WorldWideScience

Sample records for biotic interactions ecological

  1. Biotic Interactions Shape the Ecological Distributions of Staphylococcus Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastman, Erik K; Kamelamela, Noelani; Norville, Josh W; Cosetta, Casey M; Dutton, Rachel J; Wolfe, Benjamin E

    2016-10-18

    Many metagenomic sequencing studies have observed the presence of closely related bacterial species or genotypes in the same microbiome. Previous attempts to explain these patterns of microdiversity have focused on the abiotic environment, but few have considered how biotic interactions could drive patterns of microbiome diversity. We dissected the patterns, processes, and mechanisms shaping the ecological distributions of three closely related Staphylococcus species in cheese rind biofilms. Paradoxically, the most abundant species (S. equorum) is the slowest colonizer and weakest competitor based on growth and competition assays in the laboratory. Through in vitro community reconstructions, we determined that biotic interactions with neighboring fungi help resolve this paradox. Species-specific stimulation of the poor competitor by fungi of the genus Scopulariopsis allows S. equorum to dominate communities in vitro as it does in situ Results of comparative genomic and transcriptomic experiments indicate that iron utilization pathways, including a homolog of the S. aureus staphyloferrin B siderophore operon pathway, are potential molecular mechanisms underlying Staphylococcus-Scopulariopsis interactions. Our integrated approach demonstrates that fungi can structure the ecological distributions of closely related bacterial species, and the data highlight the importance of bacterium-fungus interactions in attempts to design and manipulate microbiomes. Decades of culture-based studies and more recent metagenomic studies have demonstrated that bacterial species in agriculture, medicine, industry, and nature are unevenly distributed across time and space. The ecological processes and molecular mechanisms that shape these distributions are not well understood because it is challenging to connect in situ patterns of diversity with mechanistic in vitro studies in the laboratory. Using tractable cheese rind biofilms and a focus on coagulase-negative staphylococcus (CNS

  2. STRESS ECOLOGY IN FUCUS : ABIOTIC, BIOTIC AND GENETIC INTERACTIONS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wahl, Martin; Jormalainen, Veijo; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Coyer, James A.; Molis, Markus; Schubert, Hendrik; Dethier, Megan; Karez, Rolf; Kruse, Inken; Lenz, Mark; Pearson, Gareth; Rohde, Sven; Wikstrom, Sofia A.; Olsen, Jeanine L.; Lesser, M

    2011-01-01

    Stress regimes defined as the synchronous or sequential action of abiotic and biotic stresses determine the performance and distribution of species. The natural patterns of stress to which species are more or less well adapted have recently started to shift and alter under the influence of global

  3. Linking macroecology and community ecology: refining predictions of species distributions using biotic interaction networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staniczenko, Phillip P A; Sivasubramaniam, Prabu; Suttle, K Blake; Pearson, Richard G

    2017-06-01

    Macroecological models for predicting species distributions usually only include abiotic environmental conditions as explanatory variables, despite knowledge from community ecology that all species are linked to other species through biotic interactions. This disconnect is largely due to the different spatial scales considered by the two sub-disciplines: macroecologists study patterns at large extents and coarse resolutions, while community ecologists focus on small extents and fine resolutions. A general framework for including biotic interactions in macroecological models would help bridge this divide, as it would allow for rigorous testing of the role that biotic interactions play in determining species ranges. Here, we present an approach that combines species distribution models with Bayesian networks, which enables the direct and indirect effects of biotic interactions to be modelled as propagating conditional dependencies among species' presences. We show that including biotic interactions in distribution models for species from a California grassland community results in better range predictions across the western USA. This new approach will be important for improving estimates of species distributions and their dynamics under environmental change. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. The Genetics Underlying Natural Variation in the Biotic Interactions of Arabidopsis thaliana: The Challenges of Linking Evolutionary Genetics and Community Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, F; Bergelson, J

    2016-01-01

    In the context of global change, predicting the responses of plant communities in an ever-changing biotic environment calls for a multipronged approach at the interface of evolutionary genetics and community ecology. However, our understanding of the genetic basis of natural variation involved in mediating biotic interactions, and associated adaptive dynamics of focal plants in their natural communities, is still in its infancy. Here, we review the genetic and molecular bases of natural variation in the response to biotic interactions (viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, herbivores, and plants) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as well as the adaptive value of these bases. Among the 60 identified genes are a number that encode nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR)-type proteins, consistent with early examples of plant defense genes. However, recent studies have revealed an extensive diversity in the molecular mechanisms of defense. Many types of genetic variants associate with phenotypic variation in biotic interactions, even among the genes of large effect that tend to be identified. In general, we found that (i) balancing selection rather than directional selection explains the observed patterns of genetic diversity within A. thaliana and (ii) the cost/benefit tradeoffs of adaptive alleles can be strongly dependent on both genomic and environmental contexts. Finally, because A. thaliana rarely interacts with only one biotic partner in nature, we highlight the benefit of exploring diffuse biotic interactions rather than tightly associated host-enemy pairs. This challenge would help to improve our understanding of coevolutionary quantitative genetics within the context of realistic community complexity. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    This s pecial feature results from the symposium 'Ants 2016: ant interactions with their biotic environments' held in Munich in May 2016 and deals with the interactions between ants and other insects, plants, microbes and fungi, studied at micro- and macroevolutionary levels with a wide range of approaches, from field ecology to next-generation sequencing, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. In this paper, we review key aspects of these biotic interactions to provide background information for the papers of this s pecial feature After listing the major types of biotic interactions that ants engage in, we present a brief overview of ant/ant communication, ant/plant interactions, ant/fungus symbioses, and recent insights about ants and their endosymbionts. Using a large molecular clock-dated Formicidae phylogeny, we map the evolutionary origins of different ant clades' interactions with plants, fungi and hemiptera. Ants' biotic interactions provide ideal systems to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions about mutualism, coevolution, adaptation and animal communication. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Experimental reduction in interaction intensity strongly affects biotic selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sletvold, Nina; Ågren, Jon

    2016-11-01

    The link between biotic interaction intensity and strength of selection is of fundamental interest for understanding biotically driven diversification and predicting the consequences of environmental change. The strength of selection resulting from biotic interactions is determined by the strength of the interaction and by the covariance between fitness and the trait under selection. When the relationship between trait and absolute fitness is constant, selection strength should be a direct function of mean population interaction intensity. To test this prediction, we excluded pollinators for intervals of different length to induce five levels of pollination intensity within a single plant population. Pollen limitation (PL) increased from 0 to 0.77 across treatments, accompanied by a fivefold increase in the opportunity for selection. Trait-fitness covariance declined with PL for number of flowers, but varied little for other traits. Pollinator-mediated selection on plant height, corolla size, and spur length increased by 91%, 34%, and 330%, respectively, in the most severely pollen-limited treatment compared to open-pollinated plants. The results indicate that realized biotic selection can be predicted from mean population interaction intensity when variation in trait-fitness covariance is limited, and that declines in pollination intensity will strongly increase selection on traits involved in the interaction. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Calcium Signalling in Plant Biotic Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didier Aldon

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Calcium (Ca2+ is a universal second messenger involved in various cellular processes, leading to plant development and to biotic and abiotic stress responses. Intracellular variation in free Ca2+ concentration is among the earliest events following the plant perception of environmental change. These Ca2+ variations differ in their spatio-temporal properties according to the nature, strength and duration of the stimulus. However, their conversion into biological responses requires Ca2+ sensors for decoding and relaying. The occurrence in plants of calmodulin (CaM but also of other sets of plant-specific Ca2+ sensors such as calmodulin-like proteins (CMLs, Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs and calcineurin B-like proteins (CBLs indicate that plants possess specific tools and machineries to convert Ca2+ signals into appropriate responses. Here, we focus on recent progress made in monitoring the generation of Ca2+ signals at the whole plant or cell level and their long distance propagation during biotic interactions. The contribution of CaM/CMLs and CDPKs in plant immune responses mounted against bacteria, fungi, viruses and insects are also presented.

  8. Biotic Interaction in Space and Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Andreas Kelager

    Myrmica host ants by using chemical and acoustic mimicry to coerce the ant workers to feed and nurture the caterpillar preferentially over their own brood. Maculinea alcon is thus an extreme dietary specialist as absence of just one of the hosts precludes presence of the butterfly and as a result...... further enhance the risk of extinction. Maculinea alcon is selected as an umbrella for conservation and numerous aspects of its biology has been studied extensively. This thesis explores the spatio-temporal impact of the tight biotic dependence in this tritrophic interaction system and integrates...... in host ant use as expected, and is an example of a genetic barrier operating on a temporal scale rather than spatial. In chapter II, we developed habitat suitability models for M. alcon and G. pneumonanthe potentially useful in locating undocumented populations and for improving management of them...

  9. Biotic interactions reduce microbial carbon use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, M.; Maynard, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The efficiency by which microbes decompose organic matter governs the amount of carbon that is retained in microbial biomass versus lost to the atmosphere as respiration. This carbon use efficiency (CUE) is affected by various abiotic conditions, such as temperature and nutrient availability. In biogeochemical model simulations, CUE is a key variable regulating how much soil carbon is stored or lost from ecosystems under simulated global changes, such as climate warming. Theoretically, the physiological costs of biotic interactions such as competition should likewise alter CUE, yet the direction and magnitude of these costs are untested. Here we conduct a microcosm experiment to quantify how competitive interactions among saprotrophic fungi alter growth, respiration, and CUE. Free-living decomposer fungi representing a broad range of traits and phylogenies were grown alone, in pairwise competition, and in multi-species (up to 15) communities. By combing culturing and stable carbon isotope approaches, we could resolve the amount of carbon substrate allocated to fungal biomass versus respiration, and so estimate CUE. By then comparing individual performance to community-level outcomes, we show that species interactions induce consistent declines in CUE, regardless of abiotic conditions. Pairwise competition lowers CUE by as much as 25%, with the magnitude of these costs equal to or greater than the observed variation across abiotic conditions. However, depending on the competitive network structure, increasing species richness led to consistent gains or declines in CUE. Our results suggest that the extent to which microbial-mediated carbon fluxes respond to environmental change may be influenced strongly by competitive interactions. As such, knowledge of abiotic conditions and community composition is necessary to confidently project CUE and hence ecosystem carbon dynamics.

  10. Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Crowther, T. W.; Thomas, S.M.; Maynard, D.S.; Baldrian, Petr; Covey, K.; Frey, S. D.; van Diepen, L. T. A.; Bradford, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 112, č. 22 (2015), s. 7033-7038 ISSN 0027-8424 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : global change * soil feedback * biotic interaction Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 9.423, year: 2015

  11. Climate change and the past, present, and future of biotic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blois, Jessica L; Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Finnegan, Seth

    2013-08-02

    Biotic interactions drive key ecological and evolutionary processes and mediate ecosystem responses to climate change. The direction, frequency, and intensity of biotic interactions can in turn be altered by climate change. Understanding the complex interplay between climate and biotic interactions is thus essential for fully anticipating how ecosystems will respond to the fast rates of current warming, which are unprecedented since the end of the last glacial period. We highlight episodes of climate change that have disrupted ecosystems and trophic interactions over time scales ranging from years to millennia by changing species' relative abundances and geographic ranges, causing extinctions, and creating transient and novel communities dominated by generalist species and interactions. These patterns emerge repeatedly across disparate temporal and spatial scales, suggesting the possibility of similar underlying processes. Based on these findings, we identify knowledge gaps and fruitful areas for research that will further our understanding of the effects of climate change on ecosystems.

  12. How plants cope with biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dam, N.M.

    2009-01-01

    In their natural environment, plants interact with many different organisms. The nature of these interactions may range from positive, for example interactions with pollinators, to negative, such as interactions with pathogens and herbivores. In this special issue, the contributors provide several

  13. Effects of biotic interactions and dispersal on the presence-absence of multiple species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohd, Mohd Hafiz; Murray, Rua; Plank, Michael J.; Godsoe, William

    2017-01-01

    One of the important issues in ecology is to predict which species will be present (or absent) across a geographical region. Dispersal is thought to have an important influence on the range limits of species, and understanding this problem in a multi-species community with priority effects (i.e. initial abundances determine species presence-absence) is a challenging task because dispersal also interacts with biotic and abiotic factors. Here, we propose a simple multi-species model to investigate the joint effects of biotic interactions and dispersal on species presence-absence. Our results show that dispersal can substantially expand species ranges when biotic and abiotic forces are present; consequently, coexistence of multiple species is possible. The model also exhibits ecologically interesting priority effects, mediated by intense biotic interactions. In the absence of dispersal, competitive exclusion of all but one species occurs. We find that dispersal reduces competitive exclusion effects that occur in no-dispersal case and promotes coexistence of multiple species. These results also show that priority effects are still prevalent in multi-species communities in the presence of dispersal process. We also illustrate the existence of threshold values of competitive strength (i.e. transcritical bifurcations), which results in different species presence-absence in multi-species communities with and without dispersal.

  14. Legumes affect alpine tundra community composition via multiple biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; Aksenova, A.A.; Makarov, M.I.; Onipchenko, V.G.; Logvinenko, O.A.; Braak, ter C.J.F.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2012-01-01

    The soil engineering function of legumes in natural ecosystems is paramount but associated solely with soil nitrogen (N) subsidies, ignoring concomitant biotic interactions such as competitive or inhibitory effects and exchange between mycorrhizas and rhizobia. We aim to (1) disentangle legume

  15. Past tree influence and prescribed fire mediate biotic interactions and community reassembly in a grassland-restoration experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Halpern; Joseph A. Antos; Donald McKenzie; Annette M. Olson; Lara Souza

    2016-01-01

    1. Woody plant encroachment of grasslands is occurring globally, with profound ecological consequences. Attempts to restore herbaceous dominance may fail if the woody state is resilient or if intervention leads to an alternate, undesirable state. Restoration outcomes often hinge on biotic interactions – particularly on priority effects that inhibit or promote community...

  16. Asymmetric biotic interactions and abiotic niche differences revealed by a dynamic joint species distribution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lany, Nina K; Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Schliep, Erin M; Schaeffer, Robert N; Orians, Colin M; Orwig, David A; Preisser, Evan L

    2018-05-01

    A species' distribution and abundance are determined by abiotic conditions and biotic interactions with other species in the community. Most species distribution models correlate the occurrence of a single species with environmental variables only, and leave out biotic interactions. To test the importance of biotic interactions on occurrence and abundance, we compared a multivariate spatiotemporal model of the joint abundance of two invasive insects that share a host plant, hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA; Adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (EHS; Fiorina externa), to independent models that do not account for dependence among co-occurring species. The joint model revealed that HWA responded more strongly to abiotic conditions than EHS. Additionally, HWA appeared to predispose stands to subsequent increase of EHS, but HWA abundance was not strongly dependent on EHS abundance. This study demonstrates how incorporating spatial and temporal dependence into a species distribution model can reveal the dependence of a species' abundance on other species in the community. Accounting for dependence among co-occurring species with a joint distribution model can also improve estimation of the abiotic niche for species affected by interspecific interactions. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  17. Local shifts in floral biotic interactions in habitat edges and their effect on quantity and quality of plant offspring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenu, Giuseppe; Bernardo, Liliana

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Spatial shifts in insect fauna due to ecological heterogeneity can severely constrain plant reproduction. Nonetheless, data showing effects of insect visit patterns and intensity of mutualistic and/or antagonistic plant–insect interactions on plant reproduction over structured ecological gradients remain scarce. We investigated how changes in flower-visitor abundance, identity and behaviour over a forest-open habitat gradient affect plant biotic interactions, and quantitative and qualitative fitness in the edge-specialist Dianthus balbisii. Composition and behaviour of the insects visiting flowers of D. balbisii strongly varied over the study gradient, influencing strength and patterns of plant biotic interactions (i.e. herbivory and pollination likelihood). Seed set comparison in free- and manually pollinated flowers suggested spatial variations in the extent of quantitative pollen limitation, which appeared more pronounced at the gradient extremes. Such variations were congruent to patterns of flower visit and plant biotic interactions. The analyses on seed and seedling viability evidenced that spatial variation in amount and type of pollinators, and frequency of herbivory affected qualitative fitness of D. balbisii by influencing selfing and outcrossing rates. Our work emphasizes the role of plant biotic interactions as a fine-scale mediator of plant fitness in ecotones, highlighting that optimal plant reproduction can take place into a restricted interval of the ecological gradients occurring at forest edges. Reducing the habitat complexity typical of such transition contexts can threat edge-adapted plants. PMID:28775831

  18. The role of biotic interactions in shaping distributions and realised assemblages of species: implications for species distribution modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisz, Mary Susanne; Pottier, Julien; Kissling, W Daniel; Pellissier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Damgaard, Christian F; Dormann, Carsten F; Forchhammer, Mads C; Grytnes, John-Arvid; Guisan, Antoine; Heikkinen, Risto K; Høye, Toke T; Kühn, Ingolf; Luoto, Miska; Maiorano, Luigi; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Normand, Signe; Öckinger, Erik; Schmidt, Niels M; Termansen, Mette; Timmermann, Allan; Wardle, David A; Aastrup, Peter; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-02-01

    Predicting which species will occur together in the future, and where, remains one of the greatest challenges in ecology, and requires a sound understanding of how the abiotic and biotic environments interact with dispersal processes and history across scales. Biotic interactions and their dynamics influence species' relationships to climate, and this also has important implications for predicting future distributions of species. It is already well accepted that biotic interactions shape species' spatial distributions at local spatial extents, but the role of these interactions beyond local extents (e.g. 10 km(2) to global extents) are usually dismissed as unimportant. In this review we consolidate evidence for how biotic interactions shape species distributions beyond local extents and review methods for integrating biotic interactions into species distribution modelling tools. Drawing upon evidence from contemporary and palaeoecological studies of individual species ranges, functional groups, and species richness patterns, we show that biotic interactions have clearly left their mark on species distributions and realised assemblages of species across all spatial extents. We demonstrate this with examples from within and across trophic groups. A range of species distribution modelling tools is available to quantify species environmental relationships and predict species occurrence, such as: (i) integrating pairwise dependencies, (ii) using integrative predictors, and (iii) hybridising species distribution models (SDMs) with dynamic models. These methods have typically only been applied to interacting pairs of species at a single time, require a priori ecological knowledge about which species interact, and due to data paucity must assume that biotic interactions are constant in space and time. To better inform the future development of these models across spatial scales, we call for accelerated collection of spatially and temporally explicit species data. Ideally

  19. Chasing Ecological Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    Basic research on biodiversity has concentrated on individual species-naming new species, studying distribution patterns, and analyzing their evolutionary relationships. Yet biodiversity is more than a collection of individual species; it is the combination of biological entities and processes that support life on Earth. To understand biodiversity we must catalog it, but we must also assess the ways species interact with other species to provide functional support for the Tree of Life. Ecological interactions may be lost well before the species involved in those interactions go extinct; their ecological functions disappear even though they remain. Here, I address the challenges in studying the functional aspects of species interactions and how basic research is helping us address the fast-paced extinction of species due to human activities.

  20. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  1. Enhanced effects of biotic interactions on predicting multispecies spatial distribution of submerged macrophytes after eutrophication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Kun; Cui, Yichong; Zhang, Xijin; Pan, Yingji; Xu, Junli; Xu, Kaiqin; Da, Liangjun

    2017-10-01

    Water eutrophication creates unfavorable environmental conditions for submerged macrophytes. In these situations, biotic interactions may be particularly important for explaining and predicting the submerged macrophytes occurrence. Here, we evaluate the roles of biotic interactions in predicting spatial occurrence of submerged macrophytes in 1959 and 2009 for Dianshan Lake in eastern China, which became eutrophic since the 1980s. For the four common species occurred in 1959 and 2009, null species distribution models based on abiotic variables and full models based on both abiotic and biotic variables were developed using generalized linear model (GLM) and boosted regression trees (BRT) to determine whether the biotic variables improved the model performance. Hierarchical Bayesian-based joint species distribution models capable of detecting paired biotic interactions were established for each species in both periods to evaluate the changes in the biotic interactions. In most of the GLM and BRT models, the full models showed better performance than the null models in predicting the species presence/absence, and the relative importance of the biotic variables in the full models increased from less than 50% in 1959 to more than 50% in 2009 for each species. Moreover, co-occurrence correlation of each paired species interaction was higher in 2009 than that in 1959. The findings suggest biotic interactions that tend to be positive play more important roles in the spatial distribution of multispecies assemblages of macrophytes and should be included in prediction models to improve prediction accuracy when forecasting macrophytes' distribution under eutrophication stress.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Švamberková, E.; Vítová, A.; Lepš, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 85, NOV 01 (2017), s. 150-156 ISSN 1146-609X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abiotic filter * biotic filter * competitive exclusion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X16303757

  3. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant–soil interactions and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Švamberková, Eva; Vítová, Alena; Lepš, Jan

    2017-11-01

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

  5. Testing the efficiency of temperate benthic biotic indices in assessing the ecological status of a tropical ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sivadas, S.K.; Nagesh, R.; Gupta, G.V.M.; Gaonkar, U.V.; Mukherjee, I.; Ramteke, D.; Ingole, B.S.

    . Borja, A., Franco, J., Pérez, V., Environment, M., Perez, V., 2000. A marine biotic index to etablish the ecological quality of soft bottom benthos within european estuarine and coastal environnements. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 40, 1100–1114. doi:10.1016/S...

  6. Microbial interactions: ecology in a molecular perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Raíssa Mesquita; Dourado, Manuella Nóbrega; Araújo, Welington Luiz

    2016-12-01

    The microorganism-microorganism or microorganism-host interactions are the key strategy to colonize and establish in a variety of different environments. These interactions involve all ecological aspects, including physiochemical changes, metabolite exchange, metabolite conversion, signaling, chemotaxis and genetic exchange resulting in genotype selection. In addition, the establishment in the environment depends on the species diversity, since high functional redundancy in the microbial community increases the competitive ability of the community, decreasing the possibility of an invader to establish in this environment. Therefore, these associations are the result of a co-evolution process that leads to the adaptation and specialization, allowing the occupation of different niches, by reducing biotic and abiotic stress or exchanging growth factors and signaling. Microbial interactions occur by the transference of molecular and genetic information, and many mechanisms can be involved in this exchange, such as secondary metabolites, siderophores, quorum sensing system, biofilm formation, and cellular transduction signaling, among others. The ultimate unit of interaction is the gene expression of each organism in response to an environmental (biotic or abiotic) stimulus, which is responsible for the production of molecules involved in these interactions. Therefore, in the present review, we focused on some molecular mechanisms involved in the microbial interaction, not only in microbial-host interaction, which has been exploited by other reviews, but also in the molecular strategy used by different microorganisms in the environment that can modulate the establishment and structuration of the microbial community. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  7. Nonlinear disruption of ecological interactions in response to nitrogen deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl

    2016-10-01

    Global environmental change (GEC) is affecting species interactions and causing a rapid decline in biodiversity. In this study, I present a new Ecosystem Disruption Index to quantify the impacts of simulated nitrogen (N) deposition (0, 10, 20, and 50 kg N·ha -1 ·yr -1  + 6-7 kg N·ha -1 ·yr -1 background) on abiotic and biotic ecological interactions. This comparative index is based on pairwise linear and quadratic regression matrices. These matrices, calculated at the N treatment level, were constructed using a range of abiotic and biotic ecosystem constituents: soil pH, shrub cover, and the first component of several separate principal component analyses using soil fertility data (total carbon and N) and community data (annual plants, microorganisms, biocrusts, edaphic fauna) for a total of seven ecosystem constituents. Four years of N fertilization in a semiarid shrubland completely disrupted the network of ecological interactions, with a greater proportional increase in ecosystem disruption at low N addition levels. Biotic interactions, particularly those involving microbes, shrubs, and edaphic fauna, were more prone to be lost in response to N, whereas interactions involving soil properties were more resilient. In contrast, edaphic fauna was the only group directly affected by N addition, with mites and collembolans increasing their abundance with up to 20 kg N·ha -1 ·yr -1 and then decreasing, which supports the idea of higher-trophic-level organisms being more sensitive to disturbance due to more complex links with other ecosystem constituents. Future experimental studies evaluating the impacts of N deposition, and possibly other GEC drivers, on biodiversity and biotic and abiotic interactions may be able to explain results more effectively in the context of ecological networks as a key feature of ecosystem sensitivity. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Biotic interactions in the face of climate change: a comparison of three modelling approaches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Jaeschke

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to alter biotic interactions, and may lead to temporal and spatial mismatches of interacting species. Although the importance of interactions for climate change risk assessments is increasingly acknowledged in observational and experimental studies, biotic interactions are still rarely incorporated in species distribution models. We assessed the potential impacts of climate change on the obligate interaction between Aeshna viridis and its egg-laying plant Stratiotes aloides in Europe, based on an ensemble modelling technique. We compared three different approaches for incorporating biotic interactions in distribution models: (1 We separately modelled each species based on climatic information, and intersected the future range overlap ('overlap approach'. (2 We modelled the potential future distribution of A. viridis with the projected occurrence probability of S. aloides as further predictor in addition to climate ('explanatory variable approach'. (3 We calibrated the model of A. viridis in the current range of S. aloides and multiplied the future occurrence probabilities of both species ('reference area approach'. Subsequently, all approaches were compared to a single species model of A. viridis without interactions. All approaches projected a range expansion for A. viridis. Model performance on test data and amount of range gain differed depending on the biotic interaction approach. All interaction approaches yielded lower range gains (up to 667% lower than the model without interaction. Regarding the contribution of algorithm and approach to the overall uncertainty, the main part of explained variation stems from the modelling algorithm, and only a small part is attributed to the modelling approach. The comparison of the no-interaction model with the three interaction approaches emphasizes the importance of including obligate biotic interactions in projective species distribution modelling. We recommend the use of

  9. The lake foodweb: modelling predation and abiotic/biotic interactions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hakanson, L; Boulion, V.V

    2002-01-01

    .... The model is based on many new approaches of structuring lake foodweb interactions. It uses ordinary differential equations and gives weekly variations in production and biomass for its nine groups of organisms...

  10. Temperature, precipitation and biotic interactions as determinants of tree seedling recruitment across the tree line ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingstad, Lise; Olsen, Siri Lie; Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Ohlson, Mikael

    2015-10-01

    Seedling recruitment is a critical life history stage for trees, and successful recruitment is tightly linked to both abiotic factors and biotic interactions. In order to better understand how tree species' distributions may change in response to anticipated climate change, more knowledge of the effects of complex climate and biotic interactions is needed. We conducted a seed-sowing experiment to investigate how temperature, precipitation and biotic interactions impact recruitment of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings in southern Norway. Seeds were sown into intact vegetation and experimentally created gaps. To study the combined effects of temperature and precipitation, the experiment was replicated across 12 sites, spanning a natural climate gradient from boreal to alpine and from sub-continental to oceanic. Seedling emergence and survival were assessed 12 and 16 months after sowing, respectively, and above-ground biomass and height were determined at the end of the experiment. Interestingly, very few seedlings were detected in the boreal sites, and the highest number of seedlings emerged and established in the alpine sites, indicating that low temperature did not limit seedling recruitment. Site precipitation had an overall positive effect on seedling recruitment, especially at intermediate precipitation levels. Seedling emergence, establishment and biomass were higher in gap plots compared to intact vegetation at all temperature levels. These results suggest that biotic interactions in the form of competition may be more important than temperature as a limiting factor for tree seedling recruitment in the sub- and low-alpine zone of southern Norway.

  11. Process-Based Species Pools Reveal the Hidden Signature of Biotic Interactions Amid the Influence of Temperature Filtering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Weinstein, Ben G; Borregaard, Michael K; Marske, Katharine A; Martin, Danny R; McGuire, Jimmy A; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten; Graham, Catherine H

    2016-01-01

    A persistent challenge in ecology is to tease apart the influence of multiple processes acting simultaneously and interacting in complex ways to shape the structure of species assemblages. We implement a heuristic approach that relies on explicitly defining species pools and permits assessment of the relative influence of the main processes thought to shape assemblage structure: environmental filtering, dispersal limitations, and biotic interactions. We illustrate our approach using data on the assemblage composition and geographic distribution of hummingbirds, a comprehensive phylogeny and morphological traits. The implementation of several process-based species pool definitions in null models suggests that temperature-but not precipitation or dispersal limitation-acts as the main regional filter of assemblage structure. Incorporating this environmental filter directly into the definition of assemblage-specific species pools revealed an otherwise hidden pattern of phylogenetic evenness, indicating that biotic interactions might further influence hummingbird assemblage structure. Such hidden patterns of assemblage structure call for a reexamination of a multitude of phylogenetic- and trait-based studies that did not explicitly consider potentially important processes in their definition of the species pool. Our heuristic approach provides a transparent way to explore patterns and refine interpretations of the underlying causes of assemblage structure.

  12. Biotic interactions overrule plant responses to climate, depending on the species' biogeography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Welk

    Full Text Available This study presents an experimental approach to assess the relative importance of climatic and biotic factors as determinants of species' geographical distributions. We asked to what extent responses of grassland plant species to biotic interactions vary with climate, and to what degree this variation depends on the species' biogeography. Using a gradient from oceanic to continental climate represented by nine common garden transplant sites in Germany, we experimentally tested whether congeneric grassland species of different geographic distribution (oceanic vs. continental plant range type responded differently to combinations of climate, competition and mollusc herbivory. We found the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate to vary between the different components of plant performance. While survival and plant height increased with precipitation, temperature had no effect on plant performance. Additionally, species with continental plant range type increased their growth in more benign climatic conditions, while those with oceanic range type were largely unable to take a similar advantage of better climatic conditions. Competition generally caused strong reductions of aboveground biomass and growth. In contrast, herbivory had minor effects on survival and growth. Against expectation, these negative effects of competition and herbivory were not mitigated under more stressful continental climate conditions. In conclusion we suggest variation in relative importance of climate and biotic interactions on broader scales, mediated via species-specific sensitivities and factor-specific response patterns. Our results have important implications for species distribution models, as they emphasize the large-scale impact of biotic interactions on plant distribution patterns and the necessity to take plant range types into account.

  13. Interactions between ecology and economics

    OpenAIRE

    Bittig, Bernhard

    1983-01-01

    Interactions between economics and ecology are analyzed by means of a deductive approach as well as by means of an iteration model. Additional approaches are briefly touched upon, with the Black box approach being considered as particularly suitable. Finally, the limits of all thought models are defined.

  14. Ecological assessment of the Tajan river using feeding groups of benthic macroinvertebrates and biotic indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Sharifinia

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available One of the best practical methods to understand ecological status of a water body and determine impacts of human intervention in reducing water quality is using benthic macroinvertebrates as assessment tools for monitoring their biological integrity and health. The Tajan River is one of the rivers of Caspian Southernsub-basin that drains the Caspian Sea. Macroinvertebrate samples were taken using Surber’s sampler (40 x 40 cm and 100µ mesh size in 45 day intervals with 3 replicates in each sampling site for a period of one year (May 2010 to May 2011. The collected organisms were preserved in 4% formalin solution and transferred to the laboratory for identification and counting. Six different functional feeding groups of macroinvertebrate e.g. Collector-gathering, Collector-filtering, Predator, Collector-gathering /Scraper, Predator/Collector-gathering and Scraper were determined. Feeding groups of Collector-gathering, Collector-filtering and Collector-gathering /Scraper were relatively dominant in comparison to other groups. Groups of Collector-filtering and Collector-gathering were dominant in slightly and heavily polluted stations, respectively. In this study population structure measures including abundance, EPT percent and the EPT and EPT/CHIR indics were mearsured. Species diversity, species richness were also determined using Shannon- Weiner, Margalef and Jacardindics. The minimum and maximum values of Hilsenhoff biotic index were observedin stations 1 (4.29 and 5 (5.57, respectively. Moreover, the highest and lowest values of BMWP/ASPT were observed in station 1 (4.51 and 5 (3.25, respectively. Evaluation of indicators revealed less water quality at stations 2, 3 and 5 which located at the lowermost of fish farms and effluent of factory. This reduction might be implicated to the effluents of water damps from fish farms running into the stream as diversity and total abundance (% of sociable macroinvertebrates decreased and that of

  15. Linking Spatial Structure and Community-Level Biotic Interactions through Cooccurrence and Time Series Modeling of the Human Intestinal Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Muinck, Eric J; Lundin, Knut E A; Trosvik, Pål

    2017-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome is a densely populated ecosystem where dynamics are determined by interactions between microbial community members, as well as host factors. The spatial organization of this system is thought to be important in human health, yet this aspect of our resident microbiome is still poorly understood. In this study, we report significant spatial structure of the GI microbiota, and we identify general categories of spatial patterning in the distribution of microbial taxa along a healthy human GI tract. We further estimate the biotic interaction structure in the GI microbiota, both through time series and cooccurrence modeling of microbial community data derived from a large number of sequentially collected fecal samples. Comparison of these two approaches showed that species pairs involved in significant negative interactions had strong positive contemporaneous correlations and vice versa, while for species pairs without significant interactions, contemporaneous correlations were distributed around zero. We observed similar patterns when comparing these models to the spatial correlations between taxa identified in the adherent microbiota. This suggests that colocalization of microbial taxon pairs, and thus the spatial organization of the GI microbiota, is driven, at least in part, by direct or indirect biotic interactions. Thus, our study can provide a basis for an ecological interpretation of the biogeography of the human gut. IMPORTANCE The human gut microbiome is the subject of intense study due to its importance in health and disease. The majority of these studies have been based on the analysis of feces. However, little is known about how the microbial composition in fecal samples relates to the spatial distribution of microbial taxa along the gastrointestinal tract. By characterizing the microbial content both in intestinal tissue samples and in fecal samples obtained daily, we provide a conceptual framework for how the spatial

  16. Benthic indicators to use in Ecological Quality classification of Mediterranean soft bottom marine ecosystems, including a new Biotic Index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. SIMBOURA

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available A general scheme for approaching the objective of Ecological Quality Status (EcoQ classification of zoobenthic marine ecosystems is presented. A system based on soft bottom benthic indicator species and related habitat types is suggested to be used for testing the typological definition of a given water body in the Mediterranean. Benthic indices including the Shannon-Wiener diversity index and the species richness are re-evaluated for use in classification. Ranges of values and of ecological quality categories are given for the diversity and species richness in different habitat types. A new biotic index (BENTIX is proposed based on the relative percentages of three ecological groups of species grouped according to their sensitivity or tolerance to disturbance factors and weighted proportionately to obtain a formula rendering a five step numerical scale of ecological quality classification. Its advantage against former biotic indices lies in the fact that it reduces the number of the ecological groups involved which makes it simpler and easier in its use. The Bentix index proposed is tested and validated with data from Greek and western Mediterranean ecosystems and examples are presented. Indicator species associated with specific habitat types and pollution indicator species, scored according to their degree of tolerance to pollution, are listed in a table. The Bentix index is compared and evaluated against the indices of diversity and species richness for use in classification. The advantages of the BENTIX index as a classification tool for ECoQ include independence from habitat type, sample size and taxonomic effort, high discriminative power and simplicity in its use which make it a robust, simple and effective tool for application in the Mediterranean Sea.

  17. Biotic and environmental dynamics through the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous transition: evidence for protracted faunal and ecological turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennant, Jonathan P; Mannion, Philip D; Upchurch, Paul; Sutton, Mark D; Price, Gregory D

    2017-05-01

    The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous interval represents a time of environmental upheaval and cataclysmic events, combined with disruptions to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Historically, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary was classified as one of eight mass extinctions. However, more recent research has largely overturned this view, revealing a much more complex pattern of biotic and abiotic dynamics than has previously been appreciated. Here, we present a synthesis of our current knowledge of Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous events, focusing particularly on events closest to the J/K boundary. We find evidence for a combination of short-term catastrophic events, large-scale tectonic processes and environmental perturbations, and major clade interactions that led to a seemingly dramatic faunal and ecological turnover in both the marine and terrestrial realms. This is coupled with a great reduction in global biodiversity which might in part be explained by poor sampling. Very few groups appear to have been entirely resilient to this J/K boundary 'event', which hints at a 'cascade model' of ecosystem changes driving faunal dynamics. Within terrestrial ecosystems, larger, more-specialised organisms, such as saurischian dinosaurs, appear to have suffered the most. Medium-sized tetanuran theropods declined, and were replaced by larger-bodied groups, and basal eusauropods were replaced by neosauropod faunas. The ascent of paravian theropods is emphasised by escalated competition with contemporary pterosaur groups, culminating in the explosive radiation of birds, although the timing of this is obfuscated by biases in sampling. Smaller, more ecologically diverse terrestrial non-archosaurs, such as lissamphibians and mammaliaforms, were comparatively resilient to extinctions, instead documenting the origination of many extant groups around the J/K boundary. In the marine realm, extinctions were focused on low-latitude, shallow marine shelf-dwelling faunas

  18. Bayesian Inference of Ecological Interactions from Spatial Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R. Stephens

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The characterization and quantification of ecological interactions and the construction of species’ distributions and their associated ecological niches are of fundamental theoretical and practical importance. In this paper, we discuss a Bayesian inference framework, which, using spatial data, offers a general formalism within which ecological interactions may be characterized and quantified. Interactions are identified through deviations of the spatial distribution of co-occurrences of spatial variables relative to a benchmark for the non-interacting system and based on a statistical ensemble of spatial cells. The formalism allows for the integration of both biotic and abiotic factors of arbitrary resolution. We concentrate on the conceptual and mathematical underpinnings of the formalism, showing how, using the naive Bayes approximation, it can be used to not only compare and contrast the relative contribution from each variable, but also to construct species’ distributions and ecological niches based on an arbitrary variable type. We also show how non-linear interactions between distinct niche variables can be identified and the degree of confounding between variables accounted for.

  19. Interactive Biophysics with Microswimmers: Education, Cloud Experimentation, Programmed Swarms, and Biotic Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar

    Modern biotechnology gets increasingly powerful to manipulate and measure microscopic biophysical processes. Nevertheless, no platform exists to truly interact with these processes, certainly not with the convenience that we are accustomed to from our electronic smart devices. In my talk I will provide the rational for such Interactive Biotechnology and conceptualize its core component, the BPU (biotic processing unit), which is then connected to an according user interface. The biophysical phenomena currently featured on these platforms utilize the phototactic response of motile microorganisms, e.g., Euglena gracilis, resulting in spatio-temporal dynamics from the single cell to the self-organized multi-cellular scale. I will demonstrate multiple platforms, such as scalable biology cloud experimentation labs, tangible museum exhibits, biotic video games, low-cost interactive DIY kits using smartphones, and programming languages for swarm robotics. I will discuss applications for education as well as for professional and citizen science. Hence, we turn traditionally observational microscopy into an interactive experience. I was told that presenting in the educational section does not count against the ''one author - one talk policy'' - so I submit two abstracts. In case of conflict - please contact me: ingmar@stanford.edu.

  20. Communicative interactions involving plants: information, evolution, and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Mark C; Pearse, Ian S

    2016-08-01

    The role of information obtained via sensory cues and signals in mediating the interactions of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments has been a major focus of work on sensory and behavioral ecology. Information-mediated interactions also have important implications for broader ecological patterns emerging at the community and ecosystem levels that are only now beginning to be explored. Given the extent to which plants dominate the sensory landscapes of terrestrial ecosystems, information-mediated interactions involving plants should be a major focus of efforts to elucidate these broader patterns. Here we explore how such efforts might be enhanced by a clear understanding of information itself-a central and potentially unifying concept in biology that has nevertheless been the subject of considerable confusion-and of its relationship to adaptive evolution and ecology. We suggest that information-mediated interactions should be a key focus of efforts to more fully integrate evolutionary biology and ecology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Separating the role of biotic interactions and climate in determining adaptive response of plants to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomiolo, Sara; Van der Putten, Wim H; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-05-01

    Altered rainfall regimes will greatly affect the response of plant species to climate change. However, little is known about how direct effects of changing precipitation on plant performance may depend on other abiotic factors and biotic interactions. We used reciprocal transplants between climatically very different sites with simultaneous manipulation of soil, plant population origin, and neighbor conditions to evaluate local adaptation and possible adaptive response of four Eastern Mediterranean annual plant species to climate change. The effect of site on plant performance was negligible, but soil origin had a strong effect on fecundity, most likely due to differential water retaining ability. Competition by neighbors strongly reduced fitness. We separated the effects of the abiotic and biotic soil properties on plant performance by repeating the field experiment in a greenhouse under homogenous environmental conditions and including a soil biota manipulation treatment. As in the field, plant performance differed among soil origins and neighbor treatments. Moreover, we found plant species-specific responses to soil biota that may be best explained by the differential sensitivity to negative and positive soil biota effects. Overall, under the conditions of our experiment with two contrasting sites, biotic interactions had a strong effect on plant fitness that interacted with and eventually overrode climate. Because climate and biotic interactions covary, reciprocal transplants and climate gradient studies should consider soil biotic interactions and abiotic conditions when evaluating climate change effects on plant performance.

  2. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deguines, Nicolas; Brashares, Justin S; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is transforming precipitation regimes world-wide. Changes in precipitation regimes are known to have powerful effects on plant productivity, but the consequences of these shifts for the dynamics of ecological communities are poorly understood. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Precipitation may affect fauna through direct effects on physiology, behaviour or demography, through plant-mediated indirect effects, or by modifying interactions among species. In this paper, we examined the response of a semi-arid ecological community to a fivefold change in precipitation over 7 years. We examined the effects of precipitation on the dynamics of a grassland ecosystem in central California from 2007 to 2013. We conducted vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping of invertebrates, visual surveys of lizards and capture-mark-recapture surveys of rodents on 30 plots each year. We used structural equation modelling to evaluate the direct, indirect and modifying effects of precipitation on plants, ants, beetles, orthopterans, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and lizards. We found pervasive effects of precipitation on the ecological community. Although precipitation increased plant biomass, direct effects on fauna were often stronger than plant-mediated effects. In addition, precipitation altered the sign or strength of consumer-resource and facilitative interactions among the faunal community such that negative or neutral interactions became positive or vice versa with increasing precipitation. These findings indicate that precipitation influences ecological communities in multiple ways beyond its recognized effects on primary productivity. Stochastic variation in precipitation may weaken the average strength of biotic interactions over time, thereby increasing ecosystem stability and resilience to climate change. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological

  3. Applying biotic ligand models and Bayesian techniques: ecological risk assessment of copper and nickel in Tokyo rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Takehiko I

    2013-01-01

    Biotic ligand models (BLMs) have been broadly accepted and used in ecological risk assessment of heavy metals for toxicity normalization with respect to water chemistry. However, the importance of assessing bioavailability by using BLMs has not been widely recognized among Japanese stakeholders. Failing to consider bioavailability may result in less effective risk management than would be possible if currently available state-of-the-art methods were used to relate bioavailable concentrations to toxic effects. In this study, an ecological risk assessment was conducted using BLMs for 6 rivers in Tokyo to stimulate discussion about bioavailability of heavy metals and the use of BLMs in ecological risk management in Japan. In the risk analysis, a Bayesian approach was used to take advantage of information from previous analyses and to calculate uncertainties in the estimation of risk. Risks were judged to be a concern if the predicted environmental concentration exceeded the 5th percentile concentration (HC5) of the species sensitivity distribution. Based on this criterion, risks to stream biota from exposure to Cu were judged not to be very severe, but it would be desirable to conduct further monitoring and field surveys to determine whether temporary exposure to concentrations exceeding the HC5 causes any irreversible effects on the river ecosystem. The risk of exposure to Ni was a concern at only 1 of the 6 sites. BLM corrections affected these conclusions in the case of Cu but were moot in the case of Ni. The use of BLMs in risk assessment calculations for Japanese rivers requires water quality information that is, unfortunately, not always available. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  4. Biotic response to late Quaternary rapid climate switches in Santa Barbara Basin: Ecological and evolutionary implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cannariato, K.G.; Kennett, J.P.; Behl, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Benthic foraminiferal assemblages from Santa Barbara Basin exhibit major faunal and ecological switches associated with late Quaternary millennial- to decadal-scale global climate oscillations. Repeated turnovers of entire faunas occurred rapidly (<40--400 yr) without extinction or speciation in conjunction with Dansgaard-Oeschger shifts in thermohaline circulation, ventilation, and climate, confirming evolutionary model predictions of Roy et al. Consistent faunal successions of dysoxic taxa during successive interstadials reflect the extreme sensitivity and adaptation of the benthic ecosystem to the rapid environmental changes that marked the late Quaternary and possibly other transitional intervals in the history of the Earth's ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere system. These data support the hypothesis that broad segments of the biosphere are well adapted to rapid climate change

  5. Data on abiotic (nutrients and biotic (phytoplankton quality elements in Fortuna ecologically reconstructed area (Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve - Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TÖRÖK Liliana

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The impact of inorganic nutrient enrichment on reophillic ecosystems has been observed and intensively studied in many rivers. Due to the scarcity of information on ecological conditions in the channel-network of the Danube Delta it is very important to have reliable information on the trend of the abiotic and biotic quality elements in the Danube River and channel system – in order to fulfill the Water Framework Directive objectives and to implement the rehabilitation projects in area affected by nutrient pollution. The purpose of this paper is to present, analyze and discuss the results of evaluation of nutrient variation and phytoplankton quantification obtained in Fortuna area - one of the seven reconstructed areas of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. In order to improve the quality of data on phytoplankton biomass distribution from Fortuna area, in the summer of 2008 there has been used a submersible spectrofluorometer with automatic algae class determination and chlorophyll analysis (bbe Fluoro Probe. According to the results of analyses on relation between phytoplankton communities and water-column, the phytoplankton development in the channel network of the Fortuna reconstructed area seems to be influenced mainly by nitrogen concentration than by phosphorus concentration, as in case of phytoplankton development in Danube Delta’s lakes

  6. What happens in an estuary doesn't stay there: patterns of biotic connectivity resulting from long term ecological research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, Martha E.; Finn, John T.; Kennedy, Christina G.; Deegan, Linda A.; Smith, Joseph M.

    2013-01-01

    The paucity of data on migratory connections and an incomplete understanding of how mobile organisms use geographically separate areas have been obstacles to understanding coastal dynamics. Research on acoustically tagged striped bass (Morone saxatilis) at the Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE) Long Term Ecological Research site, Massachusetts, documents intriguing patterns of biotic connectivity (i.e., long-distance migration between geographically distinct areas). First, the striped bass tagged at PIE migrated southward along the coast using different routes. Second, these tagged fish exhibited strong fidelity and specificity to PIE. For example, across multiple years, tagged striped bass resided in PIE waters for an average of 1.5-2.5 months per year (means: 51-72 days; range 2-122 days), left this estuary in fall, then returned in subsequent years. Third, this specificity and fidelity connected PIE to other locations. The fish exported nutrients and energy to at least three other coastal locations through biomass added as growth. These results demonstrate that what happens in an individual estuary can affect other estuaries. Striped bass that use tightly connected routes to feed in specific estuaries should have greater across-system impacts than fish that are equally likely to go anywhere. Consequently, variations in when, where, and how fish migrate can alter across-estuary impacts.

  7. A framework for evaluating the influence of climate, dispersal limitation, and biotic interactions using fossil pollen associations across the late Quaternary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blois, Jessica L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Behrensmeyer, Anna K.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental conditions, dispersal lags, and interactions among species are major factors structuring communities through time and across space. Ecologists have emphasized the importance of biotic interactions in determining local patterns of species association. In contrast, abiotic limits, dis...

  8. Adding Biotic Interactions into Paleodistribution Models: A Host-Cleptoparasite Complex of Neotropical Orchid Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Paiva Silva

    Full Text Available Orchid bees compose an exclusive Neotropical pollinators group, with bright body coloration. Several of those species build their own nests, while others are reported as nest cleptoparasites. Here, the objective was to evaluate whether the inclusion of a strong biotic interaction, such as the presence of a host species, improved the ability of species distribution models (SDMs to predict the geographic range of the cleptoparasite species. The target species were Aglae caerulea and its host species Eulaema nigrita. Additionally, since A. caerulea is more frequently found in the Amazon rather than the Cerrado areas, a secondary objective was to evaluate whether this species is increasing or decreasing its distribution given South American past and current climatic conditions. SDMs methods (Maxent and Bioclim, in addition with current and past South American climatic conditions, as well as the occurrences for A. caerulea and E. nigrita were used to generate the distribution models. The distribution of A. caerulea was generated with and without the inclusion of the distribution of E. nigrita as a predictor variable. The results indicate A. caerulea was barely affected by past climatic conditions and the populations from the Cerrado savanna could be at least 21,000 years old (the last glacial maximum, as well as the Amazonian ones. On the other hand, in this study, the inclusion of the host-cleptoparasite interaction complex did not statistically improve the quality of the produced models, which means that the geographic range of this cleptoparasite species is mainly constrained by climate and not by the presence of the host species. Nonetheless, this could also be caused by unknown complexes of other Euglossini hosts with A. caerulea, which still are still needed to be described by science.

  9. Ecological interactions in Aedes species on Reunion Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagny Beilhe, L; Delatte, H; Juliano, S A; Fontenille, D; Quilici, S

    2013-12-01

    Two invasive, container-breeding mosquito species, Aedes aegypti (Stegomyia aegypti) and Aedes albopictus (Stegomyia albopicta) (Diptera: Culicidae), have different distribution patterns on Reunion Island. Aedes albopictus occurs in all areas and Ae. aegypti colonizes only some restricted areas already occupied by Ae. albopictus. This study investigates the abiotic and biotic ecological mechanisms that determine the distribution of Aedes species on Reunion Island. Life history traits (duration of immature stages, survivorship, fecundity, estimated finite rate of increase) in Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were compared at different temperatures. These fitness measures were characterized in both species in response to competitive interactions among larvae. Aedes aegypti was drastically affected by temperature, performing well only at around 25 °C, at which it achieved its highest survivorship and greatest estimated rate of increase. The narrow distribution of this species in the field on Reunion Island may thus relate to its poor ability to cope with unfavourable temperatures. Aedes aegypti was also more negatively affected by high population densities and to some extent by interactions with Ae. albopictus, particularly in the context of limited food supplies. Aedes albopictus exhibited better population performance across a range of environmental conditions. Its ecological plasticity and its superior competitive ability relative to its congener may further enhance its invasion success on Reunion Island. © 2012 The Royal Entomological Society.

  10. Multimodal Student Interaction Online: An Ecological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berglund, Therese Ornberg

    2009-01-01

    This article describes the influence of tool and task design on student interaction in language learning at a distance. Interaction in a multimodal desktop video conferencing environment, FlashMeeting, is analyzed from an ecological perspective with two main foci: participation rates and conversational feedback strategies. The quantitative…

  11. What can we learn from the microbial ecological interactions associated with polymicrobial diseases?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antiabong, J F; Boardman, W; Ball, A S

    2014-03-15

    Periodontal diseases in humans and animals are model polymicrobial diseases which are associated with a shift in the microbial community structure and function; there is therefore a need to investigate these diseases from a microbial ecological perspective. This review highlights three important areas of microbial ecological investigation of polymicrobial diseases and the lessons that could be learnt: (1) identification of disease-associated microbes and the implications for choice of anti-infective treatment; (2) the implications associated with vaccine design and development and (3) application of the dynamics of microbial interaction in the discovery of novel anti-infective agents. This review emphasises the need to invigorate microbial ecological approaches to the study of periodontal diseases and other polymicrobial diseases for greater understanding of the ecological interactions between and within the biotic and abiotic factors of the environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Interactive influence of biotic and abiotic cues on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures in a predator–prey system

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smolinský, Radovan; Gvoždík, Lumír

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 170, č. 1 (2012), s. 47-55 ISSN 0029-8549 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/10/2170; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Aeshna * Biotic interactions * Preferred temperature * Reciprocal plasticity * Thermal acclimation * Triturus Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.011, year: 2012

  13. Performance comparison of biotic indices measuring the ecological status base on soft-bottom macroinvertebrates: a study along the shallow Gomishan lagoon (Southeast Caspian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nabee Basatnia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This paper aims to test the suitability of some biotic indices for their application in Southeast Caspian Sea. For this purpose, the ecological quality of the Gomishan lagoon was assessed using three biotic indices (AMBI, BENTIX, BOPA during summer and autumn 2010. The results from the application of the biotic indices do not highlight a clear distinction between the stations. The results show that two of the indices (AMBI and BENTIX are very close in terms of diagnosis (good and high and seem to generally perform better than BOPA. In addition, Principal Component Analysis (PCA based on abiotic parameters showed clear spatial and temporal differences in environmental variables. However, at this shallow sites with low human pressure and high water residence times, such benthic community composition can be associated with physical stress due to salinity increase and to changes in environmental characteristics, triggered by conventional seasonal variations. Natural variability of transitional waters is a crucial factor for a correct evaluation of the ecological condition of macroinvertebrate communities across the lagoonal system.

  14. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellers, Jacintha; Kiers, E Toby; Currie, Cameron R; McDonald, Bradon R; Visser, Bertanne

    2012-10-01

    Loss of traits can dramatically alter the fate of species. Evidence is rapidly accumulating that the prevalence of trait loss is grossly underestimated. New findings demonstrate that traits can be lost without affecting the external phenotype, provided the lost function is compensated for by species interactions. This is important because trait loss can tighten the ecological relationship between partners, affecting the maintenance of species interactions. Here, we develop a new perspective on so-called `compensated trait loss' and how this type of trait loss may affect the evolutionary dynamics between interacting organisms. We argue that: (1) the frequency of compensated trait loss is currently underestimated because it can go unnoticed as long as ecological interactions are maintained; (2) by analysing known cases of trait loss, specific factors promoting compensated trait loss can be identified and (3) genomic sequencing is a key way forwards in detecting compensated trait loss. We present a comprehensive literature survey showing that compensated trait loss is taxonomically widespread, can involve essential traits, and often occurs as replicated evolutionary events. Despite its hidden nature, compensated trait loss is important in directing evolutionary dynamics of ecological relationships and has the potential to change facultative ecological interactions into obligatory ones. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. SEWAGE DECOMPOSITION IN AMBIENT WATER: INFLUENCE OF SOLARRADIATION AND BIOTIC INTERACTIONS ON MICROORGANISM COMMUNITIES AND BACTEROIDALES REAL-TIME QUANTITATIVE PCR MEASUREMENTS - poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    AIMS: Sewage and ambient water both consist of a highly complex array of bacteria and eukaryotic microbes. When these communities are mixed, solar radiation and biotic interactions (predation and competition) can influence pathogen decay based on experiments targeting indicator ...

  16. How do Humans interact with the Biotic Pump of South America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Ajar; Pande, Saket; Renata Cordeiro Ortigara, Angela; Uhlenbrook, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    The negative effects of the deforestation have been both advertised and down played. However, the effects are far more tangible than what they seem to be. It has been shown that the change in forest cover causes the rainfall patterns to change as the forests work as so-called Biotic Pumps. This changes the water availability in the area by modifying the water balance. Local water balances affect the changes that may take longer to be visible on the larger scales. The Amazon rain forest, one of the most bio-diverse areas worldwide, is an essential part of the biosphere of South America. However, there are clear links between deforestation carried out for agricultural purposes, specifically, Soybean and Sugarcane and the variability in global food prices. Here we analyse the anthropogenic actions that may influence the biotic pump. Variables such as volatility in commodity prices, risk taking capacities, land availability, government subsidies are used to drive the decision making of farmers. These variables are embedded in a lumped biotic pump model made for Brazil, utilizing data from different sources including MODIS, Centro de Previsão do Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The biotic pump model essentially transports atmospheric moisture downwind, part of which falls as rain. The atmospheric moisture 'upwind' accounts for evaporation, incorporating land cover changes in response to land use decisions made by farmers and rainfall. The model is run for scenarios to demonstrate how rain downwind is affected by upwind land cover and provides first insights in to how much rain and productivity (agriculture) downwind is caused by the Amazonian rain forest upwind We then discuss the value of environmental conservation based on marginal productivity analysis, i.e., finding harmony between the conservation of rainforest and the economic growth of the country.

  17. Chemical ecology of insects and tritrophic interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmad, F.; Aslam, M.; Razaq, M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper reviews the chemical ecology of insects to explain the role of semiochemicals in plant-herbivore, herbivore-carnivore and plant-carnivore interactions. The semiochemical, mediating tritrophic interactions may be produced by plants, herbivores or their natural enemies (carnivores). Some semiochemicals attract the herbivores and carnivores and mediate interaction among them, while on the other hand some repel them. The semiochemicals are used by heribivores, parasites and predators as cues to locate food, host or prey. The same chemicals are also used for defensive purpose by some herbivores against their natural enemies as they are sequestered through their bodies. (author)

  18. Ecological interactions and the Netflix problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Desjardins-Proulx

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Species interactions are a key component of ecosystems but we generally have an incomplete picture of who-eats-who in a given community. Different techniques have been devised to predict species interactions using theoretical models or abundances. Here, we explore the K nearest neighbour approach, with a special emphasis on recommendation, along with a supervised machine learning technique. Recommenders are algorithms developed for companies like Netflix to predict whether a customer will like a product given the preferences of similar customers. These machine learning techniques are well-suited to study binary ecological interactions since they focus on positive-only data. By removing a prey from a predator, we find that recommenders can guess the missing prey around 50% of the times on the first try, with up to 881 possibilities. Traits do not improve significantly the results for the K nearest neighbour, although a simple test with a supervised learning approach (random forests show we can predict interactions with high accuracy using only three traits per species. This result shows that binary interactions can be predicted without regard to the ecological community given only three variables: body mass and two variables for the species’ phylogeny. These techniques are complementary, as recommenders can predict interactions in the absence of traits, using only information about other species’ interactions, while supervised learning algorithms such as random forests base their predictions on traits only but do not exploit other species’ interactions. Further work should focus on developing custom similarity measures specialized for ecology to improve the KNN algorithms and using richer data to capture indirect relationships between species.

  19. Ecological interactions and the Netflix problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desjardins-Proulx, Philippe; Laigle, Idaline; Poisot, Timothée; Gravel, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    Species interactions are a key component of ecosystems but we generally have an incomplete picture of who-eats-who in a given community. Different techniques have been devised to predict species interactions using theoretical models or abundances. Here, we explore the K nearest neighbour approach, with a special emphasis on recommendation, along with a supervised machine learning technique. Recommenders are algorithms developed for companies like Netflix to predict whether a customer will like a product given the preferences of similar customers. These machine learning techniques are well-suited to study binary ecological interactions since they focus on positive-only data. By removing a prey from a predator, we find that recommenders can guess the missing prey around 50% of the times on the first try, with up to 881 possibilities. Traits do not improve significantly the results for the K nearest neighbour, although a simple test with a supervised learning approach (random forests) show we can predict interactions with high accuracy using only three traits per species. This result shows that binary interactions can be predicted without regard to the ecological community given only three variables: body mass and two variables for the species' phylogeny. These techniques are complementary, as recommenders can predict interactions in the absence of traits, using only information about other species' interactions, while supervised learning algorithms such as random forests base their predictions on traits only but do not exploit other species' interactions. Further work should focus on developing custom similarity measures specialized for ecology to improve the KNN algorithms and using richer data to capture indirect relationships between species.

  20. Biogeochemical behaviour of anionic radionuclides in soil: evidence for biotic interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fevrier, L.; Martin-Garin, A.

    2004-01-01

    Among studies on radionuclides, very few have been devoted to the behaviour of long-lived anionic radionuclides as 99 Tc and 79 Se in soils. Yet these two species are supposed to be highly mobile in soils, because of their anionic forms. The understanding of their biogeochemical behaviour in soils will improve both the ecological and health risk assessment. Very often the interactions between the radionuclides and the different components of soil are considered only from a physico-chemical point of view. However in surface horizons and more specially in the rhizosphere, the micro-organisms can not be ignored as they can affect either directly or indirectly the speciation of most of the chemical species, and particularly these of Se and Tc. This study demonstrates the role of the microbial compartment in the retention of Se and Tc in soil by comparing experiments with a sterilized soil (no microbial activity) to experiments with a soil more or less amended with organic carbon and / or nitrate, to stimulate its microbial activity. Kd coefficients for Se and Tc were determined in batch experiments, whereas transport of Se and Tc was investigated through column leaching experiments. Kd for Se was enhanced for the natural soil without amendment compared to the value obtained for the sterilized soil. The retention of Se was higher again in the natural soil amended with glucose and nitrate together. In addition, these amendments facilitated the development of a biofilm at the entrance of the column, which can directly retain Se. This effect was less obvious for Tc in batch experiments, but was revealed by leaching experiments where a high quantity of Tc was retained in the soil column when added with glucose and nitrate. These results give evidence that micro-organisms are responsible for a greater retention of Se and Tc in soil. (author)

  1. Bacterial - Fungal Interactions: ecology, mechanisms and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deveau, A; Bonito, G; Uehling, J; Paoletti, M; Becker, M; Bindschedler, S; Hacquard, S; Hervé, V; Labbé, J; Lastovetsky, O A; Mieszkin, S; Millet, L J; Vajna, B; Junier, P; Bonfante, P; Krom, B P; Olsson, S; Elsas, J D van; Wick, L Y

    2018-02-19

    Fungi and bacteria are found living together in a wide variety of environments. Their interactions are significant drivers of many ecosystem functions and are important for the health of plants and animals. A large number of fungal and bacterial families are engaged in complex interactions that lead to critical behavioural shifts of the microorganisms ranging from mutualism to pathogenicity. The importance of bacterial-fungal interactions (BFI) in environmental science, medicine and biotechnology has led to the emergence of a dynamic and multidisciplinary research field that combines highly diverse approaches including molecular biology, genomics, geochemistry, chemical and microbial ecology, biophysics and ecological modelling. In this review, we discuss most recent advances that underscore the roles of BFI across relevant habitats and ecosystems. A particular focus is placed on the understanding of BFI within complex microbial communities and in regards of the metaorganism concept. We also discuss recent discoveries that clarify the (molecular) mechanisms involved in bacterial-fungal relationships, and the contribution of new technologies to decipher generic principles of BFI in terms of physical associations and molecular dialogues. Finally, we discuss future directions for researches in order to catalyse a synergy within the BFI research area and to resolve outstanding questions.

  2. Antimicrobial discovery inspired by ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molloy, Evelyn M; Hertweck, Christian

    2017-10-01

    Bacteria represent an unparalleled source of antibiotics used to treat infectious diseases. Yet, genome analyses have revealed that their full biosynthetic potential is much larger than expected. Valuable strategies to unearth hidden antibiotics are genome mining, pathway engineering and triggering, as well as co-cultivation approaches. Nevertheless, there is growing understanding that it is often essential to consider the ecological context and that there is a great potential for antimicrobial discovery from bacteria engaged in well-defined interactions with other organisms. Various ecological scenarios involving antimicrobial agents are outlined in this review: predator-prey and pathogenic interactions, the protection of insect assets such as offspring and cultivars, as well as host protection in symbiotic relationships with plants, invertebrates and animals/humans. The illustrative examples given reinforce the idea that examination of interactions between organisms can yield new antimicrobial compounds, and ultimately further our understanding of the function of these molecules in the environment. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Predicting species distribution and abundance responses to climate change: why it is essential to include biotic interactions across trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Putten, Wim H; Macel, Mirka; Visser, Marcel E

    2010-07-12

    Current predictions on species responses to climate change strongly rely on projecting altered environmental conditions on species distributions. However, it is increasingly acknowledged that climate change also influences species interactions. We review and synthesize literature information on biotic interactions and use it to argue that the abundance of species and the direction of selection during climate change vary depending on how their trophic interactions become disrupted. Plant abundance can be controlled by aboveground and belowground multitrophic level interactions with herbivores, pathogens, symbionts and their enemies. We discuss how these interactions may alter during climate change and the resulting species range shifts. We suggest conceptual analogies between species responses to climate warming and exotic species introduced in new ranges. There are also important differences: the herbivores, pathogens and mutualistic symbionts of range-expanding species and their enemies may co-migrate, and the continuous gene flow under climate warming can make adaptation in the expansion zone of range expanders different from that of cross-continental exotic species. We conclude that under climate change, results of altered species interactions may vary, ranging from species becoming rare to disproportionately abundant. Taking these possibilities into account will provide a new perspective on predicting species distribution under climate change.

  4. The interactive biotic and abiotic processes of DDT transformation under dissimilatory iron-reducing conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xin; Wang, Fang; Gu, Chenggang; Yang, Xinglun; Kengara, Fredrick O; Bian, Yongrong; Song, Yang; Jiang, Xin

    2015-11-01

    The objective of the study was to elucidate the biotic and abiotic processes under dissimilatory iron reducing conditions involved in reductive dechlorination and iron reduction. DDT transformation was investigated in cultures of Shewanella putrefaciens 200 with/without α-FeOOH. A modified first-order kinetics model was developed and described DDT transformation well. Both the α-FeOOH reduction rate and the dechlorination rate of DDT were positively correlated to the biomass. Addition of α-FeOOH enhanced reductive dechlorination of DDT by favoring the cell survival and generating Fe(II) which was absorbed on the surface of bacteria and iron oxide. 92% of the absorbed Fe(II) was Na-acetate (1M) extractable. However, α-FeOOH also played a negative role of competing for electrons as reflected by the dechlorination rate of DDT was inhibited when increasing the α-FeOOH from 1 g L(-1) to 5 g L(-1). DDT was measured to be toxic to S. putrefaciens 200. The metabolites DDD, DDE and DDMU were recalcitrant to S. putrefaciens 200. The results suggested that iron oxide was not the key factor to promote the dissipation of DDX (DDT and the metabolites), whereas the one-electron reduction potential (E1) of certain organochlorines is the main factor and that the E1 higher than the threshold of the reductive driving forces of DIRB probably ensures the occur of reductive dechlorination. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana

    OpenAIRE

    Wolf, Jason B.; Mutic, Joshua J.; Kover, Paula X.

    2011-01-01

    Studying the genetic basis of traits involved in ecological interactions is a fundamental part of elucidating the connections between evolutionary and ecological processes. Such knowledge allows one to link genetic models of trait evolution with ecological models describing interactions within and between species. Previous work has shown that connections between genetic and ecological processes in Arabidopsis thaliana may be mediated by the fact that quantitative trait loci (QTL) with ‘direct...

  6. Interactive biotic and abiotic regulators of soil carbon cycling: evidence from controlled climate experiments on peatland and boreal soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briones, María Jesús I; McNamara, Niall P; Poskitt, Jan; Crow, Susan E; Ostle, Nicholas J

    2014-09-01

    Partially decomposed plant and animal remains have been accumulating in organic soils (i.e. >40% C content) for millennia, making them the largest terrestrial carbon store. There is growing concern that, in a warming world, soil biotic processing will accelerate and release greenhouse gases that further exacerbate climate change. However, the magnitude of this response remains uncertain as the constraints are abiotic, biotic and interactive. Here, we examined the influence of resource quality and biological activity on the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration under different soil moisture regimes. Organic soils were sampled from 13 boreal and peatland ecosystems located in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Finland and Sweden, representing a natural resource quality range of C, N and P. They were incubated at four temperatures (4, 10, 15 and 20 °C) at either 60% or 100% water holding capacity (WHC). Our results showed that chemical and biological properties play an important role in determining soil respiration responses to temperature and moisture changes. High soil C : P and C : N ratios were symptomatic of slow C turnover and long-term C accumulation. In boreal soils, low bacterial to fungal ratios were related to greater temperature sensitivity of respiration, which was amplified in drier conditions. This contrasted with peatland soils which were dominated by bacterial communities and enchytraeid grazing, resulting in a more rapid C turnover under warmer and wetter conditions. The unexpected acceleration of C mineralization under high moisture contents was possibly linked to the primarily role of fermented organic matter, instead of oxygen, in mediating microbial decomposition. We conclude that to improve C model simulations of soil respiration, a better resolution of the interactions occurring between climate, resource quality and the decomposer community will be required. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Process-based species pools reveal the hidden signature of biotic interactions amid the influence of temperature filtering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Weinstein, Ben G.; Borregaard, Michael Krabbe

    2016-01-01

    A persistent challenge in ecology is to tease apart the in-fluence of multiple processes acting simultaneously and interacting in complex ways to shape the structure of species assemblages. We implement a heuristic approach that relies on explicitly defining spe-cies pools and permits assessment ...

  8. Biotic interactions modify multiple-stressor effects on juvenile brown trout in an experimental stream food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruder, Andreas; Salis, Romana K; Jones, Peter E; Matthaei, Christoph D

    2017-09-01

    Agricultural land use results in multiple stressors affecting stream ecosystems. Flow reduction due to water abstraction, elevated levels of nutrients and chemical contaminants are common agricultural stressors worldwide. Concurrently, stream ecosystems are also increasingly affected by climate change. Interactions among multiple co-occurring stressors result in biological responses that cannot be predicted from single-stressor effects (i.e. synergisms and antagonisms). At the ecosystem level, multiple-stressor effects can be further modified by biotic interactions (e.g. trophic interactions). We conducted a field experiment using 128 flow-through stream mesocosms to examine the individual and combined effects of water abstraction, nutrient enrichment and elevated levels of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) on survival, condition and gut content of juvenile brown trout and on benthic abundance of their invertebrate prey. Flow velocity reduction decreased fish survival (-12% compared to controls) and condition (-8% compared to initial condition), whereas effects of nutrient and DCD additions and interactions among these stressors were not significant. Negative effects of flow velocity reduction on fish survival and condition were consistent with effects on fish gut content (-25% compared to controls) and abundance of dominant invertebrate prey (-30% compared to controls), suggesting a negative metabolic balance driving fish mortality and condition decline, which was confirmed by structural equation modelling. Fish mortality under reduced flow velocity increased as maximal daily water temperatures approached the upper limit of their tolerance range, reflecting synergistic interactions between these stressors. Our study highlights the importance of indirect stressor effects such as those transferred through trophic interactions, which need to be considered when assessing and managing fish populations and stream food webs in multiple-stressor situations

  9. Hydrologic, abiotic and biotic interactions: plant density, windspeed, leaf size and groundwater all affect oak water use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darin J. Law; Deborah M. Finch

    2011-01-01

    Plant water use in drylands can be complex due to variation in hydrologic, abiotic and biotic factors, particularly near ephemeral or intermittent streams. Plant use of groundwater may be important but is usually uncertain. Disturbances like fire contribute to complex spatiotemporal heterogeneity. Improved understanding of how such hydrologic, abiotic, and biotic...

  10. Physiological and molecular implications of plant polyamine metabolism during biotic interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Jiménez Bremont

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available During ontogeny, plants interact with a wide variety of microorganisms. The association with mutualistic microbes results in benefits for the plant. By contrast, pathogens may cause a remarkable impairment of plant growth and development. Both types of plant-microbe interactions provoke notable changes in the polyamine (PA metabolism of the host and/or the microbe, being each interaction a complex and dynamic process. It has been well documented that the levels of free and conjugated PAs undergo profound changes in plant tissues during the interaction with microorganisms. In general, this is correlated with a precise and coordinated regulation of PA biosynthetic and catabolic enzymes. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that the relative importance of these metabolic pathways may depend on the nature of the microorganism, a concept that stems from the fact that these amines mediate the activation of plant defense mechanisms. This effect is mediated mostly through PA oxidation, even though part of the response is activated by non-oxidized PAs. In the last years, a great deal of effort has been devoted to profile plant gene expression following microorganism recognition. In addition, the phenotypes of transgenic and mutant plants in PA metabolism genes have been assessed. In this review, we integrated the current knowledge on this field and analyze the possible roles of these amines during the interaction of plants with microbes.

  11. Synergistic interactions of biotic and abiotic environmental stressors on gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altshuler, Ianina; McLeod, Anne M; Colbourne, John K; Yan, Norman D; Cristescu, Melania E

    2015-03-01

    Understanding the response of organisms to multiple stressors is critical for predicting if populations can adapt to rapid environmental change. Natural and anthropogenic stressors often interact, complicating general predictions. In this study, we examined the interactive and cumulative effects of two common environmental stressors, lowered calcium concentration, an anthropogenic stressor, and predator presence, a natural stressor, on the water flea Daphnia pulex. We analyzed expression changes of five genes involved in calcium homeostasis - cuticle proteins (Cutie, Icp2), calbindin (Calb), and calcium pump and channel (Serca and Ip3R) - using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) in a full factorial experiment. We observed strong synergistic interactions between low calcium concentration and predator presence. While the Ip3R gene was not affected by the stressors, the other four genes were affected in their transcriptional levels by the combination of the stressors. Transcriptional patterns of genes that code for cuticle proteins (Cutie and Icp2) and a sarcoplasmic calcium pump (Serca) only responded to the combination of stressors, changing their relative expression levels in a synergistic response, while a calcium-binding protein (Calb) responded to low calcium stress and the combination of both stressors. The expression pattern of these genes (Cutie, Icp2, and Serca) were nonlinear, yet they were dose dependent across the calcium gradient. Multiple stressors can have complex, often unexpected effects on ecosystems. This study demonstrates that the dominant interaction for the set of tested genes appears to be synergism. We argue that gene expression patterns can be used to understand and predict the type of interaction expected when organisms are exposed simultaneously to natural and anthropogenic stressors.

  12. Evolutionary history and novel biotic interactions determine plant responses to elevated CO2 and nitrogen fertilization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Wooliver

    Full Text Available A major frontier in global change research is predicting how multiple agents of global change will alter plant productivity, a critical component of the carbon cycle. Recent research has shown that plant responses to climate change are phylogenetically conserved such that species within some lineages are more productive than those within other lineages in changing environments. However, it remains unclear how phylogenetic patterns in plant responses to changing abiotic conditions may be altered by another agent of global change, the introduction of non-native species. Using a system of 28 native Tasmanian Eucalyptus species belonging to two subgenera, Symphyomyrtus and Eucalyptus, we hypothesized that productivity responses to abiotic agents of global change (elevated CO2 and increased soil N are unique to lineages, but that novel interactions with a non-native species mediate these responses. We tested this hypothesis by examining productivity of 1 native species monocultures and 2 mixtures of native species with an introduced hardwood plantation species, Eucalyptus nitens, to experimentally manipulated soil N and atmospheric CO2. Consistent with past research, we found that N limits productivity overall, especially in elevated CO2 conditions. However, monocultures of species within the Symphyomyrtus subgenus showed the strongest response to N (gained 127% more total biomass in elevated CO2 conditions, whereas those within the Eucalyptus subgenus did not respond to N. Root:shoot ratio (an indicator of resource use was on average greater in species pairs containing Symphyomyrtus species, suggesting that functional traits important for resource uptake are phylogenetically conserved and explaining the phylogenetic pattern in plant response to changing environmental conditions. Yet, native species mixtures with E. nitens exhibited responses to CO2 and N that differed from those of monocultures, supporting our hypothesis and highlighting that both

  13. A literature review on biotic homogenization

    OpenAIRE

    Guangmei Wang; Jingcheng Yang; Chuangdao Jiang; Hongtao Zhao; Zhidong Zhang

    2009-01-01

    Biotic homogenization is the process whereby the genetic, taxonomic and functional similarity of two or more biotas increases over time. As a new research agenda for conservation biogeography, biotic homogenization has become a rapidly emerging topic of interest in ecology and evolution over the past decade. However, research on this topic is rare in China. Herein, we introduce the development of the concept of biotic homogenization, and then discuss methods to quantify its three components (...

  14. The net effect of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in a semi-arid ecosystem NE Spain: implications for the management and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pueyo, Yolanda; Arroyo, Antonio I.; Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-05-01

    Degradation in arid and semiarid lands can be irreversible without human intervention, due to a positive plant-soil feedback where the loss of vegetation cover leads to soil degradation, which in turn hampers plant establishment. Human intervention in restoration actions usually involves the amendment of the degraded abiotic conditions, revegetation of bare areas, or both. However, abiotic amelioration is often expensive and too intrusive, and revegetation is not successful in many cases. Biotic interactions between plants, and more specifically facilitation by a "nurse" plant, have been proposed as a new via to take profit of improved abiotic conditions without intervention, and to increase the success rate of revegetation actions. But "nurse" plants can also interfere with others (i.e. by competition for resources or the release of allelopathic compounds), and the net balance between facilitation and interference could depend on plant types involved. We present recent observational and experimental studies performed in the semiarid ecosystems of the Middle Ebro Valley (NE Spain) about the role of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in the productivity, dynamics and diversity of plant communities under different stress conditions (aridity and grazing). We found that all plant types studied (shrubs and perennial grasses) improved abiotic conditions (soil temperature and water availability for plants) with respect to open areas. However, only some shrubs (mainly Salsola vermiculata) had a positive net balance in the biotic interactions between plants, while other shrubs (Artemisia herba-alba) and perennial grasses (Lygeum spartum) showed interference with other plants. Moreover, the net balance between facilitation and interference among plants in the community shifted from competitive to neutral or from neutral to facilitative with increasing aridity. Grazing status did not strongly change the net biotic interactions between plants. Our results suggest that

  15. Interactions among biotic and abiotic factors affect the reliability of tungsten microneedles puncturing in vitro and in vivo peripheral nerves: A hybrid computational approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sergi, Pier Nicola, E-mail: p.sergi@sssup.it [Translational Neural Engineering Laboratory, The Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, Pontedera, 56025 (Italy); Jensen, Winnie [Department of Health Science and Technology, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7, 9220 Aalborg (Denmark); Yoshida, Ken [Department of Biomedical Engineering, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, 723 W. Michigan St., SL220, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (United States)

    2016-02-01

    Tungsten is an elective material to produce slender and stiff microneedles able to enter soft tissues and minimize puncture wounds. In particular, tungsten microneedles are used to puncture peripheral nerves and insert neural interfaces, bridging the gap between the nervous system and robotic devices (e.g., hand prostheses). Unfortunately, microneedles fail during the puncture process and this failure is not dependent on stiffness or fracture toughness of the constituent material. In addition, the microneedles' performances decrease during in vivo trials with respect to the in vitro ones. This further effect is independent on internal biotic effects, while it seems to be related to external biotic causes. Since the exact synergy of phenomena decreasing the in vivo reliability is still not known, this work explored the connection between in vitro and in vivo behavior of tungsten microneedles through the study of interactions between biotic and abiotic factors. A hybrid computational approach, simultaneously using theoretical relationships and in silico models of nerves, was implemented to model the change of reliability varying the microneedle diameter, and to predict in vivo performances by using in vitro reliability and local differences between in vivo and in vitro mechanical response of nerves. - Highlights: • We provide phenomenological Finite Element (FE) models of peripheral nerves to study the interactions with W microneedles • We provide a general interaction-based approach to model the reliability of slender microneedles • We evaluate the reliability of W microneedels to puncture in vivo nerves • We provide a novel synergistic hybrid approach (theory + simulations) involving interactions among biotic and abiotic factors • We validate the hybrid approach by using experimental data from literature.

  16. Interactions among biotic and abiotic factors affect the reliability of tungsten microneedles puncturing in vitro and in vivo peripheral nerves: A hybrid computational approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sergi, Pier Nicola; Jensen, Winnie; Yoshida, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Tungsten is an elective material to produce slender and stiff microneedles able to enter soft tissues and minimize puncture wounds. In particular, tungsten microneedles are used to puncture peripheral nerves and insert neural interfaces, bridging the gap between the nervous system and robotic devices (e.g., hand prostheses). Unfortunately, microneedles fail during the puncture process and this failure is not dependent on stiffness or fracture toughness of the constituent material. In addition, the microneedles' performances decrease during in vivo trials with respect to the in vitro ones. This further effect is independent on internal biotic effects, while it seems to be related to external biotic causes. Since the exact synergy of phenomena decreasing the in vivo reliability is still not known, this work explored the connection between in vitro and in vivo behavior of tungsten microneedles through the study of interactions between biotic and abiotic factors. A hybrid computational approach, simultaneously using theoretical relationships and in silico models of nerves, was implemented to model the change of reliability varying the microneedle diameter, and to predict in vivo performances by using in vitro reliability and local differences between in vivo and in vitro mechanical response of nerves. - Highlights: • We provide phenomenological Finite Element (FE) models of peripheral nerves to study the interactions with W microneedles • We provide a general interaction-based approach to model the reliability of slender microneedles • We evaluate the reliability of W microneedels to puncture in vivo nerves • We provide a novel synergistic hybrid approach (theory + simulations) involving interactions among biotic and abiotic factors • We validate the hybrid approach by using experimental data from literature

  17. Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Meichun; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Baudry, Jacques; Li, Liangtao; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan C

    2016-04-01

    High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments.

  18. Interactive Videos Enhance Learning about Socio-Ecological Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smithwick, Erica; Baxter, Emily; Kim, Kyung; Edel-Malizia, Stephanie; Rocco, Stevie; Blackstock, Dean

    2018-01-01

    Two forms of interactive video were assessed in an online course focused on conservation. The hypothesis was that interactive video enhances student perceptions about learning and improves mental models of social-ecological systems. Results showed that students reported greater learning and attitudes toward the subject following interactive video.…

  19. Influence of Solar Radiation and Biotic Interactions on Bacterial and Eukaryotic Communities Associated with Sewage Decomposition in Ambient Water - Poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewage and ambient water both consist of a highly complex array of bacteria and eukaryotic microbes. When these communities are mixed, the persistence of sewage-derived pathogens in environmental waters can represent a significant public health concern. Solar radiation and biotic...

  20. Sugar maple ecology and health: proceedings of an international symposium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen B. Horsley; Robert P. Long; eds.

    1999-01-01

    Contains 28 papers and abstracts on sugar maple history and ecology; recent sugar maple declines; nutrient and belowground dynamics in northeastern forests; and interactions of forest health with biotic and abiotic stressors.

  1. Ecological interactions affecting population-level responses to chemical stress in Mesocyclops leuckarti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, Devdutt; Hommen, Udo; Schäffer, Andreas; Preuss, Thomas G

    2014-10-01

    Higher tiers of ecological risk assessment (ERA) consider population and community-level endpoints. At the population level, the phenomenon of density dependence is one of the most important ecological processes that influence population dynamics. In this study, we investigated how different mechanisms of density dependence would influence population-level ERA of the cyclopoid copepod Mesocyclops leuckarti under toxicant exposure. We used a combined approach of laboratory experiments and individual-based modelling. An individual-based model was developed for M. leuckarti to simulate population dynamics under triphenyltin exposure based on individual-level ecological and toxicological data from laboratory experiments. The study primarily aimed to-(1) determine which life-cycle processes, based on feeding strategies, are most significant in determining density dependence (2) explore how these mechanisms of density dependence affect extrapolation from individual-level effects to the population level under toxicant exposure. Model simulations showed that cannibalism of nauplii that were already stressed by TPT exposure contributed to synergistic effects of biotic and abiotic factors and led to a twofold stress being exerted on the nauplii, thereby resulting in a higher population vulnerability compared to the scenario without cannibalism. Our results suggest that in population-level risk assessment, it is easy to underestimate toxicity unless underlying ecological interactions including mechanisms of population-level density regulation are considered. This study is an example of how a combined approach of experiments and mechanistic modelling can lead to a thorough understanding of ecological processes in ecotoxicology and enable a more realistic ERA. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Coprolites reveal ecological interactions lost with the extinction of New Zealand birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boast, Alexander P; Weyrich, Laura S; Wood, Jamie R; Metcalf, Jessica L; Knight, Rob; Cooper, Alan

    2018-02-13

    Over the past 50,000 y, biotic extinctions and declines have left a legacy of vacant niches and broken ecological interactions across global terrestrial ecosystems. Reconstructing the natural, unmodified ecosystems that preceded these events relies on high-resolution analyses of paleoecological deposits. Coprolites are a source of uniquely detailed information about trophic interactions and the behaviors, gut parasite communities, and microbiotas of prehistoric animal species. Such insights are critical for understanding the legacy effects of extinctions on ecosystems, and can help guide contemporary conservation and ecosystem restoration efforts. Here we use high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of ancient eukaryotic DNA from coprolites to reconstruct aspects of the biology and ecology of four species of extinct moa and the critically endangered kakapo parrot from New Zealand (NZ). Importantly, we provide evidence that moa and prehistoric kakapo consumed ectomycorrhizal fungi, suggesting these birds played a role in dispersing fungi that are key to NZ's natural forest ecosystems. We also provide the first DNA-based evidence that moa frequently supplemented their broad diets with ferns and mosses. Finally, we also find parasite taxa that provide insight into moa behavior, and present data supporting the hypothesis of coextinction between moa and several parasite species. Our study demonstrates that HTS sequencing of coprolites provides a powerful tool for resolving key aspects of ancient ecosystems and may rapidly provide information not obtainable by conventional paleoecological techniques, such as fossil analyses.

  3. Specific non-monotonous interactions increase persistence of ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Chuan; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-03-22

    The relationship between stability and biodiversity has long been debated in ecology due to opposing empirical observations and theoretical predictions. Species interaction strength is often assumed to be monotonically related to population density, but the effects on stability of ecological networks of non-monotonous interactions that change signs have not been investigated previously. We demonstrate that for four kinds of non-monotonous interactions, shifting signs to negative or neutral interactions at high population density increases persistence (a measure of stability) of ecological networks, while for the other two kinds of non-monotonous interactions shifting signs to positive interactions at high population density decreases persistence of networks. Our results reveal a novel mechanism of network stabilization caused by specific non-monotonous interaction types through either increasing stable equilibrium points or reducing unstable equilibrium points (or both). These specific non-monotonous interactions may be important in maintaining stable and complex ecological networks, as well as other networks such as genes, neurons, the internet and human societies.

  4. Ecology and evolution of plant–pollinator interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Randall J.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Flanagan, Rebecca J.; Karron, Jeffrey D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Some of the most exciting advances in pollination biology have resulted from interdisciplinary research combining ecological and evolutionary perspectives. For example, these two approaches have been essential for understanding the functional ecology of floral traits, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant–pollinator interactions. However, as research in these and other areas has progressed, many pollination biologists have become more specialized in their research interests, focusing their attention on either evolutionary or ecological questions. We believe that the continuing vigour of a synthetic and interdisciplinary field like pollination biology depends on renewed connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. Scope In this Viewpoint paper we highlight the application of ecological and evolutionary approaches to two themes in pollination biology: (1) links between pollinator behaviour and plant mating systems, and (2) generalization and specialization in pollination systems. We also describe how mathematical models and synthetic analyses have broadened our understanding of pollination biology, especially in human-modified landscapes. We conclude with several suggestions that we hope will stimulate future research. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to this Special Issue on the Ecology and Evolution of Plant–Pollinator Interactions. These papers provide inspiring examples of the synergy between evolutionary and ecological approaches, and offer glimpses of great accomplishments yet to come. PMID:19482881

  5. Ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Randall J; Irwin, Rebecca E; Flanagan, Rebecca J; Karron, Jeffrey D

    2009-06-01

    Some of the most exciting advances in pollination biology have resulted from interdisciplinary research combining ecological and evolutionary perspectives. For example, these two approaches have been essential for understanding the functional ecology of floral traits, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant-pollinator interactions. However, as research in these and other areas has progressed, many pollination biologists have become more specialized in their research interests, focusing their attention on either evolutionary or ecological questions. We believe that the continuing vigour of a synthetic and interdisciplinary field like pollination biology depends on renewed connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. In this Viewpoint paper we highlight the application of ecological and evolutionary approaches to two themes in pollination biology: (1) links between pollinator behaviour and plant mating systems, and (2) generalization and specialization in pollination systems. We also describe how mathematical models and synthetic analyses have broadened our understanding of pollination biology, especially in human-modified landscapes. We conclude with several suggestions that we hope will stimulate future research. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to this Special Issue on the Ecology and Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Interactions. These papers provide inspiring examples of the synergy between evolutionary and ecological approaches, and offer glimpses of great accomplishments yet to come.

  6. Cophylogenetic signal is detectable in pollination interactions across ecological scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, Matthew C; Cagua, Edgar Fernando; Stouffer, Daniel B

    2017-10-01

    That evolutionary history can influence the way that species interact is a basic tenet of evolutionary ecology. However, when the role of evolution in determining ecological interactions is investigated, focus typically centers on just one side of the interaction. A cophylogenetic signal, the congruence of evolutionary history across both sides of an ecological interaction, extends these previous explorations and provides a more complete picture of how evolutionary patterns influence the way species interact. To date, cophylogenetic signal has most typically been studied in interactions that occur between fine taxonomic clades that show high intimacy. In this study, we took an alternative approach and made an exhaustive assessment of cophylogeny in pollination interactions. To do so, we assessed the strength of cophylogenetic signal at four distinct scales of pollination interaction: (1) across plant-pollinator associations globally, (2) in local pollination communities, (3) within the modular structure of those communities, and (4) in individual modules. We did so using a globally distributed dataset comprised of 54 pollination networks, over 4000 species, and over 12,000 interactions. Within these data, we detected cophylogenetic signal at all four scales. Cophylogenetic signal was found at the level of plant-pollinator interactions on a global scale and in the majority of pollination communities. At the scale defined by the modular structure within those communities, however, we observed a much weaker cophylogenetic signal. Cophylogenetic signal was detectable in a significant proportion of individual modules and most typically when within-module phylogenetic diversity was low. In sum, the detection of cophylogenetic signal in pollination interactions across scales provides a new dimension to the story of how past evolution shapes extant pollinator-angiosperm interactions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Contemporary Ecological Interactions Improve Models of Past Trait Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, Matthew C; Gaiarsa, Marília P; Stouffer, Daniel B

    2018-02-20

    Despite the fact that natural selection underlies both traits and interactions, evolutionary models often neglect that ecological interactions may, and in many cases do, influence the evolution of traits. Here, we explore the interdependence of ecological interactions and functional traits in the pollination associations of hawkmoths and flowering plants. Specifically, we develop an adaptation of the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of trait evolution that allows us to study the influence of plant corolla depth and observed hawkmoth-plant interactions on the evolution of hawkmoth proboscis length. Across diverse modelling scenarios, we find that the inclusion of contemporary interactions can provide a better description of trait evolution than the null expectation. Moreover, we show that the pollination interactions provide more-likely models of hawkmoth trait evolution when interactions are considered at increasingly finescale groups of hawkmoths. Finally, we demonstrate how the results of best-fit modelling approaches can implicitly support the association between interactions and trait evolution that our method explicitly examines. In showing that contemporary interactions can provide insight into the historical evolution of hawkmoth proboscis length, we demonstrate the clear utility of incorporating additional ecological information to models designed to study past trait evolution.

  8. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

    Ecology is a science that studies the mutual interactions between organisms and their environment. The fundamental subject of interest in ecology is the individual. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution and number of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems. Today, ecology is a multidisciplinary science. This is particularly true when the subject of interest is the ecosystem or biosphere, which requires the knowledge and input of biologists, chemists, physicists, geologists, geographists, climatologists, hydrologists and many other experts. Ecology is applied in a science of restoration, repairing disturbed sites through human intervention, in natural resource management, and in environmental impact assessments.

  9. Predicting and detecting reciprocity between indirect ecological interactions and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, James A; Brashares, Justin S; Power, Mary E

    2013-05-01

    Living nature can be thought of as a tapestry, defined not only by its constituent parts but also by how these parts are woven together. The weaving of this tapestry is a metaphor for species interactions, which can be divided into three broad classes: competitive, mutualistic, and consumptive. Direct interactions link together as more complex networks, for example, the joining of consumptive interactions into food webs. Food web dynamics are driven, in turn, by changes in the abundances of web members, whose numbers or biomass respond to bottom-up (resource limitation) and top-down (consumer limitation) forcing. The relative strengths of top-down and bottom-up forcing on the abundance of a given web member depend on its ecological context, including its topological position within the food web. Top-down effects by diverse consumers are nearly ubiquitous, in many cases influencing the structure and operation of ecosystems. While the ecological effects of such interactions are well known, far less is known of their evolutionary consequences. In this essay, we describe sundry consequences of these interaction chains on species and ecosystem processes, explain several known or suspected evolutionary effects of consumer-induced interaction chains, and identify areas where reciprocity between ecology and evolution involving the indirect effects of consumer-prey interaction chains might be further explored.

  10. Toward a community ecology of landscapes: predicting multiple predator-prey interactions across geographic space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Miller, Jennifer R B; Trainor, Anne M; Abrahms, Briana

    2017-09-01

    Community ecology was traditionally an integrative science devoted to studying interactions between species and their abiotic environments in order to predict species' geographic distributions and abundances. Yet for philosophical and methodological reasons, it has become divided into two enterprises: one devoted to local experimentation on species interactions to predict community dynamics; the other devoted to statistical analyses of abiotic and biotic information to describe geographic distribution. Our goal here is to instigate thinking about ways to reconnect the two enterprises and thereby return to a tradition to do integrative science. We focus specifically on the community ecology of predators and prey, which is ripe for integration. This is because there is active, simultaneous interest in experimentally resolving the nature and strength of predator-prey interactions as well as explaining patterns across landscapes and seascapes. We begin by describing a conceptual theory rooted in classical analyses of non-spatial food web modules used to predict species interactions. We show how such modules can be extended to consideration of spatial context using the concept of habitat domain. Habitat domain describes the spatial extent of habitat space that predators and prey use while foraging, which differs from home range, the spatial extent used by an animal to meet all of its daily needs. This conceptual theory can be used to predict how different spatial relations of predators and prey could lead to different emergent multiple predator-prey interactions such as whether predator consumptive or non-consumptive effects should dominate, and whether intraguild predation, predator interference or predator complementarity are expected. We then review the literature on studies of large predator-prey interactions that make conclusions about the nature of multiple predator-prey interactions. This analysis reveals that while many studies provide sufficient information

  11. Competition for vitamin B1 (thiamin) structures numerous ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraft, Clifford E; Angert, Esther R

    2017-06-01

    Thiamin (vitamin B1) is a cofactor required for essential biochemical reactions in all living organisms, yet free thiamin is scarce in the environment. The diversity of biochemical pathways involved in the acquisition, degradation, and synthesis of thiamin indicates that organisms have evolved numerous ecological strategies for meeting this nutritional requirement. In this review we synthesize information from multiple disciplines to show how the complex biochemistry of thiamin influences ecological outcomes of interactions between organisms in environments ranging from the open ocean and the Australian outback to the gastrointestinal tract of animals. We highlight population and ecosystem responses to the availability or absence of thiamin. These include widespread mortality of fishes, birds, and mammals, as well as the thiamin-dependent regulation of ocean productivity. Overall, we portray thiamin biochemistry as the foundation for molecularly mediated ecological interactions that influence survival and abundance of a vast array of organisms.

  12. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Jason B; Mutic, Joshua J; Kover, Paula X

    2011-05-12

    Studying the genetic basis of traits involved in ecological interactions is a fundamental part of elucidating the connections between evolutionary and ecological processes. Such knowledge allows one to link genetic models of trait evolution with ecological models describing interactions within and between species. Previous work has shown that connections between genetic and ecological processes in Arabidopsis thaliana may be mediated by the fact that quantitative trait loci (QTL) with 'direct' effects on traits of individuals also have pleiotropic 'indirect' effects on traits expressed in neighbouring plants. Here, we further explore these connections by examining functional relationships between traits affected directly and indirectly by the same QTL. We develop a novel approach using structural equation models (SEMs) to determine whether observed pleiotropic effects result from traits directly affected by the QTL in focal individuals causing the changes in the neighbours' phenotypes. This hypothesis was assessed using SEMs to test whether focal plant phenotypes appear to mediate the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the phenotypes of their neighbours, or alternatively, whether the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the neighbours' phenotypes is mediated by unmeasured traits. We implement this analysis using a QTL of major effect that maps to the well-characterized flowering locus, FRIGIDA. The SEMs support the hypothesis that the pleiotropic indirect effects of this locus arise from size and developmental timing-related traits in focal plants affecting the expression of developmental traits in their neighbours. Our findings provide empirical insights into the genetics and nature of intraspecific ecological interactions. Our technique holds promise in directing future work into the genetic basis and functional relationship of traits mediating and responding to ecological interactions.

  13. Molecular ecological insights into neotropical bird-tick interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miller, Matthew J.; Esser, Helen J.; Loaiza, Jose R.; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In

  14. Tick-Pathogen Ensembles: Do Molecular Interactions Lead Ecological Innovation?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cabezas Cruz, Alejandro; Estrada-Peňa, A.; Rego, Ryan O. M.; de la Fuente, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 7, 13 March (2017), č. článku 74. ISSN 2235-2988 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : tick-pathogen interactions * transcriptional reprogramming * epigenetics * ecological adaptation * Anaplasma phagocytophilum Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biochemistry and molecular biology Impact factor: 4.300, year: 2016

  15. Interactions between temperature and nutrients across levels of ecological organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Wyatt F; Hood, James M; Benstead, Jonathan P; Huryn, Alexander D; Nelson, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    Temperature and nutrient availability play key roles in controlling the pathways and rates at which energy and materials move through ecosystems. These factors have also changed dramatically on Earth over the past century as human activities have intensified. Although significant effort has been devoted to understanding the role of temperature and nutrients in isolation, less is known about how these two factors interact to influence ecological processes. Recent advances in ecological stoichiometry and metabolic ecology provide a useful framework for making progress in this area, but conceptual synthesis and review are needed to help catalyze additional research. Here, we examine known and potential interactions between temperature and nutrients from a variety of physiological, community, and ecosystem perspectives. We first review patterns at the level of the individual, focusing on four traits--growth, respiration, body size, and elemental content--that should theoretically govern how temperature and nutrients interact to influence higher levels of biological organization. We next explore the interactive effects of temperature and nutrients on populations, communities, and food webs by synthesizing information related to community size spectra, biomass distributions, and elemental composition. We use metabolic theory to make predictions about how population-level secondary production should respond to interactions between temperature and resource supply, setting up qualitative predictions about the flows of energy and materials through metazoan food webs. Last, we examine how temperature-nutrient interactions influence processes at the whole-ecosystem level, focusing on apparent vs. intrinsic activation energies of ecosystem processes, how to represent temperature-nutrient interactions in ecosystem models, and patterns with respect to nutrient uptake and organic matter decomposition. We conclude that a better understanding of interactions between temperature and

  16. Offshore Fish Community: Ecological Interactions | Science ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The offshore (>80 m) fish community of Lake Superior is made up of predominately native species. The most prominent species are deepwater sculpin, kiyi, cisco, siscowet lake trout, burbot, and the exotic sea lamprey. Bloater and shortjaw cisco are also found in the offshore zone. Bloater is abundant in the offshore zone but appears restricted to depths shallower than 150 m (Selgeby and Hoff 1996; Stockwell et al. 2010), although it occuppied greater depths several decades ago (Dryer 1966; Peck 1977). Shortjaw is relatively rare in the offshore zone (Hoff and Todd 2004; Gorman and Hoff 2009; Gorman and Todd 2007). Lake whitefish is also known to frequent bathymetric depths >100 m (Yule et al. 2008b). In this chapter, we develop a conceptual model of the offshore food web based on data collected during 2001-2005 and on inferences from species interactions known for the nearshore fish community. We then develop a framework for examination of energy and nutrient movements within the pelagic and benthic habitats of the offshore zone and across the offshore and nearshore zones. To document research results.

  17. Above- and Belowground Trophic Interactions on Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) in High- and Low-Diversity Plant Communities: Potential for Biotic Resistance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Graça, O.; Rousseau, P.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2004-01-01

    The capacity of local communities to control introduced plants is called biotic resistance. Biotic resistance has been almost exclusively tested for plant competition and above-ground herbivores and pathogens, while neglecting root herbivores and soil pathogens. Here, we present biotic resistance by

  18. Above- and Belowground Trophic Interactions on Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) in High- and Low-Diversity Plant Communities: Potential for Biotic Resistance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Graça, O.; Rousseau, P.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    The capacity of local communities to control introduced plants is called biotic resistance. Biotic resistance has been almost exclusively tested for plant competition and aboveground herbivores and pathogens, while neglecting root herbivores and soil pathogens. Here, we present biotic resistance by

  19. Ecological interactions and the distribution, abundance, and diversity of sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulff, Janie

    2012-01-01

    Although abiotic factors may be important first-order filters dictating which sponge species can thrive at a particular site, ecological interactions can play substantial roles influencing distribution and abundance, and thus diversity. Ecological interactions can modify the influences of abiotic factors both by further constraining distribution and abundance due to competitive or predatory interactions and by expanding habitat distribution or abundance due to beneficial interactions that ameliorate otherwise limiting circumstances. It is likely that the importance of ecological interactions has been greatly underestimated because they tend to only be revealed by experiments and time-series observations in the field. Experiments have revealed opportunistic predation to be a primary enforcer of sponge distribution boundaries that coincide with habitat boundaries in several systems. Within habitats, by contrast, dramatic effects of predators on sponge populations seem to occur primarily in cases of unusually high recruitment rates or unusually low mortality rates for the predators, which are often specialists on the sponge species affected. Competitive interactions have been demonstrated to diminish populations or exclude sponge species from a habitat in only a few cases. Cases in which competitive interactions have appeared obvious have often turned out to be neutral or even beneficial interactions when observed over time. Especially striking in this regard are sponge-sponge interactions in dense sponge-dominated communities, which may promote the continued coexistence of all participating species. Mutualistic symbioses of sponges with other animals, plants, or macroalgae have been demonstrated to increase abundance, habitat distribution, and diversity of all participants. Symbiotic microbes can enhance sponge distribution and abundance but also render their hosts more vulnerable to environmental changes. And while photosynthetic symbionts can boost growth and

  20. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Matthew J; Esser, Helen J; Loaiza, Jose R; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the dynamics of

  1. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Miller

    Full Text Available In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna. Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology

  2. Algae-bacteria interactions: Evolution, ecology and emerging applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramanan, Rishiram; Kim, Byung-Hyuk; Cho, Dae-Hyun; Oh, Hee-Mock; Kim, Hee-Sik

    2016-01-01

    Algae and bacteria have coexisted ever since the early stages of evolution. This coevolution has revolutionized life on earth in many aspects. Algae and bacteria together influence ecosystems as varied as deep seas to lichens and represent all conceivable modes of interactions - from mutualism to parasitism. Several studies have shown that algae and bacteria synergistically affect each other's physiology and metabolism, a classic case being algae-roseobacter interaction. These interactions are ubiquitous and define the primary productivity in most ecosystems. In recent years, algae have received much attention for industrial exploitation but their interaction with bacteria is often considered a contamination during commercialization. A few recent studies have shown that bacteria not only enhance algal growth but also help in flocculation, both essential processes in algal biotechnology. Hence, there is a need to understand these interactions from an evolutionary and ecological standpoint, and integrate this understanding for industrial use. Here we reflect on the diversity of such relationships and their associated mechanisms, as well as the habitats that they mutually influence. This review also outlines the role of these interactions in key evolutionary events such as endosymbiosis, besides their ecological role in biogeochemical cycles. Finally, we focus on extending such studies on algal-bacterial interactions to various environmental and bio-technological applications. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Getting the ecology into interactions between plants and the plant growth-promoting bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hol, W H Gera; Bezemer, T Martijn; Biere, Arjen

    2013-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are increasingly appreciated for their contributions to primary productivity through promotion of growth and triggering of induced systemic resistance in plants. Here we focus on the beneficial effects of one particular species of PGPR (Pseudomonas fluorescens) on plants through induced plant defense. This model organism has provided much understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of PGPR-induced plant defense. However, this knowledge can only be appreciated at full value once we know to what extent these mechanisms also occur under more realistic, species-diverse conditions as are occurring in the plant rhizosphere. To provide the necessary ecological context, we review the literature to compare the effect of P. fluorescens on induced plant defense when it is present as a single species or in combination with other soil dwelling species. Specifically, we discuss combinations with other plant mutualists (bacterial or fungal), plant pathogens (bacterial or fungal), bacterivores (nematode or protozoa), and decomposers. Synergistic interactions between P. fluorescens and other plant mutualists are much more commonly reported than antagonistic interactions. Recent developments have enabled screenings of P. fluorescens genomes for defense traits and this could help with selection of strains with likely positive interactions on biocontrol. However, studies that examine the effects of multiple herbivores, pathogens, or herbivores and pathogens together on the effectiveness of PGPR to induce plant defenses are underrepresented and we are not aware of any study that has examined interactions between P. fluorescens and bacterivores or decomposers. As co-occurring soil organisms can enhance but also reduce the effectiveness of PGPR, a better understanding of the biotic factors modulating P. fluorescens-plant interactions will improve the effectiveness of introducing P. fluorescens to enhance plant production and defense.

  4. Mutualism and Antagonism: Ecological Interactions Among Bark Beetles, Mite and Fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; J.C. Moser; M.J. Lombardero; M.P. Ayres; R.W. Hofstetter; C.J. Walkinshaw

    2001-01-01

    Insect-fungal complexes provide challenging and fascinating systems for the study of biotic interactions between plants. plant pathogens, insect vectors and other associated organisms. The types of interactions among these organisms (mutualism. antagonism. parasitism. phoresy. etc.) are as variable as the range of organisms involved (plants, fungi, insects. mites. etc...

  5. Meta-analysis of field scale spatial variability of grassland soil CO2 efflux: Interaction of biotic and abiotic drivers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fóti, S.; Balogh, J.; Herbst, M.; Papp, M.; Koncz, P.; Bartha, S.; Zimmermann, Z.; Komoly, C.; Szabó, G.; Margóczi, G.; Acosta, Manuel; Nagy, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 143, aug (2016), s. 78-89 ISSN 0341-8162 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Cross-variogram * Principal component analysis * Soil CO2 efflux * Spatial pattern * Variogram Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.191, year: 2016

  6. A tale of two phylogenies: comparative analyses of ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadfield, Jarrod D; Krasnov, Boris R; Poulin, Robert; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2014-02-01

    The evolution of traits involved in ecological interactions such as predator-prey, host-parasite, and plant-pollinator interactions, are likely to be shaped by the phylogenetic history of both parties. We develop generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMM) that estimate the effect of both parties' phylogenetic history on trait evolution, both in isolation but also in terms of how the two histories interact. Using data on the incidence and abundance of 206 flea species on 121 mammal species, we illustrate our method and compare it to previously used methods for detecting host-parasite coevolution. At large spatial scales we find that the phylogenetic interaction effect was substantial, indicating that related parasite species were more likely to be found on related host species. At smaller spatial scales, and when sampling effort was not controlled for, phylogenetic effects on the number and types of parasite species harbored by hosts were found to dominate. We go on to show that in situations where these additional phylogenetic effects exist, then previous methods have very high Type I error rates when testing for the phylogenetic interaction. Our GLMM method represents a robust and reliable approach to quantify the phylogenetic effects of traits determined by, or defined by, ecological interactions and has the advantage that it can easily be extended and interpreted in a broader context than existing permutation tests.

  7. Species co-occurrence networks: Can they reveal trophic and non-trophic interactions in ecological communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freilich, Mara A; Wieters, Evie; Broitman, Bernardo R; Marquet, Pablo A; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2018-03-01

    Co-occurrence methods are increasingly utilized in ecology to infer networks of species interactions where detailed knowledge based on empirical studies is difficult to obtain. Their use is particularly common, but not restricted to, microbial networks constructed from metagenomic analyses. In this study, we test the efficacy of this procedure by comparing an inferred network constructed using spatially intensive co-occurrence data from the rocky intertidal zone in central Chile to a well-resolved, empirically based, species interaction network from the same region. We evaluated the overlap in the information provided by each network and the extent to which there is a bias for co-occurrence data to better detect known trophic or non-trophic, positive or negative interactions. We found a poor correspondence between the co-occurrence network and the known species interactions with overall sensitivity (probability of true link detection) equal to 0.469, and specificity (true non-interaction) equal to 0.527. The ability to detect interactions varied with interaction type. Positive non-trophic interactions such as commensalism and facilitation were detected at the highest rates. These results demonstrate that co-occurrence networks do not represent classical ecological networks in which interactions are defined by direct observations or experimental manipulations. Co-occurrence networks provide information about the joint spatial effects of environmental conditions, recruitment, and, to some extent, biotic interactions, and among the latter, they tend to better detect niche-expanding positive non-trophic interactions. Detection of links (sensitivity or specificity) was not higher for well-known intertidal keystone species than for the rest of consumers in the community. Thus, as observed in previous empirical and theoretical studies, patterns of interactions in co-occurrence networks must be interpreted with caution, especially when extending interaction

  8. Plant-aphid interactions: molecular and ecological perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goggin, Fiona L

    2007-08-01

    Many aphids are major agricultural pests because of their unparalleled reproductive capacity and their ability to manipulate host plant physiology. Aphid population growth and its impact on plant fitness are strongly influenced by interactions with other organisms, including plant pathogens, endophytes, aphid endosymbionts, predators, parasitoids, ants, and other herbivores. Numerous molecular and genomic resources have recently been developed to identify sources of aphid resistance in plants, as well as potentially novel targets for control in aphids. Moreover, the same model systems that are used to explore direct molecular interactions between plants and aphids can be utilized to study the ecological context in which they occur.

  9. The evolutionary ecology of cytonuclear interactions in angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Christina M; Case, Andrea L; Bailey, Maia F

    2012-11-01

    Interactions between cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes have significant evolutionary consequences. In angiosperms, the most common cytonuclear interaction is between mitochondrial genes that disrupt pollen production (cytoplasmic male sterility, CMS) and nuclear genes that restore it (nuclear male fertility restorers, Rf). The outcome of CMS/Rf interactions can depend on whether Rf alleles have negative pleiotropic effects on fitness. Although these fitness costs are often considered to be independent of the ecological context, we argue that the effects of Rf alleles on fitness should be context dependent. Thus, measuring the cost of restoration across a range of environments could help explain geographic and phylogenetic variation in the distribution of Rf alleles and the outcome of CMS/Rf interactions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Seeing Cooperation or Competition: Ecological Interactions in Cultural Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojalehto, Bethany L; Medin, Douglas L; Horton, William S; Garcia, Salino G; Kays, Estefano G

    2015-10-01

    Do cultural models facilitate particular ways of perceiving interactions in nature? We explore variability in folkecological principles of reasoning about interspecies interactions (specifically, competitive or cooperative). In two studies, Indigenous Panamanian Ngöbe and U.S. participants interpreted an illustrated, wordless nonfiction book about the hunting relationship between a coyote and badger. Across both studies, the majority of Ngöbe interpreted the hunting relationship as cooperative and the majority of U.S. participants as competitive. Study 2 showed that this pattern may reflect different beliefs about, and perhaps different awareness of, plausible interspecies interactions. Further probes suggest that these models of ecological interaction correlate with recognition of social agency (e.g., communication, morality) in nonhuman animals. We interpret our results in terms of cultural models of nature and nonhuman agency. Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  11. Genetic Allee effects and their interaction with ecological Allee effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittmann, Meike J; Stuis, Hanna; Metzler, Dirk

    2018-01-01

    It is now widely accepted that genetic processes such as inbreeding depression and loss of genetic variation can increase the extinction risk of small populations. However, it is generally unclear whether extinction risk from genetic causes gradually increases with decreasing population size or whether there is a sharp transition around a specific threshold population size. In the ecological literature, such threshold phenomena are called 'strong Allee effects' and they can arise for example from mate limitation in small populations. In this study, we aim to (i) develop a meaningful notion of a 'strong genetic Allee effect', (ii) explore whether and under what conditions such an effect can arise from inbreeding depression due to recessive deleterious mutations, and (iii) quantify the interaction of potential genetic Allee effects with the well-known mate-finding Allee effect. We define a strong genetic Allee effect as a genetic process that causes a population's survival probability to be a sigmoid function of its initial size. The inflection point of this function defines the critical population size. To characterize survival-probability curves, we develop and analyse simple stochastic models for the ecology and genetics of small populations. Our results indicate that inbreeding depression can indeed cause a strong genetic Allee effect, but only if individuals carry sufficiently many deleterious mutations (lethal equivalents). Populations suffering from a genetic Allee effect often first grow, then decline as inbreeding depression sets in and then potentially recover as deleterious mutations are purged. Critical population sizes of ecological and genetic Allee effects appear to be often additive, but even superadditive interactions are possible. Many published estimates for the number of lethal equivalents in birds and mammals fall in the parameter range where strong genetic Allee effects are expected. Unfortunately, extinction risk due to genetic Allee effects

  12. Revising ecological assumptions about Human papillomavirus interactions and type replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murall, Carmen Lía; McCann, Kevin S; Bauch, Chris T

    2014-06-07

    The controversy over whether vaccine-targeted HPV types will be replaced by other oncogenic, non-vaccine-targeted types remains unresolved. This is in part because little is known about the ecology of HPV types. Patient data has been interpreted to suggest independence or facilitative interactions between types and therefore replacement is believed to be unlikely. With a novel mathematical model, we investigated which HPV type interactions and their immune responses gave qualitatively similar patterns frequently observed in patients. To assess the possibility of type replacement, vaccination was added to see if non-vaccine-targeted types increased their 'niche'. Our model predicts that independence and facilitation are not necessary for the coexistence of types inside hosts, especially given the patchy nature of HPV infection. In fact, independence and facilitation inadequately represented co-infected patients. We found that some form of competition is likely in natural co-infections. Hence, non-vaccine-targeted types that are not cross-reactive with the vaccine could spread to more patches and can increase their viral load in vaccinated hosts. The degree to which this happens will depend on replication and patch colonization rates. Our results suggest that independence between types could be a fallacy, and so without conclusively untangling HPV within-host ecology, type replacement remains theoretically viable. More ecological thinking is needed in future studies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Plant–insect interactions: the role of ecological stoichiometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michał Filipiak

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The energy budget of organisms is a primary factor used to generate hypotheses in ecosystem ecology and evolutionary theory. Therefore, previous studies have focused on the energy costs and benefits of adaptations, the efficiency of energy acquisition and investment, and energy budget limitations. The maintenance of stoichiometric balance is equally important because inconsistency between the chemical composition of the consumer’s tissues and that of its food sources strongly affects the major life-history traits of the consumer and may influence the consumer’s fitness and shape plant–herbivore interactions. In this short review, the framework of ecological stoichiometry is introduced, focusing on plant–insect interactions in terrestrial ecosystems. The use of the trophic stoichiometric ratio (TSR index is presented as a useful tool for indicating the chemical elements that are scarce in food and have the potential to limit the growth and development of herbivores, thereby influencing plant – herbivorous insect interactions. As an example, the elemental composition and stoichiometry of a pollen consumer (mason bee Osmia bicornis and its preferred pollen are compared. The growth and development of O. bicornis may be colimited by the scarcity of K, Na, and N in pollen, whereas the development of the cocoon might be colimited by the scarcity of P, Mg, K, Na, Zn, Ca, and N. A literature review of the elemental composition of pollen shows high taxonomical variability in the concentrations of bee-limiting elements. The optimized collection of pollen species based on the elemental composition may represent a strategy used by bees to overcome stoichiometric mismatches, influencing their interactions with plants. It is concluded that the dependence of life-history traits on food stoichiometry should be considered when discussing life history evolution and plant–herbivore interactions. The TSR index may serve as a convenient and powerful tool

  14. Interaction of rock, water, and plants in central Siberia (Russia) dominated by continuous permafrost: biotic versus abiotic fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viers, J.; Pokrovsky, O. S.; Prokushkin, A. S.; Beaulieu, E.; Dupre, B.

    2009-12-01

    -ground biomass in this region. We analyzed large number of soils, larch needles, mosses, dwarf shrubs and waters (from soils and rivers) collected in the various local environments. Plant biomass was regularly collected from May to September 2007. Our efforts focus on weathering processes and elements transport mechanisms between the different chemical reservoirs (soil and litter, plants, atmosphere) using a multidisciplinary approach. The aim of the presentation is : i) to propose a conceptual model of the present-day “biogeochemical” functioning of basaltic watershed located in central Siberia, ii) to evaluate biotic and abiotic element fluxes from the watershed, and iii) to assess the effect of global warming through the local comparison of the north-facing and south-facing environments. The role of plants dominated by larches, dwarf shrubs and mosses will be particularly considered.

  15. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review demonstrates the ecological significance of such plant secondary metabolites in the highly diverse interactions between insects and plants.

  16. Dental biofilm: ecological interactions in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, P D; Zaura, Egija

    2017-03-01

    The oral microbiome is diverse and exists as multispecies microbial communities on oral surfaces in structurally and functionally organized biofilms. To describe the network of microbial interactions (both synergistic and antagonistic) occurring within these biofilms and assess their role in oral health and dental disease. PubMed database was searched for studies on microbial ecological interactions in dental biofilms. The search results did not lend themselves to systematic review and have been summarized in a narrative review instead. Five hundred and forty-seven original research articles and 212 reviews were identified. The majority (86%) of research articles addressed bacterial-bacterial interactions, while inter-kingdom microbial interactions were the least studied. The interactions included physical and nutritional synergistic associations, antagonism, cell-to-cell communication and gene transfer. Oral microbial communities display emergent properties that cannot be inferred from studies of single species. Individual organisms grow in environments they would not tolerate in pure culture. The networks of multiple synergistic and antagonistic interactions generate microbial inter-dependencies and give biofilms a resilience to minor environmental perturbations, and this contributes to oral health. If key environmental pressures exceed thresholds associated with health, then the competitiveness among oral microorganisms is altered and dysbiosis can occur, increasing the risk of dental disease. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Three-way interaction between biological control insects, a congener and their shared parasitoid: Evidence of biotic resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive plants are one of the strongest drivers of species extinctions. Weed biological control offers a sustainable and safe means of long-term population reduction of their target. Herbivores introduced for the control of invasive plants interact with the native community in addition to the top-d...

  18. Biotic interactions of Lentinus edodeds (Berk. Sing. with fungi which occur the most frequently in its cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Łukasz Brodziak

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The interaction of the examined fungi was measured as the degree of encirclement of fungal colonies in two-organism cultures, the width of the inhibition yone and the evaluation single species cultures. Three species strongly limited the growth of Lentinus edodes colonies. In the other cases this fungus dominated due to intensive growth of the mycelium.

  19. Ecosystem management via interacting models of political and ecological processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haas, T. C.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The decision to implement environmental protection options is a political one. Political realities may cause a country to not heed the most persuasive scientific analysis of an ecosystem's future health. A predictive understanding of the political processes that result in ecosystem management decisions may help guide ecosystem management policymaking. To this end, this article develops a stochastic, temporal model of how political processes influence and are influenced by ecosystem processes. This model is realized in a system of interacting influence diagrams that model the decision making of a country's political bodies. These decisions interact with a model of the ecosystem enclosed by the country. As an example, a model for Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus management in Kenya is constructed and fitted to decision and ecological data.

  20. Plant response to biotic stress: Is there a common epigenetic response during plant-pathogenic and symbiotic interactions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zogli, Prince; Libault, Marc

    2017-10-01

    Plants constantly interact with pathogenic and symbiotic microorganisms. Recent studies have revealed several regulatory mechanisms controlling these interactions. Among them, the plant defense system is activated not only in response to pathogenic, but also in response to symbiotic microbes. Interestingly, shortly after symbiotic microbial recognition, the plant defense system is suppressed to promote plant infection by symbionts. Research studies have demonstrated the influence of the plant epigenome in modulating both pathogenic and symbiotic plant-microbe interactions, thereby influencing plant survival, adaptation and evolution of the plant response to microbial infections. It is however unclear if plant pathogenic and symbiotic responses share similar epigenomic profiles or if epigenomic changes differentially regulate plant-microbe symbiosis and pathogenesis. In this mini-review, we provide an update of the current knowledge of epigenomic control on plant immune responses and symbiosis, with a special attention being paid to knowledge gap and potential strategies to fill-in the missing links. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Development and validation of a bacteria-based index of biotic integrity for assessing the ecological status of urban rivers: A case study of Qinhuai River basin in Nanjing, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie; Li, Yi; Qian, Bao; Niu, Lihua; Zhang, Wenlong; Cai, Wei; Wu, Hainan; Wang, Peifang; Wang, Chao

    2017-07-01

    With the increasing human disturbance to urban rivers, the extinction and biodiversity losses of some macroorganism species decreased the accuracy of bioassessment. In this study, a novel index of biotic integrity based on bacteria (Ba-IBI) was first developed for Qinhuai River in Nanjing city, China. Thirty-two biofilm samples were collected along the river bank and the bacterial communities were identified by high-throughput sequencing. By the range, responsive, and redundancy tests, four core metrics were selected from the dataset of 78 candidate metrics, including Pielou's evenness index, proportion of Paenibacillus, proportion of OTUs tolerant to organic pollution and proportion of Nitrosomonas. The results showed that the Ba-IBI was able to effectively discriminate different impaired site groups, and had a good correlation with the index of water quality (r = 0.79, p river. Our study revealed that the Ba-IBI is an effective and reliable approach for assessing the ecological status of Qinhuai River basin, which can complement the existing ecological assessment approaches for urban rivers. Meanwhile, repeted surveys and field validations are still needed to further improve the applicability of the index in future studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Local biotic adaptation of trees and shrubs to plant neighbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, Kevin C.; Wood, Troy E.; Kolb, Thomas E.; Hersch-Green, Erika; Shuster, Stephen M.; Gehring, Catherine A.; Hart, Stephen C.; Allan, Gerard J.; Whitham, Thomas G.

    2017-01-01

    Natural selection as a result of plant–plant interactions can lead to local biotic adaptation. This may occur where species frequently interact and compete intensely for resources limiting growth, survival, and reproduction. Selection is demonstrated by comparing a genotype interacting with con- or hetero-specific sympatric neighbor genotypes with a shared site-level history (derived from the same source location), to the same genotype interacting with foreign neighbor genotypes (from different sources). Better genotype performance in sympatric than allopatric neighborhoods provides evidence of local biotic adaptation. This pattern might be explained by selection to avoid competition by shifting resource niches (differentiation) or by interactions benefitting one or more members (facilitation). We tested for local biotic adaptation among two riparian trees, Populus fremontii and Salix gooddingii, and the shrub Salix exigua by transplanting replicated genotypes from multiple source locations to a 17 000 tree common garden with sympatric and allopatric treatments along the Colorado River in California. Three major patterns were observed: 1) across species, 62 of 88 genotypes grew faster with sympatric neighbors than allopatric neighbors; 2) these growth rates, on an individual tree basis, were 44, 15 and 33% higher in sympatric than allopatric treatments for P. fremontii, S. exigua and S. gooddingii, respectively, and; 3) survivorship was higher in sympatric treatments for P. fremontiiand S. exigua. These results support the view that fitness of foundation species supporting diverse communities and dominating ecosystem processes is determined by adaptive interactions among multiple plant species with the outcome that performance depends on the genetic identity of plant neighbors. The occurrence of evolution in a plant-community context for trees and shrubs builds on ecological evolutionary research that has demonstrated co-evolution among herbaceous taxa, and

  3. Selection of metrics based on the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa and development of a biotic index (CYMOX) for assessing ecological status of coastal and transitional waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Silvia; Mascaró, Oriol; Llagostera, Izaskun; Pérez, Marta; Romero, Javier

    2012-12-01

    Bioindicators, based on a large variety of organisms, have been increasingly used in the assessment of the status of aquatic systems. In marine coastal waters, seagrasses have shown a great potential as bioindicator organisms, probably due to both their environmental sensitivity and the large amount of knowledge available. However, and as far as we are aware, only little attention has been paid to euryhaline species suitable for biomonitoring both transitional and marine waters. With the aim to contribute to this expanding field, and provide new and useful tools for managers, we develop here a multi-bioindicator index based on the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa. We first compiled from the literature a suite of 54 candidate metrics, i. e. measurable attribute of the concerned organism or community that adequately reflects properties of the environment, obtained from C. nodosa and its associated ecosystem, putatively responding to environmental deterioration. We then evaluated them empirically, obtaining a complete dataset on these metrics along a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Using this dataset, we selected the metrics to construct the index, using, successively: (i) ANOVA, to assess their capacity to discriminate among sites of different environmental conditions; (ii) PCA, to check the existence of a common pattern among the metrics reflecting the environmental gradient; and (iii) feasibility and cost-effectiveness criteria. Finally, 10 metrics (out of the 54 tested) encompassing from the physiological (δ15N, δ34S, % N, % P content of rhizomes), through the individual (shoot size) and the population (root weight ratio), to the community (epiphytes load) organisation levels, and some metallic pollution descriptors (Cd, Cu and Zn content of rhizomes) were retained and integrated into a single index (CYMOX) using the scores of the sites on the first axis of a PCA. These scores were reduced to a 0-1 (Ecological Quality Ratio) scale by referring the values to the

  4. Ecological interactions are evolutionarily conserved across the entire tree of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, José M; Verdú, Miguel; Perfectti, Francisco

    2010-06-17

    Ecological interactions are crucial to understanding both the ecology and the evolution of organisms. Because the phenotypic traits regulating species interactions are largely a legacy of their ancestors, it is widely assumed that ecological interactions are phylogenetically conserved, with closely related species interacting with similar partners. However, the existing empirical evidence is inadequate to appropriately evaluate the hypothesis of phylogenetic conservatism in ecological interactions, because it is both ecologically and taxonomically biased. In fact, most studies on the evolution of ecological interactions have focused on specialized organisms, such as some parasites or insect herbivores, belonging to a limited subset of the overall tree of life. Here we study the evolution of host use in a large and diverse group of interactions comprising both specialist and generalist acellular, unicellular and multicellular organisms. We show that, as previously found for specialized interactions, generalized interactions can be evolutionarily conserved. Significant phylogenetic conservatism of interaction patterns was equally likely to occur in symbiotic and non-symbiotic interactions, as well as in mutualistic and antagonistic interactions. Host-use differentiation among species was higher in phylogenetically conserved clades, irrespective of their generalization degree and taxonomic position within the tree of life. Our findings strongly suggest a shared pattern in the organization of biological systems through evolutionary time, mediated by marked conservatism of ecological interactions among taxa.

  5. Digital Ecology: Coexistence and Domination among Interacting Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleineberg, Kaj-Kolja; Boguñá, Marián

    2015-05-01

    The overwhelming success of Web 2.0, within which online social networks are key actors, has induced a paradigm shift in the nature of human interactions. The user-driven character of Web 2.0 services has allowed researchers to quantify large-scale social patterns for the first time. However, the mechanisms that determine the fate of networks at the system level are still poorly understood. For instance, the simultaneous existence of multiple digital services naturally raises questions concerning which conditions these services can coexist under. Analogously to the case of population dynamics, the digital world forms a complex ecosystem of interacting networks. The fitness of each network depends on its capacity to attract and maintain users’ attention, which constitutes a limited resource. In this paper, we introduce an ecological theory of the digital world which exhibits stable coexistence of several networks as well as the dominance of an individual one, in contrast to the competitive exclusion principle. Interestingly, our theory also predicts that the most probable outcome is the coexistence of a moderate number of services, in agreement with empirical observations.

  6. Comparative efficacy of benthic biotic indices in assessing the Ecological Quality Status (EcoQS) of the stressed Ulhas estuary, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulik, Jyoti; Sukumaran, Soniya; Srinivas, Tatiparthi; Vijapure, Tejal

    2017-07-15

    Ecostatus of Ulhas estuary, one of the most polluted estuaries along the industrialized and urbanized northwest coast of India, was evaluated by six widely accepted benthic indices viz. H'(log 2 ), AMBI, M-AMBI, BENTIX, BOPA and BO2A to test their efficiency in a tropical setting. The mesohaline zone, which presented eutrophic conditions, was classified as 'bad' by all indices due to the azoic status. Despite significant correlations obtained between indices, there were discrepancies in the accurate level of EcoQS assigned to each station. AMBI was observed to be most efficient in indicating a clear spatial variability from a 'poor' to 'bad' ecological quality status in the middle and upstream zones to an improved status in the downstream region. Limitations of all indices are discussed in light of their suitability for assessing the estuarine environmental condition. The present results could provide a fillip to environmental improvement initiatives currently being undertaken in the estuary. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Aspects of elephant behavior, ecology, and interactions with humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Caitlin Elizabeth

    This dissertation is comprised of two chapters relating to the acoustic behavior of elephants, their surrounding ecology and interactions with humans. The first chapter investigates the seismic aspects of Asian elephant (Elephus maximus) acoustic communication. The second chapter is comprised of a synthesis of two separate studies conducted on the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia, both in Etosha National Park and the Caprivi region. The two studies were combined and published in Biological Conservation as one large study on aspects of the economic and social impacts of elephant/human conflict and experiments conducted to reduce conflict. In chapter one, seismic and acoustic data were recorded simultaneously from Asian elephants during periods of vocalizations and locomotion. Acoustic and seismic signals from rumbles were highly correlated at near and far distances and were in phase near the elephant and were out of phase at an increased distance from the elephant. Data analyses indicated that elephant generated signals associated with rumbles and "foot stomps" propagated at different velocities in the two media, the acoustic signals traveling at 309 m/s and the seismic signals at 248--264 m/s. Both types of signals had predominant frequencies in the range of 20 Hz. Seismic signal amplitudes considerably above background noise were recorded at 40 m from the generating elephants for both the rumble and the stomp. Seismic propagation models suggest that seismic waveforms from vocalizations are potentially detectable by instruments at distances of up to 16 km, and up to 32 km for locomotion generated signals. Thus, if detectable by elephants, these seismic signals could be useful for long distance communication. In chapter two, the economic impact of elephants, Loxodonta africana , and predators, particularly lions, Panthera leo, on rural agriculturists in the Kwando region of the East Caprivi, Namibia was assessed from the years 1991 to 1995. Elephants

  8. Towards an Ecological Inquiry in Child-Computer Interaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smith, Rachel Charlotte; Iversen, Ole Sejer; Hjermitslev, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    The paper introduces an Ecological Inquiry as a methodological approach for designing technology with children. The inquiry is based on the ‘ecological turn’ in HCI, Ubiquitous Computing and Participatory Design that shift the emphasis of design from technological artifacts to entire use ecologies...... into which technologies are integrated. Our Ecological Inquiry extends Cooperative Inquiry in three directions: from understanding to emergence of social practices and meanings, from design of artifacts to hybrid environments, and from a focus on technology to appropriations through design and use. We...... exemplify our approach in a case study in which we designed social technologies for hybrid learning environments with children in two schools, and discuss how an Ecological Inquiry can inform existing approaches in CCI....

  9. Ecological Functions of Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiryushin, V. I.

    2018-01-01

    Ecological functions of landscapes are considered a system of processes ensuring the development, preservation, and evolution of ecosystems and the biosphere as a whole. The concept of biogeocenosis can be considered a model that integrates biotic and environmental functions. The most general biogeocenotic functions specify the biodiversity, biotic links, self-organization, and evolution of ecosystems. Close interaction between biocenosis and the biotope (ecotope) is ensured by the continuous exchange of matter, energy, and information. Ecotope determines the biocenosis. The group of ecotopic functions includes atmospheric (gas exchange, heat exchange, hydroatmospheric, climate-forming), lithospheric (geodynamic, geophysical, and geochemical), hydrologic and hydrogeologic functions of landscape and ecotopic functions of soils. Bioecological functions emerge as a result of the biotope and ecotope interaction; these are the bioproductive, destructive, organoaccumulative, biochemical (gas, concentration, redox, biochemical, biopedological), pedogenetic, and energy functions

  10. Ecological consequences of interactions between ants and honeydew-producing insects

    OpenAIRE

    Styrsky, John D; Eubanks, Micky D

    2006-01-01

    Interactions between ants and honeydew-producing hemipteran insects are abundant and widespread in arthropod food webs, yet their ecological consequences are very poorly known. Ant–hemipteran interactions have potentially broad ecological effects, because the presence of honeydew-producing hemipterans dramatically alters the abundance and predatory behaviour of ants on plants. We review several studies that investigate the consequences of ant–hemipteran interactions as ‘keystone interactions’...

  11. Large-scale biotic interaction effects - tree cover interacts with shade toler-ance to affect distribution patterns of herb and shrub species across the Alps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nieto-Lugilde, Diego; Lenoir, Jonathan; Abdulhak, Sylvain

    2012-01-01

    on the occurrence on light-demanding species via size-asymmetric competition for light, but a facilitative effect on shade-tolerant species. In order to compare the relative importance of tree cover, four models with different combinations of variables (climate, soil and tree cover) were run for each species. Then...... role. Results indicated that high tree cover causes range contraction, especially at the upper limit, for light-demanding species, whereas it causes shade-tolerant species to extend their range upwards and downwards. Tree cover thus drives plant-plant interactions to shape plant species distribution...

  12. The roles of amensalistic and commensalistic interactions in large ecological network stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mougi, Akihiko

    2016-07-13

    Ecological communities comprise diverse species and their interactions. Notably, ecological and evolutionary studies have revealed that reciprocal interactions such as predator-prey, competition, and mutualism, are key drivers of community dynamics. However, there is an argument that many species interactions are asymmetric, where one species unilaterally affects another species (amensalism or commensalism). This raises the unanswered question of what is the role of unilateral interactions in community dynamics. Here I use a theoretical approach to demonstrate that unilateral interactions greatly enhance community stability. The results suggested that amensalism and commensalism were more stabilizing than symmetrical interactions, such as competition and mutualism, but they were less stabilizing than an asymmetric antagonistic interaction. A mix of unilateral interactions increased stability. Furthermore, in communities with all interaction types, unilateral interactions tended to increase stability. This study suggests that unilateral interactions play a major role in maintaining communities, underlining the need to further investigate their roles in ecosystem dynamics.

  13. Microbial Interactions and the Ecology and Evolution of Hawaiian Drosophilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy eO'Connor

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive radiations are characterized by an increased rate of speciation and expanded range of habitats and ecological niches exploited by those species. The Hawaiian Drosophilidae is a classic adaptive radiation; a single ancestral species colonized Hawaii approximately 25 million years ago and gave rise to two monophyletic lineages, the Hawaiian Drosophila and the genus Scaptomyza. The Hawaiian Drosophila are largely saprophagous and rely on approximately 40 endemic plant families and their associated microbes to complete development. Scaptomyza are even more diverse in host breadth. While many species of Scaptomyza utilize decomposing plant substrates, some species have evolved to become herbivores, parasites on spider egg masses, and exploit microbes on living plant tissue. Understanding the origin of the ecological diversity encompassed by these nearly 700 described species has been a challenge. The central role of microbes in drosophilid ecology suggests bacterial and fungal associates may have played a role in the diversification of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae. Here we synthesize recent ecological and microbial community data from the Hawaiian Drosophilidae to examine the forces that may have led to this adaptive radiation. We propose that the evolutionary success of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae is due to a combination of factors, including adaptation to novel ecological niches facilitated by microbes.

  14. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Marianne; Gompert, Zachariah; Jiggins, Chris; Willmott, Keith

    2008-12-02

    Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  15. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Elias

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  16. Diversity in a complex ecological network with two interaction types

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Melián, C. J.; Bascompte, J.; Jordano, P.; Křivan, Vlastimil

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 118, č. 1 (2009), s. 122-130 ISSN 0030-1299 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA100070601 Grant - others:University of California(US) DEB-0553768; The Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (ES) REN2003-04774; The Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (ES) REN2003-00273 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : complex ecological network Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.147, year: 2009

  17. Cross-Surface: Workshop on Interacting with Multi-Device Ecologies in the Wild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Houben, Steven; Vermeulen, Jo; Klokmose, Clemens Nylandsted

    2015-01-01

    In this workshop, we will review and discuss opportunities, technical challenges and problems with cross-device interactions in interactive multi-surface and multi-device ecologies. We aim to bring together researchers and practitioners currently working on novel techniques for cross......-surface interactions, identify application domains and enabling technologies for cross-surface interactions in the wild, and establish a research community to develop effective strategies for successful design of cross-device interactions....

  18. The Ecology of Interactive Learning Environments: Situating Traditional Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Genevieve Marie

    2014-01-01

    In educational discourse on human learning (i.e. the result of experience) and development (i.e. the result of maturation), there are three fundamental theoretical frameworks, -- behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism, each of which have been applied, with varying degrees of success, in online environments. An ecological framework of human…

  19. Can plant-natural enemy communication withstand disruption by biotic and abiotic factors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clavijo McCormick, Andrea

    2016-12-01

    The attraction of natural enemies towards herbivore-induced plant volatiles is a well-documented phenomenon. However, the majority of published studies are carried under optimal water and nutrient regimes and with just one herbivore. But what happens when additional levels of ecological complexity are added? Does the presence of a second herbivore, microorganisms, and abiotic stress interfere with plant-natural enemy communication? or is communication stable enough to withstand disruption by additional biotic and abiotic factors?Investigating the effects of these additional levels of ecological complexity is key to understanding the stability of tritrophic interactions in natural ecosystems and may aid to forecast the impact of environmental disturbances on these, especially in climate change scenarios, which are often associated with modifications in plant and arthropod species distribution and increased levels of abiotic stress.This review explores the literature on natural enemy attraction to herbivore-induced volatiles when, besides herbivory, plants are challenged by additional biotic and abiotic factors.The aim of this review was to establish the impact of different biotic and abiotic factors on plant-natural enemy communication and to highlight critical aspects to guide future research efforts.

  20. The ecology of life history evolution : genes, individuals and populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection shapes the life histories of organisms. The ecological interactions of these organisms with their biotic and abiotic environment shape the selection pressure on their phenotypes while their genetics determine how fast this selection leads to adaptation to their environment. The

  1. Evolutionary ecology of the interactions between aphids and their parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Ralec, Anne; Anselme, Caroline; Outreman, Yannick; Poirié, Marylène; van Baaren, Joan; Le Lann, Cécile; van Alphen, Jacques J-M

    2010-01-01

    Many organisms, including entomopathogenous fungi, predators or parasites, use aphids as ressources. Parasites of aphids are mostly endoparasitoid insects, i.e. insects which lay eggs inside the body of an other insect which will die as a result of their development. In this article, we review the consequences of the numerous pecularities of aphid biology and ecology for their endoparasitoids, notably the Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We first examine the various mechanisms used by aphids for defence against these enemies. We then explore the strategies used by aphidiine parasitoids to exploit their aphid hosts. Finally, we consider the responses of both aphids and parasitoids to ecological constraints induced by seasonal cycles and to environmental variations linked to host plants and climate. The fundamental and applied interest of studying these organisms is discussed. Copyright 2010 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Egocentric interaction as a tool for designing ambient ecologies – The case of the easy ADL ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Surie, Dipak; Janlert, Lars-Erik; Pederson, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    ambient intelligence could be realised. This work describes such an ambient ecological system comprising of a set of smart everyday objects, a personal activity-centric middleware, a set of mock-up ubiquitous computing applications and a human agent within a living laboratory home environment......Ambient intelligence is a human-centered vision characterized by the seamless integration of information, communication, sensing and actuation, and interface technologies for supporting human agents with their everyday activities. There are many challenges to address including the need...... for an interaction paradigm that encompasses the multiple dimensions of a human agent and their environment. This work describes a human-centered interaction paradigm referred to as the egocentric interaction paradigm that considers a human agents body and mind as a centre of reference to which all interaction...

  3. Social-ecological outcomes in recreational fisheries: the interaction of lakeshore development and stocking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Jacob P; Golebie, Elizabeth J; Jones, Stuart E; Weidel, Brian C; Solomon, Christopher T

    2017-01-01

    Many ecosystems continue to experience rapid transformations due to processes like land use change and resource extraction. A systems approach to maintaining natural resources focuses on how interactions and feedbacks among components of complex social-ecological systems generate social and ecological outcomes. In recreational fisheries, residential shoreline development and fish stocking are two widespread human behaviors that influence fisheries, yet emergent social-ecological outcomes from these potentially interacting behaviors remain under explored. We applied a social-ecological systems framework using a simulation model and empirical data to determine whether lakeshore development is likely to promote stocking through its adverse effects on coarse woody habitat and thereby also on survival of juvenile and adult fish. We demonstrate that high lakeshore development is likely to generate dependency of the ecosystem on the social system, in the form of stocking. Further, lakeshore development can interact with social-ecological processes to create deficits for state-level governments, which threatens the ability to fund further ecosystem subsidies. Our results highlight the value of a social-ecological framework for maintaining ecosystem services like recreational fisheries. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Limitations of a metabolic network-based reverse ecology method for inferring host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro; Aie, Kazuki

    2017-05-25

    Host-pathogen interactions are important in a wide range of research fields. Given the importance of metabolic crosstalk between hosts and pathogens, a metabolic network-based reverse ecology method was proposed to infer these interactions. However, the validity of this method remains unclear because of the various explanations presented and the influence of potentially confounding factors that have thus far been neglected. We re-evaluated the importance of the reverse ecology method for evaluating host-pathogen interactions while statistically controlling for confounding effects using oxygen requirement, genome, metabolic network, and phylogeny data. Our data analyses showed that host-pathogen interactions were more strongly influenced by genome size, primary network parameters (e.g., number of edges), oxygen requirement, and phylogeny than the reserve ecology-based measures. These results indicate the limitations of the reverse ecology method; however, they do not discount the importance of adopting reverse ecology approaches altogether. Rather, we highlight the need for developing more suitable methods for inferring host-pathogen interactions and conducting more careful examinations of the relationships between metabolic networks and host-pathogen interactions.

  5. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wigneswaran, Vinoth; Amador Hierro, Cristina Isabel; Jelsbak, Lotte

    2016-01-01

    Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial co...

  6. Mechanisms and ecological implications of plant-mediated interactions between belowground and aboveground insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papadopoulou, G.V.; Dam, N.M. van

    2017-01-01

    Plant-mediated interactions between belowground (BG) and aboveground (AG) herbivores have received increasing interest recently. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ecological consequences of BG–AG interactions are not fully clear yet. Herbivore-induced plant defenses are complex and

  7. Dental biofilm: ecological interactions in health and disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marsh, P.D.; Zaura, E.

    Background: The oral microbiome is diverse and exists as multispecies microbial communities on oral surfaces in structurally and functionally organized biofilms. Aim: To describe the network of microbial interactions (both synergistic and antagonistic) occurring within these biofilms and assess

  8. Social-ecological outcomes in recreational fisheries: The interaction of lakeshore development and stocking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Jacob P.; Golebie, Elizabeth J.; Jones, Stuart E.; Weidel, Brian C.; Solomon, Christopher T.

    2017-01-01

    Many ecosystems continue to experience rapid transformations due to processes like land use change and resource extraction. A systems approach to maintaining natural resources focuses on how interactions and feedbacks among components of complex social‐ecological systems generate social and ecological outcomes. In recreational fisheries, residential shoreline development and fish stocking are two widespread human behaviors that influence fisheries, yet emergent social‐ecological outcomes from these potentially interacting behaviors remain under explored. We applied a social‐ecological systems framework using a simulation model and empirical data to determine whether lakeshore development is likely to promote stocking through its adverse effects on coarse woody habitat and thereby also on survival of juvenile and adult fish. We demonstrate that high lakeshore development is likely to generate dependency of the ecosystem on the social system, in the form of stocking. Further, lakeshore development can interact with social‐ecological processes to create deficits for state‐level governments, which threatens the ability to fund further ecosystem subsidies. Our results highlight the value of a social‐ecological framework for maintaining ecosystem services like recreational fisheries.

  9. Biotic and abiotic factors investigated in two Drosophila species – evidence of both negative and positive fitness effects of interactions on performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørsted, Michael; Schou, Mads Fristrup; Kristensen, Torsten Nygård

    2017-01-01

    more informative descriptions of complex interactions we implemented re-conceptualised definitions of synergism and antagonism. We found approximately equal proportions of synergistic and antagonistic interactions in both species, however the effects of interactions on performance differed between...

  10. Potential for biotic resistance from herbivores to tropical and subtropical plant invasions in aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petruzella, A.; Grutters, B.M.C.; Thomaz, S.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2017-01-01

    Invasions of tropical and subtropical aquatic plants threaten biodiversity and cause ecological and economic impacts worldwide. An urgent question is whether native herbivores are able to inhibit the spread of these alien species thus providing biotic resistance. The potential for biotic resistance

  11. Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalusche, D.

    1978-01-01

    The book turns to the freshment, the teacher, for preparation of ecological topics for lessons, but also to pupils of the secondary stage II, and the main course ecology. The book was knowingly held simple with the restriction to: the ecosystem and its abiotic basic functions, simple articles on population biology, bioceonotic balance ith the questions of niche formation and the life form types coherent with it, of the substance and energy household, the production biology and space-wise and time-wise differentations within an ecological system form the main points. A central role in the volume is given to the illustrations. Their variety is to show and deepen the coherences shown. (orig./HP) [de

  12. Pollutant threshold concentration determination in marine ecosystems using an ecological interaction endpoint

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Changyou; Liang, Shengkang; Guo, Wenting; Yu, Hua; Xing, Wenhui

    2015-01-01

    The threshold concentrations of pollutants are determined by extrapolating single-species effect data to community-level effects. This assumes the most sensitive endpoint of the life cycle of individuals and the species sensitivity distribution from single-species toxic effect tests, thus, ignoring the ecological interactions. The uncertainties due to this extrapolation can be partially overcome using the equilibrium point of a customized ecosystem. This method incorporates ecological interactions and integrates the effects on growth, survival, and ingestion into a single effect measure, the equilibrium point excursion in the customized ecosystem, in order to describe the toxic effects on plankton. A case study showed that the threshold concentration of copper calculated with the endpoint of the equilibrium point was 10 μg L −1 , which is significantly different from the threshold calculated with a single-species endpoint. The endpoint calculated using this method provides a more relevant measure of the ecological impact than any single individual-level endpoint. - Highlights: • Ecotoxicological effect of exposure to copper was tested on a customized ecosystem. • Equilibrium point of biomasses in the customized ecosystem was used as an endpoint. • Exposure–response relationship in a community level was built on equilibrium point. • A threshold concentration incorporating ecological interactions was derived. - The equilibrium biomass incorporating ecological interactions in a customized ecosystem was used as an endpoint to calculate the threshold concentration at a community level

  13. From metabolism to ecology: cross-feeding interactions shape the balance between polymicrobial conflict and mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrela, Sylvie; Trisos, Christopher H; Brown, Sam P

    2012-11-01

    Polymicrobial interactions are widespread in nature and play a major role in maintaining human health and ecosystems. Whenever one organism uses metabolites produced by another organism as energy or nutrient sources, it is called cross-feeding. The ecological outcomes of cross-feeding interactions are poorly understood and potentially diverse: mutualism, competition, exploitation, or commensalism. A major reason for this uncertainty is the lack of theoretical approaches linking microbial metabolism to microbial ecology. To address this issue, we explore the dynamics of a one-way interspecific cross-feeding interaction in which food can be traded for a service (detoxification). Our results show that diverse ecological interactions (competition, mutualism, exploitation) can emerge from this simple cross-feeding interaction and can be predicted by the metabolic, demographic, and environmental parameters that govern the balance of the costs and benefits of association. In particular, our model predicts stronger mutualism for intermediate by-product toxicity because the resource-service exchange is constrained to the service being neither too vital (high toxicity impairs resource provision) nor dispensable (low toxicity reduces need for service). These results support the idea that bridging microbial ecology and metabolism is a critical step toward a better understanding of the factors governing the emergence and dynamics of polymicrobial interactions.

  14. Credit of ecological interactions: A new conceptual framework to support conservation in a defaunated world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genes, Luísa; Cid, Bruno; Fernandez, Fernando A S; Pires, Alexandra S

    2017-03-01

    As defaunation spreads through the world, there is an urgent need for restoring ecological interactions, thus assuring ecosystem processes. Here, we define the new concept of credit of ecological interactions , as the number of interactions that can be restored in a focal area by species colonization or reintroduction. We also define rewiring time , as the time span until all the links that build the credit of ecological interactions of a focal area have become functional again. We expect that the credit will be gradually cashed following refaunation in rates that are proportional to (1) the abundance of the reintroduced species (that is expected to increase in time since release), (2) the abundance of the local species that interact with them, and (3) the traits of reintroduced species. We illustrated this approach using a theoretical model and an empirical case study where the credit of ecological interactions was estimated. This new conceptual framework is useful for setting reintroduction priorities and for evaluating the success of conservation initiatives that aim to restore ecosystem services.

  15. Soil ecological interactions: comparisons between tropical and subalpine forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grizelle Gonzalez; Ruth E. Ley; Steven K. Schmidt; Xiaoming Zou; Timothy R. Seastedt

    2001-01-01

    Soil fauna can influence soil processes through interactions with the microbial community. Due to the complexity of the functional roles of fauna and their effects on microbes, little consensus has been reached on the extent to which soil fauna can regulate microbial activities. We quantified soil microbial biomass and maximum growth rates in control and fauna-excluded...

  16. Functional and ecological consequences of saprotrophic fungus-grazer interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, Thomas W; Boddy, Lynne; Hefin Jones, T

    2012-11-01

    Saprotrophic fungi are key regulators of nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. They are the primary agents of plant litter decomposition and their hyphal networks, which grow throughout the soil-litter interface, represent highly dynamic channels through which nutrients are readily distributed. By ingesting hyphae and dispersing spores, soil invertebrates, including Arthropoda, Oligochaetae and Nematoda, influence fungal-mediated nutrient distribution within soil. Fungal physiological responses to grazing include changes to hydrolytic enzyme production and respiration rates. These directly affect nutrient mineralisation and the flux of CO(2) between terrestrial and atmospheric pools. Preferential grazing may also exert selective pressures on saprotrophic communities, driving shifts in fungal succession and community composition. These functional and ecological consequences of grazing are intrinsically linked, and influenced by invertebrate grazing intensity. High-intensity grazing often reduces fungal growth and activity, whereas low-intensity grazing can have stimulatory effects. Grazing intensity is directly related to invertebrate abundance, and varies dramatically between species and functional groups. Invertebrate diversity and community composition, therefore, represent key factors determining the functioning of saprotrophic fungal communities and the services they provide.

  17. Regulation of abiotic and biotic stress responses by plant hormones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grosskinsky, Dominik Kilian; van der Graaff, Eric; Roitsch, Thomas Georg

    2016-01-01

    Plant hormones (phytohormones) are signal molecules produced within the plant, and occur in very low concentrations. In the present chapter, the current knowledge on the regulation of biotic and biotic stress responses by plant hormones is summarized with special focus on the novel insights...... into the complex hormonal crosstalk of classical growth stimulating plant hormones within the naturally occurring biotic and abiotic multistress environment of higher plants. The MAPK- and phytohormone-cascades which comprise a multitude of single molecules on different signalling levels, as well as interactions...

  18. The interaction of biotic and abiotic factors at multiple spatial scales affects the variability of CO2 fluxes in polar environments

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cannone, N.; Augusti, A.; Malfasi, F.; Pallozi, E.; Calfapietra, Carlo; Brugnoli, E.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 39, č. 9 (2016), s. 1581-1596 ISSN 0722-4060 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Arctic ecosystems * CO2 fluxes * Speciesspecific photosynthetic capacity * Soil temperature * Carbon isotope composition * Climate warming Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.949, year: 2016

  19. Reconstructing past ecological networks: the reconfiguration of seed-dispersal interactions after megafaunal extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Mathias M; Galetti, Mauro; Donatti, Camila I; Pizo, Marco A; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Guimarães, Paulo R

    2014-08-01

    The late Quaternary megafaunal extinction impacted ecological communities worldwide, and affected key ecological processes such as seed dispersal. The traits of several species of large-seeded plants are thought to have evolved in response to interactions with extinct megafauna, but how these extinctions affected the organization of interactions in seed-dispersal systems is poorly understood. Here, we combined ecological and paleontological data and network analyses to investigate how the structure of a species-rich seed-dispersal network could have changed from the Pleistocene to the present and examine the possible consequences of such changes. Our results indicate that the seed-dispersal network was organized into modules across the different time periods but has been reconfigured in different ways over time. The episode of megafaunal extinction and the arrival of humans changed how seed dispersers were distributed among network modules. However, the recent introduction of livestock into the seed-dispersal system partially restored the original network organization by strengthening the modular configuration. Moreover, after megafaunal extinctions, introduced species and some smaller native mammals became key components for the structure of the seed-dispersal network. We hypothesize that such changes in network structure affected both animal and plant assemblages, potentially contributing to the shaping of modern ecological communities. The ongoing extinction of key large vertebrates will lead to a variety of context-dependent rearranged ecological networks, most certainly affecting ecological and evolutionary processes.

  20. Evolution in a Community Context: On Integrating Ecological Interactions and Macroevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Marjorie G; Wagner, Catherine E; Best, Rebecca J; Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake

    2017-04-01

    Despite a conceptual understanding that evolution and species interactions are inextricably linked, it remains challenging to study ecological and evolutionary dynamics together over long temporal scales. In this review, we argue that, despite inherent challenges associated with reconstructing historical processes, the interplay of ecology and evolution is central to our understanding of macroevolution and community coexistence, and cannot be safely ignored in community and comparative phylogenetic studies. We highlight new research avenues that foster greater consideration of both ecological and evolutionary dynamics as processes that occur along branches of phylogenetic trees. By promoting new ways forward using this perspective, we hope to inspire further integration that creatively co-utilizes phylogenies and ecological data to study eco-evolutionary dynamics over time and space. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The Ecology of Shallow Lakes - Trophic Interactions in the Pelagial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeppesen, E.

    publications. The thesis was in June 1998 approved by The Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Copenhagen for defence for the doctor´s degree in Natural Sciences (D.sc). This thesis describes how biological interactions in the pelagial of lakes change across both nutrients and depth gradients......The defence took place on December 11, 1998 at The Freshwater Centre, Silkeborg, Denmark. Officiel opponents was Prof. Jürgen Benndorf, University of Technology, Dresden,Germany and Prof. Dag Hessen, University of Oslo, Norway . The defence was led by Lektor Leif Lau Jeppesen, Zoological Institute...

  2. Forbidden versus permitted interactions: Disentangling processes from patterns in ecological network analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Veech, Joseph A

    2017-07-01

    Several studies have identified the tendency for species to share interacting partners as a key property to the functioning and stability of ecological networks. However, assessing this pattern has proved challenging in several regards, such as finding proper metrics to assess node overlap (sharing), and using robust null modeling to disentangle significance from randomness. Here, we bring attention to an additional, largely neglected challenge in assessing species' tendency to share interacting partners. In particular, we discuss and illustrate with two different case studies how identifying the set of "permitted" interactions for a given species (i.e. interactions that are not impeded, e.g. by lack of functional trait compatibility) is paramount to understand the ecological and co-evolutionary processes at the basis of node overlap and segregation patterns.

  3. Tritrophic Interactions Mediated by Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles: Mechanisms, Ecological Relevance, and Application Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turlings, Ted C J; Erb, Matthias

    2018-01-07

    Tritrophic interactions between plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies are an integral part of all terrestrial ecosystems. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) play a key role in these interactions, as they can attract predators and parasitoids to herbivore-attacked plants. Thirty years after this discovery, the ecological importance of the phenomena is widely recognized. However, the primary function of HIPVs is still subject to much debate, as is the possibility of using these plant-produced cues in crop protection. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of HIPVs in tritrophic interactions from an ecological as well as a mechanistic perspective. This overview focuses on the main gaps in our knowledge of tritrophic interactions, and we argue that filling these gaps will greatly facilitate efforts to exploit HIPVs for pest control.

  4. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigneswaran, Vinoth; Amador, Cristina Isabel; Jelsbak, Lotte; Sternberg, Claus; Jelsbak, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial communities depends, to a large extent, on our knowledge of these interactions. This review highlights the recent advances regarding molecular characterization of microbe-microbe interactions that modulate community structure, activity, and stability, and aims to illustrate how these findings have helped us reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology.

  5. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent

  6. Using a social-ecological systems perspective to understand tourism and landscape interactions in coastal areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasper Hessel Heslinga

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to look at the potential synergies between tourism and landscapes and examine the potential contribution of tourism to build social-ecological resilience in the Dutch Wadden. Design/methodology/approach – The authors reveal how a social-ecological systems perspective can be used to conceptualize the Wadden as a coupled and dynamic system. This paper is a conceptual analysis that applies this approach to the Dutch Wadden. The data used for the inquiry primarily comes from a literature review. Findings – The authors argue that the social-ecological systems perspective is a useful approach and could be used to improve the governance of multi-functional socio-ecological systems in coastal areas. Opportunities for synergies between tourism and landscapes have been overlooked. The authors consider that tourism and nature protection are potentially compatible and that the synergies should be identified. Research limitations/implications – This paper is only a conceptual application rather than an empirical case study. Further research to actually apply the methodology is needed. Practical implications – Managers of protected areas should consider applying a social-ecological systems approach. Social implications – The views of a wide variety of stakeholders should be considered in landscape planning. Originality/value – The value of this paper lies in the articulation of the social-ecological systems perspective as a way to identify and understand the complex interactions between tourism and landscape, and the potential synergies between them.

  7. The relative importance of rapid evolution for plant-microbe interactions depends on ecological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhorst, Casey P; Lennon, Jay T; Lau, Jennifer A

    2014-06-22

    Evolution can occur on ecological time-scales, affecting community and ecosystem processes. However, the importance of evolutionary change relative to ecological processes remains largely unknown. Here, we analyse data from a long-term experiment in which we allowed plant populations to evolve for three generations in dry or wet soils and used a reciprocal transplant to compare the ecological effect of drought and the effect of plant evolutionary responses to drought on soil microbial communities and nutrient availability. Plants that evolved under drought tended to support higher bacterial and fungal richness, and increased fungal : bacterial ratios in the soil. Overall, the magnitudes of ecological and evolutionary effects on microbial communities were similar; however, the strength and direction of these effects depended on the context in which they were measured. For example, plants that evolved in dry environments increased bacterial abundance in dry contemporary environments, but decreased bacterial abundance in wet contemporary environments. Our results suggest that interactions between recent evolutionary history and ecological context affect both the direction and magnitude of plant effects on soil microbes. Consequently, an eco-evolutionary perspective is required to fully understand plant-microbe interactions.

  8. Ecological dynamics and complex interactions of Agrobacterium megaplasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Thomas G; Morton, Elise R; Barton, Ian S; Bever, James D; Fuqua, Clay

    2014-01-01

    As with many pathogenic bacteria, agrobacterial plant pathogens carry most of their virulence functions on a horizontally transmissible genetic element. The tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid encodes the majority of virulence functions for the crown gall agent Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This includes the vir genes which drive genetic transformation of host cells and the catabolic genes needed to utilize the opines produced by infected plants. The Ti plasmid also encodes, an opine-dependent quorum sensing system that tightly regulates Ti plasmid copy number and its conjugal transfer to other agrobacteria. Many natural agrobacteria are avirulent, lacking the Ti plasmid. The burden of harboring the Ti plasmid depends on the environmental context. Away from diseased hosts, plasmid costs are low but the benefit of the plasmid is also absent. Consequently, plasmidless genotypes are favored. On infected plants the costs of the Ti plasmid can be very high, but balanced by the opine benefits, locally favoring plasmid bearing cells. Cheating derivatives which do not incur virulence costs but can benefit from opines are favored on infected plants and in most other environments, and these are frequently isolated from nature. Many agrobacteria also harbor an At plasmid which can stably coexist with a Ti plasmid. At plasmid genes are less well characterized but in general facilitate metabolic activities in the rhizosphere and bulk soil, such as the ability to breakdown plant exudates. Examination of A. tumefaciens C58, revealed that harboring its At plasmid is much more costly than harboring it's Ti plasmid, but conversely the At plasmid is extremely difficult to cure. The interactions between these co-resident plasmids are complex, and depend on environmental context. However, the presence of a Ti plasmid appears to mitigate At plasmid costs, consistent with the high frequency with which they are found together.

  9. How to integrate geology, biology, and modern wireless technologies to assess biotic-abiotic interactions on coastal dune systems: a new multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarti, Giovanni; Bertoni, Duccio; Bini, Monica; Ciccarelli, Daniela; Ribolini, Adriano; Ruocco, Matteo; Pozzebon, Alessandro; Alquini, Fernanda; Giaccari, Riccardo; Tordella, Stefano

    2014-05-01

    Coastal dune systems are arguably one of the most dynamic environments because their evolution is controlled by many factors, both natural and human-related. Hence, they are often exposed to processes leading to erosion, which in turn determine serious naturalistic and economic losses. Most recent studies carried out on different dune fields worldwide emphasized the notion that a better definition of this environment needs an approach that systematically involves several disciplines, striving to merge every data collected from any individual analyses. Therefore, a new multidisciplinary method to study coastal dune systems has been conceived in order to integrate geology, biology, and modern wireless technologies. The aim of the work is threefold: i) to check the reliability of this new approach; ii) to provide a dataset as complete as ever about the factors affecting the evolution of coastal dunes; and iii) to evaluate the influence of any biotic and abiotic factors on plant communities. The experimentation site is located along the Pisa coast within the Migliarino - S. Rossore - Massaciuccoli Regional Park, a protected area where human influence is low (Tuscany, Italy). A rectangle of 100 x 200 m containing 50 grids of 20 x 20 m was established along the coastal dune systems from the coastline to the pinewood at the landward end of the backdune area. Sampling from each grid determined grain-size analysis carried out on surface sediment samples such as geologic aspects; topographic surveys performed by means of DGPS-RTK instruments; geophysical surveys conducted with a GPR equipment, which will be matched with core drilling activities; digital image analysis of high definition pictures taken by means of a remote controlled aircraft drone flying over the study area; biological data obtained by percent cover of each vascular plant species recorded in the sampling unit. Along with geologic and biologic methodologies, this research implemented the use of informatics

  10. Nutritional ecology beyond the individual: a conceptual framework for integrating nutrition and social interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Buhl, Jerome; Charleston, Michael A; Sword, Gregory A; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2015-03-01

    Over recent years, modelling approaches from nutritional ecology (known as Nutritional Geometry) have been increasingly used to describe how animals and some other organisms select foods and eat them in appropriate amounts in order to maintain a balanced nutritional state maximising fitness. These nutritional strategies profoundly affect the physiology, behaviour and performance of individuals, which in turn impact their social interactions within groups and societies. Here, we present a conceptual framework to study the role of nutrition as a major ecological factor influencing the development and maintenance of social life. We first illustrate some of the mechanisms by which nutritional differences among individuals mediate social interactions in a broad range of species and ecological contexts. We then explain how studying individual- and collective-level nutrition in a common conceptual framework derived from Nutritional Geometry can bring new fundamental insights into the mechanisms and evolution of social interactions, using a combination of simulation models and manipulative experiments. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  11. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Claro, Kleber; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena M

    2009-01-01

    The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory and filled up with rich examples of multitrophic interactions, is underexplored in terms of biodiversity interaction. Here, this ecosystem is suggested as valuable to the study of insect-plant interactions whose understanding can throw a new light at the ecological communities' theory. Three distinct systems: extrafloral nectary plants or trophobiont herbivores and the associated ant fauna; floral herbivores-predators-pollinators; and plants-forest engineers and associated fauna, will serve as examples to illustrate promising new pathways in cerrado. The aim of this brief text is to instigate young researchers, mainly entomologists, to initiate more elaborated field work, including experimental manipulations in multitrophic systems, to explore in an interactive way the structure that maintain preserved viable communities in the Neotropical savanna.

  12. Interaction networks, ecological stability, and collective antibiotic tolerance in polymicrobial infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vos, Marjon G. J.; Bollenbach, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    Polymicrobial infections constitute small ecosystems that accommodate several bacterial species. Commonly, these bacteria are investigated in isolation. However, it is unknown to what extent the isolates interact and whether their interactions alter bacterial growth and ecosystem resilience in the presence and absence of antibiotics. We quantified the complete ecological interaction network for 72 bacterial isolates collected from 23 individuals diagnosed with polymicrobial urinary tract infections and found that most interactions cluster based on evolutionary relatedness. Statistical network analysis revealed that competitive and cooperative reciprocal interactions are enriched in the global network, while cooperative interactions are depleted in the individual host community networks. A population dynamics model parameterized by our measurements suggests that interactions restrict community stability, explaining the observed species diversity of these communities. We further show that the clinical isolates frequently protect each other from clinically relevant antibiotics. Together, these results highlight that ecological interactions are crucial for the growth and survival of bacteria in polymicrobial infection communities and affect their assembly and resilience. PMID:28923953

  13. Impact of trophic ecologies on the whereabouts of nematodes in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quist, Casper W.

    2017-01-01

    Soil life is highly diverse, and ecologically intricate due to myriad of biotic interactions that take place. Terrestrial nematodes have a high potential to serve as an effective and policy-relevant indicator group for ecosystem functioning and soil biodiversity. The work described in this thesis

  14. Studying the neurobiology of human social interaction: Making the case for ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogenelst, Koen; Schoevers, Robert A; aan het Rot, Marije

    2015-01-01

    With this commentary we make the case for an increased focus on the ecological validity of the measures used to assess aspects of human social functioning. Impairments in social functioning are seen in many types of psychopathology, negatively affecting the lives of psychiatric patients and those around them. Yet the neurobiology underlying abnormal social interaction remains unclear. As an example of human social neuroscience research with relevance to biological psychiatry and clinical psychopharmacology, this commentary discusses published experimental studies involving manipulation of the human brain serotonin system that included assessments of social behavior. To date, these studies have mostly been laboratory-based and included computer tasks, observations by others, or single-administration self-report measures. Most laboratory measures used so far inform about the role of serotonin in aspects of social interaction, but the relevance for real-life interaction is often unclear. Few studies have used naturalistic assessments in real life. We suggest several laboratory methods with high ecological validity as well as ecological momentary assessment, which involves intensive repeated measures in naturalistic settings. In sum, this commentary intends to stimulate experimental research on the neurobiology of human social interaction as it occurs in real life.

  15. Revisiting the evolution of ecological specialization, with emphasis on insect-plant interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forister, M L; Dyer, L A; Singer, M S; Stireman, J O; Lill, J T

    2012-05-01

    Ecological specialization is a fundamental and well-studied concept, yet its great reach and complexity limit current understanding in important ways. More than 20 years after the publication of D. J. Futuyma and G. Moreno's oft-cited, major review of the topic, we synthesize new developments in the evolution of ecological specialization. Using insect-plant interactions as a model, we focus on important developments in four critical areas: genetic architecture, behavior, interaction complexity, and macroevolution. We find that theory based on simple genetic trade-offs in host use is being replaced by more subtle and complex pictures of genetic architecture, and multitrophic interactions have risen as a necessary framework for understanding specialization. A wealth of phylogenetic data has made possible a more detailed consideration of the macroevolutionary dimension of specialization, revealing (among other things) bidirectionality in transitions between generalist and specialist lineages. Technological advances, including genomic sequencing and analytical techniques at the community level, raise the possibility that the next decade will see research on specialization spanning multiple levels of biological organization in non-model organisms, from genes to populations to networks of interactions in natural communities. Finally, we offer a set of research questions that we find to be particularly pressing and fruitful for future research on ecological specialization.

  16. MI-Sim: A MATLAB package for the numerical analysis of microbial ecological interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Wade

    Full Text Available Food-webs and other classes of ecological network motifs, are a means of describing feeding relationships between consumers and producers in an ecosystem. They have application across scales where they differ only in the underlying characteristics of the organisms and substrates describing the system. Mathematical modelling, using mechanistic approaches to describe the dynamic behaviour and properties of the system through sets of ordinary differential equations, has been used extensively in ecology. Models allow simulation of the dynamics of the various motifs and their numerical analysis provides a greater understanding of the interplay between the system components and their intrinsic properties. We have developed the MI-Sim software for use with MATLAB to allow a rigorous and rapid numerical analysis of several common ecological motifs. MI-Sim contains a series of the most commonly used motifs such as cooperation, competition and predation. It does not require detailed knowledge of mathematical analytical techniques and is offered as a single graphical user interface containing all input and output options. The tools available in the current version of MI-Sim include model simulation, steady-state existence and stability analysis, and basin of attraction analysis. The software includes seven ecological interaction motifs and seven growth function models. Unlike other system analysis tools, MI-Sim is designed as a simple and user-friendly tool specific to ecological population type models, allowing for rapid assessment of their dynamical and behavioural properties.

  17. A pharm-ecological perspective of terrestrial and aquatic plant-herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen; Dearing, M Denise; Gross, Elisabeth M; Orians, Colin M; Sotka, Erik E; Foley, William J

    2013-04-01

    We describe some recent themes in the nutritional and chemical ecology of herbivores and the importance of a broad pharmacological view of plant nutrients and chemical defenses that we integrate as "Pharm-ecology". The central role that dose, concentration, and response to plant components (nutrients and secondary metabolites) play in herbivore foraging behavior argues for broader application of approaches derived from pharmacology to both terrestrial and aquatic plant-herbivore systems. We describe how concepts of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are used to better understand the foraging phenotype of herbivores relative to nutrient and secondary metabolites in food. Implementing these concepts into the field remains a challenge, but new modeling approaches that emphasize tradeoffs and the properties of individual animals show promise. Throughout, we highlight similarities and differences between the historic and future applications of pharm-ecological concepts in understanding the ecology and evolution of terrestrial and aquatic interactions between herbivores and plants. We offer several pharm-ecology related questions and hypotheses that could strengthen our understanding of the nutritional and chemical factors that modulate foraging behavior of herbivores across terrestrial and aquatic systems.

  18. MI-Sim: A MATLAB package for the numerical analysis of microbial ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Matthew J; Oakley, Jordan; Harbisher, Sophie; Parker, Nicholas G; Dolfing, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Food-webs and other classes of ecological network motifs, are a means of describing feeding relationships between consumers and producers in an ecosystem. They have application across scales where they differ only in the underlying characteristics of the organisms and substrates describing the system. Mathematical modelling, using mechanistic approaches to describe the dynamic behaviour and properties of the system through sets of ordinary differential equations, has been used extensively in ecology. Models allow simulation of the dynamics of the various motifs and their numerical analysis provides a greater understanding of the interplay between the system components and their intrinsic properties. We have developed the MI-Sim software for use with MATLAB to allow a rigorous and rapid numerical analysis of several common ecological motifs. MI-Sim contains a series of the most commonly used motifs such as cooperation, competition and predation. It does not require detailed knowledge of mathematical analytical techniques and is offered as a single graphical user interface containing all input and output options. The tools available in the current version of MI-Sim include model simulation, steady-state existence and stability analysis, and basin of attraction analysis. The software includes seven ecological interaction motifs and seven growth function models. Unlike other system analysis tools, MI-Sim is designed as a simple and user-friendly tool specific to ecological population type models, allowing for rapid assessment of their dynamical and behavioural properties.

  19. Interaction between Allee effects caused by organism-environment feedback and by other ecological mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan Qin

    Full Text Available Understanding Allee effect has crucial importance for ecological conservation and management because it is strongly related to population extinction. Due to various ecological mechanisms accounting for Allee effect, it is necessary to study the influence of multiple Allee effects on the dynamics and persistence of population. We here focus on organism-environment feedback which can incur strong, weak, and fatal Allee effect (AE-by-OEF, and further examine their interaction with the Allee effects caused by other ecological mechanisms (AE-by-OM. The results show that multiple Allee effects largely increase the extinction risk of population either due to the enlargement of Allee threshold or the change of inherent characteristic of Allee effect, and such an increase will be enhanced dramatically with increasing the strength of individual Allee effects. Our simulations explicitly considering spatial structure also demonstrate that local interaction among habitat patches can greatly mitigate such superimposed Allee effects as well as individual Allee effect. This implies that spatially structurized habitat could play an important role in ecological conservation and management.

  20. Interaction between Allee effects caused by organism-environment feedback and by other ecological mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Lijuan; Zhang, Feng; Wang, Wanxiong; Song, Weixin

    2017-01-01

    Understanding Allee effect has crucial importance for ecological conservation and management because it is strongly related to population extinction. Due to various ecological mechanisms accounting for Allee effect, it is necessary to study the influence of multiple Allee effects on the dynamics and persistence of population. We here focus on organism-environment feedback which can incur strong, weak, and fatal Allee effect (AE-by-OEF), and further examine their interaction with the Allee effects caused by other ecological mechanisms (AE-by-OM). The results show that multiple Allee effects largely increase the extinction risk of population either due to the enlargement of Allee threshold or the change of inherent characteristic of Allee effect, and such an increase will be enhanced dramatically with increasing the strength of individual Allee effects. Our simulations explicitly considering spatial structure also demonstrate that local interaction among habitat patches can greatly mitigate such superimposed Allee effects as well as individual Allee effect. This implies that spatially structurized habitat could play an important role in ecological conservation and management.

  1. Does prescribed burning result in biotic homogenization of coastal heathlands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velle, Liv Guri; Nilsen, Liv Sigrid; Norderhaug, Ann; Vandvik, Vigdis

    2014-05-01

    Biotic homogenization due to replacement of native biodiversity by widespread generalist species has been demonstrated in a number of ecosystems and taxonomic groups worldwide, causing growing conservation concern. Human disturbance is a key driver of biotic homogenization, suggesting potential conservation challenges in seminatural ecosystems, where anthropogenic disturbances such as grazing and burning are necessary for maintaining ecological dynamics and functioning. We test whether prescribed burning results in biotic homogenization in the coastal heathlands of north-western Europe, a seminatural landscape where extensive grazing and burning has constituted the traditional land-use practice over the past 6000 years. We compare the beta-diversity before and after fire at three ecological scales: within local vegetation patches, between wet and dry heathland patches within landscapes, and along a 470 km bioclimatic gradient. Within local patches, we found no evidence of homogenization after fire; species richness increased, and the species that entered the burnt Calluna stands were not widespread specialists but native grasses and herbs characteristic of the heathland system. At the landscapes scale, we saw a weak homogenization as wet and dry heathland patches become more compositionally similar after fire. This was because of a decrease in habitat-specific species unique to either wet or dry habitats and postfire colonization by a set of heathland specialists that established in both habitat types. Along the bioclimatic gradient, species that increased after fire generally had more specific environmental requirements and narrower geographical distributions than the prefire flora, resulting in a biotic 'heterogenisation' after fire. Our study demonstrates that human disturbance does not necessarily cause biotic homogenization, but that continuation of traditional land-use practices can instead be crucial for the maintenance of the diversity and ecological

  2. Bacterial Genetic Architecture of Ecological Interactions in Co-culture by GWAS-Taking Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus as an Example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiaoqing; Jin, Yi; Ye, Meixia; Chen, Nan; Zhu, Jing; Wang, Jingqi; Jiang, Libo; Wu, Rongling

    2017-01-01

    How a species responds to such a biotic environment in the community, ultimately leading to its evolution, has been a topic of intense interest to ecological evolutionary biologists. Until recently, limited knowledge was available regarding the genotypic changes that underlie phenotypic changes. Our study implemented GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Studies) to illustrate the genetic architecture of ecological interactions that take place in microbial populations. By choosing 45 such interspecific pairs of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus strains that were all genotyped throughout the entire genome, we employed Q-ROADTRIPS to analyze the association between single SNPs and microbial abundance measured at each time point for bacterial populations reared in monoculture and co-culture, respectively. We identified a large number of SNPs and indels across the genomes (35.69 G clean data of E. coli and 50.41 G of S. aureus ). We reported 66 and 111 SNPs that were associated with interaction in E. coli and S. aureus , respectively. 23 out of 66 polymorphic changes resulted in amino acid alterations.12 significant genes, such as murE, treA, argS , and relA , which were also identified in previous evolutionary studies. In S. aureus , 111 SNPs detected in coding sequences could be divided into 35 non-synonymous and 76 synonymous SNPs. Our study illustrated the potential of genome-wide association methods for studying rapidly evolving traits in bacteria. Genetic association study methods will facilitate the identification of genetic elements likely to cause phenotypes of interest and provide targets for further laboratory investigation.

  3. Recent advances in dental biofilm: impacts of microbial interactions on the biofilm ecology and pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung-Hua Li

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The human oral cavity is a complex ecosystem harboring hundreds species of microbes that are largely living on the tooth surfaces as dental biofilms. Most microbes in dental biofilms promote oral health by stimulating the immune system or by preventing invasion of pathogens. Species diversity, high cell density and close proximity of cells are typical of life in dental biofilms, where microbes interact with each other and develop complex interactions that can be either competitive or cooperative. Competition between species is a well-recognized ecological force to drive microbial metabolism, species diversity and evolution. However, it was not until recently that microbial cooperative activities are also recognized to play important roles in microbial physiology and ecology. Importantly, these interactions profoundly affect the overall biomass, function, diversity and the pathogenesis in dental biofilms. It is now recognized that every human body contains a personalized oral microbiome that is essential to maintaining the oral health. Remarkably, the indigenous species in dental biofilms often maintain a relatively stable and harmless relationship with the host, despite regular exposure to environmental perturbations and the host defense factors. Such stability or homeostasis results from a dynamic balance of microbial-microbial and microbial-host interactions. Under certain circumstances, however, the homeostasis may breakdown, predisposing a site to diseases. In this review, we describe several examples of microbial interactions and their impacts on the homeostasis and pathogenesis of dental biofilms. We hope to encourage research on microbial interactions in the regulation of the homeostasis in biofilms.

  4. Age differences in adults' daily social interactions: An ecological momentary assessment study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhaoyang, Ruixue; Sliwinski, Martin J; Martire, Lynn M; Smyth, Joshua M

    2018-04-30

    Prevailing research has suggested that social relationships get better with age, but this evidence has been largely based on studies with lengthy reporting intervals. Using an ecological momentary assessment approach, the present study examined age differences in several characteristics of social interactions as reported in near-real time: the frequency, quality, and partner type. Participants (N = 173) ages 20-79 years reported their social interactions at 5 random times throughout the day for 1 week. Results revealed that age was associated with higher frequency of interacting with family and lower frequency of interacting with peripheral partners. These age effects, however, became nonsignificant after accounting for contextual factors such as race, gender, education, employment status, family structure, and living arrangement. In contrast, a curvilinear relationship best characterized age differences in both positive and negative ratings of daily social interaction quality, with middle-aged adults reporting the lowest positive ratings and older adults reporting the lowest negative ratings among all ages. Contextual factors did not account for these patterns of age differences in interaction quality. Furthermore, the intraindividual variability of interaction frequency with peripheral partners, partner diversity, and interaction quality (positivity and negativity) was lower among older adults than among younger adults. Findings from the present study portray a nuanced picture of social interactions in daily life and advance the understanding of social interactions across the life span. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Species interactions in the western Baltic Sea: With focus on the ecological role of whiting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ross, Stine Dalmann

    , which potentially prey on and compete for food with whiting. Here, the growth dynamics and feeding ecology of whiting in the western Baltic Sea is investigated and discussed in an ecosystem context. Furthermore, the diet of the harbour porpoise is examined and the interactions between whiting, cod......, implementation of the models in strategic management advice for commercially important fish stocks and protected marine mammals is not common practice. This is due to the lack of sufficient information about species interactions including knowledge about the diet, food intake and growth dynamics. This thesis...

  6. Synchronization unveils the organization of ecological networks with positive and negative interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girón, Andrea; Saiz, Hugo; Bacelar, Flora S.; Andrade, Roberto F. S.; Gómez-Gardeñes, Jesús

    2016-06-01

    Network science has helped to understand the organization principles of the interactions among the constituents of large complex systems. However, recently, the high resolution of the data sets collected has allowed to capture the different types of interactions coexisting within the same system. A particularly important example is that of systems with positive and negative interactions, a usual feature appearing in social, neural, and ecological systems. The interplay of links of opposite sign presents natural difficulties for generalizing typical concepts and tools applied to unsigned networks and, moreover, poses some questions intrinsic to the signed nature of the network, such as how are negative interactions balanced by positive ones so to allow the coexistence and survival of competitors/foes within the same system? Here, we show that synchronization phenomenon is an ideal benchmark for uncovering such balance and, as a byproduct, to assess which nodes play a critical role in the overall organization of the system. We illustrate our findings with the analysis of synthetic and real ecological networks in which facilitation and competitive interactions coexist.

  7. Synchronization unveils the organization of ecological networks with positive and negative interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girón, Andrea; Saiz, Hugo; Bacelar, Flora S; Andrade, Roberto F S; Gómez-Gardeñes, Jesús

    2016-06-01

    Network science has helped to understand the organization principles of the interactions among the constituents of large complex systems. However, recently, the high resolution of the data sets collected has allowed to capture the different types of interactions coexisting within the same system. A particularly important example is that of systems with positive and negative interactions, a usual feature appearing in social, neural, and ecological systems. The interplay of links of opposite sign presents natural difficulties for generalizing typical concepts and tools applied to unsigned networks and, moreover, poses some questions intrinsic to the signed nature of the network, such as how are negative interactions balanced by positive ones so to allow the coexistence and survival of competitors/foes within the same system? Here, we show that synchronization phenomenon is an ideal benchmark for uncovering such balance and, as a byproduct, to assess which nodes play a critical role in the overall organization of the system. We illustrate our findings with the analysis of synthetic and real ecological networks in which facilitation and competitive interactions coexist.

  8. Predicting the sensitivity of populations from individual exposure to chemicals: the role of ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabsi, Faten; Schäffer, Andreas; Preuss, Thomas G

    2014-07-01

    Population responses to chemical stress exposure are influenced by nonchemical, environmental processes such as species interactions. A realistic quantification of chemical toxicity to populations calls for the use of methodologies that integrate these multiple stress effects. The authors used an individual-based model for Daphnia magna as a virtual laboratory to determine the influence of ecological interactions on population sensitivity to chemicals with different modes of action on individuals. In the model, hypothetical chemical toxicity targeted different vital individual-level processes: reproduction, survival, feeding rate, or somatic growth rate. As for species interactions, predatory and competition effects on daphnid populations were implemented following a worst-case approach. The population abundance was simulated at different food levels and exposure scenarios, assuming exposure to chemical stress solely or in combination with either competition or predation. The chemical always targeted one vital endpoint. Equal toxicity-inhibition levels differently affected the population abundance with and without species interactions. In addition, population responses to chemicals were highly sensitive to the environmental stressor (predator or competitor) and to the food level. Results show that population resilience cannot be attributed to chemical stress only. Accounting for the relevant ecological interactions would reduce uncertainties when extrapolating effects of chemicals from individuals to the population level. Validated population models should be used for a more realistic risk assessment of chemicals. © 2014 SETAC.

  9. Interactions between Genetic and Ecological Effects on the Evolution of Life Cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rescan, Marie; Lenormand, Thomas; Roze, Denis

    2016-01-01

    Sexual reproduction leads to an alternation between haploid and diploid phases, whose relative length varies widely across taxa. Previous genetical models showed that diploid or haploid life cycles may be favored, depending on dominance interactions and on effective recombination rates. By contrast, niche differentiation between haploids and diploids may favor biphasic life cycles, in which development occurs in both phases. In this article, we explore the interplay between genetical and ecological factors, assuming that deleterious mutations affect the competitivity of individuals within their ecological niche and allowing different effects of mutations in haploids and diploids (including antagonistic selection). We show that selection on a modifier gene affecting the relative length of both phases can be decomposed into a direct selection term favoring the phase with the highest mean fitness (due to either ecological differences or differential effects of mutations) and an indirect selection term favoring the phase in which selection is more efficient. When deleterious alleles occur at many loci and in the presence of ecological differentiation between haploids and diploids, evolutionary branching often occurs and leads to the stable coexistence of alleles coding for haploid and diploid cycles, while temporal variations in niche sizes may stabilize biphasic cycles.

  10. Ecological Interactions Affecting the Efficacy of Aphidius colemani in Greenhouse Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara G. Prado

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae is a solitary endoparasitoid used for biological control of many economically important pest aphids. Given its widespread use, a vast array of literature on this natural enemy exists. Though often highly effective for aphid suppression, the literature reveals that A. colemani efficacy within greenhouse production systems can be reduced by many stressors, both biotic (plants, aphid hosts, other natural enemies and abiotic (climate and lighting. For example, effects from 3rd and 4th trophic levels (fungal-based control products, hyperparasitoids can suddenly decimate A. colemani populations. But, the most chronic negative effects (reduced parasitoid foraging efficiency, fitness seem to be from stressors at the first trophic level. Negative effects from the 1st trophic level are difficult to mediate since growers are usually constrained to particular plant varieties due to market demands. Major research gaps identified by our review include determining how plants, aphid hosts, and A. colemani interact to affect the net aphid population, and how production conditions such as temperature, humidity and lighting affect both the population growth rate of A. colemani and its target pest. Decades of research have made A. colemani an essential part of biological control programs in greenhouse crops. Future gains in A. colemani efficacy and aphid biological control will require an interdisciplinary, systems approach that considers plant production and climate effects at all trophic levels.

  11. Ecological Interactions Affecting the Efficacy of Aphidius colemani in Greenhouse Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado, Sara G; Jandricic, Sarah E; Frank, Steven D

    2015-06-11

    Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a solitary endoparasitoid used for biological control of many economically important pest aphids. Given its widespread use, a vast array of literature on this natural enemy exists. Though often highly effective for aphid suppression, the literature reveals that A. colemani efficacy within greenhouse production systems can be reduced by many stressors, both biotic (plants, aphid hosts, other natural enemies) and abiotic (climate and lighting). For example, effects from 3rd and 4th trophic levels (fungal-based control products, hyperparasitoids) can suddenly decimate A. colemani populations. But, the most chronic negative effects (reduced parasitoid foraging efficiency, fitness) seem to be from stressors at the first trophic level. Negative effects from the 1st trophic level are difficult to mediate since growers are usually constrained to particular plant varieties due to market demands. Major research gaps identified by our review include determining how plants, aphid hosts, and A. colemani interact to affect the net aphid population, and how production conditions such as temperature, humidity and lighting affect both the population growth rate of A. colemani and its target pest. Decades of research have made A. colemani an essential part of biological control programs in greenhouse crops. Future gains in A. colemani efficacy and aphid biological control will require an interdisciplinary, systems approach that considers plant production and climate effects at all trophic levels.

  12. Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME): A web app for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME) is a shiny-based web application for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data. DAME provides researchers not familiar with R programming the ability to access the most current R functions utilized for ecology and gene sequenci...

  13. Environmental extremes and biotic interactions facilitate depredation of endangered California Ridgway’s rail in a San Francisco Bay tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overton, Cory T.; Bobzien, Steven; Grefsrud, Marcia

    2016-01-01

    On 23 December 2015 while performing a high tide population survey for endangered Ridgway’s rails (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; formerly known as the California clapper rail) and other rail species at Arrowhead Marsh, Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakland, California, the authors observed a series of species interactions resulting in the predation of a Ridgway’s rail by an adult female peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). High tide surveys are performed during the highest tides of the year when tidal marsh vegetation at Arrowhead Marsh becomes inundated, concentrating the tidal marsh obligate species into the limited area of emergent vegetation remaining as refuge cover. Annual mean tide level (elevation referenced relative to mean lower low water) at Arrowhead Marsh is 1.10 m, mean higher high water is 2.04 m (NOAA National Ocean Service 2014) and the average elevation of the marsh surface is 1.60 m (Overton et al. 2014). Tidal conditions on the day of the survey were predicted to be 2.42 m. Observed tides at the nearby Alameda Island tide gauge were 8 cm higher than predicted due to a regional low-pressure system and warmer than average sea surface temperatures (NOAA National Ocean Service 2014). The approximately 80 cm deep inundation of the marsh plain was sufficient to completely submerge tidal marsh vegetation and effectively remove 90% of refugia habitats.

  14. Pollutant threshold concentration determination in marine ecosystems using an ecological interaction endpoint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changyou; Liang, Shengkang; Guo, Wenting; Yu, Hua; Xing, Wenhui

    2015-09-01

    The threshold concentrations of pollutants are determined by extrapolating single-species effect data to community-level effects. This assumes the most sensitive endpoint of the life cycle of individuals and the species sensitivity distribution from single-species toxic effect tests, thus, ignoring the ecological interactions. The uncertainties due to this extrapolation can be partially overcome using the equilibrium point of a customized ecosystem. This method incorporates ecological interactions and integrates the effects on growth, survival, and ingestion into a single effect measure, the equilibrium point excursion in the customized ecosystem, in order to describe the toxic effects on plankton. A case study showed that the threshold concentration of copper calculated with the endpoint of the equilibrium point was 10 μg L(-1), which is significantly different from the threshold calculated with a single-species endpoint. The endpoint calculated using this method provides a more relevant measure of the ecological impact than any single individual-level endpoint. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Community ecology in a changing environment: Perspectives from the Quaternary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Stephen T; Blois, Jessica L

    2015-04-21

    Community ecology and paleoecology are both concerned with the composition and structure of biotic assemblages but are largely disconnected. Community ecology focuses on existing species assemblages and recently has begun to integrate history (phylogeny and continental or intercontinental dispersal) to constrain community processes. This division has left a "missing middle": Ecological and environmental processes occurring on timescales from decades to millennia are not yet fully incorporated into community ecology. Quaternary paleoecology has a wealth of data documenting ecological dynamics at these timescales, and both fields can benefit from greater interaction and articulation. We discuss ecological insights revealed by Quaternary terrestrial records, suggest foundations for bridging between the disciplines, and identify topics where the disciplines can engage to mutual benefit.

  16. Linking biotic homogenization to habitat type, invasiveness and growth form of naturalized alien plants in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong Qian; Qinfeng. Guo

    2010-01-01

    Aim Biotic homogenization is a growing phenomenon and has recently attracted much attention. Here, we analyse a large dataset of native and alien plants in North America to examine whether biotic homogenization is related to several ecological and biological attributes. Location North America (north of Mexico). Methods We assembled...

  17. Interactions among Ecological Factors That Explain the Psychosocial Quality of Life of Children with Complex Needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandy Thurston

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To explore the associations and interactions among ecological factors and explain the psychosocial quality of life of children with complex needs. Methods. In this cross-sectional survey consenting parents were identified by the Children's Treatment Network. Families were eligible if the child from 0 to 19 years, resided in Simcoe/York, and there were multiple family needs. Regression analysis was used to explore associations and interactions. n=429. Results. Younger children, without conduct disorder, without hostile and punitive parenting and with low adverse family impact demonstrated the highest levels of psychosocial quality of life. Statistically significant interactions between processes of care and parent variables highlight the complexity of real life situations. Conclusions. It is not possible to fully understand the child's psychosocial quality of life in complex needs families by considering only simple associations between ecological factors. A multitude of factors and interactions between these factors are simultaneously present and the care of these families requires a holistic approach.

  18. Mirid (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) specialists of sticky plants: adaptations, interactions, and ecological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Alfred G; Krimmel, Billy A

    2015-01-07

    Sticky plants-those having glandular trichomes (hairs) that produce adhesive, viscous exudates-can impede the movement of, and entrap, generalist insects. Disparate arthropod groups have adapted to these widespread and taxonomically diverse plants, yet their interactions with glandular hosts rarely are incorporated into broad ecological theory. Ecologists and entomologists might be unaware of even well-documented examples of insects that are sticky-plant specialists. The hemipteran family Miridae (more specifically, the omnivorous Dicyphini: Dicyphina) is the best-known group of arthropods that specializes on sticky plants. In the first synthesis of relationships with glandular plants for any insect family, we review mirid interactions with sticky hosts, including their adaptations (behavioral, morphological, and physiological) and mutualisms with carnivorous plants, and the ecological and agricultural implications of mirid-sticky plant systems. We propose that mirid research applies generally to tritrophic interactions on trichome-defended plants, enhances an understanding of insect-plant interactions, and provides information useful in managing crop pests.

  19. Restoring fish ecological quality in estuaries: Implication of interactive and cumulative effects among anthropogenic stressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, Nils; Borja, Angel; Chust, Guillem; Uriarte, Ainhize; Lepage, Mario

    2016-01-15

    Estuaries are subjected to multiple anthropogenic stressors, which have additive, antagonistic or synergistic effects. Current challenges include the use of large databases of biological monitoring surveys (e.g. the European Water Framework Directive) to help environmental managers prioritizing restoration measures. This study investigated the impact of nine stressor categories on the fish ecological status derived from 90 estuaries of the North East Atlantic countries. We used a random forest model to: 1) detect the dominant stressors and their non-linear effects; 2) evaluate the ecological benefits expected from reducing pressure from stressors; and 3) investigate the interactions among stressors. Results showed that largest restoration benefits were expected when mitigating water pollution and oxygen depletion. Non-additive effects represented half of pairwise interactions among stressors, and antagonisms were the most common. Dredged sediments, flow changes and oxygen depletion were predominantly implicated in non-additive interactions, whereas the remainder stressors often showed additive impacts. The prevalence of interactive impacts reflects a complex scenario for estuaries management; hence, we proposed a step-by-step restoration scheme focusing on the mitigation of stressors providing the maximum of restoration benefits under a multi-stress context. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Ecological turmoil in evolutionary dynamics of plant-insect interactions: defense to offence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Manasi; Lomate, Purushottam R; Joshi, Rakesh S; Punekar, Sachin A; Gupta, Vidya S; Giri, Ashok P

    2015-10-01

    Available history manifests contemporary diversity that exists in plant-insect interactions. A radical thinking is necessary for developing strategies that can co-opt natural insect-plant mutualism, ecology and environmental safety for crop protection since current agricultural practices can reduce species richness and evenness. The global environmental changes, such as increased temperature, CO₂ and ozone levels, biological invasions, land-use change and habitat fragmentation together play a significant role in re-shaping the plant-insect multi-trophic interactions. Diverse natural products need to be studied and explored for their biological functions as insect pest control agents. In order to assure the success of an integrated pest management strategy, human activities need to be harmonized to minimize the global climate changes. Plant-insect interaction is one of the most primitive and co-evolved associations, often influenced by surrounding changes. In this review, we account the persistence and evolution of plant-insect interactions, with particular focus on the effect of climate change and human interference on these interactions. Plants and insects have been maintaining their existence through a mutual service-resource relationship while defending themselves. We provide a comprehensive catalog of various defense strategies employed by the plants and/or insects. Furthermore, several important factors such as accelerated diversification, imbalance in the mutualism, and chemical arms race between plants and insects as indirect consequences of human practices are highlighted. Inappropriate implementation of several modern agricultural practices has resulted in (i) endangered mutualisms, (ii) pest status and resistance in insects and (iii) ecological instability. Moreover, altered environmental conditions eventually triggered the resetting of plant-insect interactions. Hence, multitrophic approaches that can harmonize human activities and minimize their

  1. The repository ecology an approach to understanding repository and service interactions

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva; Hagemann, Melissa

    2007-01-01

    An increasing number of university institutions and other organisations are deciding to deploy repositories and a growing number of formal and informal distributed services are supporting or capitalising on the information these repositories provide. Despite reasonably well understood technical architectures, early majority adopters may struggle to articulate their place within the actualities of a wider information environment. The idea of a repository ecology provides developers and administrators with a useful way of articulating and analysing their place in the information environment, and the technical and organisational interactions they have, or are developing, with other parts of such an environment. This presentation will provide an overview of the concept of a repository ecology and examine some examples from the domains of scholarly communications and elearning.

  2. Genes, communities & invasive species: understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdon, J J; Thrall, P H; Ericson, L

    2013-08-01

    Reciprocal interactions between hosts and pathogens drive ecological, epidemiological and co-evolutionary trajectories, resulting in complex patterns of diversity at population, species and community levels. Recent results confirm the importance of negative frequency-dependent rather than 'arms-race' processes in the evolution of individual host-pathogen associations. At the community level, complex relationships between species abundance and diversity dampen or alter pathogen impacts. Invasive pathogens challenge these controls reflecting the earliest stages of evolutionary associations (akin to arms-race) where disease effects may be so great that they overwhelm the host's and community's ability to respond. Viewing these different stabilization/destabilization phases as a continuum provides a valuable perspective to assessment of the role of genetics and ecology in the dynamics of both natural and invasive host-pathogen associations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The repository ecology: an approach to understanding repository and service interactions

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2007-01-01

    An increasing number of university institutions and other organisations are deciding to deploy repositories and a growing number of formal and informal distributed services are supporting or capitalising on the information these repositories provide. Despite reasonably well understood technical architectures, early majority adopters may struggle to articulate their place within the actualities of a wider information environment. The idea of a repository ecology provides developers and administrators with a useful way of articulating and analysing their place in the information environment, and the technical and organisational interactions they have, or are developing, with other parts of such an environment. This presentation will provide an overview of the concept of a repository ecology and examine some examples from the domains of scholarly communications and elearning. View John Robertson's biography

  4. Ecology and evolution in microbial systems: the generation and maintenance of diversity in phage-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessup, Christine M; Forde, Samantha E

    2008-06-01

    Insights gained from studying the interactions between viruses and bacteria have important implications for the ecology and evolution of virus-host interactions in many environments and for pathogen-host and predator-prey interactions in general. Here, we focus on the generation and maintenance of diversity, highlighting recent laboratory and field experiments with microorganisms.

  5. Biotic interactions in temporal trends (1992–2010) of organochlorine contaminants in the aquatic food web of Lake Laberge, Yukon Territory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, M.J.; Stern, G.A.; Kidd, K.A.; Croft, M.V.; Gewurtz, S.; Diamond, M.; Kinnear, L.; Roach, P.

    2013-01-01

    Declines in 6 organochlorine (OC) contaminant groups; chlordane (CHL), DDT, HCH, toxaphene (CHB), PCB and chlorinated benzenes (CBz) were measured in biota of a sub-Arctic lake (Lake Laberge, YT) following the closure of a commercial fishery in 1991. This study examined morphological (length, weight, age), biochemical (lipid content, δ 13 C, δ 15 N), population and OC data for 9 fishes and zooplankton between 1993 and 2003 (2010 for lake trout) to investigate causes for the OC declines. Growth dilution was a major factor influencing the decrease of OCs in lake trout, round whitefish and possibly zooplankton most notably in the early 2000s. A decline in lipids of most fish species also contributed to OC declines, although no such change was evident for zooplankton. It is suspected that increases in fish populations or climate variations over the 1990s, may have contributed towards a shift in plankton community composition. From 1991 to 1999, CPUE increased for 7 of the fish species and declined for 2 others. Concurrently, the zooplankton community shifted from an abundance of C. scutifer in 1993 to dominance by D. pribilofensis in 2001. Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope data suggested that food web interactions for most fish species have not changed over time. Although concentrations of OCs have declined in many fishes, the “rate” of OC transfer (using slopes of log OC vs. nitrogen isotope ratios) through the food web was greater in 2001 than in 1993. Overall, the declines in OC concentrations in the fish from Lake Laberge occurred concurrently with changes in their growth, lipid, and abundance, suggesting that ecosystem responses to the closure of the fishery were in part responsible for the lower contaminants in these fishes. As a result of this study, the Yukon government rescinded the health advisory for limiting the consumption of fish from Lake Laberge. - Highlights: ► Organochlorine contaminants in a sub-Arctic lake were monitored post

  6. Biotic interactions in temporal trends (1992–2010) of organochlorine contaminants in the aquatic food web of Lake Laberge, Yukon Territory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, M.J. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada); University of Manitoba, Dept. of Soil Science, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2 (Canada); Stern, G.A., E-mail: gary.stern@dfo-mpo.gc.ca [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada); Kidd, K.A. [University of New Brunswick, Canadian Rivers Institute and Department of Biology, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada E2L 4E5 (Canada); Croft, M.V. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N6 (Canada); Gewurtz, S.; Diamond, M. [University of Toronto, Department of Geography, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3G3 (Canada); Kinnear, L. [Northern Climate Exchange, Yukon Research Center, Yukon College, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada Y1A 5K4 (Canada); Roach, P. [Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Rm 415C - 300 Main St., Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada Y1A 2B5 (Canada)

    2013-01-15

    Declines in 6 organochlorine (OC) contaminant groups; chlordane (CHL), DDT, HCH, toxaphene (CHB), PCB and chlorinated benzenes (CBz) were measured in biota of a sub-Arctic lake (Lake Laberge, YT) following the closure of a commercial fishery in 1991. This study examined morphological (length, weight, age), biochemical (lipid content, δ{sup 13}C, δ{sup 15}N), population and OC data for 9 fishes and zooplankton between 1993 and 2003 (2010 for lake trout) to investigate causes for the OC declines. Growth dilution was a major factor influencing the decrease of OCs in lake trout, round whitefish and possibly zooplankton most notably in the early 2000s. A decline in lipids of most fish species also contributed to OC declines, although no such change was evident for zooplankton. It is suspected that increases in fish populations or climate variations over the 1990s, may have contributed towards a shift in plankton community composition. From 1991 to 1999, CPUE increased for 7 of the fish species and declined for 2 others. Concurrently, the zooplankton community shifted from an abundance of C. scutifer in 1993 to dominance by D. pribilofensis in 2001. Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope data suggested that food web interactions for most fish species have not changed over time. Although concentrations of OCs have declined in many fishes, the “rate” of OC transfer (using slopes of log OC vs. nitrogen isotope ratios) through the food web was greater in 2001 than in 1993. Overall, the declines in OC concentrations in the fish from Lake Laberge occurred concurrently with changes in their growth, lipid, and abundance, suggesting that ecosystem responses to the closure of the fishery were in part responsible for the lower contaminants in these fishes. As a result of this study, the Yukon government rescinded the health advisory for limiting the consumption of fish from Lake Laberge. - Highlights: ► Organochlorine contaminants in a sub-Arctic lake were monitored post

  7. Evolutionary Ecology of Multitrophic Interactions between Plants, Insect Herbivores and Entomopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei

    2017-06-01

    Plants play an important role in the interactions between insect herbivores and their pathogens. Since the seminal review by Cory and Hoover (2006) on plant-mediated effects on insect-pathogen interactions, considerable progress has been made in understanding the complexity of these tritrophic interactions. Increasing interest in the areas of nutritional and ecological immunology over the last decade have revealed that plant primary and secondary metabolites can influence the outcomes of insect-pathogen interactions by altering insect immune functioning and physical barriers to pathogen entry. Some insects use plant secondary chemicals and nutrients to prevent infections (prophylactic medication) and medicate to limit the severity of infections (therapeutic medication). Recent findings suggest that there may be selectable plant traits that enhance entomopathogen efficacy, suggesting that entomopathogens could potentially impose selection pressure on plant traits that improve both pathogen and plant fitness. Moreover, plants in nature are inhabited by diverse communities of microbes, in addition to entomopathogens, some of which can trigger immune responses in insect herbivores. Plants are also shared by numerous other herbivorous arthropods with different modes of feeding that can trigger different defensive responses in plants. Some insect symbionts and gut microbes can degrade ingested defensive phytochemicals and be orally secreted onto wounded plant tissue during herbivory to alter plant defenses. Since non-entomopathogenic microbes and other arthropods are likely to influence the outcomes of plant-insect-entomopathogen interactions, I discuss a need to consider these multitrophic interactions within the greater web of species interactions.

  8. The ecology, evolution, impacts and management of host-parasite interactions of marine molluscs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coen, Loren D; Bishop, Melanie J

    2015-10-01

    Molluscs are economically and ecologically important components of aquatic ecosystems. In addition to supporting valuable aquaculture and wild-harvest industries, their populations determine the structure of benthic communities, cycling of nutrients, serve as prey resources for higher trophic levels and, in some instances, stabilize shorelines and maintain water quality. This paper reviews existing knowledge of the ecology of host-parasite interactions involving marine molluscs, with a focus on gastropods and bivalves. It considers the ecological and evolutionary impacts of molluscan parasites on their hosts and vice versa, and on the communities and ecosystems in which they are a part, as well as disease management and its ecological impacts. An increasing number of case studies show that disease can have important effects on marine molluscs, their ecological interactions and ecosystem services, at spatial scales from centimeters to thousands of kilometers and timescales ranging from hours to years. In some instances the cascading indirect effects arising from parasitic infection of molluscs extend well beyond the temporal and spatial scales at which molluscs are affected by disease. In addition to the direct effects of molluscan disease, there can be large indirect impacts on marine environments resulting from strategies, such as introduction of non-native species and selective breeding for disease resistance, put in place to manage disease. Much of our understanding of impacts of molluscan diseases on the marine environment has been derived from just a handful of intensively studied marine parasite-host systems, namely gastropod-trematode, cockle-trematode, and oyster-protistan interactions. Understanding molluscan host-parasite dynamics is of growing importance because: (1) expanding aquaculture; (2) current and future climate change; (3) movement of non-native species; and (4) coastal development are modifying molluscan disease dynamics, ultimately leading to

  9. Microbes in the coral holobiont: partners through evolution, development, and ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Janelle R; Rivera, Hanny E; Closek, Collin J; Medina, Mónica

    2014-01-01

    In the last two decades, genetic and genomic studies have revealed the astonishing diversity and ubiquity of microorganisms. Emergence and expansion of the human microbiome project has reshaped our thinking about how microbes control host health-not only as pathogens, but also as symbionts. In coral reef environments, scientists have begun to examine the role that microorganisms play in coral life history. Herein, we review the current literature on coral-microbe interactions within the context of their role in evolution, development, and ecology. We ask the following questions, first posed by McFall-Ngai et al. (2013) in their review of animal evolution, with specific attention to how coral-microbial interactions may be affected under future environmental conditions: (1) How do corals and their microbiome affect each other's genomes? (2) How does coral development depend on microbial partners? (3) How is homeostasis maintained between corals and their microbial symbionts? (4) How can ecological approaches deepen our understanding of the multiple levels of coral-microbial interactions? Elucidating the role that microorganisms play in the structure and function of the holobiont is essential for understanding how corals maintain homeostasis and acclimate to changing environmental conditions.

  10. No boundaries: genomes, organisms, and ecological interactions responsible for divergence and reproductive isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etges, William J

    2014-01-01

    Revealing the genetic basis of traits that cause reproductive isolation, particularly premating or sexual isolation, usually involves the same challenges as most attempts at genotype-phenotype mapping and so requires knowledge of how these traits are expressed in different individuals, populations, and environments, particularly under natural conditions. Genetic dissection of speciation phenotypes thus requires understanding of the internal and external contexts in which underlying genetic elements are expressed. Gene expression is a product of complex interacting factors internal and external to the organism including developmental programs, the genetic background including nuclear-cytotype interactions, epistatic relationships, interactions among individuals or social effects, stochasticity, and prevailing variation in ecological conditions. Understanding of genomic divergence associated with reproductive isolation will be facilitated by functional expression analysis of annotated genomes in organisms with well-studied evolutionary histories, phylogenetic affinities, and known patterns of ecological variation throughout their life cycles. I review progress and prospects for understanding the pervasive role of host plant use on genetic and phenotypic expression of reproductive isolating mechanisms in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis and suggest how this system can be used as a model for revealing the genetic basis for species formation in organisms where speciation phenotypes are under the joint influences of genetic and environmental factors. © The American Genetic Association. 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Frugivores and seed dispersal: mechanisms and consequences for biodiversity of a key ecological interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Pedro; Forget, Pierre-Michel; Lambert, Joanna E; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Traveset, Anna; Wright, S Joseph

    2011-06-23

    The 5th Symposium on Frugivores and Seed Dispersal, held in Montpellier (France), 13-18 June 2010, brought together more than 220 researchers exemplifying a wide diversity of approaches to the study of frugivory and dispersal of seeds. Following Ted Fleming and Alejandro Estrada's initiative in 1985, this event was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first meeting in Veracruz, Mexico. Frugivory and seed dispersal are active research areas that have diversified in multiple directions since 1985 to include evolution (e.g. phylogenetic diversity and dispersal adaptations), physiology (e.g. sensory cues and digestion), landscape ecology (movement patterns), molecular ecology (e.g. gene flow, genetic diversity and structure), community ecology (e.g. mutualistic interaction networks) and conservation biology (effects of hunting, fragmentation, invasion and extinction), among others. This meeting provided an opportunity to assess conceptual and methodological progress, to present ever more sophisticated insights into frugivory in animals and dispersal patterns in plants, and to report the advances made in examining the mechanisms and consequences of seed dispersal for plants and frugivores.

  12. The influence of the interactions between anthropogenic activities and multiple ecological factors on land surface temperatures of urban forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Context Land surface temperatures (LSTs) spatio-temporal distribution pattern of urban forests are influenced by many ecological factors; the identification of interaction between these factors can improve simulations and predictions of spatial patterns of urban cold islands. This quantitative research requires an integrated method that combines multiple sources data with spatial statistical analysis. Objectives The purpose of this study was to clarify urban forest LST influence interaction between anthropogenic activities and multiple ecological factors using cluster analysis of hot and cold spots and Geogdetector model. We introduced the hypothesis that anthropogenic activity interacts with certain ecological factors, and their combination influences urban forests LST. We also assumed that spatio-temporal distributions of urban forest LST should be similar to those of ecological factors and can be represented quantitatively. Methods We used Jinjiang as a representative city in China as a case study. Population density was employed to represent anthropogenic activity. We built up a multi-source data (forest inventory, digital elevation models (DEM), population, and remote sensing imagery) on a unified urban scale to support urban forest LST influence interaction research. Through a combination of spatial statistical analysis results, multi-source spatial data, and Geogdetector model, the interaction mechanisms of urban forest LST were revealed. Results Although different ecological factors have different influences on forest LST, in two periods with different hot spots and cold spots, the patch area and dominant tree species were the main factors contributing to LST clustering in urban forests. The interaction between anthropogenic activity and multiple ecological factors increased LST in urban forest stands, linearly and nonlinearly. Strong interactions between elevation and dominant species were generally observed and were prevalent in either hot or cold spots

  13. Examining ecological validity in social interaction: problems of visual fidelity, gaze, and social potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reader, Arran T; Holmes, Nicholas P

    2016-01-01

    Social interaction is an essential part of the human experience, and much work has been done to study it. However, several common approaches to examining social interactions in psychological research may inadvertently either unnaturally constrain the observed behaviour by causing it to deviate from naturalistic performance, or introduce unwanted sources of variance. In particular, these sources are the differences between naturalistic and experimental behaviour that occur from changes in visual fidelity (quality of the observed stimuli), gaze (whether it is controlled for in the stimuli), and social potential (potential for the stimuli to provide actual interaction). We expand on these possible sources of extraneous variance and why they may be important. We review the ways in which experimenters have developed novel designs to remove these sources of extraneous variance. New experimental designs using a 'two-person' approach are argued to be one of the most effective ways to develop more ecologically valid measures of social interaction, and we suggest that future work on social interaction should use these designs wherever possible.

  14. A review of ecological interactions between crayfish and fish, indigenous and introduced

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynolds J.D.

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Crayfish (decapods and fish are both long-lived large members of freshwater communities, often functioning as keystone species. This paper reviews interactions between these, with emphasis on the European context. Native crayfish and fish are in ecological balance, which may involve mutual predation, competition and sometimes habitat disturbance. This balance is disrupted by range extensions and translocations of native fish or crayfish into exotic situations. Some fish and crayfish have been translocated globally, chiefly from North America to other continents. Non-indigenous crayfish species (NICS may impact on native fish, just as introduced fish impact on indigenous crayfish species (ICS. Competition between ICS and NICS may result in making the former susceptible to various mechanisms of interaction with fish, indigenous or introduced. In Europe, long-established NICS – signals, spiny-cheek and red swamp crayfish – may occur in greater densities than ICS; they are more tolerant and aggressive and show more interactions with fish. More recent introductions, still restricted in distribution, have not yet received enough study for their impacts to be assessed. Interactions between fish and crayfish in North and South America, Madagascar and Australasia are also explored. Mechanisms of interaction between fish and crayfish include mutual predation, competition for food and spatial resources, food-web alteration and habitat modification. Resultant changes in communities and ecosystems may be physical or biotal, and affect both ecosystem services and exploitation potential.

  15. Hsp12p and PAU genes are involved in ecological interactions between natural yeast strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivero, Damaríz; Berná, Luisa; Stefanini, Irene; Baruffini, Enrico; Bergerat, Agnes; Csikász-Nagy, Attila; De Filippo, Carlotta; Cavalieri, Duccio

    2015-08-01

    The coexistence of different yeasts in a single vineyard raises the question on how they communicate and why slow growers are not competed out. Genetically modified laboratory strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are extensively used to investigate ecological interactions, but little is known about the genes regulating cooperation and competition in ecologically relevant settings. Here, we present evidences of Hsp12p-dependent altruistic and contact-dependent competitive interactions between two natural yeast isolates. Hsp12p is released during cell death for public benefit by a fast-growing strain that also produces a killer toxin to inhibit growth of a slow grower that can enjoy the benefits of released Hsp12p. We also show that the protein Pau5p is essential in the defense against the killer effect. Our results demonstrate that the combined action of Hsp12p, Pau5p and a killer toxin is sufficient to steer a yeast community. © 2015 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions

  17. End-Triassic nonmarine biotic events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer G. Lucas

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Late Triassic was a prolonged interval of elevated extinction rates and low origination rates that manifested themselves in a series of extinctions during Carnian, Norian and Rhaetian time. Most of these extinctions took place in the marine realm, particularly affecting radiolarians, conodonts, bivalves, ammonoids and reef-building organisms. On land, the case for a Late Triassic mass extinction is much more tenuous and has largely focused on tetrapod vertebrates (amphibians and reptiles, though some workers advocate a sudden end-Triassic (TJB extinction of land plants. Nevertheless, an extensive literature does not identify a major extinction of land plants at the TJB, and a comprehensive review of palynological records concluded that TJB vegetation changes were non-uniform (different changes in different places, not synchronous and not indicative of a mass extinction of land plants. Claims of a substantial perturbation of plant ecology and diversity at the TJB in East Greenland are indicative of a local change in the paleoflora largely driven by lithofacies changes resulting in changing taphonomic filters. Plant extinctions at the TJB were palaeogeographically localized events, not global in extent. With new and more detailed stratigraphic data, the perceived TJB tetrapod extinction is mostly an artifact of coarse temporal resolution, the compiled correlation effect. The amphibian, archosaur and synapsid extinctions of the Late Triassic are not concentrated at the TJB, but instead occur stepwise, beginning in the Norian and extending into the Hettangian. There was a disruption of the terrestrial ecosystem across the TJB, but it was more modest than generally claimed. The ecological severity of the end-Triassic nonmarine biotic events are relatively low on the global scale. Biotic turnover at the end of the Triassic was likely driven by the CAMP (Central Atlantic Magmatic Province eruptions, which caused significant environmental

  18. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  19. The potential of territory in ecological restoration. The use of GIS tools for ecological restoration prioritization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corzo Ramirez, Liliana; Jerena, Erik; Rubio Mendoza, Rodrigo

    2012-01-01

    This paper develops a proposal for interdisciplinary dialogue through the use of GIS (Geographic Information System) tools for the construction of a methodology to identify the ecological restoration potential ERP in urban edge areas that are part of the Main Ecological Structure of Bogota, according to land management plans. These areas subscribe their own socio-environmental problems particular to their own sign of the interaction between nature and culture. Methodological steps for identification of PER are described: biotic, physical and social characterization, identification and spatialization of variables and weighted overlay for the calculation of the final potential. Then, carry out the discussion on the scope and limitations of using GIS tools and methodological possibility for interaction between disciplines such as biology, physical geography and sociology during the process of ecological restoration.

  20. Spatial variability of biotic and abiotic tree establishment constraints across a treeline ecotone in the Alaska range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stueve, Kirk M; Isaacs, Rachel E; Tyrrell, Lucy E; Densmore, Roseann V

    2011-02-01

    Throughout interior Alaska (U.S.A.), a gradual warming trend in mean monthly temperatures occurred over the last few decades (approximatlely 2-4 degrees C). The accompanying increases in woody vegetation at many alpine treeline (hereafter treeline) locations provided an opportunity to examine how biotic and abiotic local site conditions interact to control tree establishment patterns during warming. We devised a landscape ecological approach to investigate these relationships at an undisturbed treeline in the Alaska Range. We identified treeline changes between 1953 (aerial photography) and 2005 (satellite imagery) in a geographic information system (GIS) and linked them with corresponding local site conditions derived from digital terrain data, ancillary climate data, and distance to 1953 trees. Logistic regressions enabled us to rank the importance of local site conditions in controlling tree establishment. We discovered a spatial transition in the importance of tree establishment controls. The biotic variable (proximity to 1953 trees) was the most important tree establishment predictor below the upper tree limit, providing evidence of response lags with the abiotic setting and suggesting that tree establishment is rarely in equilibrium with the physical environment or responding directly to warming. Elevation and winter sun exposure were important predictors of tree establishment at the upper tree limit, but proximity to trees persisted as an important tertiary predictor, indicating that tree establishment may achieve equilibrium with the physical environment. However, even here, influences from the biotic variable may obscure unequivocal correlations with the abiotic setting (including temperature). Future treeline expansion will likely be patchy and challenging to predict without considering the spatial variability of influences from biotic and abiotic local site conditions.

  1. Natural biotic resources in LCA: Towards an impact assessment model for sustainable supply chain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crenna, Eleonora; Sozzo, Sara; Sala, Serenella

    2018-01-20

    Natural resources, biotic and abiotic, are fundamental from both the ecological and socio-economic point of view, being at the basis of life-support. However, since the demand for finite resources continues to increase, the sustainability of current production and consumption patterns is questioned both in developed and developing countries. A transition towards an economy based on biotic renewable resources (bio-economy) is considered necessary in order to support a steady provision of resources, representing an alternative to an economy based on fossil and abiotic resources. However, to ensure a sustainable use of biotic resources, there is the need of properly accounting for their use along supply chains as well as defining a robust and comprehensive impact assessment model. Since so far naturally occurring biotic resources have gained little attention in impact assessment methods, such as life cycle assessment, the aim of this study is to enable the inclusion of biotic resources in the assessment of products and supply chains. This paper puts forward a framework for biotic resources assessment, including: i) the definition of system boundaries between ecosphere and technosphere, namely between naturally occurring and man-made biotic resources; ii) a list of naturally occurring biotic resources which have a commercial value, as basis for building life cycle inventories (NOBR, e.g. wild animals, plants etc); iii) an impact pathway to identify potential impacts on both resource provision and ecosystem quality; iv) a renewability-based indicator (NOBRri) for the impact assessment of naturally occurring biotic resources, including a list of associated characterization factors. The study, building on a solid review of literature and of available statistical data, highlights and discusses the critical aspects and paradoxes related to biotic resource inclusion in LCA: from the system boundaries definition up to the resource characterization.

  2. Quorum sensing is a language of chemical signals and plays an ecological role in algal-bacterial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jin; Lyu, Yihua; Richlen, Mindy; Anderson, Donald M; Cai, Zhonghua

    2016-01-01

    Algae are ubiquitous in the marine environment, and the ways in which they interact with bacteria are of particular interest in marine ecology field. The interactions between primary producers and bacteria impact the physiology of both partners, alter the chemistry of their environment, and shape microbial diversity. Although algal-bacterial interactions are well known and studied, information regarding the chemical-ecological role of this relationship remains limited, particularly with respect to quorum sensing (QS), which is a system of stimuli and response correlated to population density. In the microbial biosphere, QS is pivotal in driving community structure and regulating behavioral ecology, including biofilm formation, virulence, antibiotic resistance, swarming motility, and secondary metabolite production. Many marine habitats, such as the phycosphere, harbour diverse populations of microorganisms and various signal languages (such as QS-based autoinducers). QS-mediated interactions widely influence algal-bacterial symbiotic relationships, which in turn determine community organization, population structure, and ecosystem functioning. Understanding infochemicals-mediated ecological processes may shed light on the symbiotic interactions between algae host and associated microbes. In this review, we summarize current achievements about how QS modulates microbial behavior, affects symbiotic relationships, and regulates phytoplankton chemical ecological processes. Additionally, we present an overview of QS-modulated co-evolutionary relationships between algae and bacterioplankton, and consider the potential applications and future perspectives of QS.

  3. MELA: Modelling in Ecology with Location Attributes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludovica Luisa Vissat

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecology studies the interactions between individuals, species and the environment. The ability to predict the dynamics of ecological systems would support the design and monitoring of control strategies and would help to address pressing global environmental issues. It is also important to plan for efficient use of natural resources and maintenance of critical ecosystem services. The mathematical modelling of ecological systems often includes nontrivial specifications of processes that influence the birth, death, development and movement of individuals in the environment, that take into account both biotic and abiotic interactions. To assist in the specification of such models, we introduce MELA, a process algebra for Modelling in Ecology with Location Attributes. Process algebras allow the modeller to describe concurrent systems in a high-level language. A key feature of concurrent systems is that they are composed of agents that can progress simultaneously but also interact - a good match to ecological systems. MELA aims to provide ecologists with a straightforward yet flexible tool for modelling ecological systems, with particular emphasis on the description of space and the environment. Here we present four example MELA models, illustrating the different spatial arrangements which can be accommodated and demonstrating the use of MELA in epidemiological and predator-prey scenarios.

  4. Case study of building of conservation coalitions to conserve ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Gao; Luo, Shihong; Mei, Nianshu; Shen, Dingfang; Sun, Weibang

    2015-12-01

    We engaged experts in various fields of study (pollination ecology, chemical ecology, and ethnobotany), invited community participation, and provided environmental education in an effort to conserve an endangered birthwort (Aristolochia delavayi) and a vulnerable pipevine swallowtail (Byasa daemonius). Scientists studied the uptake and sequestration of the secondary metabolites aristolochic acids from A. delavayi leaves by different stages of pipevine swallowtail as a defense mechanism; low fruit set of the myophilous A. delavayi due to pollinator limitation; and the emission of chemical signals that attract parasitic wasps by the prepupae of B. daemonius. The results of these studies were part of an education program delivered by personnel of non-governmental organizations. The program was devised to deliver information to the public about the health risks of consuming A. delavayi individuals (aristolochic-acid-associated cancers) and to establish a bridge between the public and scientific research. Following delivery of the program, the behavior of residents changed considerably. Community residents were involved in management activities, including participation in a program to promote understanding of ecological interactions between A. delavayi and B. daemonius; designing an in situ conservation site; monitoring A. delavayi and B. daemonius individuals; and promoting the natural fruit set of A. delavayi by scattering animal excrement to attract fly pollinators. The integration of scientific information and community participation appears to have resulted in an increase in abundance of threatened A. delavayi and B. daemonius populations. We believe the involvement of local people in conservation is necessary for successful species conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Lessons from Philippines MPA Management: Social Ecological Interactions, Participation, and MPA Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twichell, Julia; Pollnac, Richard; Christie, Patrick

    2018-06-01

    International interest in increasing marine protected area (MPA) coverage reflects broad recognition of the MPA as a key tool for marine ecosystems and fisheries management. Nevertheless, effective management remains a significant challenge. The present study contributes to enriching an understanding of best practices for MPA management through analysis of archived community survey data collected in the Philippines by the Learning Project (LP), a collaboration with United States Coral Triangle Initiative (USCTI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and partners. We evaluate stakeholder participation and social ecological interactions among resource users in MPA programs in the Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, and Batangas provinces in the Philippines. Analysis indicates that a complex suite of social ecological factors, including demographics, conservation beliefs, and scientifically correct knowledge influence participation, which in turn is related to perceived MPA performance. Findings indicate positive feedbacks within the system that have potential to strengthen perceptions of MPA success. The results of this evaluation provide empirical reinforcement to current inquiries concerning the role of participation in influencing MPA performance.

  6. Lessons from Philippines MPA Management: Social Ecological Interactions, Participation, and MPA Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twichell, Julia; Pollnac, Richard; Christie, Patrick

    2018-06-01

    International interest in increasing marine protected area (MPA) coverage reflects broad recognition of the MPA as a key tool for marine ecosystems and fisheries management. Nevertheless, effective management remains a significant challenge. The present study contributes to enriching an understanding of best practices for MPA management through analysis of archived community survey data collected in the Philippines by the Learning Project (LP), a collaboration with United States Coral Triangle Initiative (USCTI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and partners. We evaluate stakeholder participation and social ecological interactions among resource users in MPA programs in the Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, and Batangas provinces in the Philippines. Analysis indicates that a complex suite of social ecological factors, including demographics, conservation beliefs, and scientifically correct knowledge influence participation, which in turn is related to perceived MPA performance. Findings indicate positive feedbacks within the system that have potential to strengthen perceptions of MPA success. The results of this evaluation provide empirical reinforcement to current inquiries concerning the role of participation in influencing MPA performance.

  7. Ecological interactions between hatchery summer steelhead and wild Oncorhynchus mykiss in the Willamette River basin, 2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harnish, Ryan A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Green, Ethan D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Vernon, Christopher R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Mcmichael, Geoffrey A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which juvenile hatchery summer steelhead and wild winter steelhead overlap in space and time, to evaluate the extent of residualism among hatchery summer steelhead in the South Santiam River, and to evaluate the potential for negative ecological interactions among hatchery summer steelhead and wild winter steelhead. Because it is not possible to visually discern juvenile winter steelhead from resident rainbow trout, we treated all adipose-intact juvenile O. mykiss as one group that represented juvenile wild winter steelhead. The 2014 study objectives were to 1) estimate the proportion of hatchery summer steelhead that residualized in the South Santiam River in 2014, 2) determine the extent to which hatchery and naturally produced O. mykiss overlapped in space and time in the South Santiam River, and 3) characterize the behavioral interactions between hatchery-origin juvenile summer steelhead and naturally produced O. mykiss. We used a combination of radio telemetry and direct observations (i.e., snorkeling) to determine the potential for negative interactions between hatchery summer and wild winter steelhead juveniles in the South Santiam River. Data collected from these two independent methods indicated that a significant portion of the hatchery summer steelhead released as smolts did not rapidly emigrate from the South Santiam River in 2014. Of the 164 radio-tagged steelhead that volitionally left the hatchery, only 66 (40.2%) were detected outside of the South Santiam River. Forty-four (26.8% of 164) of the radio-tagged hatchery summer steelhead successfully emigrated to Willamette Falls. Thus, the last known location of the majority of the tagged fish (98 of 164 = 59.8%) was in the South Santiam River. Thirty-three of the tagged hatchery steelhead were detected in the South Santiam River during mobile-tracking surveys. Of those, 21 were found to be alive in the South Santiam River over three months after

  8. Ecological Interactions between Humans, Wildlife Viral Reservoirs, and Key Environmental Drivers of Hantaan Virus Transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Tong

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence and transmission of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS are closely related to environmental variability, so it is essential to clarify the complex relationships among the environment, hantavirus transmission, and the population dynamics of its wildlife hosts. Tian et al. analyzed a large, long-term dataset describing the circulation of hantavirus in rodents and its spillover into humans. Their article incorporates several mathematical models and argues that the interaction between environmental and human behavioral factors drives the observed seasonality and interannual variations in important zoonotic diseases. The ecological cascade effect of a drought in 2002 is highlighted, and the role of seasonality in agricultural activity is emphasized in that study.

  9. Host-to-host variation of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukherjee, Sayak; Seok, Sang-Cheol; Ray, Will C; Jayaprakash, C; Vieland, Veronica J; Das, Jayajit; Weimer, Kristin E; Swords, W Edward

    2015-01-01

    Host-to-host variability with respect to interactions between microorganisms and multicellular hosts are commonly observed in infection and in homeostasis. However, the majority of mechanistic models used to analyze host–microorganism relationships, as well as most of the ecological theories proposed to explain coevolution of hosts and microbes, are based on averages across a host population. By assuming that observed variations are random and independent, these models overlook the role of differences between hosts. Here, we analyze mechanisms underlying host-to-host variations of bacterial infection kinetics, using the well characterized experimental infection model of polymicrobial otitis media (OM) in chinchillas, in combination with population dynamic models and a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) based inference scheme. We find that the nature of the interactions between bacterial species critically regulates host-to-host variations in these interactions. Surprisingly, seemingly unrelated phenomena, such as the efficiency of individual bacterial species in utilizing nutrients for growth, and the microbe-specific host immune response, can become interdependent in a host population. The latter finding suggests a potential mechanism that could lead to selection of specific strains of bacterial species during the coevolution of the host immune response and the bacterial species. (paper)

  10. Host-to-host variation of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Sayak; Weimer, Kristin E.; Seok, Sang-Cheol; Ray, Will C.; Jayaprakash, C.; Vieland, Veronica J.; Swords, W. Edward; Das, Jayajit

    2015-02-01

    Host-to-host variability with respect to interactions between microorganisms and multicellular hosts are commonly observed in infection and in homeostasis. However, the majority of mechanistic models used to analyze host-microorganism relationships, as well as most of the ecological theories proposed to explain coevolution of hosts and microbes, are based on averages across a host population. By assuming that observed variations are random and independent, these models overlook the role of differences between hosts. Here, we analyze mechanisms underlying host-to-host variations of bacterial infection kinetics, using the well characterized experimental infection model of polymicrobial otitis media (OM) in chinchillas, in combination with population dynamic models and a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) based inference scheme. We find that the nature of the interactions between bacterial species critically regulates host-to-host variations in these interactions. Surprisingly, seemingly unrelated phenomena, such as the efficiency of individual bacterial species in utilizing nutrients for growth, and the microbe-specific host immune response, can become interdependent in a host population. The latter finding suggests a potential mechanism that could lead to selection of specific strains of bacterial species during the coevolution of the host immune response and the bacterial species.

  11. Historical contingency and ecological determinism interact to prime speciation in sticklebacks, Gasterosteus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, E B; McPhail, J D

    2000-01-01

    Historical contingency and determinism are often cast as opposing paradigms under which evolutionary diversification operates. It may be, however, that both factors act together to promote evolutionary divergence, although there are few examples of such interaction in nature. We tested phylogenetic predictions of an explicit historical model of divergence (double invasions of freshwater by marine ancestors) in sympatric species of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) where determinism has been implicated as an important factor driving evolutionary novelty. Microsatellite DNA variation at six loci revealed relatively low genetic variation in freshwater populations, supporting the hypothesis that they were derived by colonization of freshwater by more diverse marine ancestors. Phylogenetic and genetic distance analyses suggested that pairs of sympatric species have evolved multiple times, further implicating determinism as a factor in speciation. Our data also supported predictions based on the hypothesis that the evolution of sympatric species was contingent upon 'double invasions' of postglacial lakes by ancestral marine sticklebacks. Sympatric sticklebacks, therefore, provide an example of adaptive radiation by determinism contingent upon historical conditions promoting unique ecological interactions, and illustrate how contingency and determinism may interact to generate geographical variation in species diversity PMID:11133026

  12. Host-to-host variation of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Sayak; Weimer, Kristin E; Seok, Sang-Cheol; Ray, Will C; Jayaprakash, C; Vieland, Veronica J; Swords, W Edward; Das, Jayajit

    2014-12-04

    Host-to-host variability with respect to interactions between microorganisms and multicellular hosts are commonly observed in infection and in homeostasis. However, the majority of mechanistic models used to analyze host-microorganism relationships, as well as most of the ecological theories proposed to explain coevolution of hosts and microbes, are based on averages across a host population. By assuming that observed variations are random and independent, these models overlook the role of differences between hosts. Here, we analyze mechanisms underlying host-to-host variations of bacterial infection kinetics, using the well characterized experimental infection model of polymicrobial otitis media (OM) in chinchillas, in combination with population dynamic models and a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) based inference scheme. We find that the nature of the interactions between bacterial species critically regulates host-to-host variations in these interactions. Surprisingly, seemingly unrelated phenomena, such as the efficiency of individual bacterial species in utilizing nutrients for growth, and the microbe-specific host immune response, can become interdependent in a host population. The latter finding suggests a potential mechanism that could lead to selection of specific strains of bacterial species during the coevolution of the host immune response and the bacterial species.

  13. The metabolic and ecological interactions of oxalate-degrading bacteria in the Mammalian gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Aaron W; Dearing, Denise

    2013-12-06

    Oxalate-degrading bacteria comprise a functional group of microorganisms, commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals. Oxalate is a plant secondary compound (PSC) widely produced by all major taxa of plants and as a terminal metabolite by the mammalian liver. As a toxin, oxalate can have a significant impact on the health of mammals, including humans. Mammals do not have the enzymes required to metabolize oxalate and rely on their gut microbiota for this function. Thus, significant metabolic interactions between the mammalian host and a complex gut microbiota maintain the balance of oxalate in the body. Over a dozen species of gut bacteria are now known to degrade oxalate. This review focuses on the host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions that regulate the degradation of oxalate by the gut microbiota. We discuss the pathways of oxalate throughout the body and the mammalian gut as a series of differentiated ecosystems that facilitate oxalate degradation. We also explore the mechanisms and functions of microbial oxalate degradation along with the implications for the ecological and evolutionary interactions within the microbiota and for mammalian hosts. Throughout, we consider questions that remain, as well as recent technological advances that can be employed to answer them.

  14. Response of Two Mytilids to a Heatwave: The Complex Interplay of Physiology, Behaviour and Ecological Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celia Olabarria

    Full Text Available Different combinations of behavioural and physiological responses may play a crucial role in the ecological success of species, notably in the context of biological invasions. The invasive mussel Xenostrobus securis has successfully colonised the inner part of the Galician Rias Baixas (NW Spain, where it co-occurs with the commercially-important mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. This study investigated the effect of a heatwave on the physiological and behavioural responses in monospecific or mixed aggregations of these species. In a mesocosm experiment, mussels were exposed to simulated tidal cycles and similar temperature conditions to those experienced in the field during a heat-wave that occurred in the summer of 2013, when field robo-mussels registered temperatures up to 44.5°C at low tide. The overall responses to stress differed markedly between the two species. In monospecific aggregations M. galloprovincialis was more vulnerable than X. securis to heat exposure during emersion. However, in mixed aggregations, the presence of the invader was associated with lower mortality in M. galloprovincialis. The greater sensitivity of M. galloprovincialis to heat exposure was reflected in a higher mortality level, greater induction of Hsp70 protein and higher rates of respiration and gaping activity, which were accompanied by a lower heart rate (bradycardia. The findings show that the invader enhanced the physiological performance of M. galloprovincialis, highlighting the importance of species interactions in regulating responses to environmental stress. Understanding the complex interactions between ecological factors and physiological and behavioural responses of closely-related species is essential for predicting the impacts of invasions in the context of future climate change.

  15. Response of Two Mytilids to a Heatwave: The Complex Interplay of Physiology, Behaviour and Ecological Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olabarria, Celia; Gestoso, Ignacio; Lima, Fernando P; Vázquez, Elsa; Comeau, Luc A; Gomes, Filipa; Seabra, Rui; Babarro, José M F

    2016-01-01

    Different combinations of behavioural and physiological responses may play a crucial role in the ecological success of species, notably in the context of biological invasions. The invasive mussel Xenostrobus securis has successfully colonised the inner part of the Galician Rias Baixas (NW Spain), where it co-occurs with the commercially-important mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. This study investigated the effect of a heatwave on the physiological and behavioural responses in monospecific or mixed aggregations of these species. In a mesocosm experiment, mussels were exposed to simulated tidal cycles and similar temperature conditions to those experienced in the field during a heat-wave that occurred in the summer of 2013, when field robo-mussels registered temperatures up to 44.5°C at low tide. The overall responses to stress differed markedly between the two species. In monospecific aggregations M. galloprovincialis was more vulnerable than X. securis to heat exposure during emersion. However, in mixed aggregations, the presence of the invader was associated with lower mortality in M. galloprovincialis. The greater sensitivity of M. galloprovincialis to heat exposure was reflected in a higher mortality level, greater induction of Hsp70 protein and higher rates of respiration and gaping activity, which were accompanied by a lower heart rate (bradycardia). The findings show that the invader enhanced the physiological performance of M. galloprovincialis, highlighting the importance of species interactions in regulating responses to environmental stress. Understanding the complex interactions between ecological factors and physiological and behavioural responses of closely-related species is essential for predicting the impacts of invasions in the context of future climate change.

  16. Understanding the physical dynamics and ecological interactions in tidal stream energy environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Shaun; Williamson, Benjamin J.; Nikora, Vladimir; Scott, Beth E.

    2017-04-01

    Tidal stream energy devices are intended to operate in energetic physical environments characterised by high flows and extreme turbulence. These environments are often of ecological importance to a range of marine species. Understanding the physical dynamics and ecological interactions at fine scales in such sites is essential for device/array design and to understand environmental impacts. However, investigating fine scale characteristics requires high resolution field measurements which are difficult to attain and interpret, with data often confounded by interference related to turbulence. Consequently, field observations in tidal stream energy environments are limited and require the development of specialised analysis methods and so significant knowledge gaps are still present. The seabed mounted FLOWBEC platform is addressing these knowledge gaps using upward facing instruments to collect information from around marine energy infrastructure. Multifrequency and multibeam echosounder data provide detailed information on the distribution and interactions of biological targets, such as fish and diving seabirds, while simultaneously recording the scales and intensity of turbulence. Novel processing methodologies and instrument integration techniques have been developed which combine different data types and successfully separates signal from noise to reveal new evidence about the behaviour of mobile species and the structure of turbulence at all speeds of the tide and throughout the water column. Multiple platform deployments in the presence and absence of marine energy infrastructure reveal the natural characteristics of high energy sites, and enable the interpretation of the physical and biological impacts of tidal stream devices. These methods and results are relevant to the design and consenting of marine renewable energy technologies, and provide novel information on the use of turbulence for foraging opportunities in high energy sites by mobile species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari Klanderud

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

  18. Biotic elements of NPP techno-ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Protasov, A.A.; Silaeva, A.A.

    2013-01-01

    Specific features of biotic elements in the NPP techno-ecosystems were considered and compared with natural ecosystems. Relationships between biotic communities and environmental factors that are specific to the techno-ecosystems were discussed, and the problems of limitation of biological hindrances in operation of equipment, principles of hydrobiological and environmental monitoring were considered.

  19. Pattern and process of biotic homogenization in the New Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baiser, Benjamin; Olden, Julian D; Record, Sydne; Lockwood, Julie L; McKinney, Michael L

    2012-12-07

    Human activities have reorganized the earth's biota resulting in spatially disparate locales becoming more or less similar in species composition over time through the processes of biotic homogenization and biotic differentiation, respectively. Despite mounting evidence suggesting that this process may be widespread in both aquatic and terrestrial systems, past studies have predominantly focused on single taxonomic groups at a single spatial scale. Furthermore, change in pairwise similarity is itself dependent on two distinct processes, spatial turnover in species composition and changes in gradients of species richness. Most past research has failed to disentangle the effect of these two mechanisms on homogenization patterns. Here, we use recent statistical advances and collate a global database of homogenization studies (20 studies, 50 datasets) to provide the first global investigation of the homogenization process across major faunal and floral groups and elucidate the relative role of changes in species richness and turnover. We found evidence of homogenization (change in similarity ranging from -0.02 to 0.09) across nearly all taxonomic groups, spatial extent and grain sizes. Partitioning of change in pairwise similarity shows that overall change in community similarity is driven by changes in species richness. Our results show that biotic homogenization is truly a global phenomenon and put into question many of the ecological mechanisms invoked in previous studies to explain patterns of homogenization.

  20. Host-parasite interactions and ecology of the malaria parasite-a bioinformatics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izak, Dariusz; Klim, Joanna; Kaczanowski, Szymon

    2018-04-25

    Malaria remains one of the highest mortality infectious diseases. Malaria is caused by parasites from the genus Plasmodium. Most deaths are caused by infections involving Plasmodium falciparum, which has a complex life cycle. Malaria parasites are extremely well adapted for interactions with their host and their host's immune system and are able to suppress the human immune system, erase immunological memory and rapidly alter exposed antigens. Owing to this rapid evolution, parasites develop drug resistance and express novel forms of antigenic proteins that are not recognized by the host immune system. There is an emerging need for novel interventions, including novel drugs and vaccines. Designing novel therapies requires knowledge about host-parasite interactions, which is still limited. However, significant progress has recently been achieved in this field through the application of bioinformatics analysis of parasite genome sequences. In this review, we describe the main achievements in 'malarial' bioinformatics and provide examples of successful applications of protein sequence analysis. These examples include the prediction of protein functions based on homology and the prediction of protein surface localization via domain and motif analysis. Additionally, we describe PlasmoDB, a database that stores accumulated experimental data. This tool allows data mining of the stored information and will play an important role in the development of malaria science. Finally, we illustrate the application of bioinformatics in the development of population genetics research on malaria parasites, an approach referred to as reverse ecology.

  1. Frontiers of torenia research: innovative ornamental traits and study of ecological interaction networks through genetic engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Advances in research in the past few years on the ornamental plant torenia (Torenia spps.) have made it notable as a model plant on the frontier of genetic engineering aimed at studying ornamental characteristics and pest control in horticultural ecosystems. The remarkable advantage of torenia over other ornamental plant species is the availability of an easy and high-efficiency transformation system for it. Unfortunately, most of the current torenia research is still not very widespread, because this species has not become prominent as an alternative to other successful model plants such as Arabidopsis, snapdragon and petunia. However, nowadays, a more global view using not only a few selected models but also several additional species are required for creating innovative ornamental traits and studying horticultural ecosystems. We therefore introduce and discuss recent research on torenia, the family Scrophulariaceae, for secondary metabolite bioengineering, in which global insights into horticulture, agriculture and ecology have been advanced. Floral traits, in torenia particularly floral color, have been extensively studied by manipulating the flavonoid biosynthetic pathways in flower organs. Plant aroma, including volatile terpenoids, has also been genetically modulated in order to understand the complicated nature of multi-trophic interactions that affect the behavior of predators and pollinators in the ecosystem. Torenia would accordingly be of great use for investigating both the variation in ornamental plants and the infochemical-mediated interactions with arthropods. PMID:23803155

  2. Climate-driven disparities among ecological interactions threaten kelp forest persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provost, Euan J; Kelaher, Brendan P; Dworjanyn, Symon A; Russell, Bayden D; Connell, Sean D; Ghedini, Giulia; Gillanders, Bronwyn M; Figueira, WillIAM; Coleman, Melinda A

    2017-01-01

    The combination of ocean warming and acidification brings an uncertain future to kelp forests that occupy the warmest parts of their range. These forests are not only subject to the direct negative effects of ocean climate change, but also to a combination of unknown indirect effects associated with changing ecological landscapes. Here, we used mesocosm experiments to test the direct effects of ocean warming and acidification on kelp biomass and photosynthetic health, as well as climate-driven disparities in indirect effects involving key consumers (urchins and rock lobsters) and competitors (algal turf). Elevated water temperature directly reduced kelp biomass, while their turf-forming competitors expanded in response to ocean acidification and declining kelp canopy. Elevated temperatures also increased growth of urchins and, concurrently, the rate at which they thinned kelp canopy. Rock lobsters, which are renowned for keeping urchin populations in check, indirectly intensified negative pressures on kelp by reducing their consumption of urchins in response to elevated temperature. Overall, these results suggest that kelp forests situated towards the low-latitude margins of their distribution will need to adapt to ocean warming in order to persist in the future. What is less certain is how such adaptation in kelps can occur in the face of intensifying consumptive (via ocean warming) and competitive (via ocean acidification) pressures that affect key ecological interactions associated with their persistence. If such indirect effects counter adaptation to changing climate, they may erode the stability of kelp forests and increase the probability of regime shifts from complex habitat-forming species to more simple habitats dominated by algal turfs. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Bacteria dialog with Santa Rosalia: Are aggregations of cosmopolitan bacteria mainly explained by habitat filtering or by ecological interactions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual-García, Alberto; Tamames, Javier; Bastolla, Ugo

    2014-12-04

    Since the landmark Santa Rosalia paper by Hutchinson, niche theory addresses the determinants of biodiversity in terms of both environmental and biological aspects. Disentangling the role of habitat filtering and interactions with other species is critical for understanding microbial ecology. Macroscopic biogeography explores hypothetical ecological interactions through the analysis of species associations. These methods have started to be incorporated into microbial ecology relatively recently, due to the inherent experimental difficulties and the coarse grained nature of the data. Here we investigate the influence of environmental preferences and ecological interactions in the tendency of bacterial taxa to either aggregate or segregate, using a comprehensive dataset of bacterial taxa observed in a wide variety of environments. We assess significance of taxa associations through a null model that takes into account habitat preferences and the global distribution of taxa across samples. The analysis of these associations reveals a surprisingly large number of significant aggregations between taxa, with a marked community structure and a strong propensity to aggregate for cosmopolitan taxa. Due to the coarse grained nature of our data we cannot conclusively reject the hypothesis that many of these aggregations are due to environmental preferences that the null model fails to reproduce. Nevertheless, some observations are better explained by ecological interactions than by habitat filtering. In particular, most pairs of aggregating taxa co-occur in very different environments, which makes it unlikely that these associations are due to habitat preferences, and many are formed by cosmopolitan taxa without well defined habitat preferences. Moreover, known cooperative interactions are retrieved as aggregating pairs of taxa. As observed in similar studies, we also found that phylogenetically related taxa are much more prone to aggregate than to segregate, an observation

  4. Manual for prototyping integrated and ecological arable farming systems (I/EAFS) in interaction with pilot farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vereijken, P.

    1999-01-01

    A manual for prototyping Integrated and Ecological Arable Farming Systems (I/EAFS) in interaction with pilot farms is presented. It concerns a comprehensive and consistent approach of 5 steps. Step 1 is establishing a hierarchy of objectives considering the shortcomings of current farming systems in

  5. Towards More Effective Water Quality Governance : A Review of Social-Economic, Legal and Ecological Perspectives and Their Interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rijswick, H.F.M.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/099909189; Wuijts, S.; Driessen, P.P.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/069081417

    2018-01-01

    In this article, social-economic, legal and ecological perspectives on effectiveness of water quality governance and their interactions have been studied. Worldwide, authorities are facing the challenge of restoring and preserving aquatic ecosystems in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable

  6. Evolution of nutrient uptake reveals a trade-off in the ecological stoichiometry of plant-herbivore interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Branco, P.; Stomp, M.; Egas, M.; Huisman, J.

    2010-01-01

    Nutrient limitation determines the primary production and species composition of many ecosystems. Here we apply an adaptive dynamics approach to investigate evolution of the ecological stoichiometry of primary producers and its implications for plant‐herbivore interactions. The model predicts a

  7. Naïveté in novel ecological interactions: lessons from theory and experimental evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carthey, Alexandra J R; Banks, Peter B

    2014-11-01

    The invasion of alien species into areas beyond their native ranges is having profound effects on ecosystems around the world. In particular, novel alien predators are causing rapid extinctions or declines in many native prey species, and these impacts are generally attributed to ecological naïveté or the failure to recognise a novel enemy and respond appropriately due to a lack of experience. Despite a large body of research concerning the recognition of alien predation risk by native prey, the literature lacks an extensive review of naïveté theory that specifically asks how naïveté between novel pairings of alien predators and native prey disrupts our classical understanding of predator-prey ecological theory. Here we critically review both classic and current theory relating to predator-prey interactions between both predators and prey with shared evolutionary histories, and those that are ecologically 'mismatched' through the outcomes of biological invasions. The review is structured around the multiple levels of naïveté framework of Banks & Dickman (2007), and concepts and examples are discussed as they relate to each stage in the process from failure to recognise a novel predator (Level 1 naïveté), through to appropriate (Level 2) and effective (Level 3) antipredator responses. We discuss the relative contributions of recognition, cue types and the implied risk of cues used by novel alien and familiar native predators, to the probability that prey will recognise a novel predator. We then cover the antipredator response types available to prey and the factors that predict whether these responses will be appropriate or effective against novel alien and familiar native predators. In general, the level of naïveté of native prey can be predicted by the degree of novelty (in terms of appearance, behaviour or habitat use) of the alien predator compared to native predators with which prey are experienced. Appearance in this sense includes cue types

  8. Time is honey: circadian clocks of bees and flowers and how their interactions may influence ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Guy; Bar-Shai, Noam; Cytter, Yotam; Green, Rachel

    2017-11-19

    The interactions between flowering plants and insect pollinators shape ecological communities and provide one of the best examples of coevolution. Although these interactions have received much attention in both ecology and evolution, their temporal aspects are little explored. Here we review studies on the circadian organization of pollination-related traits in bees and flowers. Research, mostly with the honeybee, Apis mellifera , has implicated the circadian clock in key aspects of their foraging for flower rewards. These include anticipation, timing of visits to flowers at specified locations and time-compensated sun-compass orientation. Floral rhythms in traits such as petal opening, scent release and reward availability also show robust daily rhythms. However, in only few studies was it possible to adequately determine whether these oscillations are driven by external time givers such as light and temperature cycles, or endogenous circadian clocks. The interplay between the timing of flower and pollinator rhythms may be ecologically significant. Circadian regulation of pollination-related traits in only few species may influence the entire pollination network and thus affect community structure and local biodiversity. We speculate that these intricate chronobiological interactions may be vulnerable to anthropogenic effects such as the introduction of alien invasive species, pesticides or environmental pollutants.This article is part of the themed issue 'Wild clocks: integrating chronobiology and ecology to understand timekeeping in free-living animals'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Bacteria interface interactions in Ecology-on-a-Chip by holographic microscopy and interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Jian; White, Andrew; Jalali, Maryam

    2017-11-01

    To improve our remediation of oil spills into marine system, one must understand the fate of oil under complex physical, chemical and biological environments. It is found that various processes such as wind, wave, turbulence and currents break oil into suspensions of droplets, in which states consumption by microbial further degrade the oil. Our prior studies show that marine bacteria do not adopt biofilm life style at oil-water interface in comparison to those near a solid substrate. On the contrary, Extracellular Polymer Substance of oily microbial aggregates is easily formed around an oil droplet. This highlights complexities of cell oil interactions at a liquid-liquid interface. To investigate these mechanisms at oil water interface quantitative, we have developed a micro-bioassay consisting of continuous microfluidics with a substrate printed with oil droplet array, namely Ecology-on-a-Chip, and an integrated digital holographic microscopy (DHM) and interferometer (DHI). The oil-water interface can be maintained over days (>10 days), suitable for conducting long-term observations. 3D movements of bacteria are tracked by DHM, while the interface morphology are measured by DHI at 10nm. The system is applied to Pseudomonas sp. (PS62) near crude-water interface and Escherichia coli (AW405) at hexadecane-water interface subject to low surface tension. The 3D motility, attachment, detachment and dispersion of cells as well as motility induced interface change are discussed. Funded by Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).

  10. Putative bacterial interactions from metagenomic knowledge with an integrative systems ecology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordron, Philippe; Latorre, Mauricio; Cortés, Maria-Paz; González, Mauricio; Thiele, Sven; Siegel, Anne; Maass, Alejandro; Eveillard, Damien

    2016-02-01

    Following the trend of studies that investigate microbial ecosystems using different metagenomic techniques, we propose a new integrative systems ecology approach that aims to decipher functional roles within a consortium through the integration of genomic and metabolic knowledge at genome scale. For the sake of application, using public genomes of five bacterial strains involved in copper bioleaching: Acidiphilium cryptum, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans, we first reconstructed a global metabolic network. Next, using a parsimony assumption, we deciphered sets of genes, called Sets from Genome Segments (SGS), that (1) are close on their respective genomes, (2) take an active part in metabolic pathways and (3) whose associated metabolic reactions are also closely connected within metabolic networks. Overall, this SGS paradigm depicts genomic functional units that emphasize respective roles of bacterial strains to catalyze metabolic pathways and environmental processes. Our analysis suggested that only few functional metabolic genes are horizontally transferred within the consortium and that no single bacterial strain can accomplish by itself the whole copper bioleaching. The use of SGS pinpoints a functional compartmentalization among the investigated species and exhibits putative bacterial interactions necessary for promoting these pathways. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Troublesome toxins: time to re-think plant-herbivore interactions in vertebrate ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhilan

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Earlier models of plant-herbivore interactions relied on forms of functional response that related rates of ingestion by herbivores to mechanical or physical attributes such as bite size and rate. These models fail to predict a growing number of findings that implicate chemical toxins as important determinants of plant-herbivore dynamics. Specifically, considerable evidence suggests that toxins set upper limits on food intake for many species of herbivorous vertebrates. Herbivores feeding on toxin-containing plants must avoid saturating their detoxification systems, which often occurs before ingestion rates are limited by mechanical handling of food items. In light of the importance of plant toxins, a new approach is needed to link herbivores to their food base. We discuss necessary features of such an approach, note recent advances in herbivore functional response models that incorporate effects of plant toxins, and mention predictions that are consistent with observations in natural systems. Future ecological studies will need to address explicitly the importance of plant toxins in shaping plant and herbivore communities.

  12. Troublesome toxins: Time to re-think plant-herbivore interactions in vertebrate ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swihart, R.K.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Feng, Z.; Bryant, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    Earlier models of plant-herbivore interactions relied on forms of functional response that related rates of ingestion by herbivores to mechanical or physical attributes such as bite size and rate. These models fail to predict a growing number of findings that implicate chemical toxins as important determinants of plant-herbivore dynamics. Specifically, considerable evidence suggests that toxins set upper limits on food intake for many species of herbivorous vertebrates. Herbivores feeding on toxin-containing plants must avoid saturating their detoxification systems, which often occurs before ingestion rates are limited by mechanical handling of food items. In light of the importance of plant toxins, a new approach is needed to link herbivores to their food base. We discuss necessary features of such an approach, note recent advances in herbivore functional response models that incorporate effects of plant toxins, and mention predictions that are consistent with observations in natural systems. Future ecological studies will need to address explicitly the importance of plant toxins in shaping plant and herbivore communities.

  13. Local ecological knowledge of artisanal fishermen in southern Bahia, Brazil, about trophic interactions of sharks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio Luiz Vargas Barbosa Filho

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite the serious threats that affect shark species living along the central coast of Brazil, knowledge about the life history of these animals is still scarce. The present study describes the knowledge and perceptions of fishermen from southern Bahia, Brazil, on the trophic interactions of sharks. The objective of this work was to generate information that contributes to a better understanding of the life history of sharks from this poorly known region. In 2012, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 65 fishermen, with over 15 years of experience, about fisheries and aspects of shark feeding behavior. The study found that the participants have comprehensive ethno-ecological knowledge about shark feeding habits, describing 39 types of items as components of the diets of these animals. They are also able to recognize the favored items in the diet of each ethnospecies of shark. Similar studies about shark feeding habits along the Brazilian coast should be developed. This will generate more detailed knowledge and/or new scientific hypotheses about the interspecific relationships of these predators and their prey.

  14. Using a social-ecological systems perspective to understand tourism and landscape interactions in coastal areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heslinga, Jasper; Groote, Peter D.; Vanclay, Francis

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to look at the potential synergies between tourism and landscapes and examine the potential contribution of tourism to build social-ecological resilience in the Dutch Wadden. Design/methodology/approach The authors reveal how a social-ecological systems

  15. A knowledge-based system for generating interaction networks from ecological data

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Coetzer, W

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Semantic heterogeneity hampers efforts to find, integrate, analyse and interpret ecological data. An application case-study is described, in which the objective was to automate the integration and interpretation of heterogeneous, flower...

  16. Sources, interactions, and ecological impacts of organic contaminants in water, soil, and sediment: an introduction to the special series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pignatello, Joseph J; Katz, Brian G; Li, Hui

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural and urban activities result in the release of a large number of organic compounds that are suspected of impacting human health and ecosystems: herbicides, insecticides, human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, natural and synthetic hormones, personal care products, surfactants, plasticizers, fire retardants, and others. Sorbed reservoirs of these compounds in soil represent a potentially chronic source of water contamination. This article is an introduction to a series of technical papers stemming from a symposium at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America 2008 Annual Meeting, which was held jointly with The Geological Society of America, The Gulf Coast Association of Geological Scientists, and the Houston Geological Society, under one of the Joint Meeting's overarching themes: Emerging Trace Contaminants in Surface and Ground Water Generated from Waste Water and Solid Waste Application. The symposium emphasized the role of soils as sources, sinks, and reaction catalysts for these contaminants and the occurrence and fate of these contaminants in surface and underground water supplies. Topics covered included novel advances in analytical techniques, transport of infectious agents, occurrence and fate of veterinary pharmaceuticals, characterization of sorption mechanism, biotic and abiotic transformation reactions, the role of soil components, occurrence and fate in wastewater treatment systems, transport of engineered nanoparticles, groundwater contamination resulting from urban runoff, and issues in water reuse. Overviews of the reports, trends, gaps in our knowledge, and topics for further research are presented in this special series of papers. The technical papers in this special series reflect current gains in knowledge and simultaneously underscore how poorly we are able to predict the fate and, hence, the associated risk to ecological and human receptors of these contaminants.

  17. Viral coinfection is shaped by host ecology and virus-virus interactions across diverse microbial taxa and environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Muñoz, Samuel L

    2017-01-01

    Infection of more than one virus in a host, coinfection, is common across taxa and environments. Viral coinfection can enable genetic exchange, alter the dynamics of infections, and change the course of viral evolution. Yet, a systematic test of the factors explaining variation in viral coinfection across different taxa and environments awaits completion. Here I employ three microbial data sets of virus-host interactions covering cross-infectivity, culture coinfection, and single-cell coinfection (total: 6,564 microbial hosts, 13,103 viruses) to provide a broad, comprehensive picture of the ecological and biological factors shaping viral coinfection. I found evidence that ecology and virus-virus interactions are recurrent factors shaping coinfection patterns. Host ecology was a consistent and strong predictor of coinfection across all three data sets: cross-infectivity, culture coinfection, and single-cell coinfection. Host phylogeny or taxonomy was a less consistent predictor, being weak or absent in the cross-infectivity and single-cell coinfection models, yet it was the strongest predictor in the culture coinfection model. Virus-virus interactions strongly affected coinfection. In the largest test of superinfection exclusion to date, prophage sequences reduced culture coinfection by other prophages, with a weaker effect on extrachromosomal virus coinfection. At the single-cell level, prophage sequences eliminated coinfection. Virus-virus interactions also increased culture coinfection with ssDNA-dsDNA coinfections >2× more likely than ssDNA-only coinfections. The presence of CRISPR spacers was associated with a ∼50% reduction in single-cell coinfection in a marine bacteria, despite the absence of exact spacer matches in any active infection. Collectively, these results suggest the environment bacteria inhabit and the interactions among surrounding viruses are two factors consistently shaping viral coinfection patterns. These findings highlight the role of

  18. Analysis of Ecosystem Service Supply, Trade-Offs and Soical-Ecological Interactions in European Wood-Pastures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torralba Viorreta, Mario

    (Östergötland in Sweden, Southern Transylvania in Romania, Llanos de Trujillo in Spain and La Serena in Spain). The thesis provides an understanding of the dynamics and mechanisms interacting in the generation of ecosystem services in European wood-pastures, and the factors that govern this supply. The results...... show that wood-pastures offer a wide range of ecosystem services, which is due to, on the one hand, the high multifunctionality that characterizes them and, on the other hand, the multiple socio-cultural values they host. However, the specific interactions between the social and ecological components...

  19. Disease ecology across soil boundaries: effects of below-ground fungi on above-ground host-parasite interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Leiling; Gowler, Camden D; Ahmad, Aamina; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2015-10-22

    Host-parasite interactions are subject to strong trait-mediated indirect effects from other species. However, it remains unexplored whether such indirect effects may occur across soil boundaries and connect spatially isolated organisms. Here, we demonstrate that, by changing plant (milkweed Asclepias sp.) traits, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) significantly affect interactions between a herbivore (the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus) and its protozoan parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha), which represents an interaction across four biological kingdoms. In our experiment, AMF affected parasite virulence, host resistance and host tolerance to the parasite. These effects were dependent on both the density of AMF and the identity of milkweed species: AMF indirectly increased disease in monarchs reared on some species, while alleviating disease in monarchs reared on other species. The species-specificity was driven largely by the effects of AMF on both plant primary (phosphorus) and secondary (cardenolides; toxins in milkweeds) traits. Our study demonstrates that trait-mediated indirect effects in disease ecology are extensive, such that below-ground interactions between AMF and plant roots can alter host-parasite interactions above ground. In general, soil biota may play an underappreciated role in the ecology of many terrestrial host-parasite systems. © 2015 The Author(s).

  20. Disease ecology across soil boundaries: effects of below-ground fungi on above-ground host–parasite interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Leiling; Gowler, Camden D.; Ahmad, Aamina; Hunter, Mark D.; de Roode, Jacobus C.

    2015-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are subject to strong trait-mediated indirect effects from other species. However, it remains unexplored whether such indirect effects may occur across soil boundaries and connect spatially isolated organisms. Here, we demonstrate that, by changing plant (milkweed Asclepias sp.) traits, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) significantly affect interactions between a herbivore (the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus) and its protozoan parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha), which represents an interaction across four biological kingdoms. In our experiment, AMF affected parasite virulence, host resistance and host tolerance to the parasite. These effects were dependent on both the density of AMF and the identity of milkweed species: AMF indirectly increased disease in monarchs reared on some species, while alleviating disease in monarchs reared on other species. The species-specificity was driven largely by the effects of AMF on both plant primary (phosphorus) and secondary (cardenolides; toxins in milkweeds) traits. Our study demonstrates that trait-mediated indirect effects in disease ecology are extensive, such that below-ground interactions between AMF and plant roots can alter host–parasite interactions above ground. In general, soil biota may play an underappreciated role in the ecology of many terrestrial host–parasite systems. PMID:26468247

  1. Ecological Momentary Assessment of social functioning in schizophrenia: impact of performance appraisals and affect on social interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granholm, Eric; Ben-Zeev, Dror; Fulford, Daniel; Swendsen, Joel

    2013-04-01

    Research concerning the complex interplay between factors that contribute to poor social functioning in schizophrenia has been hampered by limitations of traditional measures, most notably the ecological validity and accuracy of retrospective self-report and interview measures. Computerized Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMAc) permits the real-time assessment of relationships between daily life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In the current study, EMAc was used to record daily social interactions, subjective performance appraisals of these interactions (e.g., "I succeeded/failed"; "I was liked/rejected"), and affect in 145 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Participants completed electronic questionnaires on a personal digital assistant (PDA) four times per day for one week. Time-lagged multilevel modeling of the data revealed that more positive interaction appraisals at any point in a day were associated with greater positive affect which, in turn, was a strong predictor of more social interactions over subsequent hours. Social functioning, therefore, was linked to positive performance beliefs about social interactions that were associated with greater positive affect. The findings suggest a useful treatment target for cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychosocial interventions that can be used to challenge defeatist beliefs and increase positive affect to enhance social functioning in schizophrenia. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Biotic and Biogeochemical Feedbacks to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torn, M. S.; Harte, J.

    2002-12-01

    Feedbacks to paleoclimate change are evident in ice core records showing correlations of temperature with carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. Such feedbacks may be explained by plant and microbial responses to climate change, and are likely to occur under impending climate warming, as evidenced by results of ecosystem climate manipulation experiments and biometeorological observations along ecological and climate gradients. Ecosystems exert considerable influence on climate, by controlling the energy and water balance of the land surface as well as being sinks and sources of greenhouse gases. This presentation will focus on biotic and biogeochemical climate feedbacks on decadal to century time scales, emphasizing carbon storage and energy exchange. In addition to the direct effects of climate on decomposition rates and of climate and CO2 on plant productivity, climate change can alter species composition; because plant species differ in their surface properties, productivity, phenology, and chemistry, climate-induced changes in plant species composition can exert a large influence on the magnitude and sign of climate feedbacks. We discuss the effects of plant species on ecosystem carbon storage that result from characteristic differences in plant biomass and lifetime, allocation to roots vs. leaves, litter quality, microclimate for decomposition and the ultimate stabilization of soil organic matter. We compare the effect of species transitions on transpiration, albedo, and other surface properties, with the effect of elevated CO2 and warming on single species' surface exchange. Global change models and experiments that investigate the effect of climate only on existing vegetation may miss the biggest impacts of climate change on biogeochemical cycling and feedbacks. Quantification of feedbacks will require understanding how species composition and long-term soil processes will change under global warming. Although no single approach, be it experimental

  3. Individual and Interactive Influences of Anthropogenic and Ecological Factors on Forest PM2.5 Concentrations at an Urban Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoliang Yun

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Integration of Landsat images and multisource data using spatial statistical analysis and geographical detector models can reveal the individual and interactive influences of anthropogenic activities and ecological factors on concentrations of atmospheric particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5. This approach has been used in many studies to estimate biomass and forest disturbance patterns and to monitor carbon sinks. However, the approach has rarely been used to comprehensively analyze the individual and interactive influences of anthropogenic factors (e.g., population density, impervious surface percentage and ecological factors (e.g., canopy density, stand age, and elevation on PM2.5 concentrations. To do this, we used Landsat-8 images and meteorological data to retrieve quantitative data on the concentrations of particulates (PM2.5, then integrated a forest management planning inventory (FMPI, population density distribution data, meteorological data, and topographic data in a Geographic Information System database, and applied a spatial statistical analysis model to identify aggregated areas (hot spots and cold spots of particulates in the urban area of Jinjiang city, China. A geographical detector model was used to analyze the individual and interactive influences of anthropogenic and ecological factors on PM2.5 concentrations. We found that particulate concentration hot spots are mainly distributed in urban centers and suburbs, while cold spots are mainly distributed in the suburbs and exurban region. Elevation was the dominant individual factor affecting PM2.5 concentrations, followed by dominant tree species and meteorological factors. A combination of human activities (e.g., population density, impervious surface percentage and multiple ecological factors caused the dominant interactive effects, resulting in increased PM2.5 concentrations. Our study suggests that human activities and multiple ecological factors

  4. Are trade-offs among species' ecological interactions scale dependent? A test using pitcher-plant inquiline species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneitel, Jamie M

    2012-01-01

    Trade-offs among species' ecological interactions is a pervasive explanation for species coexistence. The traits associated with trade-offs are typically measured to mechanistically explain species coexistence at a single spatial scale. However, species potentially interact at multiple scales and this may be reflected in the traits among coexisting species. I quantified species' ecological traits associated with the trade-offs expected at both local (competitive ability and predator tolerance) and regional (competitive ability and colonization rate) community scales. The most common species (four protozoa and a rotifer) from the middle trophic level of a pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) inquiline community were used to link species traits to previously observed patterns of species diversity and abundance. Traits associated with trade-offs (competitive ability, predator tolerance, and colonization rate) and other ecological traits (size, growth rate, and carrying capacity) were measured for each of the focal species. Traits were correlated with one another with a negative relationship indicative of a trade-off. Protozoan and rotifer species exhibited a negative relationship between competitive ability and predator tolerance, indicative of coexistence at the local community scale. There was no relationship between competitive ability and colonization rate. Size, growth rate, and carrying capacity were correlated with each other and the trade-off traits: Size was related to both competitive ability and predator tolerance, but growth rate and carrying capacity were correlated with predator tolerance. When partial correlations were conducted controlling for size, growth rate and carrying capacity, the trade-offs largely disappeared. These results imply that body size is the trait that provides the basis for ecological interactions and trade-offs. Altogether, this study showed that the examination of species' traits in the context of coexistence at different scales

  5. Coevolutionary aesthetics in human and biotic artworlds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prum, Richard O

    2013-01-01

    This work proposes a coevolutionary theory of aesthetics that encompasses both biotic and human arts. Anthropocentric perspectives in aesthetics prevent the recognition of the ontological complexity of the aesthetics of nature, and the aesthetic agency of many non-human organisms. The process of evaluative coevolution is shared by all biotic advertisements. I propose that art consists of a form of communication that coevolves with its own evaluation. Art and art history are population phenomena. I expand Arthur Danto's Artworld concept to any aesthetic population of producers and evaluators. Current concepts of art cannot exclusively circumscribe the human arts from many forms of non-human biotic art. Without assuming an arbitrarily anthropocentric perspective, any concept of art will need to engage with biodiversity, and either recognize many instances of biotic advertisements as art, or exclude some instances of human art. Coevolutionary aesthetic theory provides a heuristic account of aesthetic change in both human and biotic artworlds, including the coevolutionary origin of aesthetic properties and aesthetic value within artworlds. Restructuring aesthetics, art criticism, and art history without human beings at the organizing centers of these disciplines stimulate new progress in our understanding of art, and the unique human contributions to aesthetics and aesthetic diversity.

  6. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    , and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... to translate positivist readings of the environment and hermeneutical perspectives on socioecological interaction into a common framework or terminology....

  7. Dynamic assessment of microbial ecology (DAME): a web app for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccolo, Brian D; Wankhade, Umesh D; Chintapalli, Sree V; Bhattacharyya, Sudeepa; Chunqiao, Luo; Shankar, Kartik

    2018-03-15

    Dynamic assessment of microbial ecology (DAME) is a Shiny-based web application for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data. DAME provides researchers not familiar with R programming the ability to access the most current R functions utilized for ecology and gene sequencing data analyses. Currently, DAME supports group comparisons of several ecological estimates of α-diversity and β-diversity, along with differential abundance analysis of individual taxa. Using the Shiny framework, the user has complete control of all aspects of the data analysis, including sample/experimental group selection and filtering, estimate selection, statistical methods and visualization parameters. Furthermore, graphical and tabular outputs are supported by R packages using D3.js and are fully interactive. DAME was implemented in R but can be modified by Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript. It is freely available on the web at https://acnc-shinyapps.shinyapps.io/DAME/. Local installation and source code are available through Github (https://github.com/bdpiccolo/ACNC-DAME). Any system with R can launch DAME locally provided the shiny package is installed. bdpiccolo@uams.edu.

  8. Towards More Effective Water Quality Governance: A Review of Social-Economic, Legal and Ecological Perspectives and Their Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Wuijts

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this article, social-economic, legal and ecological perspectives on effectiveness of water quality governance and their interactions have been studied. Worldwide, authorities are facing the challenge of restoring and preserving aquatic ecosystems in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6. Over the last few decades, governance approaches have often been used to realise these ambitions. To date, scholars have identified that it is difficult to relate governance approaches to water quality improvement and have offered several different explanations for this. Combined with a targeted conceptualisation of the perspectives and their interactions, the systematic literature review demonstrates the gap that exists in the current understanding of these interactions and what their effects are on water quality improvement, especially in regard to the identification of ecological issues and their boundary conditions for the legal framework and the development of measures and follow-up. The review also reveals that the scientific debate is focused on the planning rather than implementation phase. A step forward can be made by supplementing existing analytical frameworks by the interactions between the different perspectives, especially those related to problem definition and the development and realisation of measures.

  9. Interactive valuation : the social construction of the value of ecological services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jiggins, J.; Röling, N.

    1999-01-01

    Two different perspectives mark the discourse about the valuation of ecological services: (i) a positivist-realist perspective, and (ii) a constructivist perspective. The implications of the constructivist perspective for valuation are presented. First, is analyzed the current dominant practice of

  10. Studying the neurobiology of human social interaction : Making the case for ecological validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hogenelst, Koen; Schoevers, Robert A.; Rot, Marije Aan Het

    2015-01-01

    With this commentary we make the case for an increased focus on the ecological validity of the measures used to assess aspects of human social functioning. Impairments in social functioning are seen in many types of psychopathology, negatively affecting the lives of psychiatric patients and those

  11. Symbioses: a key driver of insect physiological processes, ecological interactions, evolutionary diversification, and impacts on humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; A.S. Adams; J. Handelsman; K.F. Raffa

    2009-01-01

    Symbiosis is receiving increased attention among all aspects of biology because of the unifying themes it helps construct across ecological,evolutionary, developmental, semiochemical, and pest management theory. Insects show a vast array of symbiotic relationships with a wide diversity of microorganisms. These relationships may confer a variety of benefits to the host...

  12. Interactive visual analysis promotes exploration of long-term ecological data

    Science.gov (United States)

    T.N. Pham; J.A. Jones; R. Metoyer; F.J. Swanson; R.J. Pabst

    2013-01-01

    Long-term ecological data are crucial in helping ecologists understand ecosystem function and environmental change. Nevertheless, these kinds of data sets are difficult to analyze because they are usually large, multivariate, and spatiotemporal. Although existing analysis tools such as statistical methods and spreadsheet software permit rigorous tests of pre-conceived...

  13. Language Policies in Play: Learning Ecologies in Multilingual Preschool Interactions among Peers and Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cekaite, Asta; Evaldsson, Ann-Carita

    2017-01-01

    In this study we argue that a focus on language learning ecologies, that is, situations for participation in various communicative practices, can shed light on the intricate processes through which minority children develop or are constrained from acquiring cultural and linguistic competencies (here, of a majority language). The analysis draws on…

  14. Ecological and economic impacts of forest policies: interactions across forestry and agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.J. Alig; D.M. Adams; B.A. McCarl

    1998-01-01

    A linked model of the US forest and agriculture sectors was used to examine the economic and ecological impacts of two forest policies: a minimum harvest age limitation and a reduced public harvest policy. Simulated private responses to both policies indicate that landowners could undertake a range of adjustments to minimize their welfare impacts, but imposition of...

  15. Nutritional ecology of insect-plant interactions: persistent handicaps and the need for innovative approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, van J.J.A.; Casas, J.; Pincebourde, S.

    2005-01-01

    Quantifying the flow of matter and energy in food webs is indispensable when assessing the effects of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, ozone level and temperature as a result of global climate change. In insect nutritional ecology, quantification of digestive and metabolic efficiency is

  16. Co-adapting societal and ecological interactions following large disturbances in urban park woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaret Carreiro; Wayne Zipperer

    2011-01-01

    The responses of urban park woodlands to large disturbances provide the opportunity to identify and examine linkages in social-ecological systems in urban landscapes.We propose that the Panarchy model consisting of hierarchically nested adaptive cycles provides a useful framework to evaluate those linkages.We use two case studies as examples – Cherokee Park in...

  17. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...

  18. Predator-prey interactions as macro-scale drivers of species diversity in mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Sandel, Brody Steven; Dalby, Lars

    Background/Question/Methods Understanding the importance of predator-prey interactions for species diversity is a central theme in ecology, with fundamental consequences for predicting the responses of ecosystems to land use and climate change. We assessed the relative support for different...... mechanistic drivers of mammal species richness at macro-scales for two trophic levels: predators and prey. To disentangle biotic (i.e. functional predator-prey interactions) from abiotic (i.e. environmental) and bottom-up from top-down determinants we considered three hypotheses: 1) environmental factors...... that determine ecosystem productivity drive prey and predator richness (the productivity hypothesis, abiotic, bottom-up), 2) consumer richness is driven by resource diversity (the resource diversity hypothesis, biotic, bottom-up) and 3) consumers drive richness of their prey (the top-down hypothesis, biotic, top...

  19. Compounded effects of chlorinated ethene inhibition on ecological interactions and population abundance in a Dehalococcoides - Dehalobacter coculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Yenjung; Becker, Jennifer G

    2013-02-05

    The development of rational and effective engineered bioremediation approaches for sites contaminated with chlorinated solvents requires a fundamental understanding of the factors limiting the in situ activity of dehalorespiring bacteria. Frequently, multiple dehalorespiring bacteria are present at contaminated sites, particularly when bioaugmentation is applied. The ecological interactions between different dehalorespiring populations can-along with hydrodynamic and other environmental factors-affect their activity and thus the rates and extent of dehalorespiration. An integrated experimental and modeling approach was used to evaluate the ecological interactions between two hydrogenotrophic, dehalorespiring strains. A dual Monod model of dehalorespiration provided a good fit to the chlorinated ethene concentrations measured in a coculture of Dehalococcoides mccartyi 195 and Dehalobacter restrictus growing on tetrachloroethene (PCE) and excess H(2) in a continuous-flow reactor. Inhibition of dehalorespiration by chlorinated ethenes was previously observed in cultures containing Dehalococcoides or Dehalobacter strains. Therefore, inhibition coefficients were estimated for Dhc. mccartyi 195 and Dhb. restrictus. The inhibition effects of PCE and TCE on VC dechlorination by Dhc. mccartyi 195, and of VC on PCE and TCE dechlorination by Dhb. restrictus, were compounded when these strains were grown in coculture, and dehalorespiring population abundance and survival could be accurately predicted only by incorporating these complex interactions into the dual Monod model.

  20. Lack of Ecological and Life History Context Can Create the Illusion of Social Interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-García, Ricardo; Tarnita, Corina E

    2016-12-01

    Studies of social microbes often focus on one fitness component (reproductive success within the social complex), with little information about or attention to other stages of the life cycle or the ecological context. This can lead to paradoxical results. The life cycle of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum includes a multicellular stage in which not necessarily clonal amoebae aggregate upon starvation to form a possibly chimeric (genetically heterogeneous) fruiting body made of dead stalk cells and spores. The lab-measured reproductive skew in the spores of chimeras indicates strong social antagonism that should result in low genotypic diversity, which is inconsistent with observations from nature. Two studies have suggested that this inconsistency stems from the one-dimensional assessment of fitness (spore production) and that the solution lies in tradeoffs between multiple life-history traits, e.g.: spore size versus viability; and spore-formation (via aggregation) versus staying vegetative (as non-aggregated cells). We develop an ecologically-grounded, socially-neutral model (i.e. no social interactions between genotypes) for the life cycle of social amoebae in which we theoretically explore multiple non-social life-history traits, tradeoffs and tradeoff-implementing mechanisms. We find that spore production comes at the expense of time to complete aggregation, and, depending on the experimental setup, spore size and viability. Furthermore, experimental results regarding apparent social interactions within chimeric mixes can be qualitatively recapitulated under this neutral hypothesis, without needing to invoke social interactions. This allows for simple potential resolutions to the previously paradoxical results. We conclude that the complexities of life histories, including social behavior and multicellularity, can only be understood in the appropriate multidimensional ecological context, when considering all stages of the life cycle.

  1. Design, engineering and utility of biotic games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar H; Chung, Alice M; Dura, Burak; Hamilton, Andrea L; Lee, Byung C

    2011-01-07

    Games are a significant and defining part of human culture, and their utility beyond pure entertainment has been demonstrated with so-called 'serious games'. Biotechnology--despite its recent advancements--has had no impact on gaming yet. Here we propose the concept of 'biotic games', i.e., games that operate on biological processes. Utilizing a variety of biological processes we designed and tested a collection of games: 'Enlightenment', 'Ciliaball', 'PAC-mecium', 'Microbash', 'Biotic Pinball', 'POND PONG', 'PolymerRace', and 'The Prisoner's Smellemma'. We found that biotic games exhibit unique features compared to existing game modalities, such as utilizing biological noise, providing a real-life experience rather than virtual reality, and integrating the chemical senses into play. Analogous to video games, biotic games could have significant conceptual and cost-reducing effects on biotechnology and eventually healthcare; enable volunteers to participate in crowd-sourcing to support medical research; and educate society at large to support personal medical decisions and the public discourse on bio-related issues.

  2. Interactions between global processes and local health problems. A human ecology approach to health among indigenous groups in the Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maj-Lis Follér

    Full Text Available This article deals with methodological issues and how to link global processes - social and ecological - with environmental changes and human health in local communities. The discussion concerns how interdisciplinary approaches can help us find tools to develop new knowledge. Scientific knowledge and local knowledge are not seen as opposite epistemological forms, but as socially and culturally constructed. Power and social legitimacy have to be included when analyzing how to deal with the interaction between global processes and local environmental change and the health/disease interface.

  3. Interaction networks, ecological stability, and collective antibiotic tolerance in polymicrobial infections

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, de Marjon G.J.; Zagorski, Marcin; McNally, Alan; Bollenbach, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    Polymicrobial infections constitute small ecosystems that accommodate several bacterial species. Commonly, these bacteria are investigated in isolation. However, it is unknown to what extent the isolates interact and whether their interactions alter bacterial growth and ecosystem resilience in

  4. Two-way plant mediated interactions between root-associated microbes and insects: from ecology to mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurmi ePangesti

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants are members of complex communities and function as a link between above- and below-ground organisms. Associations between plants and soil-borne microbes commonly occur and have often been found beneficial for plant fitness. Root-associated microbes may trigger physiological changes in the host plant that influence interactions between plants and aboveground insects at several trophic levels. Aboveground, plants are under continuous attack by insect herbivores and mount multiple responses that also have systemic effects on belowground microbes. Until recently, both ecological and mechanistic studies have mostly focused on exploring these below- and above-ground interactions using simplified systems involving both single microbe and herbivore species, which is far from the naturally occurring interactions. Increasing the complexity of the systems studied is required to increase our understanding of microbe - plant - insect interactions and to gain more benefit from the use of non-pathogenic microbes in agriculture. In this review, we explore how colonization by either single non-pathogenic microbe species or a community of such microbes belowground affects plant growth and defense and how this affects the interactions of plants with aboveground insects at different trophic levels. Moreover, we review how plant responses to foliar herbivory by insects belonging to different feeding guilds affect interactions of plants with non-pathogenic soil-borne microbes. The role of phytohormones in coordinating plant growth, plant defenses against foliar herbivores while simultaneously establishing associations with non-pathogenic soil microbes is discussed.

  5. Ecological-economic modelling of interactions between wild and commercial bees and pesticide use

    OpenAIRE

    Kleczkowski, Adam; Ellis, Ciaran; Goulson, Dave; Hanley, Nick

    2015-01-01

    The decline in extent of wild pollinators in recent years has been partly associated with changing farm practices and in particular with increasing pesticide use. In this paper we combine ecological modelling with economic analysis of a single farm output under the as- sumption that both pollination and pest control are essential inputs. We show that the drive to increase farm output can lead to a local decline in the wild bee population. Commercial bees are often considered an alternative to...

  6. ECOLOGICAL SITUATION ON THE TYULENIY ISLAND IN THE OKHOTSK SEA (2015: POPULATION INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PINNIPEDS, BIRDS, IXODIDAE TICKS AND VIRUSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Yu. Shchelkanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Analysis of environmental status Tyuleniy Island after a 25-year break in ecological and virological expeditions.Discussion. The paper presents the first results of the ecological and virological expedition to the Tyuleniy Island in August 2015 – the first after a 25 year break. Species of colonial seabirds and pinnipeds are described as well as their population interactions with each other and with Ixodidae ticks Ixodes uriae, which parasite in breeding colonies of birds and are hosts and vectors of several arboviruses that pose a potential risk to mammals. Two strains were isolated from common murre cloaca swabs using chicken embryo biological model. Complete genome sequencing permitted to identify these strains as NDV/Uria aalge/Russia/Tyuleniy Island/109/2015 (GenBank ID: KU601398 and APMV-4/Uria aalge/Russia/Tyuleniy Island/115/2015 (GenBank ID: KU601399. Strain of new virus (Bunyaviridae, Nairovirus was isolated from homogenate of I. uriae on the model of intracerebrally inoculated newborn mice and was identified by sequencing of the fragment (240 nucleotides of the N-gene.Conclusion. The Tyuleniy Island confirmed its importance as a reservoir of arboviruses. The ecological conditions of the Tyuleniy Island requires urgent action to clean up the island from the old buildings and giving it the status of the reserve. 

  7. Educating Ecological Citizens of "The Blue Planet"

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPherson, Seonaigh

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores the implications of a renewed model of citizenship and citizenship education developed on the principles of ecology and ecological interdependence. By reframing our community from a human polity to a biotic community, the scope of our citizenship responsibilities shift. While expanding to encompass a global context, this new…

  8. Macrophytes: Ecology of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bornette, G.; Puijalon, S.

    2009-01-01

    Aquatic plants contribute to maintaining key functions and related biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems, and to provide the needs of human societies. The way the ecological niches of macrophytes are determined by abiotic filters and biotic ones is considered. A simple, broadly applicable model of

  9. The Ecology of Parasite-Host Interactions at Montezuma Well National Monument, Arizona - Appreciating the Importance of Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Chris; van Riper, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Although parasites play important ecological roles through the direct interactions they have with their hosts, historically that fact has been underappreciated. Today, scientists have a growing appreciation of the scope of such impacts. Parasites have been reported to dominate food webs, alter predator-prey relationships, act as ecosystem engineers, and alter community structure. In spite of this growing awareness in the scientific community, parasites are still often neglected in the consideration of the management and conservation of resources and ecosystems. Given that at least half of the organisms on earth are probably parasitic, it should be evident that the ecological functions of parasites warrant greater attention. In this report, we explore different aspects of parasite-host relationships found at a desert spring pond within Montezuma Well National Monument, Arizona. In three separate but related chapters, we explore interactions between a novel amphipod host and two parasites. First, we identify how host behavior responds to this association and how this association affects interactions with both invertebrate non-host predators and a vertebrate host predator. Second, we look at the human dimension, investigating how human recreation can indirectly affect patterns of disease by altering patterns of vertebrate host space use. Finally - because parasites and diseases are of increasing importance in the management of wildlife species, especially those that are imperiled or of management concern - the third chapter argues that research would benefit from increased attention to the statistical analysis of wildlife disease studies. This report also explores issues of statistical parasitology, providing information that may better inform those designing research projects and analyzing data from studies of wildlife disease. In investigating the nature of parasite-host interactions, the role that relationships play in ecological communities, and how human

  10. Ecological and genetic interactions between cyanobacteria and viruses in a low-oxygen mat community inferred through metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voorhies, Alexander A; Eisenlord, Sarah D; Marcus, Daniel N; Duhaime, Melissa B; Biddanda, Bopaiah A; Cavalcoli, James D; Dick, Gregory J

    2016-02-01

    Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing was conducted on cyanobacterial mats of the Middle Island Sinkhole (MIS), Lake Huron. Metagenomic data from 14 samples collected over 5 years were used to reconstruct genomes of two genotypes of a novel virus, designated PhV1 type A and PhV1 type B. Both viral genotypes encode and express nblA, a gene involved in degrading phycobilisomes, which are complexes of pigmented proteins that harvest light for photosynthesis. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the viral-encoded nblA is derived from the host cyanobacterium, Phormidium MIS-PhA. The cyanobacterial host also has two complete CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) systems that serve as defence mechanisms for bacteria and archaea against viruses and plasmids. One 45 bp CRISPR spacer from Phormidium had 100% nucleotide identity to PhV1 type B, but this region was absent from PhV1 type A. Transcripts from PhV1 and the Phormidium CRISPR loci were detected in all six metatranscriptomic data sets (three during the day and three at night), indicating that both are transcriptionally active in the environment. These results reveal ecological and genetic interactions between viruses and cyanobacteria at MIS, highlighting the value of parallel analysis of viruses and hosts in understanding ecological interactions in natural communities. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Natural products mediating ecological interactions in Antarctic benthic communities: a mini-review of the known molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez-Pons, L; Avila, C

    2015-07-01

    Out of the many bioactive compounds described from the oceans, only a small fraction have been studied for their ecological significance. Similarly, most chemically mediated interactions are not well understood, because the molecules involved remain unrevealed. In Antarctica, this gap in knowledge is even more acute in comparison to tropical or temperate regions, even though polar organisms are also prolific producers of chemical defenses, and pharmacologically relevant products are being reported from the Southern Ocean. The extreme and unique marine environments surrounding Antarctica along with the numerous unusual interactions taking place in benthic communities are expected to select for novel functional secondary metabolites. There is an urgent need to comprehend the evolutionary role of marine derived substances in general, and particularly at the Poles, since molecules of keystone significance are vital in species survival, and therefore, in structuring the communities. Here we provide a mini-review on the identified marine natural products proven to have an ecological function in Antarctic ecosystems. This report recapitulates some of the bibliography from original Antarctic reviews, and updates the new literature in the field from 2009 to the present.

  12. Morphological similarity and ecological overlap in two rotifer species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabaldón, Carmen; Montero-Pau, Javier; Serra, Manuel; Carmona, María José

    2013-01-01

    Co-occurrence of cryptic species raises theoretically relevant questions regarding their coexistence and ecological similarity. Given their great morphological similitude and close phylogenetic relationship (i.e., niche retention), these species will have similar ecological requirements and are expected to have strong competitive interactions. This raises the problem of finding the mechanisms that may explain the coexistence of cryptic species and challenges the conventional view of coexistence based on niche differentiation. The cryptic species complex of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is an excellent model to study these questions and to test hypotheses regarding ecological differentiation. Rotifer species within this complex are filtering zooplankters commonly found inhabiting the same ponds across the Iberian Peninsula and exhibit an extremely similar morphology-some of them being even virtually identical. Here, we explore whether subtle differences in body size and morphology translate into ecological differentiation by comparing two extremely morphologically similar species belonging to this complex: B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas. We focus on three key ecological features related to body size: (1) functional response, expressed by clearance rates; (2) tolerance to starvation, measured by growth and reproduction; and (3) vulnerability to copepod predation, measured by the number of preyed upon neonates. No major differences between B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas were found in the response to these features. Our results demonstrate the existence of a substantial niche overlap, suggesting that the subtle size differences between these two cryptic species are not sufficient to explain their coexistence. This lack of evidence for ecological differentiation in the studied biotic niche features is in agreement with the phylogenetic limiting similarity hypothesis but requires a mechanistic explanation of the coexistence of these species not based on

  13. Morphological similarity and ecological overlap in two rotifer species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Gabaldón

    Full Text Available Co-occurrence of cryptic species raises theoretically relevant questions regarding their coexistence and ecological similarity. Given their great morphological similitude and close phylogenetic relationship (i.e., niche retention, these species will have similar ecological requirements and are expected to have strong competitive interactions. This raises the problem of finding the mechanisms that may explain the coexistence of cryptic species and challenges the conventional view of coexistence based on niche differentiation. The cryptic species complex of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is an excellent model to study these questions and to test hypotheses regarding ecological differentiation. Rotifer species within this complex are filtering zooplankters commonly found inhabiting the same ponds across the Iberian Peninsula and exhibit an extremely similar morphology-some of them being even virtually identical. Here, we explore whether subtle differences in body size and morphology translate into ecological differentiation by comparing two extremely morphologically similar species belonging to this complex: B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas. We focus on three key ecological features related to body size: (1 functional response, expressed by clearance rates; (2 tolerance to starvation, measured by growth and reproduction; and (3 vulnerability to copepod predation, measured by the number of preyed upon neonates. No major differences between B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas were found in the response to these features. Our results demonstrate the existence of a substantial niche overlap, suggesting that the subtle size differences between these two cryptic species are not sufficient to explain their coexistence. This lack of evidence for ecological differentiation in the studied biotic niche features is in agreement with the phylogenetic limiting similarity hypothesis but requires a mechanistic explanation of the coexistence of these species not

  14. Player-Game Interaction: An Ecological Analysis of Foreign Language Gameplay Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Karim

    2018-01-01

    This article describes how the literature on game-based foreign language (FL) learning has demonstrated that player-game interactions have a strong potential for FL learning. However, little is known about the fine-grained dynamics of these interactions, or how they could facilitate FL learning. To address this gap, the researcher conducted a…

  15. Biomechanical warfare in ecology; negative interactions between species by habitat modification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wesenbeeck, B. K.; van de Koppel, J.; Herman, P. M. J.; Bakker, J. P.; Bouma, T. J.

    Since the introduction of the term ecosystem engineering by Jones et al. many studies have focused on positive, facilitative interactions caused by ecosystem engineering. Much less emphasis has been placed on the role of ecosystem engineering in causing negative interactions between species. Here,

  16. Biomechanical warfare in ecology; negative interactions between species by habitat modification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Wesenbeeck, B.K.; Van de Koppel, J.; Herman, P.M.J.; Bakker, J.P.; Bouma, T.J.

    2007-01-01

    Since the introduction of the term ecosystem engineering by Jones et al. many studies have focused on positive, facilitative interactions caused by ecosystem engineering. Much less emphasis has been placed on the role of ecosystem engineering in causing negative interactions between species. Here,

  17. Volcano ecology at Chaiten, Chile: geophysical processes interact with forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.

    2010-12-01

    The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences

  18. Linking niche theory to ecological impacts of successful invaders: insights from resource fluctuation-specialist herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gidoin, Cindy; Roques, Lionel; Boivin, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Theories of species coexistence and invasion ecology are fundamentally connected and provide a common theoretical framework for studying the mechanisms underlying successful invasions and their ecological impacts. Temporal fluctuations in resource availability and differences in life-history traits between invasive and resident species are considered as likely drivers of the dynamics of invaded communities. Current critical issues in invasion ecology thus relate to the extent to which such mechanisms influence coexistence between invasive and resident species and to the ability of resident species to persist in an invasive-dominated ecosystem. We tested how a fluctuating resource, and species trait differences may explain and help predict long-term impacts of biological invasions in forest specialist insect communities. We used a simple invasion system comprising closely related invasive and resident seed-specialized wasps (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) competing for a well-known fluctuating resource and displaying divergent diapause, reproductive and phenological traits. Based on extensive long-term field observations (1977-2010), we developed a combination of mechanistic and statistical models aiming to (i) obtain a realistic description of the population dynamics of these interacting species over time, and (ii) clarify the respective contributions of fluctuation-dependent and fluctuation-independent mechanisms to long-term impact of invasion on the population dynamics of the resident wasp species. We showed that a fluctuation-dependent mechanism was unable to promote coexistence of the resident and invasive species. Earlier phenology of the invasive species was the main driver of invasion success, enabling the invader to exploit an empty niche. Phenology also had the greatest power to explain the long-term negative impact of the invasive on the resident species, through resource pre-emption. This study provides strong support for the critical role of species

  19. Microarrays in ecological research: A case study of a cDNA microarray for plant-herbivore interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gase Klaus

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microarray technology allows researchers to simultaneously monitor changes in the expression ratios (ERs of hundreds of genes and has thereby revolutionized most of biology. Although this technique has the potential of elucidating early stages in an organism's phenotypic response to complex ecological interactions, to date, it has not been fully incorporated into ecological research. This is partially due to a lack of simple procedures of handling and analyzing the expression ratio (ER data produced from microarrays. Results We describe an analysis of the sources of variation in ERs from 73 hybridized cDNA microarrays, each with 234 herbivory-elicited genes from the model ecological expression system, Nicotiana attenuata, using procedures that are commonly used in ecologic research. Each gene is represented by two independently labeled PCR products and each product was arrayed in quadruplicate. We present a robust method of normalizing and analyzing ERs based on arbitrary thresholds and statistical criteria, and characterize a "norm of reaction" of ERs for 6 genes (4 of known function, 2 of unknown with different ERs as determined across all analyzed arrays to provide a biologically-informed alternative to the use of arbitrary expression ratios in determining significance of expression. These gene-specific ERs and their variance (gene CV were used to calculate array-based variances (array CV, which, in turn, were used to study the effects of array age, probe cDNA quantity and quality, and quality of spotted PCR products as estimates of technical variation. Cluster analysis and a Principal Component Analysis (PCA were used to reveal associations among the transcriptional "imprints" of arrays hybridized with cDNA probes derived from mRNA from N. attenuata plants variously elicited and attacked by different herbivore species and from three congeners: N. quadrivalis, N. longiflora and N. clevelandii. Additionally, the PCA

  20. Biotic and abiotic variables show little redundancy in explaining tree species distributions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meier, Elaine S.; Kienast, Felix; Pearman, Peter B.

    2010-01-01

    Abiotic factors such as climate and soil determine the species fundamental niche, which is further constrained by biotic interactions such as interspecific competition. To parameterize this realized niche, species distribution models (SDMs) most often relate species occurrence data to abiotic var...

  1. Pivoting from Arabidopsis to wheat to understand how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Here we argue for a research initiative on gene-for-gene (g-f-g) interactions between wheat and its parasites. One aim is to begin a conversation between the disparate communities of plant pathology and entomology. Another is to understand how responses to biotic stress are integrated in an import...

  2. Rodent seed predation as a biotic filter influencing exotic plant abundance and distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. E. Pearson; J. L. Hierro; M. Chiuffo; D. Villarreal

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is commonly invoked to explain why many exotic plants fail to thrive in introduced ranges, but the role of seed predation as an invasion filter is understudied. Abiotic conditions may also influence plant populations and can interact with consumers to determine plant distributions, but how these factors jointly influence invasions is poorly understood...

  3. Belowground neighbor perception in Arabidopsis thaliana studied by transcriptome analysis: roots of Hieracium pilosella cause biotic stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eSchmid

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Root-root interactions are much more sophisticated than previously thought, yet the mechanisms of belowground neighbor perception remain largely obscure. Genome-wide transcriptome analyses allow detailed insight into plant reactions to environmental cues.A root interaction trial was set up to explore both morphological and whole genome transcriptional responses in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana in the presence or absence of an inferior competitor, Hieracium pilosella.Neighbor perception was indicated by Arabidopsis roots predominantly growing away from the neighbor (segregation, while solitary plants placed more roots towards the middle of the pot. Total biomass remained unaffected. Database comparisons in transcriptome analysis revealed considerable similarity between Arabidopsis root reactions to neighbors and reactions to pathogens. Detailed analyses of the functional category ‘biotic stress’ using MapMan tools found the sub-category ‘pathogenesis-related proteins’ highly significantly induced. A comparison to a study on intraspecific competition brought forward a core of genes consistently involved in reactions to neighbor roots.We conclude that beyond resource depletion roots perceive neighboring roots or their associated microorganisms by a relatively uniform mechanism that involves the strong induction of pathogenesis-related proteins. In an ecological context the findings reveal that belowground neighbor detection may occur independently of resource depletion, allowing for a time advantage for the root to prepare for potential interactions.

  4. Ecological relevance of strigolactones in nutrient uptake and other abiotic stresses, and in plant-microbe interactions below ground

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andreo Jimenez, B.; Ruyter-Spira, C.P.; Bouwmeester, H.J.; Lopez-Raez, J.A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Plants are exposed to ever changing and often unfavourable environmental conditions, which cause both abiotic and biotic stresses. They have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to flexibly adapt themselves to these stress conditions. To achieve such adaptation, they need to control and

  5. A knowledge-based system for discovering ecological interactions in biodiversity data-stores of heterogeneous specimen-records: a case-study of flower-visiting ecology

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Coetzer, W

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We modeled expert knowledge of arthropod flower-visiting behavioral ecology and represented this in an event-centric domain ontology, which we describe along with the ontology construction process. Two smaller domain ontologies were created...

  6. Interaction between Digestive Strategy and Niche Specialization Predicts Speciation Rates across Herbivorous Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Lucy A P

    2016-04-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors often are treated as mutually exclusive drivers of diversification processes. In this framework, ecological specialists are expected to have higher speciation rates than generalists if abiotic factors are the primary controls on species diversity but lower rates if biotic interactions are more important. Speciation rate is therefore predicted to positively correlate with ecological specialization in the purely abiotic model but negatively correlate in the biotic model. In this study, I show that the positive relationship between ecological specialization and speciation expected from the purely abiotic model is recovered only when a species-specific trait, digestive strategy, is modeled in the terrestrial, herbivorous mammals (Mammalia). This result suggests a more nuanced model in which the response of specialized lineages to abiotic factors is dependent on a biological trait. I also demonstrate that the effect of digestive strategy on the ecological specialization-speciation rate relationship is not due to a difference in either the degree of ecological specialization or the speciation rate between foregut- and hindgut-fermenting mammals. Together, these findings suggest that a biological trait, alongside historical abiotic events, played an important role in shaping mammal speciation at long temporal and large geographic scales.

  7. Citizen science data reveal ecological, historical and evolutionary factors shaping interactions between woody hosts and wood-inhabiting fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Maruyama, Pietro K; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Laessøe, Thomas; Frøslev, Tobias Guldberg; Dalsgaard, Bo

    2016-12-01

    Woody plants host diverse communities of associated organisms, including wood-inhabiting fungi. In this group, host effects on species richness and interaction network structure are not well understood, especially not at large geographical scales. We investigated ecological, historical and evolutionary determinants of fungal species richness and network modularity, that is, subcommunity structure, across woody hosts in Denmark, using a citizen science data set comprising > 80 000 records of > 1000 fungal species on 91 genera of woody plants. Fungal species richness was positively related to host size, wood pH, and the number of species in the host genus, with limited influence of host frequency and host history, that is, time since host establishment in the area. Modularity patterns were unaffected by host history, but largely reflected host phylogeny. Notably, fungal communities differed substantially between angiosperm and gymnosperm hosts. Host traits and evolutionary history appear to be more important than host frequency and recent history in structuring interactions between hosts and wood-inhabiting fungi. High wood acidity appears to act as a stress factor reducing fungal species richness, while large host size, providing increased niche diversity, enhances it. In some fungal groups that are known to interact with live host cells in the establishment phase, host selectivity is common, causing a modular community structure. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Ecological turmoil in evolutionary dynamics of plant-insect interactions: defense to offence

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mishra, Manasi; Lomate, P. R.; Joshi, R. S.; Punekar, S. A.; Gupta, V. S.; Giri, A. P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 242, č. 4 (2015), s. 761-771 ISSN 0032-0935 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : plant-insect interaction * co-evolution * human interference * ecosystem * climatic change Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.239, year: 2015

  9. Spatial and temporal dynamics of disturbance interactions along an ecological gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher D. O' Connor

    2013-01-01

    Interactions among site conditions, disturbance events, and climate determine the patterns of forest species recruitment and mortality across landscapes. Forests of the American Southwest have undergone significant changes over a century of altered disturbance regimes, human land uses, and changing environmental conditions. Along steep vertical gradients such as those...

  10. "Homo Virtualis": Virtual Worlds, Learning, and an Ecology of Embodied Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarmon, Leslie

    2010-01-01

    This article previews the emergence of "homo virtualis." Drawing on data from seven research studies, peer-reviewed published research articles, and selected excerpts of 30 months of field notes taken in Second Life [SL], the article examines virtual learning environments and embodiment through the lens of interactions of avatars with…

  11. Plant interactions with microbes and insects: from molecular mechanisms to ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieterse, C.M.J.; Dicke, M.

    2007-01-01

    Plants are members of complex communities and interact both with antagonists and beneficial organisms. An important question in plant defense-signaling research is how plants integrate signals induced by pathogens, beneficial microbes and insects into the most appropriate adaptive response.

  12. Plant-mediated Interactions Among Insects within a Community Ecological Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Plants may be visited by many species of insects during their life-time. These insects include harmful herbivores above and belowground as well as beneficial natural enemies of herbivores and pollinators. Moreover, these interactions may take place sequentially or simultaneously. Responses of plants

  13. Interaction intimacy of pathogens and herbivores with their host plants influences the topological structure of ecological networks in different ways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2015-04-01

    • Over the past two decades an interest in the role that plant-animal mutualistic networks play in the organization and dynamic of biodiversity has steadily risen. Despite the ecological, evolutionary, and economic importance of plant-herbivore and plant-pathogen antagonistic relationships, however, few studies have examined these interactions in an ecological network framework.• We describe for the first time the topological structure of multitrophic networks involving congeneric tropical plant species of the genus Heliconia (Heliconiaceae, Zingiberales) and their herbivores and pathogens in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. We based our study on the available literature describing the organisms (e.g., insects, mites, fungi, and bacteria) that attack 24 different species, hybrids, and cultivated varieties of Heliconia.• In general, pathogen- and herbivore-Heliconia networks differed in their topological structure (more modular vs. more nested, respectively): pathogen-Heliconia networks were more specialized and compartmentalized than herbivore-Heliconia networks. High modularity was likely due to the high intimacy that pathogens have with their host plants as compared with the more generalized feeding modes and behavior of herbivores. Some clusters clearly reflected the clustering of closely related cultivated varieties of Heliconia sharing the same pathogens.• From a commercial standpoint, different varieties of the same Heliconia species may be more susceptible to being attacked by the same species of pathogens. In summary, our study highlights the importance of interaction intimacy in structuring trophic relationships between plants and pathogens in the tropics. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  14. Aquatic urban ecology at the scale of a capital: community structure and interactions in street gutters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervé, Vincent; Leroy, Boris; Da Silva Pires, Albert; Lopez, Pascal Jean

    2018-01-01

    In most cities, streets are designed for collecting and transporting dirt, litter, debris, storm water and other wastes as a municipal sanitation system. Microbial mats can develop on street surfaces and form microbial communities that have never been described. Here, we performed the first molecular inventory of the street gutter-associated eukaryotes across the entire French capital of Paris and the non-potable waters sources. We found that the 5782 OTUs (operational taxonomic units) present in the street gutters which are dominated by diatoms (photoautotrophs), fungi (heterotrophs), Alveolata and Rhizaria, includes parasites, consumers of phototrophs and epibionts that may regulate the dynamics of gutter mat microbial communities. Network analyses demonstrated that street microbiome present many species restricted to gutters, and an overlapping composition between the water sources used for street cleaning (for example, intra-urban aquatic networks and the associated rivers) and the gutters. We propose that street gutters, which can cover a significant surface area of cities worldwide, potentially have important ecological roles in the remediation of pollutants or downstream wastewater treatments, might also be a niche for growth and dissemination of putative parasite and pathogens.

  15. Ecological interactions among phlebotomines (Diptera: Psychodidae) in an agroforestry environment of northeast Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro, Marcos Paulo Gomes; Silva, José Hilário Tavares; Cavalcanti, Katrine Bezerra; de Azevedo, Paulo Roberto Medeiros; de Melo Ximenes, Maria de Fátima Freire

    2013-12-01

    Phlebotomine vectors transmit parasites and can cause visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or cutaneous leishmaniasis (TL). Phlebotomine females are hematophagous but need to ingest carbohydrates, possibly promoting the development of protozoan parasites in their digestive tract. The present study evaluated the species composition and abundance across several habitats in a metropolitan landscape, as well as associations among phlebotomines, plants, and local climatic parameters. Three consecutive monthly collections were carried out in an Atlantic Forest fragment, using CDC light traps in peridomestic areas and cashew, coconut, and mango tree. plantations. Eight species of phlebotomine were captured: Evandromyia evandroi, Lutzomyia longipalpis, Psathyromyia shannoni, Sciopemyia sordellii, Evandromyia walkeri, Psychodopygus wellcomei, Nyssomyia whitmani, and Nyssomyia intermedia, primarily from the forest environment. L. longipalpis was confirmed as a species adapted to anthropic environments, while P. wellcomei was shown to be predominately forest-dwelling. Phlebotomines exhibited diversified food consumption patterns in relation to carbohydrate sources. They fed on both native and exotic species of arboreal and shrubby vegetables and gramineous plants. © 2013 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  16. Ecological interactions among Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains: insight into the dominance phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Torrado, Roberto; Rantsiou, Kalliopi; Perrone, Benedeta; Navarro-Tapia, Elisabeth; Querol, Amparo; Cocolin, Luca

    2017-03-07

    This study investigates the behaviour of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, in order to obtain insight into the intraspecies competition taking place in mixed populations of this species. Two strains of S. cerevisiae, one dominant and one non-dominant, were labelled and mixed, and individual fermentations were set up to study the transcriptomes of the strains by means of RNA-seq. The results obtained suggest that cell-to-cell contact and aggregation, which are driven by the expression of genes that are associated with the cell surface, are indispensable conditions for the achievement of dominance. Observations on mixed aggregates, made up of cells of both strains, which were detected by means of flow cytometry, have confirmed the transcriptomic data. Furthermore, overexpression of the SSU1 gene, which encodes for a transporter that confers resistance to sulphites, provides an ecological advantage to the dominant strain. A mechanistic model is proposed that sheds light on the dominance phenomenon between different strains of the S. cerevisiae species. The collected data suggest that cell-to-cell contact, together with differential sulphite production and resistance is important in determining the dominance of one strain over another.

  17. The role of defensive ecological interactions in the evolution of conotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prashanth, J R; Dutertre, S; Jin, A H; Lavergne, V; Hamilton, B; Cardoso, F C; Griffin, J; Venter, D J; Alewood, P F; Lewis, R J

    2016-01-01

    Venoms comprise of complex mixtures of peptides evolved for predation and defensive purposes. Remarkably, some carnivorous cone snails can inject two distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli, providing a unique opportunity to study separately how different ecological pressures contribute to toxin diversification. Here, we report the extraordinary defensive strategy of the Rhizoconus subgenus of cone snails. The defensive venom from this worm-hunting subgenus is unusually simple, almost exclusively composed of αD-conotoxins instead of the ubiquitous αA-conotoxins found in the more complex defensive venom of mollusc- and fish-hunting cone snails. A similarly compartmentalized venom gland as those observed in the other dietary groups facilitates the deployment of this defensive venom. Transcriptomic analysis of a Conus vexillum venom gland revealed the αD-conotoxins as the major transcripts, with lower amounts of 15 known and four new conotoxin superfamilies also detected with likely roles in prey capture. Our phylogenetic and molecular evolution analysis of the αD-conotoxins from five subgenera of cone snails suggests they evolved episodically as part of a defensive strategy in the Rhizoconus subgenus. Thus, our results demonstrate an important role for defence in the evolution of conotoxins. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Ecological functions of Trichoderma spp. and their secondary metabolites in the rhizosphere: interactions with plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Cornejo, Hexon Angel; Macías-Rodríguez, Lourdes; del-Val, Ek; Larsen, John

    2016-04-01

    Trichodermaspp. are common soil and root inhabitants that have been widely studied due to their capacity to produce antibiotics, parasitize other fungi and compete with deleterious plant microorganisms. These fungi produce a number of secondary metabolites such as non-ribosomal peptides, terpenoids, pyrones and indolic-derived compounds. In the rhizosphere, the exchange and recognition of signaling molecules byTrichodermaand plants may alter physiological and biochemical aspects in both. For example, severalTrichodermastrains induce root branching and increase shoot biomass as a consequence of cell division, expansion and differentiation by the presence of fungal auxin-like compounds. Furthermore,Trichoderma, in association with plant roots, can trigger systemic resistance and improve plant nutrient uptake. The present review describes the most recent advances in understanding the ecological functions ofTrichodermaspp. in the rhizosphere at biochemical and molecular levels with special emphasis on their associations with plants. Finally, through a synthesis of the current body of work, we present potential future research directions on studies related toTrichodermaspp. and their secondary metabolites in agroecosystems. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Ecological multiplex interactions determine the role of species for parasite spread amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, Massimo; Selakovic, Sanja; Antonioni, Alberto; Andreazzi, Cecilia

    2018-04-23

    Despite their potential interplay, multiple routes of many disease transmissions are often investigated separately. As an unifying framework for understanding parasite spread through interdependent transmission paths, we present the 'ecomultiplex' model, where the multiple transmission paths among a diverse community of interacting hosts are represented as a spatially explicit multiplex network. We adopt this framework for designing and testing potential control strategies for T. cruzi spread in two empirical host communities. We show that the ecomultiplex model is an efficient and low data-demanding method to identify which species enhances parasite spread and should thus be a target for control strategies. We also find that the interplay between predator-prey and host-parasite interactions leads to a phenomenon of parasite amplification, in which top predators facilitate T. cruzi spread, offering a mechanistic interpretation of previous empirical findings. Our approach can provide novel insights in understanding and controlling parasite spreading in real-world complex systems. © 2018, Stella et al.

  20. An integrative omics perspective for the analysis of chemical signals in ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunetti, A E; Carnevale Neto, F; Vera, M C; Taboada, C; Pavarini, D P; Bauermeister, A; Lopes, N P

    2018-03-05

    All living organisms emit, detect, and respond to chemical stimuli, thus creating an almost limitless number of interactions by means of chemical signals. Technological and intellectual advances in the last two decades have enabled chemical signals analyses at several molecular levels, including gene expression, molecular diversity, and receptor affinity. These advances have also deepened our understanding of nature to encompass interactions at multiple organism levels across different taxa. This tutorial review describes the most recent analytical developments in 'omics' technologies (i.e., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) and provide recent examples of its application in studies of chemical signals. We highlight how studies have integrated an enormous amount of information generated from different omics disciplines into one publicly available platform. In addition, we stress the importance of considering different signal modalities and an evolutionary perspective to establish a comprehensive understanding of chemical communication.

  1. Ecological interactions shape the dynamics of seed predation in Acrocomia aculeata (Arecaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Anielle C F; Fonseca, Francine S A; Mota, Gleicielle R; Fernandes, Ane K C; Fagundes, Marcílio; Reis-Júnior, Ronaldo; Faria, Maurício L

    2014-01-01

    The complex network of direct and indirect relationships determines not only the species abundances but also the community characteristics such as diversity and stability. In this context, seed predation is a direct interaction that affects the reproductive success of the plant. For Acrocomia aculeata, the seed predation by Pachymerus cardo and Speciomerus revoili in post-dispersal may destroy more than 70% of the propagules and is influenced by the herbivory of the fruits during pre-dispersal. Fruits of plants with a higher level of herbivory during pre-dispersal are less attacked by predators in post-dispersal. We proposed a hypothesis that describes this interaction as an indirect defense mediated by fungi in a multitrophic interaction. As explanations, we proposed the predictions: i) injuries caused by herbivores in the fruits of A. aculeata favor fungal colonization and ii) the colonization of A. acuelata fruit by decomposing fungi reduces the selection of the egg-laying site by predator. For prediction (i), differences in the fungal colonization in fruits with an intact or damaged epicarp were evaluated in fruits exposed in the field. For prediction (ii), we performed fruit observations in the field to determine the number of eggs of P. cardo and/or S. revoili per fruit and the amount of fungal colonization in the fruits. In another experiment, in the laboratory, we use P. cardo females in a triple-choice protocol. Each insect to choose one of the three options: healthy fruits, fruits with fungus, or an empty pot. The proposed hypothesis was corroborated. Fruits with injuries in the epicarp had a higher fungal colonization, and fruits colonized by fungi were less attractive for egg-laying by seed predators. This study emphasizes the importance of exploring the networks of interactions between multitrophic systems to understand the dynamics and maintenance of natural populations.

  2. Ecological Interactions Shape the Dynamics of Seed Predation in Acrocomia aculeata (Arecaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Anielle C. F.; Fonseca, Francine S. A.; Mota, Gleicielle R.; Fernandes, Ane K. C.; Fagundes, Marcílio; Reis-Júnior, Ronaldo; Faria, Maurício L.

    2014-01-01

    Background The complex network of direct and indirect relationships determines not only the species abundances but also the community characteristics such as diversity and stability. In this context, seed predation is a direct interaction that affects the reproductive success of the plant. For Acrocomia aculeata, the seed predation by Pachymerus cardo and Speciomerus revoili in post-dispersal may destroy more than 70% of the propagules and is influenced by the herbivory of the fruits during pre-dispersal. Fruits of plants with a higher level of herbivory during pre-dispersal are less attacked by predators in post-dispersal. We proposed a hypothesis that describes this interaction as an indirect defense mediated by fungi in a multitrophic interaction. As explanations, we proposed the predictions: i) injuries caused by herbivores in the fruits of A. aculeata favor fungal colonization and ii) the colonization of A. acuelata fruit by decomposing fungi reduces the selection of the egg-laying site by predator. Methodology/Principal Findings For prediction (i), differences in the fungal colonization in fruits with an intact or damaged epicarp were evaluated in fruits exposed in the field. For prediction (ii), we performed fruit observations in the field to determine the number of eggs of P. cardo and/or S. revoili per fruit and the amount of fungal colonization in the fruits. In another experiment, in the laboratory, we use P. cardo females in a triple-choice protocol. Each insect to choose one of the three options: healthy fruits, fruits with fungus, or an empty pot. The proposed hypothesis was corroborated. Fruits with injuries in the epicarp had a higher fungal colonization, and fruits colonized by fungi were less attractive for egg-laying by seed predators. Conclusion/Significance This study emphasizes the importance of exploring the networks of interactions between multitrophic systems to understand the dynamics and maintenance of natural populations. PMID:24875386

  3. New perspectives in nectar evolution and ecology: simple alimentary reward or a complex multiorganism interaction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Nepi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Floral and extra-floral nectars are secretions elaborated by specific organs (nectaries that can be associated with plant reproductive structures (the so-called floral nectaries found only in angiosperms or vegetative parts (extrafloral nectaries. These secretions are common in terrestrial vascular plants, especially angiosperms. Although gymnosperms do not seem to have true nectar, their ovular secretions may share evolutionary links with angiosperm nectar. Nectar is generally involved in interactions with animals and by virtue of its sugar and amino acid content, it has been considered a reward offered by plants to animals in exchange for benefits, mainly pollination and indirect defense against herbivores. These relationships are often cited as examples of classical mutualistic interactions. Nonetheless, recent studies dealing with compounds less abundant than sugars and amino acids challenge this view and suggest that nectar is much more complex than simply a reward in the form of food. Nectar proteins (nectarins and nectar secondary compounds have no primary nutritious function but are involved in plant–animal relationships in other ways. Nectarins protect against proliferation of microorganisms and infection of plant tissues by pathogens. Nectar secondary compounds can be involved in modulating the behavior of nectar feeders, maximizing benefits for the plant. Nectar-dwelling microorganisms (mainly yeasts were recently revealed to be a third partner in the scenario of plant–animal interactions mediated by nectar. There is evidence that yeast has a remarkable impact on nectar feeder behavior, although the effects on plant fitness have not yet been clearly assessed.

  4. Significance of Microbial Communities and Interactions in Safeguarding Reactive Mine Tailings by Ecological Engineering▿†

    Science.gov (United States)

    N̆ancucheo, Ivan; Johnson, D. Barrie

    2011-01-01

    Pyritic mine tailings (mineral waste generated by metal mining) pose significant risk to the environment as point sources of acidic, metal-rich effluents (acid mine drainage [AMD]). While the accelerated oxidative dissolution of pyrite and other sulfide minerals in tailings by acidophilic chemolithotrophic prokaryotes has been widely reported, other acidophiles (heterotrophic bacteria that catalyze the dissimilatory reduction of iron and sulfur) can reverse the reactions involved in AMD genesis, and these have been implicated in the “natural attenuation” of mine waters. We have investigated whether by manipulating microbial communities in tailings (inoculating with iron- and sulfur-reducing acidophilic bacteria and phototrophic acidophilic microalgae) it is possible to mitigate the impact of the acid-generating and metal-mobilizing chemolithotrophic prokaryotes that are indigenous to tailing deposits. Sixty tailings mesocosms were set up, using five different microbial inoculation variants, and analyzed at regular intervals for changes in physicochemical and microbiological parameters for up to 1 year. Differences between treatment protocols were most apparent between tailings that had been inoculated with acidophilic algae in addition to aerobic and anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria and those that had been inoculated with only pyrite-oxidizing chemolithotrophs; these differences included higher pH values, lower redox potentials, and smaller concentrations of soluble copper and zinc. The results suggest that empirical ecological engineering of tailing lagoons to promote the growth and activities of iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria could minimize their risk of AMD production and that the heterotrophic populations could be sustained by facilitating the growth of microalgae to provide continuous inputs of organic carbon. PMID:21965397

  5. Education and micronutrient deficiencies: an ecological study exploring interactions between women's schooling and children's micronutrient status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Kassandra L; Aguayo, Victor M; Masters, William A; Webb, Patrick

    2018-04-10

    Formal education can be a nutrition-sensitive intervention that supports the scale-up and impact of nutrition-specific actions. Maternal education has long been linked to child survival, growth, and development while adult earnings and nutrition are tied to years in school as a child. However, less is known about the relationship between maternal education and the micronutrient status of children, women and the general population. Using country-level data and an ecological study design, we explored the global associations between women's educational attainment and: a) anemia and vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in children aged 6-59 months; b) anemia in non-pregnant women; and c) zinc deficiency, urinary iodine excretion (UIE), and the proportion of infants protected against iodine deficiency in the general population Cross-sectional relationships (2005-2013) were assessed using linear regression models. Percentage of women without schooling was negatively associated with all outcomes. Number of years of schooling among women was positively associated with all outcomes except for UIE and the proportion of infants protected against iodine deficiency. Income level was a significant effect modifier of the effect of years of women's schooling on child anemia as well as of the proportion of women without formal education on zinc deficiency in the population. The relationship was strongest in low-income countries for child anemia, and was not significant in upper middle-income countries. For zinc deficiency, the relationship was not significant in low or lower middle income countries, which may suggest that a minimum threshold of resources needs to be reached before education can influence zinc status. While relationships between maternal schooling and micronutrient outcomes vary around the globe, more schooling is generally linked to lower rates of deficiency. These findings draw policy-relevant connections between formal education and anemia and micronutrient status

  6. Ecological interactions in dinosaur communities: influences of small offspring and complex ontogenetic life histories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl Codron

    Full Text Available Because egg-laying meant that even the largest dinosaurs gave birth to very small offspring, they had to pass through multiple ontogenetic life stages to adulthood. Dinosaurs' successors as the dominant terrestrial vertebrate life form, the mammals, give birth to live young, and have much larger offspring and less complex ontogenetic histories. The larger number of juveniles in dinosaur as compared to mammal ecosystems represents both a greater diversity of food available to predators, and competitors for similar-sized individuals of sympatric species. Models of population abundances across different-sized species of dinosaurs and mammals, based on simulated ecological life tables, are employed to investigate how differences in predation and competition pressure influenced dinosaur communities. Higher small- to medium-sized prey availability leads to a normal body mass-species richness (M-S distribution of carnivorous dinosaurs (as found in the theropod fossil record, in contrast to the right-skewed M-S distribution of carnivorous mammals (as found living members of the order Carnivora. Higher levels of interspecific competition leads to a left-skewed M-S distribution in herbivorous dinosaurs (as found in sauropods and ornithopods, in contrast to the normal M-S distribution of large herbivorous mammals. Thus, our models suggest that differences in reproductive strategy, and consequently ontogeny, explain observed differences in community structure between dinosaur and mammal faunas. Models also show that the largest dinosaurian predators could have subsisted on similar-sized prey by including younger life stages of the largest herbivore species, but that large predators likely avoided prey much smaller than themselves because, despite predicted higher abundances of smaller than larger-bodied prey, contributions of small prey to biomass intake would be insufficient to satisfy meat requirements. A lack of large carnivores feeding on small prey

  7. Broadening the ecological context of ungulate-ecosystem interactions: the importance of space, seasonality, and nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Bryan D; Webster, Christopher R; Bump, Joseph K

    2013-06-01

    -level ecological processes.

  8. Ecological modulation of environmental stress: interactions between ultraviolet radiation, epibiotic snail embryos, plants and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahl, Martin

    2008-05-01

    1. The distribution of egg masses of the freshwater snails Lymnaea stagnalis and Planorbarius corneus on the undersides of water lily leaves (e.g. Nuphar lutea) is related to the prevalence of the leaf-mining beetle Galerucella nymphaeae. 2. When given the choice, Planorbarius significantly avoids leaves that were infested by the mining beetle. Conversely, Lymnaea did not discriminate against mined leaves. 3. Intact Nuphar leaves block over 95% of incident ultraviolet radiation. Yet, ultraviolet transmission reaches almost 100% under beetle mining scars. These are several times wider than snail embryos. 4. When exposed to natural sunlight, Lymnaea embryos proved to be resistant to ambient ultraviolet, while Planorbarius embryos were rapidly killed. Thus, one selective advantage of Planorbarius discrimination against mined leaves when depositing its eggs could be the avoidance of ultraviolet radiation passing through mining scars. 5. Other mining-related modifications of the leaves, reduced area, decreased longevity, altered aufwuchs (i.e. biofilm and epibionts) are discussed but seem less relevant for the oviposition preference of Planorbarius. 6. The discriminatory behaviour of this snail species was triggered by water-borne cues emitted by the damaged leaf, not by the eggs or larvae of the beetle. 7. This study illustrates how environmental stress on a given species, ultraviolet radiation in this case, can be ecologically buffered (shading by Nuphar) or enhanced (reduction of Nuphar shading through beetle mining) by associated species. It highlights how the impact of a given stress depends on the identity of the target species as well as on the identity and role of other species in the community.

  9. Ecological interactions in dinosaur communities: influences of small offspring and complex ontogenetic life histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Clauss, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    Because egg-laying meant that even the largest dinosaurs gave birth to very small offspring, they had to pass through multiple ontogenetic life stages to adulthood. Dinosaurs' successors as the dominant terrestrial vertebrate life form, the mammals, give birth to live young, and have much larger offspring and less complex ontogenetic histories. The larger number of juveniles in dinosaur as compared to mammal ecosystems represents both a greater diversity of food available to predators, and competitors for similar-sized individuals of sympatric species. Models of population abundances across different-sized species of dinosaurs and mammals, based on simulated ecological life tables, are employed to investigate how differences in predation and competition pressure influenced dinosaur communities. Higher small- to medium-sized prey availability leads to a normal body mass-species richness (M-S) distribution of carnivorous dinosaurs (as found in the theropod fossil record), in contrast to the right-skewed M-S distribution of carnivorous mammals (as found living members of the order Carnivora). Higher levels of interspecific competition leads to a left-skewed M-S distribution in herbivorous dinosaurs (as found in sauropods and ornithopods), in contrast to the normal M-S distribution of large herbivorous mammals. Thus, our models suggest that differences in reproductive strategy, and consequently ontogeny, explain observed differences in community structure between dinosaur and mammal faunas. Models also show that the largest dinosaurian predators could have subsisted on similar-sized prey by including younger life stages of the largest herbivore species, but that large predators likely avoided prey much smaller than themselves because, despite predicted higher abundances of smaller than larger-bodied prey, contributions of small prey to biomass intake would be insufficient to satisfy meat requirements. A lack of large carnivores feeding on small prey exists in mammals

  10. Community Ecology

    CERN Document Server

    1988-01-01

    This book presents the proceedings of a workshop on community ecology organized at Davis, in April, 1986, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. There have been several recent symposia on community ecology (Strong et. al., 1984, Diamond and Case, 1987) which have covered a wide range of topics. The goal of the workshop at Davis was more narrow: to explore the role of scale in developing a theoretical approach to understanding communities. There are a number of aspects of scale that enter into attempts to understand ecological communities. One of the most basic is organizational scale. Should community ecology proceed by building up from population biology? This question and its ramifications are stressed throughout the book and explored in the first chapter by Simon Levin. Notions of scale have long been important in understanding physical systems. Thus, in understanding the interactions of organisms with their physical environment, questions of scale become paramount. These more physical questions illustrate the...

  11. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of tri-trophic interactions: Spatial variation and effects of plant density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Moreira, Xoaquín; Ramos-Zapata, José

    2017-02-01

    The factors driving variation in species interactions are often unknown, and few studies have made a link between changes in interactions and the strength of selection. We report on spatial variation in functional responses by a seed predator (SP) and its parasitic wasps associated with the herb Ruellia nudiflora . We assessed the influence of plant density on consumer responses and determined whether density effects and spatial variation in functional responses altered natural selection by these consumers on the plant. We established common gardens at two sites in Yucatan, Mexico, and planted R. nudiflora at two densities in each garden. We recorded fruit output and SP and parasitoid attack; calculated relative fitness (seed number) under scenarios of three trophic levels (accounting for SP and parasitoid effects), two trophic levels (accounting for SP but not parasitoid effects), and one trophic level (no consumer effects); and compared selection strength on fruit number under these scenarios across sites and densities. There was spatial variation in SP recruitment, whereby the SP functional response was negatively density-dependent at one site but density-independent at the other; parasitoid responses were density-independent and invariant across sites. Site variation in SP attack led, in turn, to differences in SP selection on fruit output, and parasitoids did not alter SP selection. There were no significant effects of density at either site. Our results provide a link between consumer functional responses and consumer selection on plants, which deepens our understanding of geographic variation in the evolutionary outcomes of multitrophic interactions. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  12. Recent Insights on Biological and Ecological Aspects of Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Their Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mello, Antonietta; Balestrini, Raffaella

    2018-01-01

    The roots of most terrestrial plants are colonized by mycorrhizal fungi. They play a key role in terrestrial environments influencing soil structure and ecosystem functionality. Around them a peculiar region, the mycorrhizosphere, develops. This is a very dynamic environment where plants, soil and microorganisms interact. Interest in this fascinating environment has increased over the years. For a long period the knowledge of the microbial populations in the rhizosphere has been limited, because they have always been studied by traditional culture-based techniques. These methods, which only allow the study of cultured microorganisms, do not allow the characterization of most organisms existing in nature. The introduction in the last few years of methodologies that are independent of culture techniques has bypassed this limitation. This together with the development of high-throughput molecular tools has given new insights into the biology, evolution, and biodiversity of mycorrhizal associations, as well as, the molecular dialog between plants and fungi. The genomes of many mycorrhizal fungal species have been sequenced so far allowing to better understanding the lifestyle of these fungi, their sexual reproduction modalities and metabolic functions. The possibility to detect the mycelium and the mycorrhizae of heterothallic fungi has also allowed to follow the spatial and temporal distributional patterns of strains of different mating types. On the other hand, the availability of the genome sequencing from several mycorrhizal fungi with a different lifestyle, or belonging to different groups, allowed to verify the common feature of the mycorrhizal symbiosis as well as the differences on how different mycorrhizal species interact and dialog with the plant. Here, we will consider the aspects described before, mainly focusing on ectomycorrhizal fungi and their interactions with plants and other soil microorganisms.

  13. Recent Insights on Biological and Ecological Aspects of Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Their Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonietta Mello

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The roots of most terrestrial plants are colonized by mycorrhizal fungi. They play a key role in terrestrial environments influencing soil structure and ecosystem functionality. Around them a peculiar region, the mycorrhizosphere, develops. This is a very dynamic environment where plants, soil and microorganisms interact. Interest in this fascinating environment has increased over the years. For a long period the knowledge of the microbial populations in the rhizosphere has been limited, because they have always been studied by traditional culture-based techniques. These methods, which only allow the study of cultured microorganisms, do not allow the characterization of most organisms existing in nature. The introduction in the last few years of methodologies that are independent of culture techniques has bypassed this limitation. This together with the development of high-throughput molecular tools has given new insights into the biology, evolution, and biodiversity of mycorrhizal associations, as well as, the molecular dialog between plants and fungi. The genomes of many mycorrhizal fungal species have been sequenced so far allowing to better understanding the lifestyle of these fungi, their sexual reproduction modalities and metabolic functions. The possibility to detect the mycelium and the mycorrhizae of heterothallic fungi has also allowed to follow the spatial and temporal distributional patterns of strains of different mating types. On the other hand, the availability of the genome sequencing from several mycorrhizal fungi with a different lifestyle, or belonging to different groups, allowed to verify the common feature of the mycorrhizal symbiosis as well as the differences on how different mycorrhizal species interact and dialog with the plant. Here, we will consider the aspects described before, mainly focusing on ectomycorrhizal fungi and their interactions with plants and other soil microorganisms.

  14. Getting what is served? Feeding ecology influencing parasite-host interactions in invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Plath, Martin; Klimpel, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are increasingly impacted by alien invasive species which have the potential to alter various ecological interactions like predator-prey and host-parasite relationships. Here, we simultaneously examined predator-prey interactions and parasitization patterns of the highly invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in the rivers Rhine and Main in Germany. A total of 350 N. melanostomus were sampled between June and October 2011. Gut content analysis revealed a broad prey spectrum, partly reflecting temporal and local differences in prey availability. For the major food type (amphipods), species compositions were determined. Amphipod fauna consisted entirely of non-native species and was dominated by Dikerogammarus villosus in the Main and Echinogammarus trichiatus in the Rhine. However, the availability of amphipod species in the field did not reflect their relative abundance in gut contents of N. melanostomus. Only two metazoan parasites, the nematode Raphidascaris acus and the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus sp., were isolated from N. melanostomus in all months, whereas unionid glochidia were only detected in June and October in fish from the Main. To analyse infection pathways, we examined 17,356 amphipods and found Pomphorhynchus sp. larvae only in D. villosus in the river Rhine at a prevalence of 0.15%. Dikerogammarus villosus represented the most important amphipod prey for N. melanostomus in both rivers but parasite intensities differed between rivers, suggesting that final hosts (large predatory fishes) may influence host-parasite dynamics of N. melanostomus in its introduced range.

  15. Congenital Chagas disease as an ecological model of interactions between Trypanosoma cruzi parasites, pregnant women, placenta and fetuses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, Yves; Truyens, Carine

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this paper is to discuss the main ecological interactions between the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and its hosts, the mother and the fetus, leading to the transmission and development of congenital Chagas disease. One or several infecting strains of T. cruzi (with specific features) interact with: (i) the immune system of a pregnant woman whom responses depend on genetic and environmental factors, (ii) the placenta harboring its own defenses, and, finally, (iii) the fetal immune system displaying responses also susceptible to be modulated by maternal and environmental factors, as well as his own genetic background which is different from her mother. The severity of congenital Chagas disease depends on the magnitude of such final responses. The paper is mainly based on human data, but integrates also complementary observations obtained in experimental infections. It also focuses on important gaps in our knowledge of this congenital infection, such as the role of parasite diversity vs host genetic factors, as well as that of the maternal and placental microbiomes and the microbiome acquisition by infant in the control of infection. Investigations on these topics are needed in order to improve the programs aiming to diagnose, manage and control congenital Chagas disease. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Ecological interactions in Cloudina from the Ediacaran of Brazil: implications for the rise of animal biomineralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker-Kerber, Bruno; Pacheco, Mírian Liza Alves Forancelli; Rudnitzki, Isaac Daniel; Galante, Douglas; Rodrigues, Fabio; Leme, Juliana de Moraes

    2017-07-14

    At the Ediacaran/Cambrian boundary, ecosystems witnessed an unparalleled biological innovation: the appearance of shelled animals. Here, we report new paleoecological and paleobiological data on Cloudina, which was one of the most abundant shelled animals at the end of the Ediacaran. We report the close association of Cloudina tubes with microbial mat textures as well as organic-rich material, syndepositional calcite and goethite cement between their flanges, thus reinforcing the awareness of metazoan/microorganism interactions at the end of the Ediacaran. The preservation of in situ tubes suggests a great plasticity of substrate utilization, with evidence of different life modes and avoidance behavior. Geochemical analysis revealed walls composed of two secondary laminae and organic sheets. Some walls presented boreholes that are here described as predation marks. Taken together, these data add further information regarding the structuring of shelled animal communities in marine ecosystems.

  17. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinoth Wigneswaran

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial communities depends, to a large extent, on our knowledge of these interactions. This review highlights the recent advances regarding molecular characterization of microbe-microbe interactions that modulate community structure, activity, and stability, and aims to illustrate how these findings have helped us reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology.

  18. Facilitative ecological interactions between invasive species: Arundo donax stands as favorable habitat for cattle ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racelis, A E; Davey, R B; Goolsby, J A; Pérez de León, A A; Varner, K; Duhaime, R

    2012-03-01

    The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) spp. is a key vector of protozoa that cause bovine babesiosis. Largely eradicated from most of the United States, the cattle tick continues to infest south Texas, and recent outbreaks in this area may signal a resurgence of cattle tick populations despite current management efforts. An improved understanding of the dynamic ecology of cattle fever ticks along the U.S.-Mexico border is required to devise strategies for sustainable eradication efforts. Management areas of the cattle tick overlap considerably with dense, wide infestations of the non-native, invasive grass known as giant reed (Arundo donax L.). Here we show that stands of giant reed are associated with abiotic and biotic conditions that are favorable to tick survival, especially when compared with other nearby habitats (open pastures of buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) and closed canopy native forests). Overhead canopies in giant reed stands and native riparian forests reduce daily high temperature, which was the best abiotic predictor of oviposition by engorged females. In sites where temperatures were extreme, specifically open grasslands, fewer females laid eggs and the resulting egg masses were smaller. Pitfall trap collections of ground dwelling arthropods suggest a low potential for natural suppression of tick populations in giant reed stands. The finding that A. donax infestations present environmental conditions that facilitate the survival and persistence of cattle ticks, as well or better than native riparian habitats and open grasslands, represents an alarming complication for cattle fever tick management in the United States.

  19. On the Relationship Between Input and Interaction Psycholinguistic, Cognitive, and Ecological Perspectives in SLA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parisa Daftarifard

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Input is one of the most important elements in the process of second language acquisition (SLA. As Gass (1997 points out, second language learning simply cannot take place without input of some sort. Since then, specific issues have been actively debated in SLA on the nature of input and input processing, such as the amount of input that is necessary for language acquisition, various attributes of input and how they may facilitate or hinder acquisition, and instructional method that may enhance input. In this paper, four hypotheses and paradigms of input processing have been described. It is delineated that although the three paradigms of triggering, input hypothesis, and interaction hypothesis have been widely used and accepted, they lack the ability to account for the dynamic nature of language. Affordance, on the other hand, can account for such a nature of language.
    Therefore, affordance replaces fixed-eye vision by mobile-eye vision; an active learner establishes relationships with and within the environment. The learner can directly perceive and act on the ambient language without having to route everything through a pre-existing mental apparatus of schemata and representation, while this is not true in the fixed-code theory. In the fixed-eye theory of communication it is assumed that ready-made messages are coded at one end, transmitted,
    and then decoded in identical form at the other end. We need in its place a constructivist theory of message construction and interpretation.

  20. Variability, interaction and change in the atmosphere-ocean-ecology system of the Western Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, T; Laughton, A S; Flemming, N C

    2005-01-15

    Traditional ideas of intraseasonal and interannual climatic variability in the Western Indian Ocean, dominated by the mean cycle of seasonally reversing monsoon winds, are being replaced by a more complex picture, comprising air-sea interactions and feedbacks; atmosphere-ocean dynamics operating over intrannual to interdecadal time-scales; and climatological and oceanographic boundary condition changes at centennial to millennial time-scales. These forcings, which are mediated by the orography of East Africa and the Asian continent and by seafloor topography (most notably in this area by the banks and shoals of the Mascarene Plateau which interrupts the westward-flowing South Equatorial Current), determine fluxes of water, nutrients and biogeochemical constituents, the essential controls on ocean and shallow-sea productivity and ecosystem health. Better prediction of climatic variability for rain-fed agriculture, and the development of sustainable marine resource use, is of critical importance to the developing countries of this region but requires further basic information gathering and coordinated ocean observation systems.

  1. Ecological strategies in california chaparral: Interacting effects of soils, climate, and fire on specific leaf area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anacker, Brian; Rajakaruna, Nishanta; Ackerly, David; Harrison, Susan; Keeley, Jon E.; Vasey, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Background: High values of specific leaf area (SLA) are generally associated with high maximal growth rates in resource-rich conditions, such as mesic climates and fertile soils. However, fire may complicate this relationship since its frequency varies with both climate and soil fertility, and fire frequency selects for regeneration strategies (resprouting versus seeding) that are not independent of resource-acquisition strategies. Shared ancestry is also expected to affect the distribution of resource-use and regeneration traits.Aims: We examined climate, soil, and fire as drivers of community-level variation in a key functional trait, SLA, in chaparral in California.Methods: We quantified the phylogenetic, functional, and environmental non-independence of key traits for 87 species in 115 plots.Results: Among species, SLA was higher in resprouters than seeders, although not after phylogeny correction. Among communities, mean SLA was lower in harsh interior climates, but in these climates it was higher on more fertile soils and on more recently burned sites; in mesic coastal climates, mean SLA was uniformly high despite variation in soil fertility and fire history.Conclusions: We conclude that because important correlations exist among both species traits and environmental filters, interpreting the functional and phylogenetic structure of communities may require an understanding of complex interactive effects.

  2. Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator–prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorresteijn, Ine; Schultner, Jannik; Nimmo, Dale G.; Fischer, Joern; Hanspach, Jan; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Kehoe, Laura; Ritchie, Euan G.

    2015-01-01

    Apex predators perform important functions that regulate ecosystems worldwide. However, little is known about how ecosystem regulation by predators is influenced by human activities. In particular, how important are top-down effects of predators relative to direct and indirect human-mediated bottom-up and top-down processes? Combining data on species' occurrence from camera traps and hunting records, we aimed to quantify the relative effects of top-down and bottom-up processes in shaping predator and prey distributions in a human-dominated landscape in Transylvania, Romania. By global standards this system is diverse, including apex predators (brown bear and wolf), mesopredators (red fox) and large herbivores (roe and red deer). Humans and free-ranging dogs represent additional predators in the system. Using structural equation modelling, we found that apex predators suppress lower trophic levels, especially herbivores. However, direct and indirect top-down effects of humans affected the ecosystem more strongly, influencing species at all trophic levels. Our study highlights the need to explicitly embed humans and their influences within trophic cascade theory. This will greatly expand our understanding of species interactions in human-modified landscapes, which compose the majority of the Earth's terrestrial surface. PMID:26336169

  3. A 'Knowledge Ecologies' Analysis of Co-designing Water and Sanitation Services in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fam, Dena; Sofoulis, Zoë

    2017-08-01

    Willingness to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries is necessary but not sufficient for project success. This is a case study of a transdisciplinary project whose success was constrained by contextual factors that ultimately favoured technical and scientific forms of knowledge over the cultural intelligence that might ensure technical solutions were socially feasible. In response to Alaskan Water and Sewer Challenge (AWSC), an international team with expertise in engineering, consultative design and public health formed in 2013 to collaborate on a two-year project to design remote area water and sanitation systems in consultation with two native Alaskan communities. Team members were later interviewed about their experiences. Project processes are discussed using a 'Knowledge Ecology' framework, which applies principles of ecosystems analysis to knowledge ecologies, identifying the knowledge equivalents of 'biotic' and 'abiotic' factors and looking at their various interactions. In a positivist 'knowledge integration' perspective, different knowledges are like Lego blocks that combine with other 'data sets' to create a unified structure. The knowledge ecology framework highlights how interactions between different knowledges and knowledge practitioners ('biotic factors') are shaped by contextual ('abiotic') factors: the conditions of knowledge production, the research policy and funding climate, the distribution of research resources, and differential access to enabling infrastructures (networks, facilities). This case study highlights the importance of efforts to negotiate between different knowledge frameworks, including by strategic use of language and precepts that help translate social research into technical design outcomes that are grounded in social reality.

  4. Assessment and management of ecological integrity: Chapter 12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Thomas J.; Freeman, Mary C.

    2010-01-01

    Assessing and understanding the impacts of human activities on aquatic ecosystems has long been a focus of ecologists, water resources managers, and fisheries scientists. While traditional fisheries management focused on single-species approaches to enhance fish stocks, there is a growing emphasis on management approaches at community and ecosystem levels. Of course, as fisheries managers shift their attention from narrow (e.g., populations) to broad organizational scales (e.g., communities or ecosystems), ecological processes and management objectives become more complex. At the community level, fisheries managers may strive for a fish assemblage that is complex, persistent, and resilient to disturbance. Aquatic ecosystem level objectives may focus on management for habitat quality and ecological processes, such as nutrient dynamics, productivity, or trophic interactions, but a long-term goal of ecosystem management may be to maintain ecological integrity. However, human users and social, economic, and political demands of fisheries management often result in a reduction of ecological integrity in managed systems, and this conflict presents a principal challenge for the modern fisheries manager. The concepts of biotic integrity and ecological integrity are being applied in fisheries science, natural resource management, and environmental legislation, but explicit definitions of these terms are elusive. Biotic integrity of an ecosystem may be defined as the capability of supporting and maintaining an integrated, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to that of a natural habitat of the region (Karr and Dudley 1981). Following that, ecological integrity is the summation of chemical, physical, and biological integrity. Thus, the concept of ecological integrity extends beyond fish and represents a holistic approach for ecosystem management that is especially applicable to aquatic systems. The

  5. Progress and challenges in coupled hydrodynamic-ecological estuarine modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganju, Neil K.; Brush, Mark J.; Rashleigh, Brenda; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; del Barrio, Pilar; Grear, Jason S.; Harris, Lora A.; Lake, Samuel J.; McCardell, Grant; O'Donnell, James; Ralston, David K.; Signell, Richard P.; Testa, Jeremy; Vaudrey, Jamie M. P.

    2016-01-01

    Numerical modeling has emerged over the last several decades as a widely accepted tool for investigations in environmental sciences. In estuarine research, hydrodynamic and ecological models have moved along parallel tracks with regard to complexity, refinement, computational power, and incorporation of uncertainty. Coupled hydrodynamic-ecological models have been used to assess ecosystem processes and interactions, simulate future scenarios, and evaluate remedial actions in response to eutrophication, habitat loss, and freshwater diversion. The need to couple hydrodynamic and ecological models to address research and management questions is clear because dynamic feedbacks between biotic and physical processes are critical interactions within ecosystems. In this review, we present historical and modern perspectives on estuarine hydrodynamic and ecological modeling, consider model limitations, and address aspects of model linkage, skill assessment, and complexity. We discuss the balance between spatial and temporal resolution and present examples using different spatiotemporal scales. Finally, we recommend future lines of inquiry, approaches to balance complexity and uncertainty, and model transparency and utility. It is idealistic to think we can pursue a “theory of everything” for estuarine models, but recent advances suggest that models for both scientific investigations and management applications will continue to improve in terms of realism, precision, and accuracy.

  6. Quantifying the effects of ecological constraints on trait expression using novel trait-gradient analysis parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottaviani, Gianluigi; Tsakalos, James L; Keppel, Gunnar; Mucina, Ladislav

    2018-01-01

    Complex processes related to biotic and abiotic forces can impose limitations to assembly and composition of plant communities. Quantifying the effects of these constraints on plant functional traits across environmental gradients, and among communities, remains challenging. We define ecological constraint ( C i ) as the combined, limiting effect of biotic interactions and environmental filtering on trait expression (i.e., the mean value and range of functional traits). Here, we propose a set of novel parameters to quantify this constraint by extending the trait-gradient analysis (TGA) methodology. The key parameter is ecological constraint, which is dimensionless and can be measured at various scales, for example, on population and community levels. It facilitates comparing the effects of ecological constraints on trait expressions across environmental gradients, as well as within and among communities. We illustrate the implementation of the proposed parameters using the bark thickness of 14 woody species along an aridity gradient on granite outcrops in southwestern Australia. We found a positive correlation between increasing environmental stress and strength of ecological constraint on bark thickness expression. Also, plants from more stressful habitats (shrublands on shallow soils and in sun-exposed locations) displayed higher ecological constraint for bark thickness than plants in more benign habitats (woodlands on deep soils and in sheltered locations). The relative ease of calculation and dimensionless nature of C i allow it to be readily implemented at various scales and make it widely applicable. It therefore has the potential to advance the mechanistic understanding of the ecological processes shaping trait expression. Some future applications of the new parameters could be investigating the patterns of ecological constraints (1) among communities from different regions, (2) on different traits across similar environmental gradients, and (3) for the same

  7. Rapid biotic homogenization of marine fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magurran, Anne E.; Dornelas, Maria; Moyes, Faye; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; McGill, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The role human activities play in reshaping biodiversity is increasingly apparent in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the responses of entire marine assemblages are not well-understood, in part, because few monitoring programs incorporate both spatial and temporal replication. Here, we analyse an exceptionally comprehensive 29-year time series of North Atlantic groundfish assemblages monitored over 5° latitude to the west of Scotland. These fish assemblages show no systematic change in species richness through time, but steady change in species composition, leading to an increase in spatial homogenization: the species identity of colder northern localities increasingly resembles that of warmer southern localities. This biotic homogenization mirrors the spatial pattern of unevenly rising ocean temperatures over the same time period suggesting that climate change is primarily responsible for the spatial homogenization we observe. In this and other ecosystems, apparent constancy in species richness may mask major changes in species composition driven by anthropogenic change. PMID:26400102

  8. About possibility of creation of ecologically pure, safe nuclear power plants on the basis of high-effective resonant neutron interaction with splitting substances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Irdyncheyev, L.A.; Malofeyev, A.M.; Frid, E.S.; Abramov, E.P.

    1993-01-01

    Currently the most important problem in nuclear engineering is creation of ecologically pure, safe nuclear power plants in the context of real danger of global ecological pollution of the environment with long-lived fission products and the resultant transuranium nuclides. The problem can be solved by creating nuclear power plants on the basis of high-effective resonant interaction (HERI). Such power plants would provide the total cycle, including nuclear fuel production (Plutonium-239 from Uranium-238), combustion and waste products salvaging by way of transformation of radioactive nuclides into stable isotopes

  9. Dynamics in artifact ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bødker, Susanne; Klokmose, Clemens Nylandsted

    2012-01-01

    We increasingly interact with multiple interactive artifacts with overlapping capabilities during our daily activities. It has previously been shown that the use of an interactive artifact cannot be understood in isolation, but artifacts must be understood as part of an artifact ecology, where...... artifacts influence the use of others. Understanding this interplay becomes more and more essential for interaction design as our artifact ecologies grow. This paper continues a recent discourse on artifact ecologies. Through interviews with iPhone users, we demonstrate that relationships between artifacts...... in artifact ecologies cannot be understood as static, instead they evolve dynamically over time. We provide activity theory-based concepts to explain these dynamics....

  10. Terpenes tell different tales at different scales: glimpses into the Chemical Ecology of conifer - bark beetle - microbial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffa, Kenneth F

    2014-01-01

    Chemical signaling mediates nearly all aspects of species interactions. Our knowledge of these signals has progressed dramatically, and now includes good characterizations of the bioactivities, modes of action, biosynthesis, and genetic programming of numerous compounds affecting a wide range of species. A major challenge now is to integrate this information so as to better understand actual selective pressures under natural conditions, make meaningful predictions about how organisms and ecosystems will respond to a changing environment, and provide useful guidance to managers who must contend with difficult trade-offs among competing socioeconomic values. One approach is to place stronger emphasis on cross-scale interactions, an understanding of which can help us better connect pattern with process, and improve our ability to make mechanistically grounded predictions over large areas and time frames. The opportunity to achieve such progress has been heightened by the rapid development of new scientific and technological tools. There are significant difficulties, however: Attempts to extend arrays of lower-scale processes into higher scale functioning can generate overly diffuse patterns. Conversely, attempts to infer process from pattern can miss critically important lower-scale drivers in systems where their biological and statistical significance is negated after critical thresholds are breached. Chemical signaling in bark beetle - conifer interactions has been explored for several decades, including by the two pioneers after whom this award is named. The strong knowledge base developed by many researchers, the importance of bark beetles in ecosystem functioning, and the socioeconomic challenges they pose, establish these insects as an ideal model for studying chemical signaling within a cross-scale context. This report describes our recent work at three levels of scale: interactions of bacteria with host plant compounds and symbiotic fungi (tree level

  11. The bee microbiome: Impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, Robert S.; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health.

  12. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, José A.; Maes, Jean-Michel; Montelongo, Tinguaro; Nguyen, Dinh Thi; Papadopoulou, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this attempt to characterise biodiversity has been incorporating DNA-based characters and molecular taxonomy tools to achieve faster and more efficient species delimitation and identification, even in hyperdiverse tropical biomes. In this assay we advocate for a broad understanding of Biodiversity as the inventory of species in a given environment, but also the diversity of their interactions, with both aspects being attainable using molecular markers and phylogenetic approaches. We exemplify the suitability and utility of this framework for large-scale biodiversity assessment with the results of our ongoing projects trying to characterise the communities of leaf beetles and their host plants in several tropical setups. Moreover, we propose that approaches similar to ours, establishing the inventories of two ecologically inter-related and species-rich groups of organisms, such as insect herbivores and their angiosperm host-plants, can serve as the foundational stone to anchor a comprehensive assessment of diversity, also in tropical environments, by subsequent addition of trophic levels. PMID:27408583

  13. Ecological opportunity and predator-prey interactions: linking eco-evolutionary processes and diversification in adaptive radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontarp, Mikael; Petchey, Owen L

    2018-03-14

    Much of life's diversity has arisen through ecological opportunity and adaptive radiations, but the mechanistic underpinning of such diversification is not fully understood. Competition and predation can affect adaptive radiations, but contrasting theoretical and empirical results show that they can both promote and interrupt diversification. A mechanistic understanding of the link between microevolutionary processes and macroevolutionary patterns is thus needed, especially in trophic communities. Here, we use a trait-based eco-evolutionary model to investigate the mechanisms linking competition, predation and adaptive radiations. By combining available micro-evolutionary theory and simulations of adaptive radiations we show that intraspecific competition is crucial for diversification as it induces disruptive selection, in particular in early phases of radiation. The diversification rate is however decreased in later phases owing to interspecific competition as niche availability, and population sizes are decreased. We provide new insight into how predation tends to have a negative effect on prey diversification through decreased population sizes, decreased disruptive selection and through the exclusion of prey from parts of niche space. The seemingly disparate effects of competition and predation on adaptive radiations, listed in the literature, may thus be acting and interacting in the same adaptive radiation at different relative strength as the radiation progresses. © 2018 The Authors.

  14. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, José A; Maes, Jean-Michel; Montelongo, Tinguaro; Nguyen, Dinh Thi; Papadopoulou, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this attempt to characterise biodiversity has been incorporating DNA-based characters and molecular taxonomy tools to achieve faster and more efficient species delimitation and identification, even in hyperdiverse tropical biomes. In this assay we advocate for a broad understanding of Biodiversity as the inventory of species in a given environment, but also the diversity of their interactions, with both aspects being attainable using molecular markers and phylogenetic approaches. We exemplify the suitability and utility of this framework for large-scale biodiversity assessment with the results of our ongoing projects trying to characterise the communities of leaf beetles and their host plants in several tropical setups. Moreover, we propose that approaches similar to ours, establishing the inventories of two ecologically inter-related and species-rich groups of organisms, such as insect herbivores and their angiosperm host-plants, can serve as the foundational stone to anchor a comprehensive assessment of diversity, also in tropical environments, by subsequent addition of trophic levels.

  15. Ecological trade-offs between jasmonic acid-dependent direct and indirect plant defences in tritrophic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jianing; Wang, Lizhong; Zhao, Jiuhai; Li, Chuanyou; Ge, Feng; Kang, Le

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies on plants genetically modified in jasmonic acid (JA) signalling support the hypothesis that the jasmonate family of oxylipins plays an important role in mediating direct and indirect plant defences. However, the interaction of two modes of defence in tritrophic systems is largely unknown. In this study, we examined the preference and performance of a herbivorous leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis) and its parasitic wasp (Opius dissitus) on three tomato genotypes: a wild-type (WT) plant, a JA biosynthesis (spr2) mutant, and a JA-overexpression 35S::prosys plant. Their proteinase inhibitor production and volatile emission were used as direct and indirect defence factors to evaluate the responses of leafminers and parasitoids. Here, we show that although spr2 mutant plants are compromised in direct defence against the larval leafminers and in attracting parasitoids, they are less attractive to adult flies compared with WT plants. Moreover, in comparison to other genotypes, the 35S::prosys plant displays greater direct and constitutive indirect defences, but reduced success of parasitism by parasitoids. Taken together, these results suggest that there are distinguished ecological trade-offs between JA-dependent direct and indirect defences in genetically modified plants whose fitness should be assessed in tritrophic systems and under natural conditions. © The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010).

  16. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Engel

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-04

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Röder

    2011-05-01

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

  19. Non-additive costs and interactions alter the competitive dynamics of co-occurring ecologically distinct plasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Elise R; Platt, Thomas G; Fuqua, Clay; Bever, James D

    2014-03-22

    Plasmids play an important role in shaping bacterial evolution and adaptation to heterogeneous environments. As modular genetic elements that are often conjugative, the selective pressures that act on plasmid-borne genes are distinct from those that act on the chromosome. Many bacteria are co-infected by multiple plasmids that impart niche-specific phenotypes. Thus, in addition to host-plasmid dynamics, interactions between co-infecting plasmids are likely to be important drivers of plasmid population dynamics, evolution and ecology. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a facultative plant pathogen that commonly harbours two distinct megaplasmids. Virulence depends on the presence of the tumour-inducing (Ti) plasmid, with benefits that are primarily restricted to the disease environment. Here, we demonstrate that a second megaplasmid, the At plasmid, confers a competitive advantage in the rhizosphere. To assess the individual and interactive costs of these plasmids, we generated four isogenic derivatives: plasmidless, pAt only, pTi only and pAtpTi, and performed pairwise competitions under carbon-limiting conditions. These studies reveal a low cost to the virulence plasmid when outside of the disease environment, and a strikingly high cost to the At plasmid. In addition, the costs of pAt and pTi in the same host were significantly lower than predicted based on single plasmid costs, signifying the first demonstration of non-additivity between naturally occurring co-resident plasmids. Based on these empirically demonstrated costs and benefits, we developed a resource-consumer model to generate predictions about the frequencies of these genotypes in relevant environments, showing that non-additivity between co-residing plasmids allows for their stable coexistence across environments.

  20. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. The terrestrial isopod microbiome: An all-in-one toolbox for animal-microbe interactions of ecological relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didier Bouchon

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial symbionts represent essential drivers of arthropod ecology and evolution, influencing host traits such as nutrition, reproduction, immunity and speciation. However, the majority of work on arthropod microbiota has been conducted in insects and more studies in non-model species across different ecological niches will be needed to complete our understanding of host-microbiota interactions. In this review, we present terrestrial isopod crustaceans as an emerging model organism to investigate symbiotic associations with potential relevance to ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial isopods comprise a group of crustaceans that have evolved a terrestrial lifestyle and represent keystone species in terrestrial ecosystems, contributing to the decomposition of organic matter and regulating the microbial food web. Since their nutrition is based on plant detritus, it has long been suspected that bacterial symbionts located in the digestive tissues might play an important role in host nutrition via the provisioning of digestive enzymes, thereby enabling the utilization of recalcitrant food compounds (e.g. cellulose or lignins. If this were the case, then (i the acquisition of these bacteria might have been an important evolutionary prerequisite for the colonization of land by isopods, and (ii these bacterial symbionts would directly mediate the role of their hosts in ecosystem functioning. Several bacterial symbionts have indeed been discovered in the midgut caeca of terrestrial isopods and some of them might be specific to this group of animals (i.e. Candidatus Hepatoplasma crinochetorum, Candidatus Hepatincola porcellionum and Rhabdochlamydia porcellionis, while others are well-known intracellular pathogens (Rickettsiella spp. or reproductive parasites (Wolbachia sp.. Moreover, a recent investigation of the microbiota in Armadillidium vulgare has revealed that this species harbors a highly diverse bacterial community which varies between host

  2. The Terrestrial Isopod Microbiome: An All-in-One Toolbox for Animal-Microbe Interactions of Ecological Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchon, Didier; Zimmer, Martin; Dittmer, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts represent essential drivers of arthropod ecology and evolution, influencing host traits such as nutrition, reproduction, immunity, and speciation. However, the majority of work on arthropod microbiota has been conducted in insects and more studies in non-model species across different ecological niches will be needed to complete our understanding of host-microbiota interactions. In this review, we present terrestrial isopod crustaceans as an emerging model organism to investigate symbiotic associations with potential relevance to ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial isopods comprise a group of crustaceans that have evolved a terrestrial lifestyle and represent keystone species in terrestrial ecosystems, contributing to the decomposition of organic matter and regulating the microbial food web. Since their nutrition is based on plant detritus, it has long been suspected that bacterial symbionts located in the digestive tissues might play an important role in host nutrition via the provisioning of digestive enzymes, thereby enabling the utilization of recalcitrant food compounds (e.g., cellulose or lignins). If this were the case, then (i) the acquisition of these bacteria might have been an important evolutionary prerequisite for the colonization of land by isopods, and (ii) these bacterial symbionts would directly mediate the role of their hosts in ecosystem functioning. Several bacterial symbionts have indeed been discovered in the midgut caeca of terrestrial isopods and some of them might be specific to this group of animals (i.e., Candidatus Hepatoplasma crinochetorum, Candidatus Hepatincola porcellionum, and Rhabdochlamydia porcellionis ), while others are well-known intracellular pathogens ( Rickettsiella spp.) or reproductive parasites ( Wolbachia sp.). Moreover, a recent investigation of the microbiota in Armadillidium vulgare has revealed that this species harbors a highly diverse bacterial community which varies between host populations

  3. Ecological macroeconomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2013-01-01

    by a more theoretical debate and increased interaction between the heterodox schools of ecological economics and post-Keynesian economics. In addition, both the degrowth community and the research community organized around sustainable transitions of socio-technical systems have contributed to discussions...... on how to reconcile environmental and social concerns. Based on this broad variety of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, a new ecological macroeconomics is emerging, but the contours are still vague. This chapter seeks to outline some of this topography and to add a few pieces of its own by highlighting the need...... to shift resources from consumption to investment and describing the role of consumer-citizens in such a change. The chapter starts by identifying the problems and challenges for an ecological macroeconomics. The next section outlines some of the shortcomings of traditional macroeconomics...

  4. Biotic and Climatic Velocity Identify Contrasting Areas of Vulnerability to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Carlos; Lawler, Joshua J.; Roberts, David R.; Hamann, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Metrics that synthesize the complex effects of climate change are essential tools for mapping future threats to biodiversity and predicting which species are likely to adapt in place to new climatic conditions, disperse and establish in areas with newly suitable climate, or face the prospect of extirpation. The most commonly used of such metrics is the velocity of climate change, which estimates the speed at which species must migrate over the earth’s surface to maintain constant climatic conditions. However, “analog-based” velocities, which represent the actual distance to where analogous climates will be found in the future, may provide contrasting results to the more common form of velocity based on local climate gradients. Additionally, whereas climatic velocity reflects the exposure of organisms to climate change, resultant biotic effects are dependent on the sensitivity of individual species as reflected in part by their climatic niche width. This has motivated development of biotic velocity, a metric which uses data on projected species range shifts to estimate the velocity at which species must move to track their climatic niche. We calculated climatic and biotic velocity for the Western Hemisphere for 1961–2100, and applied the results to example ecological and conservation planning questions, to demonstrate the potential of such analog-based metrics to provide information on broad-scale patterns of exposure and sensitivity. Geographic patterns of biotic velocity for 2954 species of birds, mammals, and amphibians differed from climatic velocity in north temperate and boreal regions. However, both biotic and climatic velocities were greatest at low latitudes, implying that threats to equatorial species arise from both the future magnitude of climatic velocities and the narrow climatic tolerances of species in these regions, which currently experience low seasonal and interannual climatic variability. Biotic and climatic velocity, by approximating

  5. The dynamical interactions of Amazon deforestation, intensification of cattle ranching and technology adoption: insights from a socio-ecological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Hansen, Finn; Heitzig, Jobst; Donges, Jonathan F.; Cardoso, Manoel F.; Kurths, Jürgen; Thonicke, Kirsten

    2017-04-01

    . While most agent-based models in land science are developed for small study regions, our approach is scalable also to regional levels and for this purpose abstracts from many local specificities. In the proposed model, a collection of cattle ranchers interacts with the local environment via decisions to convert forest into pasture land and manage this pasture. Deforestation and land abandonment is traced by simple land-cover succession equations and ecological dynamics consider the evolution of pasture productivity depending on pasture management, deforestation and tree regrowth. Agent decisions are captured by heuristic strategies depending on economic and ecological constraints. Agents can follow either an extensive strategy, corresponding to traditional cattle ranching with fallow periods and slash-and-burn fertilization, or an intensive strategy, i.e. cattle ranching with high inputs such as machinery and industrial fertilizers. The choice of the production strategy is modeled as a social learning process: Agents are located on a geometric network representing neighborhood and acquaintance relations and imitate the successful strategies of their neighbors. We will present a comprehensive analysis of the model and discuss conditions that foster sustainable land use. Finally, we will give an outlook at possible extensions of the model and applications to issues such as compliance with Brazil's Forest Code and feedbacks from changes in climate. References: [1] Kaimowitz, David and Arild Angelsen (2008). "Will Livestock Intensification Help Save Latin America's Tropical Forests?" In: Journal of Sustainable Forestry 27.1-2, pp. 6-24. [2] Cohn, Avery S, Aline Mosnier, Petr Havlík, Hugo Valin, Mario Herrero, Erwin Schmid, Michael O'Hare, and Michael Obersteiner (2014). "Cattle ranching intensification in Brazil can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by sparing land from deforestation." In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

  6. Ecological palaeoecology: a missing link between ecology and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rull, V.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaeoecology is more than a palaeoenvironmental discipline; it is a science that is well-suited for supplying the empirical evidence necessary to test ecological hypotheses and contributes to our understanding of the interface of ecology and evolution. A critical time frame in palaeoecology is the often-overlooked Q-time dimension (centuries to millennia, which tends to be the most appropriate time dimension to examine ecology–evolution interactions. This paper discusses these topics from a conceptual perspective and provides examples of the contributions of palaeoecology to the study of ecology–evolution interactions. It also admonishes researchers about the threats of overlooking palaeoecology. Specifically, this paper argues that the neglect of palaeoecology may result in the loss of empirical support for ecology and its interactions with evolution as DNA-based phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies become more and more prevalent. The main concepts discussed are the time continuum, the notion of ecological palaeoecology and the empirical nature of palaeoecology in the face of more hypothetical approaches. More practically speaking, several examples are provided that highlight the utility of ecological palaeoecology for understanding a variety of processes, including ecological succession, community– environment equilibria, community assembly, biotic responses to environmental change, speciation and extinction, and biodiversity conservation. The ecology–evolution interface is analysed using two processes in which these disciplines interact intensively: ecological succession and long-range migration. This work concludes that both ecological palaeoecology (including ancient DNA records and DNA-based phylogenetics and phylogeography are needed to better understand the biosphere ecologically and the processes occurring at the ecology–evolution interface.La paleoecología es más que una disciplina ambiental, ya que proporciona las

  7. Biotic-Abiotic Nanoscale Interactions in Biological Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-28

    oneidensis MR-1 bacterial nanowires are lipid-based extensions of the outer- membrane and periplasmic electron transport proteins, Science Magazine ...Minnesota Biotechnology Institute Seminar 2013 California State University, Long Beach Physics Colloquium 2014 Okayama University, Japan. Mini...Investigator Program Award 2012 Selected by Popular Science Magazine as one of the “Brilliant 10” of 2012 2013 USC Dornsife Raubenheimer award for

  8. The lake foodweb: modelling predation and abiotic/biotic interactions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hakanson, L; Boulion, V.V

    2002-01-01

    .... LakeWeb includes the following key functional groups of organisms: phytoplankton, bacterioplankton, benthic algae, macrophytes, zoobenthos, herbivorous and predatory zooplankton, prey fish and predatory fish...

  9. ABC transporters from Botrytis cinerea in biotic and abiotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoonbeek, H.

    2004-01-01

    Botrytis cinereais the causal agent of grey mould disease on a wide variety of crop plants. It is relatively insensitive to natural and synthetic fungitoxic compounds. This thesis describes how ABC (ATP-binding cassette) transporters contribute to protection by actively

  10. Arsenic and fluvial biofilms: biogeochemistry, toxicity and biotic interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Barral Fraga, Laura

    2017-01-01

    Basándonos en los conocimientos actuales sobre la ecotoxicología del biofilm y la biogeoquímica del arsénico en ecosistemas dulceacuícolas, esta tesis estudió, bajo concentraciones ambientales realistas, i) el papel de los biofilms bentónicos en la biodisponibilidad y destoxificación del arsénico, ii) los efectos tóxicos del arsénico sobre la estructura y función de los biofilms bentónicos fluviales, prestando especial atención a las respuestas de las diatomeas, y iii) la interacción entre es...

  11. Methyl salicylate production in tomato affects biotic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ament, Kai; Krasikov, Vladimir; Allmann, Silke; Rep, Martijn; Takken, Frank L W; Schuurink, Robert C

    2010-04-01

    The role of methyl salicylate (MeSA) production was studied in indirect and direct defence responses of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to the spider mite Tetranychus urticae and the root-invading fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, respectively. To this end, we silenced the tomato gene encoding salicylic acid methyl transferase (SAMT). Silencing of SAMT led to a major reduction in SAMT expression and MeSA emission upon herbivory by spider mites, without affecting the induced emission of other volatiles (terpenoids). The predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, which preys on T. urticae, could not discriminate between infested and non-infested SAMT-silenced lines, as it could for wild-type tomato plants. Moreover, when given the choice between infested SAMT-silenced and infested wild-type plants, they preferred the latter. These findings are supportive of a major role for MeSA in this indirect defence response of tomato. SAMT-silenced tomato plants were less susceptible to a virulent strain of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, indicating that the direct defense responses in the roots are also affected in these plants. Our studies show that the conversion of SA to MeSA can affect both direct and indirect plant defence responses.

  12. Methyl salicylate production in tomato affects biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ament, K.; Krasikov, V.; Allmann, S.; Rep, M.; Takken, F.L.W.; Schuurink, R.C.

    2010-01-01

    The role of methyl salicylate (MeSA) production was studied in indirect and direct defence responses of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to the spider mite Tetranychus urticae and the root-invading fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, respectively. To this end, we silenced the tomato gene

  13. Characterization of the ecological interactions of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horak, Michael J; Rosenbaum, Eric W; Phillips, Samuel L; Kendrick, Daniel L; Carson, David; Clark, Pete L; Nickson, Thomas E

    2015-01-01

    As part of an ecological risk assessment, Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean (MON 89788) was compared to a conventional control soybean variety, A3244, for disease and arthropod damage, plant response to abiotic stress and cold, effects on succeeding plant growth (allelopathic effects), plant response to a bacterial symbiont, and effects on the ability of seed to survive and volunteer in a subsequent growing season. Statistically significant differences between MON 89788 and A3244 were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were assessed for their potential impact on plant pest (weed) potential and adverse environmental impact. The results of these studies revealed no effects of the genetic modification that would result in increased pest potential or adverse environmental impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. This paper illustrates how such characterization studies conducted in a range of environments where the crop is grown are used in an ecological risk assessment of the genetically modified (GM) crop. Furthermore, risk assessors and decision makers use this information when deciding whether to approve a GM crop for cultivation in-or grain import into-their country.

  14. Developing a Phytoplankton Biotic Index as an Indicator of Freshwater Inflow within a Subtropical Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steichen, J. L.; Quigg, A.; Lucchese, A.; Preischel, H.

    2016-02-01

    Freshwater inflows drive the water and sediment quality in coastal bays and estuaries influencing the ecosystem and health of the biological community. Phytoplankton accessory pigments (used as a proxy for major taxonomic groups) have been utilized to develop a biotic index of physical, chemical and biotic disturbances in Chesapeake Bay (USA) and other estuarine systems. In this study we have used the Chesapeake Bay - Phytoplankton Index of Biotic Integrity model as a guide in developing an index for Galveston Bay, TX (USA) as an indicator of sufficient freshwater inflow to a subtropical estuary. Multivariate statistical analyses were run using PRIMER-E+PERMANOVA to determine the correlations between phytoplankton accessory pigment concentrations and a suite of abiotic factors associated with freshwater inflow (salinity, DIN, PO4, secchi). Phytoplankton pigment concentrations and water quality parameters were collected across Galveston Bay on a monthly basis from 2008-2013. In the upper region of the bay nearest the river source Dinophyceae, Cryptophyceae (winter (Dec-Feb)) and Chlorophyceae (winter and spring (Mar-May)) were significantly correlated to freshwater inflow and nutrient concentrations PO4 (p<0.05). Increased concentrations of Bacillariophyceae and Cyanophyceae (summer (Jun-Aug)) were significantly correlated to lower concentrations of DIN (p<0.05). Near the mouth of the estuary there was a significant correlation between the increase in Bacillariophyceae, Cyanophyceae, Cryptophyceae and Dinophyceae with decreasing PO4 (p<0.05). Within the dynamic system of Galveston Bay we are working to apply a Phytoplankton Index of Biotic Integrity as a means of monitoring the biological health of this ecologically and economically important estuarine ecosystem.

  15. Effects of native biodiversity on grape loss of four castes: testing the biotic resistance hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Nereu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Management of agricultural landscapes can influence the biodiversity and the ecological services provided by these ecosystems, such as natural biological pest control. Viticulture is a very important economic activity in most countries with Mediterranean climate, often shaping their landscapes and culture. Grape production is affected by a number of pests and diseases, and farmers use prophylactic and response-driven pesticides to control these pests. Here we quantified the main biotic causes of crop losses in four grape castes, two red (Touriga Nacional and Baga and two white (Arinto and Chardonnay, and evaluated the potential effect of native biodiversity to provide biotic resistance to pest outbreaks and grape losses. Specifically, the diversity and abundance of bird and insect communities in these vineyards were quantified and divided into functional guilds (pest, neutral or auxiliary, to test whether these natural communities hold the potential to naturally control grape pests (biotic resistance hypothesis under normal vineyard management (including pesticide application regimes. A potential association between distance to the vineyard edge and grape losses was also evaluated. We recorded a very small proportion of grape losses (mean  =  0.6 %; max  =  7.5 %, with insect pests showing a preference for the castes Baga (red and Chardonnay (white, while bird pests avoided the caste Arinto (white. Grape color did not influence losses caused by insect pests, but birds showed a preference for red castes. The caste Baga was also more vulnerable to losses caused by fungi. Despite their low impact on grape production, most insects and birds detected in the six vineyards were pests, which entails a potentially low level of biotic resistance in this highly managed agricultural ecosystem. Further research is necessary to fully evaluate the role of functional biodiversity in vineyards, particularly if alternative production processes

  16. Partitioning controls on Amazon forest photosynthesis between environmental and biotic factors at hourly to interannual timescales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jin; Guan, Kaiyu; Hayek, Matthew; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Wiedemann, Kenia T; Xu, Xiangtao; Wehr, Richard; Christoffersen, Bradley O; Miao, Guofang; da Silva, Rodrigo; de Araujo, Alessandro C; Oliviera, Raimundo C; Camargo, Plinio B; Monson, Russell K; Huete, Alfredo R; Saleska, Scott R

    2017-03-01

    Gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) in tropical forests varies both with the environment and with biotic changes in photosynthetic infrastructure, but our understanding of the relative effects of these factors across timescales is limited. Here, we used a statistical model to partition the variability of seven years of eddy covariance-derived GEP in a central Amazon evergreen forest into two main causes: variation in environmental drivers (solar radiation, diffuse light fraction, and vapor pressure deficit) that interact with model parameters that govern photosynthesis and biotic variation in canopy photosynthetic light-use efficiency associated with changes in the parameters themselves. Our fitted model was able to explain most of the variability in GEP at hourly (R 2  = 0.77) to interannual (R 2  = 0.80) timescales. At hourly timescales, we found that 75% of observed GEP variability could be attributed to environmental variability. When aggregating GEP to the longer timescales (daily, monthly, and yearly), however, environmental variation explained progressively less GEP variability: At monthly timescales, it explained only 3%, much less than biotic variation in canopy photosynthetic light-use efficiency, which accounted for 63%. These results challenge modeling approaches that assume GEP is primarily controlled by the environment at both short and long timescales. Our approach distinguishing biotic from environmental variability can help to resolve debates about environmental limitations to tropical forest photosynthesis. For example, we found that biotically regulated canopy photosynthetic light-use efficiency (associated with leaf phenology) increased with sunlight during dry seasons (consistent with light but not water limitation of canopy development) but that realized GEP was nonetheless lower relative to its potential efficiency during dry than wet seasons (consistent with water limitation of photosynthesis in given assemblages of leaves). This work

  17. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R Scott; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-04-26

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health. Copyright © 2016 Engel et al.

  18. Individual and Interactive Effects of Socio-Ecological Factors on Dengue Fever at Fine Spatial Scale: A Geographical Detector-Based Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zheng; Liu, Tao; Li, Xing; Wang, Jin; Lin, Hualiang; Chen, Lingling; Wu, Zhifeng; Ma, Wenjun

    2017-07-17

    Background : Large spatial heterogeneity was observed in the dengue fever outbreak in Guangzhou in 2014, however, the underlying reasons remain unknown. We examined whether socio-ecological factors affected the spatial distribution and their interactive effects. Methods : Moran's I was applied to first examine the spatial cluster of dengue fever in Guangzhou. Nine socio-ecological factors were chosen to represent the urbanization level, economy, accessibility, environment, and the weather of the 167 townships/streets in Guangzhou, and then the geographical detector was applied to analyze the individual and interactive effects of these factors on the dengue outbreak. Results : Four clusters of dengue fever were identified in Guangzhou in 2014, including one hot spot in the central area of Guangzhou and three cold spots in the suburban districts. For individual effects, the temperature ( q = 0.33) was the dominant factor of dengue fever, followed by precipitation ( q = 0.24), road density ( q = 0.24), and water body area ( q = 0.23). For the interactive effects, the combination of high precipitation, high temperature, and high road density might result in increased dengue fever incidence. Moreover, urban villages might be the dengue fever hot spots. Conclusions : Our study suggests that some socio-ecological factors might either separately or jointly influence the spatial distribution of dengue fever in Guangzhou.

  19. Interaction type influences ecological network structure more than local abiotic conditions: evidence from endophytic and endolichenic fungi at a continental scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chagnon, Pierre-Luc; U'Ren, Jana M; Miadlikowska, Jolanta; Lutzoni, François; Arnold, A Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the factors that shape community assembly remains one of the most enduring and important questions in modern ecology. Network theory can reveal rules of community assembly within and across study systems and suggest novel hypotheses regarding the formation and stability of communities. However, such studies generally face the challenge of disentangling the relative influence of factors such as interaction type and environmental conditions on shaping communities and associated networks. Endophytic and endolichenic symbioses, characterized by microbial species that occur within healthy plants and lichen thalli, represent some of the most ubiquitous interactions in nature. Fungi that engage in these symbioses are hyperdiverse, often horizontally transmitted, and functionally beneficial in many cases, and they represent the diversification of multiple phylogenetic groups. We evaluated six measures of ecological network structure for >4100 isolates of endophytic and endolichenic fungi collected systematically from five sites across North America. Our comparison of these co-occurring interactions in biomes ranging from tundra to subtropical forest showed that the type of interactions (i.e., endophytic vs. endolichenic) had a much more pronounced influence on network structure than did environmental conditions. In particular, endophytic networks were less nested, less connected, and more modular than endolichenic networks in all sites. The consistency of the network structure within each interaction type, independent of site, is encouraging for current efforts devoted to gathering metadata on ecological network structure at a global scale. We discuss several mechanisms potentially responsible for such patterns and draw attention to knowledge gaps in our understanding of networks for diverse interaction types.

  20. Ecological effects of invasive alien species on native communities, with particular emphasis on the interactions between aphids and ladybirds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kindlmann, Pavel; Ameixa, Olga; Dixon, Anthony F. G.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 56, č. 4 (2011), s. 469-476 ISSN 1386-6141 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : invasive alien species * predators * insect pest s * ecological effects * intraguild predation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.927, year: 2011

  1. Invasion by nonnative brook trout in Panther Creek, Idaho: Roles of habitat quality, connectivity, and biotic resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph R. Benjamin

    2006-01-01

    Theoretical models suggest the invasion of nonnative freshwater species is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: biotic resistance, habitat quality, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each component to determine which were associated with small (150 mm) brook trout occurrence in Panther Creek, a tributary...

  2. Transcriptomic responses to biotic stresses in Malus x domestica: a meta-analysis study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balan, Bipin; Marra, Francesco Paolo; Caruso, Tiziano; Martinelli, Federico

    2018-01-31

    RNA-Seq analysis is a strong tool to gain insight into the molecular responses to biotic stresses in plants. The objective of this work is to identify specific and common molecular responses between different transcriptomic data related to fungi, virus and bacteria attacks in Malus x domestica. We analyzed seven transcriptomic datasets in Malus x domestica divided in responses to fungal pathogens, virus (Apple Stem Grooving Virus) and bacteria (Erwinia amylovora). Data were dissected using an integrated approach of pathway- and gene- set enrichment analysis, Mapman visualization tool, gene ontology analysis and inferred protein-protein interaction network. Our meta-analysis revealed that the bacterial infection enhanced specifically genes involved in sugar alcohol metabolism. Brassinosteroids were upregulated by fungal pathogens while ethylene was highly affected by Erwinia amylovora. Gibberellins and jasmonates were strongly repressed by fungal and viral infections. The protein-protein interaction network highlighted the role of WRKYs in responses to the studied pathogens. In summary, our meta-analysis provides a better understanding of the Malus X domestica transcriptome responses to different biotic stress conditions; we anticipate that these insights will assist in the development of genetic resistance and acute therapeutic strategies. This work would be an example for next meta-analysis works aiming at identifying specific common molecular features linked with biotic stress responses in other specialty crops.

  3. Environmental Maternal Effects Mediate the Resistance of Maritime Pine to Biotic Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivas, María; Zas, Rafael; Sampedro, Luis; Solla, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    The resistance to abiotic stress is increasingly recognised as being impacted by maternal effects, given that environmental conditions experienced by parent (mother) trees affect stress tolerance in offspring. We hypothesised that abiotic environmental maternal effects may also mediate the resistance of trees to biotic stress. The influence of maternal environment and maternal genotype and the interaction of these two factors on early resistance of Pinus pinaster half-sibs to the Fusarium circinatum pathogen was studied using 10 mother genotypes clonally replicated in two contrasting environments. Necrosis length of infected seedlings was 16% shorter in seedlings grown from favourable maternal environment seeds than in seedlings grown from unfavourable maternal environment seeds. Damage caused by F. circinatum was mediated by maternal environment and maternal genotype, but not by seed mass. Mechanisms unrelated to seed provisioning, perhaps of epigenetic nature, were probably involved in the transgenerational plasticity of P. pinaster, mediating its resistance to biotic stress. Our findings suggest that the transgenerational resistance of pines due to an abiotic stress may interact with the defensive response of pines to a biotic stress. PMID:23922944

  4. Environmental maternal effects mediate the resistance of maritime pine to biotic stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Vivas

    Full Text Available The resistance to abiotic stress is increasingly recognised as being impacted by maternal effects, given that environmental conditions experienced by parent (mother trees affect stress tolerance in offspring. We hypothesised that abiotic environmental maternal effects may also mediate the resistance of trees to biotic stress. The influence of maternal environment and maternal genotype and the interaction of these two factors on early resistance of Pinus pinaster half-sibs to the Fusarium circinatum pathogen was studied using 10 mother genotypes clonally replicated in two contrasting environments. Necrosis length of infected seedlings was 16% shorter in seedlings grown from favourable maternal environment seeds than in seedlings grown from unfavourable maternal environment seeds. Damage caused by F. circinatum was mediated by maternal environment and maternal genotype, but not by seed mass. Mechanisms unrelated to seed provisioning, perhaps of epigenetic nature, were probably involved in the transgenerational plasticity of P. pinaster, mediating its resistance to biotic stress. Our findings suggest that the transgenerational resistance of pines due to an abiotic stress may interact with the defensive response of pines to a biotic stress.

  5. Habitat selection, facilitation, and biotic settlement cues affect distribution and performance of coral recruits in French Polynesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Nichole

    2010-07-01

    Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the "preferred" CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator.

  6. Physico-chemical and biotic factors influencing microalgal seed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Physico-chemical and biotic factors influencing microalgal seed culture propagation for inoculation of a ... African Journal of Biotechnology ... used to inoculate an open raceway pond for large scale biomass production for biodiesel production.

  7. Hormones in the city: endocrine ecology of urban birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonier, Frances

    2012-05-01

    Urbanization dramatically changes the landscape, presenting organisms with novel challenges and often leading to reduced species diversity. Urban ecologists have documented numerous biotic and abiotic consequences of urbanization, such as altered climate, species interactions, and community composition, but we lack an understanding of the mechanisms underlying organisms' responses to urbanization. Here, I review findings from the nascent field of study of the endocrine ecology of urban birds. Thus far, no clear or consistent patterns have been revealed, but we do have evidence that urban habitat can shape endocrine traits, and that those traits might contribute to adaptation to the urban environment. I suggest strong approaches for future work addressing exciting questions about the role of endocrine traits in mediating responses to urbanization within species across the globe. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. MANAGEMENT OF THE WHITE-CLAWED CRAYFISH (AUSTROPOTAMOBIUS PALLIPES IN WESTERN FRANCE: ABIOTIC AND BIOTIC FACTORS STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TROUILHE M. C.

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available In France, the distribution of the white-clawed crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858, is restricted, fragmented and mainly located in headwaters. To preserve this indigenous species, it is necessary to characterize its ecological requirements (water and habitat quality. With this aim in view, a two-year study is being conducted in the Deux-Sèvres department (Western France since November 2002. Nine brooks from four different catchments are monitored regularly; eight of the nine brooks harbour whiteclawed crayfish populations. Two sampling sites are surveyed per brook, the first being where the crayfish population is located and the second 2 to 3 km downstream. Physicochemical parameters (18 are measured twice monthly and biotic factors are estimated twice yearly. In this study, the I.B.G.N. (Indice Biologique Global Normalisé protocol based on the determination of macroinvertebrates was used as a biotic index of biological water quality. Results of this preliminary study on two brooks (Thouet and Verdonnière show that physico-chemical and biological data considered separately do not provide reliable information about A. pallipes ecological requirements. However, the use of multivariate analyses (Principal Component Analysis to combine abiotic and biotic factors highlights a good correlation between these parameters. Organic matter appears to be a better discriminating factor than mineral matter affecting presence or absence of the whiteclawed crayfish.

  9. Biotic prognostications: Global warming and biological diversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peters, R.L.; Lovejoy, T.E. [eds.

    1992-12-31

    This book focuses on the impacts of the greenhouse effect on biological diversity and on natural ecosystems. Included are chapters which include the following topics: government attitudes to climate change problems; general conclusions and deficiencies of general circulation models; impacts of past climate changes on global biota; effects of climate on vegetation, soils, wildlife diversity, animal physiology, ecology, behavior, migration, and parasites and diseases; arctic mariene ecosystems and coasta marine zones; tropical forests; arctic tundra; western North American forests, etc.; indirect linkages and snyergisms among climate change, biodiversity, geosphere, and anthropogenic stresses.

  10. The flexible application of carrying capacity in ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J. Chapman

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Carrying capacity encompasses a broad collection of approaches used to better understand biotic interactions in ecosystems and is often applied with no explicit regard to its historical origin. In this paper, we reviewed the primary literature to examine how carrying capacity is applied in ecology. We focused our review on ecosystem studies—studies that frame their results at the ecosystem level—published after the 1950s and highlight emerging trends of this concept. We found that while carrying capacity offers some underlying commonalities, a wide range of definitions and approaches hinders a unified framework to better understand biotic ecosystem interactions. Not surprisingly, these studies most often use K—the number of individuals that the environment “can support” in a given area—to define carrying capacity, despite considerable ambiguity and uncertainty in this approach. Furthermore, the studies that we reviewed spanned several levels of ecological organization: molecules to communities and up to landscapes. To add further complexity, it is not clear whether carrying capacity was intended as a dynamic concept subject to temporal variability as it was often applied in the reviewed studies. We found that carrying capacity is most often applied to studies in conservation biology, rangeland and wildlife management, aquaculture, and fisheries biology. We explore ecosystem level responses to implications of “carrying capacity” overshoot and discuss proposed mechanisms that govern ecosystem carrying capacity. We discuss the usefulness of the concept and end with suggestions to improve carrying capacity's general application in ecosystem studies. Keywords: Carrying capacity, Conservation biology, Ecosystems, Ecosystem management, Natural resources

  11. The Tragedy and Triumph of Minamata: A Paradigm for Understanding Ecological, Human-Environment and Culture-Technology Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allchin, Douglas

    1999-01-01

    Contends that the example of mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan can be used as a paradigm for teaching ecology and science-and-society issues. Discusses the history and science of the pollution and poisoning, and considers the social and cultural consequences of the incident, some aspects of causation and responsibility, and some aspects of…

  12. Using the forest, people, fire agent-based social network model to investigate interactions in social-ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paige Fischer; Adam Korejwa; Jennifer Koch; Thomas Spies; Christine Olsen; Eric White; Derric Jacobs

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire links social and ecological systems in dry-forest landscapes of the United States. The management of these landscapes, however, is bifurcated by two institutional cultures that have different sets of beliefs about wildfire, motivations for managing wildfire risk, and approaches to administering policy. Fire protection, preparedness, and response agencies often...

  13. Diagnosis of abiotic and biotic stress factors using the visible symptoms in foliage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vollenweider, P.; Guenthardt-Goerg, Madeleine S.

    2005-01-01

    Visible symptoms in the foliage of trees are recorded to monitor the effects of abiotic and biotic stress. Difficulties are reported in diagnosing the origin of stress. The present paper discusses several diagnostic criteria which are usable in different species for a better determination of the stress factor type. A new diagnosis scheme to differentiate between classes of abiotic and biotic stress factors is supplied. Abiotic stress generates gradients of symptoms. The symptom specificity is determined by the degree of interaction between the stress factor and plant defense system. Symptoms caused by abiotic stress and natural autumnal senescence can be morphologically different or undistinguishable according to the stress and plant species. With biotic stress, the class of parasitic is generally recognizable on the basis of the visible symptoms. Structurally and physiologically based explanations of the symptom morphology are still missing for many stress factors. - The morphology and distribution of visible stress symptoms in tree foliage provides diagnostic tools to identify plant defense responses and differentiate stress from natural senescence symptoms

  14. Induced Systemic Tolerance to Multiple Stresses Including Biotic and Abiotic Factors by Rhizobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Je Yoo

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Recently, global warming and drastic climate change are the greatest threat to the world. The climate change can affect plant productivity by reducing plant adaptation to diverse environments including frequent high temperature; worsen drought condition and increased pathogen transmission and infection. Plants have to survive in this condition with a variety of biotic (pathogen/pest attack and abiotic stress (salt, high/low temperature, drought. Plants can interact with beneficial microbes including plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, which help plant mitigate biotic and abiotic stress. This overview presents that rhizobacteria plays an important role in induced systemic resistance (ISR to biotic stress or induced systemic tolerance (IST to abiotic stress condition; bacterial determinants related to ISR and/or IST. In addition, we describe effects of rhizobacteria on defense/tolerance related signal pathway in plants. We also review recent information including plant resistance or tolerance against multiple stresses (bioticabiotic. We desire that this review contribute to expand understanding and knowledge on the microbial application in a constantly varying agroecosystem, and suggest beneficial microbes as one of alternative environment-friendly application to alleviate multiple stresses.

  15. Root-root interactions: extending our perspective to be more inclusive of the range of theories in ecology and agriculture using in-vivo analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faget, Marc; Nagel, Kerstin A; Walter, Achim; Herrera, Juan M; Jahnke, Siegfried; Schurr, Ulrich; Temperton, Vicky M

    2013-07-01

    There is a large body of literature on competitive interactions among plants, but many studies have only focused on above-ground interactions and little is known about root-root dynamics between interacting plants. The perspective on possible mechanisms that explain the outcome of root-root interactions has recently been extended to include non-resource-driven mechanisms (as well as resource-driven mechanisms) of root competition and positive interactions such as facilitation. These approaches have often suffered from being static, partly due to the lack of appropriate methodologies for in-situ non-destructive root characterization. Recent studies show that interactive effects of plant neighbourhood interactions follow non-linear and non-additive paths that are hard to explain. Common outcomes such as accumulation of roots mainly in the topsoil cannot be explained solely by competition theory but require a more inclusive theoretical, as well as an improved methodological framework. This will include the question of whether we can apply the same conceptual framework to crop versus natural species. The development of non-invasive methods to dynamically study root-root interactions in vivo will provide the necessary tools to study a more inclusive conceptual framework for root-root interactions. By following the dynamics of root-root interactions through time in a whole range of scenarios and systems, using a wide variety of non-invasive methods, (such as fluorescent protein which now allows us to separately identify the roots of several individuals within soil), we will be much better equipped to answer some of the key questions in root physiology, ecology and agronomy.

  16. Root–root interactions: extending our perspective to be more inclusive of the range of theories in ecology and agriculture using in-vivo analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faget, Marc; Nagel, Kerstin A.; Walter, Achim; Herrera, Juan M.; Jahnke, Siegfried; Schurr, Ulrich; Temperton, Vicky M.

    2013-01-01

    Background There is a large body of literature on competitive interactions among plants, but many studies have only focused on above-ground interactions and little is known about root–root dynamics between interacting plants. The perspective on possible mechanisms that explain the outcome of root–root interactions has recently been extended to include non-resource-driven mechanisms (as well as resource-driven mechanisms) of root competition and positive interactions such as facilitation. These approaches have often suffered from being static, partly due to the lack of appropriate methodologies for in-situ non-destructive root characterization. Scope Recent studies show that interactive effects of plant neighbourhood interactions follow non-linear and non-additive paths that are hard to explain. Common outcomes such as accumulation of roots mainly in the topsoil cannot be explained solely by competition theory but require a more inclusive theoretical, as well as an improved methodological framework. This will include the question of whether we can apply the same conceptual framework to crop versus natural species. Conclusions The development of non-invasive methods to dynamically study root–root interactions in vivo will provide the necessary tools to study a more inclusive conceptual framework for root–root interactions. By following the dynamics of root–root interactions through time in a whole range of scenarios and systems, using a wide variety of non-invasive methods, (such as fluorescent protein which now allows us to separately identify the roots of several individuals within soil), we will be much better equipped to answer some of the key questions in root physiology, ecology and agronomy. PMID:23378521

  17. EcoPAD, an interactive platform for near real-time ecological forecasting by assimilating data into model

    Science.gov (United States)

    MA, S.; Huang, Y.; Stacy, M.; Jiang, J.; Sundi, N.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Hanson, P. J.; Luo, Y.; Saruta, V.

    2017-12-01

    Ecological forecasting is critical in various aspects of our coupled human-nature systems, such as disaster risk reduction, natural resource management and climate change mitigation. Novel advancements are in urgent need to deepen our understandings of ecosystem dynamics, boost the predictive capacity of ecology, and provide timely and effective information for decision-makers in a rapidly changing world. Our study presents a smart system - Ecological Platform for Assimilation of Data (EcoPAD) - which streamlines web request-response, data management, model execution, result storage and visualization. EcoPAD allows users to (i) estimate model parameters or state variables, (ii) quantify uncertainty of estimated parameters and projected states of ecosystems, (iii) evaluate model structures, (iv) assess sampling strategies, (v) conduct ecological forecasting, and (vi) detect ecosystem acclimation to climate change. One of the key innovations of the web-based EcoPAD is the automated near- or real-time forecasting of ecosystem dynamics with uncertainty fully quantified. The user friendly webpage enables non-modelers to explore their data for simulation and data assimilation. As a case study, we applied EcoPAD to the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change Experiment (SPRUCE), a whole ecosystem warming and CO2 enrichment treatment project in the northern peatland, assimilated multiple data streams into a process based ecosystem model, enhanced timely feedback between modelers and experimenters, ultimately improved ecosystem forecasting and made better use of current knowledge. Built in a framework with flexible API, EcoPAD is easily portable and will benefit scientific communities, policy makers as well as the general public.

  18. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  19. Biotic Stress Shifted Structure and Abundance of Enterobacteriaceae in the Lettuce Microbiome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlacher, Armin; Cardinale, Massimiliano; Grube, Martin; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Lettuce cultivars are not only amongst the most popular vegetables eaten raw, they are also involved in severe pathogen outbreaks world-wide. While outbreaks caused by Enterobacteriaceae species are well-studied, less is known about their occurrence in natural environments as well as the impact of biotic stress. Here, we studied the ecology of the human health-relevant bacterial family Enterobacteriaceae and assessed the impact of biotic disturbances by a soil-borne phytopathogenic fungus and Gastropoda on their structure and abundance in mesocosm and pot experiments. Using a polyphasic approach including network analyses of 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries, quantitative PCR and complementary fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) microscopy we found substantial yet divergent Enterobacteriaceae communities. A similar spectrum of 14 genera was identified from rhizo- and phyllospheres but the abundance of Enterobacteriaceae was on average 3fold higher in phyllosphere samples. Both stress factors shifted the bacterial community of the leaf habitat, characterized by increases of species abundance and diversity. For the rhizosphere, we observed significant structural shifts of Enterobacteriaceae communities but also a high degree of resilience. These results could be confirmed by FISH microscopy but it was difficult to visualize phyllosphere communities. Additional inoculation experiments with Escherichia coli as model revealed their presence below the wax layer as well as in the endosphere of leaves. The observed presence influenced by stress factors and the endophytic life style of Enterobacteriaceae on lettuce can be an important aspect in relation to human health. PMID:25714833

  20. Biotic stress shifted structure and abundance of Enterobacteriaceae in the lettuce microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlacher, Armin; Cardinale, Massimiliano; Grube, Martin; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Lettuce cultivars are not only amongst the most popular vegetables eaten raw, they are also involved in severe pathogen outbreaks world-wide. While outbreaks caused by Enterobacteriaceae species are well-studied, less is known about their occurrence in natural environments as well as the impact of biotic stress. Here, we studied the ecology of the human health-relevant bacterial family Enterobacteriaceae and assessed the impact of biotic disturbances by a soil-borne phytopathogenic fungus and Gastropoda on their structure and abundance in mesocosm and pot experiments. Using a polyphasic approach including network analyses of 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries, quantitative PCR and complementary fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) microscopy we found substantial yet divergent Enterobacteriaceae communities. A similar spectrum of 14 genera was identified from rhizo- and phyllospheres but the abundance of Enterobacteriaceae was on average 3fold higher in phyllosphere samples. Both stress factors shifted the bacterial community of the leaf habitat, characterized by increases of species abundance and diversity. For the rhizosphere, we observed significant structural shifts of Enterobacteriaceae communities but also a high degree of resilience. These results could be confirmed by FISH microscopy but it was difficult to visualize phyllosphere communities. Additional inoculation experiments with Escherichia coli as model revealed their presence below the wax layer as well as in the endosphere of leaves. The observed presence influenced by stress factors and the endophytic life style of Enterobacteriaceae on lettuce can be an important aspect in relation to human health.

  1. Biotic stress shifted structure and abundance of Enterobacteriaceae in the lettuce microbiome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armin Erlacher

    Full Text Available Lettuce cultivars are not only amongst the most popular vegetables eaten raw, they are also involved in severe pathogen outbreaks world-wide. While outbreaks caused by Enterobacteriaceae species are well-studied, less is known about their occurrence in natural environments as well as the impact of biotic stress. Here, we studied the ecology of the human health-relevant bacterial family Enterobacteriaceae and assessed the impact of biotic disturbances by a soil-borne phytopathogenic fungus and Gastropoda on their structure and abundance in mesocosm and pot experiments. Using a polyphasic approach including network analyses of 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries, quantitative PCR and complementary fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH microscopy we found substantial yet divergent Enterobacteriaceae communities. A similar spectrum of 14 genera was identified from rhizo- and phyllospheres but the abundance of Enterobacteriaceae was on average 3fold higher in phyllosphere samples. Both stress factors shifted the bacterial community of the leaf habitat, characterized by increases of species abundance and diversity. For the rhizosphere, we observed significant structural shifts of Enterobacteriaceae communities but also a high degree of resilience. These results could be confirmed by FISH microscopy but it was difficult to visualize phyllosphere communities. Additional inoculation experiments with Escherichia coli as model revealed their presence below the wax layer as well as in the endosphere of leaves. The observed presence influenced by stress factors and the endophytic life style of Enterobacteriaceae on lettuce can be an important aspect in relation to human health.

  2. Biotic indices for assessing the status of coastal waters: a review of strengths and weaknesses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Crego, Begoña; Alcoverro, Teresa; Romero, Javier

    2010-05-01

    Biotic indices have become key assessment tools in most recent national and trans-national policies aimed at improving the quality of coastal waters and the integrity of their associated ecosystems. In this study we analyzed 90 published biotic indices, classified them into four types, and analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of each type in relation to the requirements of these policies. We identified three main type-specific weaknesses. First, the problems of applicability, due to practical and conceptual difficulties, which affect most indices related to ecosystem function. Second, the failure of many indices based on structural attributes of the community (e.g. taxonomic composition) to link deterioration with causative stressors, or to provide an early-detection capacity. Third, the poor relevance to the ecological integrity of indices based on attributes at the sub-individual level (e.g. multi-biomarkers). Additionally, most indices still fail on two further aspects: the broad-scale applicability and the definition of reference conditions. Nowadays, the most promising approach seems to be the aggregation of indices with complementary strengths, and obtained from different biological communities.

  3. Plant selenium hyperaccumulation- Ecological effects and potential implications for selenium cycling and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R Jason B; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2018-04-25

    Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation occurs in ~50 plant taxa native to seleniferous soils in Western USA. Hyperaccumulator tissue Se levels, 1000-15,000 mg/kg dry weight, are typically 100 times higher than surrounding vegetation. Relative to other species, hyperaccumulators also transform Se more into organic forms. We review abiotic and biotic factors influencing soil Se distribution and bioavailability, soil being the source of the Se in hyperaccumulators. Next, we summarize the fate of Se in plants, particularly hyperaccumulators. We then extensively review the impact of plant Se accumulation on ecological interactions. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of Se hyperaccumulators on local community composition and Se cycling. Selenium (hyper)accumulation offers ecological advantages: protection from herbivores and pathogens and competitive advantage over other plants. The extreme Se levels in and around hyperaccumulators create a toxic environment for Se-sensitive ecological partners, while offering a niche for Se-resistant partners. Through these dual effects, hyperaccumulators may influence species composition in their local environment, as well as Se cycling. The implied effects of Se hyperaccumulation on community assembly and local Se cycling warrant further investigations into the contribution of hyperaccumulators and general terrestrial vegetation to global Se cycling and may serve as a case study for how trace elements influence ecological processes. Furthermore, understanding ecological implications of plant Se accumulation are vital for safe implementation of biofortification and phytoremediation, technologies increasingly implemented to battle Se deficiency and toxicity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Revisiting the Holy Grail: using plant functional traits to understand ecological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Larson, Julie E; Ames, Gregory M; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Firn, Jennifer; Laughlin, Daniel C; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E; Williams, Laura; Wright, Justin

    2017-05-01

    One of ecology's grand challenges is developing general rules to explain and predict highly complex systems. Understanding and predicting ecological processes from species' traits has been considered a 'Holy Grail' in ecology. Plant functional traits are increasingly being used to develop mechanistic models that can predict how ecological communities will respond to abiotic and biotic perturbations and how species will affect ecosystem function and services in a rapidly changing world; however, significant challenges remain. In this review, we highlight recent work and outstanding questions in three areas: (i) selecting relevant traits; (ii) describing intraspecific trait variation and incorporating this variation into models; and (iii) scaling trait data to community- and ecosystem-level processes. Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in the characterization of plant strategies based on traits and trait relationships, and the integration of traits into multivariate indices and models of community and ecosystem function. However, the utility of trait-based approaches in ecology will benefit from efforts that demonstrate how these traits and indices influence organismal, community, and ecosystem processes across vegetation types, which may be achieved through meta-analysis and enhancement of trait databases. Additionally, intraspecific trait variation and species interactions need to be incorporated into predictive models using tools such as Bayesian hierarchical modelling. Finally, existing models linking traits to community and ecosystem processes need to be empirically tested for their applicability to be realized. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  5. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) as a model system in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David; Belnap, Jayne; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea; Escolar, Cristina; Soliveres, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Model systems have had a profound influence on the development of ecological theory and general principles. Compared to alternatives, the most effective models share some combination of the following characteristics: simpler, smaller, faster, general, idiosyncratic or manipulable. We argue that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have unique combinations of these features that should be more widely exploited in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology. In community ecology, biocrusts are elucidating the importance of biodiversity and spatial pattern for maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality due to their manipulability in experiments. Due to idiosyncrasies in their modes of facilitation and competition, biocrusts have led to new models on the interplay between environmental stress and biotic interactions and on the maintenance of biodiversity by competitive processes. Biocrusts are perhaps one of the best examples of micro-landscapes—real landscapes that are small in size. Although they exhibit varying patch heterogeneity, aggregation, connectivity and fragmentation, like macro-landscapes, they are also compatible with well-replicated experiments (unlike macro-landscapes). In ecosystem ecology, a number of studies are imposing small-scale, low cost manipulations of global change or state factors in biocrust micro-landscapes. The versatility of biocrusts to inform such disparate lines of inquiry suggests that they are an especially useful model system that can enable researchers to see ecological principles more clearly and quickly.

  6. BIOTIC INTEGRITY OF STREAMS IN THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE INTEGRATOR OPERABLE UNITS, 1996 TO 2003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paller, M; Susan Dyer, S

    2004-11-08

    The Savannah River Site (SRS) has been divided into six Integrator Operable Units (IOUs) that correspond to the watersheds of the five major streams on the SRS (Upper Three Runs, Fourmile Branch, Pen Branch, Steel Creek, and Lower Three Runs) and the portions of the Savannah River and Savannah River Swamp associated with the SRS. The streams are the primary integrators within each IOU because they potentially receive, through surface or subsurface drainage, soluble contaminants from all waste sites within their watersheds. If these contaminants reach biologically significant levels, they would be expected to effect the numbers, types, and health of stream organisms. In this study, biological sampling was conducted within each IOU as a measure of the cumulative ecological effects of the waste sites within the IOUs. The use of information from biological sampling to assess environmental quality is often termed bioassessment. The IOU bioassessment program included 38 sites in SRS streams and nine sites in the Savannah River. Sampling was conducted in 1996 to 1998, 2000, and 2003. Four bioassessment methods were used to evaluate ecological conditions in the IOU streams: the Index of Biotic Integrity, the Fish Health Assessment Index, measurement of fish tissue contaminant levels, and two benthic macroinvertebrate indices. The Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) is an EPA supported method based on comparison of ecologically important and sensitive fish assemblage variables between potentially disturbed and reference (i.e., undisturbed) sites. It is designed to assess the ability of a stream to support a self-sustaining biological community and ecological processes typical of undisturbed, natural conditions. Since many types of contaminants can bioaccumulate, fish tissue contaminant data were used to determine the types of chemicals fish were exposed to and their relative magnitudes among IOUs. The Fish Health Assessment Index (HAI) is an EPA supported method for assessing

  7. The Role of Silicon under Biotic and Abiotic Stress Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İlkay YAVAŞ

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Biotic and abiotic stress factors can adversely affect the agricultural productivity leading to physiological and biochemical damage to crops. Therefore, the most effective way is to increase the resistance to stresses. Silicon plays a ro le in reducing the effects of abiotic and biotic stresses (drought, salt stress, disease and insect stress etc. on plants. Silicon is accumulated in the cell walls and intercellular spaces and thus it has beneficial effects on disease infestations in especially small grains. The application of silicon may reduce the effects of environmental stresses on plants while making effective use of plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. Also, silicon may reduce the toxic effects of heavy metals in soil. I t may protect the foliage and increase light uptake and reduce respiration. Therefore, in this review, we discussed the effects of silicon on abiotic and biotic stresses in especially field crops.

  8. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  9. Outrun or Outmaneuver: Predator-Prey Interactions as a Model System for Integrating Biomechanical Studies in a Broader Ecological and Evolutionary Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Talia Y; Biewener, Andrew A

    2015-12-01

    Behavioral studies performed in natural habitats provide a context for the development of hypotheses and the design of experiments relevant both to biomechanics and to evolution. In particular, predator-prey interactions are a model system for integrative study because success or failure of predation has a direct effect on fitness and drives the evolution of specialized performance in both predator and prey. Although all predators share the goal of capturing prey, and all prey share the goal of survival, the behavior of predators and prey are diverse in nature. This article presents studies of some predator-prey interactions sharing common predation strategies that reveal general principles governing the behaviors of predator and prey, even in distantly related taxa. Studies of predator-prey interactions also reveal that maximal performance observed in a laboratory setting is not necessarily the performance that determines fitness. Thus, considering locomotion in the context of predation ecology can aid in evolutionarily relevant experimental design. Classification by strategy reveals that displaying unpredictable trajectories is a relevant anti-predator behavior in response to multiple predation strategies. A predator's perception and pursuit of prey can be affected indirectly by divergent locomotion of similar animals that share an ecosystem. Variation in speed and direction of locomotion that directly increases the unpredictability of a prey's trajectory can be increased through genetic mutation that affects locomotor patterns, musculoskeletal changes that affect maneuverability, and physical interactions between an animal and the environment. By considering the interconnectedness of ecology, physical constraints, and the evolutionary history of behavior, studies in biomechanics can be designed to inform each of these fields. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights

  10. Effect of Temperature on the Biotic Potential of Honeybee Microsporidia▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; García-Palencia, Pilar; Marín, Pilar; Botías, Cristina; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Barrios, Laura; Higes, Mariano

    2009-01-01

    The biological cycle of Nosema spp. in honeybees depends on temperature. When expressed as total spore counts per day after infection, the biotic potentials of Nosema apis and N. ceranae at 33°C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37°C, the biotic potential of N. ceranae was higher than that of N. apis. The better adaptation of N. ceranae to complete its endogenous cycle at different temperatures clearly supports the observation of the different epidemiological patterns. PMID:19233948

  11. Chemical ecology of fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiteller, Peter

    2015-07-01

    Fungi are widespread in nature and have conquered nearly every ecological niche. Fungi occur not only in terrestrial but also in freshwater and marine environments. Moreover, fungi are known as a rich source of secondary metabolites. Despite these facts, the ecological role of many of these metabolites is still unknown and the chemical ecology of fungi has not been investigated systematically so far. This review intends to present examples of the various chemical interactions of fungi with other fungi, plants, bacteria and animals and to give an overview of the current knowledge of fungal chemical ecology.

  12. Ecological restoration across the Mediterranean Basin as viewed by practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Alice; Oliveira, Graça; Mexia, Teresa; Valdecantos, Alejandro; Zucca, Claudio; Costantini, Edoardo A C; Abraham, Eleni M; Kyriazopoulos, Apostolos P; Salah, Ayman; Prasse, Ruediger; Correia, Otília; Milliken, Sarah; Kotzen, Benz; Branquinho, Cristina

    2016-10-01

    Restoration efforts in the Mediterranean Basin have been changing from a silvicultural to an ecological restoration approach. Yet, to what extent the projects are guided by ecological restoration principles remains largely unknown. To analyse this issue, we built an on-line survey addressed to restoration practitioners. We analysed 36 restoration projects, mostly from drylands (86%). The projects used mainly soil from local sources. The need to comply with legislation was more important as a restoration motive for European Union (EU) than for non-EU countries, while public opinion and health had a greater importance in the latter. Non-EU countries relied more on non-native plant species than EU countries, thus deviating from ecological restoration guidelines. Nursery-grown plants used were mostly of local or regional provenance, whilst seeds were mostly of national provenance. Unexpected restoration results (e.g. inadequate biodiversity) were reported for 50% of the projects and restoration success was never evaluated in 22%. Long term evaluation (>6years) was only performed in 31% of cases, and based primarily on plant diversity and cover. The use of non-native species and species of exogenous provenances may: i) entail the loss of local genetic and functional trait diversity, critical to cope with drought, particularly under the predicted climate change scenarios, and ii) lead to unexpected competition with native species and/or negatively impact local biotic interactions. Absent or inappropriate monitoring may prevent the understanding of restoration trajectories, precluding adaptive management strategies, often crucial to create functional ecosystems able to provide ecosystem services. The overview of ecological restoration projects in the Mediterranean Basin revealed high variability among practices and highlighted the need for improved scientific assistance and information exchange, greater use of native species of local provenance, and more long

  13. Piper kelleyi, a hotspot of ecological interactions and a new species from Ecuador and Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Tepe

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available We describe Piper kelleyi sp. nov., a new species from the eastern Andes of Ecuador and Peru, named in honor of Dr. Walter Almond Kelley. Piper kelleyi is a member of the Macrostachys clade of the genus Piper and supports a rich community of generalist and specialist herbivores, their predators and parasitoids, as well as commensalistic earwigs, and mutualistic ants. This new species was recognized as part of an ecological study of phytochemically mediated relationships between plants, herbivores, predators, and parasitoids. Compared to over 100 other Piper species surveyed, Piper kelleyi supports the largest community of specialist herbivores and parasitoids observed to date.

  14. Piper kelleyi, a hotspot of ecological interactions and a new species from Ecuador and Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tepe, Eric J; Rodríguez-Castañeda, Genoveva; Glassmire, Andrea E; Dyer, Lee A

    2014-01-01

    We describe Piper kelleyi sp. nov., a new species from the eastern Andes of Ecuador and Peru, named in honor of Dr. Walter Almond Kelley. Piper kelleyi is a member of the Macrostachys clade of the genus Piper and supports a rich community of generalist and specialist herbivores, their predators and parasitoids, as well as commensalistic earwigs, and mutualistic ants. This new species was recognized as part of an ecological study of phytochemically mediated relationships between plants, herbivores, predators, and parasitoids. Compared to over 100 other Piper species surveyed, Piper kelleyi supports the largest community of specialist herbivores and parasitoids observed to date.

  15. Spatially dependent biotic and abiotic factors drive survivorship and physical structure of green roof vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aloisio, Jason M; Palmer, Matthew I; Giampieri, Mario A; Tuininga, Amy R; Lewis, James D

    2017-01-01

    Plant survivorship depends on biotic and abiotic factors that vary at local and regional scales. This survivorship, in turn, has cascading effects on community composition and the physical structure of vegetation. Survivorship of native plant species is variable among populations planted in environmentally stressful habitats like urban roofs, but the degree to which factors at different spatial scales affect survivorship in urban systems is not well understood. We evaluated the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on survivorship, composition, and physical structure of two native perennial species assemblages, one characterized by a mixture of C 4 grasses and forbs (Hempstead Plains, HP) and one characterized by a mixture of C 3 grasses and forbs (Rocky Summit, RS), that were initially sown at equal ratios of growth forms (5:1:4; grass, N-fixing forb and non-N-fixing forb) in replicate 2-m 2 plots planted on 10 roofs in New York City (New York, USA). Of 24 000 installed plants, 40% survived 23 months after planting. Within-roof factors explained 71% of variation in survivorship, with biotic (species identity and assemblage) factors accounting for 54% of the overall variation, and abiotic (growing medium depth and plot location) factors explaining 17% of the variation. Among-roof factors explained 29% of variation in survivorship and increased solar radiation correlated with decreased survivorship. While growing medium properties (pH, nutrients, metals) differed among roofs there was no correlation with survivorship. Percent cover and sward height increased with increasing survivorship. At low survivorship, cover of the HP assemblage was greater compared to the RS assemblage. Sward height of the HP assemblage was about two times greater compared to the RS assemblage. These results highlight the effects of local biotic and regional abiotic drivers on community composition and physical structure of green roof vegetation. As a result, initial green roof plant

  16. Scale Expansion of Community Investigations and Integration of the Effects of Abiotic and Biotic Processes on Maintenance of Species Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenhong Wang

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Information on the maintenance of diversity patterns from regional to local scales is dispersed among academic fields due to the local focus of community ecology. To better understand these patterns, the study of ecological communities needs to be expanded to larger scales and the various processes affecting them need to be integrated using a suitable quantitative method. We determined a range of communities on a flora-subregional scale in Yunnan province, China (383210.02 km2. A series of species pools were delimited from the regional to plot scales. Plant diversity was evaluated and abiotic and biotic processes identified at each pool level. The species pool effect was calculated using an innovative model, and the contribution of these processes to the maintenance of plant species diversity was determined and integrated: climate had the greatest effect at the flora-subregional scale, with historical and evolutionary processes contributing ∼11%; climate and human disturbance had the greatest effect at the local site pool scale; competition exclusion and stress limitation explained strong filtering at the successional stage pool scale; biotic processes contributed more on the local community scale than on the regional scale. Scale expansion combined with the filtering model approach solves the local problem in community ecology.

  17. Ecology of estuaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kennish, M.J.

    1992-01-01

    Ecology of Estuaries: Anthropogenic Effects represents the most definitive and comprehensive source of reference information available on the human impact on estuarine ecosystems. The book discusses both acute and insidious pollution problems plaguing these coastal ecotones. It also provides a detailed examination of the deleterious and pervasive effects of human activities on biotic communities and sensitive habitat areas in estuaries. Specific areas covered include organic loading, oil pollution, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, dredging and dredge-spoil disposal, radionuclides, as well as other contaminants and processes. The diverse components of these anthropogenic influences are assembled in an organized framework and presented in a clear and concise style that will facilitate their understanding

  18. Interplay of Languaging and Gameplay: Player-Game Interactions as Ecologies for Languaging and Situated L2 Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Karim Hesham Shaker

    2016-01-01

    The field of game-mediated L2 learning has grown exponentially, and much has been discovered about the potentials of game-mediated interactions for L2 development, yet the fine-grained dynamics of player-game interactions and how they come to facilitate and afford L2 development are still largely underexplored. To address this gap in the…

  19. Ecological interactions on macroevolutionary time scales: clams and brachiopods are more than ships that pass in the night.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liow, Lee Hsiang; Reitan, Trond; Harnik, Paul G

    2015-10-01

    Competition among organisms has ecological and evolutionary consequences. However, whether the consequences of competition are manifested and measureable on macroevolutionary time scales is equivocal. Marine bivalves and brachiopods have overlapping niches such that competition for food and space may occur. Moreover, there is a long-standing debate over whether bivalves outcompeted brachiopods evolutionarily, because brachiopod diversity declined through time while bivalve diversity increased. To answer this question, we estimate the origination and extinction dynamics of fossil marine bivalve and brachiopod genera from the Ordovician through to the Recent while simultaneously accounting for incomplete sampling. Then, using stochastic differential equations, we assess statistical relationships among diversification and sampling dynamics of brachiopods and bivalves and five paleoenvironmental proxies. None of these potential environmental drivers had any detectable influence on brachiopod or bivalve diversification. In contrast, elevated bivalve extinction rates causally increased brachiopod origination rates, suggesting that bivalves have suppressed brachiopod evolution. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Can we trace biotic dispersals back in time? Introducing backward flow connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ferrarini

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Connectivity in ecology deals with the problem of how species dispersal will happen given actual landscape and species presence/absence over such landscape. Hence it can be considered a forward (ahead in time scientific problem. I observe here that a backward theory of connectivity could be of deep interest as well: given the actual species presence/absence on the landscape, where with the highest probability such species is coming from? In other words, can we trace biotic dispersals back in time? Recently I have introduced a modelling and theoretical approach to ecological connectivity that is alternative to circuit theory and is able to fix the weak point of the "from-to" connectivity approach. The proposed approach holds also for mountain and hilly landscapes. In addition, it doesn't assume any intention for a species to go from source points to sink ones, because the expected path for the species is determined locally (pixel by pixel by landscape features. In this paper, I introduce a new theoretical and modelling approach called "backward flow connectivity". While flow connectivity predicts future species dispersal by minimizing at each step the potential energy due to fictional gravity over a frictional landscape, backward flow connectivity does exactly the opposite, i.e. maximizes potential energy at each step sending back the species to higher levels of potential energy due to fictional gravity on the frictional landscape. Using backward flow connectivity, one has at hand a new tool to revert timeline of species dispersal, hence being able to trace backward biotic dispersals. With few modifications, the applications of backward flow connectivity can be countless, for instance tracing back-in-time not only plants and animals but also ancient human migrations and viral paths.

  1. Does plant-Microbe interaction confer stress tolerance in plants: A review?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Akhilesh; Verma, Jay Prakash

    2018-03-01

    The biotic and abiotic stresses are major constraints for crop yield, food quality and global food security. A number of parameters such as physiological, biochemical, molecular of plants are affected under stress condition. Since the use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture practices cause degradation of soil fertility and environmental pollutions. Hence it is necessary to develop safer and sustainable means for agriculture production. The application of plant growth promoting microbes (PGPM) and mycorrhizal fungi enhance plant growth, under such conditions. It offers an economically fascinating and ecologically sound ways for protecting plants against stress condition. PGPM may promote plant growth by regulating plant hormones, improve nutrition acquisition, siderophore production and enhance the antioxidant system. While acquired systemic resistance (ASR) and induced systemic resistance (ISR) effectively deal with biotic stress. Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) enhance the supply of nutrients and water during stress condition and increase tolerance to stress. This plant-microbe interaction is vital for sustainable agriculture and industrial purpose, because it depends on biological processes and replaces conventional agriculture practices. Therefore, microbes may play a key role as an ecological engineer to solve environmental stress problems. So, it is a feasible and potential technology in future to feed global population at available resources with reduced impact on environmental quality. In this review, we have attempted to explore about abiotic and biotic stress tolerant beneficial microorganisms and their modes of action to enhance the sustainable agricultural production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  2. Applying Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity in a soft bottom ecosystem in North of the Persian Gulf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doustshenas, B; Savari, A; Nabavi, S M B; Kochanian, P; Sadrinasab, M

    2009-06-15

    In this study, the Chesapeake Bay Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-IBI) was selected in an attempt to describe ecological health of soft bottom channels (Khowr-e Musa) in North of the Persian Gulf. Most of study area was found to be in degraded or severely degraded conditions. B-IBI scores were ranged between 1 and 3.86. Comparison ofmacrobenthos abundance and organic content between two developmental periods showed significant difference (p dredging. Choice of suitable management plans and metric controls could help to the salvage of the largest tidal channel complex in Persian Gulf.

  3. Regional consequences of a biotic interchange: insights from the Lessepsian invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawrot, Rafal; Albano, Paolo G.; Chattopadhyay, Devapriya; Zuschin, Martin

    2016-04-01

    The fossil record provides ample evidence of large-scale biotic interchanges and their pervasive effects on regional biotas, but mechanisms controlling such events are difficult to decipher in deep time. Massive invasion of Indo-Pacific species into the Mediterranean Sea triggered by the opening of the Suez Canal offers a unique opportunity to examine the ecological consequences of breaking down biogeographic barriers. We developed an extensive database of taxonomic composition, body size and ecological characteristics of the Red Sea and Mediterranean bivalve fauna in order to link biotic selectivity of the invasion process with its effects on the recipient biota. Shallow-water occurrence and presence outside the tropical zone in other regions are the strongest predictors of the successful transition through the Suez Canal. Subsequent establishment of alien species in the Mediterranean Sea correlates with early arrival and preference for hard substrates. Finally, large-bodied species and hard-bottom dwellers are over-represented among the invasive aliens that have reached the spread stage and impose a strong impact on native communities. Although body size is important only at the last invasion stage, alien species are significantly larger compared to native Mediterranean bivalves. This reflects biogeographic difference in the body-size distributions of the source and recipient species pools related to the recent geological history of the Mediterranean Sea. Contrary to the general expectations on the effects of temperature on average body size, continued warming of the Mediterranean Sea accelerates the entry of tropical aliens and thus indirectly leads to increase in the proportion of large-bodied species in local communities and the regional biota. Invasion-driven shifts in species composition are stronger in hard-substrate communities, which host a smaller pool of incumbent species and are more susceptible to the establishment of newcomers. Analogous differences

  4. Investigation of road salts and biotic stressors on freshwater wetland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Devin K; Mattes, Brian M; Hintz, William D; Schuler, Matthew S; Stoler, Aaron B; Lind, Lovisa A; Cooper, Reilly O; Relyea, Rick A

    2017-02-01

    The application of road deicing salts has led to the salinization of freshwater ecosystems in northern regions worldwide. Increased chloride concentrations in lakes, streams, ponds, and wetlands may negatively affect freshwater biota, potentially threatening ecosystem services. In an effort to reduce the effects of road salt, operators have increased the use of salt alternatives, yet we lack an understanding of how these deicers affect aquatic communities. We examined the direct and indirect effects of the most commonly used road salt (NaCl) and a proprietary salt mixture (NaCl, KCl, MgCl 2 ), at three environmentally relevant concentrations (150, 470, and 780 mg Cl - /L) on freshwater wetland communities in combination with one of three biotic stressors (control, predator cues, and competitors). The communities contained periphyton, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and two tadpole species (American toads, Anaxyrus americanus; wood frogs, Lithobates sylvaticus). Overall, we found the two road salts did not interact with the natural stressors. Both salts decreased pH and reduced zooplankton abundance. The strong decrease in zooplankton abundance in the highest NaCl concentration caused a trophic cascade that resulted in increased phytoplankton abundance. The highest NaCl concentration also reduced toad activity. For the biotic stressors, predatory stress decreased whereas competitive stress increased the activity of both tadpole species. Wood frog survival, time to metamorphosis, and mass at metamorphosis all decreased under competitive stress whereas toad time to metamorphosis increased and mass at metamorphosis decreased. Road salts and biotic stressors can both affect freshwater communities, but their effects are not interactive. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Ecological Diversity of Soil Fauna as Ecosystem Engineers in Small-Holder Cocoa Plantation in South Konawe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laode Muhammad Harjoni Kilowasid

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Taxa diversity within soil fauna functional groups can affected ecosystem functioning such as ecosystem engineers,which influence decomposition and nutrient cycling. The objective of this study is to describe ecological diversityvariation within soil fauna as ecosystem engineers in soil ecosystem of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L. plantation.Sampling was conducted during one year period from five different ages of plantation. Soil fauna removed from soilcore using hand sorting methods. A total of 39 genera of soil fauna as ecosystem engineers were found during thesestudies. Thirty five genera belong to the group of Formicidae (ants, three genera of Isoptera (termites, and onegenera of Oligochaeta (earthworms. Ecological diversity variation within ecosystem engineers was detected withSimpson indices for dominance and evenness. The highest diversity of ecosystem engineers was in the young ageof plantation. This study reinforces the importance biotic interaction which contributed to the distribution andabundance within soil fauna community as ecosystem engineers in small-holder cocoa plantation.

  6. Scaled biotic disruption during early Eocene global warming events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Gibbs

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Late Paleocene and early Eocene hyperthermals are transient warming events associated with massive perturbations of the global carbon cycle, and are considered partial analogues for current anthropogenic climate change. Because the magnitude of carbon release varied between the events, they are natural experiments ideal for exploring the relationship between carbon cycle perturbations, climate change and biotic response. Here we quantify marine biotic variability through three million years of the early Eocene that include five hyperthermals, utilizing a method that allows us to integrate the records of different plankton groups through scenarios ranging from background to major extinction events. Our long time-series calcareous nannoplankton record indicates a scaling of biotic disruption to climate change associated with the amount of carbon released during the various hyperthermals. Critically, only the three largest hyperthermals, the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (ETM2 and the I1 event, show above-background variance, suggesting that the magnitude of carbon input and associated climate change needs to surpass a threshold value to cause significant biotic disruption.

  7. Plant Hormesis Management with Biostimulants of Biotic Origin in Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas-Hernandez, Marcela; Macias-Bobadilla, Israel; Guevara-Gonzalez, Ramon G; Romero-Gomez, Sergio de J; Rico-Garcia, Enrique; Ocampo-Velazquez, Rosalia V; Alvarez-Arquieta, Luz de L; Torres-Pacheco, Irineo

    2017-01-01

    Over time plants developed complex mechanisms in order to adapt themselves to the environment. Plant innate immunity is one of the most important mechanisms for the environmental adaptation. A myriad of secondary metabolites with nutraceutical features are produced by the plant immune system in order to get adaptation to new environments that provoke stress (stressors). Hormesis is a phenomenon by which a stressor (i.e., toxins, herbicides, etc.) stimulates the cellular stress response, including secondary metabolites production, in order to help organisms to establish adaptive responses. Hormetins of biotic origin (i.e., biostimulants or biological control compounds), in certain doses might enhance plant performance, however, in excessive doses they are commonly deleterious. Biostimulants or biological control compounds of biotic origin are called "elicitors" that have widely been studied as inducers of plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The plant response toward elicitors is reminiscent of hormetic responses toward toxins in several organisms. Thus, controlled management of hormetic responses in plants using these types of compounds is expected to be an important tool to increase nutraceutical quality of plant food and trying to minimize negative effects on yields. The aim of this review is to analyze the potential for agriculture that the use of biostimulants and biological control compounds of biotic origin could have in the management of the plant hormesis. The use of homolog DNA as biostimulant or biological control compound in crop production is also discussed.

  8. Compartment specific importance of glutathione during abiotic and biotic stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd eZechmann

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The tripeptide thiol glutathione (γ-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinyl-glycine is the most important sulfur containing antioxidant in plants and essential for plant defense against abiotic and biotic stress conditions. It is involved in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species, redox signaling, the modulation of defense gene expression and important for the regulation of enzymatic activities. Even though changes in glutathione contents are well documented in plants and its roles in plant defense are well established, still too little is known about its compartment specific importance during abiotic and biotic stress conditions. Due to technical advances in the visualization of glutathione and the redox state of plants through microscopical methods some progress was made in the last few years in studying the importance of subcellular glutathione contents during stress conditions in plants. This review summarizes the data available on compartment specific importance of glutathione in the protection against abiotic and biotic stress conditions such as high light stress, exposure to cadmium, drought, and pathogen attack (Pseudomonas, Botrytis, Tobacco Mosaic Virus. The data will be discussed in connection with the subcellular accumulation of ROS during these conditions and glutathione synthesis which are both highly compartment specific (e.g. glutathione synthesis takes place in chloroplasts and the cytosol. Thus this review will reveal the compartment specific importance of glutathione during abiotic and biotic stress conditions.

  9. River Quality Investigations, Part 1: Some Diversity and Biotic Indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, G.

    1991-01-01

    The following indices for assessing river water quality are described: Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index, Sorenson Quotient of Similarity, Czekanowski's Index of Similarity, Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score, and Biological Monitoring Working Party Score. Their advantages and disadvantages are outlined. (Author)

  10. Development and Validation of an Aquatic Fine Sediment Biotic Index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relyea, Christina D.; Minshall, G. Wayne; Danehy, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    The Fine Sediment Biotic Index (FSBI) is a regional, stressor-specific biomonitoring index to assess fine sediment (Plecoptera (5), Trichoptera (3), and Ephemeroptera (2) contained all but one of the species or species groups classified as extremely sensitive. Index validation with an independent data set of 255 streams found FSBI scores to accurately predict both high and low levels of measured fine sediment.

  11. Biotic diversity interfaces with urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia N. Manley; Dennis D. Murphy; Lori A. Campbell; Kirsten E. Heckmann; Susan Merideth; Sean A. Parks; Monte P. Sanford; Matthew D. Schlesinger

    2006-01-01

    In the Lake Tahoe Basin, the retention of native ecosystems within urban areas may greatly enhance the landscape’s ability to maintain biotic diversity. Our study of plant, invertebrate and vertebrate species showed that many native species were present in remnant forest stands in developed areas; however, their richness and abundance declined in association with...

  12. Hydrolysis and biotic transformation in water in the pesticide model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horst, ter M.M.S.; Beltman, W.H.J.; Adriaanse, P.I.; Mulder, H.M.

    2017-01-01

    The TOXSWA model has been extended with the functionality to simulate hydrolysis and biotic transformation in water. TOXSWA simulates the fate of pesticides in water bodies to calculate exposure calculations for aquatic organisms or sediment-dwelling organisms as part of the aquatic risk assessment

  13. Automated experimentation in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lurgi, Miguel; Robertson, David

    2011-05-09

    In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems.

  14. A direct-gradient multivariate index of biotic condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Leandro E.; Aycock, J.N.; Killgore, K. J.

    2012-01-01

    Multimetric indexes constructed by summing metric scores have been criticized despite many of their merits. A leading criticism is the potential for investigator bias involved in metric selection and scoring. Often there is a large number of competing metrics equally well correlated with environmental stressors, requiring a judgment call by the investigator to select the most suitable metrics to include in the index and how to score them. Data-driven procedures for multimetric index formulation published during the last decade have reduced this limitation, yet apprehension remains. Multivariate approaches that select metrics with statistical algorithms may reduce the level of investigator bias and alleviate a weakness of multimetric indexes. We investigated the suitability of a direct-gradient multivariate procedure to derive an index of biotic condition for fish assemblages in oxbow lakes in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Although this multivariate procedure also requires that the investigator identify a set of suitable metrics potentially associated with a set of environmental stressors, it is different from multimetric procedures because it limits investigator judgment in selecting a subset of biotic metrics to include in the index and because it produces metric weights suitable for computation of index scores. The procedure, applied to a sample of 35 competing biotic metrics measured at 50 oxbow lakes distributed over a wide geographical region in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, selected 11 metrics that adequately indexed the biotic condition of five test lakes. Because the multivariate index includes only metrics that explain the maximum variability in the stressor variables rather than a balanced set of metrics chosen to reflect various fish assemblage attributes, it is fundamentally different from multimetric indexes of biotic integrity with advantages and disadvantages. As such, it provides an alternative to multimetric procedures.

  15. Plant species and communities assessment in interaction with edaphic and topographic factors; an ecological study of the mount Eelum District Swat, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murad Khan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The current analyses of vegetation were aimed to study the different effects of environmental variables and plant species and communities interaction to these variables, identified threats to local vegetation and suggestion for remedial measures in the Mount Eelum, Swat, Pakistan. For assessment of environmental variability quantitative ecological techniques were used through quadrats having sizes of 2 × 2, 5 × 5 and 10 × 10 m2 for herbs, shrubs and trees respectively. Result of the present study revealed 124 plant species in the study area. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA was used to analyze the ecological gradient of vegetation. The environmental data and species abundance were used in CANOCO software version 4.5. The presence absence data of plant species were elaborated with Cluster and Two Way Cluster Analysis techniques using PC-ORD version 5 to show different species composition that resulted in five plant communities. Findings indicate that elevation, aspect and soil texture are the strongest variables that have significant effect on species composition and distribution of various communities shown with P value 0.0500. It is recommended to protect and use sensibly whole of the Flora normally and rare species particularly in the region.

  16. CMEIAS-Aided Microscopy of the Spatial Ecology of Individual Bacterial Interactions Involving Cell-to-Cell Communication within Biofilms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank B. Dazzo

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes how the quantitative analytical tools of CMEIAS image analysis software can be used to investigate in situ microbial interactions involving cell-to-cell communication within biofilms. Various spatial pattern analyses applied to the data extracted from the 2-dimensional coordinate positioning of individual bacterial cells at single-cell resolution indicate that microbial colonization within natural biofilms is not a spatially random process, but rather involves strong positive interactions between communicating cells that influence their neighbors’ aggregated colonization behavior. Geostatistical analysis of the data provide statistically defendable estimates of the micrometer scale and interpolation maps of the spatial heterogeneity and local intensity at which these microbial interactions autocorrelate with their spatial patterns of distribution. Including in situ image analysis in cell communication studies fills an important gap in understanding the spatially dependent microbial ecophysiology that governs the intensity of biofilm colonization and its unique architecture.

  17. Effects of Abiotic and Biotic Stresses on the Internalization and Dissemination of Human Norovirus Surrogates in Growing Romaine Lettuce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiCaprio, Erin; Purgianto, Anastasia; Li, Jianrong

    2015-07-01

    Human norovirus (NoV) is the major causative agent of fresh-produce-related outbreaks of gastroenteritis; however, the ecology and persistence of human NoV in produce systems are poorly understood. In this study, the effects of abiotic and biotic stresses on the internalization and dissemination of two human NoV surrogates (murine norovirus 1 [MNV-1] and Tulane virus [TV]) in romaine lettuce were determined. To induce abiotic stress, romaine lettuce was grown under drought and flood conditions that mimic extreme weather events, followed by inoculation of soil with MNV-1 or TV. Independently, lettuce plants were infected with lettuce mosaic virus (LMV) to induce biotic stress, followed by inoculation with TV. Plants were grown for 14 days, and viral titers in harvested tissues were determined by plaque assays. It was found that drought stress significantly decreased the rates of both MNV-1 and TV internalization and dissemination. In contrast, neither flood stress nor biotic stress significantly impacted viral internalization or dissemination. Additionally, the rates of TV internalization and dissemination in soil-grown lettuce were significantly higher than those for MNV-1. Collectively, these results demonstrated that (i) human NoV surrogates can be internalized via roots and disseminated to shoots and leaves of romaine lettuce grown in soil, (ii) abiotic stress (drought) but not biotic stress (LMV infection) affects the rates of viral internalization and dissemination, and (iii) the type of virus affects the efficiency of internalization and dissemination. This study also highlights the need to develop effective measures to eliminate internalized viruses in fresh produce. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. A biotic video game smart phone kit for formal and informal biophysics education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Honesty; Lee, Seung Ah; Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar

    2015-03-01

    Novel ways for formal and informal biophysics education are important. We present a low-cost biotic game design kit that incorporates microbial organisms into an interactive gaming experience: A 3D-printable microscope containing four LEDs controlled by a joystick enable human players to provide directional light stimuli to the motile single-celled organism Euglena gracilis. These cellular behaviors are displayed on the integrated smart phone. Real time cell-tracking couples these cells into interactive biotic video game play, i.e., the human player steers Euglena to play soccer with virtual balls and goals. The player's learning curve in mastering this fun game is intrinsically coupled to develop a deeper knowledge about Euglena's cell morphology and the biophysics of its phototactic behavior. This kit is dual educational - via construction and via play - and it provides an engaging theme for a formal biophysics devices class as well as to be presented in informal outreach activities; its low cost and open soft- and hardware should enable wide adoption.

  19. Molecular Analysis of Rice CIPKs Involved in Both Biotic and Abiotic Stress Responses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Xi-feng; Gu Zhi-min; LIU Feng; MA Bo-jun; ZHANG Hong-sheng

    2011-01-01

    Plant calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins have been proposed as important Ca2+ sensors and specifically interact with CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs) in plant-specific calcium signaling.Here,we identified and isolated 15 CIPK genes in a japonica rice variety Nipponbare based on the predicted sequences of rice CIPK gene family.Gene structure analysis showed that these 15 genes were divided into intron-less and intron-rich groups,and OsCIPK3 and OsCIPK24 exhibited alternative splicing in their mature process.The phylogenetic analyses indicated that rice CIPKs shared an ancestor with Arabidopsis and poplar CIPKs.Analyses of gene expression showed that these OsCIPK genes were differentially induced by biotic stresses such as bacterial blight and abiotic stresses (heavy metal such as Hg2+,high salinity,cold and ABA).Interestingly,five OsCIPK genes,OsCIPK1,2,10,11 and 12,were transcriptionally up-regulated after bacterial blight infection whereas four OsCIPK genes,OsCIPK2,10,11 and 14,were induced by all treatments,indicating that some of OsCIPK genes are involved in multiple stress response pathways in plants.Our finding suggests that CIPKs play a key role in both biotic and abiotic stress responses.

  20. Seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers act synergistically as biotic filters in a mosaic landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regino Zamora

    Full Text Available In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees.

  1. The Ecology of Early Settlement in Northern Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    The first volume presents new archaeological and ecological data and analyses on the relation between human subsistence and survival, and the natural history of North-Western Europe throughout the period 10000 – 6000 BC. The volume contains contributions from ecological oriented archaeologists...... and from the natural sciences, throwing new light on the physical and biotic/ecological conditions of relevance to the earliest settlement. Main themes are human subsistence, subsistence technology, ecology and food availability pertaining to the first humans, and demographic patterns among humans linked...

  2. The biochar effect: plant resistance to biotic stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YIGAL ELAD

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Biochar (charcoal is the solid co-product of pyrolysis, the thermal degradation of biomass in the absence of oxygen. Pyrolysis also yields gaseous and liquid biofuel products. There is a growing interest worldwide in the pyrolysis platform, for at least four reasons: (i pyrolysis can be a source of renewable biofuels; (ii many biomass waste materials can be treated by pyrolysis and thus converted into a fuel resource; (iii long-term sequestration of carbon dioxide which originated in the atmosphere may result from adding biochar to soil; and (iv biochar soil amendment contributes to improved soil fertility and crop productivity. Currently, however, very little biochar is utilized in agriculture, in part because its agronomic value in terms of crop response and soil health benefits have yet to be quantified, and because the mechanisms by which it improves soil fertility are poorly understood. The positive effects of biochar on crop productivity under conditions of extensive agriculture are frequently attributed to direct effects of biochar-supplied nutrients and to several other indirect effects, including increased water and nutrient retention, improvements in soil pH, increased soil cation exchange capacity, effects on P and S transformations and turnover, neutralization of phytotoxic compounds in the soil, improved soil physical properties, promotion of mycorrhizal fungi, and alteration of soil microbial populations and functions. Yet, the biochar effect is also evident under conditions of intensive production where many of these parameters are not limited. Biochar addition to soil alters microbial populations in the rhizosphere, albeit via mechanisms not yet understood, and may cause a shift towards beneficial microorganism populations that promote plant growth and resistance to biotic stresses. In addition to some scant evidence for biochar-induced plant protection against soilborne diseases, the induction of systemic resistance towards

  3. Ecological periodic tables: in principle and practice (in OIKOS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    “Science is organized knowledge.” Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) Ecological periodic tables are an information organizing system with categorical habitat types as elements and predictably recurring (periodic) properties of a target biotic community, such as its relative species rich...

  4. Integrating the statistical analysis of spatial data in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. M. Liebhold; J. Gurevitch

    2002-01-01

    In many areas of ecology there is an increasing emphasis on spatial relationships. Often ecologists are interested in new ways of analyzing data with the objective of quantifying spatial patterns, and in designing surveys and experiments in light of the recognition that there may be underlying spatial pattern in biotic responses. In doing so, ecologists have adopted a...

  5. Increased risk of parasitism as ecological costs of using aggregation pheromones: laboratory and field study of Drosophila-Leptopilina interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2003-01-01

    Information conveyance plays an important role in parasitoid-host interactions. Several sources of information are available for searching parasitoids and exploitation of that information during the different phases of host location depends on its reliability, detectability and accuracy. One source

  6. Increased risk of parasitism as ecological costs of using aggregation pheromones : Laboratory and field study of Drosophila-Leptopilina interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B; Vet, LEM; Dicke, M

    Information conveyance plays an important role in parasitoid-host interactions. Several sources of information are available for searching parasitoids and exploitation of that information during the different phases of host location depends on its reliability, detectability and accuracy. One source

  7. When small changes matter: the role of cross-scale interactions between habitat and ecological connectivity in recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Lohrer, Andrew M; Chiaroni, Luca D

    2013-01-01

    Interaction between the diversity of local communities and the degree of connectivity between them has the potential to influence local recovery rates and thus profoundly affect community dynamics in the face of the cumulative impacts that occur across regions. Although such complex interactions have been modeled, field experiments in natural ecosystems to investigate the importance of interactions between local and regional processes are rare, especially so in coastal marine seafloor habitats subjected to many types of disturbance. We conducted a defaunation experiment at eight subtidal sites, incorporating manipulation of habitat structure, to test the relative importance of local habitat features and colonist supply in influencing macrobenthic community recovery rate. Our sites varied in community composition, habitat characteristics, and hydrodynamic conditions, and we conducted the experiment in two phases, exposing defaunated plots to colonists during periods of either high or low larval colonist supply. In both phases of the experiment, five months after disturbance, we were able to develop models that explained a large proportion of variation in community recovery rate between sites. Our results emphasize that the connectivity to the regional species pool influences recovery rate, and although local habitat effects were important, the strength of these effects was affected by broader-scale site characteristics and connectivity. Empirical evidence that cross-scale interactions are important in disturbance-recovery dynamics emphasizes the complex dynamics underlying seafloor community responses to cumulative disturbance.

  8. How to Set Up a Research Framework to Analyze Social-Ecological Interactive Processes in a Rural Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Deconchat

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Interdisciplinary research frameworks can be useful in providing answers to the environmental challenges facing rural environments, but concrete implementation of them remains empirical and requires better control. We present our practical experience of an interdisciplinary research project dealing with non-industrial private forestry in rural landscapes. The theoretical background, management, and methodological aspects, as well as results of the project, are presented in order to identify practical key factors that may influence its outcomes. Landscape ecology plays a central role in organizing the project. The efforts allocated for communication between scientists from different disciplines must be clearly stated in order to earn reciprocal trust. Sharing the same nested sampling areas, common approaches, and analytical tools (GIS is important, but has to be balanced by autonomy for actual implementation of field work and data analysis in a modular and evolving framework. Data sets are at the heart of the collaboration and GIS is necessary to ensure their long-term management and sharing. The experience acquired from practical development of such projects should be shared more often in networks of teams to compare their behavior and identify common rules of functioning.

  9. Dynamic species classification of microorganisms across time, abiotic and biotic environments-A sliding window approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Pennekamp

    Full Text Available The development of video-based monitoring methods allows for rapid, dynamic and accurate monitoring of individuals or communities, compared to slower traditional methods, with far reaching ecological and evolutionary applications. Large amounts of data are generated using video-based methods, which can be effectively processed using machine learning (ML algorithms into meaningful ecological information. ML uses user defined classes (e.g. species, derived from a subset (i.e. training data of video-observed quantitative features (e.g. phenotypic variation, to infer classes in subsequent observations. However, phenotypic variation often changes due to environmental conditions, which may lead to poor classification, if environmentally induced variation in phenotypes is not accounted for. Here we describe a framework for classifying species under changing environmental conditions based on the random forest classification. A sliding window approach was developed that restricts temporal and environmentally conditions to improve the classification. We tested our approach by applying the classification framework to experimental data. The experiment used a set of six ciliate species to monitor changes in community structure and behavior over hundreds of generations, in dozens of species combinations and across a temperature gradient. Differences in biotic and abiotic conditions caused simplistic classification approaches to be unsuccessful. In contrast, the sliding window approach allowed classification to be highly successful, as phenotypic differences driven by environmental change, could be captured by the classifier. Importantly, classification using the random forest algorithm showed comparable success when validated against traditional, slower, manual identification. Our framework allows for reliable classification in dynamic environments, and may help to improve strategies for long-term monitoring of species in changing environments. Our

  10. Root signals that mediate mutualistic interactions in the rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmann, Sergio; Turlings, Ted Cj

    2016-08-01

    A recent boom in research on belowground ecology is rapidly revealing a multitude of fascinating interactions, in particular in the rhizosphere. Many of these interactions are mediated by photo-assimilates that are excreted by plant roots. Root exudates are not mere waste products, but serve numerous functions to control abiotic and biotic processes. These functions range from changing the chemical and physical properties of the soil, inhibiting the growth of competing plants, combatting herbivores, and regulating the microbial community. Particularly intriguing are root-released compounds that have evolved to serve mutualistic interactions with soil-dwelling organisms. These mutually beneficial plant-mediated signals are not only of fundamental ecological interest, but also exceedingly important from an agronomical perspective. Here, we attempt to provide an overview of the plant-produced compounds that have so far been implicated in mutualistic interactions. We propose that these mutualistic signals may have evolved from chemical defenses and we point out that they can be (mis)used by specialized pathogens and herbivores. We speculate that many more signals and interactions remain to be uncovered and that a good understanding of the mechanisms and ecological implications can be the basis for exploitation and manipulation of the signals for crop improvement and protection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Abiotic/biotic coupling in the rhizosphere: a reactive transport modeling analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Corey R.; Steefel, Carl; Maher, Kate

    2014-01-01

    A new generation of models is needed to adequately simulate patterns of soil biogeochemical cycling in response changing global environmental drivers. For example, predicting the influence of climate change on soil organic matter storage and stability requires models capable of addressing complex biotic/abiotic interactions of rhizosphere and weathering processes. Reactive transport modeling provides a powerful framework simulating these interactions and the resulting influence on soil physical and chemical characteristics. Incorporation of organic reactions in an existing reactive transport model framework has yielded novel insights into soil weathering and development but much more work is required to adequately capture root and microbial dynamics in the rhizosphere. This endeavor provides many advantages over traditional soil biogeochemical models but also many challenges.

  12. Biotic turnover rates during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stivrins, Normunds; Soininen, Janne; Amon, Leeli; Fontana, Sonia L.; Gryguc, Gražyna; Heikkilä, Maija; Heiri, Oliver; Kisielienė, Dalia; Reitalu, Triin; Stančikaitė, Miglė; Veski, Siim; Seppä, Heikki

    2016-11-01

    The Northern Hemisphere is currently warming at the rate which is unprecedented during the Holocene. Quantitative palaeoclimatic records show that the most recent time in the geological history with comparable warming rates was during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (PHT) about 14,000 to 11,000 years ago. To better understand the biotic response to rapid temperature change, we explore the community turnover rates during the PHT by focusing on the Baltic region in the southeastern sector of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, where an exceptionally dense network on microfossil and macrofossil data that reflect the biotic community history are available. We further use a composite chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction compiled specifically for our study region to calculate the rate of temperature change during the PHT. The fastest biotic turnover in the terrestrial and aquatic communities occurred during the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift at 11,700 years ago. This general shift in species composition was accompanied by regional extinctions, including disappearance of mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and many arctic-alpine plant taxa, such as Dryas octopetala, Salix polaris and Saxifraga aizoides, from the region. This rapid biotic turnover rate occurred when the rate of warming was 0.17 °C/decade, thus slightly lower than the current Northern Hemisphere warming of 0.2 °C/decade. We therefore conclude that the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift with its rapid turnover rates and associated regional extinctions represents an important palaeoanalogue to the current high latitude warming and gives insights about the probable future turnover rates and patterns of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem change.

  13. Changes in biotic and abiotic processes following mangrove clearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granek, Elise; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.

    2008-12-01

    Mangrove forests, important tropical coastal habitats, are in decline worldwide primarily due to removal by humans. Changes to mangrove systems can alter ecosystem properties through direct effects on abiotic factors such as temperature, light and nutrient supply or through changes in biotic factors such as primary productivity or species composition. Despite the importance of mangroves as transitional habitats between land and sea, little research has examined changes that occur when they are cleared. We examined changes in a number of biotic and abiotic factors following the anthropogenic removal of red mangroves ( Rhizophora mangle) in the Panamanian Caribbean, including algal biomass, algal diversity, algal grazing rates, light penetration, temperature, sedimentation rates and sediment organic content. In this first study examining multiple ecosystem-level effects of mangrove disturbance, we found that areas cleared of mangroves had higher algal biomass and richness than intact mangrove areas. This increase in algal biomass and richness was likely due to changes in abiotic factors (e.g. light intensity, temperature), but not biotic factors (fish herbivory). Additionally the algal and cyanobacterial genera dominating mangrove-cleared areas were rare in intact mangroves and included a number of genera that compete with coral for space on reefs. Interestingly, sedimentation rates did not differ between intact and cleared areas, but the sediments that accumulated in intact mangroves had higher organic content. These findings are the first to demonstrate that anthropogenic clearing of mangroves changes multiple biotic and abiotic processes in mangrove forests and that some of these changes may influence adjacent habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Additional research is needed to further explore the community and ecosystem-level effects of mangrove clearing and their influence on adjacent habitats, but it is clear that mangrove conservation is an

  14. Assessment of derelict soil quality: Abiotic, biotic and functional approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Quentin; Auclerc, Apolline; Beguiristain, Thierry; Leyval, Corinne

    2018-02-01

    The intensification and subsequent closing down of industrial activities during the last century has left behind large surfaces of derelict lands. Derelict soils have low fertility, can be contaminated, and many of them remain unused. However, with the increasing demand of soil surfaces, they might be considered as a resource, for example for non-food biomass production. The study of their physico-chemical properties and of their biodiversity and biological activity may provide indications for their potential re-use. The objective of our study was to investigate the quality of six derelict soils, considering abiotic, biotic, and functional parameters. We studied (i) the soil bacteria, fungi, meso- and macro-fauna and plant communities of six different derelict soils (two from coking plants, one from a settling pond, two constructed ones made from different substrates and remediated soil, and an inert waste storage one), and (ii) their decomposition function based on the decomposer trophic network, enzyme activities, mineralization activity, and organic pollutant degradation. Biodiversity levels in these soils were high, but all biotic parameters, except the mycorrhizal colonization level, discriminated them. Multivariate analysis showed that biotic parameters co-varied more with fertility proxies than with soil contamination parameters. Similarly, functional parameters significantly co-varied with abiotic parameters. Among functional parameters, macro-decomposer proportion, enzyme activity, average mineralization capacity, and microbial polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degraders were useful to discriminate the soils. We assessed their quality by combining abiotic, biotic, and functional parameters: the compost-amended constructed soil displayed the highest quality, while the settling pond soil and the contaminated constructed soil displayed the lowest. Although differences among the soils were highlighted, this study shows that derelict soils may provide a

  15. Changing Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Impact Stream Chemistry and Ecology at the Arctic-Boreal Transition in Western Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, J. C.; Carey, M.; O'Donnell, J.; Sjoberg, Y.; Zimmerman, C. E.

    2016-12-01

    The arctic-boreal transition zone of Alaska is experiencing rapid change related to unprecedented warming and subsequent loss of permafrost. These changes in turn may affect groundwater-surface water (GW-SW) interactions, biogeochemical cycling, and ecosystem processes. While recent field and modeling studies have improved our understanding of hydrology in watersheds underlain by thawing permafrost, little is known about how these hydrologic shifts will impact bottom-up controls on stream food webs. To address this uncertainty, we are using an integrative experimental design to link GW-SW interactions to stream biogeochemistry and biota in 10 first-order streams in northwest Alaska. These study streams drain watersheds that span several gradients, including elevation, aspect, and vegetation (tundra vs. forest). We have developed a robust, multi-disciplinary data set to characterize GW-SW interactions and to mechanistically link GW-SW dynamics to water quality and the stream ecosystem. Data includes soil hydrology and chemistry; stream discharge, temperature, and inflow rates; water chemistry (including water isotopes, major ions, carbon concentration and isotopes, nutrients and chlorophyll-a), and invertebrate and fish communities. Stream recession curves indicate a decreasing rate later in the summer in some streams, consistent with seasonal thaw in lower elevation and south-facing catchments. Base cation and water isotope chemistry display similar impacts of seasonal thaw and also suggest the dominance of groundwater in many streams. Coupled with estimates of GW-SW exchange at point, reach, and catchment scales, these results will be used to predict how hydrology and water quality are likely to impact fish habitat and growth given continued warming at the arctic-boreal transition.

  16. Ecology of the African Maize Stalk Borer, Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae with Special Reference to Insect-Plant Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul-André Calatayud

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae is an important pest of maize and sorghum in sub-Saharan Africa. One century after its first description by Fuller in 1901, inaccurate information based on earlier reports are still propagated on its distribution (e.g., absent from the lower altitudes in East Africa and host plant range (e.g., feeding on a large range of wild grass species. This review provides updated information on the biology, distribution and genetics of B. fusca with emphasis on insect-plant interactions. Related to this, new avenues of stem borer management are proposed.

  17. Arctic systems in the Quaternary: ecological collision, faunal mosaics and the consequences of a wobbling climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoberg, E P; Cook, J A; Agosta, S J; Boeger, W; Galbreath, K E; Laaksonen, S; Kutz, S J; Brooks, D R

    2017-07-01

    Climate oscillations and episodic processes interact with evolution, ecology and biogeography to determine the structure and complex mosaic that is the biosphere. Parasites and parasite-host assemblages are key components in a general explanatory paradigm for global biodiversity. We explore faunal assembly in the context of Quaternary time frames of the past 2.6 million years, a period dominated by episodic shifts in climate. Climate drivers cross a continuum from geological to contemporary timescales and serve to determine the structure and distribution of complex biotas. Cycles within cycles are apparent, with drivers that are layered, multifactorial and complex. These cycles influence the dynamics and duration of shifts in environmental structure on varying temporal and spatial scales. An understanding of the dynamics of high-latitude systems, the history of the Beringian nexus (the intermittent land connection linking Eurasia and North America) and downstream patterns of diversity depend on teasing apart the complexity of biotic assembly and persistence. Although climate oscillations have dominated the Quaternary, contemporary dynamics are driven by tipping points and shifting balances emerging from anthropogenic forces that are disrupting ecological structure. Climate change driven by anthropogenic forcing has supplanted a history of episodic variation and is eliminating ecological barriers and constraints on development and distribution for pathogen transmission. A framework to explore interactions of episodic processes on faunal structure and assembly is the Stockholm Paradigm, which appropriately shifts the focus from cospeciation to complexity and contingency in explanations of diversity.

  18. Development of a new biotic index to assess freshwater pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Jianguo

    2006-01-01

    We developed a new biotic index of species pollution value (SPV) and community pollution value (CPV) based on the correlation of protozoan communities with chemical water quality to assess freshwater pollution. Five hundred and twenty-three species of protozoa SPV were established based on the data of River Hangjiang and Lake Donghu. The present research was conducted in order to further consummate the biotic index. Protozoa of the water system in Changde City were collected from 16 stations using the PFU method and the water chemical parameters of the stations were analyzed. The results showed that CPV calculated from SPV had a close correlation with the degree of water pollution (p < 0.00001), which indicated that the method is reliable. By combining the data of River Hangjiang, Lake Donghu and Changde City, the final form of SPV was accomplished and the SPV list increased to 757. The ultimate water standard evaluated by CPV calculated from SPV was proposed. - A new biotic index of water quality based on protozoa is described

  19. Quantitative XRD analysis of {110} twin density in biotic aragonites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Michio; Kim, Hyejin; Mukai, Hiroki; Nagasawa, Hiromichi; Kogure, Toshihiro

    2012-12-01

    {110} Twin densities in biotic aragonite have been estimated quantitatively from the peak widths of specific reflections in powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, as well as direct confirmation of the twins using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Influence of the twin density on the peak widths in the XRD pattern was simulated using DIFFaX program, regarding (110) twin as interstratification of two types of aragonite unit layers with mirrored relationship. The simulation suggested that the twin density can be estimated from the difference of the peak widths between 111 and 021, or between 221 and 211 reflections. Biotic aragonite in the crossed-lamellar microstructure (three species) and nacreous microstructure (four species) of molluscan shells, fish otoliths (two species), and a coral were investigated. The XRD analyses indicated that aragonite crystals in the crossed-lamellar microstructure of the three species contain high density of the twins, which is consistent with the TEM examination. On the other hand, aragonite in the nacre of the four species showed almost no difference of the peak widths between the paired reflections, indicating low twin densities. The results for the fish otoliths were varied between the species. Such variation of the twin density in biotic aragonites may reflect different schemes of crystal growth in biomineralization. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Development of a new biotic index to assess freshwater pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang Jianguo [College of Food and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (China)]. E-mail: jgjiang@scut.edu.cn

    2006-01-15

    We developed a new biotic index of species pollution value (SPV) and community pollution value (CPV) based on the correlation of protozoan communities with chemical water quality to assess freshwater pollution. Five hundred and twenty-three species of protozoa SPV were established based on the data of River Hangjiang and Lake Donghu. The present research was conducted in order to further consummate the biotic index. Protozoa of the water system in Changde City were collected from 16 stations using the PFU method and the water chemical parameters of the stations were analyzed. The results showed that CPV calculated from SPV had a close correlation with the degree of water pollution (p < 0.00001), which indicated that the method is reliable. By combining the data of River Hangjiang, Lake Donghu and Changde City, the final form of SPV was accomplished and the SPV list increased to 757. The ultimate water standard evaluated by CPV calculated from SPV was proposed. - A new biotic index of water quality based on protozoa is described.

  1. Invasion by non-native brook trout in Panther Creek, Idaho: Roles of habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity to source habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph R. Benjamin; Jason B. Dunham; Matthew R. Dare

    2007-01-01

    Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that the invasion of nonnative species in freshwaters is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each factor to determine which were associated with the occurrence of nonnative brook trout Salvelinus...

  2. Plant-ants use symbiotic fungi as a food source: new insight into the nutritional ecology of ant-plant interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle

    2012-10-07

    Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant-plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or (15)N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a (15)N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants.

  3. Plant-ants use symbiotic fungi as a food source: new insight into the nutritional ecology of ant–plant interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle

    2012-01-01

    Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant–plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or 15N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a 15N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants. PMID:22859596

  4. Beyond positivist ecology: toward an integrated ecological ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Bryan G

    2008-12-01

    A post-positivist understanding of ecological science and the call for an "ecological ethic" indicate the need for a radically new approach to evaluating environmental change. The positivist view of science cannot capture the essence of environmental sciences because the recent work of "reflexive" ecological modelers shows that this requires a reconceptualization of the way in which values and ecological models interact in scientific process. Reflexive modelers are ecological modelers who believe it is appropriate for ecologists to examine the motives for their choices in developing models; this self-reflexive approach opens the door to a new way of integrating values into public discourse and to a more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change. This reflexive building of ecological models is introduced through the transformative simile of Aldo Leopold, which shows that learning to "think like a mountain" involves a shift in both ecological modeling and in values and responsibility. An adequate, interdisciplinary approach to ecological valuation, requires a re-framing of the evaluation questions in entirely new ways, i.e., a review of the current status of interdisciplinary value theory with respect to ecological values reveals that neither of the widely accepted theories of environmental value-neither economic utilitarianism nor intrinsic value theory (environmental ethics)-provides a foundation for an ecologically sensitive evaluation process. Thus, a new, ecologically sensitive, and more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change would include an examination of the metaphors that motivate the models used to describe environmental change.

  5. ROLE OF ABIOTIC AND BIOTIC FACTORS IN RESEARCH OF VARIETES OF WEIGELA (WEIGELA THUNB., CAPRIFOLIACEAE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Savenko

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. The success of the introduction of plants depends on their vitality and adaptation to the new conditions of existence. The aim of our study is to identify environmental characteristics of varieties of Weigela to extend the range of ornamental plants under urban ecosystem of Krasnodar. We have analyzed the tolerance of varieties of Weigela to the temperature regime in the introduction region, we explored the complex biotic factors influencing the growth and development of these plants, and also studied the morphological characteristics of pollen and pollen productivity of Weigela flowers.Methods. Evaluation of resistance of varieties of Weigela to a complex of abiotic and biotic factors has been conducted in the field and in the laboratory, taking into account recommendations for ornamental shrubs.Results. Studied Weigela varieties have enough ecological valence to the force of impact of the maximum and minimum air temperatures in the area of the introduction. The most resistant to the complex of summer stress factors are the following varieties of Weigela: 'Candida', 'Nana Variegata', 'Olimpik Flame', 'Red Rrince'. The most heat-resistant varieties are 'Nana Variegata' and 'Olimpik Flame'. The most winter-hardy varieties are 'Candida' and 'Red Rrince', less winter-hardy variety is 'Nana Purpurea'. The most cold-resistant variety is 'Candida'. 'Nana Variegata' produces the highest number of fertile pollen grains. The smallest amount of fertile pollen is formed by 'Nana Purpurea'.Main conclusion. These studies allow us to conclude that all the studied varieties of Weigela are characterized by a high degree of adaptation and deserve widespread use in gardens and parks of the city of Krasnodar.

  6. Ecotoxicological assessment of flocculant modified soil for lake restoration using an integrated biotic toxicity index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhibin; Zhang, Honggang; Pan, Gang

    2016-06-15

    Flocculant modified soils/clays are being increasingly studied as geo-engineering materials for lake restoration and harmful algal bloom control. However, the potential impacts of adding these materials in aquatic ecological systems remain unclear. This study investigated the potential effects of chitosan, cationic starch, chitosan modified soils (MS-C) and cationic starch modified soils (MS-S) on the aquatic organisms by using a bioassay battery. The toxicity potential of these four flocculants was quantitatively assessed using an integrated biotic toxicity index (BTI). The test system includes four aquatic species, namely Chlorella vulgaris, Daphnia magna, Cyprinus carpio and Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri, which represent four trophic levels in the freshwater ecosystem. Results showed that median effect concentrations (EC50) of the MS-C and MS-S were 31-124 times higher than chitosan and cationic starch, respectively. D. magna was the most sensitive species to the four flocculants. Histological examination of C. carpio showed that significant pathological changes were found in gills. Different from chitosan and cationic starch, MS-C and MS-S significantly alleviated the acute toxicities of chitosan and cationic starch. The toxicity order of the four flocculants based on BTI were cationic starch > chitosan > MS-S > MS-C. The results suggested that BTI can be used as a quantitative and comparable indicator to assess biotic toxicity for aquatic geo-engineering materials. Chitosan or cationic starch modified soil/clay materials can be used at their optimal dosage without causing substantial adverse effects to the bioassay battery in aquatic ecosystem. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Abiotic and Biotic Factors Regulating Inter-Kingdom Engagement between Insects and Microbe Activity on Vertebrate Remains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Heather R.; Tomberlin, Jeffery K.

    2017-01-01

    A number of abiotic and biotic factors are known to regulate arthropod attraction, colonization, and utilization of decomposing vertebrate remains. Such information is critical when assessing arthropod evidence associated with said remains in terms of forensic relevance. Interactions are not limited to just between the resource and arthropods. There is another biotic factor that has been historically overlooked; however, with the advent of high-throughput sequencing, and other molecular techniques, the curtain has been pulled back to reveal a microscopic world that is playing a major role with regards to carrion decomposition patterns in association with arthropods. The objective of this publication is to review many of these factors and draw attention to their impact on microbial, specifically bacteria, activity associated with these remains as it is our contention that microbes serve as a primary mechanism regulating associated arthropod behavior. PMID:28538664

  8. Biotic games and cloud experimentation as novel media for biophysics education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar; Blikstein, Paulo

    2014-03-01

    First-hand, open-ended experimentation is key for effective formal and informal biophysics education. We developed, tested and assessed multiple new platforms that enable students and children to directly interact with and learn about microscopic biophysical processes: (1) Biotic games that enable local and online play using galvano- and photo-tactic stimulation of micro-swimmers, illustrating concepts such as biased random walks, Low Reynolds number hydrodynamics, and Brownian motion; (2) an undergraduate course where students learn optics, electronics, micro-fluidics, real time image analysis, and instrument control by building biotic games; and (3) a graduate class on the biophysics of multi-cellular systems that contains a cloud experimentation lab enabling students to execute open-ended chemotaxis experiments on slimemolds online, analyze their data, and build biophysical models. Our work aims to generate the equivalent excitement and educational impact for biophysics as robotics and video games have had for mechatronics and computer science, respectively. We also discuss how scaled-up cloud experimentation systems can support MOOCs with true lab components and life-science research in general.

  9. Ecology of Fungus Gnats (Bradysia spp.) in Greenhouse Production Systems Associated with Disease-Interactions and Alternative Management Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloyd, Raymond A

    2015-04-09

    Fungus gnats (Bradysia spp.) are major insect pests of greenhouse-grown horticultural crops mainly due to the direct feeding damage caused by the larvae, and the ability of larvae to transmit certain soil-borne plant pathogens. Currently, insecticides and biological control agents are being used successively to deal with fungus gnat populations in greenhouse production systems. However, these strategies may only be effective as long as greenhouse producers also implement alternative management strategies such as cultural, physical, and sanitation. This includes elimination of algae, and plant and growing medium debris; placing physical barriers onto the growing medium surface; and using materials that repel fungus gnat adults. This article describes the disease-interactions associated with fungus gnats and foliar and soil-borne diseases, and the alternative management strategies that should be considered by greenhouse producers in order to alleviate problems with fungus gnats in greenhouse production systems.

  10. Ecology of Fungus Gnats (Bradysia spp. in Greenhouse Production Systems Associated with Disease-Interactions and Alternative Management Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond A. Cloyd

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Fungus gnats (Bradysia spp. are major insect pests of greenhouse-grown horticultural crops mainly due to the direct feeding damage caused by the larvae, and the ability of larvae to transmit certain soil-borne plant pathogens. Currently, insecticides and biological control agents are being used successively to deal with fungus gnat populations in greenhouse production systems. However, these strategies may only be effective as long as greenhouse producers also implement alternative management strategies such as cultural, physical, and sanitation. This includes elimination of algae, and plant and growing medium debris; placing physical barriers onto the growing medium surface; and using materials that repel fungus gnat adults. This article describes the disease-interactions associated with fungus gnats and foliar and soil-borne diseases, and the alternative management strategies that should be considered by greenhouse producers in order to alleviate problems with fungus gnats in greenhouse production systems.

  11. Taking peer victimization research to the next level: complex interactions among genes, teacher attitudes/behaviors, peer ecologies, & classroom characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espelage, Dorothy L

    2015-01-01

    This commentary reviews research findings of the five papers in the special entitled "School-related Factors in the Development of Bullying Perpetration and Victimization", which represent critical areas that are often overlooked in the literature. First, one paper points to the complex interaction between a genetic disposition for aggression and classroom norms toward aggression. Second, an intervention paper unpacks the underlying mechanisms of an efficacious school-wide bully prevention program by opening the "black box" and testing for mediators. Third, the remaining studies employ a wide range of rigorous designs to identify how teachers' attitudes, behaviors, and classroom practices play a critical role in the prevalence of victimization and bullying in the classroom. Further, teachers' attitudes and behaviors are shown to be predictive of youth's willingness to intervene to assist a peer who is being victimized. Results are situated in what is known about bullying prevention, and how the findings from these studies could maximize the sensitivity of future prevention efforts.

  12. Experimental assemblage of novel plant-herbivore interactions: ecological host shifts after 40 million years of isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; Horvitz, Carol C; Kress, W John; Carvajal-Acosta, A Nalleli; Erwin, Terry L; Staines, Charles L

    2017-11-01

    Geographic isolation is the first step in insect herbivore diet specialization. Such specialization is postulated to increase insect fitness, but may simultaneously reduce insect ability to colonize novel hosts. During the Paleocene-Eocene, plants from the order Zingiberales became isolated either in the Paleotropics or in the Neotropics. During the Cretaceous, rolled-leaf beetles diversified in the Neotropics concurrently with Neotropical Zingiberales. Using a community of Costa Rican rolled-leaf beetles and their Zingiberales host plants as study system, we explored if previous geographic isolation precludes insects to expand their diets to exotic hosts. We recorded interactions between rolled-leaf beetles and native Zingiberales by combining DNA barcodes and field records for 7450 beetles feeding on 3202 host plants. To determine phylogenetic patterns of diet expansions, we set 20 field plots including five exotic Zingiberales, recording beetles feeding on these exotic hosts. In the laboratory, using both native and exotic host plants, we reared a subset of insect species that had expanded their diets to the exotic plants. The original plant-herbivore community comprised 24 beetle species feeding on 35 native hosts, representing 103 plant-herbivore interactions. After exotic host plant introduction, 20% of the beetle species expanded their diets to exotic Zingiberales. Insects only established on exotic hosts that belong to the same plant family as their native hosts. Laboratory experiments show that beetles are able to complete development on these novel hosts. In conclusion, rolled-leaf beetles are pre-adapted to expand their diets to novel host plants even after millions of years of geographic isolation.

  13. Ecological responses to UV radiation: interactions between the biological effects of UV on plants and on associated organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Nigel D; Moore, Jason P; McPherson, Martin; Lambourne, Cathryn; Croft, Patricia; Heaton, Joanna C; Wargent, Jason J

    2012-08-01

    Solar ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation (280-315 nm) has a wide range of effects on terrestrial ecosystems, yet our understanding of how UV-B influences the complex interactions of plants with pest, pathogen and related microorganisms remains limited. Here, we report the results of a series of experiments in Lactuca sativa which aimed to characterize not only key plant responses to UV radiation in a field environment but also consequential effects for plant interactions with a sap-feeding insect, two model plant pathogens and phylloplane microorganism populations. Three spectrally modifying filters with contrasting UV transmissions were used to filter ambient sunlight, and when compared with our UV-inclusive filter, L. sativa plants grown in a zero UV-B environment showed significantly increased shoot fresh weight, reduced foliar pigment concentrations and suppressed population growth of green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). Plants grown under a filter which allowed partial transmission of UV-A radiation and negligible UV-B transmission showed increased density of leaf surface phylloplane microbes compared with the UV-inclusive treatment. Effects of UV treatment on the severity of two plant pathogens, Bremia lactucae and Botrytis cinerea, were complex as both the UV-inclusive and zero UV-B filters reduced the severity of pathogen persistence. These results are discussed with reference to known spectral responses of plants, insects and microorganisms, and contrasted with established fundamental responses of plants and other organisms to solar UV radiation, with particular emphasis on the need for future integration between different experimental approaches when investigating the effects of solar UV radiation. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2011.

  14. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks......In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....

  15. A guideline to study the feasibility domain of multi-trophic and changing ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Chuliang; Rohr, Rudolf P; Saavedra, Serguei

    2018-04-24

    The feasibility domain of an ecological community can be described by the set of environmental abiotic and biotic conditions under which all co-occurring and interacting species in a given site and time can have positive abundances. Mathematically, the feasibility domain corresponds to the parameter space compatible with positive (feasible) solutions at equilibrium for all the state variables in a system under a given model of population dynamics. Under specific dynamics, the existence of a feasible equilibrium is a necessary condition for species persistence regardless of whether the feasible equilibrium is dynamically stable or not. Thus, the size of the feasibility domain can also be used as an indicator of the tolerance of a community to random environmental variations. This has motivated a rich research agenda to estimate the feasibility domain of ecological communities. However, these methodologies typically assume that species interactions are static, or that input and output energy flows on each trophic level are unconstrained. Yet, this is different to how communities behave in nature. Here, we present a step-by-step quantitative guideline providing illustrative examples, computational code, and mathematical proofs to study systematically the feasibility domain of ecological communities under changes of interspecific interactions and subject to different constraints on the trophic energy flows. This guideline covers multi-trophic communities that can be formed by any type of interspecific interactions. Importantly, we show that the relative size of the feasibility domain can significantly change as a function of the biological information taken into consideration. We believe that the availability of these methods can allow us to increase our understanding about the limits at which ecological communities may no longer tolerate further environmental perturbations, and can facilitate a stronger integration of theoretical and empirical research. Copyright

  16. Geographical ecology of the palms (Arecaceae): determinants of diversity and distributions across spatial scales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Kissling, W. Daniel

    2011-01-01

    , and dispersal again at all scales. For species richness, climate and dispersal appear to be important at continental to global scales, soil at landscape and broader scales, and topography at landscape and finer scales. Some scale–predictor combinations have not been studied or deserve further attention, e......Background The palm family occurs in all tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Palms are of high ecological and economical importance, and display complex spatial patterns of species distributions and diversity. Scope This review summarizes empirical evidence for factors that determine...... palm species distributions, community composition and species richness such as the abiotic environment (climate, soil chemistry, hydrology and topography), the biotic environment (vegetation structure and species interactions) and dispersal. The importance of contemporary vs. historical impacts...

  17. Ecological suicide in microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratzke, Christoph; Denk, Jonas; Gore, Jeff

    2018-05-01

    The growth and survival of organisms often depend on interactions between them. In many cases, these interactions are positive and caused by a cooperative modification of the environment. Examples are the cooperative breakdown of complex nutrients in microbes or the construction of elaborate architectures in social insects, in which the individual profits from the collective actions of her peers. However, organisms can similarly display negative interactions by changing the environment in ways that are detrimental for them, for example by resource depletion or the production of toxic byproducts. Here we find an extreme type of negative interactions, in which Paenibacillus sp. bacteria modify the environmental pH to such a degree that it leads to a rapid extinction of the whole population, a phenomenon that we call ecological suicide. Modification of the pH is more pronounced at higher population densities, and thus ecological suicide is more likely to occur with increasing bacterial density. Correspondingly, promoting bacterial growth can drive populations extinct whereas inhibiting bacterial growth by the addition of harmful substances-such as antibiotics-can rescue them. Moreover, ecological suicide can cause oscillatory dynamics, even in single-species populations. We found ecological suicide in a wide variety of microbes, suggesting that it could have an important role in microbial ecology and evolution.

  18. Abiotic and biotic controls on local spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KUSUM J NAITHANI

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the relative influence of biotic and abiotic factors on community dynamics using an integrated approach and highlights the influence of space on genotypic and phenotypic traits in plant community structure. We examined the relative influence of topography, environment, spatial distance, and intra- and interspecific interactions on spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta (rockcress, a close perennial relative of model plant Arabidopsis. First, using Bayesian kriging, we mapped the topography and environmental gradients and explored the spatial distribution of naturally occurring rockcress plants and two neighbors, Taraxacum officinale (dandelion and Solidago missouriensis (goldenrod found in close proximity within a typical diverse meadow community across topographic and environmental gradients. We then evaluated direct and indirect relationships among variables using Mantel path analysis and developed a network displaying abiotic and biotic interactions in this community. We found significant spatial autocorrelation among rockcress individuals, either because of common microhabitats as displayed by high density of individuals at lower elevation and high soil moisture area, or limited dispersal as shown by significant spatial autocorrelation of naturally occurring inbred lines, or a combination of both. Goldenrod and dandelion density around rockcress does not show any direct relationship with rockcress fecundity, possibly due to spatial segregation of resources. However, dandelion density around rockcress shows an indirect negative influence on rockcress fecundity via herbivory, indicating interspecific competition. Overall, we suggest that common microhabitat preference and limited dispersal are the main drivers for spatial distribution. However, intra-specific interactions and insect herbivory are the main drivers of rockcress performance in the meadow community.

  19. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

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    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  20. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important for the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread.