted concern over the consequences of species loss for the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems. However, relatively few studies have evaluated the functional consequences of realistic, nonrandom changes in biodiversity. Instead, most designs have used randomly selected assemblages from a local species pool to construct diversity gradients. It is therefore difficult, based on current evidence, to predict the functional consequences of realistic declines in biodiversity. In this study, we used tide pool microcosms to demonstrate that the effects of real-world changes in biodiversity may be very different from those of random diversity changes. Specifically, we measured the relationship between the diversity of a seaweed assemblage and its ability to use nitrogen, a key limiting nutrient in nearshore marine systems. We quantified nitrogen uptake using both experimental and model seaweed assemblages and found that natural increases in diversity resulted in enhanced rates of nitrogen use, whereas random diversity changes had no effect on nitrogen uptake. Our results suggest that understanding the real-world consequences of declining biodiversity will require addressing changes in species performance along natural diversity gradients and understanding the relationships between species' susceptibility to loss and their contributions to ecosystem functioning.

  6. Targeted Gene Capture by Hybridization to Illuminate Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribière, Céline; Beugnot, Réjane; Parisot, Nicolas; Gasc, Cyrielle; Defois, Clémence; Denonfoux, Jérémie; Boucher, Delphine; Peyretaillade, Eric; Peyret, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Microbial communities are extremely abundant and diverse on earth surface and play key role in the ecosystem functioning. Thus, although next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have greatly improved knowledge on microbial diversity, it is necessary to reduce the biological complexity to better understand the microorganism functions. To achieve this goal, we describe a promising approach, based on the solution hybrid selection (SHS) method for the selective enrichment in a target-specific biomarker from metagenomic and metatranscriptomic samples. The success of this method strongly depends on the determination of sensitive, specific, and explorative probes to assess the complete targeted gene repertoire. Indeed, in this method, RNA probes were used to capture large DNA or RNA fragments harboring biomarkers of interest that potentially allow to link structure and function of communities of interest.

  7. Biodiversity loss in grasslands : consequences for ecosystem functioning and interactions with above- and belowground organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.

    2005-01-01

    Considering the current rate of extinctions, it is crucial to understand the consequences of these losses of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems. Grasslands proved a very suitable ecosystem for biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research.In earlier experiments, nitrogen-

  8. Mapping ecosystem functions and services in Eastern Europe using global-scale data sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, C.J.E.; Alkemade, R.; Klein Goldewijk, K.; Petz, K.

    2012-01-01

    To assess future interactions between the environment and human well-being, spatially explicit ecosystem service models are needed. Currently available models mainly focus on provisioning services and do not distinguish changes in the functioning of the ecosystem (Ecosystem Functions – ESFs) and hum

  9. Multitrophic functional diversity predicts ecosystem functioning in experimental assemblages of estuarine consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett

    2015-11-01

    The use of functional traits to explain how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning has attracted intense interest, yet few studies have a priori altered functional diversity, especially in multitrophic communities. Here, we manipulated multivariate functional diversity of estuarine grazers and predators within multiple levels of species richness to test how species richness and functional diversity predicted ecosystem functioning in a multitrophic food web. Community functional diversity was a better predictor than species richness for the majority of ecosystem properties, based on generalized linear mixed-effects models. Combining inferences from eight traits into a single multivariate index increased prediction accuracy of these models relative to any individual trait. Structural equation modeling revealed that functional diversity of both grazers and predators was important in driving final biomass within trophic levels, with stronger effects observed for predators. We also show that different species drove different ecosystem responses, with evidence for both sampling effects and complementarity. Our study extends experimental investigations of functional trait diversity to a multilevel food web, and demonstrates that functional diversity can be more accurate and effective than species richness in predicting community biomass in a food web context.

  10. Recommendations to the NRC for review criteria for alternative methods of low-level radioactive waste disposal: Task 2a, Below-ground vaults

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Denson, R.H.; Bennett, R.D.; Wamsley, R.M.; Bean, D.L.; Ainsworth, D.L.

    1987-12-01

    The US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES) and the US Army Engineer Division, Huntsville (HNDED) have developed general design criteria and specific design review criteria for the below-ground vault (BGV) alternative method of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal. A BGV is a reinforced concrete vault (floor, walls, and roof) placed underground below the frost line, and above the water table, surrounded by filter blanket and drainage zones and covered with a low permeability earth layer and top soil with vegetation. Eight major review criteria categories have been developed ranging from the loads imposed on the BGV structure through material quality and durability considerations. Specific design review criteria have been developed in detail for seven of the eight major categories. 59 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. Animal diversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Florian D.; Brose, Ulrich; Rall, Björn C.; Guill, Christian

    2016-10-01

    Species diversity is changing globally and locally, but the complexity of ecological communities hampers a general understanding of the consequences of animal species loss on ecosystem functioning. High animal diversity increases complementarity of herbivores but also increases feeding rates within the consumer guild. Depending on the balance of these counteracting mechanisms, species-rich animal communities may put plants under top-down control or may release them from grazing pressure. Using a dynamic food-web model with body-mass constraints, we simulate ecosystem functions of 20,000 communities of varying animal diversity. We show that diverse animal communities accumulate more biomass and are more exploitative on plants, despite their higher rates of intra-guild predation. However, they do not reduce plant biomass because the communities are composed of larger, and thus energetically more efficient, plant and animal species. This plasticity of community body-size structure reconciles the debate on the consequences of animal species loss for primary productivity.

  12. Linking functional group richness and ecosystem functions of dung beetles: an experimental quantification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milotić, Tanja; Quidé, Stijn; Van Loo, Thomas; Hoffmann, Maurice

    2017-01-01

    Dung beetles form an insect group that fulfils important functions in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world. These include nutrient cycling through dung removal, soil bioturbation, plant growth, secondary seed dispersal and parasite control. We conducted field experiments at two sites in the northern hemisphere temperate region in which dung removal and secondary seed dispersal were assessed. Dung beetles were classified in three functional groups, depending on their size and dung manipulation method: dwellers, large and small tunnelers. Other soil inhabiting fauna were included as a fourth functional group. Dung removal and seed dispersal by each individual functional group and combinations thereof were estimated in exclusion experiments using different dung types. Dwellers were the most diverse and abundant group, but tunnelers were dominant in terms of biomass. All dung beetle functional groups had a clear preference for fresh dung. The ecosystem services in dung removal and secondary seed dispersal provided by dung beetles were significant and differed between functional groups. Although in absolute numbers more dwellers were found, large tunnelers were disproportionally important for dung burial and seed removal. In the absence of dung beetles, other soil inhabiting fauna, such as earthworms, partly took over the dung decomposing role of dung beetles while most dung was processed when all native functional groups were present. Our results, therefore, emphasize the need to conserve functionally complete dung ecosystems to maintain full ecosystem functioning.

  13. The imprint of plants on ecosystem functioning: A data-driven approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musavi, Talie; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Migliavacca, Mirco; Reichstein, Markus; van de Weg, Martine Janet; van Bodegom, Peter M.; Bahn, Michael; Wirth, Christian; Reich, Peter B.; Schrodt, Franziska; Kattge, Jens

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems strongly determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. These exchanges are influenced by environmental conditions (e.g., local meteorology, soils), but generally mediated by organisms. Often, mathematical descriptions of these processes are implemented in terrestrial biosphere models. Model implementations of this kind should be evaluated by empirical analyses of relationships between observed patterns of ecosystem functioning, vegetation structure, plant traits, and environmental conditions. However, the question of how to describe the imprint of plants on ecosystem functioning based on observations has not yet been systematically investigated. One approach might be to identify and quantify functional attributes or responsiveness of ecosystems (often very short-term in nature) that contribute to the long-term (i.e., annual but also seasonal or daily) metrics commonly in use. Here we define these patterns as "ecosystem functional properties", or EFPs. Such as the ecosystem capacity of carbon assimilation or the maximum light use efficiency of an ecosystem. While EFPs should be directly derivable from flux measurements at the ecosystem level, we posit that these inherently include the influence of specific plant traits and their local heterogeneity. We present different options of upscaling in situ measured plant traits to the ecosystem level (ecosystem vegetation properties - EVPs) and provide examples of empirical analyses on plants' imprint on ecosystem functioning by combining in situ measured plant traits and ecosystem flux measurements. Finally, we discuss how recent advances in remote sensing contribute to this framework.

  14. Spatial Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Functions and Services using Human Relating Factors for SDG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, C.; Lee, W. K.; Jeon, S. W.; Kim, T.; Lim, C. H.

    2015-12-01

    Application of ecosystem service concept in environmental related decision making could be numerical and objective standard for policy maker between preserving and developing perspective of environment. However, pursuing maximum benefit from natural capital through ecosystem services caused failure by losing ecosystem functions through its trade-offs. Therefore, difference between ecosystem functions and services were demonstrated and would apply human relating perspectives. Assessment results of ecosystem functions and services can be divided 3 parts. Tree growth per year set as the ecosystem function factor and indicated through so called pure function map. After that, relating functions can be driven such as water conservation, air pollutant purification, climate change regulation, and timber production. Overall process and amount are numerically quantified. These functional results can be transferred to ecosystem services by multiplying economic unit value, so function reflecting service maps can be generated. On the other hand, above services, to implement more reliable human demand, human reflecting service maps are also be developed. As the validation, quantified ecosystem functions are compared with former results through pixel based analysis. Three maps are compared, and through comparing difference between ecosystem function and services and inversed trends in function based and human based service are analysed. In this study, we could find differences in PF, FRS, and HRS in relation to based ecosystem conditions. This study suggests that the differences in PF, FRS, and HRS should be understood in the decision making process for sustainable management of ecosystem services. Although the analysis is based on in sort existing process separation, it is important to consider the possibility of different usage of ecosystem function assessment results and ecosystem service assessment results in SDG policy making. Furthermore, process based functional approach

  15. Bird functional diversity decreases with time since disturbance: Does patchy prescribed fire enhance ecosystem function?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; Di Stefano, Julian; Christie, Fiona; Swan, Matthew; York, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Animal species diversity is often associated with time since disturbance, but the effects of disturbances such as fire on functional diversity are unknown. Functional diversity measures the range, abundance, and distribution of trait values in a community, and links changes in species composition with the consequences for ecosystem function. Improved understanding of the relationship between time since fire (TSF) and functional diversity is critical given that the frequency of both prescribed fire and wildfire is expected to increase. To address this knowledge gap, we examined responses of avian functional diversity to TSF and two direct measures of environmental heterogeneity, plant diversity, and structural heterogeneity. We surveyed birds across a 70-year chronosequence spanning four vegetation types in southeast Australia. Six bird functional traits were used to derive four functional diversity indices (richness, evenness, divergence, and dispersion) and the effects of TSF, plant diversity and structural heterogeneity on species richness and the functional diversity indices were examined using mixed models. We used a regression tree method to identify traits associated with species more common in young vegetation. Functional richness and dispersion were negatively associated with TSF in all vegetation types, suggesting that recent prescribed fire generates heterogeneous vegetation and provides greater opportunities for resource partitioning. Species richness was not significantly associated with TSF, and is probably an unreliable surrogate for functional diversity in fire-prone systems. A positive, relationship between functional evenness and structural heterogeneity was comnon to all vegetation types, suggesting that fine-scale (tens of meters) structural variation can enhance ecosystem function. Species more common in young vegetation were primarily linked by their specialist diets, indicating that ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and insect control

  16. Biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in environmental risk assessment: introduction to the special issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Ralf B

    2012-01-15

    This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected.

  17. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher M Clark

    Full Text Available The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv. More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  18. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  19. To Value Functions or Services? An Analysis of Ecosystem Valuation Approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ansink, E.J.H.; Hein, L.G.; Per Hasund, K.

    2008-01-01

    Monetary valuation of ecosystem services is a widely used approach to quantify the benefits supplied by the natural environment to society. An alternative approach is the monetary valuation of ecosystem functions, which is defined as the capacity of the ecosystem to supply services. Using two Europe

  20. Functional Diversity of Boreal Bog Plant Species Decreases Seasonal Variation of Ecosystem Carbon Sink Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species diversity has been found to decrease the temporal variance of productivity of a plant community, and diversity in species responses to environmental factors seems to make a plant community more stable in changing conditions. Boreal bogs are nutrient poor peatland ecosystems where the number of plant species is low but the species differ greatly in their growth form. In here we aim to assess the role of the variation in photosynthesis between species for the temporal variation in ecosystem carbon sink function. To quantify the photosynthetic properties and their seasonal variation for different bog plant species we measured photosynthetic parameters and stress-inducing chlorophyll fluorescence of vascular plant and Sphagnum moss species in a boreal bog over a growing season. We estimated monthly gross photosynthesis (PG) of the whole study site based on species level light response curves and leaf area development. The estimated PG was further compared with a gross primary production (GPP) estimate measured by eddy covariance (EC) technique. The sum of upscaled PG estimates agreed well with the GPP estimate measured by the EC technique. The contributions of the species and species groups to the ecosystem level PG changed over the growing season. The sharp mid-summer peak in sedge PG was balanced by more stable PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna. Species abundance rather than differences in photosynthetic properties between species and growth forms determined the most productive plants on the ecosystem scale. Sphagna had lower photosynthesis and clorophyll fluorescence than vascular plants but were more productive on the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season due to their high areal coverage. These results show that the diversity of growth forms stabilizes the seasonal variation of the ecosystem level PG in an ombrotrophic bog ecosystem. This may increase the resilience of the ecosystem to changing environmental conditions.

  1. Biophysical interactions in fluvial ecosystems: effects of submerged aquatic macrophytes on hydro-morphological processes and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornacchia, Loreta; Davies, Grieg; Grabowski, Robert; van der Wal, Daphne; van de Koppel, Johan; Wharton, Geraldene; Bouma, Tjeerd

    2016-04-01

    Strong mutual interactions occur at the interface between biota and physical processes in biogeomorphic ecosystems, possibly resulting in self-organized spatial patterns. While these interactions and feedbacks have been increasingly studied in a wide range of landscapes previously, they are still poorly understood in lower energy fluvial systems. Consequently, their impact on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems is largely unknown. In this study we investigate the role of aquatic macrophytes as biological engineers of flow and sediment in lowland streams dominated by water crowfoot (Ranunculus spp.). Using field measurements from two annual growth cycles, we demonstrate that seasonally-changing macrophyte cover maintains relative constant flow rates, both within and between vegetation, despite temporal changes in channel flow discharge. By means of a mathematical model representing the interaction between hydrodynamics and vegetation dynamics, we reveal that scale-dependent feedbacks between plant growth and flow redistribution explain the influence of macrophytes on stabilizing flow rates. Our analysis reveals important implications for ecosystem functions. The creation of fast-flowing channels allows an adequate conveyance of water throughout the annual cycle; yet, patches also have a significant influence on sediment dynamics leading to heterogeneous habitats, thereby facilitating other species. As a last step we investigate the consequences on stream ecosystem functioning, by exploring the relationship between changes in macrophyte cover and the provision of different ecosystem functions (e.g. water conveyance, sediment trapping). Our results highlight that self-organization promotes the combination of multiple ecosystem functions through its effects on hydrological and morphological processes within biogeomorphic ecosystems.

  2. How plant functional traits cascade to microbial function and ecosystem services in mountain grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavorel, S.; Grigulis, K.; Krainer, U.; Legay, N.; Turner, C.; Dumont, M.; Kastl, E.; Arnoldi, C.; Bardgett, R.; Poly, F.; Pommier, T.; Schloter, M.; Tappeiner, U.; Bahn, M.; Clément, J.-C.

    2012-04-01

    1. There is growing evidence that plant functional diversity and microbial communities of soil are tightly coupled, and that this coupling influences a range of ecosystem functions. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that changes in the nature of interactions between plant functional diversity and microbial communities along environmental gradients contributes to variation in the delivery of ecosystem services. Although there is empirical support for such relationships using broad plant and microbial functional classifications, or from studies of plant monocultures, such relationships and their consequences for ecosystem services have not been quantified under complex field conditions with diverse plant communities. 2. We aimed to provide an explicit quantification of how plant and microbial functional properties interplay to determine key ecosystem functions underlying ecosystem services provided by grasslands. At three mountain grassland sites in the French Alps, Austrian Tyrol and northern England, we quantified, along gradients of management intensity, (i) plant functional diversity, (ii) soil microbial community composition and parameters associated with nitrogen cycling, and (iii) key ecosystem processes related to the carbon and nitrogen cycles including aboveground biomass production, standing litter, litter decomposition, soil organic matter and nitrate and ammonium leaching . Considering that plants strongly determine microbial communities, we used a hierarchical approach that considered first direct effects of plant traits and then effects of soil microorganisms on processes, to determine the relative effects of plant and microbial functional parameters on key ecosystem properties. 3. We identified a gradient of relative effects of plant and microbial traits from properties controlled mostly by aboveground processes, such as plant biomass production and standing litter, to properties controlled mostly by microbial processes, such as soil leaching of

  3. Consumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasher, Douglas B; Hoey, Andrew S; Hay, Mark E

    2013-06-01

    Prey traits linking consumer diversity to ecosystem function remain poorly understood. On tropical coral reefs, herbivores promote coral dominance by suppressing competing macroalgae, but the roles of herbivore identity and diversity, macroalgal defenses, and their interactions in affecting reef resilience and function are unclear. We studied adjacent pairs of no-take marine reserves and fished areas on reefs in Fiji and found that protected reefs supported 7-17x greater biomass, 2-3x higher species richness of herbivorous fishes, and 3-11x more live coral cover than did fished reefs. In contrast, macroalgae were 27-61x more abundant and 3-4x more species-rich on fished reefs. When we transplanted seven common macroalgae from fished reefs into reserves they were rapidly consumed, suggesting that rates of herbivory (ecosystem functioning) differed inside vs. outside reserves. We then video-recorded feeding activity on the same seven macroalgae when transplanted into reserves, and assessed the functional redundancy vs. complementarity of herbivorous fishes consuming these macroalgae. Of 29 species of larger herbivorous fishes on these reefs, only four species accounted for 97% of macroalgal consumption. Two unicornfish consumed a range of brown macroalgae, a parrotfish consumed multiple red algae, and a rabbitfish consumed a green alga, with almost no diet overlap among these groups. The two most chemically rich, allelopathic algae were each consumed by a single, but different, fish species. This striking complementarity resulted from herbivore species differing in their tolerances to macroalgal chemical and structural defenses. A model of assemblage diet breadth based on our feeding observations predicted that high browser diversity would be required for effective control of macroalgae on Fijian reefs. In support of this model, we observed strong negative relationships between herbivore diversity and macroalgal abundance and diversity across the six study reefs. Our

  4. Ecosystem engineering by invasive exotic beavers reduces in-stream diversity and enhances ecosystem function in Cape Horn, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Christopher B; Rosemond, Amy D

    2007-11-01

    Species invasions are of global significance, but predicting their impacts can be difficult. Introduced ecosystem engineers, however, provide an opportunity to test the underlying mechanisms that may be common to all invasive engineers and link relationships between changes in diversity and ecosystem function, thereby providing explanatory power for observed ecological patterns. Here we test specific predictions for an invasive ecosystem engineer by quantifying the impacts of habitat and resource modifications caused by North American beavers (Castor canadensis) on aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure and stream ecosystem function in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile. We compared responses to beavers in three habitat types: (1) forested (unimpacted) stream reaches, (2) beaver ponds, and (3) sites immediately downstream of beaver dams in four streams. We found that beaver engineering in ponds created taxonomically simplified, but more productive, benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Specifically, macroinvertebrate richness, diversity and number of functional feeding groups were reduced by half, while abundance, biomass and secondary production increased three- to fivefold in beaver ponds compared to forested sites. Reaches downstream of beaver ponds were very similar to natural forested sections. Beaver invasion effects on both community and ecosystem parameters occurred predominantly via increased retention of fine particulate organic matter, which was associated with reduced macroinvertebrate richness and diversity (via homogenization of benthic microhabitat) and increased macroinvertebrate biomass and production (via greater food availability). Beaver modifications to macroinvertebrate community structure were largely confined to ponds, but increased benthic production in beaver-modified habitats adds to energy retention and flow for the entire stream ecosystem. Furthermore, the effects of beavers on taxa richness (negative) and measures of

  5. Assessing mismatches between ecosystem structure and function in Jiaozhou Bay by coordination degree algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoyan; Gao, Huiwang; Chen, Zhenhua; Yao, Xiaohong; Sun, Peng

    2017-04-01

    A healthy ecosystem depends on the coordination of ecosystem structure and function. The coordination among ecosystem components, however, is seldom taken into account in current ecosystem health assessments (EHA). Neglect of such coordination may lead to large degrees of uncertainty in EHA and fail to support ecosystem management. We propose an approach to quantify the level of dynamic mismatching between ecosystem structure and function and the impact on ecosystem health by incorporating the ecosystem coordination index into EHA. The coordination degree is calculated using variation coefficient of six proxies for ecosystem structure and functions. The ecosystem at Jiaozhou Bay, as a microcosm of China's coast, has been documented to fluctuate from healthy to unhealthy status over the past three decades. The results indicate that there is a 3%-17% lower health level than that calculated by common methods used in the literature, indicating that the health of Jiaozhou Bay has become worse than expected. Habitat change contributes 20%-52% to ecosystem mismatches and is the most uncoordinated factor. Mismatch-related declines account for approximately one-fourth of the total ecological declines. Restoration scenarios that aim to resolve ecosystem mismatches could increase efficiency by about 50% compared to restoration scenarios that do not consider mismatches. This study investigates ecological declines in a coastal bay due to 30 years of rapid economic development. In doing so, this study provides novel insights and enhances our understanding of the reasons for failure in ecological restoration.

  6. Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliveres, Santiago; van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Gossner, Martin M; Renner, Swen C; Alt, Fabian; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Binkenstein, Julia; Birkhofer, Klaus; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Boch, Steffen; Böhm, Stefan; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Heinze, Johannes; Hölzel, Norbert; Jung, Kirsten; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Morris, E Kathryn; Müller, Jörg; Oelmann, Yvonne; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, H Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Sikorski, Johannes; Socher, Stephanie A; Solly, Emily F; Sonnemann, Ilja; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul C; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wolters, Volkmar; Wubet, Tesfaye; Wurst, Susanne; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2016-08-25

    Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and below-ground taxa, and 14 ecosystem services and functions and with their simultaneous provision (or multifunctionality) in 150 grasslands. We show that high species richness in multiple trophic groups (multitrophic richness) had stronger positive effects on ecosystem services than richness in any individual trophic group; this includes plant species richness, the most widely used measure of biodiversity. On average, three trophic groups influenced each ecosystem service, with each trophic group influencing at least one service. Multitrophic richness was particularly beneficial for 'regulating' and 'cultural' services, and for multifunctionality, whereas a change in the total abundance of species or biomass in multiple trophic groups (the multitrophic abundance) positively affected supporting services. Multitrophic richness and abundance drove ecosystem functioning as strongly as abiotic conditions and land-use intensity, extending previous experimental results to real-world ecosystems. Primary producers, herbivorous insects and microbial decomposers seem to be particularly important drivers of ecosystem functioning, as shown by the strong and frequent positive associations of their richness or abundance with multiple ecosystem services

  7. Effects of a large scale nitrogen and phosphorous fertilization on the ecosystem functioning of a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliavacca, Mirco; El Madany, Tarek; Perez-Priego, Oscar; Carrara, Arnaud; Hammer, Tiana; Henkel, Kathin; Kolle, Olaf; Luo, Yunpeng; Moreno, Gerardo; Morris, Kendalynn; Nair, Richard; Schrumpf, Marion; Wutzler, Thomas; Reichstein, Markus

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies have shown how human induced N/P imbalances affect essential ecosystem processes, and might be particularly important in water-limited ecosystems. In this contribution we will present results from an ecosystem scale nutrient manipulation experiment on a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem (Majadas del Tietar, Spain). Specifically, we will show how ecosystem functioning (e.g. light use efficiency, water use efficiency - WUE, albedo) changes as consequence of N and NP fertilization. A cluster of eddy covariance (EC) flux towers has been set up beside a long-term EC site (Control site) to measured high temporal resolution C and water fluxes between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. The sites were selected in a way to have similar pre-treatment conditions. Two out of three EC footprint areas (18 Ha) were fertilized with N and NP at the beginning of 2015 and 2016. To interpret the variations in C and water fluxes measured with the EC systems we monitored spatial and temporal variations in phenology, plant traits, species richness, and tree transpiration by using sap-flow meters, digital repeat photography, as well as soil sampling. The results show a consistent increase ( 15% compared to the Control site) in net ecosystem production (NEP) observed both in the N and the NP treatments. An increase of evapotranspiration (ET) of about 15% and 10% is observed in the N and NP site, respectively, indicating an increase of WUE in the NP treatment. The partitioning of the NEP into its gross components, the gross primary production (GPP) and the total ecosystem respiration (TER), show that the fertilization stimulated more GPP rather than TER, increasing therefore the capability of the ecosystem to act as carbon sink. The effects of fertilization are pronounced in spring and autumn and negligible in summer. This indicates that grass reacted much more than trees to N and NP addition. An increase of greenness and also an earlier green-up of grass in the N and NP sites

  8. Consumer diversity across kingdoms supports multiple functions in a coastal ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hensel, Marc J S; Silliman, Brian R

    2013-12-17

    The global biodiversity crisis impairs the valuable benefits ecosystems provide humans. These nature-generated benefits are defined by a multitude of different ecosystem functions that operate simultaneously. Although several studies have simulated species loss in communities and tracked the response of single functions such as productivity or nutrient cycling, these studies have involved relatively similar taxa, and seldom are strikingly different functions examined. With the exception of highly managed ecosystems such as agricultural fields, rarely are we interested in only one function being performed well. Instead, we rely on ecosystems to deliver several different functions at the same time. Here, we experimentally investigated the extinction impacts of dominant consumers in a salt marsh. These consumers are remarkably phylogenetically diverse, spanning two kingdoms (i.e., Animalia and Fungi). Our field studies reveal that a diverse consumer assemblage significantly enhances simultaneous functioning of disparate ecosystem processes (i.e., productivity, decomposition, and infiltration). Extreme functional and phylogenetic differences among consumers underlie this relationship. Each marsh consumer affected at least one different ecosystem function, and each individual function was affected by no more than two consumers. The implications of these findings are profound: If we want ecosystems to perform many different functions well, it is not just number of species that matter. Rather, the presence of species representing markedly different ecologies and biology is also essential to maximizing multiple functions. Moreover, this work emphasizes the need to incorporate both microcomponents and macrocomponents of food webs to accurately predict biodiversity declines on integrated-ecosystem functioning.

  9. Chapter Four : Towards an Integration of Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning and Food Web Theory to Evaluate Relationships between Multiple Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hines, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Deyn, de G.B.; Wagg, C.; Voigt, W.; Mulder, C.; Weisser, W.W.; Engel, J.; Melian, C.; Scheu, S.; Birkhofer, K.; Ebeling, A.; Scherber, C.; Eisenhauer, N.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem responses to changes in species diversity are often studied individually. However, changes in species diversity can simultaneously influence multiple interdependent ecosystem functions. Therefore, an important challenge is to determine when and how changes in species diversity that influen

  10. Functional redundancy and food web functioning in linuron-exposed ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Laender, F., E-mail: frederik.delaender@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Van den Brink, P.J., E-mail: Paul.vandenBrink@wur.nl [Department of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Janssen, C.R., E-mail: colin.janssen@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)

    2011-10-15

    An extensive data set describing effects of the herbicide linuron on macrophyte-dominated microcosms was analysed with a food web model to assess effects on ecosystem functioning. We showed that sensitive phytoplankton and periphyton groups in the diets of heterotrophs were gradually replaced by more tolerant phytoplankton species as linuron concentrations increased. This diet shift - showing redundancy among phytoplankton species - allowed heterotrophs to maintain their functions in the contaminated microcosms. On an ecosystem level, total gross primary production was up to hundred times lower in the treated microcosms but the uptake of dissolved organic carbon by bacteria and mixotrophs was less sensitive. Food web efficiency was not consistently lower in the treated microcosms. We conclude that linuron predominantly affected the macrophytes but did not alter the overall functioning of the surrounding planktonic food web. Therefore, a risk assessment that protects macrophyte growth also protects the functioning of macrophyte-dominated microcosms. - Highlights: > Food web modelling reveals the functional response of species and ecosystem to linuron. > Primary production was more sensitive to linuron than bacterial production. > Linuron replaced sensitive phytoplankton by tolerant phytoplankton in heterotrophs' diets. > Linuron did not change the functioning of heterotrophs. - Food web modelling reveals functional redundancy of the planktonic community in microcosms treated with linuron.

  11. Below-ground carbon allocation in mature beech and spruce trees following long-term, experimentally enhanced O{sub 3} exposure in Southern Germany

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersen, Christian P., E-mail: Andersen.christian@epa.go [US Environmental Protection Agency, Western Ecology Division, 200 SW 35th St., Corvallis, OR 97333 (United States); Ritter, Wilma [Ecophysiology of Plants, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Am Hochanger 13, 85354 Freising (Germany); Gregg, Jillian [Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Associates, 200 SW 35th St., Corvallis, OR 97333 (United States); Matyssek, Rainer; Grams, Thorsten E.E. [Ecophysiology of Plants, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Am Hochanger 13, 85354 Freising (Germany)

    2010-08-15

    Canopies of adult European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) were labeled with CO{sub 2} depleted in {sup 13}C to evaluate carbon allocation belowground. One-half the trees were exposed to elevated O{sub 3} for 6 yrs prior to and during the experiment. Soil-gas sampling wells were placed at 8 and 15 cm and soil CO{sub 2} was sampled during labeling in mid-late August, 2006. In beech, {delta}{sup 13}CO{sub 2} at both depths decreased approximately 50 h after labeling, reflecting rapid translocation of fixed C to roots and release through respiration. In spruce, label was detected in fine-root tissue, but there was no evidence of label in {delta}{sup 13}CO{sub 2}. The results show that C fixed in the canopy rapidly reaches respiratory pools in beech roots, and suggest that spruce may allocate very little of recently-fixed carbon into root respiration during late summer. A change in carbon allocation belowground due to long-term O{sub 3} exposure was not observed. - Below-ground carbon allocation in mature beech and spruce exposed to ozone.

  12. Integrated plant phenotypic responses to contrasting above- and below-ground resources: key roles of specific leaf area and root mass fraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freschet, Grégoire T; Swart, Elferra M; Cornelissen, Johannes H C

    2015-06-01

    Plants adapt phenotypically to different conditions of light and nutrient supply, supposedly in order to achieve colimitation of these resources. Their key variable of adjustment is the ratio of leaf area to root length, which relies on plant biomass allocation and organ morphology. We recorded phenotypic differences in leaf and root mass fractions (LMF, RMF), specific leaf area (SLA) and specific root length (SRL) of 12 herbaceous species grown in factorial combinations of high/low irradiance and fertilization treatments. Leaf area and root length ratios, and their components, were influenced by nonadditive effects between light and nutrient supply, and differences in the strength of plant responses were partly explained by Ellenberg's species values representing ecological optima. Changes in allocation were critical in plant responses to nutrient availability, as the RMF contribution to changes in root length was 2.5× that of the SRL. Contrastingly, morphological adjustments (SLA rather than LMF) made up the bulk of plant response to light availability. Our results suggest largely predictable differences in responses of species and groups of species to environmental change. Nevertheless, they stress the critical need to account for adjustments in below-ground mass allocation to understand the assembly and responses of communities in changing environments.

  13. Consumers control diversity and functioning of a natural marine ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H Altieri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Our understanding of the functional consequences of changes in biodiversity has been hampered by several limitations of previous work, including limited attention to trophic interactions, a focus on species richness rather than evenness, and the use of artificially assembled communities. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we manipulated the density of an herbivorous snail in natural tide pools and allowed seaweed communities to assemble in an ecologically relevant and non-random manner. Seaweed species evenness and biomass-specific primary productivity (mg O(2 h(-1 g(-1 were higher in tide pools with snails because snails preferentially consumed an otherwise dominant seaweed species that can reduce biomass-specific productivity rates of algal assemblages. Although snails reduced overall seaweed biomass in tide pools, they did not affect gross primary productivity at the scale of tide pools (mg O(2 h(-1 pool(-1 or mg O(2 h(-1 m(-2 because of the enhanced biomass-specific productivity associated with grazer-mediated increases in algal evenness. SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that increased attention to trophic interactions, diversity measures other than richness, and particularly the effects of consumers on evenness and primary productivity, will improve our understanding of the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and allow more effective links between experimental results and real-world changes in biodiversity.

  14. Plant functional group composition modifies the effects of precipitation change on grassland ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Ellen L; Manning, Pete; Allen, David G P; Hurst, Alex; Everwand, Georg; Rimmler, Martin; Power, Sally A

    2013-01-01

    Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials) and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial and annual species

  15. Plant functional group composition modifies the effects of precipitation change on grassland ecosystem function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen L Fry

    Full Text Available Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial

  16. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  17. Does shallow geothermal energy use threaten groundwater ecosystem functions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brielmann, Heike; Schmidt, Susanne I.; Ferraro, Francesco; Schreglmann, Kathrin; Griebler, Christian; Lueders, Tillmann

    2010-05-01

    Today, the use of geothermal energy is strongly promoted as an alternative and sustainable source of energy. However, regarding the authorization, regulation and monitoring of such facilities with respect to possible environmental impacts, a severe lack of knowledge has been identified. Aquifers are not only abiotic reservoirs of water and sediment, but they are complex ecosystems harbouring an almost untapped diversity of microorganisms and fauna. Intrinsic groundwater organisms are highly adapted to extremely oligotrophic, but stable conditions including temperature. At the same time, groundwater biota are the key drivers of important ecosystem services, especially functions connected to water quality. So what happens if groundwater biota need to cope with sudden temperature dynamics caused by GSHP use? Potential effects of thermal use on pristine aquifers, and on groundwater systems already facing enhanced loads of nutrients or contamination require urgent scientific attention. Within this project, we have assessed - both in the field and in the laboratory - the impacts of temperature discharge and withdrawal on biotic parameters and functional characteristics of exemplary shallow groundwater systems. In the field, aquifer microbes did not show significant impacts under increased temperatures in terms of total cell numbers, selected enzyme activities and carbon production. However, bacterial diversity clearly increased with temperature, accompanied by the appearance of new bacterial lineages and the disappearance of others. On the contrary, faunal diversity decreased with temperature, highlighting the temperature sensitivity of groundwater invertebrates. These results demonstrate that aquifer thermal energy discharge can affect intrinsic aquifer biotic populations, while at the same time being only one of several drivers contributing to total variability connected to seasonal dynamics and spatial heterogeneity. In laboratory column experiments covering a larger

  18. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: The effects of tree and litter diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Haase, J U

    2009-01-01

    Global changes and declines in biodiversity at all taxonomic levels have intensified the scientific effort to understand the functional role of biodiversity as a regulator of ecosystem processes. Although evidence for a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is accumulating from studies mainly performed in grasslands, little is known about the importance of this relationship in forest ecosystems, despite their huge ecological and socioeconomic importance. In this...

  19. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  20. Assessment of Above- and Below-ground Competition between Sesame (Sesamume indicum L. and Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus and Its Effects on Sesame Yield and Yield Components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.J Yanegh

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available This study carried out in a factorial layout on completely randomaized block design with three replications, to evaluate the above- and below- ground competition between sesame (Sesamum indicum and pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus, and their impacts on sesame yield and yield component. The experimental treatments were all combination of crop-weed competition (shoot competition, root competition and root-shoot competition and sesame plant densitys (1, 2 and 4 plant per pot. Plants were sown in plastic pots (24 cm diameter and 28 cm height in year 2010, at feild of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. For study the shoot competition of sesame-pigweed, the roots were separated by plastic when the pots were filled with soil before sowing the seeds. Three weeks after emerging, shoots of plants were separated vertical barrier (30 x 70 cm for studing root competition. Results showed that competition treatments had a significant effect on seed weight per plant and yield components except 1000 seed weight. Among competition produced higher yield and yield components compared to othere treatments. However, sesame and pigweed biological weight in root-shoot competition was 2.6 and 13.7 respectively, that was higher than other competition treatments and was significant. Capsule number in main and sub branches, capsule number in plant, seed number in capsule and seed number in plant in complete competition treatment was 15, 2.58, 17.5, 43.7 and 693.89 respectively, that was higher than other treatments and differences among them was significant. Sesame density also had a significant effect on seed weight per plant and yield components. When low density were used (one plant, yield and yield components was more, therefore in one plant per pot density biological weight of sesame was 3.82 gr, and in higher densities the mentioned traits decreased significantly.

  1. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Hwey-Lian; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Shih, Shang-Shu; Chen, Chang-Po

    2015-06-09

    The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats was the most important function to human wellbeing, while water quality, habitable climate, air quality, recreational opportunities, and knowledge systems were services that were strongly linked to human welfare. Security of continuous supply of services appeared to be the key to a comfortable life. From a bottom-up and top-down perspective, knowledge systems (a service) were most supported by ecosystem functions, while the security of continuous supply of services (wellbeing) had affected the most services. In addition, the overall benefits of mangrove services to human prosperity concentrated on mental health, security of continuous supply of services, and physical health.

  2. The importance of species identity and interactions for multifunctionality depends on how ecosystem functions are valued.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slade, Eleanor M; Kirwan, Laura; Bell, Thomas; Philipson, Christopher D; Lewis, Owen T; Roslin, Tomas

    2017-10-01

    Studies investigating how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning increasingly focus on multiple functions measured simultaneously ("multifunctionality"). However, few such studies assess the role of species interactions, particularly under alternative environmental scenarios, despite interactions being key to ecosystem functioning. Here we address five questions of central importance to ecosystem multifunctionality using a terrestrial animal system. (1) Does the contribution of individual species differ for different ecosystem functions? (2) Do inter-species interactions affect the delivery of single functions and multiple functions? (3) Does the community composition that maximizes individual functions also maximize multifunctionality? (4) Is the functional role of individual species, and the effect of interspecific interactions, modified by changing environmental conditions? (5) How do these roles and interactions change under varying scenarios where ecosystem services are weighted to reflect different societal preferences? We manipulated species' relative abundance in dung beetle communities and measured 16 functions contributing to dung decomposition, plant productivity, nutrient recycling, reduction of greenhouse gases, and microbial activity. Using the multivariate diversity-interactions framework, we assessed how changes in species identity, composition, and interspecific interactions affected these functions in combination with an environmental driver (increased precipitation). This allowed us to identify key species and interactions across multiple functions. We then developed a desirability function approach to examine how individual species and species mixtures contribute to a desired state of overall ecosystem functioning. Species contributed unequally to individual functions, and to multifunctionality, and individual functions were maximized by different community compositions. Moreover, the species and interactions important for maintaining

  3. Assessing the transferability of ecosystem service production estimates and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estimates of ecosystem service (ES) production, and their responses to stressors or policy actions, may be obtained by direct measurement, other empirical studies, or modeling. Direct measurement is costly and often impractical, and thus many studies transfer ES production estim...

  4. Deconstructing the relationships between phylogenetic diversity and ecology: a case study on ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, T Jonathan; Urban, Mark C; Rayfield, Bronwyn; Cadotte, Marc W; Peres-Neto, Pedro R

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have supported a link between phylogenetic diversity and various ecological properties including ecosystem function. However, such studies typically assume that phylogenetic branches of equivalent length are more or less interchangeable. Here we suggest that there is a need to consider not only branch lengths but also their placement on the phylogeny. We demonstrate how two common indices of network centrality can be used to describe the evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements (nodes and branches) on a phylogeny. If phylogenetic diversity enhances ecosystem function via complementarity and the representation of functional diversity, we would predict a correlation between evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements and their contribution to ecosystem process. In contrast, if one or a few evolutionary innovations play key roles in ecosystem function, the relationship between evolutionary distinctiveness and functional contribution may be weak or absent. We illustrate how network elements associated with high functional contribution can be identified from regressions between phylogenetic diversity and productivity using a well-known empirical data set on plant productivity from the Cedar Creek Long-Term Ecological Research. We find no association between evolutionary distinctiveness and ecosystem functioning, but we are able to identify phylogenetic elements associated with species of known high functional contribution within the Fabaceae. Our perspective provides a useful guide in the search for ecological traits linking diversity and ecosystem function, and suggests a more nuanced consideration of phylogenetic diversity is required in the conservation and biodiversity-ecosystem-function literature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal lagoons: Does microbial diversity play any role?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danovaro, Roberto; Pusceddu, Antonio

    2007-10-01

    Although prokaryotes are small in size, they are a significant biomass component in aquatic ecosystems and play a major role in biogeochemical processes. It is generally assumed that the relative importance of prokaryotes to material and energy fluxes is maximized in low-productivity (oligotrophic) ecosystems and decreases in high-productivity (eutrophic) ecosystems. Lagoon and coastal ecosystems are extremely dynamic, typically highly productive and dominated by macro-size organisms (both macrofauna and macrophytes). As such, their functional characteristics are typically evaluated from a "macrobial" perspective. An efficient ecosystem functioning, with fast nutrient cycling, high productivity, low C accumulation and lack of hypoxic/dystrophic crises is, however, intimately dependent on the interaction between microbial and macrobial organisms. We make here an attempt to relate prokaryote biodiversity (genotype richness, using fingerprinting techniques, ARISA) and ecosystem functioning (using a series of parameters including meiofaunal biomass, prokaryote C production and organic matter turnover rates) in different Mediterranean lagoon systems. The lagoons differed significantly with each other for all the variables. While no relationships were observed between the environmental characteristics of the lagoons and the bacterial diversity, the latter was significantly and positively correlated with the functioning and efficiency of the lagoons. The investigation of the links between microbial diversity and functioning in lagoons is still at its infancy, but these preliminary results suggest that a better understanding of the role of prokaryote diversity on ecosystem functioning and efficiency could open new perspectives for the conservation and management of these highly productive and vulnerable ecosystems.

  8. Bioactive Molecules in Soil Ecosystems: Masters of the Underground

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqiang Zhuang

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Complex biological and ecological processes occur in the rhizosphere through ecosystem-level interactions between roots, microorganisms and soil fauna. Over the past decade, studies of the rhizosphere have revealed that when roots, microorganisms and soil fauna physically contact one another, bioactive molecular exchanges often mediate these interactions as intercellular signal, which prepare the partners for successful interactions. Despite the importance of bioactive molecules in sustainable agriculture, little is known of their numerous functions, and improving plant health and productivity by altering ecological processes remains difficult. In this review, we describe the major bioactive molecules present in below-ground ecosystems (i.e., flavonoids, exopolysaccharides, antibiotics and quorum-sensing signals, and we discuss how these molecules affect microbial communities, nutrient availability and plant defense responses.

  9. Ecosystem function decays by fungal outbreaks in Antarctic microbial mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velázquez, David; López-Bueno, Alberto; Aguirre de Cárcer, Daniel; de los Ríos, Asunción; Alcamí, Antonio; Quesada, Antonio

    2016-03-14

    Antarctica harbours a remarkably diverse range of freshwater bodies and terrestrial ecosystems, where microbial mats are considered the most important systems in terms of biomass and metabolic capabilities. We describe the presence of lysis plaque-like macroscopic blighted patches within the predominant microbial mats on Livingston Island (Antarctic Peninsula). Those blighting circles are associated with decay in physiological traits as well as nitrogen depletion and changes in the spatial microstructure; these alterations were likely related to disruption of the biogeochemical gradients within the microbial ecosystem caused by an unusually high fungal abundance and consequent physical alterations. This phenomenon has been evidenced at a time of unprecedented rates of local warming in the Antarctic Peninsula area, and decay of these ecosystems is potentially stimulated by warmer temperatures.

  10. Ecosystem functional properties - useful links to organism and to global scale?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichstein, M.

    2015-12-01

    Classical biogeographical observations tell us that ecosystems (vegetation and soils) strongly respond to climate variation in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand the influence of vegetation function on climate via exchange of matter and energy with the atmosphere has become evident in the last decades via observational and modeling studies. Recent continuous observations of this exchange of CO2, H2O and sensible heat within the global observation network FLUXNET have enabled us to quantify ecosystem function in response to large eco-climatological spatio-temporal variability of climate. We see that ecosystem function co-varies strongly with climate, but that climate alone does not suffice to explain the variation in total. Instead vegetation biophysical and structural parameters co-determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. By combining ecosystem level observation and information of spatial meteorological and vegetation remote sensing covariates we can infer global patterns of ecosystem atmosphere fluxes and derive key ecosystem functional properties globally. While this approach is powerful and meteorological and vegetation structural predictors explain more than 70% of the spatial variation of monthly fluxes at FLUXNET sites, it ignores the effect of ecophysiological vegetation properties, which is expected from plant physiological leaf or whole-plant studies. Hence, future research has to more strongly link the organismic trait information with ecosystem functional properties. For this we propose a framework that involves 1) the correlation of community aggregated traits with flux-derived ecosystem properties across a range of ecosystems, 2) the up-scaling of vegetation traits using spatially distributed geo-ecological co-variates and the comparison with global ecosystem functional properties and their co-variation with climate, 3) the use of vegetation traits instead of vegetation classes

  11. Functional and phylogenetic diversity as predictors of biodiversity--ecosystem-function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Dan F B; Mirotchnick, Nicholas; Jain, Meha; Palmer, Matthew I; Naeem, Shahid

    2011-08-01

    How closely does variability in ecologically important traits reflect evolutionary divergence? The use of phylogenetic diversity (PD) to predict biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning, and more generally the use of phylogenetic information in community ecology, depends in part on the answer to this question. However, comparisons of the predictive power of phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity (FD) have not been conducted across a range of experiments. To address how phylogenetic diversity and functional trait variation control biodiversity effects on biomass production, we summarized the results of 29 grassland plant experiments where both the phylogeny of plant species used in the experiments is well described and where extensive trait data are available. Functional trait variation was only partially related to phylogenetic distances between species, and the resulting FD values therefore correlate only partially with PD. Despite these differences, FD and PD predicted biodiversity effects across all experiments with similar strength, including in subsets that excluded plots with legumes and that focused on fertilization experiments. Two- and three-trait combinations of the five traits used here (leaf nitrogen percentage, height, specific root length, leaf mass per unit area, and nitrogen fixation) resulted in the FD values with the greatest predictive power. Both PD and FD can be valuable predictors of the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning, which suggests that a focus on both community trait diversity and evolutionary history can improve understanding of the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  12. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chagnon, M.; Kreutzweiser, D.; Mitchell, E.A.D.; Morrissey, C.A.; Noome, D.A.; van der Sluijs, J.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073427489

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale use of the persistent and potent neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides has raised concerns about risks to ecosystem functions provided by a wide range of species and environments affected by these insecticides. The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in decision making in the

  13. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chagnon, M.; Kreutzweiser, D.; Mitchell, E.A.D.; Morrissey, C.A.; Noome, D.A.; van der Sluijs, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale use of the persistent and potent neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides has raised concerns about risks to ecosystem functions provided by a wide range of species and environments affected by these insecticides. The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in decision making in the

  14. Impacts of marine-derived nutrients on stream ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yixin; Negishi, Junjiro N; Richardson, John S; Kolodziejczyk, Renata

    2003-10-22

    Energy and nutrient subsidies transported across ecosystem boundaries are increasingly appreciated as key drivers of consumer-resource dynamics. As purveyors of pulsed marine-derived nutrients (MDN), spawning salmon are one such cross-ecosystem subsidy to freshwaters connected to the north Pacific. We examined how salmon carcasses influenced detrital processing in an oligotrophic stream. Experimental manipulations of MDN inputs revealed that salmon carcasses indirectly reduced detrital processing in streams through temporarily decoupling the detrital resource-consumer relationship, in which detrital consumers shifted their diet to the high-nutrient resource, i.e. salmon carcasses. The average decomposition rate of alder leaves with salmon carcass addition was significantly lower than that without the carcass, which was associated with lower abundance and biomass of detritivorous Trichoptera on the carcass-treated leaves. There were generally larger in size Trichopteran detritivores on the carcasses than on leaves. These results imply that cross-boundary MDN subsidies indirectly retard the ecosystem processing of leaf litter within the short term, but may enhance those food-limited detritivorous consumers. Because unproductive freshwaters in the Pacific northwest are highly dependent upon the organic matter inputs from surrounding forests, this novel finding has implications for determining conservation and management strategies of salmon-related aquatic ecosystems, in terms of salmon habitat protection and fisheries exploitation.

  15. Functionally assessing the sustainability of regional ecosystem services:a case study of Hohhot City

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    "The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital" by R.Costanza et al.in 1997 is generally regarded as a monument to the research of valuing ecosystem services.However,the classification of ecosystem services,the method of various services summation,and the purpose for static global value had many criticisms.Based on a summary of these criticisms and suggestions,further study direction—on the sustainability of ecosystem services—is presented.The two basis indicators in ecology—productivity and biodiversity,respectively characterize the ability of producing and self-organizing—not only represent the internal function of ecosystem,but also can be proportioned to its external function of supporting and providing for human life.Theoretically,the two indicators combined could physically assess the sustainability of ecosystem services based on the traditional procedure of Costanza’s.The case study of Hohhot City in 1995-2005 shows that the new model reflects the changes of ecosystem services at spatial and temporal scale,and the functionally adjusted assessment shows the sustainability of Hohhot City became gradually stronger during the study decade.But due to the enormous value per unit of water ecosystem,the minimal loss of water area leads to the final result being opposite to the processing analysis,which gives a clue to the further experimental testing research.

  16. Stable isotope views on ecosystem function: challenging or challenged?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resco, Víctor; Querejeta, José I.; Ogle, Kiona; Voltas, Jordi; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Linares, Juan C.; Moreno-Gutiérrez, Cristina; Herrero, Asier; Carreira, José A.; Torres-Cañabate, Patricia; Valladares, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    Stable isotopes and their potential for detecting various and complex ecosystem processes are attracting an increasing number of scientists. Progress is challenging, particularly under global change scenarios, but some established views have been challenged. The IX meeting of the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology (AAET, Úbeda, 18–22 October 2009) hosted a symposium on the ecology of stable isotopes where the linear mixing model approach of partitioning sinks and sources of carbon and water fluxes within an ecosystem was challenged, and new applications of stable isotopes for the study of plant interactions were evaluated. Discussion was also centred on the need for networks that monitor ecological processes using stable isotopes and key ideas for fostering future research with isotopes. PMID:20015858

  17. Bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations are modified by environmental complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Langenheder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With the recognition that environmental change resulting from anthropogenic activities is causing a global decline in biodiversity, much attention has been devoted to understanding how changes in biodiversity may alter levels of ecosystem functioning. Although environmental complexity has long been recognised as a major driving force in evolutionary processes, it has only recently been incorporated into biodiversity-ecosystem functioning investigations. Environmental complexity is expected to strengthen the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning, mainly because it leads to stronger complementarity effects, such as resource partitioning and facilitative interactions among species when the number of available resource increases. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we implemented an experiment to test the combined effect of species richness and environmental complexity, more specifically, resource richness on ecosystem functioning over time. We show, using all possible combinations of species within a bacterial community consisting of six species, and all possible combinations of three substrates, that diversity-functioning (metabolic activity relationships change over time from linear to saturated. This was probably caused by a combination of limited complementarity effects and negative interactions among competing species as the experiment progressed. Even though species richness and resource richness both enhanced ecosystem functioning, they did so independently from each other. Instead there were complex interactions between particular species and substrate combinations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study shows clearly that both species richness and environmental complexity increase ecosystem functioning. The finding that there was no direct interaction between these two factors, but that instead rather complex interactions between combinations of certain species and resources underlie positive biodiversity

  18. The Function and Value of Water Conservation of Forest Ecosystem in Gongbo Nature Reserve of Tibet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2012-01-01

    Gongbo Nature Reserve, located in Nyingchi of Tibet, is by far the largest construction project of forest reserves that China approves and invests in. This article adopts the shadow project method, and estimates the water conservation function of forest ecosystem of Gongbo Nature Reserve based on the Specifications for Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Services in China promulgated by State Forestry Administration of China. The results show that the total value of water conservation of forest ecosystem in Gongbo Nature Reserve is 8.485 billion yuan, while the function of water conservation is a small fraction of ecological service function, indicating that there is great ecological value in service function of forest ecosystem in Gongbo Nature Reserve, that is, Gongbo Nature Reserve has vital ecological value.

  19. Trade-off between taxon diversity and functional diversity in European lake ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossmann, Lars; Beisser, Daniela; Bock, Christina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Jensen, Manfred; Preisfeld, Angelika; Psenner, Roland; Rahmann, Sven; Wodniok, Sabina; Boenigk, Jens

    2016-12-01

    Inferring ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services through inspections of the species inventory is a major aspect of ecological field studies. Ecosystem functions are often stable despite considerable species turnover. Using metatranscriptome analyses, we analyse a thus-far unparalleled freshwater data set which comprises 21 mainland European freshwater lakes from the Sierra Nevada (Spain) to the Carpathian Mountains (Romania) and from northern Germany to the Apennines (Italy) and covers an altitudinal range from 38 m above sea level (a.s.l) to 3110 m a.s.l. The dominant taxa were Chlorophyta and streptophytic algae, Ciliophora, Bacillariophyta and Chrysophyta. Metatranscriptomics provided insights into differences in community composition and into functional diversity via the relative share of taxa to the overall read abundance of distinct functional genes on the ecosystem level. The dominant metabolic pathways in terms of the fraction of expressed sequences in the cDNA libraries were affiliated with primary metabolism, specifically oxidative phosphorylation, photosynthesis and the TCA cycle. Our analyses indicate that community composition is a good first proxy for the analysis of ecosystem functions. However, differential gene regulation modifies the relative importance of taxa in distinct pathways. Whereas taxon composition varies considerably between lakes, the relative importance of distinct metabolic pathways is much more stable, indicating that ecosystem functioning is buffered against shifts in community composition through a functional redundancy of taxa.

  20. Alternative hypotheses to explain why biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships are concave-up in some natural ecosystems but concave-down in manipulative experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Danovaro, Roberto; Loreau, Michel

    2014-06-25

    Recent studies of the relationship between biodiversity and functioning in marine ecosystems have yielded non-saturating patterns that contrast sharply with the results of experimental studies, where ecosystem functioning rapidly saturates with increases in biodiversity. Here we provide a simple theoretical framework of three alternative hypotheses that, individually or combined, are likely to explain this contrast: i) the use of functional richness instead of species richness, ii) an increased production efficiency of species in producing biomass when more ecological interactions are present, and iii) the fact that communities are likely assembled in an ordered succession of species from low to high ecological efficiency. Our results provide theoretical support for concave-up biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in natural ecosystems and confirm that the loss of species can have substantially larger effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems than anticipated from controlled manipulative experiments.

  1. Spatial patterns of fishing effort off San Diego: implications for zonal management and ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnell, P Ed; Dayton, Paul K; Fisher, Rachelle A; Loarie, Cina C; Darrow, Ryan D

    2010-12-01

    The essence of ecosystem-based management is managing human practices to conserve the ecosystem. Ecologists focus on understanding the ecosystem, but there are fundamental information gaps including patterns of human exploitation. In particular, the spatial distribution of fishing effort must be known at the scales needed for ecologically relevant management. Fishing is a primary impact on coastal ecosystems, yet catch distribution at scales relevant to habitats and processes are not well known for many fisheries. Here we utilized photographic time series, logbook records, and angler surveys to estimate the intensity and spatial pattern of commercial and recreational fishing. Effort was clearly aggregated for most types of fishing, the motivating factors for effort distribution varied among areas, and effort was coupled or uncoupled to habitat depending on the area and type of fishing. We estimated that approximately 60% and approximately 74% of private recreational and recreational charter vessel fishing effort, respectively, were concentrated into two small areas that also included approximately 78% of commercial sea urchin effort. Exploitation and effort were considerably greater in one kelp forest, which has important implications for patterns of kelp persistence, productivity, and ecosystem function. Areas subject to the greatest recreational fishing pressure appeared to have lower diversity. Our results indicate that fine-scale patterns of fishing effort and exploitation have profound consequences for ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. 'Ecosystem-based management of nearshore ecosystems depends on an understanding of the fine-scale patterns of exploitation.

  2. Does Drought Influence the Relationship between Species diversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Boreal Forests?

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Dans le programme la présentation annoncée est "How do Environmental Conditions Influence the Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning Relationship in Boreal Forests?"; Ecosystem functioning is influenced by species composition and environmental conditions. Positive biodiversity effects on forest stand-level water use efficiency (WUES) have been observed under limiting soil water conditions, but whether such a relationship would explain WUEs patterns under non-limiting conditions remains to be addr...

  3. Biodiversity and ecosystem multi-functionality: observed relationships in smallholder fallows in western Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Sircely

    Full Text Available Recent studies indicate that species richness can enhance the ability of plant assemblages to support multiple ecosystem functions. To understand how and when ecosystem services depend on biodiversity, it is valuable to expand beyond experimental grasslands. We examined whether plant diversity improves the capacity of agroecosystems to sustain multiple ecosystem services-production of wood and forage, and two elements of soil formation-in two types of smallholder fallows in western Kenya. In 18 grazed and 21 improved fallows, we estimated biomass and quantified soil organic carbon, soil base cations, sand content, and soil infiltration capacity. For four ecosystem functions (wood biomass, forage biomass, soil base cations, steady infiltration rates linked to the focal ecosystem services, we quantified ecosystem service multi-functionality as (1 the proportion of functions above half-maximum, and (2 mean percentage excess above mean function values, and assessed whether plant diversity or environmental favorability better predicted multi-functionality. In grazed fallows, positive effects of plant diversity best explained the proportion above half-maximum and mean percentage excess, the former also declining with grazing intensity. In improved fallows, the proportion above half-maximum was not associated with soil carbon or plant diversity, while soil carbon predicted mean percentage excess better than diversity. Grazed fallows yielded stronger evidence for diversity effects on multi-functionality, while environmental conditions appeared more influential in improved fallows. The contrast in diversity-multi-functionality relationships among fallow types appears related to differences in management and associated factors including disturbance and species composition. Complementary effects of species with contrasting functional traits on different functions and multi-functional species may have contributed to diversity effects in grazed fallows

  4. Effects of Detrital Subsidies on Soft-Sediment Ecosystem Function Are Transient and Source-Dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca V Gladstone-Gallagher

    Full Text Available Detrital subsidies from marine macrophytes are prevalent in temperate estuaries, and their role in structuring benthic macrofaunal communities is well documented, but the resulting impact on ecosystem function is not understood. We conducted a field experiment to test the effects of detrital decay on soft-sediment primary production, community metabolism and nutrient regeneration (measures of ecosystem function. Twenty four (2 m2 plots were established on an intertidal sandflat, to which we added 0 or 220 g DW m-2 of detritus from either mangroves (Avicennia marina, seagrass (Zostera muelleri, or kelp (Ecklonia radiata (n = 6 plots per treatment. Then, after 4, 17 and 46 d we measured ecosystem function, macrofaunal community structure and sediment properties. We hypothesized that (1 detrital decay would stimulate benthic primary production either by supplying nutrients to the benthic macrophytes, or by altering the macrofaunal community; and (2 ecosystem responses would depend on the stage and rate of macrophyte decay (a function of source. Avicennia detritus decayed the slowest with a half-life (t50 of 46 d, while Zostera and Ecklonia had t50 values of 28 and 2.6 d, respectively. However, ecosystem responses were not related to these differences. Instead, we found transient effects (up to 17 d of Avicennia and Ecklonia detritus on benthic primary production, where initially (4 d these detrital sources suppressed primary production, but after 17 d, primary production was stimulated in Avicennia plots relative to controls. Other ecosystem function response variables and the macrofaunal community composition were not altered by the addition of detritus, but did vary with time. By sampling ecosystem function temporally, we were able to capture the in situ transient effects of detrital subsidies on important benthic ecosystem functions.

  5. The role of ants, birds and bats for ecosystem functions and yield in oil palm plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denmead, Lisa H; Darras, Kevin; Clough, Yann; Diaz, Patrick; Grass, Ingo; Hoffmann, Munir P; Nurdiansyah, Fuad; Fardiansah, Rico; Tscharntke, Teja

    2017-07-01

    One of the world's most important and rapidly expanding crops, oil palm, is associated with low levels of biodiversity. Changes in predator communities might alter ecosystem services and subsequently sustainable management but these links have received little attention to date. Here, for the first time, we manipulated ant and flying vertebrate (birds and bats) access to oil palms in six smallholder plantations in Sumatra (Indonesia) and measured effects on arthropod communities, related ecosystem functions (herbivory, predation, decomposition and pollination) and crop yield. Arthropod predators increased in response to reductions in ant and bird access, but the overall effect of experimental manipulations on ecosystem functions was minimal. Similarly, effects on yield were not significant. We conclude that ecosystem functions and productivity in oil palm are, under current levels of low pest pressure and large pollinator populations, robust to large reductions of major predators. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. A review of the ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, using forests as a reference system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dislich, Claudia; Keyel, Alexander C; Salecker, Jan; Kisel, Yael; Meyer, Katrin M; Auliya, Mark; Barnes, Andrew D; Corre, Marife D; Darras, Kevin; Faust, Heiko; Hess, Bastian; Klasen, Stephan; Knohl, Alexander; Kreft, Holger; Meijide, Ana; Nurdiansyah, Fuad; Otten, Fenna; Pe'er, Guy; Steinebach, Stefanie; Tarigan, Suria; Tölle, Merja H; Tscharntke, Teja; Wiegand, Kerstin

    2016-08-11

    Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly in recent decades. This large-scale land-use change has had great ecological, economic, and social impacts on both the areas converted to oil palm and their surroundings. However, research on the impacts of oil palm cultivation is scattered and patchy, and no clear overview exists. We address this gap through a systematic and comprehensive literature review of all ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, including several (genetic, medicinal and ornamental resources, information functions) not included in previous systematic reviews. We compare ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations to those in forests, as the conversion of forest to oil palm is prevalent in the tropics. We find that oil palm plantations generally have reduced ecosystem functioning compared to forests: 11 out of 14 ecosystem functions show a net decrease in level of function. Some functions show decreases with potentially irreversible global impacts (e.g. reductions in gas and climate regulation, habitat and nursery functions, genetic resources, medicinal resources, and information functions). The most serious impacts occur when forest is cleared to establish new plantations, and immediately afterwards, especially on peat soils. To variable degrees, specific plantation management measures can prevent or reduce losses of some ecosystem functions (e.g. avoid illegal land clearing via fire, avoid draining of peat, use of integrated pest management, use of cover crops, mulch, and compost) and we highlight synergistic mitigation measures that can improve multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously. The only ecosystem function which increases in oil palm plantations is, unsurprisingly, the production of marketable goods. Our review highlights numerous research gaps. In particular, there are significant gaps with respect to socio-cultural information functions. Further, there is a need for more empirical data on the importance of spatial and temporal

  7. Rising tides, cumulative impacts and cascading changes to estuarine ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Meara, Theresa A; Hillman, Jenny R; Thrush, Simon F

    2017-08-31

    In coastal ecosystems, climate change affects multiple environmental factors, yet most predictive models are based on simple cause-and-effect relationships. Multiple stressor scenarios are difficult to predict because they can create a ripple effect through networked ecosystem functions. Estuarine ecosystem function relies on an interconnected network of physical and biological processes. Estuarine habitats play critical roles in service provision and represent global hotspots for organic matter processing, nutrient cycling and primary production. Within these systems, we predicted functional changes in the impacts of land-based stressors, mediated by changing light climate and sediment permeability. Our in-situ field experiment manipulated sea level, nutrient supply, and mud content. We used these stressors to determine how interacting environmental stressors influence ecosystem function and compared results with data collected along elevation gradients to substitute space for time. We show non-linear, multi-stressor effects deconstruct networks governing ecosystem function. Sea level rise altered nutrient processing and impacted broader estuarine services ameliorating nutrient and sediment pollution. Our experiment demonstrates how the relationships between nutrient processing and biological/physical controls degrade with environmental stress. Our results emphasise the importance of moving beyond simple physically-forced relationships to assess consequences of climate change in the context of ecosystem interactions and multiple stressors.

  8. The meaning of functional trait composition of food webs for ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravel, Dominique; Albouy, Camille; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-05-19

    There is a growing interest in using trait-based approaches to characterize the functional structure of animal communities. Quantitative methods have been derived mostly for plant ecology, but it is now common to characterize the functional composition of various systems such as soils, coral reefs, pelagic food webs or terrestrial vertebrate communities. With the ever-increasing availability of distribution and trait data, a quantitative method to represent the different roles of animals in a community promise to find generalities that will facilitate cross-system comparisons. There is, however, currently no theory relating the functional composition of food webs to their dynamics and properties. The intuitive interpretation that more functional diversity leads to higher resource exploitation and better ecosystem functioning was brought from plant ecology and does not apply readily to food webs. Here we appraise whether there are interpretable metrics to describe the functional composition of food webs that could foster a better understanding of their structure and functioning. We first distinguish the various roles that traits have on food web topology, resource extraction (bottom-up effects), trophic regulation (top-down effects), and the ability to keep energy and materials within the community. We then discuss positive effects of functional trait diversity on food webs, such as niche construction and bottom-up effects. We follow with a discussion on the negative effects of functional diversity, such as enhanced competition (both exploitation and apparent) and top-down control. Our review reveals that most of our current understanding of the impact of functional trait diversity on food web properties and functioning comes from an over-simplistic representation of network structure with well-defined levels. We, therefore, conclude with propositions for new research avenues for both theoreticians and empiricists.

  9. Plant functional traits and diversity in sand dune ecosystems across different biogeographic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

    Plant species of a functional group respond similarly to environmental pressures and may be expected to act similarly on ecosystem processes and habitat properties. However, feasibility and applicability of functional groups in ecosystems across very different climatic regions have not yet been studied. In our approach we specified the functional groups in sand dune ecosystems of the Mediterranean, Hyrcanian and Irano-Turanian phytogeographic regions. We examined whether functional groups are more influenced by region or rather by habitat characteristics, and identified trait syndromes associated with common habitat types in sand dunes (mobile dunes, stabilized dunes, salt marshes, semi-wet sands, disturbed habitats). A database of 14 traits, 309 species and 314 relevés was examined and trait-species, trait-plot and species-plot matrices were built. Cluster analysis revealed similar plant functional groups in sand dune ecosystems across regions of very different species composition and climate. Specifically, our study showed that plant traits in sand dune ecosystems are grouped reflecting habitat affiliation rather than region and species pool. Environmental factors and constraints such as sand mobility, soil salinity, water availability, nutrient status and disturbance are more important for the occurrence and distribution of plant functional groups than regional belonging. Each habitat is shown to be equipped with specific functional groups and can be described by specific sets of traits. In restoration ecology the completeness of functional groups and traits in a site may serve as a guideline for maintaining or restoring the habitat.

  10. [Ecosystem's soil conservation function and its spatial distribution in Lancang River Basin, Southwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long; Xie, Gao-Di; Pei, Sha; Zhang, Chang-Shun; Fan, Na; Zhang, Cai-Xia; Li, Shi-Mei

    2012-08-01

    Based on the RUSLE model, this paper analyzed the ecosystem's soil conservation function and its spatial distribution in Lancang River Basin. This Basin could be one of the regions having the highest ecosystem' s soil conservation capability in China, with an annual ecosystem's soil conservation amount being 2.36 x 10(10) t x a(-1) and the soil conservation amount per unit area being 1453.72 t x a(-1) per hectare. The total amounts of the N, P, and K conserved in soils were 5.74 x 10(7), 3.07 x 10(7), and 3.75 x 10(8) t x a(-1), respectively, and presented an increasing trend from upstream to downstream. Among the ecosystems in the Basin, forest ecosystem had the highest soil conservation capability, followed by grassland and farmland, while desert ecosystem had the lowest one. The soil conservation capability of the ecosystems was linearly increased with the increase of vegetation coverage. Averagely, a 10% increment in the vegetation coverage could result in a 35.3% increment in soil conservation capability. To rationally increase the vegetation coverage by reliable ecosystem management based on local conditions would make good effect in preventing soil erosion and maintaining soil nutrients in the Basin.

  11. Consequences of increasing hypoxic disturbance on benthic communities and ecosystem functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Villnäs

    Full Text Available Disturbance-mediated species loss has prompted research considering how ecosystem functions are changed when biota is impaired. However, there is still limited empirical evidence from natural environments evaluating the direct and indirect (i.e. via biota effects of disturbance on ecosystem functioning. Oxygen deficiency is a widespread threat to coastal and estuarine communities. While the negative impacts of hypoxia on benthic communities are well known, few studies have assessed in situ how benthic communities subjected to different degrees of hypoxic stress alter their contribution to ecosystem functioning. We studied changes in sediment ecosystem function (i.e. oxygen and nutrient fluxes across the sediment water-interface by artificially inducing hypoxia of different durations (0, 3, 7 and 48 days in a subtidal sandy habitat. Benthic chamber incubations were used for measuring responses in sediment oxygen and nutrient fluxes. Changes in benthic species richness, structure and traits were quantified, while stress-induced behavioral changes were documented by observing bivalve reburial rates. The initial change in faunal behavior was followed by non-linear degradation in benthic parameters (abundance, biomass, bioturbation potential, gradually impairing the structural and functional composition of the benthic community. In terms of ecosystem function, the increasing duration of hypoxia altered sediment oxygen consumption and enhanced sediment effluxes of NH(4(+ and dissolved Si. Although effluxes of PO(4(3- were not altered significantly, changes were observed in sediment PO(4(3- sorption capability. The duration of hypoxia (i.e. number of days of stress explained a minor part of the changes in ecosystem function. Instead, the benthic community and disturbance-driven changes within the benthos explained a larger proportion of the variability in sediment oxygen- and nutrient fluxes. Our results emphasize that the level of stress to the

  12. Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnicer, Jofre; Sardans, Jordi; Stefanescu, Constantí; Ubach, Andreu; Bartrons, Mireia; Asensio, Dolores; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Impacts of Climate Chnage on Terrestrial Ecosystems Functioning - An Overview

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beier, Claus; Ambus, Per; Amdal, M. F.

    ,then dynamic ecosystem or global models can predict theresponses of the combined factors. This approach may seem reasonablebut is constrained by at least two problems, which CLiMA!TE specifically aimed to overcome:1. When several factors act together, they may interact, and theseinteractions among...... mimicking future climate changes, and dynamicecosystem modelling (Beier, 2004; Rustad, 2008). Each of theseapproaches has their forces and drawbacks, but across all a generallimitation is that observations and experiments have focused on onesingle climate factor. For example, observations across gradients...... the different climate change factors may not belinear and/or predictable. Computer models may predict some ofthese interactions relatively well (e.g. resource limitations due toincreased growth), while other interactions may be unpredictable.8 beier, c., et al.The assumption that the impact of the "climate...

  14. From Bacteria to Whales: Using Functional Size Spectra to Model Marine Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Julia L; Heneghan, Ryan F; Everett, Jason D; Trebilco, Rowan; Richardson, Anthony J

    2017-03-01

    Size-based ecosystem modeling is emerging as a powerful way to assess ecosystem-level impacts of human- and environment-driven changes from individual-level processes. These models have evolved as mechanistic explanations for observed regular patterns of abundance across the marine size spectrum hypothesized to hold from bacteria to whales. Fifty years since the first size spectrum measurements, we ask how far have we come? Although recent modeling studies capture an impressive range of sizes, complexity, and real-world applications, ecosystem coverage is still only partial. We describe how this can be overcome by unifying functional traits with size spectra (which we call functional size spectra) and highlight the key knowledge gaps that need to be filled to model ecosystems from bacteria to whales. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Continental-scale effects of nutrient pollution on stream ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Guy; Gessner, Mark O; Giller, Paul S; Gulis, Vladislav; Hladyz, Sally; Lecerf, Antoine; Malmqvist, Björn; McKie, Brendan G; Tiegs, Scott D; Cariss, Helen; Dobson, Mike; Elosegi, Arturo; Ferreira, Verónica; Graça, Manuel A S; Fleituch, Tadeusz; Lacoursière, Jean O; Nistorescu, Marius; Pozo, Jesús; Risnoveanu, Geta; Schindler, Markus; Vadineanu, Angheluta; Vought, Lena B-M; Chauvet, Eric

    2012-06-15

    Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Systematic quantitative assessment of functional ecosystem measures for river networks is, however, lacking, especially at continental scales. Here, we narrow this gap by means of a pan-European field experiment on a fundamental ecosystem process--leaf-litter breakdown--in 100 streams across a greater than 1000-fold nutrient gradient. Dramatically slowed breakdown at both extremes of the gradient indicated strong nutrient limitation in unaffected systems, potential for strong stimulation in moderately altered systems, and inhibition in highly polluted streams. This large-scale response pattern emphasizes the need to complement established structural approaches (such as water chemistry, hydrogeomorphology, and biological diversity metrics) with functional measures (such as litter-breakdown rate, whole-system metabolism, and nutrient spiraling) for assessing ecosystem health.

  16. Considerations on a data-driven approach to identify plant's imprint on ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musavi, Talie; Kattge, Jens; Mahecha, Miguel; Reichstein, Markus; Van de Weg, Martine Janet; Van Bodegom, Peter; Bahn, Michael; Migliavacca, Mirco; Wirth, Christian; Reich, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems strongly determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. These exchanges are influenced and partly driven by environmental conditions (e.g. local meteorology, soils), but generally mediated by organisms. In commonly used terrestrial biosphere models, this principle is implemented by process-based descriptions of plant functioning at the organ level. In order to validate these model formulations, we need an independent empirical approach to understand the plant's imprint on ecosystem functioning. We use land-atmosphere exchange of fluxes of CO2, H2O and energy in tandem with environmental controls available in FLUXNET to quantify "ecosystem functional properties" (EFPs). The latter are generally time-invariant ecosystem specific properties, for instance process sensitivities or efficiencies that shape ecosystem scale responses. Our crucial question is if plant traits measured at the organ level (available e.g. in the TRY database) can elucidate the characteristics of EFPs. In this study we follow this new avenue and link the two global databases FLUXNET and TRY to study the role of plants for biogeochemical cycles across a large number of different globally distributed ecosystem types. We aim to address emerging difficulties and possible solutions. For instance, we show that using average values of plant traits from TRY that are not necessarily measured at the fluxnet sites is of use but has clear limitations. However having information on the amount of vegetation at the sites derived from remote sensing is needed for weighting the plant traits. In addition, we have to consider that EFPs are not really time-invariant and subject to alterations after disturbance, meteorological extremes, management etc. Overall, we provide an outlook on perspectives and applications of empirical analyses of plants' imprint on ecosystem functioning by combining remote sensing, in situ measured plant traits and ecosystem

  17. Trophic interactions, ecosystem structure and function in the southern Yellow Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIN Qun; JIN Xianshi; ZHANG Bo

    2013-01-01

    The southern Yellow Sea is an important fishing ground,providing abundant fishery resources.However,overfishing and climate change have caused a decline in the resource and damaged the ecosystem.We developed an ecosystem model to analyze the trophic interactions and ecosystem structure and function to guide sustainable development of the ecosystem.Atrophic mass-balance model of the southern Yellow Sea during 2000-2001 was constructed using Ecopath with Ecosim software.We defined 22 important functional groups and studied their diet composition.The trophic levels of fish,shrimp,crabs,and cephalopods were between 2.78 and 4.39,and the mean trophic level of the fisheries was 3.24.The trophic flows within the food web occurred primarily in the lower trophic levels.The mean trophic transfer efficiency was 8.1%,of which 7.1% was from primary producers and 9.3% was from detritus within the ecosystem.The transfer efficiency between trophic levels Ⅱ to Ⅲ to Ⅳ to Ⅴ to >Ⅴ was 5.0%,5.7%,18.5%,and 19.7%-20.4%,respectively.Of the total flow,phytoplankton contributed 61% and detritus contributed 39%.Fishing is defined as a top predator within the ecosystem,and has a negative impact on most commercial species.Moreover,the ecosystem had a high gross efficiency of the fishery and a high value of primary production required to sustain the fishery.Together,our data suggest there is high fishing pressure in the southern Yellow Sea.Based on analysis of Odum's ecological parameters,this ecosystem was at an immature stage.Our results provide some insights into the structure and development of this ecosystem.

  18. Linking hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in African papyrus wetlands using a Bayesian Network Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, A.; Gettel, G. M.; Kipkemboi, J.; Rahman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Papyrus wetlands in East Africa provide ecosystem services supporting the livelihoods of millions but are rapidly degrading due to economic development. For ecosystem conservation, an integrated understanding of the natural and social processes driving ecosystem change is needed. This research focuses on integrating the causal relationships between hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in Nyando wetland, western Kenya. Livelihood sustainability is based on ecosystem services that include plant and animal harvest for building material and food, conversion of wetlands to crop and grazing land, water supply, and water quality regulation. Specific objectives were: to integrate studies of hydrology, ecology, and livelihood activities using a Bayesian Network (BN) model and include stakeholder involvement in model development. The BN model (Netica 4.16) had 35 nodes with seven decision nodes describing demography, economy, papyrus market, and rainfall, and two target nodes describing ecosystem function (defined by groundwater recharge, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity) and livelihood sustainability (drinking water supply, crop production, livestock production, and papyrus yield). The conditional probability tables were populated using results of ecohydrological and socio-economic field work and consultations with stakeholders. The model was evaluated for an average year with decision node probabilities set according to data from research, expert opinion, and stakeholders' views. Then, scenarios for dry and wet seasons and for economic development (low population growth and unemployment) and policy development (more awareness of wetland value) were evaluated. In an average year, the probability for maintaining a "good" level of sediment and nutrient retention functions, groundwater recharge, and biodiversity was about 60%. ("Good" is defined by expert opinion based on ongoing field research.) In the dry season, the probability was

  19. Seafloor heterogeneity influences the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeppilli, Daniela; Pusceddu, Antonio; Trincardi, Fabio; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-05-01

    Theoretical ecology predicts that heterogeneous habitats allow more species to co-exist in a given area. In the deep sea, biodiversity is positively linked with ecosystem functioning, suggesting that deep-seabed heterogeneity could influence ecosystem functions and the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). To shed light on the BEF relationships in a heterogeneous deep seabed, we investigated variations in meiofaunal biodiversity, biomass and ecosystem efficiency within and among different seabed morphologies (e.g., furrows, erosional troughs, sediment waves and other depositional structures, landslide scars and deposits) in a narrow geo-morphologically articulated sector of the Adriatic Sea. We show that distinct seafloor morphologies are characterized by highly diverse nematode assemblages, whereas areas sharing similar seabed morphologies host similar nematode assemblages. BEF relationships are consistently positive across the entire region, but different seabed morphologies are characterised by different slope coefficients of the relationship. Our results suggest that seafloor heterogeneity, allowing diversified assemblages across different habitats, increases diversity and influence ecosystem processes at the regional scale, and BEF relationships at smaller spatial scales. We conclude that high-resolution seabed mapping and a detailed analysis of the species distribution at the habitat scale are crucial for improving management of goods and services delivered by deep-sea ecosystems.

  20. Seafloor heterogeneity influences the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in the deep sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeppilli, Daniela; Pusceddu, Antonio; Trincardi, Fabio; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-05-23

    Theoretical ecology predicts that heterogeneous habitats allow more species to co-exist in a given area. In the deep sea, biodiversity is positively linked with ecosystem functioning, suggesting that deep-seabed heterogeneity could influence ecosystem functions and the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). To shed light on the BEF relationships in a heterogeneous deep seabed, we investigated variations in meiofaunal biodiversity, biomass and ecosystem efficiency within and among different seabed morphologies (e.g., furrows, erosional troughs, sediment waves and other depositional structures, landslide scars and deposits) in a narrow geo-morphologically articulated sector of the Adriatic Sea. We show that distinct seafloor morphologies are characterized by highly diverse nematode assemblages, whereas areas sharing similar seabed morphologies host similar nematode assemblages. BEF relationships are consistently positive across the entire region, but different seabed morphologies are characterised by different slope coefficients of the relationship. Our results suggest that seafloor heterogeneity, allowing diversified assemblages across different habitats, increases diversity and influence ecosystem processes at the regional scale, and BEF relationships at smaller spatial scales. We conclude that high-resolution seabed mapping and a detailed analysis of the species distribution at the habitat scale are crucial for improving management of goods and services delivered by deep-sea ecosystems.

  1. Vegetation ecology meets ecosystem science: Permanent grasslands as a functional biogeography case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Violle, Cyrille; Choler, Philippe; Borgy, Benjamin; Garnier, Eric; Amiaud, Bernard; Debarros, Guilhem; Diquelou, Sylvain; Gachet, Sophie; Jolivet, Claudy; Kattge, Jens; Lavorel, Sandra; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane; Loranger, Jessy; Mikolajczak, Alexis; Munoz, François; Olivier, Jean; Viovy, Nicolas

    2015-11-15

    The effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning has been widely acknowledged, and the importance of the functional roles of species, as well as their diversity, in the control of ecosystem processes has been emphasised recently. However, bridging biodiversity and ecosystem science to address issues at a biogeographic scale is still in its infancy. Bridging this gap is the primary goal of the emerging field of functional biogeography. While the rise of Big Data has catalysed functional biogeography studies in recent years, comprehensive evidence remains scarce. Here, we present the rationale and the first results of a country-wide initiative focused on the C3 permanent grasslands. We aimed to collate, integrate and process large databases of vegetation relevés, plant traits and environmental layers to provide a country-wide assessment of ecosystem properties and services which can be used to improve regional models of climate and land use changes. We outline the theoretical background, data availability, and ecoinformatics challenges associated with the approach and its feasibility. We provide a case study of upscaling of leaf dry matter content averaged at ecosystem level and country-wide predictions of forage digestibility. Our framework sets milestones for further hypothesis testing in functional biogeography and earth system modelling.

  2. Cryptic diversity and ecosystem functioning: a complex tale of differential effects on decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Meester, N; Gingold, R; Rigaux, A; Derycke, S; Moens, T

    2016-10-01

    Marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating population and species loss. Some ecosystem functions are decreasing and there is growing interest in the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The role of cryptic (morphologically identical but genetically distinct) species in this biodiversity-ecosystem functioning link is unclear and has not yet been formally tested. We tested if there is a differential effect of four cryptic species of the bacterivorous nematode Litoditis marina on the decomposition process of macroalgae. Bacterivorous nematodes can stimulate or slow down bacterial activity and modify the bacterial assemblage composition. Moreover, we tested if interspecific interactions among the four cryptic species influence the decomposition process. A laboratory experiment with both mono- and multispecific nematode cultures was conducted, and loss of organic matter and the activity of two key extracellular enzymes for the degradation of phytodetritus were assessed. L. marina mainly influenced qualitative aspects of the decomposition process rather than its overall rate: an effect of the nematodes on the enzymatic activities became manifest, although no clear nematode effect on bulk organic matter weight loss was found. We also demonstrated that species-specific effects on the decomposition process existed. Combining the four cryptic species resulted in high competition, with one dominant species, but without complete exclusion of other species. These interspecific interactions translated into different effects on the decomposition process. The species-specific differences indicated that each cryptic species may play an important and distinct role in ecosystem functioning. Functional differences may result in coexistence among very similar species.

  3. Wetland Ecosystem Function Assessment and The Sustainable Development in Jianghan Plain-Lake District of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Wetlands in Jianghan plain-lake district fulfill many uses and functions related to hydrology, waste assimilation, ecosystem productivity and bio-diversity. But human incorrect activities generally result in significant negative impacts on number, biodiversity, and functioning of wetlands. In order to put wetland resources to rational use and protect wetland ecological environment, some effective measures should be taken.

  4. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chagnon, Madeleine; Kreutzweiser, David; Mitchell, Edward A D; Morrissey, Christy A; Noome, Dominique A; Van der Sluijs, Jeroen P

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale use of the persistent and potent neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides has raised concerns about risks to ecosystem functions provided by a wide range of species and environments affected by these insecticides. The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in decision making in the context of valuing the service potentials, benefits, and use values that well-functioning ecosystems provide to humans and the biosphere and, as an endpoint (value to be protected), in ecological risk assessment of chemicals. Neonicotinoid insecticides are frequently detected in soil and water and are also found in air, as dust particles during sowing of crops and aerosols during spraying. These environmental media provide essential resources to support biodiversity, but are known to be threatened by long-term or repeated contamination by neonicotinoids and fipronil. We review the state of knowledge regarding the potential impacts of these insecticides on ecosystem functioning and services provided by terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including soil and freshwater functions, fisheries, biological pest control, and pollination services. Empirical studies examining the specific impacts of neonicotinoids and fipronil to ecosystem services have focused largely on the negative impacts to beneficial insect species (honeybees) and the impact on pollination service of food crops. However, here we document broader evidence of the effects on ecosystem functions regulating soil and water quality, pest control, pollination, ecosystem resilience, and community diversity. In particular, microbes, invertebrates, and fish play critical roles as decomposers, pollinators, consumers, and predators, which collectively maintain healthy communities and ecosystem integrity. Several examples in this review demonstrate evidence of the negative impacts of systemic insecticides on decomposition, nutrient cycling, soil respiration, and invertebrate populations valued by humans. Invertebrates

  5. Using the CARDAMOM framework to retrieve global terrestrial ecosystem functioning properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exbrayat, Jean-François; Bloom, A. Anthony; Smallman, T. Luke; van der Velde, Ivar R.; Feng, Liang; Williams, Mathew

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems act as a sink for anthropogenic emissions of fossil-fuel and thereby partially offset the ongoing global warming. However, recent model benchmarking and intercomparison studies have highlighted the non-trivial uncertainties that exist in our understanding of key ecosystem properties like plant carbon allocation and residence times. It leads to worrisome differences in terrestrial carbon stocks simulated by Earth system models, and their evolution in a warming future. In this presentation we attempt to provide global insights on these properties by merging an ecosystem model with remotely-sensed global observations of leaf area and biomass through a data-assimilation system: the CARbon Data MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM). CARDAMOM relies on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm to retrieve confidence intervals of model parameters that regulate ecosystem properties independently of any prior land-cover information. The MCMC method thereby enables an explicit representation of the uncertainty in land-atmosphere fluxes and the evolution of terrestrial carbon stocks through time. Global experiments are performed for the first decade of the 21st century using a 1°×1° spatial resolution. Relationships emerge globally between key ecosystem properties. For example, our analyses indicate that leaf lifespan and leaf mass per area are highly correlated. Furthermore, there exists a latitudinal gradient in allocation patterns: high latitude ecosystems allocate more carbon to photosynthetic carbon (leaves) while plants invest more carbon in their structural parts (wood and root) in the wet tropics. Overall, the spatial distribution of these ecosystem properties does not correspond to usual land-cover maps and are also partially correlated with disturbance regimes. For example, fire-prone ecosystems present statistically significant higher values of carbon use efficiency than less disturbed ecosystems experiencing similar climatic conditions. These results

  6. Tropical Marginal Seas: Priority Regions for Managing Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, A. David; Williams, Alan; Young, Jock; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Dunstan, Piers; Brewin, Robert J. W.; Watson, Reg; Brinkman, Richard; Cappo, Mike; Duggan, Samantha; Kelley, Russell; Ridgway, Ken; Lindsay, Dhugal; Gledhill, Daniel; Hutton, Trevor; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marginal seas (TMSs) are natural subregions of tropical oceans containing biodiverse ecosystems with conspicuous, valued, and vulnerable biodiversity assets. They are focal points for global marine conservation because they occur in regions where human populations are rapidly expanding. Our review of 11 TMSs focuses on three key ecosystems - coral reefs and emergent atolls, deep benthic systems, and pelagic biomes - and synthesizes, illustrates, and contrasts knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystem function, interaction between adjacent habitats, and anthropogenic pressures. TMSs vary in the extent that they have been subject to human influence - from the nearly pristine Coral Sea to the heavily exploited South China and Caribbean Seas - but we predict that they will all be similarly complex to manage because most span multiple national jurisdictions. We conclude that developing a structured process to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas that uses a set of globally agreed criteria is a tractable first step toward effective multinational and transboundary ecosystem management of TMSs.

  7. Global biogeographical pattern of ecosystem functional types derived from earth observation data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivits, Eva; Cherlet, Michael; Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F;

    2013-01-01

    % of the variation in global ecosystems. EFTs were created based on Isodata classification of the spatial patterns of the Principal Components and were interpreted via gradient analysis using the selected remote sensing variables and climatic constraints (radiation, temperature, and water) of vegetation growth...... of global ecosystems. Climatic constraints of vegetation growth explained 50% of variation in the phenological data along the EFTs showing that part of the variation in the global phenological gradient is not climate related but is unique to the Earth Observation derived variables. DCA demonstrated good...... correspondence of the EFTs to global climate and also to land use classification. The results show the great potential of Earth Observation derived parameters for the quantification of ecosystem functional dynamics and for providing reference status information for future assessments of ecosystem changes....

  8. When does diversity matter? Species functional diversity and ecosystem functioning across habitats and seasons in a field experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frainer, André; McKie, Brendan G; Malmqvist, Björn

    2014-03-01

    Despite ample experimental evidence indicating that biodiversity might be an important driver of ecosystem processes, its role in the functioning of real ecosystems remains unclear. In particular, the understanding of which aspects of biodiversity are most important for ecosystem functioning, their importance relative to other biotic and abiotic drivers, and the circumstances under which biodiversity is most likely to influence functioning in nature, is limited. We conducted a field study that focussed on a guild of insect detritivores in streams, in which we quantified variation in the process of leaf decomposition across two habitats (riffles and pools) and two seasons (autumn and spring). The study was conducted in six streams, and the same locations were sampled in the two seasons. With the aid of structural equations modelling, we assessed spatiotemporal variation in the roles of three key biotic drivers in this process: functional diversity, quantified based on a species trait matrix, consumer density and biomass. Our models also accounted for variability related to different litter resources, and other sources of biotic and abiotic variability among streams. All three of our focal biotic drivers influenced leaf decomposition, but none was important in all habitats and seasons. Functional diversity had contrasting effects on decomposition between habitats and seasons. A positive relationship was observed in pool habitats in spring, associated with high trait dispersion, whereas a negative relationship was observed in riffle habitats during autumn. Our results demonstrate that functional biodiversity can be as significant for functioning in natural ecosystems as other important biotic drivers. In particular, variation in the role of functional diversity between seasons highlights the importance of fluctuations in the relative abundances of traits for ecosystem process rates in real ecosystems.

  9. Direct and indirect effects of temperature on the population dynamics and ecosystem functioning of aquatic microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beveridge, Oliver S; Petchey, Owen L; Humphries, Stuart

    2010-11-01

    1. While much is known about the direct effect that temperature can have on aquatic communities, less is known about its indirect effect via the temperature dependence of viscosity and temperature-dependent trophic interactions. 2. We manipulated the temperature (5-20 °C) and the viscosity (equivalent to 5-20 °C) of water in laboratory-based bacteria-protist communities. Communities contained food chains with one, two or three trophic levels. Responses measured were population dynamics (consumer carrying capacity and growth rate, average species population density, and the coefficient of variation of population density through time) and ecosystem function (decomposition). 3. Temperature, viscosity and food chain length produced significant responses in population dynamics. Temperature-dependent viscosity had a significant effect on the carrying capacity and growth rates of consumers, as well as the average density of the top predator. Overall, indirect effects of temperature via changes in viscosity were subtle in comparison to the indirect effect of temperature via trophic interactions. 4. Our results highlight the importance of direct and indirect effects of temperature, mediated through trophic interactions and physical changes in the environment, both for population dynamics and ecosystem processes. Future mechanistic modelling of effects of environmental change on species will benefit from distinguishing the different mechanisms of the overall effect of temperature. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

  10. Mechanisms driving change: altered species interactions and ecosystem function through global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traill, Lochran W; Lim, Matthew L M; Sodhi, Navjot S; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2010-09-01

    1. We review the mechanisms behind ecosystem functions, the processes that facilitate energy transfer along food webs, and the major processes that allow the cycling of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, and use case studies to show how these have already been, and will continue to be, altered by global warming. 2. Increased temperatures will affect the interactions between heterotrophs and autotrophs (e.g. pollination and seed dispersal), and between heterotrophs (e.g. predators-prey, parasites/pathogens-hosts), with generally negative ramifications for important ecosystem services (functions that provide direct benefit to human society such as pollination) and potential for heightened species co-extinction rates. 3. Mitigation of likely impacts of warming will require, in particular, the maintenance of species diversity as insurance for the provision of basic ecosystem services. Key to this will be long-term monitoring and focused research that seek to maintain ecosystem resilience in the face of global warming. 4. We provide guidelines for pursuing research that quantifies the nexus between ecosystem function and global warming. These include documentation of key functional species groups within systems, and understanding the principal outcomes arising from direct and indirect effects of a rapidly warming environment. Localized and targeted research and monitoring, complemented with laboratory work, will determine outcomes for resilience and guide adaptive conservation responses and long-term planning.

  11. Linking benthic biodiversity to the functioning of coastal ecosystems subjected to river runoff (NW Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harmelin–Vivien, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Continental particulate organic matter (POM plays a major role in the functioning of coastal marine ecosystems as a disturbance as well as an input of nutrients. Relationships linking continental inputs from the Rhone River to biodiversity of the coastal benthic ecosystem and fishery production were investigated in the Golfe du Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea. Macrobenthic community diversity decreased when continen¬tal inputs of organic matter increased, whereas ecosystem production, measured by common sole (Solea solea fishery yields in the area, increased. Decreases in macrobenthic diversity were mainly related to an increasing abundance of species with specific functional traits, particularly deposit-feeding polychaetes. The decrease in macrobenthic diversity did not result in a decrease, but an increase in ecosystem production, as it enhanced the transfer of continental POM into marine food webs. The present study showed that it is necessary to consider functional traits of species, direct and indirect links between species, and feedback loops to understand the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and productivity.

  12. Water ecosystem service function assessment based on eco-hydrological process in Luanhe Basin,China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, C.; Hao, C.; Qin, T.; Wang, G.; Weng, B.

    2012-12-01

    At present, ecological water are mainly occupied by a rapid development of social economic and population explosion, which seriously threat the ecological security and water security in watershed and regional scale. Due to the lack of a unified standard of measuring the benefit of water resource, social economic and ecosystem, the water allocation can't take place in social economic and ecosystem. The function which provided by water in terrestrial, aquatic and social economic system can be addressed through water ecosystem service function research, and it can guide the water allocation in water resource management. The function which provided by water in terrestrial, aquatic and social economic system can be addressed through water ecosystem service function research, and it can guide the water allocation in water resource management. Throughout the researches of water ecosystem service, a clear identification of the connection of water ecosystem service function has not been established, and eco-economic approach can't meet the practical requirement of water allocation. Based on "nature-artificiality" dual water cycle theory and eco-hydrological process, this paper proposes a connection and indicator system of water ecosystem service function. In approach, this paper establishes an integrated assessment approach through prototype observation technology, numerical simulation, physical simulation and modern geographic information technology. The core content is to couple an eco-hydrological model, which involves the key processes of distributed hydrological model (WEP), ecological model (CLM-DGVM), in terms of eco-hydrological process. This paper systematically evaluates the eco-hydrological process and evolution of Luanhe Basin in terms of precipitation, ET, runoff, groundwater, ecosystem's scale, form and distribution. According to the results of eco-hydrological process, this paper assesses the direct and derived service function. The result indicates that the

  13. Key role in ecosystem functioning of scavengers reliant on a single common species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inger, Richard; Per, Esra; Cox, Daniel T. C.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2016-07-01

    The importance of species richness in maintaining ecosystem function in the field remains unclear. Recent studies however have suggested that in some systems functionality is maintained by a few abundant species. Here we determine this relationship by quantifying the species responsible for a key ecosystem role, carcass removal by scavengers. We find that, unlike those within largely unaltered environments, the scavenger community within our highly altered system is dominated by a single species, the Carrion crow, despite the presence of a number of other scavenging species. Furthermore, we find no relationship between abundance of crows and carcass removal. However, the overall activity of crows predicts carcass biomass removal rate in an asymptotic manner, suggesting that a relatively low level of abundance and scavenging activity is required to maintain this component of ecosystem function.

  14. Cascading effects of long-term land-use changes on plant traits and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laliberté, Etienne; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-01-01

    There is much concern that the functioning of ecosystems will be affected by human-induced changes in biodiversity, of which land-use change is the most important driver. However, changes in biodiversity may be only one of many pathways through which land use alters ecosystem functioning, and its importance relative to other pathways remains unclear. In particular, although biodiversity-ecosystem function research has focused primarily on grasslands, the increases in agricultural inputs (e.g., fertilization, irrigation) and grazing pressure that drive change in grasslands worldwide have been largely ignored. Here we show that long-term (27-year) manipulations of soil resource availability and sheep grazing intensity caused marked, consistent shifts in grassland plant functional composition and diversity, with cascading (i.e., causal chains of) direct, indirect, and interactive effects on multiple ecosystem functions. Resource availability exerted dominant control over above-ground net primary production (ANPP), both directly and indirectly via shifts in plant functional composition. Importantly, the effects of plant functional diversity and grazing intensity on ANPP shifted from negative to positive as agricultural inputs increased, providing strong evidence that soil resource availability modulates the impacts of plant diversity and herbivory on primary production. These changes in turn altered litter decomposition and, ultimately, soil carbon sequestration, highlighting the relevance of ANPP as a key integrator of ecosystem functioning. Our study reveals how human alterations of bottom-up (resources) and top-down (herbivory) forces together interact to control the functioning of grazing systems, the most extensive land use on Earth.

  15. Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conrad Schittko

    Full Text Available A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion.

  16. Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion.

  17. Balancing ecosystem function, services and disservices resulting from expanding goose populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buij, Ralph; Melman, Theodorus C. P.; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.

    2017-01-01

    in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the influence of goose populations on vegetation biomass, carbon storage and methane emission, species diversity and disease transmission. To estimate the implications of their growing abundance for humans, we explore how these functions contribute to the provision...... of ecosystem services and disservices. We assess the weight, extent and trends among such impacts, as well as the balance of their value to society. We examine key unresolved issues to enable a more balanced assessment of the economic costs or benefits of migratory geese along their flyways, including...... the spatial and temporal variation in services and their contrasting value to different user groups. Many ecological functions of geese are concluded to provide neither services nor disservices and, ecosystem disservices currently appear to outweigh services, although this varies between regions. We consider...

  18. Abrupt shifts in ecosystem function and intensification of global biogeochemical cycle driven by hydroclimatic extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xuanlong; Huete, Alfredo; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo; Zhang, Yongguang; Xie, Zunyi; Giovannini, Leandro; Cleverly, James; Eamus, Derek

    2016-04-01

    Amplification of the hydrologic cycle as a consequence of global warming is increasing the frequency, intensity, and spatial extent of extreme climate events globally. The potential influences resulting from amplification of the hydro-climatic cycle, coupled with an accelerating warming trend, pose great concerns on the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems to sequester carbon, maintain biodiversity, provide ecosystem services, food security, and support human livelihood. Despite the great implications, the magnitude, direction, and carry-over effect of these extreme climate events on ecosystem function, remain largely uncertain. To address these pressing issues, we conducted an observational, interdisciplinary study using satellite retrievals of atmospheric CO2 and photosynthesis (chlorophyll fluorescence), and in-situ flux tower measures of ecosystem-atmosphere carbon exchange, to reveal the shifts in ecosystem function across extreme drought and wet periods. We further determine the factors that govern ecosystem sensitivity to hydroclimatic extremes. We focus on Australia but extended our analyses to other global dryland regions due to their significant role in global biogeochemical cycles. Our results revealed dramatic impacts of drought and wet hydroclimatic extremes on ecosystem function, with abrupt changes in vegetation productivity, carbon uptake, and water-use-efficiency between years. Drought resulted in widespread reductions or collapse in the normal patterns of vegetation growth seasonality such that in many cases there was no detectable phenological cycle during extreme drought years. We further identified a significant increasing trend (p global regions, resulting in an increasing trend in magnitude of the episodic carbon sink pulses coupled to each La Niña-induced wet years. This finding is of global biogeochemical significance, with the consequence of amplifying the global carbon cycle. Lastly, we use landscape measurements of carbon and water

  19. Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the assessment of ecosystem services and functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Miguel Leandro

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The project Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Functions arises from the need to identify and assess ecosystem services, promoting sustainable uses of the services in the Reserve. The high degradation rate currently observed in the natural systems, thus reducing the level and quality of ecosystem services, is reflected in a negative effect on environmental quality, human well-being and in some economic activities. Thus, it becomes inevitable to promote the need to convey the importance of these services to society. It is also essential to contribute to the development of innovative and environmentally sustainable practices which will maintain the functioning of the local ecosystem and the sustainability of the services. Thus, the main goals of this project are i to identify and analyse the impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services in the Reserve; ii to analyse the trends of the priority services, iii to identify the risks and opportunities associated with these services; iv to evaluate their value and ultimately iv to disseminate the results improving conservation and management. Based on the results to be obtained through the evaluation and maintenance of these services it is expected an improvement on the environment in the region and the development of efficient mechanisms for the management of resources. Started in February 2014, over the past 3 months much research has already been conducted, with emphasis for the identification of services and opportunities in the Reserve. Ecosystem services in Berlengas can range from simply providing essential goods or support (e.g. fish to cultural services (e.g. field trips, diving. Work is also being done to develop, define and optimize the methods to assess ecosystems services trends and values.

  20. Effects on the function of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    Historically, the function of Arctic ecosystems in terms of cycles of nutrients and carbon has led to low levels of primary production and exchanges of energy, water and greenhouse gases have led to low local and regional cooling. Sequestration of carbon from atmospheric CO2, in extensive, cold organic soils and the high albedo from low, snow-covered vegetation have had impacts on regional climate. However, many aspects of the functioning of Arctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate and its impacts on biodiversity. The current Arctic climate results in slow rates of organic matter decomposition. Arctic ecosystems therefore tend to accumulate organic matter and elements despite low inputs. As a result, soil-available elements like nitrogen and phosphorus are key limitations to increases in carbon fixation and further biomass and organic matter accumulation. Climate warming is expected to increase carbon and element turnover, particularly in soils, which may lead to initial losses of elements but eventual, slow recovery. Individual species and species diversity have clear impacts on element inputs and retention in Arctic ecosystems. Effects of increased CO2 and UV-B on whole ecosystems, on the other hand, are likely to be small although effects on plant tissue chemisty, decomposition and nitrogen fixation may become important in the long-term. Cycling of carbon in trace gas form is mainly as CO2 and CH4. Most carbon loss is in the form of CO2, produced by both plants and soil biota. Carbon emissions as methane from wet and moist tundra ecosystems are about 5% of emissions as CO2 and are responsive to warming in the absence of any other changes. Winter processes and vegetation type also affect CH4 emissions as well as exchanges of energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Arctic ecosystems exhibit the largest seasonal changes in energy exchange of any terrestrial ecosystem because of the large changes in albedo from late winter, when snow reflects most

  1. Ecosystem function and services provided by the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, A. R.; Sweetman, A. K.; Narayanaswamy, B. E.; Jones, D. O. B.; Ingels, J.; Hansman, R. L.

    2014-07-01

    The deep sea is often viewed as a vast, dark, remote, and inhospitable environment, yet the deep ocean and seafloor are crucial to our lives through the services that they provide. Our understanding of how the deep sea functions remains limited, but when treated synoptically, a diversity of supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services becomes apparent. The biological pump transports carbon from the atmosphere into deep-ocean water masses that are separated over prolonged periods, reducing the impact of anthropogenic carbon release. Microbial oxidation of methane keeps another potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere while trapping carbon in authigenic carbonates. Nutrient regeneration by all faunal size classes provides the elements necessary for fueling surface productivity and fisheries, and microbial processes detoxify a diversity of compounds. Each of these processes occur on a very small scale, yet considering the vast area over which they occur they become important for the global functioning of the ocean. The deep sea also provides a wealth of resources, including fish stocks, enormous bioprospecting potential, and elements and energy reserves that are currently being extracted and will be increasingly important in the near future. Society benefits from the intrigue and mystery, the strange life forms, and the great unknown that has acted as a muse for inspiration and imagination since near the beginning of civilization. While many functions occur on the scale of microns to meters and timescales up to years, the derived services that result are only useful after centuries of integrated activity. This vast dark habitat, which covers the majority of the globe, harbors processes that directly impact humans in a variety of ways; however, the same traits that differentiate it from terrestrial or shallow marine systems also result in a greater need for integrated spatial and temporal understanding as it experiences increased use by society. In

  2. Surface heat fluxes and ecosystem function in the Cretan Sea (eastern Mediterranean: a modelling study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Siddorn

    Full Text Available As a component of the Mediterranean Forecast System Pilot Project, a data buoy was deployed in the Cretan Sea. A 1-D ecosystem model of the site has been used to investigate the role of surface heat fluxes in determining modelled ecosystem behaviour. The method of calculation of these fluxes, the quality of the data used, and the temporal resolution of the data all had an impact upon the modelled ecosystem function. The effects of the changes in heat flux formulation were substantial, with both annually averaged properties of the system and the seasonal evolution of the biology being affected. It was also found that the ecosystem model was extremely sensitive to the accuracy of the meteorological forcing data used, with substantial changes in biology found when offsets in the forcing data were imposed. The frequency of forcing data was relatively unimportant in determining the biological function, although lower frequency forcing damped high frequency variability in the biology. During periods of mixing the biology showed an amplified response to changes in physical dynamics, but during periods of stratification the variations in the physics were found to be less important. Zooplankton showed more sensitivity to physical variability than either phytoplankton or bacteria. The consequences for ecosystem modelling are discussed.

    Key words. Oceanography: physical (air-sea interactions; turbulence, diffusion, and mixing processes – Oceanography: biological and chemical (plankton

  3. Relationships between anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem functions in UK blanket bogs: Linking process understanding to ecosystem service valuation

    OpenAIRE

    Evans, C. D.; Bonn, A; Holden, J; Reed, M S; Evans, Martin; Worrall, F.; J. Couwenberg; Parnell, M

    2014-01-01

    Quantification and valuation of ecosystem services are critically dependent on the quality of underpinning science. While key ecological processes may be understood, translating this understanding into quantitative relationships suitable for use in an ecosystem services context remains challenging. Using blanket bogs as a case study, we derived quantitative ‘pressure-response functions’ linking anthropogenic pressures (drainage, burning, sulphur and nitrogen deposition) with ecosystem functio...

  4. Quantifying the importance of plant functional diversity for ecosystem functioning and resilience under scenarios of climate change (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlick, R.; Drewry, D.; Kleidon, A.

    2013-12-01

    Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) typically employ only a small set of Plant Functional Types (PFTs) to represent the vast diversity of observed vegetation forms and functioning. There is growing evidence, however, that this abstraction may not adequately represent the observed variation in plant functional traits, which is thought to play an important role for many ecosystem functions and for ecosystem resilience to environmental change. The geographic distribution of PFTs in these models is also often based on empirical relationships between present-day climate and vegetation patterns. Projections of future climate change, however, point toward the possibility of novel regional climates, which could lead to no-analog vegetation compositions incompatible with the PFT paradigm. Here, we present results from the Jena Diversity-DGVM (JeDi-DGVM), a novel traits-based vegetation model, which simulates a large number of hypothetical plant growth strategies constrained by functional tradeoffs, thereby allowing for a more flexible temporal and spatial representation of the terrestrial biosphere. We run two sets of model experiments forced with the latest bias-corrected climate change scenarios from several different global climate models. In the first set, we simulate a diverse biosphere using a large number of plant growth strategies, allowing the modelled ecosystems to adapt through emergent changes in ecosystem composition. We then aggregate the surviving growth strategies from the first set of diverse simulations to a small number of biome-averaged growth strategies, recreating something akin to PFTs. We use this smaller set of PFT-like growth strategies to represent a sparse or low-diversity biosphere in the second set of model experiments. We quantify the importance of functional diversity by comparing key metrics of ecosystem functioning across the two sets of simulations. The results reveal the implications of using the common PFT vegetation modelling

  5. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  6. Quantifying the functional responses of vegetation to drought and oxygen stress in temperate ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Douma, J.C.; Bardin, V.; Bartholomeus, R.P.; Bodegom, van P.M.

    2012-01-01

    1. Our understanding of the generality of plant functional responses to water availability is limited; current field studies use either very rough approximations of water and oxygen availability or only focus on water-stressed ecosystems. Studies that relate species' responses to a surplus of water

  7. Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo Mora

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs. Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas.

  8. Ecosystem functioning and maximum entropyes production: a quantitative test of hypothes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meysman, F.J.R.; Bruers, S.

    2010-01-01

    The idea that entropy production puts a constraint on ecosystem functioning is quite popular in ecological thermodynamics. Yet, until now, such claims have received little quantitative verification. Here, we examine three ‘entropy production’ hypotheses that have been forwarded in the past. The firs

  9. Environmental and Human Controls of Ecosystem Functional Diversity in Temperate South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domingo Alcaraz-Segura

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The regional controls of biodiversity patterns have been traditionally evaluated using structural and compositional components at the species level, but evaluation of the functional component at the ecosystem level is still scarce. During the last decades, the role of ecosystem functioning in management and conservation has increased. Our aim was to use satellite-derived Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs, patches of the land-surface with similar carbon gain dynamics to characterize the regional patterns of ecosystem functional diversity and to evaluate the environmental and human controls that determine EFT richness across natural and human-modified systems in temperate South America. The EFT identification was based on three descriptors of carbon gain dynamics derived from seasonal curves of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI: annual mean (surrogate of primary production, seasonal coefficient of variation (indicator of seasonality and date of maximum EVI (descriptor of phenology. As observed for species richness in the southern hemisphere, water availability, not energy, emerged as the main climatic driver of EFT richness in natural areas of temperate South America. In anthropogenic areas, the role of both water and energy decreased and increasing human intervention increased richness at low levels of human influence, but decreased richness at high levels of human influence.

  10. Flooding and arsenic contamination: Influences on ecosystem structure and function in an Appalachian headwater stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noah R. Lottig; H. Maurice Valett; Madeline E. Schreiber; Jackson R. Webster

    2007-01-01

    We investigated the influence of flooding and chronic arsenic contamination on ecosystem structure and function in a headwater stream adjacent to an abandoned arsenic (As) mine using an upstream (reference) and downstream (mine-influenced) comparative reach approach. In this study, floods were addressed as a pulse disturbance, and the abandoned As mine was...

  11. Effect of ecosystems substitutions and CO{sub 2} increase of the atmosphere on the microbial ecosystems of forests; Effet de substitutions d'essence et de l'augmentation en CO{sub 2} de l'atmosphere sur les communautes microbiennes intervenant dans le fonctionnement d'un ecosysteme forestier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F

    2007-07-01

    Biological diversity is often exclusively considered at the level of plants and animals, whereas the bulk of global biodiversity is in fact at the microbial level. Although it is clear that the ecology of our planet is driven by microbial ecosystems, we are severely hampered by our limited understanding of the diversity and function of such microbial ecosystems. In the present project, teams in the disciplines of geochemistry, soil microbiology, genomics and ecosystem processes are assembled to study the relationship between environmental change, land use changes, biodiversity, and functioning of forest ecosystems. The network has a strong focus on developing and applying biochemical and genotyping methodologies to address key scientific issues in soil microbial ecology. These include assessing the impact of environmental- and land use changes on microbial diversity and function and exploring the evolutionary and mechanistic links between biological diversity and ecosystem function. In the present study, we have shown that: (1) The native mixed forest showed the highest microbial diversity (2) The mono specific plantations of tree species (e.g., oak, beech, pine, spruce) strikingly alter genetic and functional diversities of soil bacterial and fungal species. (3) Bacterial denitrification rates were dramatically modified by the planted species. Only by taking into account the impact of forest management on below-ground microbial diversity can one hope to get a full ecosystem-based understanding, and this must be addressed via modelling in order to provide relevant and useful information for conservation and policy making. (author)

  12. Effects of declining oak vitality on ecosystem functions: Lessons from a Spanish oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Sánchez, Aida; Bareth, Georg; Bolten, Andreas; Linstädter, Anja

    2017-04-01

    Mediterranean oak woodlands have a great ecological and socio-economic importance. Today, these fragile ecosystems are facing unprecedented degradation threats from Novel Oak Diseases (NODs). Among NOD drivers, maladapted land management practices and climate change are most important. Although it is generally believed that NOD-related declines in tree vitality will have detrimental effects on ecosystem functions, little is known on the magnitude of change, and whether different functions are affected in a similar way. Here we analyzed effects of tree vitality on various ecosystem functions, comparing subcanopy and intercanopy habitats across two oak species (Quercus ilex and Q. suber) in a Spanish oak woodland. We asked how functions - including aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), taxonomic diversity, and litter decomposition rates - were affected by oak trees' size and vitality. We also combined measurements in the ecosystem function habitat index (MEFHI), a proxy of ecosystem multifunctionality. Field research was carried out in 2016 on a dehesa in southern Spain. We used a stratified random sampling to contrast trees of different species affiliation, size and vitality. Tree vitality was estimated as crown density (assessed via hemispherical photography), and as tree vigor, which combines the grade of canopy defoliation with proxies for tree size (dbh, height, crown height and crown radius). For each tree (n = 34), two plots (50 x 50 cm) were located; one in the subcanopy habitat, and the other in the intercanopy area beyond the tree crown's influence. On all 68 plots, moveable cages were placed during the main growth period (March to May) to estimate ANPP under grazed conditions. Litter decomposition rates were assessed via the tea bag index. ANPP and the biomass of grasses, forbs and legumes were recorded via destructive sampling. To take plots' highly variable environmental conditions into account, we recorded a suite of abiotic and biotic

  13. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest

    OpenAIRE

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-01-01

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicoch...

  14. Relative effects of precipitation variability and warming on grassland ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Fay

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation and temperature drive many aspects of terrestrial ecosystem function. Climate change scenarios predict increasing precipitation variability and temperature, and long term experiments are required to evaluate the ecosystem consequences of interannual climate variation, increased growing season (intra-annual rainfall variability, and warming. We present results from an experiment applying increased growing season rainfall variability and year round warming in native perennial grassland. During ten years of study, total growing season rainfall varied 2-fold, and we found ~50–200 % interannual variability in plant growth and aboveground net primary productivity, leaf carbon assimilation (ACO2, and soil CO2 efflux (JCO2 despite only ∼40 % variation in mean volumetric soil water content (0–15 cm, Θ15. Interannual variation in soil moisture was thus amplified in most measures of ecosystem response. Differences between years in Θ15 explained the greatest portion (14–52 % of the variation in these processes. Experimentally increased intra-annual rainfall variability doubled the amplitude of intra-annual soil moisture variation and reduced Θ15 by 15 %, causing most ecosystem processes to decrease 8–40 % in some or all years with increased rainfall variability compared to ambient rainfall timing, suggesting reduced ecosystem rainfall use efficiency. Warming treatments increased 5 cm soil temperature, particularly during spring, fall, and winter. Warming advanced canopy green up in spring, increased winter JCO2, and reduced summer JCO2 and forb ANPP, suggesting that the effects of warming differed in cooler versus warmer parts of the year. We conclude that (1 major ecosystem processes in this grassland may be substantially altered by predicted changes in interannual climate variability, intra

  15. Relative effects of precipitation variability and warming on tallgrass prairie ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Fay

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation and temperature drive many aspects of terrestrial ecosystem function. Climate change scenarios predict increasing precipitation variability and temperature, and long term experiments are required to evaluate the ecosystem consequences of interannual climate variation, increased growing season (intra-annual rainfall variability, and warming. We present results from an experiment applying increased growing season rainfall variability and year round warming in native tallgrass prairie. During ten years of study, total growing season rainfall varied 2-fold, and we found ~50–200% interannual variability in plant growth and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP, leaf carbon assimilation (ACO2, and soil CO2 efflux (JCO2 despite only ~40% variation in mean volumetric soil water content (0–15 cm, Θ15. Interannual variation in soil moisture was thus amplified in most measures of ecosystem response. Differences between years in Θ15 explained the greatest portion (14–52% of the variation in these processes. Experimentally increased intra-annual season rainfall variability doubled the amplitude of intra-annual soil moisture variation and reduced Θ15 by 15%, causing most ecosystem processes to decrease 8–40% in some or all years with increased rainfall variability compared to ambient rainfall timing, suggesting reduced ecosystem rainfall use efficiency. Warming treatments increased soil temperature at 5 cm depth, particularly during spring, fall, and winter. Warming advanced canopy green up in spring, increased winter JCO2, and reduced summer JCO2 and forb ANPP, suggesting that the effects of warming differed in cooler versus warmer parts of the year. We conclude that (1 major ecosystem processes in this grassland may be substantially altered by predicted changes in

  16. Fungal diversity and ecosystem function data from wine fermentation vats and microcosms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Primrose J. Boynton

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Grape must is the precursor to wine, and consists of grape juice and its resident microbial community. We used Illumina MiSeq® to track changes in must fungal community composition over time in winery vats and laboratory microcosms. We also measured glucose consumption and biomass in microcosms derived directly from must, and glucose consumption in artificially assembled microcosms. Functional impacts of individual must yeasts in artificially assembled communities were calculated using a "keystone index," developed for “Species richness influences wine ecosystem function through a dominant species” [1]. Community composition data and functional measurements are included in this article. DNA sequences were deposited in GenBank (GenBank: SRP073276. Discussion of must succession and ecosystem functioning in must are provided in [1].

  17. Changes in the location of biodiversity-ecosystem function hot spots across the seafloor landscape with increasing sediment nutrient loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Kraan, Casper; Lohrer, A M; Pilditch, Conrad A; Douglas, Emily

    2017-04-12

    Declining biodiversity and loss of ecosystem function threatens the ability of habitats to contribute ecosystem services. However, the form of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) and how relationships change with environmental change is poorly understood. This limits our ability to predict the consequences of biodiversity loss on ecosystem function, particularly in real-world marine ecosystems that are species rich, and where multiple ecosystem functions are represented by multiple indicators. We investigated spatial variation in BEF relationships across a 300 000 m(2) intertidal sandflat by nesting experimental manipulations of sediment pore water nitrogen concentration into sites with contrasting macrobenthic community composition. Our results highlight the significance of many different elements of biodiversity associated with environmental characteristics, community structure, functional diversity, ecological traits or particular species (ecosystem engineers) to important functions of coastal marine sediments (benthic oxygen consumption, ammonium pore water concentrations and flux across the sediment-water interface). Using the BEF relationships developed from our experiment, we demonstrate patchiness across a landscape in functional performance and the potential for changes in the location of functional hot and cold spots with increasing nutrient loading that have important implications for mapping and predicating change in functionality and the concomitant delivery of ecosystem services. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Balancing ecosystem function, services and disservices resulting from expanding goose populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buij, Ralph; Melman, Theodorus C P; Loonen, Maarten J J E; Fox, Anthony D

    2017-03-01

    As goose populations increase in abundance, their influence on ecological processes is increasing. We review the evidence for key ecological functions of wild goose populations in Eurasia and North America, including aquatic invertebrate and plant propagule transport, nutrient deposition in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the influence of goose populations on vegetation biomass, carbon storage and methane emission, species diversity and disease transmission. To estimate the implications of their growing abundance for humans, we explore how these functions contribute to the provision of ecosystem services and disservices. We assess the weight, extent and trends among such impacts, as well as the balance of their value to society. We examine key unresolved issues to enable a more balanced assessment of the economic costs or benefits of migratory geese along their flyways, including the spatial and temporal variation in services and their contrasting value to different user groups. Many ecological functions of geese are concluded to provide neither services nor disservices and, ecosystem disservices currently appear to outweigh services, although this varies between regions. We consider an improved quantification of ecosystem services and disservices, and how these vary along population flyways with respect to variation in valuing certain cultural services, and under different management scenarios aimed at reducing their disservices, essential for a more balanced management of goose populations.

  19. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-10-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures.

  20. Body condition, diet and ecosystem function of red deer (Cervus elaphus in a fenced nature reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla Fløjgaard

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Body condition, as a sign of animal welfare, is of management concern in rewilding projects where fenced animals are subject to winter starvation, which may conflict with animal welfare legislation. Investigating the relationship between body condition, age, sex, diet quality and diet composition is therefore relevant to increase understanding of herbivores' ecosystem function and to inform management. In this study, we focused on red deer, Cervus elaphus, in a fenced nature reserve in Denmark, where the deer are managed as ecosystem engineers to contribute to biodiversity conservation. We measured body mass and body size of 91 culled red deer, and determined diet composition using DNA metabarcoding and diet quality using fecal nitrogen on 246 fecal samples. We found that body condition was predicted by age and diet composition, but not diet quality. We also found that individuals of different body condition had different diets, i.e., the fecal samples of red deer in poorer body condition contained significantly more Ericaceae sequences than red deer in good body condition. This may imply that certain functions of red deer in ecosystems, such as regeneration of heather by grazing, may depend on variation in body condition within the population. Our findings call for the need to consider the consequences of management practices, including culling or supplemental feeding, on the outcomes of habitat restoration, and more broadly underline the importance of preserving the overall breath of herbivore ecosystem functions for effective biodiversity conservation.

  1. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; Alt, Fabian; Binkenstein, Julia; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Böhm, Stefan; Grassein, Fabrice; Hölzel, Norbert; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Morris, E Kathryn; Oelmann, Yvonne; Prati, Daniel; Renner, Swen C; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffen-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Fischer, Markus

    2015-08-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We also introduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according to realistic land-use objectives. We found that indirect land-use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodiversity loss and by changes to functional composition, were as strong as direct effects on average. Their strength varied with land-use objectives and regional context. Biodiversity loss explained indirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land-use objectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts, towards fast-growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherently unproductive grasslands.

  2. Exploring the Red Sea seasonal ecosystem functioning using a three-dimensional biophysical model

    KAUST Repository

    Triantafyllou, G.

    2014-03-01

    The Red Sea exhibits complex hydrodynamic and biogeochemical dynamics, which vary both in time and space. These dynamics have been explored through the development and application of a 3-D ecosystem model. The simulation system comprises two off-line coupled submodels: the MIT General Circulation Model (MITgcm) and the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), both adapted for the Red Sea. The results from an annual simulation under climatological forcing are presented. Simulation results are in good agreement with satellite and in situ data illustrating the role of the physical processes in determining the evolution and variability of the Red Sea ecosystem. The model was able to reproduce the main features of the Red Sea ecosystem functioning, including the exchange with the Gulf of Aden, which is a major driving mechanism for the whole Red Sea ecosystem and the winter overturning taking place in the north. Some model limitations, mainly related to the dynamics of the extended reef system located in the southern part of the Red Sea, which is not currently represented in the model, still need to be addressed.

  3. Consequences of tropical land use for multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Andrew D; Jochum, Malte; Mumme, Steffen; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Farajallah, Achmad; Widarto, Tri Heru; Brose, Ulrich

    2014-10-28

    Our knowledge about land-use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is mostly limited to single trophic levels, leaving us uncertain about whole-community biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. We analyse consequences of the globally important land-use transformation from tropical forests to oil palm plantations. Species diversity, density and biomass of invertebrate communities suffer at least 45% decreases from rainforest to oil palm. Combining metabolic and food-web theory, we calculate annual energy fluxes to model impacts of land-use intensification on multitrophic ecosystem functioning. We demonstrate a 51% reduction in energy fluxes from forest to oil palm communities. Species loss clearly explains variation in energy fluxes; however, this relationship depends on land-use systems and functional feeding guilds, whereby predators are the most heavily affected. Biodiversity decline from forest to oil palm is thus accompanied by even stronger reductions in functionality, threatening to severely limit the functional resilience of communities to cope with future global changes.

  4. Functional diversity of marine ecosystems after the Late Permian mass extinction event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, William J.; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2014-03-01

    The Late Permian mass extinction event about 252 million years ago was the most severe biotic crisis of the past 500 million years and occurred during an episode of global warming. The loss of around two-thirds of marine genera is thought to have had substantial ecological effects, but the overall impacts on the functioning of marine ecosystems and the pattern of marine recovery are uncertain. Here we analyse the fossil occurrences of all known benthic marine invertebrate genera from the Permian and Triassic periods, and assign each to a functional group based on their inferred lifestyle. We show that despite the selective extinction of 62-74% of these genera, all but one functional group persisted through the crisis, indicating that there was no significant loss of functional diversity at the global scale. In addition, only one new mode of life originated in the extinction aftermath. We suggest that Early Triassic marine ecosystems were not as ecologically depauperate as widely assumed. Functional diversity was, however, reduced in particular regions and habitats, such as tropical reefs; at these smaller scales, recovery varied spatially and temporally, probably driven by migration of surviving groups. We find that marine ecosystems did not return to their pre-extinction state, and by the Middle Triassic greater functional evenness is recorded, resulting from the radiation of previously subordinate groups such as motile, epifaunal grazers.

  5. Scaling up functional traits for ecosystem services with remote sensing: concepts and methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abelleira Martínez, Oscar J; Fremier, Alexander K; Günter, Sven; Ramos Bendaña, Zayra; Vierling, Lee; Galbraith, Sara M; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A; Ordoñez, Jenny C

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem service-based management requires an accurate understanding of how human modification influences ecosystem processes and these relationships are most accurate when based on functional traits. Although trait variation is typically sampled at local scales, remote sensing methods can facilitate scaling up trait variation to regional scales needed for ecosystem service management. We review concepts and methods for scaling up plant and animal functional traits from local to regional spatial scales with the goal of assessing impacts of human modification on ecosystem processes and services. We focus our objectives on considerations and approaches for (1) conducting local plot-level sampling of trait variation and (2) scaling up trait variation to regional spatial scales using remotely sensed data. We show that sampling methods for scaling up traits need to account for the modification of trait variation due to land cover change and species introductions. Sampling intraspecific variation, stratification by land cover type or landscape context, or inference of traits from published sources may be necessary depending on the traits of interest. Passive and active remote sensing are useful for mapping plant phenological, chemical, and structural traits. Combining these methods can significantly improve their capacity for mapping plant trait variation. These methods can also be used to map landscape and vegetation structure in order to infer animal trait variation. Due to high context dependency, relationships between trait variation and remotely sensed data are not directly transferable across regions. We end our review with a brief synthesis of issues to consider and outlook for the development of these approaches. Research that relates typical functional trait metrics, such as the community-weighted mean, with remote sensing data and that relates variation in traits that cannot be remotely sensed to other proxies is needed. Our review narrows the gap between

  6. Microbial Ecosystems, Protection of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Nelson, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Synonyms Conservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes; Preservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes Definition The use, management, and conservation of ecosystems in order to preserve microbial diversity and functioning.

  7. Microbial Ecosystems, Protection of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Nelson, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Synonyms Conservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes; Preservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes Definition The use, management, and conservation of ecosystems in order to preserve microbial diversity and functioning. Introdu

  8. Impacts of extreme hydro-meteorological conditions on ecosystem functioning and productivity patterns across Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huete, Alfredo; Ma, Xuanlong; Xie, Zunyi; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo

    2016-04-01

    As Earth's climate continues to change, the frequency and intensity of warm droughts, extreme precipitation patterns, and heat waves will alter in potentially different ways, ecosystem structure and functioning with major impacts on carbon and water balance, and food security. The extreme hydro-meteorological conditions that are presently impacting Australia approach those anticipated with future climate change and thus provide unique opportunities to study ecological sensitivity and functional responses and cross-biome productivity changes using contemporary, in-situ and satellite observational datasets. Here, we combined satellite vegetation index products from MODIS and AVHRR, total water storage (TWS) from the GRACE twin satellites, precipitation data and in-situ tower flux measurements to characterise ecosystem sensitivity, and analyse climate change impacts on ecosystem productivity and resilience. Recent advances in eddy covariance tower flux measurements and spatially contiguous remote sensing data provide innovative and promising capabilities to extend ecosystem functioning and productivity studies from local to regional and continental scales. In general, Australia exhibited ecosystem-level shifts in water demands with water availability across wet and dry years, and over all biomes analysed (arid grasslands to humid forests). In the drier years, higher ecosystem water use efficiencies (WUEe) enabled plants to maintain higher levels of productivity than would otherwise be expected for the lower amounts of rainfall and available water. Further, there were unique, functional class-specific coping strategies to drought and water availability. With prolonged warm drought conditions, biomes became increasingly water-limited and WUEe continued to increase until reaching a 'dry edge' threshold, a cross biome maximum WUEe, that cannot be sustained with further reductions in water availability and could potentially break down ecosystem resilience and induce

  9. Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Rebecca J

    2010-11-27

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also consider the interactions between species, how those species are organized in networks, and the function that those species perform. I discuss our current knowledge of network structure and ecosystem functioning, highlighting empirical examples of their response to anthropogenic impacts. I consider the future prospects for tropical forest biodiversity, focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in secondary forest. Finally, I propose directions for future research to help us better understand the effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity.

  10. Microbial functional diversity enhances predictive models linking environmental parameters to ecosystem properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jeff R; Welsh, Allana; Hallin, Sara

    2015-07-01

    Microorganisms drive biogeochemical processes, but linking these processes to real changes in microbial communities under field conditions is not trivial. Here, we present a model-based approach to estimate independent contributions of microbial community shifts to ecosystem properties. The approach was tested empirically, using denitrification potential as our model process, in a spatial survey of arable land encompassing a range of edaphic conditions and two agricultural production systems. Soil nitrate was the most important single predictor of denitrification potential (the change in Akaike's information criterion, corrected for sample size, ΔAIC(c) = 20.29); however, the inclusion of biotic variables (particularly the evenness and size of denitrifier communities [ΔAIC(c) = 12.02], and the abundance of one denitrifier genotype [ΔAIC(c) = 18.04]) had a substantial effect on model precision, comparable to the inclusion of abiotic variables (biotic R2 = 0.28, abiotic R2 = 0.50, biotic + abiotic R2 = 0.76). This approach provides a valuable tool for explicitly linking microbial communities to ecosystem functioning. By making this link, we have demonstrated that including aspects of microbial community structure and diversity in biogeochemical models can improve predictions of nutrient cycling in ecosystems and enhance our understanding of ecosystem functionality.

  11. Application of SWAT model for assessing effect on main functions of watershed ecosystem in Headwater, Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Sudjarit

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT is a well prediction accuracy of agricultural watershed ecosystem depends on how well model input spatial parameters describe the characteristics of watershed. The aim of this study was to assess the effects on watershed ecosystem main functions in terms of water and sediment yield. It was calibrated and validated for streamflow in the watershed to evaluate alternative management scenarios and estimate their effects on watershed functions. The goodness of the calibration results was assessed by the coefficient of determination (R2. Results indicated that the average annual rainfall and streamflow estimations were quite satisfactory. On a daily scale R2 was about 0.69 and a monthly scale was 0.97 which can be considered as acceptable. However, using for the case study of an intensive agricultural watershed ecosystem, it was shown that model versions are able to appropriately reproduce the water balance, nutrients balance, carbon balance, and energy balance. Crop yield, total streamflow and total suspended sediment (TSS losses calibration were performed using field survey information and data during 2008-2012. This study showed that SWAT model was able to apply for simulating and assessing streamflow, sediment, and nutrients successfully and can be used to study the effects of land use practices on water balance, nutrient balance, carbon balance and energy balance in the small scale of sub-watershed ecosystem as well.

  12. Changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function during the restoration of a tropical forest in south china

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Tropical forests continue to vanish rapidly,but few long-term studies have ever examined if and how the lost forests can be restored.Based on a 45-year restoration study in south China,we found that a tropical rain forest,once completely destroyed,could not recover naturally without deliberate restoration efforts.We identified two kinds of thresholds that must be overcome with human ameliorative measures before the ecosystem was able to recover.The first threshold was imposed primarily by extreme physical conditions such as exceedingly high surface temperature and impoverished soil,while the second was characterized by a critical level of biodiversity and a landscape context that accommodates dispersal and colonization processes.Our three treatment catchments(un-restored barren land,single-species plantation,and mixed-forest stand)exhibited dramatically different changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning over 4 decades.The mixed forest,having the highest level of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning,possesses several major properties of tropical rain forest.These findings may have important implications for the restoration of many severely degraded or lost tropical forest ecosystems.

  13. Changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function during the restoration of a tropical forest in south China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    REN Hai; LI ZhiAn; SHEN WeiJun; YU ZuoYue; PENG ShaoLin; LIAO ChongHui; DING MingMao; WU JianGuo

    2007-01-01

    Tropical forests continue to vanish rapidly, but few long-term studies have ever examined if and how the lost forests can be restored. Based on a 45-year restoration study in south China, we found that a tropical rain forest, once completely destroyed, could not recover naturally without deliberate restoration efforts. We identified two kinds of thresholds that must be overcome with human ameliorative measures before the ecosystem was able to recover. The first threshold was imposed primarily by extreme physical conditions such as exceedingly high surface temperature and impoverished soil, while the second was characterized by a critical level of biodiversity and a landscape context that accommodates dispersal and colonization processes. Our three treatment catchments (un-restored barren land, single-species plantation, and mixed-forest stand) exhibited dramatically different changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning over 4 decades. The mixed forest, having the highest level of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, possesses several major properties of tropical rain forest.These findings may have important implications for the restoration of many severely degraded or lost tropical forest ecosystems.

  14. Feedbacks Between Microenvironment and Plant Functional Type and Implications for CO2 Flux in Arctic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squires, E.; Rodenheizer, H.; Natali, S.; Mann, P.

    2013-12-01

    Future climate models predict a warmer, drier Arctic, with resultant shifts in vegetative composition and implications for ecosystem carbon budgets. The impact of vegetation change, however, may depend on which plant functional groups are favored in a warming Arctic. Physiological and functional differences between plant groups influence both the local microenvironment and, on a broader scale, whole-ecosystem CO2 flux. We examined the interactions between plants and their microenvironment, and analyzed the effect of these interactions on both soil microbial communities and CO2 flux across different functional groups. Physical and biological aspects of the microenvironment differed between plant functional groups. Lichen patches were characterized by deeper thaw depths, lower soil moisture, greater thermal conductivity, and a thinner organic layer than mosses. To better understand the development of these plant-environment interactions, we conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment, switching multiple lichen and moss patches. Temporal changes in environmental parameters at these sites will demonstrate how different plants modify their environment and will help identify associated implications for soil microbial communities and CO2 flux. We measured CO2 flux and used Biolog assays to examine soil microbial communities in undisturbed patches of mosses, lichens, and shrubs. Patches of birch shrubs had more negative net ecosystem exchange, signifying a carbon sink. Soils from alder shrubs and mosses hosted more active microbial communities than soils under birch shrubs and lichens. These results suggest a strong link between environment, plant functional type, and C cycling. Understanding how this relationship differs among plant functional types is an important part of predicting ecosystem carbon budgets as Arctic vegetation composition shifts in response to climate change.

  15. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  16. Realistic changes in seaweed biodiversity affect multiple ecosystem functions on a rocky shore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Williams, Susan L

    2013-09-01

    Given current threats to biodiversity, understanding the effects of diversity changes on the functions and services associated with intact ecosystems is of paramount importance. However, limited realism in most biodiversity studies makes it difficult to link the large and growing body of evidence for important functional consequences of biodiversity change to real-world losses of biodiversity. Here, we explored two methods of incorporating realism into biodiversity research: (1) the use of two-, five-, and eight-species assemblages that mimicked those that we observed in surveys of seaweed biodiversity patterns on a northern California (USA) rocky shore and the explicit comparison of those assemblages to random assemblages compiled from the same local species pool; and (2) the measurement of two fundamental ecosystem functions, nitrate uptake and photosynthesis, both of which contribute to growth of primary producers. Specifically, we measured nitrate uptake rates of seaweed assemblages as a function of initial nitrate concentrations and photosynthetic rates as a function of irradiance levels for both realistic and random assemblages of seaweeds. We only observed changes in ecosystem functioning along a richness gradient for realistic assemblages, and both maximum nitrate uptake rates (V(max)) and photosynthetic light use efficiency values (alpha(p) = P(max)/I(K)) were higher in realistic assemblages than in random assemblages. Furthermore, the parameter affected by changes in richness depended on the function being measured. Both V(max) and alpha(p) declined with increasing richness in nonrandom assemblages due to a combination of species identity effects (for V(max) and overyielding effects (for both V(max) and alpha(p)). In contrast, neither nitrate uptake efficiency values (alpha(N) = V(max)/K(s)), nor maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmax) changed along the gradient in seaweed species richness. Furthermore, overyielding was only evident in realistic assemblages

  17. Advancing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning science using high-density tree-based experiments over functional diversity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobner, Cornelia M; Paquette, Alain; Reich, Peter B; Gravel, Dominique; Messier, Christian

    2014-03-01

    Increasing concern about loss of biodiversity and its effects on ecosystem functioning has triggered a series of manipulative experiments worldwide, which have demonstrated a general trend for ecosystem functioning to increase with diversity. General mechanisms proposed to explain diversity effects include complementary resource use and invoke a key role for species' functional traits. The actual mechanisms by which complementary resource use occurs remain, however, poorly understood, as well as whether they apply to tree-dominated ecosystems. Here we present an experimental approach offering multiple innovative aspects to the field of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research. The International Diversity Experiment Network with Trees (IDENT) allows research to be conducted at several hierarchical levels within individuals, neighborhoods, and communities. The network investigates questions related to intraspecific trait variation, complementarity, and environmental stress. The goal of IDENT is to identify some of the mechanisms through which individuals and species interact to promote coexistence and the complementary use of resources. IDENT includes several implemented and planned sites in North America and Europe, and uses a replicated design of high-density tree plots of fixed species-richness levels varying in functional diversity (FD). The design reduces the space and time needed for trees to interact allowing a thorough set of mixtures varying over different diversity gradients (specific, functional, phylogenetic) and environmental conditions (e.g., water stress) to be tested in the field. The intention of this paper is to share the experience in designing FD-focused BEF experiments with trees, to favor collaborations and expand the network to different conditions.

  18. The role of ecosystem function and emergent relationships in the assessment of global marine ecosystem models: a case study with ERSEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. de Mora

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem models are often assessed using quantitative metrics of absolute ecosystem state, but these model-data comparisons are disproportionately vulnerable to discrepancies in the location of important circulation features. An alternative method is to demonstrate the models capacity to represent ecosystem function; the emergence of a coherent natural relationship in a simulation is a strong indication that the model has a appropriate representation of the ecosystem functions that lead to the emergent relationship. Furthermore, as emergent properties are large scale properties of the system, model validation with emergent properties is possible even when there is very little or no appropriate data for the region under study, or when the hydrodynamic component of the model differs significantly from that observed in nature at the same location and time. A selection of published meta-analyses are used to establish the validity of a complex marine ecosystem model and to demonstrate the power of validation with emergent properties. These relationships include the phytoplankton community structure, the ratio of carbon to chlorophyll in phytoplankton and particulate organic matter, the ratio of particulate organic carbon to particulate organic nitrogen and the stoichiometric balance of the ecosystem. These metrics can also inform aspects of the marine ecosystem model not available from traditional quantitative and qualitative methods. For instance, these emergent properties can be used to validate the design decisions of the model, such as the range of phytoplankton functional types and their behaviour, the stoichiometric flexibility with regards to each nutrient, and the choice of fixed or variable carbon to nitrogen ratios.

  19. The importance of biodiversity and dominance for multiple ecosystem functions in a human-modified tropical landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohbeck, Madelon; Bongers, Frans; Martinez-Ramos, Miguel; Poorter, Lourens

    2016-10-01

    Many studies suggest that biodiversity may be particularly important for ecosystem multifunctionality, because different species with different traits can contribute to different functions. Support, however, comes mostly from experimental studies conducted at small spatial scales in low-diversity systems. Here, we test whether different species contribute to different ecosystem functions that are important for carbon cycling in a high-diversity human-modified tropical forest landscape in Southern Mexico. We quantified aboveground standing biomass, primary productivity, litter production, and wood decomposition at the landscape level, and evaluated the extent to which tree species contribute to these ecosystem functions. We used simulations to tease apart the effects of species richness, species dominance and species functional traits on ecosystem functions. We found that dominance was more important than species traits in determining a species' contribution to ecosystem functions. As a consequence of the high dominance in human-modified landscapes, the same small subset of species mattered across different functions. In human-modified landscapes in the tropics, biodiversity may play a limited role for ecosystem multifunctionality due to the potentially large effect of species dominance on biogeochemical functions. However, given the spatial and temporal turnover in species dominance, biodiversity may be critically important for the maintenance and resilience of ecosystem functions.

  20. Protecting marine biodiversity to preserve ecosystem functioning: A tribute to Carlo Heip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Peter; Warwick, Richard; Aller, Robert; Arvanitidis, Christos; Hewitt, Judi; Stal, Lucas; Vincx, Magda

    2015-04-01

    Carlo Heip was the highly respected Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Sea Research until his untimely death on 15 February 2013. As a tribute, the Journal wished to organize a special volume in his honour, the scope of which would provide an overview of the current state of affairs and the future outlook of marine biodiversity, a field of research to which Carlo made a major contribution. The volume places special emphasis on how marine biodiversity links to ecosystem functioning. Authors were invited to address such issues as: Which ecosystem functions are vulnerable to loss of biodiversity and how is the relation causally structured? How do trophic and non-trophic networks in ecosystems function and how do they depend on biodiversity? What is the role of spatial structuring for biodiversity? What is the role of biodiversity in biogeochemical fluxes at different scales? What are the new frontiers in the study of marine biodiversity and how can functional aspects be integrated in them? In this approach we wanted to cover a broad range of organisms reflecting Carlo's interests, the whole marine area from coastal systems to the deep sea, and spatial scales from single locations to worldwide databases.

  1. Too big or too narrow? Disturbance characteristics determine the functional resilience in virtual microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Firle, Anouk-Letizia; Koehnke, Merlin; Banitz, Thomas; Frank, Karin

    2017-04-01

    In general ecology, there is an ongoing debate about the influence of fragmentation on extinction thresholds. Whether this influence is positive or negative depends on the considered type of fragmentation: whereas habitat fragmentation often has a negative influence on population extinction thresholds, spatially fragmented disturbances are observed to have mostly positive effects on the extinction probability. Besides preventing population extinction, in soil systems ecology we are interested in analyzing how ecosystem functions are maintained despite disturbance events. Here, we analyzed the influence of disturbance size and fragmentation on the functional resilience of a microbial soil ecosystem. As soil is a highly heterogeneous environment exposed to disturbances of different spatial configurations, the identification of critical disturbance characteristics for maintaining its functions is crucial. We used the numerical simulation model eColony considering bacterial growth, degradation and dispersal for analyzing the dynamic response of biodegradation examplary for an important microbial ecosystem service to disturbance events of different spatial configurations. We systematically varied the size and the degree of fragmentation of the affected area (disturbance pattern). We found that the influence of the disturbance size on functional recovery and biodegradation performance highly depends on the spatial fragmentation of the disturbance. Generally, biodegradation performance decreases with increasing clumpedness and increasing size of the affected area. After spatially correlated disturbance events, biodegradation performance decreases linear with increasing disturbance size. After spatially fragmented disturbance events, on the other hand, an increase in disturbance size has no influence on the biodegradation performance until a critical disturbance size is reached. Is the affected area bigger than this critical size, the functional performance decreases

  2. How strong is the effect of invasive ecosystem engineers on the distribution patterns of local species, the local and regional biodiversity and ecosystem functions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rilov Gil

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the most influential forms of biological invasions is that of invasive ecosystem engineers, species that affect other biota via alterations to the abiotic environment. Such species can have wide-reaching consequences because they alter ecosystems and essentially “change the rules of existence” for a broad suites of resident biota. They thus affect resources or stressors that affect other organisms.The objective of this systematic review will be to quantify the positive and negative impacts of invasive ecosystem engineers on ecosystem structure and functioning, and to identify factors that cause their effects to vary. Methods We will search a number of online databases to gather empirical evidence from the literature on the impacts of invasive ecosystem engineers on: (1 species richness and other univariate and multivariate measures of biodiversity; (2 productivity and abundance of algae, plants, and animals; and (3 biogeochemical cycling and other flows of energy and materials, including trophic interactions. Data from relevant studies will be extracted and used in a random effects meta-analysis in order to estimate the average effect size of invasive ecosystem engineers on each response of interest.

  3. Consequences of a simulated rapid ocean acidification event for benthic ecosystem processes and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Fiona; Widdicombe, Stephen; McNeill, C Louise; Solan, Martin

    2013-08-30

    Whilst the biological consequences of long-term, gradual changes in acidity associated with the oceanic uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are increasingly studied, the potential effects of rapid acidification associated with a failure of sub-seabed carbon storage infrastructure have received less attention. This study investigates the effects of severe short-term (8days) exposure to acidified seawater on infaunal mediation of ecosystem processes (bioirrigation and sediment particle redistribution) and functioning (nutrient concentrations). Following acidification, individuals of Amphiura filiformis exhibited emergent behaviour typical of a stress response, which resulted in altered bioturbation, but limited changes in nutrient cycling. Under acidified conditions, A. filiformis moved to shallower depths within the sediment and the variability in occupancy depth reduced considerably. This study indicated that rapid acidification events may not be lethal to benthic invertebrates, but may result in behavioural changes that could have longer-term implications for species survival, ecosystem structure and functioning.

  4. An ecohydraulic view on stream resilience and ecosystem functioning - what can science teach management?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battin, Tom J.; Dzubakova, Katharina; Boodoo, Kyle; Ulseth, Amber

    2017-04-01

    Streams and rivers are increasingly exposed to environmental change across various spatial and temporal scales. Consequently, ecosystem health and integrity are becoming compromised. Most management strategies designed to recover and maintain stream ecosystem health involve engineering measures of geomorphology. The success of such engineering measures relies on a thorough understanding of the underlying physical, chemical and biological process coupling across scales. First, we present results from experimental work unraveling the relevance of streambed heterogeneity for the resilience of phototrophic biofilms. This is critical as phototrophic biofilms are key for nutrient removal and hence for keeping the water clean. These biofilms are also the machinery of primary production and related carbon fluxes in stream ecosystems. Next, we show how climate change may affect primary production, including CO2, in streams and the networks they form. In fact, streams are now recognized as major sources of CO2 to the atmosphere and contributors to the global carbon cycle. Despite this, we do not yet understand how geomorphological features, themselves continuously reworked by hydrology and sedimentary dynamics, affect CO2 fluxes in streams. We show that gravel bars, clearly conspicuous geomorphological features, are hotspots of CO2 fluxes compared to the streamwater itself. This has major implications for carbon cycling and stream ecosystem functioning. Finally, we discuss what stream management could learn from ecohydraulic insights from young scientists doing excellent basic research.

  5. Ecosystem function in Appalachian headwater streams during an active invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M Northington

    Full Text Available Forested ecosystems in the southeastern United States are currently undergoing an invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA. Previous studies in this area have shown changes to forest structure, decreases in canopy cover, increases in organic matter, and changes to nutrient cycling on the forest floor and soil. Here, we were interested in how the effects of canopy loss and nutrient leakage from terrestrial areas would translate into functional changes in streams draining affected watersheds. We addressed these questions in HWA-infested watersheds at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in North Carolina. Specifically, we measured stream metabolism (gross primary production and ecosystem respiration and nitrogen uptake from 2008 to 2011 in five streams across the Coweeta basin. Over the course of our study, we found no change to in-stream nutrient concentrations. While canopy cover decreased annually in these watersheds, this change in light penetration did not translate to higher rates of in-stream primary production during the summer months of our study. We found a trend towards greater heterotrophy within our watersheds, where in-stream respiration accounted for a much larger component of net ecosystem production than GPP. Additionally, increases in rhododendron cover may counteract changes in light and nutrient availability that occurred with hemlock loss. The variability in our metabolic and uptake parameters suggests an actively-infested ecosystem in transition between steady states.

  6. Environmental Drivers of Benthic Flux Variation and Ecosystem Functioning in Salish Sea and Northeast Pacific Sediments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rénald Belley

    Full Text Available The upwelling of deep waters from the oxygen minimum zone in the Northeast Pacific from the continental slope to the shelf and into the Salish Sea during spring and summer offers a unique opportunity to study ecosystem functioning in the form of benthic fluxes along natural gradients. Using the ROV ROPOS we collected sediment cores from 10 sites in May and July 2011, and September 2013 to perform shipboard incubations and flux measurements. Specifically, we measured benthic fluxes of oxygen and nutrients to evaluate potential environmental drivers of benthic flux variation and ecosystem functioning along natural gradients of temperature and bottom water dissolved oxygen concentrations. The range of temperature and dissolved oxygen encountered across our study sites allowed us to apply a suite of multivariate analyses rarely used in flux studies to identify bottom water temperature as the primary environmental driver of benthic flux variation and organic matter remineralization. Redundancy analysis revealed that bottom water characteristics (temperature and dissolved oxygen, quality of organic matter (chl a:phaeo and C:N ratios and sediment characteristics (mean grain size and porosity explained 51.5% of benthic flux variation. Multivariate analyses identified significant spatial and temporal variation in benthic fluxes, demonstrating key differences between the Northeast Pacific and Salish Sea. Moreover, Northeast Pacific slope fluxes were generally lower than shelf fluxes. Spatial and temporal variation in benthic fluxes in the Salish Sea were driven primarily by differences in temperature and quality of organic matter on the seafloor following phytoplankton blooms. These results demonstrate the utility of multivariate approaches in differentiating among potential drivers of seafloor ecosystem functioning, and indicate that current and future predictive models of organic matter remineralization and ecosystem functioning of soft-muddy shelf and

  7. Above- and Below-ground Competitive Advantages

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    'Sustainable Agriculture Centre for Research, Extension and Development ... The Village Market, Nairobi, Kenya and 2Tea Research Foundation, Karicho, Kenya. ... for intercropping legumes other than bean, particularly green gram (Vigna ...

  8. The influence of water stress on biomass and N accumulation, N partitioning between above and below ground parts and on N rhizodeposition during reproductive growth of pea (Pisum sativum L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mahieu, S.; Germont, Florent; Aveline, A.

    2009-01-01

    are estimated. Moreover, grain legume crops are largely influenced by water stress while the world area exposed to drought periods may increase in the coming years due to global warming. This work aims to quantify biomass and N accumulation, N partitioning between above and below ground parts and N...... of flowering (59 days after sowing, DAS 59), at the end of the drought period applied during pod filling (DAS 74) and at maturity (DAS 101). Water stress strongly affected pea dry weight and N accumulation. In both stressed treatments, nodule biomass and N content were reduced by about 65% in the absence...... rhizodeposition by a pea (Pisum sativum L.) when influenced by water stress. In a controlled environment, pea plants were exposed to a severe drought or not stressed, either at flowering or during pod filling. N rhizodeposition was measured using the split root method and plants were harvested at the end...

  9. Leaf and fine root carbon stocks and turnover are coupled across Arctic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloan, Victoria L; Fletcher, Benjamin J; Press, Malcolm C; Williams, Mathew; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2013-12-01

    Estimates of vegetation carbon pools and their turnover rates are central to understanding and modelling ecosystem responses to climate change and their feedbacks to climate. In the Arctic, a region containing globally important stores of soil carbon, and where the most rapid climate change is expected over the coming century, plant communities have on average sixfold more biomass below ground than above ground, but knowledge of the root carbon pool sizes and turnover rates is limited. Here, we show that across eight plant communities, there is a significant positive relationship between leaf and fine root turnover rates (r(2) = 0.68, P dynamics supports the theory of a whole-plant economics spectrum. We also show that the size of the fine root carbon pool initially increases linearly with increasing LAI, and then levels off at LAI = 1 m(2) m(-2), suggesting a functional balance between investment in leaves and fine roots at the whole community scale. These ecological relationships not only demonstrate close links between above and below-ground plant carbon dynamics but also allow plant carbon pool sizes and their turnover rates to be predicted from the single readily quantifiable (and remotely sensed) parameter of LAI, including the possibility of estimating root data from satellites.

  10. Habitat structure, trophic structure and ecosystem function: interactive effects in a bromeliad-insect community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Diane S

    2006-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that ecosystem functions are affected by either trophic structure or habitat structure, there has been little consideration of their combined effects. Such interactions may be particularly important in systems where habitat and trophic structure covary. I use the aquatic insects in bromeliads to examine the combined effects of trophic structure and habitat structure on a key ecosystem function: detrital processing. In Costa Rican bromeliads, trophic structure naturally covaries with both habitat complexity and habitat size, precluding any observational analysis of interactions between factors. I therefore designed mesocosms that allowed each factor to be manipulated separately. Increases in mesocosm complexity reduced predator (damselfly larva) efficiency, resulting in high detritivore abundances, indirectly increasing detrital processing rates. However, increased complexity also directly reduced the per capita foraging efficiency of the detritivores. Over short time periods, these trends effectively cancelled each other out in terms of detrital processing. Over longer time periods, more complex patterns emerged. Increases in mesocosm size also reduced both predator efficiency and detritivore efficiency, leading to no net effect on detrital processing. In many systems, ecosystem functions may be impacted by strong interactions between trophic structure and habitat structure, cautioning against examining either effect in isolation.

  11. The role of below-ground competition during early stages of secondary succession: the case of 3-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings in an abandoned grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picon-Cochard, Catherine; Coll, Lluis; Balandier, Philippe

    2006-06-01

    In abandoned or extensively managed grasslands, the mechanisms involved in pioneer tree species success are not fully explained. Resource competition among plants and microclimate modifications have been emphasised as possible mechanisms to explain variation of survivorship and growth. In this study, we evaluated a number of mechanisms that may lead to successful survival and growth of seedlings of a pioneer tree species (Pinus sylvestris) in a grass-dominated grassland. Three-year-old Scots pines were planted in an extensively managed grassland of the French Massif Central and for 2 years were either maintained in bare soil or subjected to aerial and below-ground interactions induced by grass vegetation. Soil temperatures were slightly higher in bare soil than under the grass vegetation, but not to an extent explaining pine growth differences. The tall grass canopy reduced light transmission by 77% at ground level and by 20% in the upper part of Scots pine seedlings. Grass vegetation presence also significantly decreased soil volumetric water content (Hv) and soil nitrate in spring and in summer. In these conditions, the average tree height was reduced by 5% compared to trees grown in bare soil, and plant biomass was reduced by 85%. Scots pine intrinsic water-use efficiency (A/g), measured by leaf gas-exchange, increased when Hv decreased owing to a rapid decline of stomatal conductance (g). This result was also confirmed by delta 13C analyses of needles. A summer 15N labelling of seedlings and grass vegetation confirmed the higher NO3 capture capacity of grass vegetation in comparison with Scots pine seedlings. Our results provide evidence that the seedlings' success was linked to tolerance of below-ground resource depletion (particularly water) induced by grass vegetation based on morphological and physiological plasticity as well as to resource conservation.

  12. Effects of biodiversity strengthen over time as ecosystem functioning declines at low and increases at high biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, S.; Ebeling, A.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Mommer, L.; Ravenek, Janneke M.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Abstract. Human-caused declines in biodiversity have stimulated intensive research on the consequences
    of biodiversity loss for ecosystem services and policy initiatives to preserve the functioning of
    ecosystems. Short-term biodiversity experiments have documented positive effects of plant s

  13. Effects of biodiversity strengthen over time as ecosystem functioning declines at low and increases at high biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, S.; Ebeling, A.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Mommer, L.; Ravenek, Janneke M.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Human-caused declines in biodiversity have stimulated intensive research on the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem services and policy initiatives to preserve the functioning of ecosystems. Short-term biodiversity experiments have documented positive effects of plant species richness on

  14. Tradeoffs between income, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning during tropical rainforest conversion and agroforestry intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kessler, Michael; Barkmann, Jan; Bos, Merijn M; Buchori, Damayanti; Erasmi, Stefan; Faust, Heiko; Gerold, Gerhard; Glenk, Klaus; Gradstein, S Robbert; Guhardja, Edi; Harteveld, Marieke; Hertel, Dietrich; Höhn, Patrick; Kappas, Martin; Köhler, Stefan; Leuschner, Christoph; Maertens, Miet; Marggraf, Rainer; Migge-Kleian, Sonja; Mogea, Johanis; Pitopang, Ramadhaniel; Schaefer, Matthias; Schwarze, Stefan; Sporn, Simone G; Steingrebe, Andrea; Tjitrosoedirdjo, Sri S; Tjitrosoemito, Soekisman; Twele, André; Weber, Robert; Woltmann, Lars; Zeller, Manfred; Tscharntke, Teja

    2007-03-20

    Losses of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning due to rainforest destruction and agricultural intensification are prime concerns for science and society alike. Potentially, ecosystems show nonlinear responses to land-use intensification that would open management options with limited ecological losses but satisfying economic gains. However, multidisciplinary studies to quantify ecological losses and socioeconomic tradeoffs under different management options are rare. Here, we evaluate opposing land use strategies in cacao agroforestry in Sulawesi, Indonesia, by using data on species richness of nine plant and animal taxa, six related ecosystem functions, and on socioeconomic drivers of agroforestry expansion. Expansion of cacao cultivation by 230% in the last two decades was triggered not only by economic market mechanisms, but also by rarely considered cultural factors. Transformation from near-primary forest to agroforestry had little effect on overall species richness, but reduced plant biomass and carbon storage by approximately 75% and species richness of forest-using species by approximately 60%. In contrast, increased land use intensity in cacao agroforestry, coupled with a reduction in shade tree cover from 80% to 40%, caused only minor quantitative changes in biodiversity and maintained high levels of ecosystem functioning while doubling farmers' net income. However, unshaded systems further increased income by approximately 40%, implying that current economic incentives and cultural preferences for new intensification practices put shaded systems at risk. We conclude that low-shade agroforestry provides the best available compromise between economic forces and ecological needs. Certification schemes for shade-grown crops may provide a market-based mechanism to slow down current intensification trends.

  15. A future for soil ecology? Connecting the system levels: moving from genomes to ecosystems; opening lecture to the XIII ICSZ "Biodiversity of soil organisms and ecosystem functioning"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eijsacker, H.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    As an introduction to the XIII ICSZ "Biodiversity of soil organisms and ecosystem functioning" the question is raised what contribution soil ecology has made to general ecology. Although the appearance of soil ecological papers in general ecological journals is limited, soil ecologists have had a ma

  16. [Water and soil conservation function of typical plantation forest ecosystems in semi-arid region of Western Liaoning Province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ping; Guo, Fang; Luo, Yue-Chu; Wei, Jing; Sun, Xiao-Wei; Wu, Gang

    2007-12-01

    From the aspects of surface runoff and soil erosion, this paper quantitatively studied the water and soil conservation function of five plantation forest ecosystems in semi-arid region of Western Liaoning Province. The results showed that various types of test plantation forest ecosystems were all able to reduce surface runoff and soil erosion effectively. In June - September, the monthly mean surface runoff coefficient of Pinus tabulaeformis forest ecosystem, P. tabulaeformis - Hippophae rhamnoides forest ecosystem, H. rhamnoides forest ecosystem, P. simonii forest ecosystem, and P. simonii - H. rhamnoides forest ecosystem was 10.1%, 6.5%, 2.3%, 8.6% and 5.3% of that of barren hill, respectively, and the soil erosion quantity was 2.65%, 0.96%, 0.15%, 2.32% and 0.69% of that of barren hill, respectively. Among the five forest ecosystems, H. rhamnoides forest ecosystem had the least surface runoff and soil erosion, being the best in water and soil conservation function.

  17. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-05

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide.

  18. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turetsky, M.; Bond-Lamberty, B.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Talbot, J. J.; Frolking, S.; McGuire, A.D.; Tuittila, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries – permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography – and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes.

  19. Global biogeographical pattern of ecosystem functional types derived from earth observation data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivits, Eva; Cherlet, Michael; Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F

    2013-01-01

    The present study classified global Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs) derived from seasonal vegetation dynamics of the GIMMS3g NDVI time-series. Rotated Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was run on the derived phenological and productivity variables, which selected the Standing Biomass (approxim......The present study classified global Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs) derived from seasonal vegetation dynamics of the GIMMS3g NDVI time-series. Rotated Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was run on the derived phenological and productivity variables, which selected the Standing Biomass......% of the variation in global ecosystems. EFTs were created based on Isodata classification of the spatial patterns of the Principal Components and were interpreted via gradient analysis using the selected remote sensing variables and climatic constraints (radiation, temperature, and water) of vegetation growth....... The association of the EFTs with existing climate and land cover classifications was demonstrated via Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). The ordination indicated good description of the global environmental gradient by the EFTs, supporting the understanding of phenological and productivity dynamics...

  20. Testing the field of dreams hypothesis: functional responses to urbanization and restoration in stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudduth, Elizabeth B; Hassett, Brooke A; Cada, Peter; Bernhardt, Emily S

    2011-09-01

    As catchments become increasingly urban, the streams that drain them become increasingly degraded. Urban streams are typically characterized by high-magnitude storm flows, homogeneous habitats, disconnected riparian zones, and elevated nitrogen concentrations. To reverse the degradation of urban water quality, watershed managers and regulators are increasingly turning to stream restoration approaches. By reshaping the channel and reconnecting the surface waters with their riparian zone, practitioners intend to enhance the natural nutrient retention capacity of the restored stream ecosystem. Despite the exponential growth in stream restoration projects and expenditures, there has been no evaluation to date of the efficacy of urban stream restoration projects in enhancing nitrogen retention or in altering the underlying ecosystem metabolism that controls instream nitrogen consumption. In this study, we compared ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake kinetics in four stream restoration projects within urban watersheds to ecosystem functions measured in four unrestored urban stream segments and four streams draining minimally impacted forested watersheds in central North Carolina, U.S.A. All 12 sites were surveyed in June through August of 2006 and again in January through March of 2007. We anticipated that urban streams would have enhanced rates of ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake relative to forested streams due to the increases in nutrient loads and temperature associated with urbanization, and we predicted that restored streams would have further enhanced rates for these ecosystem functions by virtue of their increased habitat heterogeneity and water residence times. Contrary to our predictions we found that stream metabolism did not differ between stream types in either season and that nitrate uptake kinetics were not different between stream types in the winter. During the summer, restored stream reaches had substantially higher rates of nitrate uptake

  1. Ecological functions of ciliated protozoa in marine ecosystem:effects on accumulation of ambient ammonia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xu Henglong; Song Weibo; Zhu Mingzhuang; Wang Mei; Ma Honggang; Hu Xiaozhong

    2005-01-01

    Effects of ciliated protozoa, Euplotes vannus and Uronema marinum, on accumulation of ammonia in marine waters are detected using experimental ecological method, in order to reveal the contributions and functions of ciliates to the marine ecosystem. During experiments, the concentrations of ammonia-N, and the densities of ciliates and bacteria are measured. The results reveal that ciliates can change the procedure of ammonia accumulation by their grazing activity, and maintain ambient ammonium at low levels through interrupting the stationary phase of bacteria population growth and enhancing their growth and metabolism. The present work confirms that ciliates, as bacteria-predators, play positive roles in maintaining and improving water quality in marine ecosystems, especially in intensive mariculture biotopes.

  2. Potential impacts of climate change on biogeochemical functioning of Cerrado ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, M M C; Nardoto, G B; Pinto, A S; Resende, J C F; Takahashi, F S C; Vieira, L C G

    2012-08-01

    The Cerrado Domain comprises one of the most diverse savannas in the world and is undergoing a rapid loss of habitats due to changes in fire regimes and intense conversion of native areas to agriculture. We reviewed data on the biogeochemical functioning of Cerrado ecosystems and evaluated the potential impacts of regional climate changes. Variation in temperature extremes and in total amount of rainfall and altitude throughout the Cerrado determines marked differences in the composition of species. Cerrado ecosystems are controlled by interactions between water and nutrient availability. In general, nutrient cycles (N, P and base cations) are very conservative, while litter, microbial and plant biomass are important stocks. In terms of C cycling, root systems and especially the soil organic matter are the most important stocks. Typical cerrado ecosystems function as C sinks on an annual basis, although they work as source of C to the atmosphere close to the end of the dry season. Fire is an important factor altering stocks and fluxes of C and nutrients. Predicted changes in temperature, amount and distribution of precipitation vary according to Cerrado sub-regions with more marked changes in the northeastern part of the domain. Higher temperatures, decreases in rainfall with increase in length of the dry season could shift net ecosystem exchanges from C sink to source of C and might intensify burning, reducing nutrient stocks. Interactions between the heterogeneity in the composition and abundance of biological communities throughout the Cerrado Domain and current and future changes in land use make it difficult to project the impacts of future climate scenarios at different temporal and spatial scales and new modeling approaches are needed.

  3. Potential impacts of climate change on biogeochemical functioning of Cerrado ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MMC Bustamante

    Full Text Available The Cerrado Domain comprises one of the most diverse savannas in the world and is undergoing a rapid loss of habitats due to changes in fire regimes and intense conversion of native areas to agriculture. We reviewed data on the biogeochemical functioning of Cerrado ecosystems and evaluated the potential impacts of regional climate changes. Variation in temperature extremes and in total amount of rainfall and altitude throughout the Cerrado determines marked differences in the composition of species. Cerrado ecosystems are controlled by interactions between water and nutrient availability. In general, nutrient cycles (N, P and base cations are very conservative, while litter, microbial and plant biomass are important stocks. In terms of C cycling, root systems and especially the soil organic matter are the most important stocks. Typical cerrado ecosystems function as C sinks on an annual basis, although they work as source of C to the atmosphere close to the end of the dry season. Fire is an important factor altering stocks and fluxes of C and nutrients. Predicted changes in temperature, amount and distribution of precipitation vary according to Cerrado sub-regions with more marked changes in the northeastern part of the domain. Higher temperatures, decreases in rainfall with increase in length of the dry season could shift net ecosystem exchanges from C sink to source of C and might intensify burning, reducing nutrient stocks. Interactions between the heterogeneity in the composition and abundance of biological communities throughout the Cerrado Domain and current and future changes in land use make it difficult to project the impacts of future climate scenarios at different temporal and spatial scales and new modeling approaches are needed.

  4. Faunal impact on vegetation structure and ecosystem function in mangrove forests: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannicci, Stefano; Burrows, Damien; Fratini, Sara; Smith, Thomas J.; Offenberg, Joachim; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid

    2008-01-01

    The last 20 years witnessed a real paradigm shift concerning the impact of biotic factors on ecosystem functions as well as on vegetation structure of mangrove forests. Before this small scientific revolution took place, structural aspects of mangrove forests were viewed to be the result of abiotic processes acting from the bottom-up, while, at ecosystem level, the outwelling hypothesis stated that mangroves primary production was removed via tidal action and carried to adjacent nearshore ecosystems where it fuelled detrital based food-webs. The sesarmid crabs were the first macrofaunal taxon to be considered a main actor in mangrove structuring processes, thanks to a number of studies carried out in the Indo-Pacific forests in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Following these classical papers, a number of studies on Sesarmidae feeding and burrowing ecology were carried out, which leave no doubts about the great importance of these herbivorous crabs in structuring and functioning Old world ecosystems. Although Sesarmidae are still considered very important in shaping mangrove structure and functioning, recent literature emphasizes the significance of other invertebrates. The Ocypodidae have now been shown to have the same role as Sesarmidae in terms of retention of forest products and organic matter processing in New world mangroves. In both New and Old world mangroves, crabs process large amounts of algal primary production, contribute consistently to retention of mangrove production and as ecosystem engineers, change particle size distribution and enhance soil aeration. Our understanding of the strong impact of gastropods, by means of high intake rates of mangrove products and differential consumption of propagules, has changed only recently. The role of insects must also be stressed. It is now clear that older techniques used to assess herbivory rates by insects strongly underestimate their impact, both in case of leaf eating and wood boring species and that

  5. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

  6. Net ecosystem production in a Little Ice Age moraine: the role of plant functional traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varolo, E.; Zanotelli, D.; Tagliavini, M.; Zerbe, S.; Montagnani, L.

    2015-07-01

    the carbon cycle. Therefore, to analyze NEE of any glacier forefield ecosystem, different functional traits of the vegetation communities must be taken into consideration. Moreover, to assess the net ecosystem carbon balance it is necessary to consider the lateral fluxes of carbon via animal consumption, winter respiration, and in a broader temporal perspective, the different stages characterizing the primary succession.

  7. Net ecosystem production in a Little Ice Age moraine: the role of plant functional traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Varolo

    2015-07-01

    determine large differences in the carbon cycle. Therefore, to analyze NEE of any glacier forefield ecosystem, different functional traits of the vegetation communities must be taken into consideration. Moreover, to assess the net ecosystem carbon balance it is necessary to consider the lateral fluxes of carbon via animal consumption, winter respiration, and in a broader temporal perspective, the different stages characterizing the primary succession.

  8. Species interactions regulate the collapse of biodiversity and ecosystem function in tropical forest fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bregman, Tom P; Lees, Alexander C; Seddon, Nathalie; Macgregor, Hannah E A; Darski, Bianca; Aleixo, Alexandre; Bonsall, Michael B; Tobias, Joseph A

    2015-10-01

    Competitive interactions among species with similar ecological niches are known to regulate the assembly of biological communities. However, it is not clear whether such forms of competition can predict the collapse of communities and associated shifts in ecosystem function in the face of environmental change. Here, we use phylogenetic and functional trait data to test whether communities of two ecologically important guilds of tropical birds (frugivores and insectivores) are structured by species interactions in a fragmented Amazonian forest landscape. In both guilds, we found that forest patch size, quality, and degree of isolation influence the phylogenetic and functional trait structure of communities, with small, degraded, or isolated forest patches having an increased signature of competition (i.e., phylogenetic and functional trait overdispersion in relation to null models). These results suggest that local extinctions in the context of fragmentation are nonrandom, with a consistent bias toward more densely occupied regions of niche space. We conclude that the loss of biodiversity in fragmented landscapes is mediated by niche-based competitive interactions among species, with potentially far-reaching implications for key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal and plant damage by phytophagous insects.

  9. Can We Monitor Ecosystem Function Using Keeling Plot Analyses of Nocturnal Cold-Air Drainage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, B. J.; Ocheltree, T.; Pypker, T.; Unsworth, M. H.; Mix, A. C.; William, R.

    2003-12-01

    The carbon isotope signature of ecosystem respiration, δ 13CR, as measured by the Keeling Plot approach, has been related to short-term variations in weather and ecosystem function in several recent studies. In order to obtain an adequate range of [CO2] and to sample a consistent vegetation type, investigators typically select sampling locations in relatively flat terrain and uniform canopy cover, but these are unusual conditions for many forested ecosystems. In a pilot study, we are collecting samples for Keeling Plot analyses in cold-air drainage systems in small (60-100 ha), deeply-incised watersheds, one covered with old-growth (ca 450-years-old) Douglas-fir/hemlock forest and one covered with young (ca 45-years-old) Douglas-fir forest. We found that the nightly range of [CO2] was typically 380-460 ppm, sufficient to develop good estimates of δ 13CR. At any point in time there was little variation in [CO2] with height through the canopy (0.5-30m), so the required range was obtained by sampling over several hours. There was no indication that samples taken from different heights or at different times of night represented sources with different isotopic signatures. The isotopic signature of respired CO2 in the older watershed averaged about 1 per mil greater than that of the young watershed, and δ 13CR of both locations correlated with modeled stomatal conductance 6 days prior to flask sampling.

  10. Global alteration of ocean ecosystem functioning due to increasing human CO2 emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Connell, Sean D

    2015-10-27

    Rising anthropogenic CO2 emissions are anticipated to drive change to ocean ecosystems, but a conceptualization of biological change derived from quantitative analyses is lacking. Derived from multiple ecosystems and latitudes, our metaanalysis of 632 published experiments quantified the direction and magnitude of ecological change resulting from ocean acidification and warming to conceptualize broadly based change. Primary production by temperate noncalcifying plankton increases with elevated temperature and CO2, whereas tropical plankton decreases productivity because of acidification. Temperature increases consumption by and metabolic rates of herbivores, but this response does not translate into greater secondary production, which instead decreases with acidification in calcifying and noncalcifying species. This effect creates a mismatch with carnivores whose metabolic and foraging costs increase with temperature. Species diversity and abundances of tropical as well as temperate species decline with acidification, with shifts favoring novel community compositions dominated by noncalcifiers and microorganisms. Both warming and acidification instigate reduced calcification in tropical and temperate reef-building species. Acidification leads to a decline in dimethylsulfide production by ocean plankton, which as a climate gas, contributes to cloud formation and maintenance of the Earth's heat budget. Analysis of responses in short- and long-term experiments and of studies at natural CO2 vents reveals little evidence of acclimation to acidification or temperature changes, except for microbes. This conceptualization of change across whole communities and their trophic linkages forecast a reduction in diversity and abundances of various key species that underpin current functioning of marine ecosystems.

  11. Ecosystem services: developing sustainable management paradigms based on wetland functions and processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Smith, Loren M.; Conner, William H.; Burkett, Virginia R.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Hester, Mark W.; Zheng, Haochi

    2013-01-01

    In the late nineteenth century and twentieth century, there was considerable interest and activity to develop the United States for agricultural, mining, and many other purposes to improve the quality of human life standards and prosperity. Most of the work to support this development was focused along disciplinary lines with little attention focused on ecosystem service trade-offs or synergisms, especially those that transcended boundaries of scientific disciplines and specific interest groups. Concurrently, human population size has increased substantially and its use of ecosystem services has increased more than five-fold over just the past century. Consequently, the contemporary landscape has been highly modified for human use, leaving behind a fragmented landscape where basic ecosystem functions and processes have been broadly altered. Over this period, climate change also interacted with other anthropogenic effects, resulting in modern environmental problems having a complexity that is without historical precedent. The challenge before the scientific community is to develop new science paradigms that integrate relevant scientific disciplines to properly frame and evaluate modern environmental problems in a systems-type approach to better inform the decision-making process. Wetland science is a relatively new discipline that grew out of the conservation movement of the early twentieth century. In the United States, most of the conservation attention in the earlier days was on wildlife, but a growing human awareness of the importance of the environment led to the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969. Concurrently, there was a broadening interest in conservation science, and the scientific study of wetlands gradually gained acceptance as a scientific discipline. Pioneering wetland scientists became formally organized when they formed The Society of Wetland Scientists in 1980 and established a publication outlet to share wetland research

  12. Fish foraging patterns, vulnerability to fishing, and implications for the management of ecosystem function across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Kirsty L; Graham, Nicholas A J; Bellwood, David R

    2013-10-01

    The function of species has been recognized as critical for the maintenance of ecosystems within desired states. However, there are still considerable gaps in our knowledge of interspecific differences in the functional roles of organisms, particularly with regard to the spatial scales over which functional impact is exerted. This has implications for the delivery of function and the maintenance of ecosystem processes. In this study we assessed the allometric relationship between foraging movements and fish body length at three sites, for 20 species of herbivorous reef fishes within four different functional groups: browsers, farmers, grazer/ detritivores, and scraper/excavators. The relationship between vulnerability of species to fishing and their scale of foraging was also examined. We present empirical evidence of the strong, positive, log-linear relationship between the scale of foraging movement and fish body length. This relationship was consistent among sites and between the two different movement metrics used. Phylogeny did not affect these results. Functional groups foraged over contrasting ranges of spatial scales; for example, scraper/excavators performed their role over a wide range of scales, whereas browsers were represented by few species and operated over a narrow range of scales. Overfishing is likely not only to remove species operating at large scales, but also to remove the browser group as a whole. Large fishes typically have a significant role in removing algae on reefs, and browsers are key to controlling macroalgae and reversing shifts to macroalgal-dominated states. This vulnerability to exploitation has serious consequences for the ability of fish assemblages to deliver their functional role in the face of anthropogenic impacts. However, identification of the scales at which herbivorous fish assemblages are susceptible to fishing provides managers with critical knowledge to design management strategies to support coral-dominated reefs by

  13. Structure, functioning, and cumulative stressors of Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francisco

    2015-06-01

    Environmental stressors, such as climate fluctuations, and anthropogenic stressors, such as fishing, are of major concern for the management of deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-water habitats are limited by primary productivity and are mainly dependent on the vertical input of organic matter from the surface. Global change over the latest decades is imparting variations in primary productivity levels across oceans, and thus it has an impact on the amount of organic matter landing on the deep seafloor. In addition, anthropogenic impacts are now reaching the deep ocean. The Mediterranean Sea, the largest enclosed basin on the planet, is not an exception. However, ecosystem-level studies of response to varying food input and anthropogenic stressors on deep-sea ecosystems are still scant. We present here a comparative ecological network analysis of three food webs of the deep Mediterranean Sea, with contrasting trophic structure. After modelling the flows of these food webs with the Ecopath with Ecosim approach, we compared indicators of network structure and functioning. We then developed temporal dynamic simulations varying the organic matter input to evaluate its potential effect. Results show that, following the west-to-east gradient in the Mediterranean Sea of marine snow input, organic matter recycling increases, net production decreases to negative values and trophic organisation is overall reduced. The levels of food-web activity followed the gradient of organic matter availability at the seafloor, confirming that deep-water ecosystems directly depend on marine snow and are therefore influenced by variations of energy input, such as climate-driven changes. In addition, simulations of varying marine snow arrival at the seafloor, combined with the hypothesis of a possible fishery expansion on the lower continental slope in the western basin, evidence that the trawling fishery may pose an impact which could be an order of magnitude stronger than a climate

  14. Direct and indirect effects of invasive plants on soil chemistry and ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidenhamer, Jeffrey D; Callaway, Ragan M

    2010-01-01

    Invasive plants have a multitude of impacts on plant communities through their direct and indirect effects on soil chemistry and ecosystem function. For example, plants modify the soil environment through root exudates that affect soil structure, and mobilize and/or chelate nutrients. The long-term impact of litter and root exudates can modify soil nutrient pools, and there is evidence that invasive plant species may alter nutrient cycles differently from native species. The effects of plants on ecosystem biogeochemistry may be caused by differences in leaf tissue nutrient stoichiometry or secondary metabolites, although evidence for the importance of allelochemicals in driving these processes is lacking. Some invasive species may gain a competitive advantage through the release of compounds or combinations of compounds that are unique to the invaded community—the “novel weapons hypothesis.” Invasive plants also can exert profound impact on plant communities indirectly through the herbicides used to control them. Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, often is used to help control invasive weeds, and generally is considered to have minimal environmental impacts. Most studies show little to no effect of glyphosate and other herbicides on soil microbial communities. However, herbicide applications can reduce or promote rhizobium nodulation and mycorrhiza formation. Herbicide drift can affect the growth of non-target plants, and glyphosate and other herbicides can impact significantly the secondary chemistry of plants at sublethal doses. In summary, the literature indicates that invasive species can alter the biogeochemistry of ecosystems, that secondary metabolites released by invasive species may play important roles in soil chemistry as well as plant-plant and plant-microbe interactions, and that the herbicides used to control invasive species can impact plant chemistry and ecosystems in ways that have yet to be fully explored.

  15. Proposed criteria and indicators of ecosystem function for reclaimed oil sands sites : final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Welham, C.; Robinson, N. [FOR rx Consulting Inc., Belcarra, BC (Canada)

    2006-10-13

    Sustainable forest management programs develop criteria and indicator (C and I) methodologies in order to demonstrate sustainability as well as to identify problems so that remedial actions can be employed. A critical feature of forestry-based C and I is the assumption that most of the basic ecosystem functions and services are in place at the time management activities are implemented. Application of the C and I approach to open-pit mining is often problematic, as the basic attributes of an ecosystem have been largely removed during mining operations. This report described a comprehensive list of indicators of forest ecosystem function along with a description of how they might be used to assess reclamation success in the oil sands region. Indicators were compiled from a workshop conducted at the University of British Columbia. The list was constrained by the fact that reclaimed oil sands sites are large and spatially heterogenous. The spatial and temporal nature of the data meant that sampling protocols were also necessary. Robust indicators that were economically expensive were favoured. Indicators were grouped under the following 3 criteria: (1) that the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil are restored to target levels; (2) that the structure, composition and vigor of vegetation cover are restored to target levels; and (3) that critical ecosystem processes are restored to target levels. Criteria were selected to reflect the core attributes necessary for assessing development of a reclaimed ecosystem. Indicators included nitrogen-fixing symbionts; soil fauna; soil nutrients; mycorrhizae; snags; invasive species; wetland input water chemistry; foliar nutrition; nutrient budgets; and plant carbon allocation. It was noted that reference sites should be equivalent ecologically to their reclaimed analogue and located close to the restoration project, so that success in oil sands remediation projects can be evaluated by the rate at which a given

  16. Disentangling species and functional group richness effects on soil N cycling in a grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiaorong; Reich, Peter B; Hobbie, Sarah E; Kazanski, Clare E

    2017-11-01

    Species richness (SR) and functional group richness (FGR) are often confounded in both observational and experimental field studies of biodiversity and ecosystem function. This precludes discernment of their separate influences on ecosystem processes, including nitrogen (N) cycling, and how those influences might be moderated by global change factors. In a 17-year field study of grassland species, we used two full factorial experiments to independently vary SR (one or four species, with FGR = 1) and FGR (1-4 groups, with SR = 4) to assess SR and FGR effects on ecosystem N cycling and its response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and N addition. We hypothesized that increased plant diversity (either SR or FGR) and elevated CO2 would enhance plant N pools because of greater plant N uptake, but decrease soil N cycling rates because of greater soil carbon inputs and microbial N immobilization. In partial support of these hypotheses, increasing SR or FGR (holding the other constant) enhanced total plant N pools and decreased soil nitrate pools, largely through higher root biomass, and increasing FGR strongly reduced mineralization rates, because of lower root N concentrations. In contrast, increasing SR (holding FGR constant and despite increasing total plant C and N pools) did not alter root N concentrations or net N mineralization rates. Elevated CO2 had minimal effects on plant and soil N metrics and their responses to plant diversity, whereas enriched N increased plant and soil N pools, but not soil N fluxes. These results show that functional diversity had additional effects on both plant N pools and rates of soil N cycling that were independent of those of species richness. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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

  18. Can ecosystem-scale translocations mitigate the impact of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity? Promises, pitfalls, and possibilities [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Boyer

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Because ecological interactions are the first components of the ecosystem to be impacted by climate change, future forms of threatened-species and ecosystem management should aim at conserving complete, functioning communities rather than single charismatic species. A possible way forward is the deployment of ecosystem-scale translocation (EST, where above- and below-ground elements of a functioning terrestrial ecosystem (including vegetation and topsoil are carefully collected and moved together. Small-scale attempts at such practice have been made for the purpose of ecological restoration. By moving larger subsets of functioning ecosystems from climatically unstable regions to more stable ones, EST could provide a practical means to conserve mature and complex ecosystems threatened by climate change. However, there are a number of challenges associated with EST in the context of climate change mitigation, in particular the choice of donor and receptor sites. With the aim of fostering discussion and debate about the EST concept, we  1 outline the possible promises and pitfalls of EST in mitigating the impact of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity and 2 use a GIS-based approach to illustrate how  potential source and receptor sites, where EST could be trialed and evaluated globally, could be identified.

  19. Testing functional trait-based mechanisms underpinning plant responses to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning in grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. X. Zheng

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, ecological strategies, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have examined how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and functional group identity. We test functional trait-based mechanisms underlying the responses of different life forms to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning along a soil moisture gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. A principal component analysis (PCA based on 9 traits × 276 species matrix showed that the plant size spectrum (i.e., individual biomass, leaf economics spectrum (leaf N content and leaf density, and light competition spectrum (height and stem-leaf biomass ratio distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The three life forms exhibited differential strategies as indicated by trait responses to grazing. The annuals and biennials adopted grazing-tolerant strategies associated with high growth rate, reflected by high leaf N content and specific leaf area. The perennial grasses exhibited grazing-tolerant strategies associated with great regrowth capacity and high palatability scores, whereas perennial forbs showed grazing-avoidant strategies with short stature and low palatability scores. In addition, the dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance–resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive–conservative strategies in resource utilization. Grazing increased the relative abundance of perennial forbs with low palatability in the wet and fertile meadow, but it promoted perennial grasses with high palatability in the dry and infertile typical steppe. Our findings suggest that the effects of grazing on plant functional traits are dependent on both the abiotic (e.g., soil moisture and biotic (e.g., plant functional group identity and composition factors. Grazing-induced shifts in functional group composition are largely dependent

  20. Testing functional trait-based mechanisms underpinning plant responses to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning in grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, S. X.; Li, W. H.; Lan, Z. C.; Ren, H. Y.; Wang, K. B.; Bai, Y. F.

    2014-09-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, ecological strategies, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have examined how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and functional group identity. We test functional trait-based mechanisms underlying the responses of different life forms to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning along a soil moisture gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. A principal component analysis (PCA) based on 9 traits × 276 species matrix showed that the plant size spectrum (i.e., individual biomass), leaf economics spectrum (leaf N content and leaf density), and light competition spectrum (height and stem-leaf biomass ratio) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The three life forms exhibited differential strategies as indicated by trait responses to grazing. The annuals and biennials adopted grazing-tolerant strategies associated with high growth rate, reflected by high leaf N content and specific leaf area. The perennial grasses exhibited grazing-tolerant strategies associated with great regrowth capacity and high palatability scores, whereas perennial forbs showed grazing-avoidant strategies with short stature and low palatability scores. In addition, the dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization. Grazing increased the relative abundance of perennial forbs with low palatability in the wet and fertile meadow, but it promoted perennial grasses with high palatability in the dry and infertile typical steppe. Our findings suggest that the effects of grazing on plant functional traits are dependent on both the abiotic (e.g., soil moisture) and biotic (e.g., plant functional group identity and composition) factors. Grazing-induced shifts in functional group composition are largely dependent on resource

  1. Do biotic interactions modulate ecosystem functioning along stress gradients? Insights from semi-arid plant and biological soil crust communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Escolar, Cristina; Puche, María D.; Soliveres, Santiago; Maltez-Mouro, Sara; García-Palacios, Pablo; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Martínez, Isabel; Escudero, Adrián

    2010-01-01

    Climate change will exacerbate the degree of abiotic stress experienced by semi-arid ecosystems. While abiotic stress profoundly affects biotic interactions, their potential role as modulators of ecosystem responses to climate change is largely unknown. Using plants and biological soil crusts, we tested the relative importance of facilitative–competitive interactions and other community attributes (cover, species richness and species evenness) as drivers of ecosystem functioning along stress gradients in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. Biotic interactions shifted from facilitation to competition along stress gradients driven by water availability and temperature. These changes were, however, dependent on the spatial scale and the community considered. We found little evidence to suggest that biotic interactions are a major direct influence upon indicators of ecosystem functioning (soil respiration, organic carbon, water-holding capacity, compaction and the activity of enzymes related to the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles) along stress gradients. However, attributes such as cover and species richness showed a direct effect on ecosystem functioning. Our results do not agree with predictions emphasizing that the importance of plant–plant interactions will be increased under climate change in dry environments, and indicate that reductions in the cover of plant and biological soil crust communities will negatively impact ecosystems under future climatic conditions. PMID:20513714

  2. Influence of benthic macrofauna community shifts on ecosystem functioning in shallow estuaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik eKristensen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We identify how ecosystem functioning in shallow estuaries is affected by shifts in benthic fauna communities. We use the shallow estuary, Odense Fjord, Denmark, as a case study to test our hypotheses that (1 shifts in benthic fauna composition and species functional traits affect biogeochemical cycling with cascading effects on ecological functioning, which may (2 modulate pelagic primary productivity with feedbacks to the benthic system. Odense Fjord is suitable because it experienced dramatic shifts in benthic fauna community structure from 1998 to 2008. We focused on infaunal species with emphasis on three dominating burrow-dwelling polychaetes: the native Nereis (Hediste diversicolor and Arenicola marina, and the invasive Marenzelleria viridis. The impact of functional traits in the form of particle reworking and ventilation on biogeochemical cycles, i.e. sediment metabolism and nutrient dynamics, was determined from literature data. Historical records of summer nutrient levels in the water column of the inner Odense Fjord show elevated concentrations of NH4+ and NO3- (DIN during the years 2004-2006, exactly when the N. diversicolor population declined and A. marina and M. viridis populations expanded dramatically. In support of our first hypothesis, we show that excess NH4+ delivery from the benthic system during the A. marina and M. viridis expansion period enriched the overlying water in DIN and stimulated phytoplankton concentration. The altered benthic-pelagic coupling and stimulated pelagic production may, in support of our second hypothesis, have feedback to the benthic system by changing the deposition of organic material. We therefore advice to identify the exact functional traits of the species involved in a community shift before studying its impact on ecosystem functioning. We also suggest studying benthic community shifts in shallow environments to obtain knowledge about the drivers and controls before exploring deep

  3. Changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning of a large, shallow Chinese lake during the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kong, Xiangzhen; He, Wei; Liu, Wenxiu; Yang, Bin; Xu, Fuliu; Jørgensen, Sven Erik; Mooij, W.M.

    2016-01-01

    Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning in a ce

  4. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turetsky, Merritt; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Talbot, Julie; Frolking, Steve; McGuire, A. David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2012-08-24

    Mosses in boreal and arctic ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, represent an important component of plant diversity, and strongly influence the cycling of water, nutrients, energy and carbon. Here we use a literature review and synthesis as well as model simulations to explore the role of moss in ecological stability and resilience. Our literature review of moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories in boreal and arctic regions. Our modeling simulations suggest that loss of moss within northern plant communities will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. While two models (HPM and STM-TEM) showed a significant effect of moss removal, results from the Biome-BGC and DVM-TEM models suggest that northern, moss-rich ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. We highlight a number of issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, phenotypical plasticity in traits, and whether the effects of moss on ecosystem processes scale with local abundance. We also suggest that as more models explore issues related to ecological resilience, issues related to both parameter and conceptual uncertainty should be addressed: are the models more limited by uncertainty in the parameterization of the processes included or by what is not represented in the model at all? It seems clear from our review that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species.

  5. Synergy of extreme drought and shrub invasion reduce ecosystem functioning and resilience in water-limited climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, Maria C; Lecomte, Xavier; David, Teresa S; Pinto, Joaquim G; Bugalho, Miguel N; Werner, Christiane

    2015-01-01

    Extreme drought events and plant invasions are major drivers of global change that can critically affect ecosystem functioning and alter ecosystem-atmosphere exchange. Invaders are expanding worldwide and extreme drought events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. However, very little is known on how these drivers may interact to affect the functioning and resilience of ecosystems to extreme events. Using a manipulative shrub removal experiment and the co-occurrence of an extreme drought event (2011/2012) in a Mediterranean woodland, we show that native shrub invasion and extreme drought synergistically reduced ecosystem transpiration and the resilience of key-stone oak tree species. Ecosystem transpiration was dominated by the water use of the invasive shrub Cistus ladanifer, which further increased after the extreme drought event. Meanwhile, the transpiration of key-stone tree species decreased, indicating a competitive advantage in favour of the invader. Our results suggest that in Mediterranean-type climates the invasion of water spending species and projected recurrent extreme drought events may synergistically cause critical drought tolerance thresholds of key-stone tree species to be surpassed, corroborating observed higher tree mortality in the invaded ecosystems. Ultimately, this may shift seasonally water limited ecosystems into less desirable alternative states dominated by water spending invasive shrubs.

  6. Synergy of extreme drought and shrub invasion reduce ecosystem functioning and resilience in water-limited climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, Maria C.; Lecomte, Xavier; David, Teresa S.; Pinto, Joaquim G.; Bugalho, Miguel N.; Werner, Christiane

    2015-10-01

    Extreme drought events and plant invasions are major drivers of global change that can critically affect ecosystem functioning and alter ecosystem-atmosphere exchange. Invaders are expanding worldwide and extreme drought events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. However, very little is known on how these drivers may interact to affect the functioning and resilience of ecosystems to extreme events. Using a manipulative shrub removal experiment and the co-occurrence of an extreme drought event (2011/2012) in a Mediterranean woodland, we show that native shrub invasion and extreme drought synergistically reduced ecosystem transpiration and the resilience of key-stone oak tree species. Ecosystem transpiration was dominated by the water use of the invasive shrub Cistus ladanifer, which further increased after the extreme drought event. Meanwhile, the transpiration of key-stone tree species decreased, indicating a competitive advantage in favour of the invader. Our results suggest that in Mediterranean-type climates the invasion of water spending species and projected recurrent extreme drought events may synergistically cause critical drought tolerance thresholds of key-stone tree species to be surpassed, corroborating observed higher tree mortality in the invaded ecosystems. Ultimately, this may shift seasonally water limited ecosystems into less desirable alternative states dominated by water spending invasive shrubs.

  7. Responses in Arctic marine carbon cycle processes: conceptual scenarios and implications for ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen S. Findlay

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic Ocean is one of the fastest changing oceans, plays an important role in global carbon cycling and yet is a particularly challenging ocean to study. Hence, observations tend to be relatively sparse in both space and time. How the Arctic functions, geophysically, but also ecologically, can have significant consequences for the internal cycling of carbon, and subsequently influence carbon export, atmospheric CO2 uptake and food chain productivity. Here we assess the major carbon pools and associated processes, specifically summarizing the current knowledge of each of these processes in terms of data availability and ranges of rates and values for four geophysical Arctic Ocean domains originally described by Carmack & Wassmann (2006: inflow shelves, which are Pacific-influenced and Atlantic-influenced; interior, river-influenced shelves; and central basins. We attempt to bring together knowledge of the carbon cycle with the ecosystem within each of these different geophysical settings, in order to provide specialist information in a holistic context. We assess the current state of models and how they can be improved and/or used to provide assessments of the current and future functioning when observational data are limited or sparse. In doing so, we highlight potential links in the physical oceanographic regime, primary production and the flow of carbon within the ecosystem that will change in the future. Finally, we are able to highlight priority areas for research, taking a holistic pan-Arctic approach.

  8. Biodiversity and ecosystem function responses to disturbance and fertilization in a 35-years' vineyard experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pingel, Martin; Uzman, Deniz; Reineke, Annette; Leyer, Ilona

    2016-04-01

    Soil management techniques such as tillage, herbicide weeding, fertilization, and cover crop management have strong effects on soil biota in vineyards such as macro- and mesofauna, microflora and plants. Soil biota, in turn, is a major driver of soil processes and ecosystem functions, however, large gaps in knowledge regarding interactions between management practices, biodiversity and ecosystem functions exist. In this context, we analyzed the effects of nitrogen fertilization and ground cover management on mesofauna and microflora diversity, soil organic matter and nutrients as well as decomposition rates in an experimental vineyard in Germany where specific management practices are constantly applied for more than 35 years. Plots in this vineyard (Rheingau region near Wiesbaden, Germany) are treated with different amounts of nitrogen fertilizer (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 kg N/ha/year) in four replicates in combination with two types of inter-rows with different ground cover management (tillage vs. permanent cover). Mesofauna diversity (using Berlese funnels), Microflora (using a metagenomics approach) as well as soil variables (standard procedures) were analyzed by sampling and analyzing soil cores (0-10 cm) in the year 2015. In order to assess the decomposition rate, the Teabag Index method was applied. First results showed that the ground cover management had strong effects on biodiversity, decomposition rate, soil organic matter and nutrients rather than fertilization.

  9. Ecosystem function and service quantification and valuation in a conventional winter wheat production system with DAISY model in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghaley, Bhim Bahadur; Porter, John Roy

    2014-01-01

    With inevitable link between ecosystem function (EF), ecosystem services (ES) and agricultural productivity, there is a need for quantification and valuation of EF and ES in agro-ecosystems. Management practices have significant effects on soil organic matter (SOM), affecting productivity, EF......$ 177 and US$ 2542ha-1year-1 respectively equivalent to US$ 96 and US$1370 millionyear-1 respectively in Denmark. The EF and ES quantities and values were positively correlated with SOM content. Hence, the quantification and valuation of EF and ES provides an empirical tool for optimising the EF and ES...

  10. Predicting richness effects on ecosystem function in natural communities: insights from high-elevation streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dangles, Olivier; Crespo-Pérez, Verónica; Andino, Patricio; Espinosa, Rodrigo; Calvez, Roger; Jacobsen, Dean

    2011-03-01

    . Despite the increased complexity of experimental and theoretical studies on the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) relationship, a major challenge is to demonstrate whether the observed importance of biodiversity in controlled experimental systems also persists in nature. Due to their structural simplicity and their low levels of human impacts, extreme species-poor ecosystems may provide new insights into B-EF relationships in natural systems. We address this issue using shredder invertebrate communities and organic matter decomposition rates in 24 high-altitude (3200-3900 m) Neotropical streams as a study model. We first assessed the effects of stream characteristics and shredder diversity and abundance on organic matter decomposition rates in coarse- and fine-mesh bags. We found the interaction term shredder richness x shredder abundance had the most significant impact on decomposition rates in the field, although water discharge may also play a role locally. We also examined the relative contribution of the three most abundant shredders on decomposition rates by manipulating shredder richness and community composition in a field experiment. Transgressive overyielding was detected among the three shredder species, indicating complementary resource use and/or facilitation. By integrating survey and experimental data in surface response analyses we found that observed B-EF patterns fit those predicted by a linear model that described litter decomposition rates as a function of increasing shredder richness and the relative abundance of the most efficient shredders. Finally, the validity of our approach was tested in a broader context by using two independent but comparable data sets from 49 French and Swedish streams showing more complex shredder community structure. Results revealed that richness and identity effects on decomposition rates were lost with increasing shredder community complexity. Our approach of combining experimental and empirical data

  11. Mapping biological soil crusts for understanding their functional relevance in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, E.; Escribano, P.; Chamizo, S.; Canton, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are considered a key element in the functioning of arid and semiarid ecosystems as they modify numerous soil surface properties involved in primary ecosystem processes such as hydrological and erosion processes, and nutrient cycling.. It is known that arid and semiarid ecosystems are conformed by a complex matrix of vegetated and open ground patches usually covered by BSCs. Geomorphic evolution of drylands depends on the individual response of patches and also on the interactions and feedback-processes among patches. These interactions are controlled by patch spatial distribution. On this account, to understand the role of BSCs in the system, it is necessary to introduce their effect at coarser scales, and to have accurate and spatially continuous information of BSC distribution. The inherent complexity and the spatial heterogeneity of drylands make field survey methods very limited for BSC mapping. Images reported by remote sensors are presented as a powerful tool for mapping BSC spatial distribution. Remote sensors provide synoptic and spatially continuous information of the territory. Different indices for mapping BSCs have been published. These indices are based on distinctive spectral characteristic of BSCs and differ in nature and objectives. The aim of this work was to analyze the feasibility of some of these indices in a semiarid area characterized by sparse vegetation cover usually mixed at subpixel level with elements characterized by very similar spectral response (bare soil, BSCs and dry vegetation). These indices were: i) CRCIA, index applied for mapping BSCs from hyperspectral images. ii) CI, index developed for mapping of cyanobacteria-dominated BSCs and iii) BSCI, index for mapping of lichen-dominated BSCs. The multispectral indices (CI and BSCI) classified as BSCs 50% of the pixels dominated by BSCs. The CRCIA hyperspectral index, showed better results than those obtained with multispectral indices. This index

  12. Ammonium as a driving force of plant diversity and ecosystem functioning: observations based on 5 years' manipulation of N dose and form in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Teresa; Clemente, Adelaide; Martins-Loução, Maria Amélia; Sheppard, Lucy; Bobbink, Roland; Cruz, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced nitrogen (N) availability is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystem functions. However, in very nutrient-poor ecosystems, enhanced N input can, in the short-term, promote diversity. Mediterranean Basin ecosystems are nutrient-limited biodiversity hotspots, but no information is available on their medium- or long-term responses to enhanced N input. Since 2007, we have been manipulating the form and dose of available N in a Mediterranean Basin maquis in south-western Europe that has low ambient N deposition (plant composition and diversity (richness and evenness) and some ecosystem characteristics (soil extractable N and organic matter, aboveground biomass and % of bare soil) were assessed. Plant species richness increased with enhanced N input and was more related to ammonium than to nitrate. Exposure to 40 kg NH4+-N ha(-1) yr(-1) (alone and with nitrate) enhanced plant richness, but did not increase aboveground biomass; soil extractable N even increased under 80 kg NH4NO3-N ha(-1) yr(-1) and the % of bare soil increased under 40 kg NH4+-N ha(-1) yr(-1). The treatment containing less ammonium, 40 kg NH4NO3-N ha(-1) yr(-1), did not enhance plant diversity but promoted aboveground biomass and reduced the % of bare soil. Data suggest that enhanced NHy availability affects the structure of the maquis, which may promote soil erosion and N leakage, whereas enhanced NOx availability leads to biomass accumulation which may increase the fire risk. These observations are relevant for land use management in biodiverse and fragmented ecosystems such as the maquis, especially in conservation areas.

  13. The importance of rare species: a trait-based assessment of rare species contributions to functional diversity and possible ecosystem function in tall-grass prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Meha; Flynn, Dan Fb; Prager, Case M; Hart, Georgia M; Devan, Caroline M; Ahrestani, Farshid S; Palmer, Matthew I; Bunker, Daniel E; Knops, Johannes Mh; Jouseau, Claire F; Naeem, Shahid

    2014-01-01

    The majority of species in ecosystems are rare, but the ecosystem consequences of losing rare species are poorly known. To understand how rare species may influence ecosystem functioning, this study quantifies the contribution of species based on their relative level of rarity to community functional diversity using a trait-based approach. Given that rarity can be defined in several different ways, we use four different definitions of rarity: abundance (mean and maximum), geographic range, and habitat specificity. We find that rarer species contribute to functional diversity when rarity is defined by maximum abundance, geographic range, and habitat specificity. However, rarer species are functionally redundant when rarity is defined by mean abundance. Furthermore, when using abundance-weighted analyses, we find that rare species typically contribute significantly less to functional diversity than common species due to their low abundances. These results suggest that rare species have the potential to play an important role in ecosystem functioning, either by offering novel contributions to functional diversity or via functional redundancy depending on how rare species are defined. Yet, these contributions are likely to be greatest if the abundance of rare species increases due to environmental change. We argue that given the paucity of data on rare species, understanding the contribution of rare species to community functional diversity is an important first step to understanding the potential role of rare species in ecosystem functioning.

  14. Agricultural Best Management Practice Abundance and Location does not Influence Stream Ecosystem Function or Water Quality in the Summer Season

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Best management practices (BMPs) are tools commonly used to mitigate negative impacts of agriculture on water quality; however, the relationship between BMPs and aquatic ecological function is unknown. Our research goal was to determine the association between both stream ecosystem metabolism and water quality, and the abundance and location of four different BMPs in agricultural catchments. Dissolved oxygen was measured over a two-week period in mid-June and used to estimate ecosystem metabo...

  15. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, 1-day CO2 test, microbial activity, mine restoration, soil health, ecosystem services. Introduction Semi-arid and arid environments are highly vulnerable to land degradation and their restoration has commonly showed low rates of success (James et al., 2013). A systematic knowledge of soil functionality is critical to successful restoration of degraded ecosystems since approximately 80% of ecosystem services can be connected to soil functions. The assessment of soil functionality generally involves the evaluation of soil properties and processes as they relate to the ability of soil to function effectively as a component of a healthy ecosystem (Costantini et al., 2015) Using soil quality indicators may be a valuable approach to assess functionality of topsoil and novel substrates used in restoration (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014; 2015). A key soil chemical indicator is soil organic C, that has been widely used as an attribute of soil quality because of the many functions that it provides and supports (Willaarts et al., 2015). However, microbial indicators can be more sensitive to disturbances and could be a valuable addition in soil assessment studies in restoration programs. Here, we propose a set of soil quality indicators to assess the soil status in restored soils (topsoil and waste material) of semi-arid environments. The study was conducted during March 2015 in the Pilbara biogeographical region (northwestern Australia) at an iron ore mine site rehabilitated in 2011. Methods Soil samples were collected from two sub-areas with different soil materials used as growth media: topsoil retrieved from nearby stockpiles and a lateritic waste material utilised for its erosive stability and physical competence. An undisturbed natural shrub-grassland ecosystem dominated by Triodia spp. and Acacia spp. representative of the restored area was selected as the analogue reference site. Soil physicochemical analysis were undertaken according to standard methods

  16. Sedimentary environment influences the effect of an infaunal suspension feeding bivalve on estuarine ecosystem function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah F E Jones

    Full Text Available The suspension feeding bivalve Austrovenus stutchburyi is a key species on intertidal sandflats in New Zealand, affecting the appearance and functioning of these systems, but is susceptible to several environmental stressors including sedimentation. Previous studies into the effect of this species on ecosystem function have been restricted in space and time, limiting our ability to infer the effect of habitat change on functioning. We examined the effect of Austrovenus on benthic primary production and nutrient dynamics at two sites, one sandy, the other composed of muddy-sand to determine whether sedimentary environment alters this key species' role. At each site we established large (16 m(2 plots of two types, Austrovenus addition and removal. In winter and summer we deployed light and dark benthic chambers to quantify oxygen and nutrient fluxes and measured sediment denitrification enzyme activity to assess denitrification potential. Rates of gross primary production (GPP and ammonium uptake were significantly increased when Austrovenus was added, relative to removed, at the sandy site (GPP, 1.5 times greater in winter and summer; ammonium uptake, 8 times greater in summer; 3-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA, p<0.05. Denitrification potential was also elevated in Austrovenus addition plots at the sandy site in summer (by 1.6 times, p<0.1. In contrast, there was no effect of Austrovenus treatment on any of these variables at the muddy-sand site, and overall rates tended to be lower at the muddy-sand site, relative to the sandy site (e.g. GPP was 2.1 to 3.4 times lower in winter and summer, respectively, p<0.001. Our results suggest that the positive effects of Austrovenus on system productivity and denitrification potential is limited at a muddy-sand site compared to a sandy site, and reveal the importance of considering sedimentary environment when examining the effect of key species on ecosystem function.

  17. Characterization of a rarely studied ecosystem: Initial insights into the functioning of Antarctic supraglacial streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaros, C.; SanClements, M.; McKnight, D. M.; Foreman, C. M.; Tedesco, M.; Smith, H.; Wei-Haas, M.; Chin, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Glacial ecosystems are biogeochemically active environments that influence downstream ecosystem function, yet there are few studies describing supraglacial stream systems, especially in Antarctica. During the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 austral summers we sampled the supraglacial Cotton Glacier Stream at regular intervals to characterize one of these rarely studied systems. Throughout the 2009-2010 summer we focused on stream chemistry and dissolved organic matter (DOM) characterization. During the 2010-2011 season we established a meteorological station on the glacial surface to conduct measurements of the physical environment. Meteorological data revealed that during summer, temperatures do not frequently exceed zero Celsius for extended periods of time. Pressure transducers and time lapse cameras were installed to capture changes in water depth and revealed a system capable of extreme change on the time-scale of hours. While both temperature and solar radiation appeared to exert significant influence on the daily flow regime, they were not the dominant factor in driving extreme changes in hydrology during the summer. Our observations indicate that extreme hydrologic events (i.e. rapid flooding and draining), were largely controlled by downstream moulins which dictate the drainage of Cotton Stream. This suggests the flow regimes of large Antarctic supraglacial streams may be controlled by a complex relationship between geomorphology and meteorology; resulting in a decoupling of flow, temperature and solar radiation. Chemical analysis and DOM characterization indicate that the dynamic nature of Cotton Stream, paired with very dilute nutrient concentrations, results in an ecosystem with little to no legacy of microbial communities and DOM from year to year.

  18. Atmo-metabolomics: a new measurement approach for investigating aerosol composition and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivas-Ubach, A.; Liu, Y.; Sardans, J.; Tfaily, M. M.; Kim, Y. M.; Bourrianne, E.; Paša-Tolić, L.; Penuelas, J.; Guenther, A. B.

    2016-12-01

    Aerosols play crucial roles in the processes controlling the composition of the atmosphere and the functioning of ecosystems. Gaining a deeper understanding of the chemical composition of aerosols is one of the major challenges for atmospheric and climate scientists and is beginning to be recognized as important for ecological research. Better comprehension of aerosol chemistry can potentially provide valuable information on atmospheric processes such as oxidation of organics and the production of cloud condensation nuclei as well as provide an approximation of the general status of an ecosystem through the measurement of certain stress biomarkers. In this study, we describe an efficient aerosol sampling method, the metabolite extraction and the analytical procedures for the chemical characterization of aerosols, namely, the atmo-metabolome. We used mass spectrometry (MS) coupled to liquid chromatography (LC-MS), gas chromatography (GC-MS) and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR-MS) to characterize the atmo-metabolome of two marked seasons; spring and summer. Our sampling and extraction methods demonstrated to be suitable for aerosol chemical characterization with any of the analytical platforms used in this study. The atmo-metabolome between spring and summer showed overall statistically differences. We identified several metabolites that can be attributed to pollen and other plant-related aerosols. Spring aerosols exhibit higher concentrations of metabolites linked to higher plant activity while summer samples had higher concentrations of metabolites that may reflect certain oxidative stresses in primary producers. Moreover, the elemental composition of aerosols showed clear different between seasons. Summer aerosols were generally higher in molecular weight and with higher O/C ratios, indicating higher oxidation levels and condensation of compounds relative to spring. Our method represents an advanced approach for characterizing the composition of

  19. Functional diversity enhances the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to aridity in Mediterranean drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia, Enrique; Maestre, Fernando T; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Quero, José Luis; Tamme, Riin; Börger, Luca; García-Gómez, Miguel; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-04-01

    We used a functional trait-based approach to assess the impacts of aridity and shrub encroachment on the functional structure of Mediterranean dryland communities (functional diversity (FD) and community-weighted mean trait values (CWM)), and to evaluate how these functional attributes ultimately affect multifunctionality (i.e. the provision of several ecosystem functions simultaneously). Shrub encroachment (the increase in the abundance/cover of shrubs) is a major land cover change that is taking place in grasslands worldwide. Studies conducted on drylands have reported positive or negative impacts of shrub encroachment depending on the functions and the traits of the sprouting or nonsprouting shrub species considered. FD and CWM were equally important as drivers of multifunctionality responses to both aridity and shrub encroachment. Size traits (e.g. vegetative height or lateral spread) and leaf traits (e.g. specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content) captured the effect of shrub encroachment on multifunctionality with a relative high accuracy (r(2)  = 0.63). FD also improved the resistance of multifunctionality along the aridity gradient studied. Maintaining and enhancing FD in plant communities may help to buffer negative effects of ongoing global environmental change on dryland multifunctionality.

  20. Effects of roads on adjacent plant community composition and ecosystem function: An example from three calcareous ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mark A; Davies, Linda; Power, Sally A

    2012-04-01

    Roads and exhaust emissions can affect plant communities directly, for example via direct foliar uptake of exhaust products, or indirectly via changes to soil biogeochemistry and hydrology. A transect study adjacent to roads of different traffic densities was carried out at three species-rich calcareous grasslands in south eastern England. Measured annual NO(2) concentrations and modelled NH(3) concentrations increased towards the roads and with higher traffic densities, and there was evidence of increased soil moisture, pH and heavy metal concentrations at roadsides. Increases in the abundance of nitrogen (N) tolerant species and grasses at roadsides were associated with N enrichment from vehicle exhausts at two of the sites. In contrast plant species richness, the abundance of forb and moss species declined at roadside locations. As vehicle usage spreads across the world, it is increasingly important to understand the effects of road traffic on adjacent ecosystems to inform traffic and conservation management policies.

  1. Multi-functional landscapes in semi arid environments: implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    O'Farrell, PJ

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available assessment with an ecosystem service assessment. Stakeholder engagement and expert consultation focussed our investigations on surface water, ground water, grazing and tourism as the key services in this region. The key ecosystem services and service hotspots...

  2. Ecosystem functioning and maximum entropy production: a quantitative test of hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meysman, Filip J R; Bruers, Stijn

    2010-05-12

    The idea that entropy production puts a constraint on ecosystem functioning is quite popular in ecological thermodynamics. Yet, until now, such claims have received little quantitative verification. Here, we examine three 'entropy production' hypotheses that have been forwarded in the past. The first states that increased entropy production serves as a fingerprint of living systems. The other two hypotheses invoke stronger constraints. The state selection hypothesis states that when a system can attain multiple steady states, the stable state will show the highest entropy production rate. The gradient response principle requires that when the thermodynamic gradient increases, the system's new stable state should always be accompanied by a higher entropy production rate. We test these three hypotheses by applying them to a set of conventional food web models. Each time, we calculate the entropy production rate associated with the stable state of the ecosystem. This analysis shows that the first hypothesis holds for all the food webs tested: the living state shows always an increased entropy production over the abiotic state. In contrast, the state selection and gradient response hypotheses break down when the food web incorporates more than one trophic level, indicating that they are not generally valid.

  3. Positive effects of bacterial diversity on ecosystem functioning driven by complementarity effects in a bioremediation context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick A Venail

    Full Text Available Despite their importance as ecosystem drivers, our understanding of the influence of bacterial diversity on ecosystem functioning is limited. After identifying twelve bacterial strains from two petroleum-contaminated sites, we experimentally explored the impact of biodiversity on total density by manipulating the number of strains in culture. Irrespective of the origin of the bacteria relative to the contaminant, biodiversity positively influenced total density. However, bacteria cultured in the crude oil of their origin (autochthonous reached higher densities than bacteria from another origin (allochthonous and the relationship between diversity and density was stronger for autochthonous bacteria. By measuring the relative contribution of each strain to total density we showed that the observed positive effect of increasing diversity on total density was mainly due to positive interactions among species and not the presence of a particular species. Our findings can be explained by the complex chemical composition of crude oil and the necessity of a diverse array of organisms with complementary enzymatic capacities to achieve its degradation. The long term exposure to a contaminant may have allowed different bacteria to become adapted to the use of different fractions of the crude, resulting in higher complementarity in resource use in autochthonous bacteria compared to allochthonous ones. Our results could help improve the success of bioaugmentation as a bioremediation technique by suggesting the use of a diversified set of autochthonous organisms.

  4. Impacts of drought and crayfish invasion on stream ecosystem structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magoulick, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    Drought and seasonal drying can be important disturbance events in many small streams, leading to intermittent or isolated habitats. Many small streams contain crayfish populations that are often keystone or dominant species in these systems. I conducted an experiment in stream mesocosms to examine the effects of drought and potential ecological redundancy of a native and invasive crayfish species. I examined the effects of drought (drought or control) and crayfish presence (none, native crayfish Orconectes eupunctus or invasive crayfish Orconectes neglectus) on stream mesocosm structure and function (leaf breakdown, community metabolism, periphyton, sediment and chironomid densities) in a fully factorial design. Each mesocosm contained a deep and shallow section, and drought treatments had surface water present (5-cm depth) in deep sections where tiles and leaf packs were placed. Drought and crayfish presence did not interact for any response variable. Drought significantly reduced leaf breakdown, and crayfish presence significantly increased leaf breakdown. However, the native and invasive crayfish species did not differ significantly in their effects on leaf breakdown. Drought significantly reduced primary production and community respiration overall, whereas crayfish presence did not significantly affect primary production and community respiration. Neither drought nor crayfish presence significantly affected periphyton overall. However, drought significantly reduced autotrophic index (AI), and crayfish presence increased AI. Inorganic sediment and chironomid density were not affected by drought, but both were significantly reduced by crayfish presence. O. eupunctus reduced AI and sediment more than O. neglectus did. Neither drought nor crayfish species significantly affected crayfish growth or survival. Drought can have strong effects on ecosystem function, but weaker effects on benthic structure. Crayfish can have strong effects on ecosystem

  5. Linking the spatial patterns of organisms and abiotic factors to ecosystem function and management: insights from semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. T. Maestre

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Numerous theoretical and modeling studies have demonstrated the ecological significance of the spatial patterning of organisms on ecosystem functioning and dynamics. However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence that quantitatively shows how changes in the spatial patterns of the organisms forming biotic communities are directly related to ecosystem structure and functioning. In this article, I review a series of experiments and observational studies conducted in semi-arid environments from Spain (degraded calcareous shrubland, steppes dominated by Stipa tenacissima, and gypsum shrublands to: 1 evaluate whether the spatial patterns of the dominant biotic elements in the community are linked to ecosystem structure and functioning, and 2 test if these patterns, and those of abiotic factors, can be used to improve ecosystem restoration. In the semiarid steppes we found a significant positive relationship between the spatial pattern of the perennial plant community and: i the water status of S. tenacissima and ii perennial species richness and diversity. Experimental plantings conducted in these steppes showed that S. tenacissima facilitated the establishment of shrub seedlings, albeit the magnitude and direction of this effect was dependent on rainfall conditions during the first yr after planting. In the gypsum shrubland, a significant, direct relationship between the spatial pattern of the biological soil crusts and surrogates of ecosystem functioning (soil bulk density and respiration was found. In a degraded shrubland with very low vegetation cover, the survival of an introduced population of the shrub Pistacia lentiscus showed marked spatial patterns, which were related to the spatial patterns of soil properties such as soil compaction and sand content. These results provide empirical evidence on the importance of spatial patterns for maintaining ecosystem structure and functioning in semi-arid ecosystems

  6. Smart Lighting Information System Design Based on Above and Below Ground Data%基于地上地下数据的智慧照明信息系统总体设计

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孔繁宇; 崔健博; 邹同元; 褚鹏飞

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the overall designed program of the smart lighting based on above and below ground data information.The system is based on the static data including data integration from comprehensive urban space on the ground and underground pipeline,basic geographic information and streetlights professional data.It is combined with dynamic monitoring data for multi-dimensional data fusion and application to meet business needs for urban lighting daily management of equipment monitoring,facilities management and production management.The target is to improve the management intelligence and information management level,and achieve the ultimate goal of energy and maintenance cost saving.%介绍了一种基于地上地下数据的智慧照明信息系统总体建设方案.该系统是以完备的地上城市空间与地下管线一体化数据、 基础地理信息数据和路灯专业数据为静态数据基础,结合动态监测数据进行多维数据融合与应用,满足城市照明日常管理过程中设备监控、 设施管理、 生产管理等各方面业务需求,提高城市照明日常管理的智能化、 信息化管理程度,最终达到节约能源和维护成本的最终目的.

  7. Structural and Functional Diversity of Weed Species in Organic and Conventional Rice Agro-Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Y. Mousawi Toghani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Diversity reflects the complexity of a system and can maintain its sustainability. Higherdiversity, results in higher inherent complexity of agro-ecosystems and strengthen their processes. It is necessary to realize the spatial distribution and temporal properties of the biodiversity components in agro-ecosystems, for the conservation and optimal utilization. Since weeds as a complementary component of agro-ecosystems and are inseparable, so the study of species, their functional and structural diversity of them can play an important role in weed management and balance in ecological systems. Materials and Methods This study was performed to determine the effects of different management systems on structural, and functional diversity of paddy weeds in Mazandaran province. Three rice fields, ranged from 0.3 to 0.5 ha, were chosen for each management system. Samples were collected from three fields running under each selected management system (organic and conventional. Data (number of weed species and their density were randomly gathered from 9 quadrates (1m×1m per each field in four stages (tillering, stem elongation, grain filling and after harvest. The diversity, evenness, frequency and similarity indices for weeds were determined at genera and species level. Data analysis carried out through T-test and grouping performed via cluster analysis as hierarchy. Results and Discussion All monitored weeds can be classified into four plant family including cereals (Poaceae, sedges (Cyperaceae, plantain (Plantaginaceae and chicory (Asteraceae.Under conventional systems the values of weed diversity indices were higher during tillering and stem elongation compared with organic ones, and were lower during grain filling and after harvest stages. However indices of weed evenness showed contrary tendency. Both Sympson and Shanon-Wiener diversity indices, consist of two clusters in 76% similarity. Evenness indices of Kamargo and Smith

  8. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-11-01

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicochemical properties, on the overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. Our results indicate that tree species identity, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity level have significant influences on overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. These three factors influence soil enzyme patterns partly through effects on soil physicochemical properties and substrate quality. Variance partitioning showed that tree species identity, genotypic diversity level, pH and water content all together explained ~30% variations in the overall patterns of soil enzymes. However, we also found that the responses of soil ecosystem functions to tree genotypes and genotypic diversity are complex, being dependent on tree species identity and controlled by multiple factors. Our study highlights the important of inter- and intra-specific variations in tree species in shaping soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest.

  9. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-01-01

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicochemical properties, on the overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. Our results indicate that tree species identity, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity level have significant influences on overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. These three factors influence soil enzyme patterns partly through effects on soil physicochemical properties and substrate quality. Variance partitioning showed that tree species identity, genotypic diversity level, pH and water content all together explained ~30% variations in the overall patterns of soil enzymes. However, we also found that the responses of soil ecosystem functions to tree genotypes and genotypic diversity are complex, being dependent on tree species identity and controlled by multiple factors. Our study highlights the important of inter- and intra-specific variations in tree species in shaping soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest. PMID:27857198

  10. Biofilm function and variability in a hydrothermal ecosystem: insights from environmental genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Raymond, J.; Shock, E. L.

    2007-12-01

    The ability to adapt to variable environmental conditions is key to survival for all organisms, but may be especially crucial to microorganisms in extreme environments such as hydrothermal systems. Streamer biofilm communities (SBCs) made up of thermophilic chemotrophic microorganisms are common in alkaline-chloride geothermal environments worldwide, but the in situ physiochemical growth parameters and requirements of SBCs are largely unknown [1]. Hot springs in Yellowstone National Park's alkaline geyser basins support SBC growth. However, despite the relative geochemical homogeneity of source pools and widespread ecosystem suitability in these regions (as indicated by energetic profiling [2]), SBCs are not ubiquitous in these ecosystems. The ability of hydrothermal systems to support the growth of SBCs, the relationship between these geochemically driven environments and the microbes that live there, and the function of individuals in these communities are aspects that are adressed here by applying environmental genomics. Analysis of 16S rRNA and total membrane lipid extracts have revealed that community composition of SBCs in "Bison Pool" varies as a function of changing environmental conditions along the outflow channel. In addition, a significant crenarchaeal component was discovered in the "Bison Pool" SBCs. In general, the SBC bacterial diversity triples while the archaeal component varies little (from 3 to 2 genera) in a 5-10°C gradient with distance from the source. While these SBCs are low in overall diversity, the majority of the taxa identified represent uncultured groups of Bacteria and Archaea. As a result, the community function of these taxa and their role in the formation of the biofilms is unknown. However, recent genomic analysis from environmental DNA affords insight into the roles of specific organisms within SBCs at "Bison Pool," and integration of these data with an extensive corresponding geochemical dataset may indicate shifting community

  11. A method of establishing a transect for biodiversity and ecosystem function monitoring across Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stone, D.; Blomkvist, P.; Hendriksen, N. Bohse

    2016-01-01

    The establishment of the range of soil biodiversity found within European soils is needed to guide EU policy development regarding the protection of soil. Such a base-line should be collated from a wide-ranging sampling campaign to ensure that soil biodiversity from the majority of soil types, land...... to consider when such a task is undertaken. Applying a GIS spatial selection process, a sampling campaign was undertaken by 13 EcoFINDERS partners across 11 countries providing data on the range of indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem functions including; micro and meso fauna biodiversity, extracellular...... enzyme activity, PLFA and community level physiological profiling (MicroResp™ and Biolog™). Physical, chemical and bio-geographical parameters of the 81 sites sampled were used to determine whether the model predicted a wide enough range of sites to allow assessment of the biodiversity indicators tested...

  12. An examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship in arable soil microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, Karl; Wheatley, R.

    2001-01-01

     months at 15°C, after which the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship was examined for a range of soil processes. Biodiversity was determined by monitoring cultivable bacterial and fungal morphotypes, directly extracted eubacterial DNA and protozoan taxa. In the context of this study biodiversity......Microbial communities differing in biodiversity were established by inoculating sterile agricultural soil with serially diluted soil suspensions prepared from the parent soil. Three replicate communities of each dilution were allowed to establish an equivalent microbial biomass by incubation for 9...... relates to the numbers and proportions of different microbial species. Biodiversity decreased by ca. 15, 40 and 60% at each successive dilution step. There was no consistent effect of biodiversity on a range of soil processes measured (incorporation of thymidine and leucine, potential nitrification...

  13. Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: A keystone species for unraveling ecosystem functioning and biodiversity of fungi in tropical forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Harry C; Elliot, Simon L; Hughes, David P

    2011-09-01

    Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) is a specialized parasite that infects, manipulates and kills formicine ants, predominantly in tropical forest ecosystems. We have reported previously, based on a preliminary study in remnant Atlantic Forest in Minas Gerais (Brazil), that O. unilateralis represents a species complex. On each of the four species of infected carpenter ant (Camponotus) collected, the fungus-characterized macroscopically by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region on which the sexual structures (stromatal plates) are borne laterally-can readily be distinguished both microscopically and functionally. Here, we describe and discuss the biology, life cycle and infection strategies of O. unilateralis s.l. and hypothesize that there may be hundreds of species within the complex parasitizing formicine ants worldwide. We then address the diversity within related hypocrealean fungi, with particular reference to symbionts (mutualists through to parasites), and argue that the widely-quoted total of extant fungi (1.5 million species) may be grossly underestimated.

  14. Per capita interactions and stress tolerance drive stress-induced changes in biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baert, Jan M; Janssen, Colin R; Sabbe, Koen; De Laender, Frederik

    2016-08-18

    Environmental stress changes the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Because species interactions shape biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships, changes in per capita interactions under stress (as predicted by the stress gradient hypothesis) can be an important driver of stress-induced changes in these relationships. To test this hypothesis, we measure productivity in microalgae communities along a diversity and herbicide gradient. On the basis of additive partitioning and a mechanistic community model, we demonstrate that changes in per capita interactions do not explain effects of herbicide stress on the biodiversity-productivity relationship. Instead, assuming that the per capita interactions remain unaffected by stress, causing species densities to only change through differences in stress tolerance, suffices to predict the stress-induced changes in the biodiversity-productivity relationship and community composition. We discuss how our findings set the stage for developing theory on how environmental stress changes biodiversity effects on ecosystem functions.

  15. Automatic monitoring of ecosystem structure and functions using integrated low-cost near surface sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Ryu, Y.; Jiang, C.; Hwang, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Near surface sensors are able to acquire more reliable and detailed information with higher temporal resolution than satellite observations. Conventional near surface sensors usually work individually, and thus they require considerable manpower from data collection through information extraction and sharing. Recent advances of Internet of Things (IoT) provides unprecedented opportunities to integrate various low-cost sensors as an intelligent near surface observation system for monitoring ecosystem structure and functions. In this study, we developed a Smart Surface Sensing System (4S), which can automatically collect, transfer, process and analyze data, and then publish time series results on public-available website. The system is composed of micro-computer Raspberry pi, micro-controller Arduino, multi-spectral spectrometers made from Light Emitting Diode (LED), visible and near infrared cameras, and Internet module. All components are connected with each other and Raspberry pi intelligently controls the automatic data production chain. We did intensive tests and calibrations in-lab. Then, we conducted in-situ observations at a rice paddy field and a deciduous broadleaf forest. During the whole growth season, 4S obtained landscape images, spectral reflectance in red, green, blue, and near infrared, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR), and leaf area index (LAI) continuously. Also We compared 4S data with other independent measurements. NDVI obtained from 4S agreed well with Jaz hyperspectrometer at both diurnal and seasonal scales (R2 = 0.92, RMSE = 0.059), and 4S derived fPAR and LAI were comparable to LAI-2200 and destructive measurements in both magnitude and seasonal trajectory. We believe that the integrated low-cost near surface sensor could help research community monitoring ecosystem structure and functions closer and easier through a network system.

  16. Initial colonization, community assembly and ecosystem function: fungal colonist traits and litter biochemistry mediate decay rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, Lauren C; Zak, Donald R

    2015-10-01

    Priority effects are an important ecological force shaping biotic communities and ecosystem processes, in which the establishment of early colonists alters the colonization success of later-arriving organisms via competitive exclusion and habitat modification. However, we do not understand which biotic and abiotic conditions lead to strong priority effects and lasting historical contingencies. Using saprotrophic fungi in a model leaf decomposition system, we investigated whether compositional and functional consequences of initial colonization were dependent on initial colonizer traits, resource availability or a combination thereof. To test these ideas, we factorially manipulated leaf litter biochemistry and initial fungal colonist identity, quantifying subsequent community composition, using neutral genetic markers, and community functional characteristics, including enzyme potential and leaf decay rates. During the first 3 months, initial colonist respiration rate and physiological capacity to degrade plant detritus were significant determinants of fungal community composition and leaf decay, indicating that rapid growth and lignolytic potential of early colonists contributed to altered trajectories of community assembly. Further, initial colonization on oak leaves generated increasingly divergent trajectories of fungal community composition and enzyme potential, indicating stronger initial colonizer effects on energy-poor substrates. Together, these observations provide evidence that initial colonization effects, and subsequent consequences on litter decay, are dependent upon substrate biochemistry and physiological traits within a regional species pool. Because microbial decay of plant detritus is important to global C storage, our results demonstrate that understanding the mechanisms by which initial conditions alter priority effects during community assembly may be key to understanding the drivers of ecosystem-level processes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  18. Function of Rural Settlement Complex Ecosystem in Mountain Area: A Case Study of Raosi Village of Zuogong County, Tibet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Shaoquan; CHEN Guojie

    2006-01-01

    Using energy analysis,the quantifying evaluation and study method on production,living and ecology functions and their sustainability of rural settlement ecosystem in mountain area is established with these energy index such as export of labor and products,export of water resource,internal energy reserve,energy consumption for human living,net energy of ecosystem function and net internal reserve.Taking rural settlement Raosi Village in Hengduan Mountains as a case study,and on the basis of the synthetic research into the ecological process of the complex ecosystem,the study shows that energy costs of production,human living and ecology functions are separately taking 1.36%,13.59% and 85.05% of the gross ecosystem functions,and the exertions of production and human living functions are close to a high-point state on the present using level of energy in the settlement.The study also shows that the most important function of a rural settlement in mountain area is its ecological rather productive function.

  19. Effect of Implementing Ecosystem Functional Type Data in a Mesoscale Climate Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Seung-Jae LEE; E.Hugo BERBERY; Domingo ALCARAZ-SEGURA

    2013-01-01

    In this paper,we introduce a new concept of land-surface state representation for southern South America,which is based on "functional" attributes of vegetation,and implement a new land-cover (Ecosystem Functional Type,hereafter EFT) dataset in the Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model.We found that the EFT data enabled us to deal with functional attributes of vegetation and time-variant features more easily than the default land-cover data in the WRF.In order to explore the usefulness of the EFT data in simulations of surface and atmospheric variables,numerical simulations of the WRF model,using both the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the EFT data,were conducted over the La Plata Basin in South America for the austral spring of 1998 and compared with observations.Results showed that the model simulations were sensitive to the lower boundary conditions and that the use of the EFT data improved the climate simulation of 2-m temperature and precipitation,implying the need for this type of information to be included in numerical climate models.

  20. Mediterranean-type ecosystems: the influence of biodiversity on their functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, George W.; Richardson, David M.; Keeley, Jon E.; Hobbs, Richard J.; Mooney, H.A.; Cushman, J.H.; Medina, E.; Sala, O.E.; Schulze, E.-D.

    1996-01-01

    Ecosystems in the Mediterranean-climate regions of the world have served as a unit for comparative ecological studies for over two decades. The cohesiveness of research in this set of widely distributed regions rests on the similarity of the climates where they occur, and the identifiable convergence in elements of their vegetation structure (Di Castri and Mooney 1973). In this chapter we review functional aspects of what have come to be known as Mediterranean-type ecosystems (METs) in the context of a concerned global interest in the sustainability of the human environment and its dependence on biological diversity. The approach we adopt here is to look for evidence that this biodiversity, for which some MTEs are renowned (Cowling, 1992; Hobbs, 1992), has an influence on processes which are important both for the maintenance of natural systems, and for providing "ecosystem services" with human utility. Almost a century ago, Schimper (1903) recognized the biological similarities between five widely separated regions characterized by Mediterranean-type climates, and much comparative work has been done on that basis since. These regions comprise the Mediterranean basin itself, a major portion of California, central Chile, the southwestern and southern extremities of South Africa, and parts of southwestern and southern Australia (Figure 7.1). The first attention paid to MTEs in terms of quantitative ecological research arose out of the International Biological Programme (IBP) of the 1960s and 1970s. Those efforts focused on comparisons between the Chilean and Californian systems (Mooney 1977), and dealt with parallel models of ecosystem processes, especially water flux (Fuentes et al 1995). Because of the already perceived similarities between vegetation in these and the other three regions, the project was soon extended to include all five regions. The first broad comparative overview was published as an anthology which considered the origins and the convergent

  1. Fine Scale ANUClimate Data for Ecosystem Modeling and Assessment of Plant Functional Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, M. F.; Kesteven, J. L.; Xu, T.; Evans, B. J.; Togashi, H. F.; Stein, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution spatially extended values of climate variables play a central role in the assessment of climate and projected future climate in ecosystem modeling. The ground based meteorological network remains a key resource for deriving these spatially extended climate variables. We report on the production, and applications, of new anomaly based fine scale spatial interpolations of key climate variables at daily and monthly time scale, across the Australian continent. The methods incorporate several innovations that have significantly improved spatial predictive accuracy, as well as providing a platform for the incorporation of additional remotely sensed data. The interpolated climate data are supporting many continent-wide ecosystem modeling applications and are playing a key role in testing optimality hypotheses associated with plant functional types (PFTs). The accuracy, and robustness to data error, of anomaly-based interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating physical process aspects of the different climate variables and employing robust statistical methods implemented in the ANUSPLIN package. New regression procedures have also been developed to estimate "background" monthly climate normals from all stations with minimal records to substantially increase the density of supporting spatial networks. Monthly mean temperature interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating process based coastal effects that have reduced predictive error by around 10%. Overall errors in interpolated monthly temperature fields are around 25% less than errors reported by an earlier study. For monthly and daily precipitation, a new anomaly structure has been devised to take account of the skewness in precipitation data and the large proportion of zero values that present significant challenges to standard interpolation methods. The many applications include continent-wide Gross Primary Production modeling and assessing constraints on light and water use efficiency derived

  2. Nematomorph parasites indirectly alter the food web and ecosystem function of streams through behavioural manipulation of their cricket hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, T.; Egusa, T.; Fukushima, K.; Oda, T.; Ohte, N.; Tokuchi, Naoko; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Kanaiwa, Minoru; Murakami, Isaya; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

    Nematomorph parasites manipulate crickets to enter streams where the parasites reproduce. These manipulated crickets become a substantial food subsidy for stream fishes. We used a field experiment to investigate how this subsidy affects the stream community and ecosystem function. When crickets were available, predatory fish ate fewer benthic invertebrates. The resulting release of the benthic invertebrate community from fish predation indirectly decreased the biomass of benthic algae and slightly increased leaf break-down rate. This is the first experimental demonstration that host manipulation by a parasite can reorganise a community and alter ecosystem function. Nematomorphs are common, and many other parasites have dramatic effects on host phenotypes, suggesting that similar effects of parasites on ecosystems might be widespread.

  3. Habitat fragmentation has some impacts on aspects of ecosystem functioning in a sub-tropical seagrass bed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweatman, Jennifer L; Layman, Craig A; Fourqurean, James W

    2017-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation impacts ecosystem functioning in many ways, including reducing the availability of suitable habitat for animals and altering resource dynamics. Fragmentation in seagrass ecosystems caused by propeller scarring is a major source of habitat loss, but little is known about how scars impact ecosystem functioning. Propeller scars were simulated in seagrass beds of Abaco, Bahamas, to explore potential impacts. To determine if plant-herbivore interactions were altered by fragmentation, amphipod grazers were excluded from half the experimental plots, and epiphyte biomass and community composition were compared between grazer control and exclusion plots. We found a shift from light limitation to phosphorus limitation at seagrass patch edges. Fragmentation did not impact top-down control on epiphyte biomass or community composition, despite reduced amphipod density in fragmented habitats. Seagrass and amphipod responses to propeller scarring suggest that severely scarred seagrass beds could be subject to changes in internal nutrient stores and amphipod distribution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Thermal regulation of functional groups in running water ecosystems. Progress report, October 1, 1975--June 30, 1976

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cummins, K.W.; Klug, M.J.

    1976-07-01

    Progress is reported on the following research projects: characterization of functional groups of running water organisms, particularly macroconsumers; studies on relationship of functional groups to qualitative and quantitative characteristics of organic inputs to stream ecosystems; studies on relationship of functional groups to thermal regimes; and dimensioning the control of feeding and growth by temperature and food quality and quantity and determining the extent of compensatory action of each. (HLW)

  5. Evaluation of mangrove ecosystem service functions of Ximen Island Marine Specially Protected Areas in Yueqing Bay, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, D. G.; Sun, L.; Tan, Y. H.; Shi, A. Q.; Cheng, J.

    2017-08-01

    Taking the mangrove ecosystem of Ximen Island National Marine Specially Protected Areas as the research object, the ecological service value of the mangrove forest was evaluated and analyzed using a market value method, an ecological value method and a carbon tax method. The results showed that the ecosystem service value of the mangrove forest on Ximen Island is worth a total of 16,104,000 CNY/a. Among the value of individual ecosystem services, the direct value of material production function and leisure function reached 1,385,000 CNY/a, with a ratio of 8.6%. The indirect value of disturbance regulation, gas regulation, water purification, habitat function and culture research reached 14,719,000 CNY/a, with a ratio of 91.4%. Among the above sub-items, the proportion of disturbance regulation value, habitat function value and cultural research function value reached 78.8%, which reflects the important scientific value and ecological value of the Ximen Island mangrove ecosystem, especially its vital importance in providing a habitat for birds and playing a role in disaster prevention and mitigation.

  6. Restoring ecosystem functions and services by overcoming soil threats - The case of Mt. Hekla area in Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorsson, Johann; Petursdottir, Thorunn

    2015-04-01

    Soils are one of the main fundamental bodies of terrestrial ecosystems. Soil functions contribute substantially to the ecosystem services humans and all other living beings depend on. Current soil threats are in most cases related to anthropogenic impacts and derived environmental pressures. For instance, overexploitation has in many cases damaged ecosystem resilience, affected current equilibrium and caused severe soil degradation. The resulting dysfunctional ecosystems are incapable of providing necessary ecosystem services. In such cases ecosystem restoration is necessary to restore ecosystem functions and ecological succession. The Mt. Hekla area in Iceland is an example of land suffering from accelerated erosion amplified by anthropogenic impacts. The area is 900 km2 located in South Iceland in the vicinity of the volcano Mt. Hekla. Today over 40% of the area is classified as eroded but historical documents indicate that vast part of the area were fertile and vegetated at the time of settlement, 1100 years ago; hence was able to withstand the geological disturbances occurring prior to the arrival of man as is obvious from the pristine woody patches still remaining. Severe soil degradation followed the large-scale deforestation and overgrazing that took place within the area. The initial land degradation event is considered to have occurred in the 11th century, but has been ongoing since then in several episodes. The Þjórsá glacial river flows through the area and carries enormous amounts of sediments every year. After the deforestation, the ecosystem resilience was damaged and the land left exposed to the elements. Eventually large scale wind erosion started, followed with water erosion and increased impact of freeze-thaw processes. The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland started working in the area in the early 20th century and land reclamation operations have been ongoing until this day. Considerable successes have been made as is manifested in the fact

  7. Understanding deep roots and their functions in ecosystems: an advocacy for more unconventional research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierret, Alain; Maeght, Jean-Luc; Clément, Corentin; Montoroi, Jean-Pierre; Hartmann, Christian; Gonkhamdee, Santimaitree

    2016-07-06

    Deep roots are a common trait among a wide range of plant species and biomes, and are pivotal to the very existence of ecosystem services such as pedogenesis, groundwater and streamflow regulation, soil carbon sequestration and moisture content in the lower troposphere. Notwithstanding the growing realization of the functional significance of deep roots across disciplines such as soil science, agronomy, hydrology, ecophysiology or climatology, research efforts allocated to the study of deep roots remain incommensurate with those devoted to shallow roots. This is due in part to the fact that, despite technological advances, observing and measuring deep roots remains challenging. Here, other reasons that explain why there are still so many fundamental unresolved questions related to deep roots are discussed. These include the fact that a number of hypotheses and models that are widely considered as verified and sufficiently robust are only partly supported by data. Evidence has accumulated that deep rooting could be a more widespread and important trait among plants than usually considered based on the share of biomass that it represents. Examples that indicate that plant roots have different structures and play different roles with respect to major biochemical cycles depending on their position within the soil profile are also examined and discussed. Current knowledge gaps are identified and new lines of research for improving our understanding of the processes that drive deep root growth and functioning are proposed. This ultimately leads to a reflection on an alternative paradigm that could be used in the future as a unifying framework to describe and analyse deep rooting. Despite the many hurdles that pave the way to a practical understanding of deep rooting functions, it is anticipated that, in the relatively near future, increased knowledge about the deep rooting traits of a variety of plants and crops will have direct and tangible influence on how we manage

  8. Functional responses and resilience of boreal forest ecosystem after reduction of deer density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachand, Marianne; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Moretti, Marco; Aubin, Isabelle; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D; Poulin, Monique

    2014-01-01

    The functional trait-based approach is increasingly used to predict responses of ecological communities to disturbances, but most studies target a single taxonomic group. Here, we assessed the resilience of a forest ecosystem to an overabundant herbivore population by assessing changes in 19 functional traits for plant, 13 traits for ground beetle and 16 traits for songbird communities after six years of controlled browsing on Anticosti Island (Quebec, Canada). Our results indicated that plants were more responsive to 6 years of reduced browsing pressure than ground beetles and songbirds. However, co-inertia analysis revealed that ground beetle communities responded in a similar way than plant communities with stronger relationships between plant and ground beetle traits at reduced deer density, a pattern not detected between plant and songbird. High deer density favored plants species that reproduce vegetatively and with abiotic pollination and seed dispersal, traits implying little interaction with animal. On the other hand, traits found at reduced deer density mostly involved trophic interaction. For example, plants in this treatment had fleshy fruits and large seeds dispersed by birds or other animals whereas ground beetle species were carnivorous. Overall, our results suggest that plant communities recovered some functional components to overabundant herbivore populations, since most traits associated with undisturbed forests were reestablished after six years of deer reduction. The re-establishment of functional plant communities with traits involving trophic interaction induces changes in the ground-beetle trait community, but forest structure remains likely insufficiently heterogeneous to shift the songbird trait community within six years.

  9. Functional responses and resilience of boreal forest ecosystem after reduction of deer density.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Bachand

    Full Text Available The functional trait-based approach is increasingly used to predict responses of ecological communities to disturbances, but most studies target a single taxonomic group. Here, we assessed the resilience of a forest ecosystem to an overabundant herbivore population by assessing changes in 19 functional traits for plant, 13 traits for ground beetle and 16 traits for songbird communities after six years of controlled browsing on Anticosti Island (Quebec, Canada. Our results indicated that plants were more responsive to 6 years of reduced browsing pressure than ground beetles and songbirds. However, co-inertia analysis revealed that ground beetle communities responded in a similar way than plant communities with stronger relationships between plant and ground beetle traits at reduced deer density, a pattern not detected between plant and songbird. High deer density favored plants species that reproduce vegetatively and with abiotic pollination and seed dispersal, traits implying little interaction with animal. On the other hand, traits found at reduced deer density mostly involved trophic interaction. For example, plants in this treatment had fleshy fruits and large seeds dispersed by birds or other animals whereas ground beetle species were carnivorous. Overall, our results suggest that plant communities recovered some functional components to overabundant herbivore populations, since most traits associated with undisturbed forests were reestablished after six years of deer reduction. The re-establishment of functional plant communities with traits involving trophic interaction induces changes in the ground-beetle trait community, but forest structure remains likely insufficiently heterogeneous to shift the songbird trait community within six years.

  10. Macrofauna assemblage composition and soil moisture interact to affect soil ecosystem functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collison, E. J.; Riutta, T.; Slade, E. M.

    2013-02-01

    Changing climatic conditions and habitat fragmentation are predicted to alter the soil moisture conditions of temperate forests. It is not well understood how the soil macrofauna community will respond to changes in soil moisture, and how changes to species diversity and community composition may affect ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition and soil fluxes. Moreover, few studies have considered the interactions between the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate soil processes. Here we attempt to disentangle the interactive effects of two of the main factors that regulate soil processes at small scales - moisture and macrofauna assemblage composition. The response of assemblages of three common temperate soil invertebrates (Glomeris marginata Villers, Porcellio scaber Latreille and Philoscia muscorum Scopoli) to two contrasting soil moisture levels was examined in a series of laboratory mesocosm experiments. The contribution of the invertebrates to the leaf litter mass loss of two common temperate tree species of contrasting litter quality (easily decomposing Fraxinus excelsior L. and recalcitrant Quercus robur L.) and to soil CO2 fluxes were measured. Both moisture conditions and litter type influenced the functioning of the invertebrate assemblages, which was greater in high moisture conditions compared with low moisture conditions and on good quality vs. recalcitrant litter. In high moisture conditions, all macrofauna assemblages functioned at equal rates, whereas in low moisture conditions there were pronounced differences in litter mass loss among the assemblages. This indicates that species identity and assemblage composition are more important when moisture is limited. We suggest that complementarity between macrofauna species may mitigate the reduced functioning of some species, highlighting the importance of maintaining macrofauna species richness.

  11. Impacts of exotic mangrove forests and mangrove deforestation on carbon remineralization and ecosystem functioning in marine sediments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sweetman, A.; Middelburg, J.J.; Berle, A.M.; Bernardino, A.F.; Schander, C.; Demopoulos, A.W.J.; Smith, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    To evaluate how mangrove invasion and removal can modify short-term benthic carbon cycling and ecosystem functioning, we used stable-isotopically labeled algae as a deliberate tracer to quantify benthic respiration and C-flow over 48 h through macrofauna and bacteria in sediments collected from (1)

  12. Agrodiversity v.2: An educational simulation tool to address some challenges for sustaining functional agrodiversity in agro-ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Speelman, E.N.; Garcia-Barrios, L.E.

    2010-01-01

    Functional agrodiversity can be useful and even essential for, i.e., the long-term sustainability of agriculture. However, still many aspects of this concept are not well understood. The interplay between species in diverse agro-ecosystems is based on processes as, i.e., competition, facilitation, a

  13. Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SHAHABUDDIN

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Shahabuddin (2011 Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 12: 177-181. The deforestation of tropical forests and their subsequent conversion to human-dominated land-use systems is one of the most significant causes of biodiversity loss. However clear understanding of the links between ecological functions and biodiversity is needed to evaluate and predict the true environmental consequences of human activities. This study provided experimental evidence comparing ecosystem function of dung beetles across a land use gradient ranging from natural tropical forest and agroforestry systems to open cultivated areas in Central Sulawesi. Therefore, standardized dung pats were exposed at each land-use type to assess dung removal and parasite suppression activity by dung beetles. The results showed that ecosystem function of dung beetles especially dung burial activity were remarkably disrupted by land use changes from natural forest to open agricultural area. Dung beetles presence enhanced about 53% of the total dung removed and reduced about 83% and 63% of fly population and species number respectively, indicating a pronounce contribution of dung beetles in our ecosystem.

  14. Prioritizing conservation effort through the use of biological soil crusts as ecosystem function indicators in an arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Miller, M.E.; Belnap, J.; Sisk, T.D.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    Conservation prioritization usually focuses on conservation of rare species or biodiversity, rather than ecological processes. This is partially due to a lack of informative indicators of ecosystem function. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) trap and retain soil and water resources in arid ecosystems and function as major carbon and nitrogen fixers; thus, they may be informative indicators of ecosystem function. We created spatial models of multiple indicators of the diversity and function of BSCs (species richness, evenness, functional diversity, functional redundancy, number of rare species, number of habitat specialists, nitrogen and carbon fixation indices, soil stabilization, and surface roughening) for the 800,000-ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, U.S.A.). We then combined the indicators into a single BSC function map and a single BSC biodiversity map (2 alternative types of conservation value) with an unweighted averaging procedure and a weighted procedure derived from validations performance. We also modeled potential degradation with data from a rangeland assessment survey. To determine which areas on the landscape were the highest conservation priorities, we overlaid the function- and diversity-based conservation-value layers on the potential degradation layer. Different methods for ascribing conservation-value and conservation-priority layers all yielded strikingly similar results (r = 0.89-0.99), which suggests that in this case biodiversity and function can be conserved simultaneously. We believe BSCs can be used as indicators of ecosystem function in concert with other indicators (such as plant-community properties) and that such information can be used to prioritize conservation effort in drylands. ?? 2008 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Prioritizing conservation effort through the use of biological soil crusts as ecosystem function indicators in an arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A; Miller, Mark E; Belnap, Jayne; Sisk, Thomas D; Johnson, Nancy C

    2008-12-01

    Conservation prioritization usually focuses on conservation of rare species or biodiversity, rather than ecological processes. This is partially due to a lack of informative indicators of ecosystem function. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) trap and retain soil and water resources in arid ecosystems and function as major carbon and nitrogen fixers; thus, they may be informative indicators of ecosystem function. We created spatial models of multiple indicators of the diversity and function of BSCs (species richness, evenness, functional diversity, functional redundancy, number of rare species, number of habitat specialists, nitrogen and carbon fixation indices, soil stabilization, and surface roughening) for the 800,000-ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, U.S.A.). We then combined the indicators into a single BSC function map and a single BSC biodiversity map (2 alternative types of conservation value) with an unweighted averaging procedure and a weighted procedure derived from validations performance. We also modeled potential degradation with data from a rangeland assessment survey. To determine which areas on the landscape were the highest conservation priorities, we overlaid the function- and diversity-based conservation-value layers on the potential degradation layer. Different methods for ascribing conservation-value and conservation-priority layers all yielded strikingly similar results (r= 0.89-0.99), which suggests that in this case biodiversity and function can be conserved simultaneously. We believe BSCs can be used as indicators of ecosystem function in concert with other indicators (such as plant-community properties) and that such information can be used to prioritize conservation effort in drylands.

  16. A review of earthworm impact on soil function and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blouin, M.; Hodson, M.E.; Delgado, E.A.; Baker, G.; Brussaard, L.; Butt, K.R.; Dai, J.; Dendooven, L.; Peres, G.; Tondoh, J.E.; Cluzeau, D.; Brun, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity is responsible for the provision of many ecosystem services; human well-being is based on these services, and consequently on biodiversity. In soil, earthworms represent the largest component of the animal biomass and are commonly termed ecosystem engineers'. This review considers the

  17. Exotic plant traits lead to functional diversity decline in novel ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exotic species have become common and even dominant in some grasslands forming novel ecosystems because the species in them have no common evolutionary history. Recent work on these novel ecosystems suggest that exotic species contribute to diversity declines. In order to identify the plant traits...

  18. Changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning of a large, shallow Chinese lake during the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kong, Xiangzhen; He, Wei; Liu, Wenxiu

    2016-01-01

    validated by the stable isotope-determined trophic level (TL) for each functional group, which indicated an acceptable model performance. Over time, we observed a collapse of the food web toward a simplified structure and decreasing biodiversity and trophic interactions. The lake ecosystem was approaching......Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning...

  19. Building a better foundation: improving root-trait measurements to understand and model plant and ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, M Luke; Guo, Dali; Iversen, Colleen M; Chen, Weile; Eissenstat, David M; Fernandez, Christopher W; Li, Le; Ma, Chengen; Ma, Zeqing; Poorter, Hendrik; Reich, Peter B; Zadworny, Marcin; Zanne, Amy

    2017-07-01

    Trait-based approaches provide a useful framework to investigate plant strategies for resource acquisition, growth, and competition, as well as plant impacts on ecosystem processes. Despite significant progress capturing trait variation within and among stems and leaves, identification of trait syndromes within fine-root systems and between fine roots and other plant organs is limited. Here we discuss three underappreciated areas where focused measurements of fine-root traits can make significant contributions to ecosystem science. These include assessment of spatiotemporal variation in fine-root traits, integration of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root-trait frameworks, and the need for improved scaling of traits measured on individual roots to ecosystem-level processes. Progress in each of these areas is providing opportunities to revisit how below-ground processes are represented in terrestrial biosphere models. Targeted measurements of fine-root traits with clear linkages to ecosystem processes and plant responses to environmental change are strongly needed to reduce empirical and model uncertainties. Further identifying how and when suites of root and whole-plant traits are coordinated or decoupled will ultimately provide a powerful tool for modeling plant form and function at local and global scales. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Nitrogen Uptake During Fall, Winter and Spring Differs Among Plant Functional Groups in a Subarctic Heath Ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven;

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a critical resource for plant growth in tundra ecosystems, and species differences in the timing of N uptake may be an important feature regulating community composition and ecosystem productivity. We added 15N-labelled glycine to a subarctic heath tundra dominated by dwarf shrubs...... to 37 ± 7% by April indicating significant microbial N turnover prior to spring thaw. Only the evergreen dwarf shrubs showed active 15N acquisition before early May indicating that they had the highest potential of all functional groups for acquiring nutrients that became available in early spring...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Science and Measurement Requirements for a Plant Physiology and Functional Types Mission: Measuring the Composition, Function and Health of Global Land and Coastal Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Robert O.; Rogez, Francois; Green, Rob; Ungar, Steve; Knox, Robert; Asner, Greg; Muller-Karger, Frank; Bissett, Paul; Chekalyuk, Alex; Dierssen, Heidi; Gamon, John; Hook, Simon; Meister, Gerhard; Middleton, Betsy; Ollinger, Scott; Roberts, Dar; Siegel, Dave; Townsend, Phil; Saatchi, Sassan; Unstin, Susan; Turner, Woody; Wickland, Diane; Bontempi, Paula; Emanuel, Bill

    2007-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the proposed Plant Physiology and Functional Types (PPFT) Mission. The National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey, placed a critical priority on a Mission to observe distribution and changes in ecosystem functions. The PPFT satellite mission provides the essential measurements needed to assess drivers of change in biodiversity and ecosystem services that affect human welfare. The presentation reviews the science questions that the mission will be designed to answer, the science rationale, the science measurements, the mission concept, the planned instrumentation, the calibration method, and key signal to noise ratios and uniformity requirements.

  3. A trait-based framework for predicting when and where microbial adaptation to climate change will affect ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Hall, Edward K.

    2012-01-01

    As the earth system changes in response to human activities, a critical objective is to predict how biogeochemical process rates (e.g. nitrification, decomposition) and ecosystem function (e.g. net ecosystem productivity) will change under future conditions. A particular challenge is that the microbial communities that drive many of these processes are capable of adapting to environmental change in ways that alter ecosystem functioning. Despite evidence that microbes can adapt to temperature, precipitation regimes, and redox fluctuations, microbial communities are typically not optimally adapted to their local environment. For example, temperature optima for growth and enzyme activity are often greater than in situ temperatures in their environment. Here we discuss fundamental constraints on microbial adaptation and suggest specific environments where microbial adaptation to climate change (or lack thereof) is most likely to alter ecosystem functioning. Our framework is based on two principal assumptions. First, there are fundamental ecological trade-offs in microbial community traits that occur across environmental gradients (in time and space). These trade-offs result in shifting of microbial function (e.g. ability to take up resources at low temperature) in response to adaptation of another trait (e.g. limiting maintenance respiration at high temperature). Second, the mechanism and level of microbial community adaptation to changing environmental parameters is a function of the potential rate of change in community composition relative to the rate of environmental change. Together, this framework provides a basis for developing testable predictions about how the rate and degree of microbial adaptation to climate change will alter biogeochemical processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems across the planet.

  4. Effects of grazing on leaf traits and ecosystem functioning in Inner Mongolia grasslands: scaling from species to community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. X. Zheng

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the mechanistic links between environmental drivers, human disturbance, plant functional traits, and ecosystem properties is a fundamental aspect of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research. Recent studies have focused mostly on leaf-level traits or community-level weighted traits to predict species responses to grazing and the consequent change in ecosystem functioning. However, studies of leaf-level traits or community-level weighted traits seldom identify the mechanisms linking grazing impact on leaf traits to ecosystem functioning. Here, using a multi-organization-level approach, we examined the effects of grazing on leaf traits (i.e., leaf area, leaf dry mass and specific leaf area and ecosystem functioning across six communities of three vegetation types along a soil moisture gradient in the Xilin River Basin of Inner Mongolia grassland, China. Our results showed that the effects of grazing on leaf traits differed substantially when scaling up from leaf-level to species, functional group (i.e., life forms and water ecotype types, and community levels; and they also varied with vegetation type or site conditions. The effects of grazing on leaf traits diminished progressively along the hierarchy of organizational levels in the meadow, whereas the impacts were predominantly negative and the magnitude of the effects increased considerably at higher organizational levels in the typical steppe. Soil water and nutrient availability, functional trade-offs between leaf size and number of leaves per individual, and differentiation in avoidance and tolerance strategies among coexisting species are likely to be responsible for the observed responses of leaf traits to grazing at different levels of organization and among vegetation types. Our findings also demonstrate that, at both the functional group and community levels, standing aboveground biomass increased with leaf area and specific leaf area. Compared with the large changes in

  5. The effect of sewage discharge on the ecosystem engineering activities of two East African fiddler crab species: consequences for mangrove ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolini, Fabrizio; Cimò, Filippo; Fusi, Marco; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; Lopes, Gil Penha; Cannicci, Stefano

    2011-02-01

    A number of studies have suggested that mangrove forests and their faunal components may be pre-adapted to the impact of organic waste discharge, making them possible natural wastewater treatment wetlands. However, the results from recent research are contradictory. Some studies have shown that negative effects, sometimes subtle and difficult to observe, can be detected on specific biotic components of forests subjected to organic pollution. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate possible alterations in the ecosystem engineering activities of a fiddler crab community dominating the landward belts of Kenyan mangrove forests. The total processed sediment produced by burrowing and foraging activities in a population from a peri-urban mangrove area receiving untreated domestic sewage was compared with that from a forest not affected by urban wastewater. The results showed how the peri-urban site hosted a higher biomass of crabs, which produced a significantly lower amount of processed sediment compared with the pristine site, resulting in a lower total top sediment mixing activity of the crabs. Thus, the present study showed a link between sewage exposure and top sediment reworking by crabs, which is potentially beneficial for mangrove growth and ecosystem functioning. This represents a possible example of cryptic ecological degradation in mangal systems.

  6. Trip report: pilot studies of factors linking watershed function and coastal ecosystem health in American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Carter T.; Medeiros, Arthur C.

    2010-01-01

    Coral reef resources in the territory of American Samoa face significant problems from overfishing, non-point source pollution, global warming, and continuing population growth and development. The islands are still relatively isolated relative to other parts of the Pacific and have managed to avoid some of the more devastating invasive species that have reached other archipelagoes. As a result, there are opportunities for collaborative and integrative research and monitoring programs to help restore and maintain biodiversity and functioning natural ecosystem in the archipelago. We found that the 'Ridge to Reef' paradigm already exists in American Samoa, with a high degree of interagency cooperation and efficient use of limited resources already taking place in the Territory. USGS may be able to make contributions as a partner organization in the Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG) through deployment of sediment monitoring instrumentation to supplement stream monitoring by the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency, by providing high resolution vegetation and land-use maps of main islands, by providing additional support to the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources and the National Park Service for monitoring of invasive species, by working with members of CRAG to initiate sediment transport studies on Samoan reefs, and by developing new projects on the effects of bacterial contamination and pollutants on coral reef physiology and demography.

  7. Growth condition study of algae function in ecosystem for CO2 bio-fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, David Dah-Wei; Ramaraj, Rameshprabu; Chen, Paris Honglay

    2012-02-06

    Algae niche play a crucial role on carbon cycle and have great potential for CO(2) sequestration. This study was to investigate the CO(2) bio-fixation by the high rate pond (HRP) to mimic the algae function of nature. All the reactors can keep CO(2) consumption efficiencies over 100%. The statistical analyses proved HRPs were close to the natural system from all the growth conditions. The HRP could show the "natural optimization as nature" to perform as well as the artificial reactor of continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR). In the nutrition study, the carbon mass balance indicated CO(2) was the main carbon source. Accordingly, the HRPs can keep a neutral pH range to provide dissolved oxygen (DO), to promote total nitrogen (TN)/total phosphorous (TP) removal efficiencies and to demonstrate self-purification process. Furthermore, the observations of different nitrogen species in the reactors demonstrated that the major nitrogen source was decided by pH. This finding logically explained the complex nitrogen uptake by algae in nature. Consequently, this study took advantage of HRP to explore the processes of efficient CO(2) uptake with the corresponding growth condition in the ecosystem. Those results contributed the further understanding of the role of CO(2) bio-fixation in nature and demonstrated HRP could be a potential ecological engineering alternative.

  8. Functional Role of Native and Invasive Filter-Feeders, and the Effect of Parasites: Learning from Hypersaline Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Andy J.

    2016-01-01

    Filter-feeding organisms are often keystone species with a major influence on the dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. Studies of filtering rates in such taxa are therefore vital in order to understand ecosystem functioning and the impact of natural and anthropogenic stressors such as parasites, climate warming and invasive species. Brine shrimps Artemia spp. are the dominant grazers in hypersaline systems and are a good example of such keystone taxa. Hypersaline ecosystems are relatively simplified environments compared with much more complex freshwater and marine ecosystems, making them suitable model systems to address these questions. The aim of this study was to compare feeding rates at different salinities and temperatures between clonal A. parthenogenetica (native to Eurasia and Africa) and the invasive American brine shrimp A. franciscana, which is excluding native Artemia from many localities. We considered how differences observed in laboratory experiments upscale at the ecosystem level across both spatial and temporal scales (as indicated by chlorophyll-a concentration and turbidity). In laboratory experiments, feeding rates increased at higher temperatures and salinities in both Artemia species and sexes, whilst A. franciscana consistently fed at higher rates. A field study of temporal dynamics revealed significantly higher concentrations of chlorophyll-a in sites occupied by A. parthenogenetica, supporting our experimental findings. Artemia parthenogenetica density and biomass were negatively correlated with chlorophyll-a concentration at the spatial scale. We also tested the effect of cestode parasites, which are highly prevalent in native Artemia but much rarer in the invasive species. The cestodes Flamingolepis liguloides and Anomotaenia tringae decreased feeding rates in native Artemia, whilst Confluaria podicipina had no significant effect. Total parasite prevalence was positively correlated with turbidity. Overall, parasites are likely to reduce

  9. Diversity and abundance of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scaraebidae) at several different ecosystem functions in Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Din, Abdullah Muhaimin Mohammad; Yaakop, Salmah; Hazmi, Izfa Riza

    2015-09-01

    Dung beetles has known for its bioindicator characteristic. Sensitive towards forest disturbance, dung beetles population and diversity will be less in disturbed and modified area. The objective of this study is to evaluate the diversity and distribution of dung beetles in different type of ecosystems in Peninsular Malaysia. Fifteen baited pitfall traps aligned in three transects were used in this study. Samples were collected after 24 h and repeated three time collections and identified afterwards. Two ecosystem types were selected, which are forested and agricultural ecosystem (livestock and plantation). A total of 4249 individuals, 47 species, in 11 genera was successfully collected from all localities. The H' index for Fraser Hill, Langkawi, Bangi Reserve Forest, Selangor (HSB), Sungkai Reserve Forest, Perak (SRF), Chini Lake, Bera Lake, chicken farm, goat farm, Longan plantation, and palm oil plantation were 1.58, 1.74, 2.17, 2.63, 1.80, 1.52, 1.63, 0.46, 0.00 and 1.98 respectively.Forest ecosystem, SRF shows the highest abundance (1486 individuals) and diversity, while for agricultural ecosystem,palm oil plantation shows the highest with 273 individuals and 16 species. Based onDetrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) shows two groups that separate forest ecosystem with the agricultural ecosystem, with palm oil is the nearest to the forest. Palm oil ecosystem can sustain a dung beetles population due to the area can provide the requirements for the dung beetles to survive, such as food which comes from local domestic cows, shade from sunlight provide by the palm oil trees, and ground cover from small plants and shrubs.Even though modified ecosystem should have lower diversity of dung beetles, but some factors must be measured as well in order to have a better point of view.

  10. Changes of ecosystem functions in a Mediterranean shrubland exposed for eight years to prolonged summer droughts

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Dato, Giovanbattista; de Angelis, Paolo; Cesaraccio, Carla; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Duce, Pierpaolo; Sirca, Costantino; Spano, Donatella; Beier, Claus

    2010-05-01

    Where water is a limiting factor, like in arid and semiarid shrubland ecosystems of the Mediterranean basin, soil moisture, strengthen by high temperatures, is the key limiting factor controlling biogeochemical cycles. During the drought season, the unavailable water reduces plant growth, litter decomposition and microbial soil respiration. In order to assess the impacts of precipitation reduction on Mediterranean shrublands, a natural community has been exposed since 2001 to prolonged summer droughts by means of mobile plastic roofs, covering three experimental plots (20 m2) during rain events, in spring and in autumn. Three additional plots were used as control. The vegetation reaches a maximum height of 1.0 m and the main shrub species are Cistus monspeliensis, Helichrysum italicum and Dorycnium pentaphyllum. Bare soil constitutes about 20% of the plot surface. The aim of this paper is to summarize the impact of the treatment on the plant community structure and on ecosystem functions, after 8 years of experimentation. A general increase of vegetation cover was observed in the whole community during the years, as result of a natural process of recolonisation. This positive temporal pattern was mainly observed in the control plots, whereas in the drought treatment it was less evident and practically null in the year 2003. At species-specific level, a clear negative effect of drought treatment was observed for C. monspeliensis. Moreover, anticipated drought reduced C assimilation and induced an earlier change of leaf morphology in Cistus. These effects produced the reduction of LAI and of whole plant productivity. The seasonal pattern of soil CO2 efflux was characterized by higher rates during the wet vegetative season (autumn-spring) and lower rates during the dry non-vegetative season (summer). Significant negative effects were occasionally recorded during the period with the treatment turned on. The relation of soil respiration with temperature and soil water

  11. Herbivores, the Functional Diversity of Plants Species, and the Cycling of Nutrients in Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastor; Cohen

    1997-06-01

    Numerous investigators have suggested that herbivores almost always increase rates of nutrient and energy flow through terrestrial ecosystems by returning to the soil fecal material and urine with faster turnover rate than shed plant litter. These previous theories and models always treat the producer compartment as a homogenous pool. Essentially, they assume that consumers feed through a pureed cream of vegetable soup. However, many field observations and experiments have shown that consumers feed selectively (i.e., in a cafeteria) and that consumer choice is made on the same chemical basis that determines decomposition rates. Plants that are preferred food sources often have higher nutrient content, higher growth rates, and faster decomposition rates. As consumption reduces dominance of these species in favor of unpreferred species with slower decomposition, rates of nutrient cycling and energy flow should therefore decline. We analyze a model in which the consumer is given a choice among producers that vary in nutrient uptake rates, rates of nutrient return to decomposers, and consumer preference, and which is parameterized for plants and consumers characteristic of boreal regions. In this model, in an open, well-mixed system with one consumer and two such producers, the nutrient/energy flow will not exceed that of a system without the consumer. If the consumer has a choice between two such producers, it must choose one plant over the other at a greater ratio than that between the two plants in uptake and decay rates. In contrast, in a closed system the consumer must be less selective to coexist with the two plants. The system behavior is determined by the level of nutrient return through the consumer and the differences between the plants in nutrient uptake rates and consumer preference. Species richness affects properties of this model system to the extent that species are functionally distinct (i.e., have different rate constants) in a multivariate space of

  12. Environmental and spatial controls of macroinvertebrate functional assemblages in seagrass ecosystems along the Pacific coast of northern Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsumasa Yamada

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The relative contributions of environmental and spatial processes in macroinvertebrate community structure (i.e.,  β-diversity for three functional groups classified on the basis of dispersal ability and microhabitat selection (seagrass-associated [SA], drift-faunal [DF], and benthic-faunal [BF] groups were examined in a seagrass ecosystem along the Sanriku coast of Japan. Variation partitioning was conducted to explain the environmental heterogeneity and spatial arrangement of local communities (i.e., degree of variation in the community for each functional group. Processes determining community structure and metacommunity type differed among the functional groups. The SA group was under greater influence of environmental control, whereas the fractions of β-diversity in the DF and BF groups were explained by only spatial predictors. Thus, even if macroinvertebrate communities live in the same ecosystem, different mechanisms may determine the functional community structure, which depends on ecological traits such as dispersal ability and microhabitat. Ecological processes underlying community assembly differ among functional groups, indicating that the existence and/or dynamics of seagrass patches may affect the variation of faunal functions in an ecosystem.

  13. A new method for large-scale assessment of change in ecosystem functioning in relation to land degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horion, Stephanie; Ivits, Eva; Verzandvoort, Simone; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2017-04-01

    Ongoing pressures on European land are manifold with extreme climate events and non-sustainable use of land resources being amongst the most important drivers altering the functioning of the ecosystems. The protection and conservation of European natural capital is one of the key objectives of the 7th Environmental Action Plan (EAP). The EAP stipulates that European land must be managed in a sustainable way by 2020 and the UN Sustainable development goals define a Land Degradation Neutral world as one of the targets. This implies that land degradation (LD) assessment of European ecosystems must be performed repeatedly allowing for the assessment of the current state of LD as well as changes compared to a baseline adopted by the UNCCD for the objective of land degradation neutrality. However, scientifically robust methods are still lacking for large-scale assessment of LD and repeated consistent mapping of the state of terrestrial ecosystems. Historical land degradation assessments based on various methods exist, but methods are generally non-replicable or difficult to apply at continental scale (Allan et al. 2007). The current lack of research methods applicable at large spatial scales is notably caused by the non-robust definition of LD, the scarcity of field data on LD, as well as the complex inter-play of the processes driving LD (Vogt et al., 2011). Moreover, the link between LD and changes in land use (how land use changes relates to change in vegetation productivity and ecosystem functioning) is not straightforward. In this study we used the segmented trend method developed by Horion et al. (2016) for large-scale systematic assessment of hotspots of change in ecosystem functioning in relation to LD. This method alleviates shortcomings of widely used linear trend model that does not account for abrupt change, nor adequately captures the actual changes in ecosystem functioning (de Jong et al. 2013; Horion et al. 2016). Here we present a new methodology for

  14. Restoring Ecosystem Function in Degraded Urban Soil Using Biosolids, Biosolids Blend, and Compost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basta, N T; Busalacchi, D M; Hundal, L S; Kumar, K; Dick, R P; Lanno, R P; Carlson, J; Cox, A E; Granato, T C

    2016-01-01

    Many soils at former industrial sites are degraded. The objective of this research was to determine the ability of compost, biosolids, and biosolids blends to improve soil ecosystem function with minimal potential impact to surface water. Treatments rototilled into the top 12.5 cm of soil were biosolids at 202 Mg ha; biosolids at 404 Mg ha; compost at 137 Mg ha; or a blend consisting of biosolids applied at 202 Mg ha, drinking water treatment residual, and biochar. Rainfall runoff from experimental plots was collected for 3 yr. One year after soil amendments were incorporated, a native seed mix containing grasses, legumes, and forbs was planted. Soil amendments improved soil quality and nutrient pools, established a dense and high-quality vegetative cover, and improved earthworm reproductive measures. Amendments increased soil enzymatic activities that support soil function. Biosolids treatments increased the Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index for grasses. For the forbs group, control plots had the lowest diversity index and the biosolids blend had the highest diversity index. Biosolids and compost increased the number of earthworm juveniles. In general, biosolids outperformed compost. Biosolids increased N and P in rainfall runoff more than compost before vegetation was established. Several microconstituents (i.e., pharmaceutical and personal care products) were detected in runoff water but at concentrations below the probable no-effect levels and therefore should pose little impact to the aquatic environment. Future restoration design should ensure that runoff control measures are used to control sediment loss from the restored sites at least until vegetation is established. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  15. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Shaw, E Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H; Ramirez, Kelly S; Sylvain, Zachary A; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking. Therefore, here we initiate such a synthesis to assess whether the effect size of global change drivers (elevated CO2, N deposition, and warming) on soil microbial abundance is related with the effect size of these drivers on ecosystem functioning (plant biomass, soil C cycle, and soil N cycle) using meta-analysis and structural equation modeling. For N deposition and warming, the global change effect size on soil microbes was positively associated with the global change effect size on ecosystem functioning, and these relationships were consistent across taxa and ecosystem processes. However, for elevated CO2, such links were more taxon and ecosystem process specific. For example, fungal abundance responses to elevated CO2 were positively correlated with those of plant biomass but negatively with those of the N cycle. Our results go beyond previous assessments of the sensitivity of soil microbes and ecosystem processes to global change, and demonstrate the existence of general links between the responses of soil microbial abundance and ecosystem functioning. Further we identify critical areas for future research, specifically altered precipitation, soil fauna, soil community composition, and litter decomposition, that are need to better quantify the ecosystem consequences of global change impacts on soil biodiversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Convergence of the effect of root hydraulic functioning and root hydraulic redistribution on ecosystem water and carbon balance across divergent forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    domec, J.; King, J. S.; Ogée, J.; Noormets, A.; Warren, J.; Meinzer, F. C.; Sun, G.; Jordan-Meille, L.; Martineau, E.; Brooks, R. J.; Laclau, J.; Battie Laclau, P.; McNulty, S.

    2012-12-01

    INVITED ABSTRACT: Deep root water uptake and hydraulic redistribution (HR) play a major role in forest ecosystems during drought, but little is known about the impact of climate change on root-zone processes influencing HR and its consequences on water and carbon fluxes. Using data from two old growth sites in the western USA, two mature sites in the eastern USA, one site in southern Brazil, and simulations with the process-based model MuSICA, our objectives were to show that HR can 1) mitigate the effects of soil drying on root functioning, and 2) have important implications for carbon uptake and net ecosystem exchange (NEE). In a dry, old-growth ponderosa pine (USA) and a eucalyptus stand (Brazil) both characterized by deep sandy soils, HR limited the decline in root hydraulic conductivity and increased dry season tree transpiration (T) by up to 30%, which impacted NEE through major increases in gross primary productivity (GPP). The presence of deep-rooted trees did not necessarily imply high rates of HR unless soil texture allowed large water potential gradients to occur, as was the case in the wet old-growth Douglas-fir/mixed conifer stand. At the Duke mixed hardwood forest characterized by a shallow clay-loam soil, modeled HR was low but not negligible, representing annually up to 10% of T, and maintaining root conductance high. At this site, in the absence of HR, it was predicted that annual GPP would have been diminished by 7-19%. At the coastal loblolly pine plantation, characterized by deep organic soil, HR limited the decline in shallow root conductivity by more than 50% and increased dry season T by up to 40%, which increased net carbon gain by the ecosystem by about 400 gC m-2 yr-1, demonstrating the significance of HR in maintaining the stomatal conductance and assimilation capacity of the whole ecosystem. Under future climate conditions (elevated atmospheric [CO2] and temperature), HR is predicted to be reduced by up to 50%; reducing the resilience of

  17. Large-scale variation in combined impacts of canopy loss and disturbance on community structure and ecosystem functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tasman P Crowe

    Full Text Available Ecosystems are under pressure from multiple human disturbances whose impact may vary depending on environmental context. We experimentally evaluated variation in the separate and combined effects of the loss of a key functional group (canopy algae and physical disturbance on rocky shore ecosystems at nine locations across Europe. Multivariate community structure was initially affected (during the first three to six months at six locations but after 18 months, effects were apparent at only three. Loss of canopy caused increases in cover of non-canopy algae in the three locations in southern Europe and decreases in some northern locations. Measures of ecosystem functioning (community respiration, gross primary productivity, net primary productivity were affected by loss of canopy at five of the six locations for which data were available. Short-term effects on community respiration were widespread, but effects were rare after 18 months. Functional changes corresponded with changes in community structure and/or species richness at most locations and times sampled, but no single aspect of biodiversity was an effective predictor of longer-term functional changes. Most ecosystems studied were able to compensate in functional terms for impacts caused by indiscriminate physical disturbance. The only consistent effect of disturbance was to increase cover of non-canopy species. Loss of canopy algae temporarily reduced community resistance to disturbance at only two locations and at two locations actually increased resistance. Resistance to disturbance-induced changes in gross primary productivity was reduced by loss of canopy algae at four locations. Location-specific variation in the effects of the same stressors argues for flexible frameworks for the management of marine environments. These results also highlight the need to analyse how species loss and other stressors combine and interact in different environmental contexts.

  18. Biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functioning, and economic incentives under cocoa agroforestry intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisseleua, D H B; Missoup, A D; Vidal, S

    2009-10-01

    World chocolate demand is expected to more than double by 2050. Decisions about how to meet this challenge will have profound effects on tropical rainforests and wild species in cocoa-producing countries. Cocoa, "the chocolate tree," is traditionally produced under a diverse and dense canopy of shade trees that provide habitat for a high diversity of organisms. The current trend to reduce or eliminate shade cover raises concerns about the potential loss of biodiversity. Nevertheless, few studies have assessed the ecological consequences and economic trade-offs under different management options in cocoa plantations. Here we describe the relationships between ant ecology (species richness, community composition, and abundance) and vegetation structure, ecosystem functions, and economic profitability under different land-use management systems in 17 traditional cocoa forest gardens in southern Cameroon. We calculated an index of profitability, based on the net annual income per hectare. We found significant differences associated with the different land-use management systems for species richness and abundance of ants and species richness and density of trees. Ant species richness was significantly higher in floristically and structurally diverse, low-intensity, old cocoa systems than in intensive young systems. Ant species richness was significantly related to tree species richness and density. We found no clear relationship between profitability and biodiversity. Nevertheless, we suggest that improving the income and livelihood of smallholder cocoa farmers will require economic incentives to discourage further intensification and ecologically detrimental loss of shade cover. Certification programs for shade-grown cocoa may provide socioeconomic incentives to slow intensification.

  19. A Foray into Fungal Ecology: Understanding Fungi and Their Functions Across Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, N.; Dunkirk, N. C.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite their incredible diversity and importance to terrestrial ecosystems, fungi are not included in a standard high school science curriculum. This past summer, however, my work for the Stanford EARTH High School Internship program introduced me to fungal ecology through experiments involving culturing, genomics and root dissections. The two fungal experiments I worked on had very different foci, both searching for answers to broad ecological questions of fungal function and physiology. The first, a symbiosis experiment, sought to determine if the partners of the nutrient exchange between pine trees and their fungal symbionts could choose one another. The second experiment, a dung fungal succession project, compared the genetic sequencing results of fungal extractions from dung versus fungal cultures from dung. My part in the symbiosis experiment involved dissection, weighing and encapsulation of root tissue samples characterized based on the root thickness and presence of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The dung fungi succession project required that I not only learn how to culture various genera of dung fungi but also learn how to extract DNA and RNA for sequencing from the fungal tissue. Although I primarily worked with dung fungi cultures and thereby learned about their unique physiologies, I also learned about the different types of genetic sequencing since the project compared sequences of cultured fungi versus Next Generation sequencing of all fungi present within a dung pellet. Through working on distinct fungal projects that reassess how information about fungi is known within the field of fungal ecology, I learned not only about the two experiments I worked on but also many past related experiments and inquiries through reading scientific papers. Thanks to my foray into fungal research, I now know not only the broader significance of fungi in ecological research but also how to design and conduct ecological experiments.

  20. Potential of satellite-derived ecosystem functional attributes to anticipate species range shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaraz-Segura, Domingo; Lomba, Angela; Sousa-Silva, Rita; Nieto-Lugilde, Diego; Alves, Paulo; Georges, Damien; Vicente, Joana R.; Honrado, João P.

    2017-05-01

    In a world facing rapid environmental changes, anticipating their impacts on biodiversity is of utmost relevance. Remotely-sensed Ecosystem Functional Attributes (EFAs) are promising predictors for Species Distribution Models (SDMs) by offering an early and integrative response of vegetation performance to environmental drivers. Species of high conservation concern would benefit the most from a better ability to anticipate changes in habitat suitability. Here we illustrate how yearly projections from SDMs based on EFAs could reveal short-term changes in potential habitat suitability, anticipating mid-term shifts predicted by climate-change-scenario models. We fitted two sets of SDMs for 41 plant species of conservation concern in the Iberian Peninsula: one calibrated with climate variables for baseline conditions and projected under two climate-change-scenarios (future conditions); and the other calibrated with EFAs for 2001 and projected annually from 2001 to 2013. Range shifts predicted by climate-based models for future conditions were compared to the 2001-2013 trends from EFAs-based models. Projections of EFAs-based models estimated changes (mostly contractions) in habitat suitability that anticipated, for the majority (up to 64%) of species, the mid-term shifts projected by traditional climate-change-scenario forecasting, and showed greater agreement with the business-as-usual scenario than with the sustainable-development one. This study shows how satellite-derived EFAs can be used as meaningful essential biodiversity variables in SDMs to provide early-warnings of range shifts and predictions of short-term fluctuations in suitable conditions for multiple species.

  1. Environmental conditions and biotic interactions influence ecosystem structure and function in a drying stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludlam, J.P.; Magoulick, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    Benthic consumers influence stream ecosystem structure and function, but these interactions depend on environmental context. We experimentally quantified the effects of central stoneroller minnows (Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) and Meek's crayfish (Orconectes meeki meeki (Faxon)) on benthic communities using electric exclusion quadrats in Little Mulberry Creek before (June) and during (August) seasonal stream drying. Unglazed ceramic tiles were deployed in June and August to measure periphyton and invertebrate abundance, and leafpack decomposition and primary production were also measured in August. Relationships between stoneroller and crayfish density and the size of consumer effects were evaluated with multiple linear regression models. Average chlorophyll a abundance was greater on exposed than exclusion tiles in August, but not in June. Sediment dry mass, periphyton ash-free dry mass (AFDM), and chironomid densities on tiles did not differ among treatments in either period. Leaf packs decayed faster in exposed than exclusion treatments (kexposed = 0.038 ?? 0.013, kexclusion = 0.007 ?? 0.002), but consumer effects were stronger in some pools than others. Leafpack invertebrate biomass and abundance and tile primary productivity did not differ among treatments. Consumer effects on chlorophyll a were related to crayfish and stoneroller density, and effects on chironomid density were related to stoneroller density. These results contrast with a previous exclusion experiment in Little Mulberry Creek that demonstrated strong consumer effects. The influence of stream drying on consumer effects appears to have been reduced by strong spates, underscoring the importance of conducting multi-year studies to determine the magnitude of variability in ecological interactions. ?? US Government: USGS 2010.

  2. Stress differentially impacts reserve pools and root exudation: implications for ecosystem functioning and carbon balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landhäusser, Simon; Karst, Justine; Wiley, Erin; Gaster, Jacob

    2016-04-01

    Environmental stress can influence carbon assimilation and the accumulation and distribution of carbon between growth, reserves, and exudation; however, it is unclear how these processes vary by different stress types. Partitioning of carbon to growth and reserves in plants might also vary between different organs. Roots reserves are of particular interest as they link the plant with the soil carbon cycle through exudation. Simple models of diffusion across concentration gradients predict the more C reserves in roots, the more C should be exuded from roots. However, the mechanisms underlying the accumulation and loss of C from roots may differ depending on the stress experienced by the plants. In a controlled study we tested whether different types of stresses (shade, cold soil, and drought) have differential effects on the distribution, abundance, and form (sugar vs. starch) of carbohydrates in seedlings, and whether these changes alone could explain differences in root exudation between stress types. Non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentration and pool sizes varied by stress type and between organs. Mass-specific C exudation increased with fine root sugar concentration; however, stress type affected exudation independently of reserve concentration. Seedlings exposed to cold soils exuded the most C on a per root mass basis followed by shade and drought. Through 13C labeling, we also found that depending on the stress type, aspen seedlings may be less able to control the loss of C to the soil compared with unstressed seedlings, resulting in more C leaked to the rhizosphere. The loss of C beyond that predicted by simple concentration gradients might have important implications for ecosystem functioning and carbon balance. If stressed plants lose proportionally more carbon to the soil, existing interactions between plants and soils may decouple under stress, and may include unexpected C fluxes between trees, soils and the atmosphere with a changing climate.

  3. Effect of grazing and canopy on Mediterranean ecosystem functioning: Carbon dioxide exchange and the dynamics of carbon and nutrient pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirzaei, Heydar; Tenhunen, John; Hossein, Zaman; Li, Yuelin; Otieno, Dennis

    2010-05-01

    Mediterranean ecosystems occupy less than 5 % of the Earth's surface, yet they contain about 20 % of the world's flora, including important components in grasslands. In this study, important ecosystem functions (CO2 exchange, biomass production and nutrient uptake of the herbaceous layer of a Mediterranean grassland ecosystem) at Herdade da Mitra, in Portugal were studied. The main objectives of this project were, to understand effects of grazing and canopy layer (overstory) on ecosystem functioning respectively. The canopy layer consists of some woody species mainly Quercus ilex and Qu. Suber. Results showed that trees added considerable amounts of nutrients to the soil beneath their canopies, and had the potential to facilitate understory production. Although there was no significant difference in total biomass accumulation between understory and open locations. Analysis of soil N concentration revealed higher soil N under the trees when compared to those in open areas. Although NEE was limited by light intensity in the understory, model projection of GPP showed no difference between the understory and the open locations in their potential assimilatory capacity but depending on the locations (open vs understory), grazing influenced CO2 exchange processes differently. We found no significant differences in GPP between grazed and ungrazed sites in the open locations, while large differences occurred in the understory, with lower NEE in the grazed as compared to the ungrazed locations. Significant differences, however, occurred between the two locations in ecosystem respiration, showing higher respiration in grazed location in the open site while in the understory site respiration was similar in both grazed and ungrazed locations. Foliar N concentration in understory and open sites showed a different pattern, as the ungrazed location in the understory indicated lower values compared to grazed locations, although in the open sites, ungrazed locations exhibited larger

  4. Water content differences have stronger effects than plant functional groups on soil bacteria in a steppe ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximei Zhang

    Full Text Available Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China. We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  5. Optimal root profiles in water-limited ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudd, Keith; Albertson, John D.; Ferrari, Silvia

    2014-09-01

    The vertical distribution of roots in the soil is of central importance to the mass and energy exchange between the land and the atmosphere. It has been demonstrated that the vertical root profiles which maximize transpiration in numerical experiments reflect well the characteristics of root profiles observed in nature for water-limited ecosystems. Previous research has demonstrated how the optimal vertical root profile depends on both the mean annual precipitation (MAP) and the soil texture. Recently, in the climate literature, it has been suggested Chou et al. (2012) [5] that increased greenhouse forcing in the tropics can lead to a simultaneous decrease in the frequency and increase in the intensity of precipitation. In this paper we demonstrate how such a change in the statistical structure of rainfall, even with no change to MAP, requires deeper root distributions to maintain optimal water use. These results raise interesting questions for future studies of nutrient dynamics, the cost of additional below ground carbon allocation, and inter plant functional type competition.

  6. Multicriteria decision analysis for monitoring ecosystem service function of the Three-River Headwaters region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jinfeng; Zhou, Yi; Wang, Shixin; Wang, Litao; Wang, Futao; Liu, Wenliang; Guo, Bing

    2015-06-01

    The Three-River Headwaters (TRH) region in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China, is of key importance to the ecological security of China and Southeast Asia and contains some of the most sensitive and fragile ecosystems. Monitoring and evaluating the ecosystem service function and its changes in the TRH region could support decision-making for regional ecological protection and restoration programs. Referencing the concept of ecosystem service and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) framework, this study built a system of indicators for monitoring and evaluating the ecosystem service function. Thus, combining a multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) and weighted linear combination (WLC) with analytic hierarchy process (AHP), we applied the ecosystem service function index (ESFI) based on remote sensing data at 1-km spatial resolution to spatiotemporally monitor the changes during the period 2005-2010. The study results indicated that ESFI had a good performance for monitoring the ecosystem service function and showed an improving trend in the TRH region over the past 5 years. Ecosystem environment recovery not only reflected the changing trend of warm and wet climate but was also a response of the ecological protection project of the Key Ecological Function Zone in the TRH region.

  7. Mapping Drought Sensitivity of Ecosystem Functioning in Mountainous Watersheds: Spatial Heterogeneity and Geological-Geomorphological Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, H. M.; Steefel, C. F.; Williams, K. H.; Hubbard, S. S.; Enquist, B. J.; Steltzer, H.; Sarah, T.

    2016-12-01

    Mountainous watersheds in the Upper Colorado River Basin play a critical role in supplying water and nutrients to western North America. Ecosystem functioning in those regions - including plant dynamics and biogeochemical cycling - is known to be limited by water availability. Under the climate change, early snowmelt and increasing temperature are expected to intensify the drought conditions in early growing seasons. Although the impact of early-season drought has been documented in plot-scale experiments, ascertaining its significance in mountainous watersheds is challenging given the highly heterogeneous nature of the systems with complex terrain and diverse plant functional types (PFTs). The objectives of this study are (1) to map the regions where the plant dynamics are relatively more sensitive to drought conditions based on historical satellite and climate data, and (2) to identify the environmental controls (e.g., geomorphology, elevation, geology, snow and PFT) on drought sensitivity. We characterize the spatial heterogeneity of drought sensitivity in four watersheds (a 15 x 15 km domain) near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, USA. Following previous plot-scale studies, we first define the drought sensitivity based on annual peak NDVI (Landsat 5) and climatic datasets. Non-parametric tree-based machine learning methods are used to identify the significant environmental controls, using high-resolution LiDAR digital elevation map and peak snow-water-equivalent distribution from NASA airborne snow observatory. Results show that the drought sensitivity is negatively correlated with elevation, suggesting increased water limitations in lower elevation (less snow, higher temperature). The drought sensitivity is more spatially variable in shallow-rooted plant types, affected by local hydrological conditions. We also found geomorphological and geological controls, such as high sensitivity in the steep well-drained glacial moraine regions. Our

  8. The Impact of Ecosystem Functional Type Changes on the La Plata Basin Climate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Seung-Jae LEE; E.Hugo BERBERY; Domingo ALCARAZ-SEGURA

    2013-01-01

    In this paper,the effects of land cover changes on the climate of the La Plata Basin in southern South America are investigated using the Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) Model configured on a 30/10-km two-way interactive nested grid.To assess the regional climate changes resulting from land surface changes,the standard land cover types are replaced by time-varying Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs),which is a newly devised land-cover classification that characterizes the spatial and interannual variability of surface vegetation dynamics.These variations indicate that natural and anthropogenic activities have caused changes in the surface physical parameters of the basin,such as albedo and roughness length,that contributed to regional climate changes.EFTs are obtained from functional attributes of vegetation computed from properties of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to represent patches of the land surface with homogeneous energy and gas exchanges with the atmosphere.Four simulations are conducted,each experimental period ranging from September to November in two contrasting years,1988 and 1998.The influence of an identical EFT change on the surface heat fluxes,2-m temperature and humidity,10-m winds,convective instabilities and large-scale moisture fluxes and precipitation are explored for 1988 (a dry year) and 1998 (a wet year).Results show that the surface and atmospheric climate has a larger response to the same EFT changes in a dry year for 2-m temperature and 10-m wind; the response is larger in a wet year for 2-m water vapor mixing ratio,convective available potential energy,vertically integrated moisture fluxes and surface precipitation.For EFTs with high productivity and a weak seasonal cycle,the nearsurface temperature during the spring of 1988 and 1998 increased by as much as 1℃ in the central and western portions of La Plata Basin.Additionally,for higher productivity EFTs,precipitation differences were generally positive in

  9. Species replacement by a nonnative salmonid alters ecosystem function by reducing prey subsidies that support riparian spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Joseph R; Fausch, Kurt D; Baxter, Colden V

    2011-10-01

    Replacement of a native species by a nonnative can have strong effects on ecosystem function, such as altering nutrient cycling or disturbance frequency. Replacements may cause shifts in ecosystem function because nonnatives establish at different biomass, or because they differ from native species in traits like foraging behavior. However, no studies have compared effects of wholesale replacement of a native by a nonnative species on subsidies that support consumers in adjacent habitats, nor quantified the magnitude of these effects. We examined whether streams invaded by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in two regions of the Rocky Mountains, USA, produced fewer emerging adult aquatic insects compared to paired streams with native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii), and whether riparian spiders that depend on these prey were less abundant along streams with lower total insect emergence. As predicted, emergence density was 36% lower from streams with the nonnative fish. Biomass of brook trout was higher than the cutthroat trout they replaced, but even after accounting for this difference, emergence was 24% lower from brook trout streams. More riparian spiders were counted along streams with greater total emergence across the water surface. Based on these results, we predicted that brook trout replacement would result in 6-20% fewer spiders in the two regions. When brook trout replace cutthroat trout, they reduce cross-habitat resource subsidies and alter ecosystem function in stream-riparian food webs, not only owing to increased biomass but also because traits apparently differ from native cutthroat trout.

  10. Species replacement by a nonnative salmonid alters ecosystem function by reducing prey subsidies that support riparian spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, J.R.; Fausch, K.D.; Baxter, C.V.

    2011-01-01

    Replacement of a native species by a nonnative can have strong effects on ecosystem function, such as altering nutrient cycling or disturbance frequency. Replacements may cause shifts in ecosystem function because nonnatives establish at different biomass, or because they differ from native species in traits like foraging behavior. However, no studies have compared effects of wholesale replacement of a native by a nonnative species on subsidies that support consumers in adjacent habitats, nor quantified the magnitude of these effects. We examined whether streams invaded by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in two regions of the Rocky Mountains, USA, produced fewer emerging adult aquatic insects compared to paired streams with native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii), and whether riparian spiders that depend on these prey were less abundant along streams with lower total insect emergence. As predicted, emergence density was 36% lower from streams with the nonnative fish. Biomass of brook trout was higher than the cutthroat trout they replaced, but even after accounting for this difference, emergence was 24% lower from brook trout streams. More riparian spiders were counted along streams with greater total emergence across the water surface. Based on these results, we predicted that brook trout replacement would result in 6-20% fewer spiders in the two regions. When brook trout replace cutthroat trout, they reduce cross-habitat resource subsidies and alter ecosystem function in stream-riparian food webs, not only owing to increased biomass but also because traits apparently differ from native cutthroat trout. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  11. 基于功能性状的生态系统服务研究框架%A research framework of ecosystem services based on functional traits

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    肖玉; 谢高地; 安凯; 鲁春霞

    2012-01-01

    功能性状通过影响生态系统的属性和过程及其维持来影响生态系统服务.功能多样性-生态系统功能关系的研究有助于深入探讨生态系统服务形成机制,也为生态系统服务研究提供了一个切入点.该文对目前的功能性状和生态系统服务研究框架进行了介绍,回顾了功能多样性-生态系统功能关系的研究现状,总结了目前功能性状在生态系统服务研究中的应用,提出了基于功能性状的生态系统服务研究框架.在这个研究框架中,首先选取对生态系统功能影响显著的非生物因子和功能多样性指数,然后量化非生物因子和功能多样性与生态系统功能,以及生态系统功能-生态系统服务之间的关系,进而构建功能多样性与生态系统服务的数量关系.与此同时,利用群落构建理论和物种共存机制分析功能多样性-生态系统功能变化的机制联系,以研究生态系统服务形成和变化机制,为生态系统服务管理决策提供科学依据.%Functional traits influence ecosystem services through their effects on ecosystem attributes, processes and their maintenance. Research on the relationship between functional diversity and ecosystem function can contribute to investigating the mechanism of ecosystem functioning and services supplied, which provides insight on ecosystem services. This study reviewed research on functional traits and framework of ecosystem services, relationship between functional diversity and ecosystem function and application of functional traits in ecosystem services. We proposed a framework of ecosystem services based on functional traits. First, abiotic factors and functional diversity indices that significantly affected ecosystem function should be investigated. Second, (a) quantitative relationships between abiotic factors and functional indices and ecosystem function and (b) quantitative relationships between ecosystem function and ecosystem

  12. The Use of Microcosms as an Experimental Approach to Understanding Terrestrial Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, L. H.

    1999-01-01

    Since 1986, a series of microcosm experiments has been conducted at the Unit of Comparative Plant Ecology (UCPE) in an attempt to test our understanding of the principles controlling the structure and dynamics of plant communities and ecosystems. In each experiment microcosms have been seeded with a common pool of organisms, and systems have been allowed to assemble under replicated controlled conditions. Experiment variables have included mineral nutrient supply, temperature, moisture supply, soil depth, carbon dioxide concentration, mycorrhizas, rhizobia, herbivores and carnivores. Results from these experiments are presented to illustrate the value of synthesised ecosystems in ecological research.

  13. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; Shaw, E. Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H.; Ramirez, Kelly S.; Sylvain, Zachary A.; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking.

  14. Structure, Behavior, Function as a Framework For Teaching and Learning about Complexity In Ecosystems: Lessons from Middle School Classrooms (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hmelo-Silver, C.; Gray, S.; Jordan, R.

    2010-12-01

    the levels of ecosystems. A big part of this is making phenomena accessible to their experience. We accomplished through the use of physical models and computers simulations at different scale. In an effort to promote a coherent understanding in our learners, we sought to develop tools that can provide dynamic feedback that will enable them to modify, enrich, and repair their mental models as needed (e.g., Roschelle, 1996). Additionally, we also wanted to develop a conceptual representation that can be used across multiple ecosystems to prepare students to learn about new systems in the future (Bransford & Schwartz, 1999). Our approach to this has been to use the structure-behavior-function (SBF) conceptual representation (Liu & Hmelo-Silver, 2009; Vattam et al., in press). Often, learning life science is about learning the names of structures. One of our design principles is to ensure instruction emphasizes the behaviors (or mechanisms) of systems as well as the functions (the system outputs) in addition to the structures. We have used simulations to help make behaviors and functions visible and a modeling tool that supports students in thinking about the SBF conceptual representation. In this presentation, we will report on the results of classroom interventions and the lessons learned.

  15. A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem function, goods and services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, de R.S.; Wilson, M.A.; Boumans, R.M.J.

    2002-01-01

    An increasing amount of information is being collected on the ecological and socio-economic value of goods and services provided by natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, much of this information appears scattered throughout a disciplinary academic literature, unpublished government agency re

  16. CLIMOOR. Climate driven changes in the functioning of heath and moorland ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beier, C. [ed.; Tietema, A.; Riis Nielsen, T.; Emmett, B.; Estiarte, M.; Penuelas, J.; Llorens Guash, L.; Williams, D.; Gordon, C.; Pugh, B.; Roda, F.; Gundersen, P.; Gorissen, A.

    2000-01-01

    Emission of green house gases, partly generated from human activities, reduces the loss of heat from the earth thereby potentially causing climate change. This change in climate has been predicted to result in a 1-3 deg. C increase in temperature with more vigorous rainstorms and prolonged drought periods in the coming 100 years. The consequence of such climatic changes for the terrestrial ecosystems are largely unknown. In order to improve our understanding of the ecosystem response to climate change and thereby to improve the basis for the international negotiations and political decisions to avoid or minimise climate change and its effects, a European research project CLIMOOR has been initiated. The project is a cross European research project involving 6 research groups from Denmark, the Netherlands, UK and Spain and is funded by EU and the participating institutions. The project investigates the potential effects of warming and drought on heath and moorland ecosystems at four European sites. The ecosystems are manipulated at field scale by reducing the heat loss at night by IR-reflective curtains and by removing the precipitation during a 2 month period in the summer. The effects of these manipulations on the plants and the soil are studied. This report describes the technique used to apply the climate change at field scale and presents some preliminary results after the first growing season. EU and the participating institutions fund CLIMOOR. (au)

  17. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F; Prishchepov, Alexander; Verbesselt, Jan

    2016-01-01

    in such highly complex systems. In this research a piece-wise linear regression method was used for breakpoint detection in Rain-Use Efficiency (RUE) time series and a classification of ecosystem response types was produced. Supported by earth observation data, field data and expert knowledge, this study...

  18. Adaptability of Organizational Innovations as a Function of Eco-System Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurpius, DeWayne J.

    Research in organizational development and ecological psychology has demonstrated the importance of viewing organizations from a systems perspective. Organizational innovations are planned, designed, and implemented in increasingly complex and dynamic ecosystems. This paper presents a model of organizational change which was developed using a…

  19. Form follows function? Proposing a blueprint for ecosystem service assessments based on reviews and case studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seppelt, R.; Fath, B.; Burkhard, B.; Fisher, J.L.; Grêt-Regamey, A.; Lautenbach, S.; Pert, P.; Hotes, S.; Spangenberg, J.; Verburg, P.H.; Oudenhoven, van A.P.E.

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem service assessments (ESA) hold the promise of supporting the quantification and valuation of human appropriation of nature and its goods and services. The concept has taken flight with the number of studies published on the topic increasing rapidly. This development, and the variation of d

  20. Competition between plant functional types in the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM) v. 2.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melton, J. R.; Arora, V. K.

    2016-01-01

    The Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM) is the interactive vegetation component in the Earth system model of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. CTEM models land-atmosphere exchange of CO2 through the response of carbon in living vegetation, and dead litter and soil pools, to changes in weather and climate at timescales of days to centuries. Version 1.0 of CTEM uses prescribed fractional coverage of plant functional types (PFTs) although, in reality, vegetation cover continually adapts to changes in climate, atmospheric composition and anthropogenic forcing. Changes in the spatial distribution of vegetation occur on timescales of years to centuries as vegetation distributions inherently have inertia. Here, we present version 2.0 of CTEM, which includes a representation of competition between PFTs based on a modified version of the Lotka-Volterra (L-V) predator-prey equations. Our approach is used to dynamically simulate the fractional coverage of CTEM's seven natural, non-crop PFTs, which are then compared with available observation-based estimates. Results from CTEM v. 2.0 show the model is able to represent the broad spatial distributions of its seven PFTs at the global scale. However, differences remain between modelled and observation-based fractional coverage of PFTs since representing the multitude of plant species globally, with just seven non-crop PFTs, only captures the large-scale climatic controls on PFT distributions. As expected, PFTs that exist in climate niches are difficult to represent either due to the coarse spatial resolution of the model, and the corresponding driving climate, or the limited number of PFTs used. We also simulate the fractional coverage of PFTs using unmodified L-V equations to illustrate its limitations. The geographic and zonal distributions of primary terrestrial carbon pools and fluxes from the versions of CTEM that use prescribed and dynamically simulated fractional coverage of PFTs compare

  1. Invasion by the Alien Tree Prunus serotina Alters Ecosystem Functions in a Temperate Deciduous Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Raf; Ewald, Michael; Nicolas, Manuel; Piat, Jérôme; Skowronek, Sandra; Lenoir, Jonathan; Hattab, Tarek; Garzón-López, Carol X.; Feilhauer, Hannes; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Rocchini, Duccio; Decocq, Guillaume; Somers, Ben; Van De Kerchove, Ruben; Denef, Karolien; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Alien invasive species can affect large areas, often with wide-ranging impacts on ecosystem structure, function, and services. Prunus serotina is a widespread invader of European temperate forests, where it tends to form homogeneous stands and limits recruitment of indigenous trees. We hypotesized that invasion by P. serotina would be reflected in the nutrient contents of the native species' leaves and in the respiration of invaded plots as efficient resource uptake and changes in nutrient cycling by P. serotina probably underly its aggressive invasiveness. We combined data from 48 field plots in the forest of Compiègne, France, and data from an experiment using 96 microcosms derived from those field plots. We used general linear models to separate effects of invasion by P. serotina on heterotrophic soil and litter respiration rates and on canopy foliar nutrient content from effects of soil chemical properties, litter quantity, litter species composition, and tree species composition. In invaded stands, average respiration rates were 5.6% higher for soil (without litter) and 32% higher for soil and litter combined. Compared to indigenous tree species, P. serotina exhibited higher foliar N (+24.0%), foliar P (+50.7%), and lower foliar C:N (−22.4%) and N:P (−10.1%) ratios. P. serotina affected foliar nutrient contents of co-occuring indigenous tree species leading to decreased foliar N (−8.7 %) and increased C:N ratio (+9.5%) in Fagus sylvatica, decreased foliar N:P ratio in Carpinus betulus (−13.5%) and F. sylvatica (−11.8%), and increased foliar P in Pinus sylvestris (+12.3%) in invaded vs. uninvaded stands. Our results suggest that P. serotina is changing nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles to its own advantage, hereby increasing carbon turnover via labile litter, affecting the relative nutrient contents in the overstory leaves, and potentially altering the photosynthetic capacity of the long-lived indigenous broadleaved species. Uncontrolled

  2. Bridging Multiple Lines Of Evidence To Quantify Plant Phenology And Assess Links To Dryland Ecosystem Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, D. M.; Tweedie, C. E.; Vivoni, E. R.; Maynard, J. J.; Karl, J.

    2015-12-01

    The clear and pressing need to reliably identify and predict shifts in plant phenology at landscape scales requires a critical link between mechanistic understanding of climate drivers and broad scale forecasts of plant responses to climate change. A multi-scale phenology study co-located with two eddy covariance towers was initiated on the Jornada Basin LTER in New Mexico in 2010 to bridge phenology patterns at the plant level with those representing aggregated signals at the landscape level. The study integrates phenology observations collected in the field along with those collected via remotely using imagery from phenocams, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and satellite sensors along with estimates of carbon flux. We applied the Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend (BFAST) time series algorithm to MODIS 250-m NDVI greenness index values to partition the NDVI signal into components representing the long-term trend, seasonal periodicity, and residuals and identified significant shifts in the NDVI signal (i.e., "breaks"). Previous work verified breaks representing significant deviations from the BFAST seasonal and trend models using field-estimated plant biomass collected between 2000 and 2014. We subsequently examine estimates of fractional cover by functional group derived from UAV images acquired 2010 through 2015. At a mixed grassland site, the BFAST algorithm detected four breaks in the trend model denoting significant increases in NDVI in May 2004, July 2006, and March 2010 and a significant decrease in May 2012. The 2004 and 2006 breaks corresponded to herbaceous vegetation responses to rainfall following prolonged periods of drought. The 2012 decrease in NDVI corresponded to the marked reduction of herbaceous biomass following an exceptionally dry period in late 2010-2011. Seasonal breaks representing changes in the timing and magnitude of NDVI identified in July 2006 and September 2008 coincide with rapid increases in production of annual species in

  3. Invasion by the Alien Tree Prunus serotina Alters Ecosystem Functions in a Temperate Deciduous Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Raf; Ewald, Michael; Nicolas, Manuel; Piat, Jérôme; Skowronek, Sandra; Lenoir, Jonathan; Hattab, Tarek; Garzón-López, Carol X; Feilhauer, Hannes; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Rocchini, Duccio; Decocq, Guillaume; Somers, Ben; Van De Kerchove, Ruben; Denef, Karolien; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Alien invasive species can affect large areas, often with wide-ranging impacts on ecosystem structure, function, and services. Prunus serotina is a widespread invader of European temperate forests, where it tends to form homogeneous stands and limits recruitment of indigenous trees. We hypotesized that invasion by P. serotina would be reflected in the nutrient contents of the native species' leaves and in the respiration of invaded plots as efficient resource uptake and changes in nutrient cycling by P. serotina probably underly its aggressive invasiveness. We combined data from 48 field plots in the forest of Compiègne, France, and data from an experiment using 96 microcosms derived from those field plots. We used general linear models to separate effects of invasion by P. serotina on heterotrophic soil and litter respiration rates and on canopy foliar nutrient content from effects of soil chemical properties, litter quantity, litter species composition, and tree species composition. In invaded stands, average respiration rates were 5.6% higher for soil (without litter) and 32% higher for soil and litter combined. Compared to indigenous tree species, P. serotina exhibited higher foliar N (+24.0%), foliar P (+50.7%), and lower foliar C:N (-22.4%) and N:P (-10.1%) ratios. P. serotina affected foliar nutrient contents of co-occuring indigenous tree species leading to decreased foliar N (-8.7 %) and increased C:N ratio (+9.5%) in Fagus sylvatica, decreased foliar N:P ratio in Carpinus betulus (-13.5%) and F. sylvatica (-11.8%), and increased foliar P in Pinus sylvestris (+12.3%) in invaded vs. uninvaded stands. Our results suggest that P. serotina is changing nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles to its own advantage, hereby increasing carbon turnover via labile litter, affecting the relative nutrient contents in the overstory leaves, and potentially altering the photosynthetic capacity of the long-lived indigenous broadleaved species. Uncontrolled invasion of

  4. Competition between plant functional types in the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM v. 2.0

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Melton

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM is the interactive vegetation component in the Earth system model of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. CTEM models land–atmosphere exchange of CO2 through the response of carbon in living vegetation, and dead litter and soil pools, to changes in weather and climate at timescales of days to centuries. Version 1.0 of CTEM uses prescribed fractional coverage of plant functional types (PFTs although, in reality, vegetation cover continually adapts to changes in climate, atmospheric composition, and anthropogenic forcing. Changes in the spatial distribution of vegetation occur on timescales of years to centuries as vegetation distributions inherently have inertia. Here, we present version 2.0 of CTEM which includes a representation of competition between PFTs based on a modified version of the Lotka–Volterra (L–V predator–prey equations. Our approach is used to dynamically simulate the fractional coverage of CTEM's seven natural, non-crop PFTs which are then compared with available observation-based estimates. Results from CTEM v. 2.0 show the model is able to represent the broad spatial distributions of its seven PFTs at the global scale. However, differences remain between modelled and observation-based fractional coverages of PFTs since representing the multitude of plant species globally, with just seven non-crop PFTs, only captures the large scale climatic controls on PFT distributions. As expected, PFTs that exist in climate niches are difficult to represent either due to the coarse spatial resolution of the model, and the corresponding driving climate, or the limited number of PFTs used. We also simulate the fractional coverages of PFTs using unmodified L–V equations to illustrate its limitations. The geographic and zonal distributions of primary terrestrial carbon pools and fluxes from the versions of CTEM that use prescribed and dynamically simulated fractional

  5. Responses of plant community composition and biomass production to warming and nitrogen deposition in a temperate meadow ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Guo, Rui; Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has profound influences on plant community composition and ecosystem functions. However, its effects on plant community composition and biomass production are not well understood. A four-year field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and their interactions on plant community composition and biomass production in a temperate meadow ecosystem in northeast China. Experimental warming had no significant effect on plant species richness, evenness, and diversity, while N addition highly reduced the species richness and diversity. Warming tended to reduce the importance value of graminoid species but increased the value of forbs, while N addition had the opposite effect. Warming tended to increase the belowground biomass, but had an opposite tendency to decrease the aboveground biomass. The influences of warming on aboveground production were dependent upon precipitation. Experimental warming had little effect on aboveground biomass in the years with higher precipitation, but significantly suppressed aboveground biomass in dry years. Our results suggest that warming had indirect effects on plant production via its effect on the water availability. Nitrogen addition significantly increased above- and below-ground production, suggesting that N is one of the most important limiting factors determining plant productivity in the studied meadow steppe. Significant interactive effects of warming plus N addition on belowground biomass were also detected. Our observations revealed that environmental changes (warming and N deposition) play significant roles in regulating plant community composition and biomass production in temperate meadow steppe ecosystem in northeast China.

  6. Investigating Ecosystem Functional Development Along a Temperate Rainforest Chronosequence Using Stable Isotope Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbour, M. M.; Hunt, J. E.; Richardson, S. J.; Peltzer, D. A.; Whitehead, D.

    2003-12-01

    Soil chronosequences are valuable systems for investigating ecosystem development by natural substitution of space for time. The Franz Josef chronosequence in New Zealand comprises temperate mixed conifer/hardwood rainforests formed on glacial surfaces of varying age. It is particularly useful as it includes both early build-up and decline phases over a relatively short time period (ca. 120 k years). Along the sequence, soil phosphorus decreases 8-fold, from 778 to 8 mg kg-1 soluble P. In contrast, nitrogen availability increases to peak at about 500 years, due to early successional N2-fixing shrubs, after which it slowly declines. Ecosystem development along the sequence is characterised by marked changes in both plant species richness and tree height, with progression up to 5 k years and retrogression at older sites (ie > 14 k years). The carbon isotope ratio (δ 13CL) of sunlit canopy leaves from three dominant species sampled from within each of six sites, representing the full length of the sequence, decreased from -26.2 to -31.0 per mil with increasing ecosystem age. Independent measurements of photosynthetic capacity confirmed that the decrease was due to declining maximum photosynthetic rate: N2-fixers > early successional angiosperms > late successional angiosperms > late successional conifers. Stable oxygen and nitrogen isotope ratios of canopy leaves are interpreted in terms of stomatal regulation of water loss and changing nitrogen source, respectively. Carbon isotope analysis of CO2 sampled at night at different heights within the canopy allowed estimation of ecosystem discrimination (δ 13CR) using Keeling plots. Similarly to δ 13CL, δ 13CR decreased with increasing soil age, suggesting that in high rainfall environments δ 13CR is a good integrator of ecosystem photosynthetic capacity.

  7. Plant functional traits in relation to fire in crown-fire ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bradstock, Ross A.; Keith, David A.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2004-01-01

    Disturbance is a dominant factor in many ecosystems, and the disturbance regime is likely to change over the next decades in response to land-use changes and global warming. We assume that predictions of vegetation dynamics can be made on the basis of a set of life-history traits that characterize the response of a species to disturbance. For crown-fire ecosystems, the main plant traits related to postfire persistence are the ability to resprout (persistence of individuals) and the ability to retain a persistent seed bank (persistence of populations). In this context, we asked (1) to what extent do different life-history traits co-occur with the ability to resprout and/or the ability to retain a persistent seed bank among differing ecosystems and (2) to what extent do combinations of fire-related traits (fire syndromes) change in a fire regime gradient? We explored these questions by reviewing the literature and analyzing databases compiled from different crown-fire ecosystems (mainly eastern Australia, California, and the Mediterranean basin). The review suggests that the pattern of correlation between the two basic postfire persistent traits and other plant traits varies between continents and ecosystems. From these results we predict, for instance, that not all resprouters respond in a similar way everywhere because the associated plant traits of resprouter species vary in different places. Thus, attempts to generalize predictions on the basis of the resprouting capacity may have limited power at a global scale. An example is presented for Australian heathlands. Considering the combination of persistence at individual (resprouting) and at population (seed bank) level, the predictive power at local scale was significantly increased.

  8. The future of evapotranspiration: Global requirements for ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Joshua B.; Melton, Forrest; Middleton, Elizabeth; Hain, Christopher; Anderson, Martha; Allen, Richard; McCabe, Matthew F.; Hook, Simon; Baldocchi, Dennis; Townsend, Philip A.; Kilic, Ayse; Tu, Kevin; Miralles, Diego D.; Perret, Johan; Lagouarde, Jean-Pierre; Waliser, Duane; Purdy, Adam J.; French, Andrew; Schimel, David; Famiglietti, James S.; Stephens, Graeme; Wood, Eric F.

    2017-04-01

    The fate of the terrestrial biosphere is highly uncertain given recent and projected changes in climate. This is especially acute for impacts associated with changes in drought frequency and intensity on the distribution and timing of water availability. The development of effective adaptation strategies for these emerging threats to food and water security are compromised by limitations in our understanding of how natural and managed ecosystems are responding to changing hydrological and climatological regimes. This information gap is exacerbated by insufficient monitoring capabilities from local to global scales. Here, we describe how evapotranspiration (ET) represents the key variable in linking ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources, and highlight both the outstanding science and applications questions and the actions, especially from a space-based perspective, necessary to advance them.

  9. The Future of Evapotranspiration: Global requirements for ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources

    KAUST Repository

    Fisher, Joshua B.

    2017-03-11

    The fate of the terrestrial biosphere is highly uncertain given recent and projected changes in climate. This is especially acute for impacts associated with changes in drought frequency and intensity on the distribution and timing of water availability. The development of effective adaptation strategies for these emerging threats to food and water security are compromised by limitations in our understanding of how natural and managed ecosystems are responding to changing hydrological and climatological regimes. This information gap is exacerbated by insufficient monitoring capabilities from local to global scales. Here, we describe how evapotranspiration (ET) represents the key variable in linking ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources, and highlight both the outstanding science and applications questions and the actions, especially from a space-based perspective, necessary to advance them. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Modelling the decadal trend of ecosystem carbon fluxes demonstrates the important role of functional changes in a temperate deciduous forest

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wu, Jian; Jansson, P.E.; van der Linden, Leon;

    2013-01-01

    Temperate forests are globally important carbon sinks and stocks. Trends in net ecosystem exchange have been observed in a Danish beech forest and this trend cannot be entirely attributed to changing climatic drivers. This study sought to clarify the mechanisms responsible for the observed trend......, the latent and sensible heat fluxes and the CO2 fluxes decreased the parameter uncertainty considerably compared to using CO2 fluxes as validation data alone. The fitted model was able to simulate the observed carbon fluxes well (R2=0.8, mean error=0.1gCm−2d−1) but did not reproduce the decadal (1997......–2009) trend in carbon uptake when global parameter estimates were used. Annual parameter estimates were able to reproduce the decadal scale trend; the yearly fitted posterior parameters (e.g. the light use efficiency) indicated a role for changes in the ecosystem functional properties. A possible role...

  11. The Future of Evapotranspiration: Global Requirements for Ecosystem Functioning, Carbon and Climate Feedbacks, Agricultural Management, and Water Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Joshua B.; Melton, Forrest; Middleton, Elizabeth; Hain, Christopher; Anderson, Martha; Allen, Richard; McCabe, Matthew F.; Hook, Simon; Baldocchi, Dennis; Townsend, Philip A.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The fate of the terrestrial biosphere is highly uncertain given recent and projected changes in climate. This is especially acute for impacts associated with changes in drought frequency and intensity on the distribution and timing of water availability. The development of effective adaptation strategies for these emerging threats to food and water security are compromised by limitations in our understanding of how natural and managed ecosystems are responding to changing hydrological and climatological regimes. This information gap is exacerbated by insufficient monitoring capabilities from local to global scales. Here, we describe how evapotranspiration (ET) represents the key variable in linking ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources, and highlight both the outstanding science and applications questions and the actions, especially from a space-based perspective, necessary to advance them.

  12. Investigating fine-scale spatio-temporal predator-prey patterns in dynamic marine ecosystems: a functional data analysis approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Embling, C.B.; Illian, J.; Armstrong, E.; van der Kooij, J.; Sharples, J.; Camphuysen, K.C.J.; Scott, B.E.

    2012-01-01

    1. Spatial management of marine ecosystems requires detailed knowledge of spatio-temporal mechanisms linking physical and biological processes. Tidal currents, the main driver of ecosystem dynamics in temperate coastal ecosystems, influence predator foraging ecology by affecting prey distribution an

  13. Long-term Satellite NDVI Data Sets: Evaluating Their Ability to Detect Ecosystem Functional Changes in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldi, Germán; Nosetto, Marcelo D; Aragón, Roxana; Aversa, Fernando; Paruelo, José M; Jobbágy, Esteban G

    2008-09-03

    In the last decades, South American ecosystems underwent important functional modifications due to climate alterations and direct human intervention on land use and land cover. Among remotely sensed data sets, NOAA-AVHRR "Normalized Difference Vegetation Index" (NDVI) represents one of the most powerful tools to evaluate these changes thanks to their extended temporal coverage. In this paper we explored the possibilities and limitations of three commonly used NOAA-AVHRR NDVI series (PAL, GIMMS and FASIR) to detect ecosystem functional changes in the South American continent. We performed pixel-based linear regressions for four NDVI variables (average annual, maximum annual, minimum annual and intra-annual coefficient of variation) for the 1982-1999 period and (1) analyzed the convergences and divergences of significant multi-annual trends identified across all series, (2) explored the degree of aggregation of the trends using the O-ring statistic, and (3) evaluated observed trends using independent information on ecosystem functional changes in five focal regions. Several differences arose in terms of the patterns of change (the sign, localization and total number of pixels with changes). FASIR presented the highest proportion of changing pixels (32.7%) and GIMMS the lowest (16.2%). PAL and FASIR data sets showed the highest agreement, with a convergence of detected trends on 71.2% of the pixels. Even though positive and negative changes showed substantial spatial aggregation, important differences in the scale of aggregation emerged among the series, with GIMMS showing the smaller scale (≤11 pixels). The independent evaluations suggest higher accuracy in the detection of ecosystem changes among PAL and FASIR series than with GIMMS, as they detected trends that match expected shifts. In fact, this last series eliminated most of the long term patterns over the continent. For example, in the "Eastern Paraguay" and "Uruguay River margins" focal regions, the

  14. Extreme Drought Event and Shrub Invasion Reduce Oak Trees Functioning and Resilience on Water-Limited Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, M. C.; Lobo-do-Vale, R.; Lecomte, X.; David, T. S.; Pinto, J. G.; Bugalho, M. N.; Werner, C.

    2016-12-01

    Extreme droughts and plant invasions are major drivers of global change that can critically affect ecosystem functioning. Shrub encroachment is increasing in many regions worldwide and extreme events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity, namely in the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, little is known about how these drivers may interact and affect ecosystem functioning and resilience Using a manipulative shrub removal experiment and the co-occurrence of an extreme drought event in a Mediterranean oak woodland, we show that the combination of native shrub invasion and extreme drought reduced ecosystem transpiration and the resilience of the key-stone oak tree species. We established six 25 x 25 m paired plots in a shrub (Cistus ladanifer L.) encroached Mediterranean cork-oak (Quercus suber L.) woodland. We measured sapflow and pre-dawn leaf water potential of trees and shrubs and soil water content in all plots during four years. We determined the resilience of tree transpiration to evaluate to what extent trees recovered from the extreme drought event. From February to November 2011 we conducted baseline measurements for plot comparison. In November 2011 all the shrubs from one of all the paired plots were cut and removed. Ecosystem transpiration was dominated by the water use of the invasive shrub, which further increased after the extreme drought. Simultaneously, tree transpiration in invaded plots declined more sharply (67 ± 13 %) than in plots cleared from shrubs (31 ± 11%) relative to the pre-drought year (2011). Trees in invaded plots were not able to recover in the following wetter year showing lower resilience to the extreme drought event. Our results imply that in Mediterranean-type of climates invasion by water spending species coupled with the projected recurrent extreme droughts will cause critical drought tolerance thresholds of trees to be overcome, thus increasing the probability of tree mortality.

  15. Deriving soil function maps to assess related ecosystem services using imaging spectroscopy in the Lyss agricultural area, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diek, Sanne; de Jong, Rogier; Braun, Daniela; Böhler, Jonas; Schaepman, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Soils play an important role in the benefits offered by ecosystems services. In densely populated Switzerland soils are a scarce resource, with high pressure on services ranging from urban expansion to over-utilization. Key change drivers include erosion, soil degradation, land management change and (chemical) pollution, which should be taken into consideration. Therefore there is an emerging need for an integrated, sustainable and efficient system assessing the management of soil and land as a resource. The use of remote sensing can offer spatio-temporal and quantitative information of extended areas. In particular imaging spectroscopy has shown to perfectly complement existing sampling schemes as secondary information for digital soil mapping. Although only the upper-most layer of soil interacts with light when using reflectance spectroscopy, it still can offer valuable information that can be utilized by farmers and decision makers. Fully processed airborne imaging spectrometer data from APEX as well as land cover classification for the agricultural area in Lyss were available. Based on several spectral analysis methods we derived multiple soil properties, including soil organic matter, soil texture, and mineralogy; complemented by vegetation parameters, including leaf area index, chlorophyll content, pigment distribution, and water content. The surface variables were retrieved using a combination of index-based and physically-based retrievals. Soil properties in partly to fully vegetated areas were interpolated using regression kriging based methods. This allowed the continuous assessment of potential soil functions as well as non-contiguous maps of abundances of combined soil and vegetation parameters. Based on a simple regression model we could make a rough estimate of ecosystem services. This provided the opportunity to look at the differences between the interpolated soil function maps and the non-contiguous (but combined) vegetation and soil function maps

  16. Zoning by Functions of Small-Scale Forest Ecosystems:A Case Study of Hui-Sun Forest Station in Taiwan Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chang Hsiaofei; Wang Yanglin; Li Zhengguo; Hsueh Ichen

    2006-01-01

    To optimize the spatial structure of an ecosystem,a forest landscape was selected as a research object.Based on the theory of structure and functions of landscape ecology,combined with the analysis of the characteristics of the inner structure in an ecosystem,this paper proposes to establish certain procedures to regulate the spatial structure of this forest landscape and construct a landscape pattern of forest ecosystem functions.Considering the functions of biologic production,environmental services,and cultural support in forest ecosystems,forest landscape zones should consist of areas of forest production,research,experimentation,recreation,and conservation to add value to the forest ecosystem,enhance its functions,and then identify the relevant environmental factors according to the environment featured in the research area.Based on the methods of landscape ecology and ecological planning,this paper develops a zoning project of ecosystem functions suitable for various environments.For this research,the Hui-Sun forest station in Taiwan Province,China was selected to be the experimental area for studying the feasibility of developing a zoning project of forest ecosystem services and the suitability of optimizing the spatial structures of the services.

  17. EFFECTS OF ELEVATED CO2 ON ROOT FUNCTION AND SOIL RESPIRATION IN A MOJAVE DESERT ECOSYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-12-19

    Increases in atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration during the last 250 years are unequivocal, and CO{sub 2} will continue to increase at least for the next several decades (Houghton et al. 2001, Keeling & Whorf 2002). Arid ecosystems are some of the most important biomes globally on a land surface area basis, are increasing in area at an alarming pace (Dregne 1991), and have a strong coupling with regional climate (Asner & Heidebrecht 2005). These water-limited ecosystems also are predicted to be the most sensitive to elevated CO{sub 2}, in part because they are stressful environments where plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} may be amplified (Strain & Bazzaz 1983). Indeed, all C{sub 3} species examined at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility (NDFF) have shown increased A{sub net} under elevated CO{sub 2} (Ellsworth et al. 2004, Naumburg et al. 2003, Nowak et al. 2004). Furthermore, increased shoot growth for individual species under elevated CO{sub 2} was spectacular in a very wet year (Smith et al. 2000), although the response in low to average precipitation years has been smaller (Housman et al. 2006). Increases in perennial cover and biomass at the NDFF are consistent with long term trends in the Mojave Desert and elsewhere in the Southwest, indicating C sequestration in woody biomass (Potter et al. 2006). Elevated CO{sub 2} also increases belowground net primary production (BNPP), with average increases of 70%, 21%, and 11% for forests, bogs, and grasslands, respectively (Nowak et al. 2004). Although detailed studies of elevated CO{sub 2} responses for desert root systems were virtually non-existent prior to our research, we anticipated that C sequestration may occur by desert root systems for several reasons. First, desert ecosystems exhibit increases in net photosynthesis and primary production at elevated CO{sub 2}. If large quantities of root litter enter the ecosystem at a time when most decomposers are inactive, significant quantities of carbon may be stored

  18. Trait-based representation of hydrological functional properties of plants in weather and ecosystem models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley M. Matheny

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Land surface models and dynamic global vegetation models typically represent vegetation through coarse plant functional type groupings based on leaf form, phenology, and bioclimatic limits. Although these groupings were both feasible and functional for early model generations, in light of the pace at which our knowledge of functional ecology, ecosystem demographics, and vegetation-climate feedbacks has advanced and the ever growing demand for enhanced model performance, these groupings have become antiquated and are identified as a key source of model uncertainty. The newest wave of model development is centered on shifting the vegetation paradigm away from plant functional types (PFTs and towards flexible trait-based representations. These models seek to improve errors in ecosystem fluxes that result from information loss due to over-aggregation of dissimilar species into the same functional class. We advocate the importance of the inclusion of plant hydraulic trait representation within the new paradigm through a framework of the whole-plant hydraulic strategy. Plant hydraulic strategy is known to play a critical role in the regulation of stomatal conductance and thus transpiration and latent heat flux. It is typical that coexisting plants employ opposing hydraulic strategies, and therefore have disparate patterns of water acquisition and use. Hydraulic traits are deterministic of drought resilience, response to disturbance, and other demographic processes. The addition of plant hydraulic properties in models may not only improve the simulation of carbon and water fluxes but also vegetation population distributions.

  19. Effects of nitrogen deposition on carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystems of China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Hao; Li, Dejun; Gurmesa, Geshere Abdisa

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) deposition in China has increased greatly, but the general impact of elevated N deposition on carbon (C) dynamics in Chinese terrestrial ecosystems is not well documented. In this study we used a meta-analysis method to compile 88 studies on the effects of N deposition C cycling...... and rate of N addition. Overall, our findings suggest that 1) decreased below-ground plant C pool may limit long-term soil C sequestration; and 2) it is better to treat N-rich and N-limited ecosystems differently in modeling effects of N deposition on ecosystem C cycle....

  20. Coastal ecosystem-based management with nonlinear ecological functions and values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbier, Edward B; Koch, Evamaria W; Silliman, Brian R; Hacker, Sally D; Wolanski, Eric; Primavera, Jurgenne; Granek, Elise F; Polasky, Stephen; Aswani, Shankar; Cramer, Lori A; Stoms, David M; Kennedy, Chris J; Bael, David; Kappel, Carrie V; Perillo, Gerardo M E; Reed, Denise J

    2008-01-18

    A common assumption is that ecosystem services respond linearly to changes in habitat size. This assumption leads frequently to an "all or none" choice of either preserving coastal habitats or converting them to human use. However, our survey of wave attenuation data from field studies of mangroves, salt marshes, seagrass beds, nearshore coral reefs, and sand dunes reveals that these relationships are rarely linear. By incorporating nonlinear wave attenuation in estimating coastal protection values of mangroves in Thailand, we show that the optimal land use option may instead be the integration of development and conservation consistent with ecosystem-based management goals. This result suggests that reconciling competing demands on coastal habitats should not always result in stark preservation-versus-conversion choices.

  1. Ecosystem services of Phragmites in North America with emphasis on habitat functions

    OpenAIRE

    Kiviat, Erik

    2013-01-01

    Phragmites australis (common reed) is widespread in North America, with native and non-native haplotypes. Many ecologists and wetland managers have considered P. australis a weed with little value to the native biota or human society. I document important ecosystem services of Phragmites including support for many common and rare species of plants and animals. This paper is based on an extensive review of the ecology and natural history literature, discussions with field workers, and observat...

  2. Extreme drought event and shrub invasion combine to reduce ecosystem functioning and resilience in water-limited climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, Maria; Lecomte, Xavier; David, Teresa; Pinto, Joaquim; Bugalho, Miguel; Werner, Christiane

    2016-04-01

    Extreme droughts and plant invasions are major drivers of global change that can critically affect ecosystem functioning. Shrub encroachment is increasing in many regions worldwide and extreme events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity, namely in the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, little is known about how these drivers may interact and affect ecosystem functioning and resilience to extreme droughts. Using a manipulative shrub removal experiment and the co-occurrence of an extreme drought event (2011/2012) in a Mediterranean woodland, we show that the native shrub invasion and extreme drought combined to reduce ecosystem transpiration and the resilience of the key-stone oak tree species. We established six 25 x 25 m paired plots in a shrub (Cistus ladanifer L.) encroached Mediterranean cork-oak (Quercus suber L.) woodland. We measured sapflow and pre-dawn leaf water potential of trees and shrubs and soil water content in all plots during three years. We determined the resilience of tree transpiration to evaluate to what extent trees recovered from the extreme drought event. From February to November 2011 we conducted baseline measurements for plot comparison. In November 2011 all the shrubs from one of all the paired plots were cut and removed. Ecosystem transpiration was dominated by the water use of the invasive shrub, which further increased after the extreme drought. Simultaneously, tree transpiration in invaded plots declined much stronger (67 ± 13 %) than in plots cleared from shrubs (31 ± 11%) relative to the pre-drought year. Trees in invaded plots were not able to recover in the following wetter year showing lower resilience to the extreme drought event. Our results imply that in Mediterranean-type of climates invasion by water spending species can combine with projected recurrent extreme droughts causing critical drought tolerance thresholds of trees to be overcome increasing the probability of tree mortality (Caldeira et.al. 2015

  3. Global Ecosystem Restoration Index

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Miguel; Garcia, Monica; Fernandez, Nestor

    2015-01-01

    The Global ecosystem restoration index (GERI) is a composite index that integrates structural and functional aspects of the ecosystem restoration process. These elements are evaluated through a window that looks into a baseline for degraded ecosystems with the objective to assess restoration...

  4. Effects of grazing on leaf traits and ecosystem functioning in Inner Mongolia grasslands: scaling from species to community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. X. Zheng

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available More attention has focused on using some easily measured plant functional traits to predict grazing influence on plant growth and ecosystem functioning. However, there has been much controversy on leaf traits response to grazing, thus more research should be conducted at the species level. Here we investigated the leaf area, leaf mass and specific leaf area (SLA of 263 species in eight grassland communities along a soil moisture gradient in the Xilin River Basin, a semiarid grassland of northern China, to explore the grazing effects on ecosystem functioning. Results demonstrated that grazing decreased the leaf area and leaf mass in more than 56% of species in the Xilin River Basin, however, responses of SLA to grazing varied widely between species. Grazing increased SLA in 38.4% of species, decreased SLA in 31.3% of species and had no effect on 30.3% of species. Annuals and biennials generally developed high SLA as grazing tolerance traits, while perennial graminoids developed low SLA as grazing avoidance traits. Considering the water ecotypes, the SLA-increased and SLA-unchanged species were dominated by hygrophytes and mesophytes, while the SLA-decreased species were dominated by xerophytes. At the community level, grazing decreased the mean leaf area index (LAI of six communities by 16.9%, leaf biomass by 35.2% and standing aboveground biomass (SAB by 35.0% in the Xilin River Basin, indicating that overgrazing greatly decreased the ecosystem functioning in the semi-arid grassland of northern China. Soil properties, especially fielding holding capacity and soil organic carbon and total nitrogen could mediate the negative grazing impacts. The results suggest SLA is a better leaf trait to reveal plant adaptability to grazing. Our findings have practical implications for range management and productivity maintenance in the semiarid grassland, and it is feasible to take some measures such as ameliorating soil water and nutrient availabilities to

  5. Soil functional zone management: a vehicle for enhancing production and soil ecosystem services in row-crop agroecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alwyn eWilliams

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimetre-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of ‘active turnover’, optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services; and adjacent zones of ‘soil building’, that promote soil structure development, carbon storage and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services. These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown. We present a conceptual model of ‘virtuous cycles’, illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple

  6. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A; Ewing, Patrick M; Atwood, Lesley W; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S; Grandy, A Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C; Hunter, Mitchell C; Koide, Roger T; Mortensen, David A; Smith, Richard G; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Spokas, Kurt A; Yannarell, Anthony C; Jordan, Nicholas R

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of 'active turnover', optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of 'soil building', that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of 'virtuous cycles', illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services in

  7. Soil Functional Zone Management: A Vehicle for Enhancing Production and Soil Ecosystem Services in Row-Crop Agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Alwyn; Kane, Daniel A.; Ewing, Patrick M.; Atwood, Lesley W.; Jilling, Andrea; Li, Meng; Lou, Yi; Davis, Adam S.; Grandy, A. Stuart; Huerd, Sheri C.; Hunter, Mitchell C.; Koide, Roger T.; Mortensen, David A.; Smith, Richard G.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Spokas, Kurt A.; Yannarell, Anthony C.; Jordan, Nicholas R.

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving forward, agricultural systems must reduce trade-offs between production and soil services. Soil functional zone management (SFZM) is a novel strategy for developing sustainable production systems that attempts to integrate the benefits of conventional, intensive agriculture, and no-tillage. SFZM creates distinct functional zones within crop row and inter-row spaces. By incorporating decimeter-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity, SFZM attempts to foster greater soil biodiversity and integrate complementary soil processes at the sub-field level. Such integration maximizes soil services by creating zones of ‘active turnover’, optimized for crop growth and yield (provisioning services); and adjacent zones of ‘soil building’, that promote soil structure development, carbon storage, and moisture regulation (regulating and supporting services). These zones allow SFZM to secure existing agricultural productivity while avoiding or minimizing trade-offs with soil ecosystem services. Moreover, the specific properties of SFZM may enable sustainable increases in provisioning services via temporal intensification (expanding the portion of the year during which harvestable crops are grown). We present a conceptual model of ‘virtuous cycles’, illustrating how increases in crop yields within SFZM systems could create self-reinforcing feedback processes with desirable effects, including mitigation of trade-offs between yield maximization and soil ecosystem services. Through the creation of functionally distinct but interacting zones, SFZM may provide a vehicle for optimizing the delivery of multiple goods and services

  8. Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Stability and Resilience of Catchment Spatial Structure and Function to Disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Band, L. E.

    2015-12-01

    Ecohydrological systems evolve spontaneously in response to geologic, hydroclimate and biodiversity drivers. The stability and resilience of these systems to multiple disturbances can be addressed over specific temporal extents, potentially embedded within long term transience in response to geologic or climate change. The limits of ecohydrological resilience of system state in terms of vegetation canopy and soil catenae and the space/time distribution of water, carbon and nutrient cycling is determined by a set of critical feedbacks and potential substitutions of plant functional forms in response to disturbance. The ability of forest systems to return to states functionally similar to states prior to major disturbance, or combinations of multiple disturbances, is a critical question given increasing hydroclimate extremes, biological invasions, and human disturbance. Over the past century, forest landscape ecological patterns appear to have the ability to recover from significant disturbance and re-establish similar hydrological and ecological function in humid, biodiverse regions such as the southern Appalachians, and potentially drier forest ecosystems. Understanding and prediction of past and future long term dynamics requires explicit representation of spatial and temporal feedbacks and dependencies between hydrological, ecosystem and geomorphic processes, and the spatial pattern of species or plant functional type (PFT). Comprehensive models of watershed ecohydrological resilience requires careful balance between the level of process and parameter detail between the interacting components, relative to the structure, organization, space and time scales of the landscape.

  9. Benthic ecosystem functioning in the severely contaminated Mar Piccolo of Taranto (Ionian Sea, Italy): focus on heterotrophic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzo, A; Auriemma, R; Nasi, F; Vojvoda, J; Pallavicini, A; Cibic, T; Del Negro, P

    2016-07-01

    The benthic ecosystem functioning is a rarely applied holistic approach that integrates the main chemical and biological features of the benthic domain with the key processes responsible for the flux of energy and C through the system. For the first time, such conceptual model, with an emphasis on the heterotrophic pathways, has been applied to the sediments at four stations within one of the most polluted coastal areas in Italy: the Mar Piccolo of Taranto. The functioning of the benthic ecosystem was different according to the investigated site. Nearby the military arsenal, i.e., the main source of organic contaminants and heavy metals, the system seemed inhibited at all the investigated structural and functional levels. Slow microbial processes of C reworking together with very limited densities of benthic fauna suggested a modest transfer of C both into a solid microbial loop and to the higher trophic levels. On the other hand, the ingression of marine water through the "Navigabile" channel seemed to stimulate the organic matter degradation and, consequently, the proliferation of meiofauna and macrofauna. In the innermost part of the basin, the system functioning, to some extent, is less impacted by contaminants and more influenced by mussel farms. The organic matter produced by these bivalves fueled faster C reworking by benthic prokaryotes and enhanced the proliferation of filter feeders.

  10. Specific arrangements of species dominance can be more influential than evenness in maintaining ecosystem process and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlgemuth, Daniel; Solan, Martin; Godbold, Jasmin A.

    2016-12-01

    The ecological consequences of species loss are widely studied, but represent an end point of environmental forcing that is not always realised. Changes in species evenness and the rank order of dominant species are more widespread responses to directional forcing. However, despite the repercussions for ecosystem functioning such changes have received little attention. Here, we experimentally assess how the rearrangement of species dominance structure within specific levels of evenness, rather than changes in species richness and composition, affect invertebrate particle reworking and burrow ventilation behaviour - important moderators of microbial-mediated remineralisation processes in benthic environments - and associated levels of sediment nutrient release. We find that the most dominant species exert a disproportionate influence on functioning at low levels of evenness, but that changes in biomass distribution and a change in emphasis in species-environmental interactions become more important in governing system functionality as evenness increases. Our study highlights the need to consider the functional significance of alterations to community attributes, rather than to solely focus on the attainment of particular levels of diversity when safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems that provide essential services to society.

  11. Agricultural Best Management Practice Abundance and Location does not Influence Stream Ecosystem Function or Water Quality in the Summer Season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nolan J. T. Pearce

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Best management practices (BMPs are tools commonly used to mitigate negative impacts of agriculture on water quality; however, the relationship between BMPs and aquatic ecological function is unknown. Our research goal was to determine the association between both stream ecosystem metabolism and water quality, and the abundance and location of four different BMPs in agricultural catchments. Dissolved oxygen was measured over a two-week period in mid-June and used to estimate ecosystem metabolism of 13 headwater streams representing a gradient of BMP implementation in Southern Ontario, Canada. Stepwise regression analyses were used to associate stream metabolism and water quality with metrics describing the abundance and location of BMPs within each catchment. Studied streams exhibited rates of metabolism comparable to catchments from other agricultural regions. However, metrics of BMP implementation were not associated with either stream metabolism or water quality. Our results suggest that BMPs in the studied agricultural catchments are not improving water quality or mitigating water quality impacts on stream metabolism during the summer season. We propose that sea