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Sample records for biotic interactions ecological

  1. Managing biotic interactions for ecological intensification of agroecosystem

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    Sabrina eGaba

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture faces the challenge of increasing food production while simultaneously reducing the use of inputs and delivering other ecosystem services. Ecological intensification of agriculture is a paradigm shift, which has recently been proposed to meet such challenges through the manipulation of biotic interactions. While this approach opens up new possibilities, there are many constraints related to the complexity of agroecosystems that make it difficult to implement. Future advances, which are essential to guide agricultural policy, require an eco-evolutionary framework to ensure that ecological intensification is beneficial in the long term.

  2. Biotic Interactions Shape the Ecological Distributions of Staphylococcus Species

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    Erik K. Kastman

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. 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 ch

  4. Plant biotic interactions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2016-01-01

    occurring after infestation by olive fly larvae. The last research article by Niu et al.(2016) describes a growth-promoting rhizobacterium that primes induced systemic resistance by suppressing a host R gene-targeting micro RNA pairs and activating host immune responses. This finding further supports the important roles of plant endogenous small RNAs in plant-pathogen interactions. Hailing Jin, Professor Special Issue Editor UC President’s Chair Director of Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics Graduate Program, Center for Plant Cell Biology, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California, Riverside, USA doi:10.1111/jipb.12476 ©2016 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences REFERENCES Alagna F, Kal enbach M, Pompa A, De Marchis F, Rao R, Baldwin IT, Bonaventure G, Baldoni L (2016) Olive fruits infested with olive fly larvae respond with an ethylene burst and the emission of specific volatiles. J Integr Plant Biol 58:413–425 Castiblanco LF, Sundin GW (2016) New insights on molecular regulation of biofilm formation in plant-associated bacteria. J Integr Plant Biol 58:362–372 da GraSca JV, Douhan GW, Halbert SE, Keremane ML, Lee RF, Vidalakis G, Zhao H (2016) Huanglongbing: An overview of a complex pathosystem ravaging the world’s citrus. J Integr Plant Biol 58:373–387 Giovino A, Martinel i F, Saia S (2016) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus attack affects a group of compounds rather than rearranging Phoenix canariensis metabolic pathways. J Integr Plant Biol 58:388–396 Huang J, Yang M, Zhang X (2016) The function of smal RNAs in plant biotic stress response. J Integr Plant Biol 58:312–327 Kaloshian I, Wal ing LL (2016) Hemipteran and dipteran pests: Effectors and plant host immune regulators. J Integr Plant Biol 58:350–361 Mermigka G, Verret F, Kalantidis K (2016) RNA silencing movement in plants. J Integr Plant Biol 58:328–342 Niu D, Xia J, Jiang C, Qi B, Ling X, Lin S, Zhang W, Guo J, Jin H, Zhao H (2016) Bacil us cereus AR156

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 ecosys...

  6. Time after time: flowering phenology and biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elzinga, J.A.; Atlan, A.; Biere, A.; Gigord, L.; Weis, A.E.; Bernasconi, G.

    2007-01-01

    The role of biotic interactions in shaping plant flowering phenology has long been controversial; plastic responses to the abiotic environment, limited precision of biological clocks and inconsistency of selection pressures have generally been emphasized to explain phenological variation. However, p

  7. Biotic interactions mediate the expansion of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) into salt marshes under climate change.

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    Guo, Hongyu; Zhang, Yihui; Lan, Zhenjiang; Pennings, Steven C

    2013-09-01

    Many species are expanding their distributions to higher latitudes due to global warming. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these distribution shifts is critical for better understanding the impacts of climate changes. The climate envelope approach is widely used to model and predict species distribution shifts with changing climates. Biotic interactions between species, however, may also influence species distributions, and a better understanding of biotic interactions could improve predictions based solely on climate envelope models. Along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, USA, subtropical black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) at the northern limit of its distribution grows sympatrically with temperate salt marsh plants in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. In recent decades, freeze-free winters have led to an expansion of black mangrove into salt marshes. We examined how biotic interactions between black mangrove and salt marsh vegetation along the Texas coast varied across (i) a latitudinal gradient (associated with a winter-temperature gradient); (ii) the elevational gradient within each marsh (which creates different marsh habitats); and (iii) different life history stages of black mangroves (seedlings vs. juvenile trees). Each of these variables affected the strength or nature of biotic interactions between black mangrove and salt marsh vegetation: (i) Salt marsh vegetation facilitated black mangrove seedlings at their high-latitude distribution limit, but inhibited black mangrove seedlings at lower latitudes; (ii) mangroves performed well at intermediate elevations, but grew and survived poorly in high- and low-marsh habitats; and (iii) the effect of salt marsh vegetation on black mangroves switched from negative to neutral as black mangroves grew from seedlings into juvenile trees. These results indicate that the expansion of black mangroves is mediated by complex biotic interactions. A better understanding of the impacts of climate change on ecological

  8. 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 effec

  9. Chasing Ecological Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27631692

  10. Biotic interaction strength and the intensity of selection.

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    Benkman, Craig W

    2013-08-01

    Although the ecological and evolutionary impacts of species interactions have been the foci of much research, the relationship between the strength of species interactions and the intensity of selection has been investigated only rarely. I develop a simple model demonstrating how the opportunity for selection varies with interaction strength, and then use the relationship between the maximum value of the selection differential and the opportunity for selection (Arnold & Wade 1984) to evaluate how selection differentials vary in relation to species interaction strength. This model predicts an initial deceleration and then an accelerating increase in the intensity of selection with increasing strength of antagonistic interactions and with decreasing strength of mutualistic interactions. Empirical data from several studies provide support for this model. These results further support an evolutionary mechanism for some striking patterns of evolutionary diversification including the latitudinal species gradient, and should be relevant to studies of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  11. 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

  12. Microbial interactions: ecology in a molecular perspective.

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    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.

  13. Microbial interactions: ecology in a molecular perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raíssa Mesquita Braga

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT 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.

  14. Biotic Interactions in Microbial Communities as Modulators of Biogeochemical Processes: Methanotrophy as a Model System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Adrian; Angel, Roey; Veraart, Annelies J; Daebeler, Anne; Jia, Zhongjun; Kim, Sang Yoon; Kerckhof, Frederiek-Maarten; Boon, Nico; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2016-01-01

    Microbial interaction is an integral component of microbial ecology studies, yet the role, extent, and relevance of microbial interaction in community functioning remains unclear, particularly in the context of global biogeochemical cycles. While many studies have shed light on the physico-chemical cues affecting specific processes, (micro)biotic controls and interactions potentially steering microbial communities leading to altered functioning are less known. Yet, recent accumulating evidence suggests that the concerted actions of a community can be significantly different from the combined effects of individual microorganisms, giving rise to emergent properties. Here, we exemplify the importance of microbial interaction for ecosystem processes by analysis of a reasonably well-understood microbial guild, namely, aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). We reviewed the literature which provided compelling evidence for the relevance of microbial interaction in modulating methane oxidation. Support for microbial associations within methane-fed communities is sought by a re-analysis of literature data derived from stable isotope probing studies of various complex environmental settings. Putative positive interactions between active MOB and other microbes were assessed by a correlation network-based analysis with datasets covering diverse environments where closely interacting members of a consortium can potentially alter the methane oxidation activity. Although, methanotrophy is used as a model system, the fundamentals of our postulations may be applicable to other microbial guilds mediating other biogeochemical processes.

  15. The evolutionary ecology of biotic association in a megadiverse bivalve superfamily: sponsorship required for permanent residency in sediment.

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    Jingchun Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Marine lineage diversification is shaped by the interaction of biotic and abiotic factors but our understanding of their relative roles is underdeveloped. The megadiverse bivalve superfamily Galeommatoidea represents a promising study system to address this issue. It is composed of small-bodied clams that are either free-living or have commensal associations with invertebrate hosts. To test if the evolution of this lifestyle dichotomy is correlated with specific ecologies, we have performed a statistical analysis on the lifestyle and habitat preference of 121 species based on 90 source documents. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Galeommatoidea has significant diversity in the two primary benthic habitats: hard- and soft-bottoms. Hard-bottom dwellers are overwhelmingly free-living, typically hidden within crevices of rocks/coral heads/encrusting epifauna. In contrast, species in soft-bottom habitats are almost exclusively infaunal commensals. These infaunal biotic associations may involve direct attachment to a host, or clustering around its tube/burrow, but all commensals locate within the oxygenated sediment envelope produced by the host's bioturbation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: the formation of commensal associations by Galeommatoidean clams is robustly correlated with an abiotic environmental setting: living in sediments (P < 0.001. Sediment-dwelling bivalves are exposed to intense predation pressure that drops markedly with depth of burial. Commensal galeommatoideans routinely attain depth refuges many times their body lengths, independent of siphonal investment, by virtue of their host's burrowing and bioturbation. In effect, they use their much larger hosts as giant auto-irrigating siphon substitutes. The evolution of biotic associations with infaunal bioturbating hosts may have been a prerequisite for the diversification of Galeommatoidea in sediments and has likely been a key factor in the success of this exceptionally diverse

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  17. Evolution of Neogene Mammals in Eurasia: Environmental Forcing and Biotic Interactions

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    Fortelius, Mikael; Eronen, Jussi T.; Kaya, Ferhat; Tang, Hui; Raia, Pasquale; Puolamäki, Kai

    2014-05-01

    The relative weights of physical forcing and biotic interaction as drivers of evolutionary change have been debated in evolutionary theory. The recent finding that species, genera, clades, and chronofaunas all appear to exhibit a symmetrical pattern of waxing and waning lends support to the view that biotic interactions shape the history of life. Yet, there is similarly abundant evidence that these primary units of biological evolution arise and wane in coincidence with major climatic change. We review these patterns and the process-level explanations offered for them. We also propose a tentative synthesis, characterized by interdependence between physical forcing and biotic interactions. We suggest that species with evolutionary novelties arise predominantly in "species factories" that develop under harsh environmental conditions, under dominant physical forcing, whereas exceptionally mild environments give rise to "oases in the desert," characterized by strong competition and survival of relics.

  18. Biotic Spectrum of Chando Lake in Context of Ecological Status and Zooplankton Diversity

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    Anuradha Shukla

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Covering an area of approximate 650 ha, Chando Lake is located in South East of Basti, (U.P.. No precise study regarding its hydrobiology has been conducted. Hence, present study has been undertaken to observe its ecological status and zooplankton diversity from June 2010 to May 2012. The early mean flow in this lake relied on rains and the mean annual rain fall was recorded to be 1094 cm with in 51 average rainy days. The average value of the temperature was recorded to be 28.46°C, pH 7.38, transparency 58.52 cm, DO 6024 mg/L, free CO2 3.70 mg/L, TDS 1 52.20 mg/L, total hardness 153.69 mg/L , total alkalinity 272.44 mg/L , Nitrate 7.11 mg/L, phosphate 0.83 mg/L and chloride 34.63 mg/L. In the present study 23 species of zooplankton were noticed out of which six species belong to cladocerans, six species of copepods, four species of protozoans and seven species of rotiferans. The study of zooplankton species diversity and abundance with respect to biotic factors may assist in future planning for the management of intensive fish culture in this vast lake.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivadas, Sanitha K; Nagesh, Rahul; Gupta, G V M; Gaonkar, Udaykumar; Mukherjee, Indranil; Ramteke, Darwin; Ingole, Baban S

    2016-05-15

    The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the ecological status of tropical coastal waters using the temperate benthic indices and examine the effect of seasonal variability on the performance of benthic indices. Macrobenthic samples were collected from northwest to southeast coast of India during 2003-2012 and we tested different univariate indices, ecological strategies, indicator species and multimetric indices. AMBI and multimetric indices performed satisfactorily in evaluating the ecological status. Seasonal variability on the biotic indices was observed during the southwest monsoon and fall intermonsoon period due to recruitment. Therefore, we recommended the non-monsoon period (January-May) as a suitable time of the year to use the indices for effective assessment of the Indian coastal waters. Results show that, the temperate benthic indices are efficient in assessing the tropical environmental status. However, complementary use of different indices is suggested for accurate assessment of the environmental status.

  2. Interactions of biotic and abiotic environmental factors in an ectomycorrhizal symbiosis, and the potential for selection mosaics

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    Hoeksema Jason D

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Geographic selection mosaics, in which species exert different evolutionary impacts on each other in different environments, may drive diversification in coevolving species. We studied the potential for geographic selection mosaics in plant-mycorrhizal interactions by testing whether the interaction between bishop pine (Pinus muricata D. Don and one of its common ectomycorrhizal fungi (Rhizopogon occidentalis Zeller and Dodge varies in outcome, when different combinations of plant and fungal genotypes are tested under a range of different abiotic and biotic conditions. Results We used a 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 factorial experiment to test the main and interactive effects of plant lineage (two maternal seed families, fungal lineage (two spore collections, soil type (lab mix or field soil, and non-mycorrhizal microbes (with or without on the performance of plants and fungi. Ecological outcomes, as assessed by plant and fungal performance, varied widely across experimental environments, including interactions between plant or fungal lineages and soil environmental factors. Conclusion These results show the potential for selection mosaics in plant-mycorrhizal interactions, and indicate that these interactions are likely to coevolve in different ways in different environments, even when initially the genotypes of the interacting species are the same across all environments. Hence, selection mosaics may be equally as effective as genetic differences among populations in driving divergent coevolution among populations of interacting species.

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

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    N. SIMBOURA

    2012-12-01

    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.

  4. Invasion biology in non-free-living species: interactions between abiotic (climatic) and biotic (host availability) factors in geographical space in crayfish commensals (Ostracoda, Entocytheridae).

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    Mestre, Alexandre; Aguilar-Alberola, Josep A; Baldry, David; Balkis, Husamettin; Ellis, Adam; Gil-Delgado, Jose A; Grabow, Karsten; Klobučar, Göran; Kouba, Antonín; Maguire, Ivana; Martens, Andreas; Mülayim, Ayşegül; Rueda, Juan; Scharf, Burkhard; Soes, Menno; S Monrós, Juan; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc

    2013-12-01

    In invasion processes, both abiotic and biotic factors are considered essential, but the latter are usually disregarded when modeling the potential spread of exotic species. In the framework of set theory, interactions between biotic (B), abiotic (A), and movement-related (M) factors in the geographical space can be hypothesized with BAM diagrams and tested using ecological niche models (ENMs) to estimate A and B areas. The main aim of our survey was to evaluate the interactions between abiotic (climatic) and biotic (host availability) factors in geographical space for exotic symbionts (i.e., non-free-living species), using ENM techniques combined with a BAM framework and using exotic Entocytheridae (Ostracoda) found in Europe as model organisms. We carried out an extensive survey to evaluate the distribution of entocytherids hosted by crayfish in Europe by checking 94 European localities and 12 crayfish species. Both exotic entocytherid species found, Ankylocythere sinuosa and Uncinocythere occidentalis, were widely distributed in W Europe living on the exotic crayfish species Procambarus clarkii and Pacifastacus leniusculus, respectively. No entocytherids were observed in the remaining crayfish species. The suitable area for A. sinuosa was mainly restricted by its own limitations to minimum temperatures in W and N Europe and precipitation seasonality in circum-Mediterranean areas. Uncinocythere occidentalis was mostly restricted by host availability in circum-Mediterranean regions due to limitations of P. leniusculus to higher precipitation seasonality and maximum temperatures. The combination of ENMs with set theory allows studying the invasive biology of symbionts and provides clues about biogeographic barriers due to abiotic or biotic factors limiting the expansion of the symbiont in different regions of the invasive range. The relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors on geographical space can then be assessed and applied in conservation plans. This

  5. An ecological role of fungal endophytes to ameliorate plants under biotic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadha, Neha; Mishra, Manjita; Rajpal, Kartikeya; Bajaj, Ruchika; Choudhary, Devendra Kumar; Varma, Ajit

    2015-09-01

    It is our consensus that plants survive and flourish in stressed ecosystems because of endosymbiotic organisms that have co-evolved and were essential for their adaptation to changing environments. Some of these microbial components are noncultivable and vertically transmitted from generation to generation. They represent a vast reservoir of heritable DNA that can enhance plant performance in changing environments and add genetic flexibility to adaptation of long-lived plants. If such endophytes can be identified that not only persist in progeny of novel hosts, but can confer benefits in mechanized, agricultural systems, they would be increasingly important in agricultural production and lead to a rapid and economical method of providing novel germplasms of native and crop plants. In the present review, authors advocate the deployment of fungal diversity and its role to overcome the biotic stress in plants. Endophytic fungal association with plants helps it to protect from various pathogen and pests and adapt to survive in harsh biotic and abiotic stress condition.

  6. Biotic interactions at hydrothermal vents: Recruitment inhibition by the mussel Bathymodiolus thermophilus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenihan, H. S.; Mills, S. W.; Mullineaux, L. S.; Peterson, C. H.; Fisher, C. R.; Micheli, F.

    2008-12-01

    The structure and dynamics of marine communities are regulated in part by variation in recruitment. As in other ecosystems, recruitment at deep-sea hydrothermal vents is controlled by the interplay of propagule supply and behavior, gradients in physical-chemical conditions, and biotic interactions during pre- and post-settlement periods. Recent research along the East Pacific Rise indicates that inhibition of recently settled larvae by mobile predators (mainly limpets) influences patterns of recruitment and subsequent community succession. We conducted a manipulative experiment at the same sites (˜2510 m water depth) to test whether high-density assemblages of the mussel Bathymodiolus thermophilus also inhibit recruitment. In a preliminary study, recruitment of vent invertebrates within the faunal zone dominated by B. thermophilus was strikingly different at two sites, East Wall and Worm Hole. East Wall had high densities of mussels but very low total recruitment. In contrast, Worm Hole had few mussels but high recruitment. Using the submersible Alvin, we transplanted a large number of mussels from East Wall to Worm Hole and quantified recruitment on basalt blocks placed in three treatments: (1) naturally high densities of mussels at East Wall; (2) naturally low densities of mussels at Worm Hole; and (3) high densities of transplanted mussels at Worm Hole. After 11 months, a total of 24 taxa had recruited to the basalt blocks. Recruitment was 44-60% lower in the transplanted high-density mussel patch at Worm Hole and the natural high-density patch at East Wall than within the natural low-density patch at Worm Hole. Biotic processes that may have caused the pattern of recruitment observed included predation of larvae via water filtration by mussels, larval avoidance of superior competitors, interference competition, and enhanced predation by species within the mussel-bed community. Our results indicate that biotic interactions affecting recruitment must be

  7. 'Trophic whales' as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarzmüller, Florian; Eisenhauer, Nico; Brose, Ulrich

    2015-05-01

    Human activities may compromise biodiversity if external stressors such as nutrient enrichment endanger overall network stability by inducing unstable dynamics. However, some ecosystems maintain relatively high diversity levels despite experiencing continuing disturbances. This indicates that some intrinsic properties prevent unstable dynamics and resulting extinctions. Identifying these 'ecosystem buffers' is crucial for our understanding of the stability of ecosystems and an important tool for environmental and conservation biologists. In this vein, weak interactions have been suggested as stabilizing elements of complex systems, but their relevance has rarely been tested experimentally. Here, using network and allometric theory, we present a novel concept for a priori identification of species that buffer against externally induced instability of increased population oscillations via weak interactions. We tested our model in a microcosm experiment using a soil food-web motif. Our results show that large-bodied species feeding at the food web's base, so called 'trophic whales', can buffer ecosystems against unstable dynamics induced by nutrient enrichment. Similar to the functionality of chemical or mechanical buffers, they serve as 'biotic buffers' that take up stressor effects and thus protect fragile systems from instability. We discuss trophic whales as common functional building blocks across ecosystems. Considering increasing stressor effects under anthropogenic global change, conservation of these network-intrinsic biotic buffers may help maintain the stability and diversity of natural ecosystems.

  8. 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.

  9. Seperating the role of biotic interactions and climate in determining adaptive response of plants to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomiolo, S.; Putten, van der W.H.; Tielbörger, K.

    2015-01-01

    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 climatica

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomiolo, S.; Van der Putten, Wim; Tielborger, K.

    2015-01-01

    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 climatica

  11. Soil biotic interactions and climate change: consequences for carbon cycle feedbacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardgett, Richard

    2015-04-01

    There is currently much interest in understanding the biological mechanisms that regulate carbon exchanges between land and atmosphere, and how these exchanges respond to climate change. Climate change impacts on biogeochemical cycles via a variety of mechanisms; but there is now mounting evidence that biotic interactions between plants and diverse soil communities play a major role in determining carbon cycle responses to climate change across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Over seasonal and annual timescales, climate change impacts the growth and physiology of plants and their roots, with knock on effects for the activity of soil biota and carbon transformations; in the longer term, over tens to hundreds of years, climate change can cause shifts in community composition, and species range expansions and contractions, with cascading impacts on belowground communities and carbon cycling in soil. These responses have local and, potentially, global scale implications for carbon cycle feedbacks. In this talk, I will draw on recent research to illustrate this hierarchy of plant-soil feedback responses to climate change, the mechanisms involved, and consequences for the carbon cycle at local and global scales. I will also discuss how such knowledge on plant-soil interactions might be harnessed to inform management strategies for soil carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change, and identify some major research challenges for the future.

  12. 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...

  13. Aerobic bacterial catabolism of persistent organic pollutants - potential impact of biotic and abiotic interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Jong-Rok; Murugesan, Kumarasamy; Baldrian, Petr; Schmidt, Stefan; Chang, Yoon-Seok

    2016-04-01

    Several aerobic bacteria possess unique catabolic pathways enabling them to degrade persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The catabolic activity of aerobic bacteria employed for removal of POPs in the environment may be modulated by several biotic (i.e. fungi, plants, algae, earthworms, and other bacteria) and abiotic (i.e. zero-valent iron, advanced oxidation, and electricity) agents. This review describes the basic biochemistry of the aerobic bacterial catabolism of selected POPs and discusses how biotic and abiotic agents enhance or inhibit the process. Solutions allowing biotic and abiotic agents to exert physical and chemical assistance to aerobic bacterial catabolism of POPs are also discussed.

  14. Interacting personalities: behavioural ecology meets quantitative genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dingemanse, Niels J; Araya-Ajoy, Yimen G

    2015-02-01

    Behavioural ecologists increasingly study behavioural variation within and among individuals in conjunction, thereby integrating research on phenotypic plasticity and animal personality within a single adaptive framework. Interactions between individuals (cf. social environments) constitute a major causative factor of behavioural variation at both of these hierarchical levels. Social interactions give rise to complex 'interactive phenotypes' and group-level emergent properties. This type of phenotype has intriguing evolutionary implications, warranting a cohesive framework for its study. We detail here how a reaction-norm framework might be applied to usefully integrate social environment theory developed in behavioural ecology and quantitative genetics. The proposed emergent framework facilitates firm integration of social environments in adaptive research on phenotypic characters that vary within and among individuals.

  15. Environmental conditions and biotic interactions influence ecosystem structure and function in a drying stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludlam, J.P.; Magoulick, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    Benthic consumers influence stream ecosystem structure and function, but these interactions depend on environmental context. We experimentally quantified the effects of central stoneroller minnows (Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) and Meek's crayfish (Orconectes meeki meeki (Faxon)) on benthic communities using electric exclusion quadrats in Little Mulberry Creek before (June) and during (August) seasonal stream drying. Unglazed ceramic tiles were deployed in June and August to measure periphyton and invertebrate abundance, and leafpack decomposition and primary production were also measured in August. Relationships between stoneroller and crayfish density and the size of consumer effects were evaluated with multiple linear regression models. Average chlorophyll a abundance was greater on exposed than exclusion tiles in August, but not in June. Sediment dry mass, periphyton ash-free dry mass (AFDM), and chironomid densities on tiles did not differ among treatments in either period. Leaf packs decayed faster in exposed than exclusion treatments (kexposed = 0.038 ?? 0.013, kexclusion = 0.007 ?? 0.002), but consumer effects were stronger in some pools than others. Leafpack invertebrate biomass and abundance and tile primary productivity did not differ among treatments. Consumer effects on chlorophyll a were related to crayfish and stoneroller density, and effects on chironomid density were related to stoneroller density. These results contrast with a previous exclusion experiment in Little Mulberry Creek that demonstrated strong consumer effects. The influence of stream drying on consumer effects appears to have been reduced by strong spates, underscoring the importance of conducting multi-year studies to determine the magnitude of variability in ecological interactions. ?? US Government: USGS 2010.

  16. 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.

  17. Biotic interactions within the littoral community of Swedish forest lakes during acidification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Appelberg, M. (Inst. of Freshwater Research, Drottningholm (Sweden)); Henrikson, B.I. (Gothenburg Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Zoology); Henrikson, L. (Municipality of Mark, Kinna (Sweden)); Svedaeng, M. (Uppsala Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Limnology)

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents an integrated response of abiotic and biotic factors to the acidification process in littoral communities in Swedish forest lakes. In structuring the acidified community three major forces can be recognized. Firstly, abiotic variation, including changed water chemistry and habitat structure, has a strong impact on all trophic levels. Low pH and increased toxicity of metals, especially aluminium, are ultimate causes of the extinction and succession of species during acidification. In the acidified community, the abiotic factors affect both the top-down and bottom-up forces, and changes can be triggered at all trophic levels. The second force structuring the community is a bottom-up effect caused by reduced nutrient cycling and a shift in plant heterogeneity. This shift, mainly resulting from a shift in the CO[sub 2]-system of the water and increased water transparency, enhances the biomass of primary producers, e.g. Sphagnum and Juncus, and alters habitat heterogeneity in higher trophic levels. The third force structuring the acid community is a top-down effect; the loss of the fourth link in the food chain (fish) alters the impact on the third trophic level. From being mainly regulated by predation from fish, the heterogeneity of the third level will be regulated by abiotic variation and competition in the acid state. This effect cascades down the food web, and the second trophic level, the herbivores, will now be preyed upon by invertebrates instead of fish. (89 refs., 6 figs.)

  18. 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 ...

  19. Regulation of copper homeostasis and biotic interactions by microRNA 398b in common bean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loreto Naya

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs are recognized as important post-transcriptional regulators in plants. Information about the roles of miRNAs in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L., an agronomically important legume, is yet scant. The objective of this work was to functionally characterize the conserved miRNA: miR398b and its target Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase 1 (CSD1 in common bean. We experimentally validated a novel miR398 target: the stress up-regulated Nodulin 19 (Nod19. Expression analysis of miR398b and target genes -CSD1 and Nod19- in bean roots, nodules and leaves, indicated their role in copper (Cu homeostasis. In bean plants under Cu toxicity miR398b was decreased and Nod19 and CSD1, that participates in reactive oxygen species (ROS detoxification, were up-regulated. The opposite regulation was observed in Cu deficient bean plants; lower levels of CSD1 would allow Cu delivery to essential Cu-containing proteins. Composite common bean plants with transgenic roots over-expressing miR398 showed ca. 20-fold higher mature miR398b and almost negligible target transcript levels as well as increased anthocyanin content and expression of Cu-stress responsive genes, when subjected to Cu deficiency. The down-regulation of miR398b with the consequent up-regulation of its targets was observed in common bean roots during the oxidative burst resulting from short-time exposure to high Cu. A similar response occurred at early stage of bean roots inoculated with Rhizobium tropici, where an increase in ROS was observed. In addition, the miR398b down-regulation and an increase in CSD1 and Nod19 were observed in bean leaves challenged with Sclerotinia scleortiorum fungal pathogen. Transient over-expression of miR398b in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves infected with S. sclerotiorum resulted in enhanced fungal lesions. We conclude that the miR398b-mediated up-regulation of CSD and Nod19 is relevant for common bean plants to cope with oxidative stress generated in abiotic and biotic

  20. Genomics of Secondary Metabolism in Populus: Interactions with Biotic and Abiotic Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, F.; Liu, C.; Tschaplinski, T. J.; Zhao, N.

    2009-09-01

    Populus trees face constant challenges from the environment during their life cycle. To ensure their survival and reproduction, Populus trees deploy various types of defenses, one of which is the production of a myriad of secondary metabolites. Compounds derived from the shikimate-phenylpropanoid pathway are the most abundant class of secondary metabolites synthesized in Populus. Among other major classes of secondary metabolites in Populus are terpenoids and fatty acid-derivatives. Some of the secondary metabolites made by Populus trees have been functionally characterized. Some others have been associated with certain biological/ecological processes, such as defense against insects and microbial pathogens or acclimation or adaptation to abiotic stresses. Functions of many Populus secondary metabolites remain unclear. The advent of various novel genomic tools will enable us to explore in greater detail the complexity of secondary metabolism in Populus. Detailed data mining of the Populus genome sequence can unveil candidate genes of secondary metabolism. Metabolomic analysis will continue to identify new metabolites synthesized in Populus. Integrated genomics that combines various 'omics' tools will prove to be the most powerful approach in revealing the molecular and biochemical basis underlying the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in Populus. Characterization of the biological/ecological functions of secondary metabolites as well as their biosynthesis will provide knowledge and tools for genetically engineering the production of seconday metabolites that can lead to the generation of novel, improved Populus varieties.

  1. Study of toxicity and uptake of nanoparticles towards understanding biotic-abiotic interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosaraju, Karshak

    With the rapid growth in nanotechnology and tremendous applications the engineered nanomaterials (ENs) offer, there is increase in usage of ENs which increases their likelihood of coming in contact with biological systems which include complex beings like humans and other relatively simpler organism like bacteria and other microorganisms. The interaction between the nanomaterials (NMs) and biological systems includes the formation of protein coronas, particle wrapping, intracellular uptake and bio catalytic processes which could have biocompatible or bio adverse outcomes. Understanding these interactions allows the development of predictive relationships between structure and activity that are mainly determined by NM properties such as size, shape, surface chemistry, aggregation, and surface functionality among many others. This understanding will also provide insight towards the design and development of benign nanomaterials. The overarching goal of this dissertation is to understand the influence of the physicochemical characteristics of the NMs and their influence on their uptake and toxicity when they interact with the biological systems (cells and organs). For this purpose, thoroughly characterized NMs will be exposed to a cellular model, A549 cells (alveolar lung epithelial cells), and a mice model (CD-1 mice) through inhalational administration. The effects of NMs on the in vitro and in vivo models will be evaluated by bio- and immuno-chemical methods to understand toxicity, and a combination of analytical spectroscopic and microscopic tools to study uptake. In vivo toxicity assessment will also be performed by using electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements as a tool to study the effects of inhalation of NMs on cardiac response in mice. Through in vivo studies, a novel non-invasive method, Reserve of Refractoriness (RoR), will be introduced as a tool to study cardiotoxicity.

  2. Abiotic and biotic interactions determine whether increased colonization is beneficial or detrimental to metapopulation management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southwell, Darren M; Rhodes, Jonathan R; McDonald-Madden, Eve; Nicol, Sam; Helmstedt, Kate J; McCarthy, Michael A

    2016-06-01

    Increasing the colonization rate of metapopulations can improve persistence, but can also increase exposure to threats. To make good decisions, managers must understand whether increased colonization is beneficial or detrimental to metapopulation persistence. While a number of studies have examined interactions between metapopulations, colonization, and threats, they have assumed that threat dynamics respond linearly to changes in colonization. Here, we determined when to increase colonization while explicitly accounting for non-linear dependencies between a metapopulation and its threats. We developed patch occupancy metapopulation models for species susceptible to abiotic, generalist, and specialist threats and modeled the total derivative of the equilibrium proportion of patches occupied by each metapopulation with respect to the colonization rate. By using the total derivative, we developed a rule for determining when to increase metapopulation colonization. This rule was applied to a simulated metapopulation where the dynamics of each threat responded to increased colonization following a power function. Before modifying colonization, we show that managers must understand: (1) whether a metapopulation is susceptible to a threat; (2) the type of threat acting on a metapopulation; (3) which component of threat dynamics might depend on colonization, and; (4) the likely response of a threat-dependent variable to changes in colonization. The sensitivity of management decisions to these interactions increases uncertainty in conservation planning decisions.

  3. Impact of global changes and biotic interactions on food webs in lakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas

    analysis of the main communities inhabiting shallow lakes. To assess the consequences of increased air temperatures, space-for-time substitution comparisons were performed of the food webs, community structure and potential cascading effects in two sets of lakes located in remote islands with similar...... of the most studied stressors on shallow lakes so far; and it may interact with the other stressors related to global change with profound negative effects on shallow lake food webs. The aim of this thesis was to study the effects of different stressors related to global change on food web structure...... and the functioning of shallow lakes, with particular emphasis on enhanced air temperatures (objective 1), salinisation (objective 2) and species invasions (objective 3). A stable isotope approach and stomach content analyses of fish were used in order to characterise the food web structure, combined with structure...

  4. 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

  5. Biotic interactions as a structuring force in soil communities: evidence from the micro-arthropods of an Antarctic moss model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Tancredi; Trokhymets, Vladlen; Bargagli, Roberto; Convey, Peter

    2013-06-01

    Current meta-community theories postulate that the structure of local communities depends on dispersal, environmental filtering, and biotic interactions. However, disentangling the relative effects of these factors in the field and for diverse assemblages is a major challenge. A solution is to address natural but simple communities (i.e. with low numbers of species in few trophic levels), wherein one of these factors is predominant. Here, we analyse the micro-arthropod community of a moss-turf habitat typical of the Antarctic Peninsula region, and test the widely accepted hypothesis that this system is abiotically driven. In the austral summers 2006/7 and 2007/8, we sampled nearly 80 units of moss from four islands in the Argentine Islands. Using variance partitioning, we quantified the relative contribution of: (1) multiple scale spatio-temporal autocorrelation; (2) environmental effects; (3) the island effect. Little variance (1 %) was accounted for by sources 1 (1 %, significant) and 2 (structured environmental variation (7 %). Null models demonstrated that species co-occurred less frequently than expected by chance, suggesting the prevalence of negative interactions. Our data support the novel hypothesis that negative biotic interactions are the most important structuring force of this micro-arthropod community. The analysed system is a good proxy for more complex communities in terms of taxonomic composition and the functional groups present. Thus, biotic interaction might be a predominant factor in soil meta-community dynamics.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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, geome...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. Interaction patterns and diversity in assembled ecological communities

    CERN Document Server

    Bunin, Guy

    2016-01-01

    The assembly of ecological communities from a pool of species is central to ecology, but the effect of this process on properties of community interaction networks is still largely unknown. Here, we use a systematic analytical framework to describe how assembly from a species pool gives rise to community network properties that differ from those of the pool: Compared to the pool, the community shows a bias towards higher carrying capacities, weaker competitive interactions and stronger beneficial interactions. Moreover, even if interactions between all pool species are completely random, community networks are more structured, with correlations between interspecies interactions, and between interactions and carrying capacities. Nonetheless, we show that these properties are not sufficient to explain the coexistence of all community species, and that it is a simple relation between interactions and species abundances that is responsible for the diversity within a community.

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolinský, Radovan; Gvoždík, Lumír

    2012-09-01

    The ability to modify phenotypes in response to heterogeneity of the thermal environment represents an important component of an ectotherm's non-genetic adaptive capacity. Despite considerable attention being dedicated to the study of thermally-induced developmental plasticity, whether or not interspecific interactions shape the plastic response in both a predator and its prey remains unknown. We tested several predictions about the joint influence of predator/prey scents and thermal conditions on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures (T (p)) in both actors of this interaction, using a dragonfly nymphs-newt larvae system. Dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna cyanea) and newt eggs (Ichthyosaura alpestris) were subjected to fluctuating cold and warm thermal regimes (7-12 and 12-22°C, respectively) and the presence/absence of a predator or prey chemical cues. Preferred body temperatures were measured in an aquatic thermal gradient (5-33°C) over a 24-h period. Newt T (p) increased with developmental temperature irrespective of the presence/absence of predator cues. In dragonflies, thermal reaction norms for T (p) were affected by the interaction between temperature and prey cues. Specifically, the presence of newt scents in cold regime lowered dragonfly T (p). We concluded that predator-prey interactions influenced thermally-induced plasticity of T (p) but not in a reciprocal fashion. The occurrence of frequency-dependent thermal plasticity may have broad implications for predator-prey population dynamics, the evolution of thermal biology traits, and the consequences of sustaining climate change within ecological communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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.

  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 contrast, i

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird–Tick Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. H. Gera eHol

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 defence. This model organism has provided much understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of PGPR-induced plant defence. 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 defence 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 defence 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 defences 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

  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. 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

  20. Ecological interaction and phylogeny, studying functionality on composed networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Claudia P. T.; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Corso, Gilberto

    2012-02-01

    We study a class of composed networks that are formed by two tree networks, TP and TA, whose end points touch each other through a bipartite network BPA. We explore this network using a functional approach. We are interested in how much the topology, or the structure, of TX (X=A or P) determines the links of BPA. This composed structure is a useful model in evolutionary biology, where TP and TA are the phylogenetic trees of plants and animals that interact in an ecological community. We make use of ecological networks of dispersion of fruits, which are formed by frugivorous animals and plants with fruits; the animals, usually birds, eat fruits and disperse their seeds. We analyse how the phylogeny of TX determines or is correlated with BPA using a Monte Carlo approach. We use the phylogenetic distance among elements that interact with a given species to construct an index κ that quantifies the influence of TX over BPA. The algorithm is based on the assumption that interaction matrices that follows a phylogeny of TX have a total phylogenetic distance smaller than the average distance of an ensemble of Monte Carlo realisations. We find that the effect of phylogeny of animal species is more pronounced in the ecological matrix than plant phylogeny.

  1. Ecology 2.0: Coexistence and Domination of Interacting Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Kleineberg, Kaj-Kolja

    2014-01-01

    The overwhelming success of the web 2.0, with online social networks as key actors, has induced a paradigm shift in the nature of human interactions. The user-driven character of these services for the first time has allowed researchers to quantify large-scale social patterns. However, the mechanisms that determine the fate of networks at a system level are still poorly understood. For instance, the simultaneous existence of numerous digital services naturally raises the question under which conditions these services can coexist. In analogy to population dynamics, the digital world is forming a complex ecosystem of interacting networks whose fitnesses depend on their ability 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 a stable coexistence of several networks as well as the domination of a single one, in contrast to the principle of competitive exclusion. Interestingly, our model also predic...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Cellular microbiology and molecular ecology of Legionella-amoeba interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Ashley M; Von Dwingelo, Juanita E; Price, Christopher T; Abu Kwaik, Yousef

    2013-05-15

    Legionella pneumophila is an aquatic organism that interacts with amoebae and ciliated protozoa as the natural hosts, and this interaction plays a central role in bacterial ecology and infectivity. Upon transmission to humans, L. pneumophila infect and replicate within alveolar macrophages causing pneumonia. Intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila within the two evolutionarily distant hosts is facilitated by bacterial exploitation of evolutionarily conserved host processes that are targeted by bacterial protein effectors injected into the host cell by the Dot/Icm type VIB translocation system. Although cysteine is semi-essential for humans and essential for amoeba, it is a metabolically favorable source of carbon and energy generation by L. pneumophila. To counteract host limitation of cysteine, L. pneumophila utilizes the AnkB Dot/Icm-translocated F-box effector to promote host proteasomal degradation of polyubiquitinated proteins within amoebae and human cells. Evidence indicates ankB and other Dot/Icm-translocated effector genes have been acquired through inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer.

  6. Interactions of local climatic, biotic and hydrogeochemical processes facilitate phosphorus dynamics along an Everglades forest-marsh gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. G. Troxler

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem nutrient cycling is often complex because nutrient dynamics within and between systems are mediated by the interaction of biological and geochemical conditions operating at different temporal and spatial scales. Vegetated patches in semiarid and wetland landscapes have been shown to exemplify some of these patterns and processes. We investigated biological and geochemical factors suggested to contribute to phosphorus (P movement and availability along a forest-marsh gradient in an Everglades tree island. Our study illustrated processes that are consistent with the chemohydrodynamic nutrient (CHNT hypothesis and the trigger-transfer, pulse-reserve (TTPR model developed for semiarid systems. Comparison with the TTRP model was constructive as it elaborated several significant patterns and processes of the tree island ecosystem including: (1 concentration of the limiting resource (P in the source patch [High Head which constitutes the reserve] compared with the resource-poor landscape, (2 soil zone calcite precipitation requiring strong seasonality for evapotranspiration to promote conditions for secondary soil development and calcium phosphate reprecipitation, (3 rewetting of previously dry soils by early wet season precipitation events, and (4 antecedent conditions of the source patch including landscape position that modulated the effect of the precipitation trigger. Thus, our study showed how water availability drives soil water P dynamics and potentially stability of mineral soil P in this tree island ecosystem. In landscapes with extensive water management, these processes can be asynchronous with the seasonality of hydrologic dynamics, tipping the balance between a sink and source of a limiting nutrient.

  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. Testing ecological interactions between Gnomoniopsis castaneae and Dryocosmus kuriphilus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lione, Guglielmo; Giordano, Luana; Ferracini, Chiara; Alma, Alberto; Gonthier, Paolo

    2016-11-01

    An emerging nut rot of chestnut caused by the fungus Gnomoniopsis castaneae was reported soon after the invasion of the exotic gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus in Italy. The goal of this work was to assess the association between the spread of the fungal pathogen and the infestation of the pest by testing if: I) viable inoculum of G. castaneae can be carried by adults of D. kuriphilus; II) the fungal colonization is related to the number of adults inhabiting the galls; III) the fungal colonization of chestnut buds and the oviposition are associated. Fungal isolations and PCR-based molecular assays were performed on 323 chestnut galls and on their emerging D. kuriphilus adults, whose number was compared between galls colonized and not colonized by G. castaneae. To test the association between fungal colonization and oviposition, Monte Carlo simulations assuming different scenarios of ecological interactions were carried out and validated through isolation trials performed on 597 and 688 chestnut buds collected before and after oviposition, respectively. Although DNA of G. castaneae was detected in a sample of 40% of the adults developed in colonized galls, the fungus could never be isolated from insects, suggesting that the pest is an unlikely vector of viable inoculum. On average, the emerging adults were significantly more abundant from galls colonized by G. castaneae than from not colonized ones (3.76 vs. 2.54, P kuriphilus after fungal colonization were confirmed as the most likely. In fact, G. castaneae was present in 33.8% of the buds before oviposition, while no association was detected between fungal colonization and oviposition (odds ratio 0.98, 0.71-1.33 95% CI). These findings suggest that the fungus/pest synergy is asymmetrically favorable to the pest and occurs after oviposition.

  9. Index of Biotic Integrity and Its Application to Aquatic Ecological Health Assessment%生物完整性指数及其在水生态健康评价中的应用进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王为木; 蔡旺炜

    2016-01-01

    生物完整性指数( index of biotic integrity, IBI)是用以度量区域生物集群维持物种组成、多样性、结构和功能稳态能力的量化指标,经过30多年的发展,已成为水生态健康定量评价的热门方法。 IBI是将具有不同敏感性的多项度量指标复合而得的一个数值,其理论基础是生态学与数学,涉及生物学和环境科学等其他多门学科。 IBI作为一种定量分析方法,其理论技术体系仍在不断发展演化,关键技术环节为参照位点选取、度量指标筛选以及指标赋权和复合,各环节的实现存在多种观点和方法。基于大量监测数据的预测模型研究是目前国际学界的研究热点,但我国学界尚未见IBI预测模型的研究报道。除了传统的F-IBI(鱼类IBI)、B-IBI(底栖动物IBI)、A-IBI (固着藻类IBI)、P-IBI(浮游生物IBI)和AP-IBI(水生植物IBI),已有学者提出M-IBI(微生物IBI),基于上述单类群IBI( s-IBI)的研究成果,多类群IBI( m-IBI)将成为今后重要的研究方向。 IBI的应用目的可分为水生态健康定量评价、水生态对人类干扰响应的定量分析和预测水生态健康状况。认为IBI具有定量化、对象依赖性、学科交叉性、标准化趋势和系统误差性的特点,IBI在农村河道、灌区和农田生态健康评价领域是一种极具前景的方法。%Index of biotic integrity ( IBI) is a quantitative one, often used to scale the abilities of aquatic biocoenoses to maintain species composition, diversity, structure and function stability. IBI has been gradually developing in the past 30 years and now into one of the most important indices to quantitatively assess aquatic ecological health. IBI is a numerical value, which is acquired by integrating a number of measuring indices different in sensitivity, and relies on ecology and mathematics as its theoretical foundation, and some

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Biotic Population Dynamics: Creative Biotic Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabelli, Hector; Kovacevic, Lazar

    We present empirical studies and computer models of population dynamics that demonstrate creative features and we speculate that these creative processes may underline evolution. Changes in population size of lynx, muskrat, beaver, salmon, and fox display diversification, episodic changes in pattern, novelty, and evidence for nonrandom causation. These features of creativity characterize bios, and rule out random, periodic, chaotic, and random walk patterns. Biotic patterns are also demonstrated in time series generated with multi-agent predator-prey simulations. These results indicate that evolutionary processes are continually operating. In contrast to standard evolutionary theory (random variation, competition for scarce resources, selection by survival of the fittest, and directionless, meaningless evolution), we propose that biological evolution is a creative development from simple to complex in which (1) causal actions generate biological variation; (2) bipolar feedback (synergy and antagonism, abundance and scarcity) generates information (diversification, novelty and complexity); (3) connections (of molecules, genes, species) construct systems in which simple processes have priority for survival but complex processes acquire supremacy.

  14. Climate-hydrology-ecology interactions in glacierized river systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannah, David; Brown, Lee; Milner, Alexander

    2010-05-01

    High climatic sensitivity and low anthropogenic influence make glacierized river basins important environments for examining hydrological and ecological response to global change. This presentation is based on previous and ongoing research in glacierized river basins (located in the French Pyrenees, New Zealand and Swedish Lapland), which adopts an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the climate-hydrology-ecology cascade. Data are used to advance hypotheses concerning impacts of climate change/ variability on glacier river system hydrology and ecology. Aquatic ecosystems in high latitude and altitude environments are influenced strongly by cryospheric and hydrological processes due to links between atmospheric forcing, snowpack/ glacier mass-balance, river runoff, physico-chemistry and biota. In the current phase of global warming, many glaciers are retreating. Shrinking snow and ice-masses may alter spatial and temporal dynamics in bulk basin runoff with significant changes in the relative contributions of snowmelt, glacier-melt and groundwater to stream flow. The timing of peak snow- and ice-melt may shift; and proportion of stream flow sourced from rainfall-runoff and groundwater may increase. In this presentation, the influence of changing water source contributions on physico-chemical habitat and, in turn, benthic communities is assessed using an alternative alpine stream classification. In the future, this model predicts more rapid downstream change in benthic communities as meltwater contributions decline; and, at the basin-scale, biodiversity may be reduced due to less spatio-temporal heterogeneity in water sources contributions and, thus, physico-chemical habitat. Integrated, long-term research into the climate-hydrology-ecology cascade in other glacierized river basins is vital because interdisciplinary science is fundamental: to predicting stream hydrology and ecology under scenarios of future climate/ variability, to assessing the utility of

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Plant-seed predator interactionsecological and evolutionary aspects

    OpenAIRE

    Östergård, Hannah

    2008-01-01

    Plant-animal interactions are affected by both abundance and distribution of interacting species and the community context in which they occur. However, the relative importance of these factors is poorly known. I examined the effects of predator host range, environmental factors, host plant populations, plant traits and fruit abortion on the intensity of pre-dispersal seed predation in 46 host populations of the perennial herb Lathyrus vernus. I recorded damage by beetle pre-dispersal seed pr...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Ecological interactions of sea sponges (Animalia, Porifera according to artisanal fishermen from Camamu Bay, Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loyana Docio

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This article represents the first ethnospongiological study in Brazil, and it aimed at recording artisanal fishermen’s knowledge about sea sponges and their ecological interactions. The study was carried out in the Ilha do Contrato community at Camamu Bay, Bahia State, Brazil. The data were obtained by means of open-ended interviews and projective tests, and followed the usual techniques of ethnographic surveys. The interviewees had knowledge regarding ecological interactions among fish, sea sponges and sponge endofaunal composition. According to the results, there is some congruence between folk wisdom and scientific knowledge. The importance of integrating local knowledge into management and conservation plans designed for the Camamu Bay region, as well as the set of data on ecology of reef communities, should be considered.

  2. A theoretical quantitative genetic study of negative ecological interactions and extinction times in changing environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jones Adam G

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rapid human-induced changes in the environment at local, regional and global scales appear to be contributing to population declines and extinctions, resulting in an unprecedented biodiversity crisis. Although in the short term populations can respond ecologically to environmental alterations, in the face of persistent change populations must evolve or become extinct. Existing models of evolution and extinction in changing environments focus only on single species, even though the dynamics of extinction almost certainly depend upon the nature of species interactions. Results Here, I use a model of quantitative trait evolution in a two-species community to show that negative ecological interactions, such as predation and competition, can produce unexpected results regarding time to extinction. Under some circumstances, negative interactions can be expected to hasten the extinction of species declining in numbers. However, under other circumstances, negative interactions can actually increase times to extinction. This effect occurs across a wide range of parameter values and can be substantial, in some cases allowing a population to persist for 40 percent longer than it would in the absence of the species interaction. Conclusion This theoretical study indicates that negative species interactions can have unexpected positive effects on times to extinction. Consequently, detailed studies of selection and demographics will be necessary to predict the consequences of species interactions in changing environments for any particular ecological community.

  3. 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...... in freshwater as well as brackish lakes. Particular importance is paid to the role that fish and submerged macrophytes play in determining the structure and function of shallow lakes . Other points of discussion include factors responsible for resilience when nutrient loading changes.and the potential...

  4. 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 progres

  5. Ecological dynamics and complex interactions of Agrobacterium megaplasmids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Gene Platt

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available 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 it’s 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.

  6. Functional Ecological Gene Networks to Reveal the Changes Among Microbial Interactions Under Elevated Carbon Dioxide Conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deng, Ye; Zhou, Jizhong; Luo, Feng; He, Zhili; Tu, Qichao; Zhi, Xiaoyang

    2010-05-17

    Biodiversity and its responses to environmental changes is a central issue in ecology, and for society. Almost all microbial biodiversity researches focus on species richness and abundance but ignore the interactions among different microbial species/populations. However, determining the interactions and their relationships to environmental changes in microbial communities is a grand challenge, primarily due to the lack of information on the network structure among different microbial species/populations. Here, a novel random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework for identifying functional ecological gene networks (fEGNs) is developed with the high throughput functional gene array hybridization data from the grassland microbial communities in a long-term FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) experiment. Both fEGNs under elevated CO2 (eCO2) and ambient CO2 (aCO2) possessed general characteristics of many complex systems such as scale-free, small-world, modular and hierarchical. However, the topological structure of the fEGNs is distinctly different between eCO2 and aCO2, suggesting that eCO2 dramatically altered the interactions among different microbial functional groups/populations. In addition, the changes in network structure were significantly correlated with soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and plant productivity, indicating the potential importance of network interactions in ecosystem functioning. Elucidating network interactions in microbial communities and their responses to environmental changes are fundamentally important for research in microbial ecology, systems microbiology, and global change.

  7. Mechanisms of biotic resistance across complex life cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Marc; Potter, Elaine E; Aguirre, J David; Stachowicz, John J

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the ability of communities to inhibit the establishment, spread or impact of novel species. However, the interactions that underlie biotic resistance depend heavily on the contexts in which species interact. Consequently, studies of biotic resistance that consider single processes, patches, species or life-history stages may provide an incomplete picture of the capacity for communities to resist invasion. Many organisms have multiphasic life cycles, where individuals can occupy distinct niches at different stages of the life history. Generally, studies of biotic resistance focus on interactions within a single life-history stage, and interactions at other life-history stages are overlooked. Here, we demonstrate that different mechanisms of biotic resistance occur across the life history and together limit the invasion success of an introduced marine invertebrate (Ciona intestinalis) in Northern California. We tested the role of interactions (competition and predation) with the resident community in limiting the abundance of Ciona through experiments conducted on fertilization, larval survival, settlement, early postsettlement survival, and the survival of juveniles and adults. Under some circumstances, Ciona became abundant in mid-successional stages and showed more rapid growth rates than a morphologically similar native species, Ascidia ceratodes. However, predators reduced Ciona abundance much more than that of Ascidia at several life stages. Furthermore, Ciona appeared to be a weaker competitor at the adult stage. Early life-history interactions with other sessile species at the fertilization, larval and recruit stages had modest to no effects on Ciona abundance. The presence of biotic resistance mechanisms acting at multiple life stages, and potentially under different conditions, suggests that different components of biotic resistance interact to enhance the resident community's resistance to invasion.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    variables, but few SDM studies include biotic predictors to help explain species distributions. Therefore, most predictions of species distributions under future climates assume implicitly that biotic interactions remain constant or exert only minor influence on large-scale spatial distributions, which...... different sets of predictor variables: biotic, abiotic, and the combination of both sets. We used variance partitioning to estimate the proportion of the variance explained by biotic and abiotic predictors, jointly and independently. Inclusion of biotic predictors improved the SDMs substantially. The joint...... and are dominant across the landscape. The influence of biotic variables on SDM performance indicates that community composition and other local biotic factors or abiotic processes not included in the abiotic predictors strongly influence prediction of species distributions. Improved prediction of species...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stueve, K.M.; Isaacs, R.E.; Tyrrell, L.E.; Densmore, R.V.

    2011-01-01

    Throughout interior Alaska (USA), a gradual warming trend in mean monthly temperatures occurred over the last few decades (;2-48C). 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. ?? 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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

  18. 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

  19. Ecology of the interaction between Ixodes loricatus (Acari: Ixodidae) and Akodon azarae (Rodentia: Criceridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Valeria C; Nava, Santiago; Antoniazzi, Leandro R; Monje, Lucas D; Racca, Andrea L; Guglielmone, Alberto A; Beldomenico, Pablo M

    2015-10-01

    The present study explores associations of different factors (i.e. host parameters, presence of other ectoparasites and [mainly biotic] environmental factors) with burdens of Ixodes loricatus immature stages in one of its main hosts in Argentina, the rodent Akodon azarae. For 2 years, rodents were trapped and sampled monthly at 16 points located in four different sites in the Parana River Delta region. Data were analysed with generalized linear mixed models with a negative binomial response (counts of larvae or nymphs). The independent variables assessed were (a) environmental: trapping year, presence of cattle, type of vegetation, rodent abundance; (b) host parameters: body length, sex, body condition, blood cell counts, natural antibody titers and (c) co-infestation with other ectoparasites. Two-way interaction terms deemed a priori as relevant were also included in the analysis. Most of the associations investigated were found significant, but in general, the direction and magnitude of the associations were context-dependent. An exception was the presence of cattle, which was consistently negatively associated with both larvae and nymphs independently of all other variables considered and had the strongest effect on tick burdens. Mites, fleas and Amblyomma triste were also significantly associated (mostly positively) with larval and nymph burdens, and in many cases, they influenced associations with environmental or host factors. Our findings strongly support that raising cattle may have a substantial impact on the dynamics of I. loricatus and that interactions within the ectoparasite community may be an important-but generally ignored-driver of tick dynamics.

  20. Herd immunity acquired indirectly from interactions between the ecology of infectious diseases, demography and economics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonds, Matthew H; Rohani, Pejman

    2010-03-01

    Patterns of morbidity and mortality around the globe are determined by interactions between infectious diseases and systematic human socioeconomic processes. The most obvious of these patterns is that the greatest burdens of infectious diseases are found among the poor, who lack the basic resources for disease prevention and treatment. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that many infectious diseases are themselves causes of poverty owing to their effects on labour productivity. A particularly subtle phenomenon that receives little attention in the epidemiology literature and is especially important for poor communities is the role of the birth rate as an important direct cause of high disease burdens. Because of their high rates of transmission and life-long immunity, the persistence of many child diseases such as measles relies on high rates of reproduction as their source of susceptible individuals. Thus, there are significant direct health benefits of lower fertility rates, which are further enhanced by interactions with economic processes. Indeed, fertility, poverty and disease all interact with each other in important and predictable ways that can be built into traditional disease ecology models. We present such a model here that provides insights into the long-term effect of policy interventions. For example, because of indirect income effects, herd immunity may be acquired with lower vaccine coverage than previously thought. Reductions in the disease burden can also occur through lower fertility. Our model thus provides a disease ecology framework that is useful for the analysis of demographic transitions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janelle Renee Thompson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Linking biomechanics and ecology through predator-prey interactions: flight performance of dragonflies and their prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combes, S A; Rundle, D E; Iwasaki, J M; Crall, J D

    2012-03-15

    Aerial predation is a highly complex, three-dimensional flight behavior that affects the individual fitness and population dynamics of both predator and prey. Most studies of predation adopt either an ecological approach in which capture or survival rates are quantified, or a biomechanical approach in which the physical interaction is studied in detail. In the present study, we show that combining these two approaches provides insight into the interaction between hunting dragonflies (Libellula cyanea) and their prey (Drosophila melanogaster) that neither type of study can provide on its own. We performed >2500 predation trials on nine dragonflies housed in an outdoor artificial habitat to identify sources of variability in capture success, and analyzed simultaneous predator-prey flight kinematics from 50 high-speed videos. The ecological approach revealed that capture success is affected by light intensity in some individuals but that prey density explains most of the variability in success rate. The biomechanical approach revealed that fruit flies rarely respond to approaching dragonflies with evasive maneuvers, and are rarely successful when they do. However, flies perform random turns during flight, whose characteristics differ between individuals, and these routine, erratic turns are responsible for more failed predation attempts than evasive maneuvers. By combining the two approaches, we were able to determine that the flies pursued by dragonflies when prey density is low fly more erratically, and that dragonflies are less successful at capturing them. This highlights the importance of considering the behavior of both participants, as well as their biomechanics and ecology, in developing a more integrative understanding of organismal interactions.

  3. 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.

  4. [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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Biotic Habitat Complexity Controls Species Diversity and Nutrient Effects on Net Biomass Production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Rubach, Anja; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2006-01-01

    Canopy-forming plants and algae commonly contribute to spatial variation in habitat complexity for associated organisms and thereby create a biotic patchiness of communities. In this study, we tested for interaction effects between biotic habitat complexity and resource availability on net biomass p

  9. 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.

  10. Biotic Interaction in Space and Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Andreas Kelager

    it is highly sensitive to the ongoing environmental change caused by humans. The main drivers for its decline are changed land-use and associated habitat loss or fragmentation, and (in more recent times) drainage, increased eutrophication and lack of appropriate management, but future climate change may...... 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...... anthropogenic change and that conservation should focus on preserving or establishing functional network of habitats to support viable metapopulations. In chapter IV, we found that the suitability of M. alcon in Europe is likely to be geographically stable because of its tight dependence on the climatically...

  11. The Oak Ridges Moraine as a Social Innovation: Strategic Vision as a Social-Ecological Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel D. P. McCarthy

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM case is unique in that it represents a social innovation in Canadian, if not North American, ecosystem-based land-use planning. A social innovation is an initiative, product, process, or program that profoundly changes the basic routines, resources, and authority flows or beliefs of any social system. Successful social innovations have durability and broad impact. We interpret the narrative of the ORM conservation process to explore the utility of an emerging social innovation conceptual model, the 'vision as social interaction' framework using resilience thinking and the role of vision in social change within complex social-ecological systems. Qualitative data from two interrelated studies of the moraine were reinterpreted and include 38 in-depth, semistructured interviews conducted between 2004-2006, as well as extensive participant observation at over 50 moraine conservation meetings, workshops, and events. The results of our study indicate that emerging model of social innovation can be linked with other models of 'radical change' such as those that employ concepts like 'policy windows' to describe opportunities for continued innovation once an initiative has reached the routinized phase. Just as with the panarchy cycle, when a social-ecological system reaches the conservation phase, the system has a propensity to collapse and reorganize. Rather than seeing this as the end of an initiative or program, such as is the case with the ORM, stakeholders can see it as an opportunity for reorganization with newly released resources and new opportunities.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harnish, Ryan A.; Green, Ethan D.; Vernon, Christopher R.; Mcmichael, Geoffrey A.

    2014-12-23

    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

  13. 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

  14. End-Triassic nonmarine biotic events

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Spencer G. Lucas; Lawrence H. Tanner

    2015-01-01

    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 af-fecting 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 dif-ferent 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 paleolfora largely driven by lithofacies changes resulting in changing taphonomic iflters. 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 cor-relation 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 non-marine 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 signiifcant environmental perturbations (cooling

  15. Engineering of closed ecological system in space and inter-organismal interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi

    2003-06-01

    Space agriculture is a concept of synthesis and operation of closed ecological system for controlling living environment and supplying materials in order to sustain life and to meet metabolic needs of space crew. It revitalizes metabolites and other excretion of crew for their recycled usage. It is an advanced concept for life support for long and large scaled manned space missions, where open loop system for materials cycle is not feasible to apply. Several issues, such as cost-benefit analysis with considering benefits of amenity and psychological factors of crew, are discussed in this essay, together with reliability and productivity of biological systems. Studies on plant physiology for inter-organismal interaction contribute to design work for space agriculture, and associate with our engagements to our future, sustainable development of our civilization both on the earth and extending to outer space.

  16. 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.

  17. Uranium isotopes fingerprint biotic reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stylo, Malgorzata; Neubert, Nadja; Wang, Yuheng; Monga, Nikhil; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Weyer, Stefan; Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of paleo-redox conditions in the Earth’s history provides a window into events that shaped the evolution of life on our planet. The role of microbial activity in paleo-redox processes remains unexplored due to the inability to discriminate biotic from abiotic redox transformations in the rock record. The ability to deconvolute these two processes would provide a means to identify environmental niches in which microbial activity was prevalent at a specific time in paleo-history and to correlate specific biogeochemical events with the corresponding microbial metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that the isotopic signature associated with microbial reduction of hexavalent uranium (U), i.e., the accumulation of the heavy isotope in the U(IV) phase, is readily distinguishable from that generated by abiotic uranium reduction in laboratory experiments. Thus, isotope signatures preserved in the geologic record through the reductive precipitation of uranium may provide the sought-after tool to probe for biotic processes. Because uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust and a wide variety of metabolic groups of microorganisms catalyze the biological reduction of U(VI), this tool is applicable to a multiplicity of geological epochs and terrestrial environments. The findings of this study indicate that biological activity contributed to the formation of many authigenic U deposits, including sandstone U deposits of various ages, as well as modern, Cretaceous, and Archean black shales. Additionally, engineered bioremediation activities also exhibit a biotic signature, suggesting that, although multiple pathways may be involved in the reduction, direct enzymatic reduction contributes substantially to the immobilization of uranium. PMID:25902522

  18. Asymmetric ecological conditions favor Red-Queen type of continued evolution over stasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordbotten, Jan Martin; Stenseth, Nils C

    2016-02-16

    Four decades ago, Leigh Van Valen presented the Red Queen's hypothesis to account for evolution of species within a multispecies ecological community [Van Valen L (1973) Evol Theory 1(1):1-30]. The overall conclusion of Van Valen's analysis was that evolution would continue even in the absence of abiotic perturbations. Stenseth and Maynard Smith presented in 1984 [Stenseth NC, Maynard Smith J (1984) Evolution 38(4):870-880] a model for the Red Queen's hypothesis showing that both Red-Queen type of continuous evolution and stasis could result from a model with biotically driven evolution. However, although that contribution demonstrated that both evolutionary outcomes were possible, it did not identify which ecological conditions would lead to each of these evolutionary outcomes. Here, we provide, using a simple, yet general population-biologically founded eco-evolutionary model, such analytically derived conditions: Stasis will predominantly emerge whenever the ecological system contains only symmetric ecological interactions, whereas both Red-Queen and stasis type of evolution may result if the ecological interactions are asymmetrical, and more likely so with increasing degree of asymmetry in the ecological system (i.e., the more trophic interactions, host-pathogen interactions, and the like there are [i.e., +/- type of ecological interactions as well as asymmetric competitive (-/-) and mutualistic (+/+) ecological interactions]). In the special case of no between-generational genetic variance, our results also predict dynamics within these types of purely ecological systems.

  19. Relația de facilitare interspecifică și aplicațiile sale în ecologia reabilitării și în reconstrucția ecologică [Interspecific facilitative interaction applied to ecological rehabilitation and reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fodor Ecaterina

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The new paradigm of community ecology, facilitation as a driving force of plant communities’ assemblage under various abiotic and biotic stresses has gained important empirical support during the last two decades. Conceived at the beginning as a positive, asymmetrical interaction at the same trophic level the concept was refined and at the present moment, facilitation covers a continuum from diffuse mutualism to protective effect of one species upon the benefactor species. The paper is a review of the current state of knowledge on facilitation in plant communities dominated or only containing woody species such as shrubs and trees. The nurse plant syndrome is analyzed in a large context, from degraded or exposed to extreme factors mediterranean ecosystems to ecological rehabilitations in various parts of the world. Several empirical observation performed during 2015 in North-Western Transylvania on nurse plant syndrome characterizing secondary successions are presented with the aim to support the idea of using this natural model for reforestation and rehabilitation plans in Romania. The aim of the present paper was to endorse the idea of the employment of natural models in the rehabilitation of degraded lands or in biodiversity conservation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishihara, Masahiro; Shimoda, Takeshi; Nakatsuka, Takashi; Arimura, Gen-Ichiro

    2013-06-26

    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.

  1. Biotic Nitrogen Enrichment Regulates Calcium Sources to Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pett-Ridge, J. C.; Perakis, S. S.; Hynicka, J. D.

    2015-12-01

    Calcium is an essential nutrient in forest ecosystems that is susceptible to leaching loss and depletion. Calcium depletion can affect plant and animal productivity, soil acid buffering capacity, and fluxes of carbon and water. Excess nitrogen supply and associated soil acidification are often implicated in short-term calcium loss from soils, but the long-term role of nitrogen enrichment on calcium sources and resupply is unknown. Here we use strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) as a proxy for calcium to investigate how soil nitrogen enrichment from biological nitrogen fixation interacts with bedrock calcium to regulate both short-term available supplies and the long-term sources of calcium in montane conifer forests. Our study examines 22 sites in western Oregon, spanning a 20-fold range of bedrock calcium on sedimentary and basaltic lithologies. In contrast to previous studies emphasizing abiotic control of weathering as a determinant of long-term ecosystem calcium dynamics and sources (via bedrock fertility, climate, or topographic/tectonic controls) we find instead that that biotic nitrogen enrichment of soil can strongly regulate calcium sources and supplies in forest ecosystems. For forests on calcium-rich basaltic bedrock, increasing nitrogen enrichment causes calcium sources to shift from rock-weathering to atmospheric dominance, with minimal influence from other major soil forming factors, despite regionally high rates of tectonic uplift and erosion that can rejuvenate weathering supply of soil minerals. For forests on calcium-poor sedimentary bedrock, we find that atmospheric inputs dominate regardless of degree of nitrogen enrichment. Short-term measures of soil and ecosystem calcium fertility are decoupled from calcium source sustainability, with fundamental implications for understanding nitrogen impacts, both in natural ecosystems and in the context of global change. Our finding that long-term nitrogen enrichment increases forest reliance on atmospheric

  2. Constructing ecological interaction networks by correlation analysis: hints from community sampling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available A set of methodology for constructing ecological interaction networks by correlation analysis of community sampling data was presented in this study. Nearly 30 data sets at different levels of taxa for different sampling seasons and locations were used to construct networks and find network properties. I defined the network constructed by Pearson linear correlation is the linear network, and the network constructed by quasi-linear correlation measure (e.g., Spearman correlation is the quasi-linear network. Two taxa with statistically significant linear or quasi-linear correlation are determined to interact. The quasi-linear network is more general than linear network.The results reveled that correlation distributions of Pearson linear correlation and partial linear correlation constructed networks are unimodal functions and most of them are short-head (mostly negative correlations and long-tailed (mostly positive correlations. Spearman correlation distributions are either long-head and short-tailed unimodal functions or monotonically increasing functions. It was found that both mean partial linear correlation and mean Pearson linear correlation were approximately 0. The proportion of positive (partial linear correlations declined significantly with the increase in taxa. The mean (partial linear correlation declined significantly with the increase of taxa. More than 90% of network interactions are positive interactions. The average connectance was 9.8% (9.3% for (partial linear correlation constructed network. The parameter λ in power low distribution (L(x=x-λ increased as the decline of taxon level (from functional group to species for the partial linear correlation constructed network. λ is in average 0.8 to 0.9. The number of (positive interactions increased with the number of taxa for both linear and partial linear correlations constructed networks. The addition of a taxon would result in an increase of 0.4 (0.3 interactions (positive

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Goldberg, Deborah

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Nutrients and water-forest interactions in an Amazon floodplain lake: an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Aprile

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available AIM: Catalão Lake was surveyed between 2002 and 2011 with the aim of studying seasonality of the flow of nutrients between water, sediment and aquatic macrophytes. The role of the flood pulse and the ecological mechanisms influencing the forest-water interactions in the Amazon floodplain were discussed; METHODS: Catalão Lake is located in the Amazon floodplain (03º 08'-03º 14' S and 59º 53'-59º 58' W, near the confluence of the Solimões and Negro rivers, approximately 3000 m from the port of CEASA, near the city of Manaus. It is considered to be a mixed water lake because it receives white waters rich in sediments from the Solimões River and black waters with humic substances from the Negro River. Physical and chemical parameters including C, N and P levels were studied in the diverse compartments, and a flux model was developed; RESULTS: There is a strong nutritional (C, N and P and ionic (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl-, HCO3-, CO3(2- and SO4(2- flow from the rivers to the lake. The highest C:N:P ratio was found in Paspalum repens which, during periods of drought, played an important role in releaseing nutrients into the water. The connectivity of the lake with the rivers ensured a high variation of transparency and nutrient content, fundamental for biological processes. A model of the nutrient flow, interaction and connectivity between ecosystems, and the influence of the hydrological cycle has been developed.

  7. Identifying thresholds in pattern-process relationships: a new cross-scale interactions experiment at the Jornada Basin LTER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interactions among ecological patterns and processes at multiple scales play a significant role in threshold behaviors in arid systems. Black grama grasslands and mesquite shrublands are hypothesized to operate under unique sets of feedbacks: grasslands are maintained by fine-scale biotic feedbacks ...

  8. Ecological interaction between insect pests, climatic factors and plant traits on abundance of beneficial insects in paddy field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norazliza, R.

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The presences of beneficial insects in the paddy field are very important for the ecological systems of paddy field as those insects could help managing the population of the pests. Hence, it will reduce the dependence on pesticides usage to combat the population of insect pests. This study was aimed to study on ecological interaction between environmental factors such as insect pests, plant height, rainfall, temperature and humidity with abundance of beneficial insects in paddy field of Sungai Burong, Tanjung Karang, Selangor for two seasons of paddy planting. Low number of insects composition were recorded in paddy field at Sungai Burong during the vegetative phase and highest during the reproductive and maturity phases for two seasons of paddy planting. The trend of mean composition of insects were gradually increasing from vegetative to maturity phases while, the ecological interaction between insect pests, climatic factors and plant traits were acceptable as good predictor for all beneficial insects collected in this study namely Zygoptera, Gerridae, Coccinellidae and Staphylinidae except for Anisoptera. Therefore, consideration on several stated factors by maintaining or conserving ecology and controlling practices in good manner in paddy field has high potential and more reliable to control insect pests effectively using beneficial insects.

  9. Enhanced nitrobenzene removal and column longevity by coupled abiotic and biotic processes in zero-valent iron column

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yin, Weizhao; Wu, Jinhua; Huang, Weilin;

    2015-01-01

    /or co-precipitation and the reduction of NB to aniline (AN) via abiotic reaction in the abiotic column and via both abiotic and biotic reactions in the biotic column. Due to the interactive effect of ZVI and microorganisms, more effective iron consumption and more reactive minerals such as green rust......In this study, abiotic zero-valent iron (ZVI) column and biotic ZVI column were employed to investigate abiotic and biotic effects between iron and microorganisms on NB removal and column longevity. Physical removal and kinetics analysis revealed that NB was largely removed through adsorption and...... and iron sulfide were found in the biotic column. This led to approximately 50% higher total NB removal and 6 times higher AN production in the biotic column as compared to the abiotic column during the entire operation. According to the NB breakthrough curves, longer stability and longer life...

  10. Associations between ectomycorrhizal fungi and bacterial needle endophytes in Pinus radiata: implications for biotic selection of microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Arlene Rúa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Studies of the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants and their associated microbes have long been focused on single microbes, or single microbial guilds, but in reality, plants associate with a diverse array of microbes from a varied set of guilds. As such, multitrophic interactions among plant-associated microbes from multiple guilds represent an area of developing research, and can reveal how complex microbial communities are structured around plants. Interactions between coniferous plants and their associated microbes provide a good model system for such studies, as conifers host a suite of microorganisms including mutualistic ectomycorrhizal (ECM fungi and foliar bacterial endophytes. To investigate the potential role ECM fungi play in structuring foliar bacterial endophyte communities, we sampled three isolated, native populations of Monterey pine (Pinus radiata, and used constrained analysis of principal coordinates to relate the community matrices of the ECM fungi and bacterial endophytes. Our results suggest that ECM fungi may be important factors for explaining variation in bacterial endophyte communities but this effect is influenced by population and environmental characteristics, emphasizing the potential importance of other factors — biotic or abiotic — in determining the composition of bacterial communities. We also classified ECM fungi into categories based on known fungal traits associated with substrate exploration and nutrient mobilization strategies since variation in these traits allows the fungi to acquire nutrients across a wide range of abiotic conditions and may influence the outcome of multi-species interactions. Across populations and environmental factors, none of the traits associated with fungal foraging strategy types significantly structured bacterial assemblages, suggesting these ECM fungal traits are not important for understanding endophyte-ECM interactions. Overall, our results suggest

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

    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 (macrosymbiont), such as direct or indirect nutrition, ability to counter the defenses of plant or animal hosts, protection from natural enemies, improved development and reproduction, and communication. Benefits to the microsymbiont (including a broad range of fungi, bacteria, mites, nematodes, etc.) often include transport, protection from antagonists, and protection from environmental extremes. Symbiotic relationships may be mutualistic, commensal, competitive, or parasitic. In many cases, individual relationships may include both beneficial and detrimental effects to each partner during various phases of their life histories or as environmental conditions change. The outcomes of insect-microbial interactions are often strongly mediated by other symbionts and by features of the external and internal environment. These outcomes can also have important effects on human well being and environmental quality, by affecting agriculture, human health, natural resources, and the impacts of invasive species. We argue that, for many systems, our understanding of symbiotic relationships will advance most rapidly where context dependency and multipartite membership are integrated into existing conceptual frameworks. Furthermore, the contribution of entomological studies to overall symbiosis theory will be greatest where preoccupation with strict definitions and artificial boundaries is minimized, and integration of emerging molecular and quantitative techniques is maximized. We highlight symbiotic relations involving bark beetles to illustrate examples of the above trends.

  12. Interaction of ecological and angler processes: experimental stocking in an open access, spatially structured fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Jonathan A; Post, John R; Ward, Hillary; Wilson, Kyle L; Newton, Eric; Cantin, Ariane

    2016-09-01

    Effective management of socioecological systems requires an understanding of the complex interactions between people and the environment. In recreational fisheries, which are prime examples of socioecological systems, anglers are analogous to mobile predators in natural predator-prey systems, and individual fisheries in lakes across a region are analogous to a spatially structured landscape of prey patches. Hence, effective management of recreational fisheries across large spatial scales requires an understanding of the dynamic interactions among ecological density dependent processes, landscape-level characteristics, and angler behaviors. We focused on the stocked component of the open access rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fishery in British Columbia (BC), and we used an experimental approach wherein we manipulated stocking densities in a subset of 34 lakes in which we monitored angler effort, fish abundance, and fish size for up to seven consecutive years. We used an empirically derived relationship between fish abundance and fish size across rainbow trout populations in BC to provide a measure of catch-based fishing quality that accounts for the size-abundance trade off in this system. We replicated our experimental manipulation in two regions known to have different angler populations and broad-scale access costs. We hypothesized that angler effort would respond to variation in stocking density, resulting in spatial heterogeneity in angler effort but homogeneity in catch-based fishing quality within regions. We found that there is an intermediate stocking density for a given lake or region at which angler effort is maximized (i.e., an optimal stocking density), and that this stocking density depends on latent effort and lake accessibility. Furthermore, we found no clear effect of stocking density on our measure of catch-based fishing quality, suggesting that angler effort homogenizes catch-related attributes leading to an eroded relationship between

  13. 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.

  14. The Great American Biotic Interchange: Dispersals, Tectonics, Climate, Sea Level and Holding Pens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodburne, Michael O

    2010-12-01

    The biotic and geologic dynamics of the Great American Biotic Interchange are reviewed and revised. Information on the Marine Isotope Stage chronology, sea level changes as well as Pliocene and Pleistocene vegetation changes in Central and northern South America add to a discussion of the role of climate in facilitating trans-isthmian exchanges. Trans-isthmian land mammal exchanges during the Pleistocene glacial intervals appear to have been promoted by the development of diverse non-tropical ecologies. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10914-010-9144-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  15. 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.

  16. Component modeling in ecological risk assessment: Disturbance in interspecific interactions caused by air toxics introduced into terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swider, Jan Zenon

    The human health risk assessment (HRA), initiated by the onset of nuclear industry, has been a well established methodology for assessing the impacts of human created contamination on an individual human being and entire population. The wide spread of applications and tools grown upon this methodology allows one not only to identify the hazards, but also to manage the risks. Recently, there has existed an increased awareness of the need to conduct ecological risk assessments (ERA) in addition to HRAs. The ERAs are, by and large, more complex than typical HRAs and involve not only different species but whole ecological systems. Such complex analyses require a thorough understanding of the processes underway in the ecosystem, including the contaminant transport through the food web, population dynamics as well as intra- and inter-specific relationships. The exposure pathways change radically depending on the consumer tier. Plants produce their nutriment from the sunlight and raw inorganic compounds. Animals and other living forms obtain energy by eating plants, other animals and detritus. Their double role as food consumers and food producers causes a trophic structure of the ecological system, where nutrients and energy are transferred from one trophic level to another. This is a dynamic process of energy flow, mostly in the form of food, varying with time and space. In order to conduct an efficient ERA, a multidisciplinary framework is needed. This framework can be enhanced by analyzing predator-prey interactions during the environmental disturbances caused by a pollutant emission, and by assessing the consequences of such disturbances. It is necessary to develop a way to describe how human industrial activity affects the ecosystems. Existing ecological studies have mostly been focused either on pure ecological interdependencies or on limited perspectives of human activities. In this study, we discuss the issues of air pollution and its ecological impacts from the

  17. Relationship between bacterial diversity and function under biotic control: the soil pesticide degraders as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monard, Cécile; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe; Le Bot, Barbara; Binet, Françoise

    2011-06-01

    In soil, the way biotic parameters impact the relationship between bacterial diversity and function is still unknown. To understand these interactions better, we used RNA-based stable-isotope probing to study the diversity of active atrazine-degrading bacteria in relation to atrazine degradation and to explore the impact of earthworm-soil engineering with respect to this relationship. Bulk soil, burrow linings and earthworm casts were incubated with (13)C-atrazine. The pollutant degradation was quantified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry for 8 days, whereas active atrazine degraders were identified at 2 and 8 days by sequencing the 16S ribosomal RNA in the (13)C-RNA fractions from the three soil microsites. An original diversity of atrazine degraders was found. Earthworm soil engineering greatly modified the taxonomic composition of atrazine degraders with dominance of α-, β- and γ-proteobacteria in burrow linings and of Actinobacteria in casts. Earthworm soil bioturbation increased the γ-diversity of atrazine degraders over the soil microsites generated. Atrazine degradation was enhanced in burrow linings in which primary atrazine degraders, closely related to Pelomonas aquatica, were detected only 2 days after atrazine addition. Atrazine degradation efficiency was not linearly related to the species richness of degraders but likely relied on keystone species. By enhancing soil heterogeneity, earthworms sustained high phylogenetic bacterial diversity and exerted a biotic control on the bacterial diversity-function relationships. Our findings call for future investigations to assess the ecological significance of biotic controls on the relationships between diversity and function on ecosystem properties and services (for example, soil detoxification) at larger scales.

  18. 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 perf

  19. 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 e

  20. 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 ar

  1. Regime shifts in the Sahara and Sahel: interactions between ecological and climatic systems in northern Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foley, J.A.; Coe, M.T.; Scheffer, M.; Wang, G.L.

    2003-01-01

    The Sahara and Sahel regions of northern Africa have complex environmental histories punctuated by sudden and dramatic "regime shifts" in climate and ecological conditions. Here we review the current understanding of the causes and consequences of two environmental regime shifts in the Sahara and Sa

  2. Toward a scientifically rigorous basis for developing mapped ecological regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, G.; Wiken, E.B.; Gauthier, D.A.

    2004-01-01

    Despite the wide use of ecological regions in conservation and resource-management evaluations and assessments, a commonly accepted theoretical basis for ecological regionalization does not exist. This fact, along with the paucity of focus on ecological regionalization by professional associations, journals, and faculties, has inhibited the advancement of a broadly acceptable scientific basis for the development, use, and verification of ecological regions. The central contention of this article is that ecological regions should improve our understanding of geographic and ecological phenomena associated with biotic and abiotic processes occurring in individual regions and also of processes characteristic of interactions and dependencies among multiple regions. Research associated with any ecoregional framework should facilitate development of hypotheses about ecological phenomena and dominant landscape elements associated with these phenomena, how these phenomena are structured in space, and how they function in a hierarchy. Success in addressing the research recommendations outlined in this article cannot occur within an ad hoc, largely uncoordinated research environment. Successful implementation of this plan will require activities--coordination, funding, and education--that are both scientific and administrative in nature. Perhaps the most important element of an infrastructure to support the scientific work of ecoregionalization would be a national or international authority similar to the Water and Science Technology Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

  3. Molecular characterization reveals the complexity of previously overlooked coral-exosymbiont interactions and the implications for coral-guild ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouzé, H.; Leray, M.; Magalon, H.; Penin, L.; Gélin, P.; Knowlton, N.; Fauvelot, C.

    2017-01-01

    Several obligate associate crabs and shrimps species may co-occur and interact within a single coral host, leading to patterns of associations that can provide essential ecological services. However, knowledge of the dynamics of interactions in this system is limited, partly because identifying species involved in the network remains challenging. In this study, we assessed the diversity of the decapods involved in exosymbiotic assemblages for juvenile and adult Pocillopora damicornis types α and β on reefs of New Caledonia and Reunion Island. This approach revealed complex patterns of association at regional and local scales with a prevalence of assemblages involving crab-shrimp partnerships. Furthermore, the distinction of two lineages in the snapping shrimp Alpheus lottini complex, rarely recognized in ecological studies, reveals a key role for cryptic diversity in structuring communities of mutualists. The existence of partnerships between species that occurred more commonly than expected by chance suggests an increased advantage for the host or a better adaptation of associated species to local environmental conditions. The consideration of cryptic diversity helps to accurately describe the complexity of interaction webs for diverse systems such as coral reefs, as well as the functional roles of dominant associated species for the persistence of coral populations. PMID:28358026

  4. Subsequent biotic crises delayed marine recovery following the late Permian mass extinction event in northern Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, William J; Danise, Silvia; Price, Gregory D; Twitchett, Richard J

    2017-01-01

    The late Permian mass extinction event was the largest biotic crisis of the Phanerozoic and has the longest recovery interval of any extinction event. It has been hypothesised that subsequent carbon isotope perturbations during the Early Triassic are associated with biotic crises that impeded benthic recovery. We test this hypothesis by undertaking the highest-resolution study yet made of the rock and fossil records of the entire Werfen Formation, Italy. Here, we show that elevated extinction rates were recorded not only in the Dienerian, as previously recognised, but also around the Smithian/Spathian boundary. Functional richness increases across the Smithian/Spathian boundary associated with elevated origination rates in the lower Spathian. The taxonomic and functional composition of benthic faunas only recorded two significant changes: (1) reduced heterogeneity in the Dienerian, and (2) and a faunal turnover across the Smithian/Spathian boundary. The elevated extinctions and compositional shifts in the Dienerian and across the Smithian/Spathian boundary are associated with a negative and positive isotope excursion, respectively, which supports the hypothesis that subsequent biotic crises are associated with carbon isotope shifts. The Spathian fauna represents a more advanced ecological state, not recognised in the previous members of the Werfen Formation, with increased habitat differentiation, a shift in the dominant modes of life, appearance of stenohaline taxa and the occupation of the erect and infaunal tiers. In addition to subsequent biotic crises delaying the recovery, therefore, persistent environmental stress limited the ecological complexity of benthic recovery prior to the Spathian.

  5. A theoretical quantitative genetic study of negative ecological interactions and extinction times in changing environments

    OpenAIRE

    Jones Adam G

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background Rapid human-induced changes in the environment at local, regional and global scales appear to be contributing to population declines and extinctions, resulting in an unprecedented biodiversity crisis. Although in the short term populations can respond ecologically to environmental alterations, in the face of persistent change populations must evolve or become extinct. Existing models of evolution and extinction in changing environments focus only on single species, even th...

  6. 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.

  7. Modeling the Spatial Distribution of Eshnan (seidlitzia Rosmarinus) Shrubs to Exploring Their Ecological Interactions in Drylands of Central Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erfanifard, Y.; Khosravi, E.

    2015-12-01

    Evaluating the interactions of woody plants has been a major research topic of ecological investigations in arid ecosystems. Plant-plant interactions can shift from positive (facilitation) to negative (competition) depending on levels of environmental stress and determine the spatial pattern of plants. The spatial distribution analysis of plants via different summary statistics can reveal the interactions of plants and how they influence one another. An aggregated distribution indicates facilitative interactions among plants, while dispersion of species reflects their competition for scarce resources. This study was aimed to explore the intraspecific interactions of eshnan (Seidlitzia rosmarinus) shrubs in arid lands, central Iran, using different summary statistics (i.e., pair correlation function g(r), O-ring function O(r), nearest neighbour distribution function D(r), spherical contact distribution function Hs(r)). The observed pattern of shrubs showed significant spatial heterogeneity as compared to inhomogeneous Poisson process (α=0.05). The results of g(r) and O(r) revealed the significant aggregation of eshnan shrubs up to scale of 3 m (α=0.05). The results of D(r) and Hs(r) also showed that maximum distance to nearest shrub was 6 m and the distribution of the sizes of gaps was significantly different from random distribution up to this spatial scale. In general, it was concluded that there were positive interactions between eshnan shrubs at small scales and they were aggregated due to their intraspecific facilitation effects in the study area.

  8. Local ecological knowledge and the interaction of porpoises with fishing on the coast of the state of Para, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Pereira Brito

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Fishing has a great importance to the socioeconomic development of the Amazonian riparian communities, which have a local knowledge on the environment, its fauna and flora. This knowledge is of paramount importance for the management and conservation of fish stocks and species that interact with the fishing activity, such as the populations of gray porpoises (Sotalia sp. and pink porpoises (Inia geoffrensis. Therefore, to register local ecological knowledge and the interaction of porpoises with fishing on the coast of the state of Para, Brazil, 82 semi-structured interviews were carried out in 3 different colonies of fishermen: colony Z-1 (Soure, colony Z-7 (Maracana, and colony Z-23 (Colares. The species Sotalia sp. had a strong social structure, it can be observed in the region both during the dry and rainy seasons, while the species I. geoffrensis didn’t present a social structure, it’s observed in the region especially during the rainy season. The pink porpoise showed a larger interaction with fishing than the gray porpoise, however, this interaction was particularly detrimental to the activity, while the gray porpoise showed both a beneficial and a harmful interaction with fishing. The incidental capture of porpoises primarily occurred through nets and trawls, harming their populations. Captured animals were mostly released, however, there were records of consumption for food, use as bait, and selling of the animal’s eyes. This information will constitute the basis for further studies on the biology, ecology, and estimate of the mortality of porpoises on the Amazon coast. Management measures should be adopted, along with the communities studied, for the conservation of these animals in the region.

  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 niche modeling and its applications in biodiversity conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gengping Zhu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on the environmental variables that associated with species’ occurrence records, ecological niche modeling (ENM seeks to characterize environmental conditions suitable for a particular species and then identify where suitable environmental habitats are distributed in the space. Recently, ENM has been used increasingly in biological invasion, conservation biology, biological responses toclimate change, disease spatial transmission, and variety aspects of ecology and evolutionary biology research. However, the theoretical background of these applications is generally poorly understood, leading to artifactual conclusions in some studies (e.g. niche differentiation during species’ invasion. In this paper we discuss the relationship between niche and geographic distribution and introduce the theoretical basis of ENM, along with relationships between the niche and ENM. Abiotic/biotic, historical and dispersal factors are three key elements that determine species’ geographic distributions at different scales. By using environmental variables derived from distributional records, ENM is based on observations that already include effects of biotic interactions, therefore ENM is used to characterize somewhere between the realized niche and potential niche, not the fundamental niche. Grinnellian and Eltonian niches are both manifested in ENM calibration, depending on the types of variables used to fit model, the natural spatial scale at which they can be measured, and the dispersal of individuals throughout the environment. Applications of ENM in understanding ecological requirements of species, discovery of new species or populations, nature reserve design, predicting potential invasion, modeling biological responses to climate change, niche conservatism, and pecies delimitation are discussed in this paper.

  11. 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.

  12. Head shape evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus): interactions between extreme size disparity, phylogeny and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Openshaw, G H; Keogh, J S

    2014-02-01

    Characterizing patterns of observed current variation, and testing hypotheses concerning the potential drivers of this variation, is fundamental to understanding how morphology evolves. Phylogenetic history, size and ecology are all central components driving the evolution of morphological variation, but only recently have methods become available to tease these aspects apart for particular body structures. Extant monitor lizards (Varanus) have radiated into an incredible range of habitats and display the largest body size range of any terrestrial vertebrate genus. Although their body morphology remains remarkably conservative, they have obvious head shape variation. We use two-dimensional geometric morphometric techniques to characterize the patterns of dorsal head shape variation in 36 species (375 specimens) of varanid, and test how this variation relates to size, phylogenetic history and ecology as represented by habitat. Interspecific head shape disparity is strongly allometric. Once size effects are removed, principal component analysis shows that most shape variation relates to changes in the snout and head width. Size-corrected head shape variation has strong phylogenetic signal at a broad level, but habitat use is predictive of shape disparity within phylogenetic lineages. Size often explains shape disparity among organisms; however, the ability to separate size and shape variation using geometric morphometrics has enabled the identification of phylogenetic history and habitat as additional key factors contributing to the evolution of head shape disparity among varanid lizards.

  13. 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

  14. The behavior of multiple independent managers and ecological traits interact to determine prevalence of weeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutts, Shaun R; Yokomizo, Hiroyuki; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2013-04-01

    Management of damaging invasive plants is often undertaken by multiple decision makers, each managing only a small part of the invader's population. As weeds can move between properties and re-infest eradicated sites from unmanaged sources, the dynamics of multiple decision makers plays a significant role in weed prevalence and invasion risk at the landscape scale. We used a spatially explicit agent-based simulation to determine how individual agent behavior, in concert with weed population ecology, determined weed prevalence. We compared two invasive grass species that differ in ecology, control methods, and costs: Nassella trichotoma (serrated tussock) and Eragrostis curvula (African love grass). The way decision makers reacted to the benefit of management had a large effect on the extent of a weed. If benefits of weed control outweighed the costs, and either net benefit was very large or all agents were very sensitive to net benefits, then agents tended to act synchronously, reducing the pool of infested agents available to spread the weed. As N. trichotoma was more damaging than E. curvula and had more effective control methods, agents chose to manage it more often, which resulted in lower prevalence of N. trichotoma. A relatively low number of agents who were intrinsically less motivated to control weeds led to increased prevalence of both species. This was particularly apparent when long-distance dispersal meant each infested agent increased the invasion risk for a large portion of the landscape. In this case, a small proportion of land mangers reluctant to control, regardless of costs and benefits, could lead to the whole landscape being infested, even when local control stopped new infestations. Social pressure was important, but only if it was independent of weed prevalence, suggesting that early access to information, and incentives to act on that information, may be crucial in stopping a weed from infesting large areas. The response of our model to both

  15. Abiotic Versus Biotic Pathogens: Replicative Growth in Host Tissues Key to Discriminating Between Biotoxic Injury and Active Pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Ming, Douglas W.; Golden, D. C.

    2012-01-01

    Life can be defined as a self-sustaining chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution; a self-bounded, self-replicating, and self-perpetuating entity [1]. This definition should hold for terrestrial as well as extraterrestrial life-forms. Although, it is reasonable to expect that a Mars life-form would be more adaptable to Mars-like conditions than to Earth-like environments, it remains possible that negative ecological or host interactions might occur if Mars microbiota were to be inadvertently released into the terrestrial environment. A biogenic infectious agent can be defined as a self-sustaining chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution and derives its sustenance from a living cell or from the by-products of cell death. Disease can be de-fined as the detrimental alteration of one or more ordered metabolic processes in a living host caused by the continued irritation of a primary causal factor or factors; disease is a dynamic process [2]. In contrast, an injury is due to an instantaneous event; injury is not a dynamic process [2]. A causal agent of disease is defined as a pathogen, and can be either abiotic or biotic in nature. Diseases incited by biotic pathogens are the exceptions, not the norms, in terrestrial host-microbe interactions. Disease induction in a plant host can be conceptually characterized using the Disease Triangle (Fig. 1) in which disease occurs only when all host, pathogen, and environ-mental factors that contribute to the development of disease are within conducive ranges for a necessary minimum period of time. For example, plant infection and disease caused by the wheat leaf rust fungus, Puccinia recondita, occur only if virulent spores adhere to genetically susceptible host tissues for at least 4-6 hours under favorable conditions of temperature and moisture [3]. As long as one or more conditions required for disease initiation are not available, disease symptoms will not develop.

  16. Effect of biotic and abiotic factors on diversity patterns of anthophyllous insect communities in a tropical mountain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuartas-Hernández, S E; Gómez-Murillo, L

    2015-06-01

    The determinants of diversity are a central issue in ecology, particularly in Andean forests that are known to be a major diversity hotspot for several taxa. We examined the effect of abiotic (elevation and precipitation) and biotic (flowering plant diversity) factors considered to be decisive causal factors of diversity patterns on anthophyllous insect communities on mountain forest. Sampling was carried out in 100-m transects at eight elevational levels and during a period of 8 months. All flowering plants in the understory and their flowering visitors were recorded. Species richness and diversity were estimated for each elevation and month. Diversity of flowering plants, elevation, and precipitation were used as independent variables in multiple regressions against insect diversity. The evaluated abiotic and biotic factors had contrasting effects on insect diversity: a significant decrease on insect diversity occurred at high elevation and dry months (i.e., threshold effect), while it showed a positive relationship with flowering plant diversity through time (i.e., linear effect), but not along elevation. Rapid turnover of species of both interacting guilds was observed every 100-m altitude and month. Local insect communities were also divided functionally depending on the plant family they visit. These results indicate that each insect community is distinctive among elevations and months and that diversity of flowering plants, precipitation, and elevation influence their structure and composition. Thus, conservation strategies should involve protection of forest cover at the whole elevation gradient, in order to preserve common and exclusive components of diversity and consequently, the mosaic of plant-pollinator interactions.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28266552

  1. Ecological interactions of visceral leishmaniasis in the state of Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Italo A Sherlock

    1996-12-01

    Full Text Available The laboratory and field observations summarized in this paper on visceral leishmaniasis ecology in the State of Bahia, Brazil are based on the author's observations over the past 35 years in a number of state's foci, public health records and literature citations. The disease is endemic with epidemic outbreaks occurring every ten years and its geographical distribution is expanding rapidly in the last years. Leishmania chagasi is the main ethiologic agent of the visceral leishmaniasis but Le. amazonensis s. lato was the only leishmania isolated by other authors from some visceral leishmaniasis human cases in the state. Lutzomyia longipalpis (with one or two spots on tergites III and IV and two sized different populations was epidemiologically incriminated as the main vector. It was found naturally infected with promastigotes, and it was infected with four species of leishmanias in the laboratory. Although the experimental transmission of Le. amazonensis by the bite of Lu. longipalpis to hamsters was performed, the author was not successful in transmitting Le. chagasi in the same way. The dog is the most important domestic source for infection of the vector, however it is not a primary reservoir. The opossum Didelphis albiventris was found naturally infected with Le. chagasi but its role as reservoir is unknown. Foxes and rodents were not found infected with leishmanias in Bahia.

  2. 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. Molecula

  3. Ecology of dark matter haloes -II. Effects of interactions on the alignment of halo pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'Huillier, Benjamin; Park, Changbom; Kim, Juhan

    2017-01-01

    We use the Horizon Run 4 cosmological N-body simulation to study the effects of distant and close interactions on the alignments of the shapes, spins, and orbits of targets haloes with their neighbours, and their dependence on the local density environment and neighbour separation. Interacting targets have a significantly lower spin and higher sphericity and oblateness than all targets. Interacting pairs initially have anti-parallel spins, but the spins develop parallel alignment as time goes on. Neighbours tend to evolve in the plane of rotation of the target, and in the direction of the major axis of prolate haloes. Moreover, interactions are preferentially radial, while pairs with non-radial orbits are preferentially prograde. The alignment signals are stronger at high-mass and for close separations, and independent on the large-scale density. Positive alignment signals are found at redshifts up to 4, and increase with decreasing redshifts. Moreover, the orbits tend to become prograde at low redshift, while no alignment is found at high redshift (z = 4).

  4. Stepping into futures: exploring the potential of interactive media for participatory scenarios on social ecological systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vervoort, J.M.; Kok, K.; Lammeren, van R.J.A.; Veldkamp, A.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present a strategy for the development of interactive media scenarios to help communicate uncertainties and complexities in coupled human and natural systems. Insights arising from Complex Adaptive Systems theory advocate the need for more adaptive perspectives on natural resources

  5. Mainstreaming Hearing-Impaired Students within a Postsecondary Educational Setting: An Ecological Model of Social Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Susan; DeCaro, Patricia Mudgett

    Findings are presented from a study of social interactions between hearing-impaired and hearing college students living on one floor of a mainstreamed residence hall at the Rochester (New York) Institute of Technology, home of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Twelve ethnographic observations were completed, and interviews were…

  6. 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

  7. Significance of microbial communities and interactions in safeguarding reactive mine tailings by ecological engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nancucheo, Ivan; Johnson, D Barrie

    2011-12-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ross, Stine Dalmann

    and porpoises are discussed. Describing the fish population dynamics and biological interactions of the main species at the higher tropic levels in the western Baltic Sea is an important step towards a broader regional understanding of the ecosystem dynamics. The information can be used to inform single species...... in the food web. Furthermore, the models can be used to evaluate effects of anthropogenic activities such as fishing, eutrophication and pollution from land-based activities and shipping. Despite the growing awareness of the strength of these models to describe food web dynamics and ecosystem functioning......, 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...

  9. Coevolutionary motion and swarming in a niche space model of ecological species interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dommar, C. J.; Ryabov, A.; Blasius, B.

    2008-04-01

    Organisms are involved in coevolutionary relationships with their competitors, predators, preys and parasites. In this context, we present a simple model for the co-evolution of species in a common niche space, where the fitness of each species is defined via the network of interactions with all other species. In our model, the sign and type of the pairwise interactions (being either beneficial, harmful or neutral) is given by a pre-determined community matrix, while the interaction strength depends on the niche-overlap, i.e. the pairwise distances between species in niche space. The evolutionary process drives the species toward the places with the higher local fitness along the fitness gradient. This gives rise to a dynamic fitness landscape, since the evolutionary motion of a single species can change the landscape of the others (known as the Red Queen Principle). In the simplest case of only two-species we observe either a convergence/divergence equilibrium or a coevolutionary arms race. For a larger number of species our analysis concentrates on an antisymmetric interaction matrix, where we observe a large range of dynamic behaviour, from oscillations, quasiperiodic to chaotic dynamics. In dependence of the value of a first integral of motion we observe either quasiperiodic motion around a central region in niche space or unbounded movement, characterised by chaotic scattering of species pairs. Finally, in a linear food-chain we observe complex swarming behaviour in which the swarm moves as a whole only if the chain consists of an even number of species. Our results could be an important contribution to evolutionary niche theory.

  10. 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 ...... through ubiquitination. The wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses that affect crop plants limits agricultural production.......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...

  11. The function of small RNAs in plant biotic stress response

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Juan Huang; Meiling Yang; Xiaoming Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Small RNAs (sRNAs) play essential roles in plants upon biotic stress. Plants utilize RNA silencing machinery to facilitate pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered immunity and effector-triggered immunity to defend against pathogen attack or to facilitate defense against insect herbivores. Pathogens, on the other hand, are also able to generate effectors and sRNAs to counter the host immune response. The arms race between plants and pathogens/insect herbivores has triggered the evolution of sRNAs, RNA silencing machinery and pathogen effectors. A great number of studies have been performed to investigate the roles of sRNAs in plant defense, bringing in the opportunity to utilize sRNAs in plant protection. Transgenic plants with pathogen-derived resistance ability or trans-generational defense have been generated, which show promising potential as solutions for pathogen/insect herbi-vore problems in the field. Here we summarize the recent progress on the function of sRNAs in response to biotic stress, mainly in plant-pathogen/insect herbivore interaction, and the application of sRNAs in disease and insect herbivore control.

  12. Seasonal species interactions minimize the impact of species turnover on the likelihood of community persistence

    OpenAIRE

    Saavedra, Serguei; Rudolf P. Rohr; Fortuna, Miguel A.; Selva, Nuria; Bascompte, Jordi

    2015-01-01

    Many of the observed species interactions embedded in ecological communities are not permanent, but are characterized by temporal changes that are observed along with abiotic and biotic variations. While work has been done describing and quantifying these changes, little is known about their consequences for species coexistence. Here, we investigate the extent to which changes of species composition impact the likelihood of persistence of the predator–prey community in the highly seasonal Bia...

  13. Bacterial Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenchel, Tom

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial ecology is concerned with the interactions between bacteria and their biological and nonbiological environments and with the role of bacteria in biogeochemical element cycling. Many fundamental properties of bacteria are consequences of their small size. Thus, they can efficiently exploit...

  14. Getting what is served? Feeding ecology influencing parasite-host interactions in invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Emde

    Full Text Available 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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Bayesian network for estimating the interaction between ecological health and waterfowl abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Te Hui; Fang, Wei Ta; Yu, Hwa Lung

    2013-04-01

    The serious decrease of biodiversity which is mainly induced by Habitat disappear is important issue of species field and in the world. The study area chooses Tauyuan County at subtropical area because of the most artificial farm ponds in Taiwan where the total area includes 27 km2. The effectiveness of these ponds is storage and irrigation and also supplies all kinds of environment like refuges for migratory birds, especially for water birds. Due to human development, farm ponds in this city not only suffer from largely disappear recent year, but also lead to the habitat and bird species reduce. Biological research usually contains incomplete and uncertain information, therefore, this study adopts Bayesian Network model to analyze interaction between land use and water birds. The habitat parameters include elevation, urbanization, building area, farm area, reconsolidation, forest area, irrigation area, farm pond area and lawn area; the biological factors have reproductive capacity, habitat condition, hydrological condition and food source. Using this structure can estimate the interaction of spatiotemporal abundance distribution between habitat parameter and biological parameter. In addition, the former results can define all the reasonable relationship of all hidden states and provide decision-makers with reasonable evaluation.

  18. Ecological networks are more sensitive to plant than to animal extinction under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleuning, Matthias; Fründ, Jochen; Schweiger, Oliver; Welk, Erik; Albrecht, Jörg; Albrecht, Matthias; Beil, Marion; Benadi, Gita; Blüthgen, Nico; Bruelheide, Helge; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Dehling, D. Matthias; Dormann, Carsten F.; Exeler, Nina; Farwig, Nina; Harpke, Alexander; Hickler, Thomas; Kratochwil, Anselm; Kuhlmann, Michael; Kühn, Ingolf; Michez, Denis; Mudri-Stojnić, Sonja; Plein, Michaela; Rasmont, Pierre; Schwabe, Angelika; Settele, Josef; Vujić, Ante; Weiner, Christiane N.; Wiemers, Martin; Hof, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Impacts of climate change on individual species are increasingly well documented, but we lack understanding of how these effects propagate through ecological communities. Here we combine species distribution models with ecological network analyses to test potential impacts of climate change on >700 plant and animal species in pollination and seed-dispersal networks from central Europe. We discover that animal species that interact with a low diversity of plant species have narrow climatic niches and are most vulnerable to climate change. In contrast, biotic specialization of plants is not related to climatic niche breadth and vulnerability. A simulation model incorporating different scenarios of species coextinction and capacities for partner switches shows that projected plant extinctions under climate change are more likely to trigger animal coextinctions than vice versa. This result demonstrates that impacts of climate change on biodiversity can be amplified via extinction cascades from plants to animals in ecological networks. PMID:28008919

  19. 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 M.; 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.

  20. Microbial ecology and host-microbiota interactions during early life stages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collado, Maria Carmen; Cernada, Maria; Baüerl, Christine; Vento, Máximo; Pérez-Martínez, Gaspar

    2012-01-01

    The role of human microbiota has been redefined during recent years and its physiological role is now much more important than earlier understood. Intestinal microbial colonization is essential for the maturation of immune system and for the developmental regulation of the intestinal physiology. Alterations in this process of colonization have been shown to predispose and increase the risk to disease later in life. The first contact of neonates with microbes is provided by the maternal microbiota. Moreover, mode of delivery, type of infant feeding and other perinatal factors can influence the establishment of the infant microbiota. Taken into consideration all the available information it could be concluded that the exposure to the adequate microbes early in gestation and neonatal period seems to have a relevant role in health. Maternal microbial environment affects maternal and fetal immune physiology and, of relevance, this interaction with microbes at the fetal-maternal interface could be modulated by specific microbes administered to the pregnant mother. Indeed, probiotic interventions aiming to reduce the risk of immune-mediated diseases may appear effective during early life. PMID:22743759

  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. Microbial ecology and host-microbiota interactions during early life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collado, Maria Carmen; Cernada, Maria; Baüerl, Christine; Vento, Máximo; Pérez-Martínez, Gaspar

    2012-01-01

    The role of human microbiota has been redefined during recent years and its physiological role is now much more important than earlier understood. Intestinal microbial colonization is essential for the maturation of immune system and for the developmental regulation of the intestinal physiology. Alterations in this process of colonization have been shown to predispose and increase the risk to disease later in life. The first contact of neonates with microbes is provided by the maternal microbiota. Moreover, mode of delivery, type of infant feeding and other perinatal factors can influence the establishment of the infant microbiota. Taken into consideration all the available information it could be concluded that the exposure to the adequate microbes early in gestation and neonatal period seems to have a relevant role in health. Maternal microbial environment affects maternal and fetal immune physiology and, of relevance, this interaction with microbes at the fetal-maternal interface could be modulated by specific microbes administered to the pregnant mother. Indeed, probiotic interventions aiming to reduce the risk of immune-mediated diseases may appear effective during early life.

  3. Considerations on the Research of and Counter-measures Against Biotic Invasion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Su Ronghui; Lou Zhiping; Zhang Runzhi

    2002-01-01

    This article gives a brief introduction to the damage brought about by biotic invasion and its causes, and analyzes its impact on national development, ecological safety and the production of agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry. In addition, it expounds the necessity, urgency and cardinal significance in promoting related scientific research in this country. The authors stress that research work should be concentrated on the ecological effects of non-indigenous species in the light of the national demands, world research frontiers and high-tech application. That involves the process of an invasive organism's immigration and propagation, short-term evolution, latent buildup, ecological adaptation, competition and outbreak as well as the process in which the new ecosystem's original structure and functions unfold their role of rejection and assimilation.

  4. 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.

  5. New insights into the ecological interaction between grape berry microorganisms and Drosophila flies during the development of sour rot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barata, André; Santos, Sara Correia; Malfeito-Ferreira, Manuel; Loureiro, Virgílio

    2012-08-01

    In this work, we studied the ecological interactions between grape berry microorganisms and Drosophila sp. flies involved in sour rot disease during grape ripening. After veráison the total microbial counts of grape berries affected by sour rot increased from about 2 log CFU/g of berries to more than 7 log CFU/g. Berry damage provoked a clear shift in yeast diversity from basidiomycetes to ascomycetous fermentative species. The latter were mostly Pichia terricola, Hanseniaspora uvarum, Candida zemplinina, and Zygoascus hellenicus. However, these species were not able to produce the metabolites characteristic of sour rot (gluconic and acetic acids) in inoculated berries. On the contrary, the acetic acid bacteria Gluconacetobacter saccharivorans produced high levels of these acids, mainly when berries were incubated in the presence of the insect Drosophila sp. Sour rot was not observed when grape bunches were physically separated from insects, even when berries were artificially injured. The wounds made in berry skin healed in the absence of insects, thus preventing the development of sour rot. Therefore, in the vineyard, the induction of sour rot depends on the contamination of wounded berries by a microbial consortium--yeasts and acetic acid bacteria--transported by drosophilid insects which disseminate sour rot among damaged berries. In the absence of these insects, plant defense mechanisms are effective and lead to skin healing, preventing disease spread. Thus, we showed that Drosophila sp. act as a vector for microorganisms associated with grape sour rot disease.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Röder

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

  9. 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.

  10. The Ecological Role of Volatile and Soluble Secondary Metabolites Produced by Soil Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyc, Olaf; Song, Chunxu; Dickschat, Jeroen S; Vos, Michiel; Garbeva, Paolina

    2016-12-27

    The rich diversity of secondary metabolites produced by soil bacteria has been appreciated for over a century, and advances in chemical analysis and genome sequencing continue to greatly advance our understanding of this biochemical complexity. However, we are just at the beginning of understanding the physicochemical properties of bacterial metabolites, the factors that govern their production and ecological roles. Interspecific interactions and competitor sensing are among the main biotic factors affecting the production of bacterial secondary metabolites. Many soil bacteria produce both volatile and soluble compounds. In contrast to soluble compounds, volatile organic compounds can diffuse easily through air- and gas-filled pores in the soil and likely play an important role in long-distance microbial interactions. In this review we provide an overview of the most important soluble and volatile classes of secondary metabolites produced by soil bacteria, their ecological roles, and their possible synergistic effects.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Species interactions among larval mosquitoes: context dependence across habitat gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juliano, Steven A

    2009-01-01

    Biotic interactions involving mosquito larvae are context dependent, with effects of interactions on populations altered by ecological conditions. Relative impacts of competition and predation change across a gradient of habitat size and permanence. Asymmetrical competition is common and ecological context changes competitive advantage, potentially facilitating landscape-level coexistence of competitors. Predator effects on mosquito populations sometimes depend on habitat structure and on emergent effects of multiple predators, particularly interference among predators. Nonlethal effects of predators on mosquito oviposition, foraging, and life history are common, and their consequences for populations and for mosquito-borne disease are poorly understood. Context-dependent beneficial effects of detritus shredders on mosquitoes occur in container habitats, but these interactions appear to involve more than simple resource modification by shredders. Investigations of context-dependent interactions among mosquito larvae will yield greater understanding of mosquito population dynamics and provide useful model systems for testing theories of context dependence in communities.

  15. The Ecological Role of Type Three Secretion Systems in the Interaction of Bacteria with Fungi in Soil and Related Habitats Is Diverse and Context-Dependent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazir, Rashid; Mazurier, Sylvie; Yang, Pu; Lemanceau, Philippe; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2017-01-01

    Bacteria and fungi constitute important organisms in many ecosystems, in particular terrestrial ones. Both organismal groups contribute significantly to biogeochemical cycling processes. Ecological theory postulates that bacteria capable of receiving benefits from host fungi are likely to evolve efficient association strategies. The purpose of this review is to examine the mechanisms that underpin the bacterial interactions with fungi in soil and other systems, with special focus on the type III secretion system (T3SS). Starting with a brief description of the versatility of the T3SS as an interaction system with diverse eukaryotic hosts, we subsequently examine the recent advances made in our understanding of its contribution to interactions with soil fungi. The analysis used data sets ranging from circumstantial evidence to gene-knockout-based experimental data. The initial finding that the abundance of T3SSs in microbiomes is often enhanced in fungal-affected habitats like the mycosphere and the mycorrhizosphere is now substantiated with in-depth knowledge of the specific systems involved. Different fungal–interactive bacteria, in positive or negative associations with partner fungi, harbor and express T3SSs, with different ecological outcomes. In some particular cases, bacterial T3SSs have been shown to modulate the physiology of its fungal partner, affecting its ecological characteristics and consequently shaping its own habitat. Overall, the analyses of the collective data set revealed that diverse T3SSs have assumed diverse roles in the interactions of bacteria with host fungi, as driven by ecological and evolutionary niche requirements. PMID:28197129

  16. The abiotic and biotic factors limiting establishment of predatory fishes at their expanding northern range boundaries in Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alofs, Karen M; Jackson, Donald A

    2015-06-01

    There is a poor understanding of the importance of biotic interactions in determining species distributions with climate change. Theory from invasion biology suggests that the success of species introductions outside of their historical ranges may be either positively (biotic acceptance) or negatively (biotic resistance) related to native biodiversity. Using data on fish community composition from two survey periods separated by approximately 28 years during which climate was warming, we examined the factors influencing the establishment of three predatory centrarchids: Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu), Largemouth Bass (M. salmoides), and Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) in lakes at their expanding northern range boundaries in Ontario. Variance partitioning demonstrated that, at a regional scale, abiotic factors play a stronger role in determining the establishment of these species than biotic factors. Pairing lakes within watersheds where each species had established with lakes sharing similar abiotic conditions where the species had not established revealed both positive and negative relationships between the establishment of centrarchids and the historical presence of other predatory species. The establishment of these species near their northern range boundaries is primarily determined by abiotic factors at a regional scale; however, biotic factors become important at the lake-to-lake scale. Studies of exotic species invasions have previously highlighted how spatial scale mediates the importance of abiotic vs. biotic factors on species establishment. Our study demonstrates how concepts from invasion biology can inform our understanding of the factors controlling species distributions with changing climate.

  17. Secondary metabolites in bryophytes: an ecological aspect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Chun-Feng; Lou, Hong-Xiang

    2009-03-01

    Bryophytes frequently grow in an unfavorable environment as the earliest land plants, and inevitably biosynthesize secondary metabolites against biotic or abiotic stress. They not only defend against the plant competition, microbial attack, and insect or animal predation, but also function in UV protection, drought tolerance, and freezing survival. This review covers the ecological aspect of secondary metabolites in bryophytes and is taxonomically presented according to the ecological significances.

  18. Palaeo plant diversity in subtropical Africa – ecological assessment of a conceptual model of climate–vegetation interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. P. Groner

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available We here critically re-assess a conceptual model dealing with the potential effect of plant diversity on climate–vegetation feedback, and provide an improved version adjusted to plant types that prevailed during the African Humid Period (AHP. Our work contributes to the understanding of the timing and abruptness of vegetation decline at the end of the AHP, investigated by various working groups during the past two decades using a wide range of model and palaeoproxy reconstruction approaches. While some studies indicated an abrupt collapse of vegetation at the end of the AHP, others suggested a gradual decline. Claussen et al. (2013 introduced a new aspect in the discussion, proposing that plant diversity in terms of moisture requirements could affect the strength of climate–vegetation feedback. In a conceptual model study, the authors illustrated that high plant diversity could stabilize an ecosystem, whereas a reduction in plant diversity might allow for an abrupt regime shift under gradually changing environmental conditions. Based on recently published pollen data and the current state of ecological literature, we evaluate the representation of climate–vegetation feedback in this conceptual approach, and put the suggested conclusions into an ecological context. In principle, the original model reproduces the main features of different plant types interacting together with climate although vegetation determinants other than precipitation are neglected. However, the model cannot capture the diversity of AHP vegetation. Especially tropical gallery forest taxa, indirectly linked to local precipitation, are not appropriately represented. In order to fill the gaps in the description of plant types regarding AHP diversity, we modify the original model in four main aspects. First, the growth ranges in terms of moisture requirements are extended by upper limits to represent full environmental envelopes. Second, data-based AHP plant types replace

  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. Biotic-Abiotic Nanoscale Interactions in Biological Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-28

    cyanobacteria . However, there has been no evidence presented to demonstrate electron transport along the length of bacterial nanowires. Here we report...secrete flavins as soluble redox shuttles for EET.11 At the same time, the genome of this organism encodes 42 different c cyto- chromes, some of

  1. 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 secre

  2. 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.

  3. The abiotic and biotic drivers of rapid diversification in Andean bellflowers (Campanulaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagomarsino, Laura P; Condamine, Fabien L; Antonelli, Alexandre; Mulch, Andreas; Davis, Charles C

    2016-06-01

    The tropical Andes of South America, the world's richest biodiversity hotspot, are home to many rapid radiations. While geological, climatic, and ecological processes collectively explain such radiations, their relative contributions are seldom examined within a single clade. We explore the contribution of these factors by applying a series of diversification models that incorporate mountain building, climate change, and trait evolution to the first dated phylogeny of Andean bellflowers (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae). Our framework is novel for its direct incorporation of geological data on Andean uplift into a macroevolutionary model. We show that speciation and extinction are differentially influenced by abiotic factors: speciation rates rose concurrently with Andean elevation, while extinction rates decreased during global cooling. Pollination syndrome and fruit type, both biotic traits known to facilitate mutualisms, played an additional role in driving diversification. These abiotic and biotic factors resulted in one of the fastest radiations reported to date: the centropogonids, whose 550 species arose in the last 5 million yr. Our study represents a significant advance in our understanding of plant evolution in Andean cloud forests. It further highlights the power of combining phylogenetic and Earth science models to explore the interplay of geology, climate, and ecology in generating the world's biodiversity.

  4. Does natural variation in diversity affect biotic resistance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Susan; Cornell, Howard; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Theories linking diversity to ecosystem function have been challenged by the widespread observation of more exotic species in more diverse native communities. Few studies have addressed the key underlying process by dissecting how community diversity is shaped by the same environmental gradients that determine biotic and abiotic resistance to new invaders. In grasslands on highly heterogeneous soils, we used addition of a recent invader, competitor removal and structural equation modelling (SEM) to analyse soil influences on community diversity, biotic and abiotic resistance and invader success. Biotic resistance, measured by reduction in invader success in the presence of the resident community, was negatively correlated with species richness and functional diversity. However, in the multivariate SEM framework, biotic resistance was independent of all forms of diversity and was positively affected by soil fertility via community biomass. Abiotic resistance, measured by invader success in the absence of the resident community, peaked on infertile soils with low biomass and high community diversity. Net invader success was determined by biotic resistance, consistent with this invader's better performance on infertile soils in unmanipulated conditions. Seed predation added slightly to biotic resistance without qualitatively changing the results. Soil-related genotypic variation in the invader also did not affect the results. Synthesis. In natural systems, diversity may be correlated with invasibility and yet have no effect on either biotic or abiotic resistance to invasion. More generally, the environmental causes of variation in diversity should not be overlooked when considering the potential functional consequences of diversity.

  5. Social Ecological Economics

    OpenAIRE

    Spash, Clive L.

    2009-01-01

    This paper introduces and explains how ecological economics has developed as a modern movement with its roots in environmentalism and radical environmental economics. Divisions and conflicts within the field are explored to show why material claiming to fall under the title of ecological economics fails to be representative of progress or the vision which drove socio-economic specialists to interact with ecologists in the first place. The argument is then put forward that ecological economics...

  6. 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…

  7. Chemical ecology mediated by fungal endophytes in grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikkonen, Kari; Gundel, Pedro E; Helander, Marjo

    2013-07-01

    Defensive mutualism is widely accepted as providing the best framework for understanding how seed-transmitted, alkaloid producing fungal endophytes of grasses are maintained in many host populations. Here, we first briefly review current knowledge of bioactive alkaloids produced by systemic grass-endophytes. New findings suggest that chemotypic diversity of the endophyte-grass symbiotum is far more complex, involving multifaceted signaling and chemical cross-talk between endophyte and host cells (e.g., reactive oxygen species and antioxidants) or between plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies (e.g., volatile organic compounds, and salicylic acid and jasmonic acid pathways). Accumulating evidence also suggests that the tight relationship between the systemic endophyte and the host grass can lead to the loss of grass traits when the lost functions, such as plant defense to herbivores, are compensated for by an interactive endophytic fungal partner. Furthermore, chemotypic diversity of a symbiotum appears to depend on the endophyte and the host plant life histories, as well as on fungal and plant genotypes, abiotic and biotic environmental conditions, and their interactions. Thus, joint approaches of (bio)chemists, molecular biologists, plant physiologists, evolutionary biologists, and ecologists are urgently needed to fully understand the endophyte-grass symbiosis, its coevolutionary history, and ecological importance. We propose that endophyte-grass symbiosis provides an excellent model to study microbially mediated multirophic interactions from molecular mechanisms to ecology.

  8. 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.

  9. Administrative Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGarity, Augustus C., III; Maulding, Wanda

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses how all four facets of administrative ecology help dispel the claims about the "impossibility" of the superintendency. These are personal ecology, professional ecology, organizational ecology, and community ecology. Using today's superintendency as an administrative platform, current literature describes a preponderance of…

  10. Dynamics in artifact ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bødker, Susanne; Klokmose, Clemens Nylandsted

    2012-01-01

    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...

  11. [Ecological stoichiometry and its application to medicinal plant resources].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ji; Jin, Hang; Zhang, Jin-Yu; Wang, Yuan-Zhong

    2013-01-01

    Ecological stoichiometry is a study of the balance of biological system's energy and the balance of multiple chemical elements. It focuses on the relationship of the element ratio in ecological processes. In this paper, the concept and main theoretical basis of ecological stoichiometry were introduced, and the status of stoichiometry in medicinal plant resources was reviewed. According to the recent development of ecological stoichiometry, the future directions of ecological stoichiometry of medicinal plants could be the study of the relationship between stoichiometric characteristic and growth and secondary metabolism of medicinal plants, and the influence of biotic (or abiotic) factors on the stoichiometric characteristic of medicinal plants.

  12. Preliminary Biotic Survey of Cane Creek, Calhoun County, AL

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A biotic survey of Cane Creek (Calhoun County, AL) was completed in the Fall (1992) and Winter (1993) at six sites within Cane Creek to determine the effects of...

  13. 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.

  14. Scaled biotic disruption during early Eocene global warming events

    OpenAIRE

    Gibbs, S. J.; Bown, P. R.; Murphy, B. H.; Sluijs, A.; Edgar, K. M.; Pälike, H.; C. T. Bolton; Zachos, J. C.

    2012-01-01

    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 o...

  15. Quantifying effects of abiotic and biotic drivers on community dynamics with multivariate autoregressive (MAR) models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton, Stephanie E; Holmes, Elizabeth E; Scheef, Lindsay P; Scheuerell, Mark D; Katz, Stephen L; Pendleton, Daniel E; Ward, Eric J

    2013-12-01

    Long-term ecological data sets present opportunities for identifying drivers of community dynamics and quantifying their effects through time series analysis. Multivariate autoregressive (MAR) models are well known in many other disciplines, such as econometrics, but widespread adoption of MAR methods in ecology and natural resource management has been much slower despite some widely cited ecological examples. Here we review previous ecological applications of MAR models and highlight their ability to identify abiotic and biotic drivers of population dynamics, as well as community-level stability metrics, from long-term empirical observations. Thus far, MAR models have been used mainly with data from freshwater plankton communities; we examine the obstacles that may be hindering adoption in other systems and suggest practical modifications that will improve MAR models for broader application. Many of these modifications are already well known in other fields in which MAR models are common, although they are frequently described under different names. In an effort to make MAR models more accessible to ecologists, we include a worked example using recently developed R packages (MAR1 and MARSS), freely available and open-access software.

  16. 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.

  17. A Brief Introduction to a Major Project--The Physical-Chemical Processes in the Lower Atmosphere and Their Interaction with the Ecological System over the Yangtze Delta

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Luo Yunfeng; Zhou Xiaogang

    2005-01-01

    With rapid industrialization and agricultural modernization in the past two decades, the Yangtze Delta Region in China has been one of the regions in the world most influenced by human activity. How has the economic development impacted on ecosystem, environment, agriculture and regional climate in this region ? What are the mechanisms of the interactive processes and feedbacks? What will be the future changes under different development scenarios? These are questions of critical importance to sustain the rate of social and economic development. A Major Project, The Physical-Chemical Processes in the Lower Atmosphere and Their Interaction with the Ecological System over Yangtze Delta,as one of the Ninth Five-Year Major Programs (1996-2000) funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSFC, just focused on those questions. Under the leadership of Prof. Zhou Xiuji, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences this project has made significant achievements and great progress in answering the above questions.

  18. Integrating human impacts and ecological integrity into a risk-based protocol for conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattson, Kimberly M; Angermeier, Paul L

    2007-01-01

    Conservation planning aims to protect biodiversity by sustainng the natural physical, chemical, and biological processes within representative ecosystems. Often data to measure these components are inadequate or unavailable. The impact of human activities on ecosystem processes complicates integrity assessments and might alter ecosystem organization at multiple spatial scales. Freshwater conservation targets, such as populations and communities, are influenced by both intrinsic aquatic properties and the surrounding landscape, and locally collected data might not accurately reflect potential impacts. We suggest that changes in five major biotic drivers-energy sources, physical habitat, flow regime, water quality, and biotic interactions-might be used as surrogates to inform conservation planners of the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems. Threats to freshwater systems might be evaluated based on their impact to these drivers to provide an overview of potential risk to conservation targets. We developed a risk-based protocol, the Ecological Risk Index (ERI), to identify watersheds with least/most risk to conservation targets. Our protocol combines risk-based components, specifically the frequency and severity of human-induced stressors, with biotic drivers and mappable land- and water-use data to provide a summary of relative risk to watersheds. We illustrate application of our protocol with a case study of the upper Tennessee River basin, USA. Differences in risk patterns among the major drainages in the basin reflect dominant land uses, such as mining and agriculture. A principal components analysis showed that localized, moderately severe threats accounted for most of the threat composition differences among our watersheds. We also found that the relative importance of threats is sensitive to the spatial grain of the analysis. Our case study demonstrates that the ERI is useful for evaluating the frequency and severity of ecosystem-wide risk, which can

  19. Integrating human impacts and ecological integrity into a risk-based protocol for conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattson, K.M.; Angermeier, P.L.

    2007-01-01

    Conservation planning aims to protect biodiversity by sustainng the natural physical, chemical, and biological processes within representative ecosystems. Often data to measure these components are inadequate or unavailable. The impact of human activities on ecosystem processes complicates integrity assessments and might alter ecosystem organization at multiple spatial scales. Freshwater conservation targets, such as populations and communities, are influenced by both intrinsic aquatic properties and the surrounding landscape, and locally collected data might not accurately reflect potential impacts. We suggest that changes in five major biotic drivers-energy sources, physical habitat, flow regime, water quality, and biotic interactions-might be used as surrogates to inform conservation planners of the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems. Threats to freshwater systems might be evaluated based on their impact to these drivers to provide an overview of potential risk to conservation targets. We developed a risk-based protocol, the Ecological Risk Index (ERI), to identify watersheds with least/most risk to conservation targets. Our protocol combines risk-based components, specifically the frequency and severity of human-induced stressors, with biotic drivers and mappable land- and water-use data to provide a summary of relative risk to watersheds. We illustrate application of our protocol with a case study of the upper Tennessee River basin, USA. Differences in risk patterns among the major drainages in the basin reflect dominant land uses, such as mining and agriculture. A principal components analysis showed that localized, moderately severe threats accounted for most of the threat composition differences among our watersheds. We also found that the relative importance of threats is sensitive to the spatial grain of the analysis. Our case study demonstrates that the ERI is useful for evaluating the frequency and severity of ecosystemwide risk, which can

  20. 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.

  1. Meta-analysis: abundance, behavior, and hydraulic energy shape biotic effects on sediment transport in streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertson, L K; Allen, D C

    2015-05-01

    An increasing number of studies have emphasized the need to bridge the disciplines of ecology and geomorphology. A large number of case studies show that organisms can affect erosion, but a comprehensive understanding of biological impacts on sediment transport conditions is still lacking. We use meta-analysis to synthesize published data to quantify the effects of the abundance, body size, and behavior of organisms on erosion in streams. We also explore the influence of current velocity, discharge, and sediment grain size on the strength of biotic effects on erosion. We found that species that both increase erosion (destabilizers) and decrease erosion (stabilizers) can alter incipient sediment motion, sediment suspension, and sediment deposition above control conditions in which the organisms were not present. When abundance was directly manipulated, these biotic effects were consistently stronger in the higher abundance treatment, increasing effect sizes by 66%. Per capita effect size and per capita biomass were also consistently positively correlated. Fish and crustaceans were the most studied organisms, but aquatic insects increased the effect size by 550 x compared to other types of organisms after accounting for biomass. In streams with lower discharge and smaller grain sizes, we consistently found stronger biotic effects. Taken collectively, these findings provide synthetic evidence that biology can affect physical processes in streams, and these effects can be mediated by hydraulic energy. We suggest that future studies focus on understudied organisms, such as biofilms, conducting experiments under realistic field conditions, and developing hypotheses for the effect of biology on erosion and velocity currents in the context of restoration to better understand the forces that mediate physical disturbances in stream ecosystems.

  2. Synergism and context dependency of interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobia with a prairie legume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larimer, Anna L; Clay, Keith; Bever, James D

    2014-04-01

    Biotic interactions play primary roles in major theories of the distribution and abundance of species, yet the nature of these biotic interactions can depend upon the larger ecological community. Leguminous plants, for example, commonly associate with both arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and rhizobia bacteria, and the pairwise interactions may depend upon the presence or identity of the third partner. To determine if the dynamics of plant-AMF and plant-rhizobia interactions are affected by the alternate symbiont, we manipulated the presence and identity of each symbiont, as well as levels of the nutrients supplied by each symbiont (nitrogen and phosphorus), on the growth of prairie legume Amorpha canescens. We found strong synergistic effects of AMF and rhizobia inoculation on plant biomass production that were independent of nutrient levels. AMF and rhizobia responses were each influenced by the other, but not in the same direction. AMF infection increased root nodule number and mass, but rhizobia inoculation decreased AMF hyphal colonization of roots. The relative benefits of each combination of symbionts depended upon phosphorus level. The effect of nitrogen was also contingent on the biotic environment where nitrogen addition decreased nodulation, but this decrease was reduced with coinfection by AMF. Our results demonstrate a strong contingency on the co-occurrence of AMF and rhizobia for the long-term fitness of A. canescens, and suggest that the belowground community is critical for the success of this species in tallgrass prairies.

  3. Principal aspects of the Ordovician biotic radiation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    The Ordovician radiation is among the major bioevents in earth history that have drawn great attention from geologists all over the world, and there have been hundreds of publications treating various aspects of this radiation. The study of the event involves a broad spectrum of research fields and concerns many scientific questions. Many opinions and hypotheses have been proposed on the triggering and controlling factors of the radiation. Herein the authors critically review the study of the Ordovician radiation and dissect four principal aspects by synthesizing the studies over the past years: (1) relationships of the radiation to fossil clades, ecotypes, and environments, such as water depth, latitude, and climate; (2) the ecological structure and food webs of Ordovician marine organisms; (3) fossil records and true biodiversities; and (4) likely triggering and controlling factors of the Ordovician radiation. The authors also recommend approaches to furthering studies of these aspects.

  4. Extracellular fibrils of pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus gattii are important for ecological niche, murine virulence and human neutrophil interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah J Springer

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus gattii, an emerging fungal pathogen of humans and animals, is found on a variety of trees in tropical and temperate regions. The ecological niche and virulence of this yeast remain poorly defined. We used Arabidopsis thaliana plants and plant-derived substrates to model C. gattii in its natural habitat. Yeast cells readily colonized scratch-wounded plant leaves and formed distinctive extracellular fibrils (40-100 nm diameter x500-3000 nm length. Extracellular fibrils were observed on live plants and plant-derived substrates by scanning electron microscopy (SEM and by high voltage- EM (HVEM. Only encapsulated yeast cells formed extracellular fibrils as a capsule-deficient C. gattii mutant completely lacked fibrils. Cells deficient in environmental sensing only formed disorganized extracellular fibrils as apparent from experiments with a C. gattii STE12alpha mutant. C. gattii cells with extracellular fibrils were more virulent in murine model of pulmonary and systemic cryptococcosis than cells lacking fibrils. C. gattii cells with extracellular fibrils were also significantly more resistant to killing by human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN in vitro even though these PMN produced elaborate neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs. These observations suggest that extracellular fibril formation could be a structural adaptation of C. gattii for cell-to-cell, cell-to-substrate and/or cell-to- phagocyte communications. Such ecological adaptation of C. gattii could play roles in enhanced virulence in mammalian hosts at least initially via inhibition of host PMN- mediated killing.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Environmental status assessment using DNA metabarcoding: towards a genetics based Marine Biotic Index (gAMBI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylagas, Eva; Borja, Angel; Rodríguez-Ezpeleta, Naiara

    2014-01-01

    Marine ecosystem protection and conservation initiatives rely on the assessment of ecological integrity and health status of marine environments. The AZTI's Marine Biotic Index (AMBI), which consists on using macroinvertebrate diversity as indicator of ecosystem health, is used worldwide for this purpose. Yet, this index requires taxonomic assignment of specimens, which typically involves a time and resource consuming visual identification of each sample. DNA barcoding or metabarcoding are potential harmonized, faster and cheaper alternatives for species identification, although the suitability of these methods for easing the implementation of the AMBI is yet to be evaluated. Here, we analyze the requirements for the implementation of a genetics based AMBI (gAMBI), and show, using available sequence data, that information about presence/absence of the most frequently occurring species provides accurate AMBI values. Our results set the basics for the implementation of the gAMBI, which has direct implications for a faster and cheaper marine monitoring and health status assessment.

  9. 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...

  10. [Demography and human ecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazareth, J M

    1993-01-01

    At the end of the 19th century the German biologist Ernest Haekel was the first scientist to use the term ecology, which was defined as the study of relationships of organisms or groups of organisms with the environment and indicated the interdependence of the living world, including plants, animals, and humans. This concept also indicates a continuous process of adaptation of organisms to their external environment. The basic concepts of scientific ecology, which developed at the end of the 19th century, can be attributed to Darwin: the relationships between living beings and the notion of the process of adaptation to their environment. The term human ecology appeared in the early 1920s. Human ecology embodies fundamental ideas: biotype, habitat, community, biocenosis, ecosystem, biomass, interchange and equilibrium, and circulation of energy. The accumulated knowledge about human ecology is broken down using the criteria of topography (ecology of humid forests, deserts, lakes, etc.); followed by the appearance of species; and the variants of classical division: auto ecology (influence of external factors on living beings) and sinecology (the study of groups of associated organisms, i.e., natural, animal, and vegetation communities). The species are considered on the basis of equality or sinecology (all of them have the same interests), while in human ecology a species is determined by its relation to a reference group--autoecology or anthropocentric ecology. In 1911, J. Thompson bridged the gap between biological knowledge and social sciences; in 1921, H. Barrows identified human ecology as a component of geography; in 1925, L. Bernard presented the classification of ecosystems; and in 1936, Ezra Park published his work, Human Ecology, followed in 1945 by the emergence of the Chicago school. Demography and human ecology are intimately connected because population is the result of natural and migratory movements, therefore the two sciences require a methodology

  11. 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...

  12. TOPOLOGY DESIGN OPTIMIZATION BASED ON BIOTIC BRANCH NET

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ding Xiaohong; Li Guojie; Yamazaki Koestu

    2005-01-01

    The biotic branch nets are extreme high-tech product. In order to achieve a certain functional objective, they can adjust their growth direction and growth velocity by according to the varying growth environment. An innovative and effective methodology of topology design optimization based on the growth mechanism of biotic branch nets is suggested, and it is applied to a layout design problem of a conductive cooling channel in a heat transfer system. The effectiveness of the method is validated by the FEM analysis.

  13. Plants in Your Ants: Using Ant Mounds to Test Basic Ecological Principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettler, Jennifer A.; Collier, Alexander; Leidersdorf, Bil; Sanou, Missa Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Urban students often have limited access to field sites for ecological studies. Ubiquitous ants and their mounds can be used to study and test ecology-based questions. We describe how soil collected from ant mounds can be used to investigate how biotic factors (ants) can affect abiotic factors in the soil that can, in turn, influence plant growth.

  14. To manage inland fisheries is to manage at the social-ecological watershed scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Vivian M; Lynch, Abigail J; Young, Nathan; Cowx, Ian G; Beard, T Douglas; Taylor, William W; Cooke, Steven J

    2016-10-01

    Approaches to managing inland fisheries vary between systems and regions but are often based on large-scale marine fisheries principles and thus limited and outdated. Rarely do they adopt holistic approaches that consider the complex interplay among humans, fish, and the environment. We argue that there is an urgent need for a shift in inland fisheries management towards holistic and transdisciplinary approaches that embrace the principles of social-ecological systems at the watershed scale. The interconnectedness of inland fisheries with their associated watershed (biotic, abiotic, and humans) make them extremely complex and challenging to manage and protect. For this reason, the watershed is a logical management unit. To assist management at this scale, we propose a framework that integrates disparate concepts and management paradigms to facilitate inland fisheries management and sustainability. We contend that inland fisheries need to be managed as social-ecological watershed system (SEWS). The framework supports watershed-scale and transboundary governance to manage inland fisheries, and transdisciplinary projects and teams to ensure relevant and applicable monitoring and research. We discuss concepts of social-ecological feedback and interactions of multiple stressors and factors within/between the social-ecological systems. Moreover, we emphasize that management, monitoring, and research on inland fisheries at the watershed scale are needed to ensure long-term sustainable and resilient fisheries.

  15. 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

  16. Ecological Perspectives in HCI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blevis, Eli; Bødker, Susanne; Flach, John;

    The aim of the workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss the present and future of ecological perspectives in HCI. The participants will reflect on the current uses and interpretations of “ecology” and related concepts in the field. The workshop will assess...... the potential of ecological perspectives in HCI for supporting rich and meaningful analysis, as well as innovative design, of interactive technologies in real-life contexts...

  17. Elucidating biotic factors that influence assembly of fungal endophyte communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most plants harbor a diverse assemblage of non-mycorrhizal fungal endophytes. These fungi can directly influence the host plant, and can instigate trophic cascades that affect surrounding communities of herbivores, plants, and animals. Despite this, biotic mechanisms that influence assembly of funga...

  18. 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.

  19. Biotic modifiers, environmental modulation and species distribution models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linder, H. Peter; Bykova, Olga; Dyke, James; Etienne, Rampal S.; Hickler, Thomas; Kuehn, Ingolf; Marion, Glenn; Ohlemueller, Ralf; Schymanski, Stanislaus J.; Singer, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    The ability of species to modulate environmental conditions and resources has long been of interest. In the past three decades the impacts of these biotic modifiers have been investigated as ecosystem engineers, niche constructors, facilitators and keystone species. This environmental modulation can

  20. 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)

  1. Ecogenomics of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davila Olivas, N.H.

    2016-01-01

    Summary

    In natural and agricultural ecosystems, plants are exposed to a wide diversity of abiotic and biotic stresses such as drought, salinity, pathogens and insect herbivores. Under natural conditions, these stresses do not occur in isolation but commonly occur simultaneo

  2. Scaled biotic disruption during early Eocene global warming events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Gibbs

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Late Paleocene and early Eocene hyperthermals are transient global warming events associated with massive carbon injection or carbon redistribution in the ocean-atmosphere system, 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, including 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Relationship between bacterial diversity and function under biotic control: the soil pesticide degraders as a case study

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    In soil, the way biotic parameters impact the relationship between bacterial diversity and function is still unknown. To understand these interactions better, we used RNA-based stable-isotope probing to study the diversity of active atrazine-degrading bacteria in relation to atrazine degradation and to explore the impact of earthworm-soil engineering with respect to this relationship. Bulk soil, burrow linings and earthworm casts were incubated with 13C-atrazine. The pollutant degradation was...

  6. Chemical ecology of marine plankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Emily R; Poulin, Remington X; Mojib, Nazia; Kubanek, Julia

    2016-07-28

    Covering: January 2013 to online publication December 2014This review summarizes recent research in the chemical ecology of marine pelagic ecosystems, and aims to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the field in the time period covered. In order to highlight the role of chemical cues and toxins in plankton ecology this review has been organized by ecological interaction types starting with intraspecific interactions, then interspecific interactions (including facilitation and mutualism, host-parasite, allelopathy, and predator-prey), and finally community and ecosystem-wide interactions.

  7. The second skin: Ecological role of epibiotic biofilms on marine organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin eWahl

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In the aquatic environment, biofilms on solid surfaces are omnipresent. The outer body surface of marine organisms often represents a highly active interface between host and biofilm. Since biofilms on living surfaces have the capacity to affect the fluxes of information, energy and matter across the host’s body surface, they have an important ecological potential to modulate the abiotic and biotic interactions of the host. Here we review existing evidence how marine epibiotic biofilms affect their hosts’ ecology by altering the properties of and processes across its outer surfaces. Biofilms have a huge potential to reduce its host’s access to light, gases and/or nutrients and modulate the host’s interaction with further foulers, consumers or pathogens. These effects of epibiotic biofilms may be intensely interact with environmental conditions. The quality of a biofilm’s impact on the host may vary from detrimental to beneficial according to the identity of the epibiotic partners, the type of interaction considered and prevailing environmental conditions. The review concludes with some unresolved but important questions and future perspectives.

  8. 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.

  9. Patterns in salt-marsh ecosystems: the role of biotic and abiotic forcings

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Marani, M.

    2010-12-01

    The dynamics of salt-marsh ecosystems are governed by interacting physical and biological processes, whose intertwined feedbacks critically affect the evolution. Salt marshes are characterised by complex patterns, both in their geomorphic and biological features, arising through the elaboration of a network structure driven by the tidal forcing and through the interaction between hydrodynamical, geophysical, and biological components. The complexity observed in tidal geomorphological patterns is deemed to arise from the mutual influence of biotic and abiotic components. The results from a 2D numerical model, accounting for biotic and geomorphic processes, show that the average marsh elevation within the tidal frame decreases with increasing rates of sea-level rise, decreasing sediment availability, and decreasing vegetation productivity. The spatial variability in platform elevations and biomass distribution, increases with increasing rates of sea-level rise, increasing sediment availability, and decreasing vegetation productivity. Supply-limited settings tend to develop uniform marsh surface elevations and biomass distribution, whereas supply-rich settings tend to develop sedimentation patterns characterized by large heterogeneities. Our analyses also suggest that the fate of tidal landforms and their possible geomorphological restoration should be addressed through approaches which explicitly incorporate bio-morphodynamic processes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Ecology of the African Maize Stalk Borer, Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) with Special Reference to Insect-Plant Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calatayud, Paul-André; Le Ru, Bruno P; van den Berg, Johnnie; Schulthess, Fritz

    2014-07-08

    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.

  14. The effect of networked social interactions on the attainability of the safe operating space in a stylized social-ecological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barfuss, Wolfram; Donges, Jonathan; Wiedermann, Marc; Lucht, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Humanity depends on the resources ecosystems provide. Especially in the last century, human activities have changed the relationship between nature and society at a global scale. Here, we study this interdependent relationship with a generic model of the coevolution of individual resource use and social preference formation. The latter is an adaptive network process based on two social key interactions beyond economic paradigms: imitation and homophily. The individual resources follow a logistically growing stock harvested with either a sustainable (small) or non-sustainable (large) effort. We are able to show that these kinds of social processes can have a profound influence on environmental state, such as determining whether the regional renewable resources collapse from overuse or not. We demonstrate additionally that heterogeneously distributed resource capacities among the nodes of the network shift the critical social parameters where this resource extraction system collapses. We make these points to argue that, in more elaborate and sophisticated implementations, such social phenomena as well as heterogeneities should receive attention in social-ecological systems models as well as Earth system and integrated assessment models. It is a necessary first step to better understand the underlying dynamics and interactions of planetary boundaries and the safe and just operating space for humanity.

  15. Enhancing crop resilience to combined abiotic and biotic stress through the dissection of physiological and molecular crosstalk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kissoudis, Christos; van de Wiel, Clemens; Visser, Richard G F; van der Linden, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Plants growing in their natural habitats are often challenged simultaneously by multiple stress factors, both abiotic and biotic. Research has so far been limited to responses to individual stresses, and understanding of adaptation to combinatorial stress is limited, but indicative of non-additive interactions. Omics data analysis and functional characterization of individual genes has revealed a convergence of signaling pathways for abiotic and biotic stress adaptation. Taking into account that most data originate from imposition of individual stress factors, this review summarizes these findings in a physiological context, following the pathogenesis timeline and highlighting potential differential interactions occurring between abiotic and biotic stress signaling across the different cellular compartments and at the whole plant level. Potential effects of abiotic stress on resistance components such as extracellular receptor proteins, R-genes and systemic acquired resistance will be elaborated, as well as crosstalk at the levels of hormone, reactive oxygen species, and redox signaling. Breeding targets and strategies are proposed focusing on either manipulation and deployment of individual common regulators such as transcription factors or pyramiding of non- (negatively) interacting components such as R-genes with abiotic stress resistance genes. We propose that dissection of broad spectrum stress tolerance conferred by priming chemicals may provide an insight on stress cross regulation and additional candidate genes for improving crop performance under combined stress. Validation of the proposed strategies in lab and field experiments is a first step toward the goal of achieving tolerance to combinatorial stress in crops.

  16. Enhancing crop resilience to combined abiotic and biotic stress through the dissection of physiological and molecular crosstalk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christos eKissoudis

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Plants growing in their natural habitats are often challenged simultaneously by multiple stress factors, both abiotic and biotic. Research has so far been limited to responses to individual stresses, and understanding of adaptation to combinatorial stress is limited, but indicative of non-additive interactions. Omics data analysis and functional characterization of individual genes has revealed a convergence of signalling pathways for abiotic and biotic stress adaptation. Taking into account that most data originate from imposition of individual stress factors, this review summarizes these findings in a physiological context, following the pathogenesis timeline and highlighting potential differential interactions occurring between abiotic and biotic stress signalling across the different cellular compartments and at the whole plant level. Potential effects of abiotic stress on resistance components such as extracellular receptor proteins, R-genes and systemic acquired resistance will be elaborated, as well as crosstalk at the levels of hormone, ROS and redox signalling. Breeding targets and strategies are proposed focusing on either manipulation and deployment of individual common regulators such as transcription factors or pyramiding of non- (negatively interacting components such as R-genes with abiotic stress resistance genes. We propose that dissection of broad spectrum stress tolerance conferred by priming chemicals may provide an insight on stress cross regulation and additional candidate genes for improving crop performance under combined stress. Validation of the proposed strategies in lab and field experiments is a first step towards the goal of achieving tolerance to combinatorial stress in crops.

  17. A Generic Individual-Based Spatially Explicit Model as a Novel Tool for Investigating Insect-Plant Interactions: A Case Study of the Behavioural Ecology of Frugivorous Tephritidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Wang

    Full Text Available Computational modelling of mechanisms underlying processes in the real world can be of great value in understanding complex biological behaviours. Uptake in general biology and ecology has been rapid. However, it often requires specific data sets that are overly costly in time and resources to collect. The aim of the current study was to test whether a generic behavioural ecology model constructed using published data could give realistic outputs for individual species. An individual-based model was developed using the Pattern-Oriented Modelling (POM strategy and protocol, based on behavioural rules associated with insect movement choices. Frugivorous Tephritidae (fruit flies were chosen because of economic significance in global agriculture and the multiple published data sets available for a range of species. The Queensland fruit fly (Qfly, Bactrocera tryoni, was identified as a suitable individual species for testing. Plant canopies with modified architecture were used to run predictive simulations. A field study was then conducted to validate our model predictions on how plant architecture affects fruit flies' behaviours. Characteristics of plant architecture such as different shapes, e.g., closed-canopy and vase-shaped, affected fly movement patterns and time spent on host fruit. The number of visits to host fruit also differed between the edge and centre in closed-canopy plants. Compared to plant architecture, host fruit has less contribution to effects on flies' movement patterns. The results from this model, combined with our field study and published empirical data suggest that placing fly traps in the upper canopy at the edge should work best. Such a modelling approach allows rapid testing of ideas about organismal interactions with environmental substrates in silico rather than in vivo, to generate new perspectives. Using published data provides a saving in time and resources. Adjustments for specific questions can be achieved by

  18. 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.

  19. Chemical ecology of the marine plankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Jessie S; Poulson-Ellestad, Kelsey L; Drew Sieg, R; Poulin, Remington X; Kubanek, Julia

    2013-10-11

    This review summarizes recent work in the chemical ecology of pelagic marine ecosystems. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the field over the period covered, we have organized this review by ecological interaction type beginning with intraspecific interactions, then interspecific interactions (including mutualism, parasitism, competition, and predation), and finally community- and ecosystem-wide interactions.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Environmental changes define ecological limits to species richness and reveal the mode of macroevolutionary competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezard, Thomas H G; Purvis, Andy

    2016-08-01

    Co-dependent geological and climatic changes obscure how species interact in deep time. The interplay between these environmental factors makes it hard to discern whether ecological competition exerts an upper limit on species richness. Here, using the exceptional fossil record of Cenozoic Era macroperforate planktonic foraminifera, we assess the evidence for alternative modes of macroevolutionary competition. Our models support an environmentally dependent macroevolutionary form of contest competition that yields finite upper bounds on species richness. Models of biotic competition assuming unchanging environmental conditions were overwhelmingly rejected. In the best-supported model, temperature affects the per-lineage diversification rate, while both temperature and an environmental driver of sediment accumulation defines the upper limit. The support for contest competition implies that incumbency constrains species richness by restricting niche availability, and that the number of macroevolutionary niches varies as a function of environmental changes.

  3. Ecogenomics of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses

    OpenAIRE

    Davila Olivas, N.H.

    2016-01-01

    Summary In natural and agricultural ecosystems, plants are exposed to a wide diversity of abiotic and biotic stresses such as drought, salinity, pathogens and insect herbivores. Under natural conditions, these stresses do not occur in isolation but commonly occur simultaneously. However, plants have developed sophisticated mechanisms to survive and reproduce under suboptimal conditions. Genetic screenings and molecular genetic assays have shed light on the molecular players that provide resis...

  4. 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.

  5. Biotic immigration events, speciation, and the accumulation of biodiversity in the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stigall, Alycia L.; Bauer, Jennifer E.; Lam, Adriane R.; Wright, David F.

    2017-01-01

    Biotic Immigration Events (BIMEs) record the large-scale dispersal of taxa from one biogeographic area to another and have significantly impacted biodiversity throughout geologic time. BIMEs associated with biodiversity increases have been linked to ecologic and evolutionary processes including niche partitioning, species packing, and higher speciation rates. Yet substantial biodiversity decline has also been documented following BIMEs due to elevated extinction and/or reduced speciation rates. In this review, we develop a conceptual model for biodiversity accumulation that links BIMEs and geographic isolation with local (α) diversity, regional (β) diversity, and global (γ) diversity metrics. Within the model, BIME intervals are characterized by colonization of existing species within new geographic regions and a lack of successful speciation events. Thus, there is no change in γ-diversity, and α-diversity increases at the cost of β-diversity. An interval of regional isolation follows in which lineage splitting results in successful speciation events and diversity increases across all three metrics. Alternation of these two regimes can result in substantial biodiversity accumulation. We tested this conceptual model using a series of case studies from the paleontological record. We primarily focus on two intervals during the Middle through Late Ordovician Period (470-458 Ma): the globally pervasive BIMEs during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE) and a regional BIME, the Richmondian Invasion. We further test the conceptual model by examining the Great Devonian Interchange, Neogene mollusk migrations and diversification, and the Great American Biotic Interchange. Paleontological data accord well with model predictions. Constraining the mechanisms of biodiversity accumulation provides context for conservation biology. Because α-, β-, and γ-diversity are semi-independent, different techniques should be considered for sustaining various

  6. Sebkhet Karkura: an example of a semi-arid Mediterranean wetland rich in biotic sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdulsamad, Esam O.; Elbabour, Mansour M.

    2014-05-01

    Habitat wetlands in Libya may be grouped into several distinct varieties, according to climate, water supply, soils, and biotic diversity. They include coastal Sebkhas (salt marshes), karst lakes, Wadi estuaries, below sea-level desert lakes, and balat flats (playas) where the soil is saturated part of some rainy seasons forming a kind of ephemeral, shallow lakes in pre-desert areas. The most prominent, however, are the extensive coastal salt marshes. These have either organic or inorganic soils, or both, depending on their location and climate conditions. Soils common to most coastal wetlands are composed largely of inorganic material in the form of sand, silt, or clay; in addition to organic material formed by decayed plants and various biotic sediments. For the purpose of the present poster, however, Sebkhet Karkura, an extensive stretch of about 50 km square (20 km long by an average width of 2.5 km) of Sebkha/wetland formation, located about 80 km southwest of Benghazi, will serve as an example of coastal Sebkhas. Here, the sediments are consisting mostly of dark earth brown sandy silt with salt and gypsum. Pure-salt deposits are normally extracted for salt processing in the area. Loams, silt, gravel, and calcareous sand are also present. At the surface of the wetland, calcarenites are fairly common but sand-beach and sand-dunes are representing the major sediments along the coastal wetland area. The recent biotal components of these sediments are described and a number of recent small-sized benthic seashells, belonging to phylum mollusca, have been investigated along the seaside of Sabkhet Karkura and several species have been identified. It is worth noting that Sebkhet Karkura, as well as other similar coastal wetlands, currently face serious threats due to human action, especially over exploitation of their resources, urban encroachments, dredging, and solid waste dumping. Increased awareness on the part of the general public of wetland ecological values

  7. Integrating models to investigate critical phenological overlaps in complex ecological interactions: the mountain pine beetle-fungus symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addison, Audrey; Powell, James A; Bentz, Barbara J; Six, Diana L

    2015-03-07

    The fates of individual species are often tied to synchronization of phenology, however, few methods have been developed for integrating phenological models involving linked species. In this paper, we focus on mountain pine beetle (MPB, Dendroctonus ponderosae) and its two obligate mutualistic fungi, Grosmannia clavigera and Ophiostoma montium. Growth rates of all three partners are driven by temperature, and their idiosyncratic responses affect interactions at important life stage junctures. One critical phase for MPB-fungus symbiosis occurs just before dispersal of teneral (new) adult beetles, when fungi are acquired and transported in specialized structures (mycangia). Before dispersal, fungi must capture sufficient spatial resources within the tree to ensure contact with teneral adults and get packed into mycangia. Mycangial packing occurs at an unknown time during teneral feeding. We adapt thermal models predicting fungal growth and beetle development to predict overlap between the competing fungi and MPB teneral adult feeding windows and emergence. We consider a spectrum of mycangial packing strategies and describe them in terms of explicit functions with unknown parameters. Rates of growth are fixed by laboratory data, the unknown parameters describing various packing strategies, as well as the degree to which mycangial growth is slowed in woody tissues as compared to agar, are determined by maximum likelihood and two years of field observations. At the field location used, the most likely fungus acquisition strategy for MPB was packing mycangia just prior to emergence. Estimated model parameters suggested large differences in the relative growth rates of the two fungi in trees at the study site, with the most likely model estimating that G. clavigera grew approximately twenty-five times faster than O. montium under the bark, which is completely unexpected in comparison with observed fungal growth on agar.

  8. Use of Biotic Community Structure as a Measure of Ecological Degradation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The benthic macroinvertebrate communities of two lotic aquatic habitats, namely, the Churni River (C-R) and the Jalangi River (J-R) were compared in this study. One lotic aquatic system (C-R) was polluted by organic pollutants due to discharge of unprocessed sewage water, while the other (J-R) was not affected by such pollution. Evaluations of various physico-chemical properties of water, sediment and different macroinvertebrate communities of the two tropical lotic systems were done in a period from January, 2002 to December, 2003. A long term temporal change in the macroinvertebrate communities was recorded due to increase in sediment rH value. Sediment redox potential affected by the anthropogenic activities was found to be an important factor for alteration of macroinvertebrate communities in these aquatic ecosystems. A positive correlation has been established between rH and Margalef index in this study. Potassium and the total count of coliform bacteria in water showed significantly higher values for the polluted Churni River than those for the Jalangi River. Fig 3, Tab 4, Ref 34

  9. Ecological Status of a Patagonian Mountain River: Usefulness of Environmental and Biotic Metrics for Rehabilitation Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura, Miserendino M.; Adriana, M. Kutschker; Cecilia, Brand; La Ludmila, Manna; Cecilia, Prinzio Y. Di; Gabriela, Papazian; José, Bava

    2016-06-01

    This work evaluates the consequences of anthropogenic pressures at different sections of a Patagonian mountain river using a set of environmental and biological measures. A map of risk of soil erosion at a basin scale was also produced. The study was conducted at 12 sites along the Percy River system, where physicochemical parameters, riparian ecosystem quality, habitat condition, plants, and macroinvertebrates were investigated. While livestock and wood collection, the dominant activities at upper and mean basin sites resulted in an important loss of the forest cover still the riparian ecosystem remains in a relatively good status of conservation, as do the in-stream habitat conditions and physicochemical features. Besides, most indicators based on macroinvertebrates revealed that both upper and middle basin sections supported similar assemblages, richness, density, and most functional feeding group attributes. Instead, the lower urbanized basin showed increases in conductivity and nutrient values, poor quality in the riparian ecosystem, and habitat condition. According to the multivariate analysis, ammonia level, elevation, current velocity, and habitat conditions had explanatory power on benthos assemblages. Discharge, naturalness of the river channel, flood plain morphology, conservation status, and percent of urban areas were important moderators of plant composition. Finally, although the present land use in the basin would not produce a significant risk of soil erosion, unsustainable practices that promotes the substitution of the forest for shrubs would lead to severe consequences. Mitigation efforts should be directed to protect headwater forest, restore altered riparian ecosystem, and to control the incipient eutrophication process.

  10. 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.

  11. The dimensionality of ecological networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eklöf, Anna; Jacob, Ute; Kopp, Jason;

    2013-01-01

    How many dimensions (trait-axes) are required to predict whether two species interact? This unanswered question originated with the idea of ecological niches, and yet bears relevance today for understanding what determines network structure. Here, we analyse a set of 200 ecological networks, incl...

  12. Global change, parasite transmission and disease control: lessons from ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boag, Brian; Ellison, Amy R.; Morgan, Eric R.; Murray, Kris; Pascoe, Emily L.; Sait, Steven M.; Booth, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Parasitic infections are ubiquitous in wildlife, livestock and human populations, and healthy ecosystems are often parasite rich. Yet, their negative impacts can be extreme. Understanding how both anticipated and cryptic changes in a system might affect parasite transmission at an individual, local and global level is critical for sustainable control in humans and livestock. Here we highlight and synthesize evidence regarding potential effects of ‘system changes’ (both climatic and anthropogenic) on parasite transmission from wild host–parasite systems. Such information could inform more efficient and sustainable parasite control programmes in domestic animals or humans. Many examples from diverse terrestrial and aquatic natural systems show how abiotic and biotic factors affected by system changes can interact additively, multiplicatively or antagonistically to influence parasite transmission, including through altered habitat structure, biodiversity, host demographics and evolution. Despite this, few studies of managed systems explicitly consider these higher-order interactions, or the subsequent effects of parasite evolution, which can conceal or exaggerate measured impacts of control actions. We call for a more integrated approach to investigating transmission dynamics, which recognizes these complexities and makes use of new technologies for data capture and monitoring, and to support robust predictions of altered parasite dynamics in a rapidly changing world. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289256

  13. Metabolomics in chemical ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlisch, Constanze; Pohnert, Georg

    2015-07-01

    Chemical ecology elucidates the nature and role of natural products as mediators of organismal interactions. The emerging techniques that can be summarized under the concept of metabolomics provide new opportunities to study such environmentally relevant signaling molecules. Especially comparative tools in metabolomics enable the identification of compounds that are regulated during interaction situations and that might play a role as e.g. pheromones, allelochemicals or in induced and activated defenses. This approach helps overcoming limitations of traditional bioassay-guided structure elucidation approaches. But the power of metabolomics is not limited to the comparison of metabolic profiles of interacting partners. Especially the link to other -omics techniques helps to unravel not only the compounds in question but the entire biosynthetic and genetic re-wiring, required for an ecological response. This review comprehensively highlights successful applications of metabolomics in chemical ecology and discusses existing limitations of these novel techniques. It focuses on recent developments in comparative metabolomics and discusses the use of metabolomics in the systems biology of organismal interactions. It also outlines the potential of large metabolomics initiatives for model organisms in the field of chemical ecology.

  14. 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.

  15. From Ecological Sounding Artifacts Towards Sonic Artifact Ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erkut, Cumhur; Serafin, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    The discipline of sonic interaction design has been focused on the interaction between a single user and an artifact. This strongly limits one of the fundamental aspects of music as a social and interactive experience. In this paper we propose sonic artifact ecologies as a mean to examine...

  16. Identifying biotic integrity and water chemistry relations in nonwadeable rivers of Wisconsin: Toward the development of nutrient criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigel, B.M.; Robertson, D.M.

    2007-01-01

    variation to interactions among the categories. In contrast, partial RDA attributed much of the explained variation to the nutrient (25%) and other water chemistry (38%) categories for the fish model. Our analyses suggest that it would be beneficial to develop criteria based upon a suite of biotic and nutrient variables simultaneously to deem waters as not meeting their designated uses. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  17. Ecological Inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Gary; Rosen, Ori; Tanner, Martin A.

    2004-09-01

    This collection of essays brings together a diverse group of scholars to survey the latest strategies for solving ecological inference problems in various fields. The last half-decade has witnessed an explosion of research in ecological inference--the process of trying to infer individual behavior from aggregate data. Although uncertainties and information lost in aggregation make ecological inference one of the most problematic types of research to rely on, these inferences are required in many academic fields, as well as by legislatures and the Courts in redistricting, by business in marketing research, and by governments in policy analysis.

  18. Structuring factors of the spatio-temporal variability of macrozoobenthos assemblages in a southern Mediterranean lagoon: How useful for bioindication is a multi-biotic indices approach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khedhri, Ines; Afli, Ahmed; Aleya, Lotfi

    2017-01-15

    The authors investigated the impact of the extension of the El Kantra Channel on the composition and structure of macrobenthic assemblages in Boughrara Lagoon (Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia along with the use of 4 biotic indices (AMBI, BENTIX, M-AMBI and TUBI). Thirteen stations were sampled seasonally in 2012-2013. Forty-one species were found in 2012-2013 not recorded in 2009-2010, including 20 species of polychaetes belonging to the trophic groups of deposit-feeders and carnivores which are expected to increase in areas disturbed by organic pollution. During the survey, we recorded a high fish mortality, essentially caused by the development of harmful algal blooms (HAB) which increased organic matter deposition, thus inducing polychaete development. This seems to weaken the bio-indicating power of biotic indices used here which, paradoxically, classified all sampled stations at a high ecological status. A review of these indices and their applicability to all marine environments is recommended.

  19. Predator-guided sampling reveals biotic structure in the bathypelagic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Southall, Brandon L; Moline, Mark A

    2016-02-24

    We targeted a habitat used differentially by deep-diving, air-breathing predators to empirically sample their prey's distributions off southern California. Fine-scale measurements of the spatial variability of potential prey animals from the surface to 1,200 m were obtained using conventional fisheries echosounders aboard a surface ship and uniquely integrated into a deep-diving autonomous vehicle. Significant spatial variability in the size, composition, total biomass, and spatial organization of biota was evident over all spatial scales examined and was consistent with the general distribution patterns of foraging Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) observed in separate studies. Striking differences found in prey characteristics between regions at depth, however, did not reflect differences observed in surface layers. These differences in deep pelagic structure horizontally and relative to surface structure, absent clear physical differences, change our long-held views of this habitat as uniform. The revelation that animals deep in the water column are so spatially heterogeneous at scales from 10 m to 50 km critically affects our understanding of the processes driving predator-prey interactions, energy transfer, biogeochemical cycling, and other ecological processes in the deep sea, and the connections between the productive surface mixed layer and the deep-water column.

  20. Simple processes drive unpredictable differences in estuarine fish assemblages: Baselines for understanding site-specific ecological and anthropogenic impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheaves, Marcus

    2016-03-01

    Predicting patterns of abundance and composition of biotic assemblages is essential to our understanding of key ecological processes, and our ability to monitor, evaluate and manage assemblages and ecosystems. Fish assemblages often vary from estuary to estuary in apparently unpredictable ways, making it challenging to develop a general understanding of the processes that determine assemblage composition. This makes it problematic to transfer understanding from one estuary situation to another and therefore difficult to assemble effective management plans or to assess the impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbance. Although system-to-system variability is a common property of ecological systems, rather than being random it is the product of complex interactions of multiple causes and effects at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. I investigate the drivers of differences in estuary fish assemblages, to develop a simple model explaining the diversity and complexity of observed estuary-to-estuary differences, and explore its implications for management and conservation. The model attributes apparently unpredictable differences in fish assemblage composition from estuary to estuary to the interaction of species-specific, life history-specific and scale-specific processes. In explaining innate faunal differences among estuaries without the need to invoke complex ecological or anthropogenic drivers, the model provides a baseline against which the effects of additional natural and anthropogenic factors can be evaluated.

  1. Abiotic Versus Biotic Weathering Of Olivine As Possible Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longazo, Teresa G.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Clemett, Simon J.; Southam, Gordon; McKay, David S.

    2001-01-01

    We are investigating the weathering of silicate minerals by both purely inorganic, and biologically mediated processes using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). By resolving surface textures and chemical compositions of weathered surfaces at the sub-micron scale we hope to be able to distinguish abiotic from biotic weathering processes and so establish a new biosignature applicable to the study of astromaterials including but not limited to the Martian meteorites. Sterilized olivine grains (San Carlos, Arizona) no more than 1-2 mm in their longest dimension were optically assayed to be uniform in color and free of inclusions were selected as weathering subjects. Prior to all experiments surface morphologies and Fe/Mg ratios were determined for each grain using FE-SEM and EDS. Experiments were divided into two categories abiotic and biotic and were compared with "naturally" weathered samples. For the preliminary experiments, two trials (open and closed to the ambient laboratory environment) were performed under abiotic conditions, and three trials under biotic conditions (control, day 1 and day 2). The open system abiotic trials used sterile grains heated at 98 C and 200 C for both 24 and 48 hours in 1L double distilled de-ionized water. The closed system abiotic trials were conducted under the same conditions but in a sealed two layer steel/Teflon "bomb" apparatus. The biotic trials used sterile grains mounted in a flow-through device attached to a wellhead on the Columbia River aquifer. Several discolored, altered, grains were selected to document "natural" weathering surface textures for comparison with the experimental samples. Preliminary results indicate there are qualitative differences in weathered surface textures among all the designed experiments. The olivine grains in abiotic trials displayed etching, pitting, denticulate margins, dissolution and clay formation. The scale of the features

  2. Offshore Fish Community: Ecological Interactions

    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...

  3. Ecological Modernization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2006-01-01

    The Encyclopedia of Globalization provides a thorough understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of globalization as well as the various historical and analytical interpretations. Consisting of over 400 entries, coverage includes key cultural, ecological, economic, geographical, historical, poli

  4. Cognitive ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Edwin

    2010-10-01

    Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson's ecological psychology, Bateson's ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science.

  5. Abiotic and Biotic Mechanisms Controlling In Situ Remediation of NDMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-05-01

    of microbiota in removing potentially oxidizing species such as nitrate or oxygen. Alternatively, the biotic pathway may be more significant 0 20...than previously shown at pH 10.5 (Figures 4.6 and 4.10; half-life as fast as 8 hours) due to a smaller sediment/water ratio used in the...primarily abiotic, as described in previous experi- ments (Figure 4.36). NDMA mineraliza- tion was surprisingly fast , with an average half-life of 410

  6. Biotic homogenization can decrease landscape-scale forest multifunctionality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Pete; Soliveres, Santiago;

    2016-01-01

    -diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality were always positive, because a high spatial turnover in species composition was closely related to a high spatial turnover in functions that were supported at high levels. Our findings have major implications for forest management and indicate that biotic homogenization...... a comprehensive pan-European dataset, including 16 ecosystem functions measured in 209 forest plots across six European countries, and performed simulations to investigate how local plot-scale richness of tree species (α-diversity) and their turnover between plots (β-diversity) are related to landscape...

  7. Mismatch in microbial food webs: predators but not prey perform better in their local biotic and abiotic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parain, Elodie C; Gravel, Dominique; Rohr, Rudolf P; Bersier, Louis-Félix; Gray, Sarah M

    2016-07-01

    Understanding how trophic levels respond to changes in abiotic and biotic conditions is key for predicting how food webs will react to environmental perturbations. Different trophic levels may respond disproportionately to change, with lower levels more likely to react faster, as they typically consist of smaller-bodied species with higher reproductive rates. This response could cause a mismatch between trophic levels, in which predators and prey will respond differently to changing abiotic or biotic conditions. This mismatch between trophic levels could result in altered top-down and bottom-up control and changes in interaction strength. To determine the possibility of a mismatch, we conducted a reciprocal-transplant experiment involving Sarracenia purpurea food webs consisting of bacterial communities as prey and a subset of six morphologically similar protozoans as predators. We used a factorial design with four temperatures, four bacteria and protozoan biogeographic origins, replicated four times. This design allowed us to determine how predator and prey dynamics were altered by abiotic (temperature) conditions and biotic (predators paired with prey from either their local or non-local biogeographic origin) conditions. We found that prey reached higher densities in warmer temperature regardless of their temperature of origin. Conversely, predators achieved higher densities in the temperature condition and with the prey from their origin. These results confirm that predators perform better in abiotic and biotic conditions of their origin while their prey do not. This mismatch between trophic levels may be especially significant under climate change, potentially disrupting ecosystem functioning by disproportionately affecting top-down and bottom-up control.

  8. The WRKY transcription factors in the diploid woodland strawberry Fragaria vesca: Identification and expression analysis under biotic and abiotic stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Hu, Yang; Han, Yong-Tao; Zhang, Kai; Zhao, Feng-Li; Feng, Jia-Yue

    2016-08-01

    WRKY proteins comprise a large family of transcription factors that play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses and in plant growth and development. To date, little is known about the WRKY gene family in strawberry. In this study, we identified 62 WRKY genes (FvWRKYs) in the wild diploid woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca, 2n = 2x = 14) accession Heilongjiang-3. According to the phylogenetic analysis and structural features, these identified strawberry FvWRKY genes were classified into three main groups. In addition, eight FvWRKY-GFP fusion proteins showed distinct subcellular localizations in Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts. Furthermore, we examined the expression of the 62 FvWRKY genes in 'Heilongjiang-3' under various conditions, including biotic stress (Podosphaera aphanis), abiotic stresses (drought, salt, cold, and heat), and hormone treatments (abscisic acid, ethephon, methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid). The expression levels of 33 FvWRKY genes were upregulated, while 12 FvWRKY genes were downregulated during powdery mildew infection. FvWRKY genes responded to drought and salt treatment to a greater extent than to temperature stress. Expression profiles derived from quantitative real-time PCR suggested that 11 FvWRKY genes responded dramatically to various stimuli at the transcriptional level, indicating versatile roles in responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Interaction networks revealed that the crucial pathways controlled by WRKY proteins may be involved in the differential response to biotic stress. Taken together, the present work may provide the basis for future studies of the genetic modification of WRKY genes for pathogen resistance and stress tolerance in strawberry.

  9. Inclusion of biotic stress (consumer pressure) alters predictions from the stress gradient hypothesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, Christian; Rietkerk, Max; Wassen, Martin J.

    2009-01-01

    The stress gradient hypothesis (SGH) predicts a shift from net negative interactions in benign environments towards net positive in harsh environments in ecological communities. While several studies found support for the SGH, others found evidence against it, leading to a debate on how nature and s

  10. Coevolutionary ecological economics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kallis, Giorgos [ICREA Researcher, ICTA, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, ETSE, QC/3095, 08193 Bellatera, Barcelona (Spain); Norgaard, Richard B. [Energy and Resources Group, University of California at Berkeley, 310 Barrows Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3050 (United States)

    2010-02-15

    This paper maps a coevolutionary research agenda for ecological economics. At an epistemological level coevolution offers a powerful logic for transcending environmental and social determinisms and developing a cross-disciplinary approach in the study of socio-ecological systems. We identify four consistent stories emerging out of coevolutionary studies in ecological economics, concerning: environmental degradation and development failure in peripheral regions; the lock-in of unsustainable production-consumption patterns; the vicious cycle between human efforts to control undesirable micro-organisms and the evolution of these organisms; and the adaptive advantages of other-regarding, cooperative behaviors and institutions. We identify challenges in the conceptualization of coevolutionary relationships in relation to: the interaction between different hierarchical levels of evolution; the role of space and social power; uneven rates of change and crises. We conclude with the political implications of a coevolutionary perspective based on the premises of pragmatism. (author)

  11. Regulation of Translation Initiation under Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B. Castro-Sanz

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants have developed versatile strategies to deal with the great variety of challenging conditions they are exposed to. Among them, the regulation of translation is a common target to finely modulate gene expression both under biotic and abiotic stress situations. Upon environmental challenges, translation is regulated to reduce the consumption of energy and to selectively synthesize proteins involved in the proper establishment of the tolerance response. In the case of viral infections, the situation is more complex, as viruses have evolved unconventional mechanisms to regulate translation in order to ensure the production of the viral encoded proteins using the plant machinery. Although the final purpose is different, in some cases, both plants and viruses share common mechanisms to modulate translation. In others, the mechanisms leading to the control of translation are viral- or stress-specific. In this paper, we review the different mechanisms involved in the regulation of translation initiation under virus infection and under environmental stress in plants. In addition, we describe the main features within the viral RNAs and the cellular mRNAs that promote their selective translation in plants undergoing biotic and abiotic stress situations.

  12. Biotic and abiotic carbon to sulfur bond cleavage. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frost, J.W.

    1994-05-01

    The microbial desulfurization of organosulfur compounds occurs by unprecedented and largely unexplored biochemical processes. A study of such biotic desulfurizations can be expected to give rise to new and useful chemistry and enzymology. The potential value of understanding and harnessing these processes is seen in relation to the need for methods for the removal of organically bound sulfur from coal and the degradation of organic sulfur-containing pollutants. This research effort has been directed towards an examination of desulfurization ability in well characterized microorganisms, the isolation of bacteria with desulfurization ability from natural sources, the characterization and mechanistic evaluation of the observed biocatalytic processes, the development of biomimetic synthetic organic chemistry based on biotic desulfurization mechanisms and the design and preparation of improved coal model compounds for use in microbial selection processes. A systematic approach to studying biodesulfurizations was undertaken in which organosulfur compounds have been broken down into classes based on the oxidation state of the sulfur atom and the structure of the rest of the organic material. Microbes have been evaluated in terms of ability to degrade organosulfur compounds with sulfur in its sulfonic acid oxidation state. These compounds are likely intermediates in coal desulfurization and are present in the environment as persistent pollutants in the form of detergents. It is known that oxygen bonded to sulfur lowers the carbon-sulfur bond energy, providing a thermodynamic basis for starting with this class of compounds.

  13. Impact of biotic and abiotic stresses on the competitive ability of multiple herbicide resistant wild oat (Avena fatua.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik A Lehnhoff

    Full Text Available Ecological theory predicts that fitness costs of herbicide resistance should lead to the reduced relative abundance of resistant populations upon the cessation of herbicide use. This greenhouse research investigated the potential fitness costs of two multiple herbicide resistant (MHR wild oat (Avena fatua populations, an economically important weed that affects cereal and pulse crop production in the Northern Great Plains of North America. We compared the competitive ability of two MHR and two herbicide susceptible (HS A. fatua populations along a gradient of biotic and abiotic stresses The biotic stress was imposed by three levels of wheat (Triticum aestivum competition (0, 4, and 8 individuals pot(-1 and an abiotic stress by three nitrogen (N fertilization rates (0, 50 and 100 kg N ha(-1. Data were analyzed with linear mixed-effects models and results showed that the biomass of all A. fatua populations decreased with increasing T. aestivum competition at all N rates. Similarly, A. fatua relative growth rate (RGR decreased with increasing T. aestivum competition at the medium and high N rates but there was no response with 0 N. There were no differences between the levels of biomass or RGR of HS and MHR populations in response to T. aestivum competition. Overall, the results indicate that MHR does not confer growth-related fitness costs in these A. fatua populations, and that their relative abundance will not be diminished with respect to HS populations in the absence of herbicide treatment.

  14. Impact of biotic and abiotic stresses on the competitive ability of multiple herbicide resistant wild oat (Avena fatua).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnhoff, Erik A; Keith, Barbara K; Dyer, William E; Menalled, Fabian D

    2013-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that fitness costs of herbicide resistance should lead to the reduced relative abundance of resistant populations upon the cessation of herbicide use. This greenhouse research investigated the potential fitness costs of two multiple herbicide resistant (MHR) wild oat (Avena fatua) populations, an economically important weed that affects cereal and pulse crop production in the Northern Great Plains of North America. We compared the competitive ability of two MHR and two herbicide susceptible (HS) A. fatua populations along a gradient of biotic and abiotic stresses The biotic stress was imposed by three levels of wheat (Triticum aestivum) competition (0, 4, and 8 individuals pot(-1)) and an abiotic stress by three nitrogen (N) fertilization rates (0, 50 and 100 kg N ha(-1)). Data were analyzed with linear mixed-effects models and results showed that the biomass of all A. fatua populations decreased with increasing T. aestivum competition at all N rates. Similarly, A. fatua relative growth rate (RGR) decreased with increasing T. aestivum competition at the medium and high N rates but there was no response with 0 N. There were no differences between the levels of biomass or RGR of HS and MHR populations in response to T. aestivum competition. Overall, the results indicate that MHR does not confer growth-related fitness costs in these A. fatua populations, and that their relative abundance will not be diminished with respect to HS populations in the absence of herbicide treatment.

  15. Biotic and abiotic variables influencing plant litter breakdown in streams: a global study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyero, Luz; Pearson, Richard G; Hui, Cang; Gessner, Mark O; Pérez, Javier; Alexandrou, Markos A; Graça, Manuel A S; Cardinale, Bradley J; Albariño, Ricardo J; Arunachalam, Muthukumarasamy; Barmuta, Leon A; Boulton, Andrew J; Bruder, Andreas; Callisto, Marcos; Chauvet, Eric; Death, Russell G; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea C; Ferreira, Verónica; Figueroa, Ricardo; Flecker, Alexander S; Gonçalves, José F; Helson, Julie; Iwata, Tomoya; Jinggut, Tajang; Mathooko, Jude; Mathuriau, Catherine; M'Erimba, Charles; Moretti, Marcelo S; Pringle, Catherine M; Ramírez, Alonso; Ratnarajah, Lavenia; Rincon, José; Yule, Catherine M

    2016-04-27

    Plant litter breakdown is a key ecological process in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Streams and rivers, in particular, contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes. However, there is little information available on the relative roles of different drivers of plant litter breakdown in fresh waters, particularly at large scales. We present a global-scale study of litter breakdown in streams to compare the roles of biotic, climatic and other environmental factors on breakdown rates. We conducted an experiment in 24 streams encompassing latitudes from 47.8° N to 42.8° S, using litter mixtures of local species differing in quality and phylogenetic diversity (PD), and alder (Alnus glutinosa) to control for variation in litter traits. Our models revealed that breakdown of alder was driven by climate, with some influence of pH, whereas variation in breakdown of litter mixtures was explained mainly by litter quality and PD. Effects of litter quality and PD and stream pH were more positive at higher temperatures, indicating that different mechanisms may operate at different latitudes. These results reflect global variability caused by multiple factors, but unexplained variance points to the need for expanded global-scale comparisons.

  16. Identifying Watershed, Landscape, and Engineering Design Factors that Influence the Biotic Condition of Restored Streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Doll

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Restored stream reaches at 79 sites across North Carolina were sampled for aquatic macroinvertebrates using a rapid bioassessment protocol. Morphological design parameters and geographic factors, including watershed and landscape parameters (e.g., valley slope, substrate, were also compiled for these streams. Principal component regression analyses revealed correlations between design and landscape variables with macroinvertebrate metrics. The correlations were strengthened by adding watershed variables. Ridge regression was used to find the best-fit model for predicting dominant taxa from the “pollution sensitive” orders of Ephemeroptera (mayflies, Plecoptera (stoneflies, and Trichoptera (caddisflies, or EPT taxa, resulting in coefficient weights that were most interpretable relative to site selection and design parameters. Results indicate that larger (wider streams located in the mountains and foothills where there are steeper valleys, larger substrate, and undeveloped watersheds are expected to have higher numbers of dominant EPT taxa. In addition, EPT taxa numbers are positively correlated with accessible floodplain width and negatively correlated with width-to-depth ratio and sinuosity. This study indicates that both site selection and design should be carefully considered in order to maximize the resulting biotic condition and associated potential ecological uplift of the stream.

  17. Microbes and mass extinctions: paleoenvironmental distribution of microbialites during times of biotic crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mata, S A; Bottjer, D J

    2012-01-01

    Widespread development of microbialites characterizes the substrate and ecological response during the aftermath of two of the 'big five' mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic. This study reviews the microbial response recorded by macroscopic microbial structures to these events to examine how extinction mechanism may be linked to the style of microbialite development. Two main styles of response are recognized: (i) the expansion of microbialites into environments not previously occupied during the pre-extinction interval and (ii) increases in microbialite abundance and attainment of ecological dominance within environments occupied prior to the extinction. The Late Devonian biotic crisis contributed toward the decimation of platform margin reef taxa and was followed by increases in microbialite abundance in Famennian and earliest Carboniferous platform interior, margin, and slope settings. The end-Permian event records the suppression of infaunal activity and an elimination of metazoan-dominated reefs. The aftermath of this mass extinction is characterized by the expansion of microbialites into new environments including offshore and nearshore ramp, platform interior, and slope settings. The mass extinctions at the end of the Triassic and Cretaceous have not yet been associated with a macroscopic microbial response, although one has been suggested for the end-Ordovician event. The case for microbialites behaving as 'disaster forms' in the aftermath of mass extinctions accurately describes the response following the Late Devonian and end-Permian events, and this may be because each is marked by the reduction of reef communities in addition to a suppression of bioturbation related to the development of shallow-water anoxia.

  18. Biotic Acceptance in Introduced Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe and North America

    OpenAIRE

    Poessel, S. A.; Beard, Karen H.; Callahan, C. M.; Ferreira, R.B.; Cologgi, E. T.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: The biotic resistance hypothesis argues that complex plant and animal communities are more resistant to invasion than simpler communities. Conversely, the biotic acceptance hypothesis states that non-native and native species richness are positively related. Most tests of these hypotheses at continental scales, typically conducted on plants, have found support for biotic acceptance. We tested these hypotheses on both amphibians and reptiles across Europe and North America. Location: Cont...

  19. Ecological epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilvitis, Holly J; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Schrey, Aaron W; Robertson, Marta; Richards, Christina L

    2014-01-01

    Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.

  20. Molecular ecological network analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Ye

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the interaction among different species within a community and their responses to environmental changes is a central goal in ecology. However, defining the network structure in a microbial community is very challenging due to their extremely high diversity and as-yet uncultivated status. Although recent advance of metagenomic technologies, such as high throughout sequencing and functional gene arrays, provide revolutionary tools for analyzing microbial community structure, it is still difficult to examine network interactions in a microbial community based on high-throughput metagenomics data. Results Here, we describe a novel mathematical and bioinformatics framework to construct ecological association networks named molecular ecological networks (MENs through Random Matrix Theory (RMT-based methods. Compared to other network construction methods, this approach is remarkable in that the network is automatically defined and robust to noise, thus providing excellent solutions to several common issues associated with high-throughput metagenomics data. We applied it to determine the network structure of microbial communities subjected to long-term experimental warming based on pyrosequencing data of 16 S rRNA genes. We showed that the constructed MENs under both warming and unwarming conditions exhibited topological features of scale free, small world and modularity, which were consistent with previously described molecular ecological networks. Eigengene analysis indicated that the eigengenes represented the module profiles relatively well. In consistency with many other studies, several major environmental traits including temperature and soil pH were found to be important in determining network interactions in the microbial communities examined. To facilitate its application by the scientific community, all these methods and statistical tools have been integrated into a comprehensive Molecular Ecological

  1. Considerations in forecasting the demand for carbon sequestration and biotic storage technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trexler, M.C. [Trexler and Associates, Inc., Portland, OR (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified forestry and other land-use based mitigation measures as possible sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. An overview of sequestration and biotic storage is presented, and the potential impacts of the use of carbon sequestration as a mitigation technology are briefly noted. Carbon sequestration is also compare to other mitigation technologies. Biotic mitigation technologies are concluded to be a legitimate and potentially important part of greenhouse gas mitigation due to their relatively low costs, ancillary benefits, and climate impact. However, not all biotic mitigation techniques perfectly match the idealized definition of a mitigation measure, and policies are becoming increasingly biased against biotic technologies.

  2. Oceanic archipelagos: a perspective on the geodynamics and biogeography of the World’s smallest biotic provinces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kostas Triantis

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Since the contributions of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, oceanic archipelagos have played a central role in the development of biogeography. However, despite the critical influence of oceanic islands on ecological and evolutionary theory, our focus has remained limited to either the island-level of specific archipelagos or single archipelagos. Recently, it was proposed that oceanic archipelagos qualify as biotic provinces, with diversity primarily reflecting a balance between speciation and extinction, with colonization having a minor role. Here we focus on major attributes of the archipelagic geological dynamics that can affect diversity at both the island and the archipelagic level. We also re-affirm that oceanic archipelagos are appropriate spatiotemporal units to frame analyses in order to understand large scale patterns of biodiversity.

  3. Information Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Ellen Tove

    2006-01-01

    The paper describes a pedagogical didactical paradigm for teaching student-designers how to deal with context issues. Form/context-relationships are conceptualized as information ecologies and described as behavioral settings using a key concept developed by social psychologist R.A. Baker...... in the 1960ties, and chosen here because it integrates cultural and psychological trajectories in a theory of living settings. The pedagogical-didactical paradigm comprises three distinct information ecologies, named after their intended outcome: the problem-setting, the exploration-setting, and the fit......-setting. It is specified how context issues can be treated within each of these information ecologies. The paper concludes by discussing the outcome of applying this paradigm with respect to the student-designers’ competence as reflective practitioners....

  4. Ecological implications of behavioural syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sih, Andrew; Cote, Julien; Evans, Mara; Fogarty, Sean; Pruitt, Jonathan

    2012-03-01

    Interspecific trait variation has long served as a conceptual foundation for our understanding of ecological patterns and dynamics. In particular, ecologists recognise the important role that animal behaviour plays in shaping ecological processes. An emerging area of interest in animal behaviour, the study of behavioural syndromes (animal personalities) considers how limited behavioural plasticity, as well as behavioural correlations affects an individual's fitness in diverse ecological contexts. In this article we explore how insights from the concept and study of behavioural syndromes provide fresh understanding of major issues in population ecology. We identify several general mechanisms for how population ecology phenomena can be influenced by a species or population's average behavioural type, by within-species variation in behavioural type, or by behavioural correlations across time or across ecological contexts. We note, in particular, the importance of behavioural type-dependent dispersal in spatial ecology. We then review recent literature and provide new syntheses for how these general mechanisms produce novel insights on five major issues in population ecology: (1) limits to species' distribution and abundance; (2) species interactions; (3) population dynamics; (4) relative responses to human-induced rapid environmental change; and (5) ecological invasions.

  5. Dissolved and labile concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in the South Fork Coeur d'Alene River, Idaho: Comparisons among chemical equilibrium models and implications for biotic ligand models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balistrieri, L.S.; Blank, R.G.

    2008-01-01

    In order to evaluate thermodynamic speciation calculations inherent in biotic ligand models, the speciation of dissolved Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in aquatic systems influenced by historical mining activities is examined using equilibrium computer models and the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique. Several metal/organic-matter complexation models, including WHAM VI, NICA-Donnan, and Stockholm Humic model (SHM), are used in combination with inorganic speciation models to calculate the thermodynamic speciation of dissolved metals and concentrations of metal associated with biotic ligands (e.g., fish gills). Maximum dynamic metal concentrations, determined from total dissolved metal concentrations and thermodynamic speciation calculations, are compared with labile metal concentrations measured by DGT to assess which metal/organic-matter complexation model best describes metal speciation and, thereby, biotic ligand speciation, in the studied systems. Results indicate that the choice of model that defines metal/organic-matter interactions does not affect calculated concentrations of Cd and Zn associated with biotic ligands for geochemical conditions in the study area, whereas concentrations of Cu and Pb associated with biotic ligands depend on whether the speciation calculations use WHAM VI, NICA-Donnan, or SHM. Agreement between labile metal concentrations and dynamic metal concentrations occurs when WHAM VI is used to calculate Cu speciation and SHM is used to calculate Pb speciation. Additional work in systems that contain wide ranges in concentrations of multiple metals should incorporate analytical speciation methods, such as DGT, to constrain the speciation component of biotic ligand models. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Identification of genes involved in the response of Arabidopsis to simultaneous biotic and abiotic stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Nicky J; Lilley, Catherine J; Urwin, Peter E

    2013-08-01

    In field conditions, plants may experience numerous environmental stresses at any one time. Research suggests that the plant response to multiple stresses is different from that for individual stresses, producing nonadditive effects. In particular, the molecular signaling pathways controlling biotic and abiotic stress responses may interact and antagonize one another. The transcriptome response of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) to concurrent water deficit (abiotic stress) and infection with the plant-parasitic nematode Heterodera schachtii (biotic stress) was analyzed by microarray. A unique program of gene expression was activated in response to a combination of water deficit and nematode stress, with 50 specifically multiple-stress-regulated genes. Candidate genes with potential roles in controlling the response to multiple stresses were selected and functionally characterized. RAPID ALKALINIZATION FACTOR-LIKE8 (AtRALFL8) was induced in roots by joint stresses but conferred susceptibility to drought stress and nematode infection when overexpressed. Constitutively expressing plants had stunted root systems and extended root hairs. Plants may produce signal peptides such as AtRALFL8 to induce cell wall remodeling in response to multiple stresses. The methionine homeostasis gene METHIONINE GAMMA LYASE (AtMGL) was up-regulated by dual stress in leaves, conferring resistance to nematodes when overexpressed. It may regulate methionine metabolism under conditions of multiple stresses. AZELAIC ACID INDUCED1 (AZI1), involved in defense priming in systemic plant immunity, was down-regulated in leaves by joint stress and conferred drought susceptibility when overexpressed, potentially as part of abscisic acid-induced repression of pathogen response genes. The results highlight the complex nature of multiple stress responses and confirm the importance of studying plant stress factors in combination.

  7. Effect of biotic lignin decomposition on the fate of radiocesium-contaminated plant litter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hashida, Shin-nosuke; Yoshihara, Toshihiro [Environmental Science Research Laboratory, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Abiko 1646, Abiko-shi, Chiba (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    Fungi are the most important components in the fate of radionuclides deposited in forests following the Fukushima nuclear accident. Pruned woody parts and litter contain a considerable amount of radiocesium. Studies that focused on the migration of radiocesium have demonstrated that its ecological half-life is lower in the humus layer than in the deeper soil zone, suggesting a substantial contribution of litter decomposition on the mobilization of radiocesium. Furthermore, white-rot fungi appear to play a key role in the mobilization of radiocesium because they are the primary source of enzymes necessary to degrade the litter organic matter. Cell walls are the primary component of plant litter; they are composed of cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and lignin. Although cellulose is the most abundant organic compound in litter, the strength of the cell wall is limited by rigid hemi-cellulose complexes that protect the surrounding cellulose microfibrils. In the cell wall, lignin fills the spaces between cellulose and hemi-cellulose; thus, the biotic degradation of lignin could be considered a primary step in litter decomposition. The contribution of the amount of lignin on the fate of radiocesium has not been identified, which limits the possibility of predicting the effect of the bacterial community structure that determines the biodegradation activity of lignin on the vertical migration of radiocesium. Here, we directly addressed the role of lignin as controller of the distribution of radiocesium in soil-ecosystems. Radiocesium-contaminated litter samples were collected with traps set under the target stands, i.e., Japanese flowering cherry trees (Prunus x yedoensis cv. Somei-Yoshino) and Japanese cedars (Cryptomeria japonica) at Abiko (Laboratory of Environmental Science, CRIEPI) located approximately 200 km SSW from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. The litter samples were inoculated with white-rot fungi having ligno-celluloses-degrading activity, i

  8. Legacy effects in linked ecological-soil-geomorphic systems of drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    A legacy effect refers to the impact that previous conditions have on current processes or properties. Ecological legacies in drylands result from feedbacks among biotic, soil, and geomorphic processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Legacy effects depend on (1) the magnitude o...

  9. Temporal dynamics of biotic and abiotic drivers of litter decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Shaw, E Ashley; Wall, Diana H; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2016-05-01

    Climate, litter quality and decomposers drive litter decomposition. However, little is known about whether their relative contribution changes at different decomposition stages. To fill this gap, we evaluated the relative importance of leaf litter polyphenols, decomposer communities and soil moisture for litter C and N loss at different stages throughout the decomposition process. Although both microbial and nematode communities regulated litter C and N loss in the early decomposition stages, soil moisture and legacy effects of initial differences in litter quality played a major role in the late stages of the process. Our results provide strong evidence for substantial shifts in how biotic and abiotic factors control litter C and N dynamics during decomposition. Taking into account such temporal dynamics will increase the predictive power of decomposition models that are currently limited by a single-pool approach applying control variables uniformly to the entire decay process.

  10. An Economic Valuation of Biotic Pollination Services in Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barfield, Ashley S; Bergstrom, John C; Ferreira, Susana; Covich, Alan P; Delaplane, Keith S

    2015-04-01

    As agriculture faces documented decline in bees and other insect pollinators, empirical assessments of potential economic losses are critical for contextualizing the impacts of this decline and for prioritizing research needs. For the state of Georgia, we show that the annual economic value of biotic pollinators is substantial--US$367 million, equivalent to 13 percent of the total production value of crops studied and 3 percent of the total production value of Georgia's agricultural sector. Our unique Geographic Information Systems analysis reveals an irregular pattern of vulnerability. While the Georgia counties displaying the highest economic values of pollination are clustered in southern Georgia, those with the highest dependency on pollinators in terms of their contribution to crop production value are more dispersed throughout the state.

  11. Desertification, salinization, and biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazono, S.; Patino, Reynaldo; Taylor, C.M.

    2015-01-01

    This study determined long-term changes in fish assemblages, river discharge, salinity, and local precipitation, and examined hydrological drivers of biotic homogenization in a dryland river ecosystem, the Trans-Pecos region of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte (USA/Mexico). Historical (1977-1989) and current (2010-2011) fish assemblages were analyzed by rarefaction analysis (species richness), nonmetric multidimensional scaling (composition/variability), multiresponse permutation procedures (composition), and paired t-test (variability). Trends in hydrological conditions (1970s-2010s) were examined by Kendall tau and quantile regression, and associations between streamfiow and specific conductance (salinity) by generalized linear models. Since the 1970s, species richness and variability of fish assemblages decreased in the Rio Grande below the confluence with the Rio Conchos (Mexico), a major tributary, but not above it. There was increased representation of lower-flow/higher-salinity tolerant species, thus making fish communities below the confluence taxonomically and functionally more homogeneous to those above it. Unlike findings elsewhere, this biotic homogenization was due primarily to changes in the relative abundances of native species. While Rio Conchos discharge was > 2-fold higher than Rio Grande discharge above their confluence, Rio Conchos discharge decreased during the study period causing Rio Grande discharge below the confluence to also decrease. Rio Conchos salinity is lower than Rio Grande salinity above their confluence and, as Rio Conchos discharge decreased, it caused Rio Grande salinity below the confluence to increase (reduced dilution). Trends in discharge did not correspond to trends in precipitation except at extreme-high (90th quantile) levels. In conclusion, decreasing discharge from the Rio Conchos has led to decreasing flow and increasing salinity in the Rio Grande below the confluence. This spatially uneven desertification and

  12. Early Triassic marine biotic recovery: the predators' perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent.

  13. Early Triassic marine biotic recovery: the predators' perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten M Scheyer

    Full Text Available Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became

  14. Biotic homogenization of three insect groups due to urbanization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knop, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Cities are growing rapidly, thereby expected to cause a large-scale global biotic homogenization. Evidence for the homogenization hypothesis is mostly derived from plants and birds, whereas arthropods have so far been neglected. Here, I tested the homogenization hypothesis with three insect indicator groups, namely true bugs, leafhoppers, and beetles. In particular, I was interested whether insect species community composition differs between urban and rural areas, whether they are more similar between cities than between rural areas, and whether the found pattern is explained by true species turnover, species diversity gradients and geographic distance, by non-native or specialist species, respectively. I analyzed insect species communities sampled on birch trees in a total of six Swiss cities and six rural areas nearby. In all indicator groups, urban and rural community composition was significantly dissimilar due to native species turnover. Further, for bug and leafhopper communities, I found evidence for large-scale homogenization due to urbanization, which was driven by reduced species turnover of specialist species in cities. Species turnover of beetle communities was similar between cities and rural areas. Interestingly, when specialist species of beetles were excluded from the analyses, cities were more dissimilar than rural areas, suggesting biotic differentiation of beetle communities in cities. Non-native species did not affect species turnover of the insect groups. However, given non-native arthropod species are increasing rapidly, their homogenizing effect might be detected more often in future. Overall, the results show that urbanization has a negative large-scale impact on the diversity specialist species of the investigated insect groups. Specific measures in cities targeted at increasing the persistence of specialist species typical for the respective biogeographic region could help to stop the loss of biodiversity.

  15. Biotic ligand modeling approach: Synthesis of the effect of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardestani, Masoud M; van Straalen, Nico M; van Gestel, Cornelis A M

    2015-10-01

    The biotic ligand model (BLM) approach is used to assess metal toxicity, taking into account the competition of other cations with the free metal ions for binding to the biotic ligand sites of aquatic and soil organisms. The bioavailable fraction of metals, represented by the free metal ion, is a better measure than the total concentration for assessing their potential risk to the environment. Because BLMs are relating toxicity to the fraction of biotic ligands occupied by the metal, they can be useful for investigating factors affecting metal bioaccumulation and toxicity. In the present review, the effects of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms were comprehensively studied by performing a meta-analysis of BLM literature data. Interactions at the binding sites were shown to be species- and metal-specific. The main factors affecting the relationships between toxicity and conditional binding constants for metal binding at the biotic ligand appeared to be Ca(2+) , Mg(2+) , and protons. Other important characteristics of the exposure medium, such as levels of dissolved organic carbon and concentrations of other cations, should also be considered to obtain a proper assessment of metal toxicity to soil and aquatic organisms.

  16. The validity of the Gammarus:Asellus ratio as an index of organic pollution: abiotic and biotic influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T A; Bigsby, Ewan; Elwood, Robert W; Montgomery, W Ian; Gibbins, Chris N; Kelly, David W

    2002-01-01

    In freshwaters. Gammarus spp. are more sensitive to organic pollution than Asellus spp. and the relative abundance of the two taxa has been proposed as a pollution index. We tested the validity of this by examining the relationship between the Gammarus: Asellus (G : A) ratio and (1) a suite of physico-chemical variables. (2) established biotic (average score per taxon, ASPT) and richness (species richness (S) and Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera families richness (EPT family richness)) indices generated from the macroinvertebrate community. In addition, we investigated a suspected biotic interaction, predation, between Gammarus and Asellus. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that the G: A ratio was sometimes responsive to changes in parameters linked to organic pollution, such as BOD5 and nitrate levels. However, the G : A ratio also appeared responsive to variables not directly linked to organic pollution, such as conductivity and distance from source. There were significant positive correlations among the G : A ratio and the ASPT, S and EPT, indicating that changes in the relative abundances of Gammarus and Asellus were reflected in changes in the pollution sensitivity and richness of the wider macroinvertebrate community. A laboratory experiment revealed significant predation of Asellus aquaticus juveniles by Gammarus duebeni celticus adults, but no reciprocal predation. We propose that the G: A ratio may be useful as a crude measure of organic pollution that could supplement more complex indices in a multimetric approach to pollution monitoring or be used for monitoring individual sites, where a simple technique is required for monitoring purposes over a period of time. Also, we urge recognition of the possible role of biotic interactions among taxa used in the generation of pollution indices.

  17. Ecological model of extinctions

    CERN Document Server

    Abramson, G

    1997-01-01

    We present numerical results based on a simplified ecological system in evolution, showing features of extinction similar to that claimed for the biosystem on Earth. In the model each species consists of a population in interaction with the others, that reproduces and evolves in time. Each species is simultaneously a predator and a prey in a food chain. Mutations that change the interactions are supposed to occur randomly at a low rate. Extinctions of populations result naturally from the predator-prey dynamics. The model is not pinned in a fitness variable, and natural selection arises from the dynamics.

  18. A lion population under threat : understanding lion (Panthera leo Linnaeus, 1758) ecology and human-lion interactions related to livestock predation in Waza National Park, Cameroon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tumenta, Pricelia Nyaekon

    2012-01-01

    Lions in Waza National Park Cameroon were studied with focus on lion ecology and the human-lion conflicts due to livestock predation. The number of adult lions has declined from 40-60 in 2002 to 14-21 in 2008, which represents a reduction of about 65% in 6 years. The human-livestock pressure on the

  19. THE AUTOIMMUNE ECOLOGY.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan-Manuel eAnaya

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Autoimmune diseases (ADs represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology, which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation. As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology. In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures - internal and external - across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status, gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied.

  20. The Autoimmune Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anaya, Juan-Manuel; Ramirez-Santana, Carolina; Alzate, Maria A; Molano-Gonzalez, Nicolas; Rojas-Villarraga, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (ADs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology), which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation). As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology). In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures - internal and external - across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics) to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein, we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status (SES), gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents, and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied.

  1. Ecological dynamics of two remote alpine lakes during ice-free season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocco Tiberti

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available We studied hydrochemistry and plankton dynamics in two remote alpine lakes: lake Nivolet superiore (2530 m asl and lake Trebecchi superiore (2729 m asl in the Gran Paradiso National Park (Western Italian Alps in summer 2009. The aim of this study was to enhance the understanding of natural ecological dynamics in the pelagic habitat of alpine lakes by enlarging the number of biotic and abiotic variables usually considered to this end and by increasing the frequency of samplings, generally low in remote lakes. During the eight samplings performed in 2009, chemical and physical variables were measured both in situ and in the laboratory. We also followed the dynamics of all the compartments of the naturally simplified trophic chain of the two lakes from pico-prokaryotes to phytoplankton and zooplankton. Our results confirm the oligotrophic, close-to-pristine state of lake Nivolet and lake Trebecchi as they are not affected by hydromorphological alterations, they are naturally fishless and are not sensitive to acidification risk and acidity pulses. On the other hand, the two lakes have distinct abiotic conditions due to their glacial origin and to the lithological composition of their watersheds. We found some differences in the spatial variation of pico-prokaryotes, phytoplankton and zooplankton due to the different mixing regimes and maximum depth of the two lakes. Conversely, temporal patterns were similar in both lakes, related to ecological interactions and to changes in the abiotic conditions. The rapid succession of events in extreme ecosystems, such as the alpine lakes studied here, confirm the predominant role of external environmental factors (e.g. the duration of the ice-free season and of ecological interactions among different trophic compartments. This research underlines the importance of seasonal niche partitioning among organisms with different size.

  2. INTERACT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jochum, Elizabeth; Borggreen, Gunhild; Murphey, TD

    This paper considers the impact of visual art and performance on robotics and human-computer interaction and outlines a research project that combines puppetry and live performance with robotics. Kinesics—communication through movement—is the foundation of many theatre and performance traditions...... interaction between a human operator and an artificial actor or agent. We can apply insights from puppetry to develop culturally-aware robots. Here we describe the development of a robotic marionette theatre wherein robotic controllers assume the role of human puppeteers. The system has been built, tested...

  3. Seasonal species interactions minimize the impact of species turnover on the likelihood of community persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saavedra, Serguei; Rohr, Rudolf P; Fortuna, Miguel A; Selva, Nuria; Bascompte, Jordi

    2016-04-01

    Many of the observed species interactions embedded in ecological communities are not permanent, but are characterized by temporal changes that are observed along with abiotic and biotic variations. While work has been done describing and quantifying these changes, little is known about their consequences for species coexistence. Here, we investigate the extent to which changes of species composition impact the likelihood of persistence of the predator-prey community in the highly seasonal Białowieza Primeval Forest (northeast Poland), and the extent to which seasonal changes of species interactions (predator diet) modulate the expected impact. This likelihood is estimated extending recent developments on the study of structural stability in ecological communities. We find that the observed species turnover strongly varies the likelihood of community persistence between summer and winter. Importantly, we demonstrate that the observed seasonal interaction changes minimize the variation in the likelihood of persistence associated with species turnover across the year. We find that these community dynamics can be explained as the coupling of individual species to their environment by minimizing both the variation in persistence conditions and the interaction changes between seasons. Our results provide a homeostatic explanation for seasonal species interactions and suggest that monitoring the association of interactions changes with the level of variation in community dynamics can provide a good indicator of the response of species to environmental pressures.

  4. Plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ozone (O3) polluted atmospheres: the ecological effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Delia M; Blande, James D; Souza, Silvia R; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K

    2010-01-01

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) is an important secondary air pollutant formed as a result of photochemical reactions between primary pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). O3 concentrations in the lower atmosphere (troposphere) are predicted to continue increasing as a result of anthropogenic activity, which will impact strongly on wild and cultivated plants. O3 affects photosynthesis and induces the development of visible foliar injuries, which are the result of genetically controlled programmed cell death. It also activates many plant defense responses, including the emission of phytogenic VOCs. Plant emitted VOCs play a role in many eco-physiological functions. Besides protecting the plant from abiotic stresses (high temperatures and oxidative stress) and biotic stressors (competing plants, micro- and macroorganisms), they drive multitrophic interactions between plants, herbivores and their natural enemies e.g., predators and parasitoids as well as interactions between plants (plant-to-plant communication). In addition, VOCs have an important role in atmospheric chemistry. They are O3 precursors, but at the same time are readily oxidized by O3, thus resulting in a series of new compounds that include secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). Here, we review the effects of O3 on plants and their VOC emissions. We also review the state of current knowledge on the effects of ozone on ecological interactions based on VOC signaling, and propose further research directions.

  5. Interactions between ecology, demography, capture stress, and profiles of corticosterone and glucose in a free-living population of Australian freshwater crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessop, Tim S; Tucker, Anton D; Limpus, Colin J; Whittier, Joan M

    2003-06-01

    In this study we examined three aspects pertaining to adrenocortical responsiveness in free-ranging Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni). First, we examined the ability of freshwater crocodiles to produce corticosterone in response to a typical capture-stress protocol. A second objective addressed the relationship between capture stress, plasma glucose and corticosterone. Next we examined if variation in basal and capture-stress-induced levels of plasma corticosterone was linked to ecological or demographic factors for individuals in this free-ranging population. Blood samples obtained on three field trips were taken from a cross-sectional sample of the population. Crocodiles were bled once during four time categories at 0, 0.5, 6, and 10h post-capture. Plasma corticosterone increased significantly with time post-capture. Plasma glucose also significantly increased with duration of capture-stress and exhibited a positive and significant relationship with plasma corticosterone. Significant variation in basal or stress induced levels of corticosterone in crocodiles was not associated with any ecological or demographic factors including sex, age class or the year of capture that the crocodiles were sampled from. However, three immature males had basal levels of plasma corticosterone greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean. While crocodiles exhibited a pronounced adrenocortical and hyperglycaemic response to capture stress, limited variation in adrenocortical responsiveness due to ecological and demographic factors was not evident. This feature could arise in part because this population was sampled during a period of environmental benigness.

  6. Interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    The main theme of this anthology is the unique interaction between mathematics, physics and philosophy during the beginning of the 20th century. Seminal theories of modern physics and new fundamental mathematical structures were discovered or formed in this period. Significant physicists such as ...... also key figures in the philosophical discussions of nature and science - from philosophical tendencies like logical empiricism via critical rationalism to various neo-Kantian trends....

  7. Stronger biotic resistance in tropics relative to temperate zone: effects of predation on marine invasion dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freestone, Amy L; Rutz, Gregory M; Torchin, Mark E

    2013-06-01

    Latitudinal patterns of nonnative species richness suggest fewer successful invasions in the tropics, relative to temperate regions. One main hypothesis for this pattern is that biotic resistance to invasion is stronger in the tropics than at higher latitudes. Biotic resistance can limit the distribution and abundance of nonnative species and, in extreme cases, can prevent establishment. We provide the first experimental test of this hypothesis, comparing the strength of biotic resistance in a tropical and a temperate marine ecosystem. Predation is one mechanism of biotic resistance, and since predation can be stronger at lower latitudes, we predicted that predation will serve to increase biotic resistance more in the tropics than at higher latitude. We conducted predator-exclusion experiments on marine epifaunal communities, a heavily invaded system, focusing on nonnative tunicates as a model fauna. The effect of predation on species richness of nonnative tunicates was more than three times greater at sites in tropical Panama than in temperate Connecticut, consistent with the prediction of stronger biotic resistance in the tropics. In Connecticut, predation reduced the abundance of one nonnative tunicate but did not affect the abundances of any other nonnative tunicate species, and no species were excluded from communities. In contrast, predation resulted in striking reductions in abundance and often exclusion of nonnative tunicates from experimental communities in Panama. If proved to be general, latitudinal differences in the biotic resistance of communities to nonnative species establishment may help explain emerging patterns of global invasions.

  8. Biotic and abiotic factors predicting the global distribution and population density of an invasive large mammal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Jesse S.; Farnsworth, Matthew L.; Burdett, Chris L.; Theobald, David M.; Gray, Miranda; Miller, Ryan S.

    2017-01-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors are increasingly acknowledged to synergistically shape broad-scale species distributions. However, the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors in predicting species distributions is unclear. In particular, biotic factors, such as predation and vegetation, including those resulting from anthropogenic land-use change, are underrepresented in species distribution modeling, but could improve model predictions. Using generalized linear models and model selection techniques, we used 129 estimates of population density of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) from 5 continents to evaluate the relative importance, magnitude, and direction of biotic and abiotic factors in predicting population density of an invasive large mammal with a global distribution. Incorporating diverse biotic factors, including agriculture, vegetation cover, and large carnivore richness, into species distribution modeling substantially improved model fit and predictions. Abiotic factors, including precipitation and potential evapotranspiration, were also important predictors. The predictive map of population density revealed wide-ranging potential for an invasive large mammal to expand its distribution globally. This information can be used to proactively create conservation/management plans to control future invasions. Our study demonstrates that the ongoing paradigm shift, which recognizes that both biotic and abiotic factors shape species distributions across broad scales, can be advanced by incorporating diverse biotic factors. PMID:28276519

  9. Paleosol formation during the Early Triassic Biotic Crisis in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knies, Jochen; Müller, Axel; Zwingmann, Horst; Fredin, Ola; Brönner, Marco; Viola, Giulio

    2016-04-01

    Fractured and kaolinite weathered basement rocks have been discovered in various wells off the Norwegian coast and inferences on timing, source to sink relationships, and environmental implications have been widely discussed. The reason for the kaolitinization has often been related to intensive chemical weathering during late Triassic to early Jurassic times. Chronological control has primarily been inferred from the overlying late Jurassic/early Cretaceous marine transgression and poorly constrained K-Ar datings from weathered basement onshore as well as climate conditions favourable for kaolinite formation. In this study, we present evidence that the deeply weathered basement off the mid-Norwegian coast represent a complete paleosol profile. Quartz geochemical fingerprinting indicate that transgressional marine inorganic sediments of late Jurassic age are derived from the paleosols. Whole-rock XRD analysis suggests characteristic mineral alteration zones topped with a kaolinite-Fe-oxyhyroxide zones composed of >80% kaolinite. Potassium feldspar is practically absent in the uppermost kaolinitic zones. Mass-balance changes show significant depletion-enrichment trends. Applying potassium/argon (K/Ar) geochronology on authigenic illite clay that grew in-situ at the time of paleosol formation reveals a early Triassic age (~250 Ma). The age corroborates with the Early Triassic biotic crisis and suggest a causal relationship between intense chemical weathering, high atmospheric CO2 concentration, extreme ocean warming, increased riverine flux of nutrients and widespread anoxia/euxinia on adjacent epicontinental seas.

  10. Epigenetic Signals on Plant Adaptation: A Biotic Stress Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neto, José Ribamar Costa Ferreira; da Silva, Manassés Daniel; Pandolfi, Valesca; Crovella, Sérgio; Benko-Iseppon, Ana Maria; Kido, Ederson Akio

    2016-07-24

    For sessile organisms such as plants, regulatory mechanisms of gene expression are vital, since they remain exposed to climatic and biological threats. Thus, they have to face hazards with instantaneous reorganization of their internal environment. For this purpose, besides the use of transcription factors, the participation of chromatin as an active factor in the regulation of transcription is crucial. Chemical changes in chromatin structure affect the accessibility of the transcriptional machinery and acting in signaling, engaging/inhibiting factors that participate in the transcription processes. Mechanisms in which gene expression undergoes changes without the occurrence of DNA gene mutations in the monomers that make up DNA, are understood as epigenetic phenomena. These include (1) post-translational modifications of histones, which results in stimulation or repression of gene activity and (2) cytosine methylation in the promoter region of individual genes, both preventing access of transcriptional activators as well as signaling the recruitment of repressors. There is evidence that such modifications can pass on to subsequent generations of daughter cells and even generations of individuals. However, reports indicate that they persist only in the presence of a stressor factor (or an inductor of the above-mentioned modifications). In its absence, these modifications weaken or lose heritability, being eliminated in the next few generations. In this review, it is argued how epigenetic signals influence gene regulation, the mechanisms involved and their participation in processes of resistance to biotic stresses, controlling processes of the plant immune system.

  11. Biotic homogenization can decrease landscape-scale forest multifunctionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Pete; Soliveres, Santiago; Allan, Eric; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Verheyen, Kris; Wirth, Christian; Zavala, Miguel A; Ampoorter, Evy; Baeten, Lander; Barbaro, Luc; Bauhus, Jürgen; Benavides, Raquel; Benneter, Adam; Bonal, Damien; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bruelheide, Helge; Bussotti, Filippo; Carnol, Monique; Castagneyrol, Bastien; Charbonnier, Yohan; Coomes, David Anthony; Coppi, Andrea; Bastias, Cristina C; Dawud, Seid Muhie; De Wandeler, Hans; Domisch, Timo; Finér, Leena; Gessler, Arthur; Granier, André; Grossiord, Charlotte; Guyot, Virginie; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Jactel, Hervé; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Joly, François-Xavier; Jucker, Tommaso; Koricheva, Julia; Milligan, Harriet; Mueller, Sandra; Muys, Bart; Nguyen, Diem; Pollastrini, Martina; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Raulund-Rasmussen, Karsten; Selvi, Federico; Stenlid, Jan; Valladares, Fernando; Vesterdal, Lars; Zielínski, Dawid; Fischer, Markus

    2016-03-29

    Many experiments have shown that local biodiversity loss impairs the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple ecosystem functions at high levels (multifunctionality). In contrast, the role of biodiversity in driving ecosystem multifunctionality at landscape scales remains unresolved. We used a comprehensive pan-European dataset, including 16 ecosystem functions measured in 209 forest plots across six European countries, and performed simulations to investigate how local plot-scale richness of tree species (α-diversity) and their turnover between plots (β-diversity) are related to landscape-scale multifunctionality. After accounting for variation in environmental conditions, we found that relationships between α-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality varied from positive to negative depending on the multifunctionality metric used. In contrast, when significant, relationships between β-diversity and landscape-scale multifunctionality were always positive, because a high spatial turnover in species composition was closely related to a high spatial turnover in functions that were supported at high levels. Our findings have major implications for forest management and indicate that biotic homogenization can have previously unrecognized and negative consequences for large-scale ecosystem multifunctionality.

  12. Reductive transformation of carbamazepine by abiotic and biotic processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Anne; Weidauer, Cindy; Seiwert, Bettina; Reemtsma, Thorsten; Unger, Tina; Jekel, Martin

    2016-09-15

    The antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ) is ubiquitously present in the anthropogenic water cycle and is therefore of concern regarding the potable water supply. Despite of its persistent behavior in the aquatic environment, a redox dependent removal at bank filtration sites with anaerobic aquifer passage was reported repeatedly but not elucidated in detail yet. The reductive transformation of CBZ was studied, using abiotic systems (catalytic hydrogenation, electrochemistry) as well as biologically active systems (column systems, batch degradation tests). In catalytic hydrogenation CBZ is gradually hydrogenated and nine transformation products (TPs) were detected by liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry. 10,11-Dihydro-CBZ ((2H)-CBZ) was the major stable product in these abiotic, surface catalyzed reduction processes and turned out to be not a precursor of the more hydrogenated TPs. In the biotic reduction processes the formation of (2H)-CBZ alone could not explain the observed CBZ decline. There, also traces of (6H)-CBZ and (8H)-CBZ were formed by microbes under anaerobic conditions and four phase-II metabolites of reduced CBZ could be detected and tentatively identified. Thus, the spectrum of reduction products of CBZ is more diverse than previously thought. In environmental samples CBZ removal along an anaerobic soil passage was confirmed and (2H)-CBZ was determined at one of the sites.

  13. Graphic Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook Weld Muller

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This essay describes strategic approaches to graphic representation associated with critical environmental engagement and that build from the idea of works of architecture as stitches in the ecological fabric of the city. It focuses on the building up of partial or fragmented graphics in order to describe inclusive, open-ended possibilities for making architecture that marry rich experience and responsive performance. An aphoristic approach to crafting drawings involves complex layering, conscious absence and the embracing of tension. A self-critical attitude toward the generation of imagery characterized by the notion of ‘loose precision’ may lead to more transformative and environmentally responsive architectures.

  14. Potential role of biotic transport models in low-level-waste management. [Shallow land burial

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Soldat, J.K.; Cadwell, L.L.; McKenzie, D.H.

    1982-06-15

    This paper is a summary of the initial results of a study being conducted for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to determine the relevance of biotic pathways to the regulation of nuclear waste disposal. Biotic transport is defined as the actions of plants and animals that result in the transport of radioactive materials from a LLW burial ground to a location where they can enter exposure pathways to man. A critical review of the role of modeling in evaluating biotic transport is given. Both current applications and the need for future modeling development are discussed.

  15. Ecology of North Sea fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daan, N.; Bromley, P. J.; Hislop, J. R. G.; Nielsen, N. A.

    Fishes of the North Sea include over 200 species exhibiting widely differing ecological characteristics. There is a wealth of literature and, in this paper, we have restricted ourselves to providing generalized data on the more abundant species, with a view of highlighting those aspects which link the total fish community to the biotic and abiotic environment. There is necessarily a bias towards commercial species, because most of the pertinent information is related specifically to fish which are heavily fished. However, since there are few abundant species which are not exploited, the ecological links of the total fish community to other components of the system are well represented by the selection. Moreover, exploitation of the fish community may have indirectly affected the ecological relationships in the entire system. It follows that an understandinf of the impact of fisheries on the fish community is likely to play a key role in helping us to understand how the North Sea ecosystem functions. The paper highlights various ecological aspects of the fish fauna including population dynamics, spawning in time and space, distribution, variations in year class strength, feeding, density-dependent growth and changes in species composition. Despite long time series of quantitative biological information for individual species and the obvious impact of fisheries on longevity and productivity of the fish community, the general conclusion is that it remains very difficult to separate effects of fisheries and of the environment on reproductive success, in which the variation is the most important destabilizing factor in the regulation of exploited fish populations. Another conclusion is that the spatial heterogeneity of the fish community in the North Sea is a factor of considerable concern in trying to link fish production to other components. It would seem likely that, to improve our understanding of the ecological linkages in the entire system, the spatial differences

  16. Quantitative study of indicator interactions in urban ecological system%城市生态系统指标相互影响的定量研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马寨璞; 安秋丹; 刘庆朝

    2013-01-01

    应用网络理论对城市生态系统进行了分析,并通过网络模型分析了城市生态系统中各因子之间的关系.对城市生态系统中3个子系统所含指标的相关关系及指标之间的权重进行确定,依此建立城市生态网,并利用复杂网络理论对城市生态网进行了研究,结果如下:1)城市生态网是以城市生态系统指标为节点,以带权有向边将其连接,构成的相互交错的网状结构;2)二、三线城市生态网的网络平均Bacon数分别为2.76和2.62,城市生态网可能是一个小世界网络;3)在城市生态网中,最短路径选择时应遵循最能满足实际问题需求的原则;4)二线城市生态网关键节点是第三产业占GDP比例,三线城市生态网关键节点是工业SO2排放量.本文为整体研究城市生态系统提供了参考.%The purposes are to analyze the urban ecosystem with the network theory, establish a network model for urban ecosystem, give the definition of the urban ecology network, and explore the relationship among factors in the urban ecosystem through the network model.The relationship and the weight among indicators of three subsystems of the urban system have been discussed and determined through the analysis.With these relationships and the weights, the urban ecology networks were established, and then the networks were studied with complex network theory.The results suggested that; 1) the urban ecology network was a net structure constituted by indicators of urban ecosystem and the indicators were connected by the directed edges weight; 2) The network average bacon numbers were 2.76 and 2.62 respectively of large cities and small and medium-sized cities, which indicated the urban ecology network might be a small world network; 3) In the urban ecology network, when the shortest path was selected, the principle that, instead of considering the smallest weight, to meet the actual requirement was the prime consideration should followed

  17. The Andean Biotic Index (ABI): revised tolerance to pollution values for macroinvertebrate families and index performance evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ríos-Touma, Blanca; Acosta, Raúl; Prat, Narcís

    2014-04-01

    Score-based biotic indices are widely used to evaluate the water quality of streams and rivers. Few adaptations of these indices have been done for South America because there is a lack of knowledge on macroinvertebrate taxonomy, distribution and tolerance to pollution in the region. Several areas in the Andes are densely populated and there is need for methods to assess the impact of increasing human pressures on aquatic ecosystems. Considering the unique ecological and geographical features of the Andes, macroinvertebrate indices used in other regions must be adapted with caution. Here we present a review of the literature on macroinvertebrate distribution and tolerance to pollution in Andean areas above 2,000 masl. Using these data, we propose an Andean Biotic Index (ABI), which is based on the BMWP index. In general, ABI includes fewer macroinvertebrate families than in other regions of the world where the BMWP index has been applied because altitude restricts the distribution of several families. Our review shows that in the high Andes, the tolerance of several macroinvertebrate families to pollution differs from those reported in other areas. We tested the ABI index in two basins in Ecuador and Peru, and compared it to other BMWP adaptations using the reference condition approach. The ABI index is extremely useful for detecting the general impairment of rivers but class quality boundaries should be defined independently for each basin because reference conditions may be different. The ABI is widely used in Ecuador and Peru, with high correlations with land-use pressures in several studies. The ABI index is an integral part of the new multimetric index designed for high Andean streams (IMEERA).

  18. Ecological Challenges for Closed Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, William; Allen, John P.

    2012-07-01

    Closed ecological systems are desirable for a number of purposes. In space life support systems, material closure allows precious life-supporting resources to be kept inside and recycled. Closure in small biospheric systems facilitates detailed measurement of global ecological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Closed testbeds facilitate research topics which require isolation from the outside (e.g. genetically modified organisms; radioisotopes) so their ecological interactions and fluxes can be studied separate from interactions with the outside environment. But to achieve and maintain closure entails solving complex ecological challenges. These challenges include being able to handle faster cycling rates and accentuated daily and seasonal fluxes of critical life elements such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, macro- and mico-nutrients. The problems of achieving sustainability in closed systems for life support include how to handle atmospheric dynamics including trace gases, producing a complete human diet and recycling nutrients and maintaining soil fertility, the sustaining of healthy air and water and preventing the loss of crucial elements from active circulation. In biospheric facilities the challenge is also to produce analogues to natural biomes and ecosystems, studying processes of self-organization and adaptation in systems that allow specification or determination of state variables and cycles which may be followed through all interactions from atmosphere to soils. Other challenges include the dynamics and genetics of small populations, the psychological challenges for small isolated human groups and measures and options which may be necessary to ensure long-term operation of closed ecological systems.

  19. Effects of the spring snowmelt recession on abiotic and biotic conditions in northern Sierra Nevada CA rivers with varying flow regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarnell, S. M.; Peek, R.; Viers, J. H.

    2012-12-01

    Recent research has discussed the importance of the spring snowmelt recession in montane environments for driving physical and biological stream processes and supporting the success of native riverine species adapted to its predictability, yet there have been no field-based studies that directly address the relationship between the snowmelt recession and stream ecology. There are a variety of studies that explore the relationship between the flow regime and an individual species, the flow regime and riparian habitat, and flow and sediment movement. However, there are few, if any, studies that attempt to delineate the relationship between recession flows and stream ecology or quantify key characteristics of the flow regime beyond determinations of minimum instream flows or peak magnitudes of geomorphic flows. Regulated flow management issues such as suitable ramping rates to transition from peak flows to baseflow or a suitable duration of flooding that provides the greatest habitat heterogeneity during the ecologically-sensitive spring season have not previously been addressed. In this study, we examined the geomorphic, hydraulic and riparian habitat in relation to aquatic biological diversity at six stream study sites across two basins with varying flow regime types: unimpaired, semi-impaired (regulated-bypass reaches), and fully impaired (regulated-peaking or regulated-augmented reaches). In two very different water year types (2011-wet, 2012-dry), we quantified the variability in the spring flow regime using flow metrics (e.g. daily recession rate, timing) and compared it to variability in abiotic stream conditions (e.g. diversity of hydraulic habitat, diversity of riparian habitat) and diversity of biotic conditions (e.g. algal abundance, EPT index). In addition, we analyzed the relationship between habitat heterogeneity and species diversity across flow regime types in both water years. Results indicate both flow regime and water year type contribute to the

  20. The mutual influence of biotic and abiotic components on the long-term ecomorphodynamic evolution of salt-marsh ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, Andrea

    2011-03-01

    Salt marshes are coastal ecosystems characterized by high biodiversity and rates of primary productivity, providing fundamental ecosystem services. Salt-marsh ecosystems are important indicators of environmental change as the dynamics are governed by interacting physical and biological processes, whose intertwined feedbacks critically affect the evolution. Settling deposition of inorganic sediment allows the platform to reach a threshold elevation for vegetation encroachment; the presence of vegetation then intensifies rates of accretion, thus, enhancing the resilience of marshes to increasing rates of sea level rise (SLR). The results from a two-dimensional numerical model, accounting for biotic and geomorphic processes, show that different morphological evolutionary regimes are followed depending on marsh biological processes. The average marsh elevation within the tidal frame decreases with increasing rates of SLR, decreasing availability of sediment, and decreasing productivity of vegetation. The spatial variability in platform elevations increases with increasing rates of SLR, increasing availability of sediment, and decreasing productivity of vegetation. Supply-limited settings tend to develop uniform marsh surface elevations, whereas supply-rich settings tend to develop patterns of sedimentation where large heterogeneities in marsh surface elevations occur. The complexity observed in tidal geomorphological patterns is deemed to arise from the mutual influence of biotic and abiotic components. The fate of tidal landforms and their possible geomorphological restoration should, thus, be addressed through approaches which explicitly incorporate bio-morphodynamic processes.

  1. Impacts of biotic resource enrichment on a predator-prey population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safuan, H M; Sidhu, H S; Jovanoski, Z; Towers, I N

    2013-10-01

    The environmental carrying capacity is usually assumed to be fixed quantity in the classical predator-prey population growth models. However, this assumption is not realistic as the environment generally varies with time. In a bid for greater realism, functional forms of carrying capacities have been widely applied to describe varying environments. Modelling carrying capacity as a state variable serves as another approach to capture the dynamical behavior between population and its environment. The proposed modified predator-prey model is based on the ratio-dependent models that have been utilized in the study of food chains. Using a simple non-linear system, the proposed model can be linked to an intra-guild predation model in which predator and prey share the same resource. Distinct from other models, we formulate the carrying capacity proportional to a biotic resource and both predator and prey species can directly alter the amount of resource available by interacting with it. Bifurcation and numerical analyses are presented to illustrate the system's dynamical behavior. Taking the enrichment parameter of the resource as the bifurcation parameter, a Hopf bifurcation is found for some parameter ranges, which generate solutions that posses limit cycle behavior.

  2. Parasites of freshwater fishes and the Great American Biotic Interchange: a bridge too far?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, A; García-Varela, M; Pérez-Ponce de León, G

    2017-03-01

    We examine the extent to which adult helminths of freshwater fishes have been part of the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI), by integrating information in published studies and new data from Panama with fish biogeography and Earth history of Middle America. The review illustrates the following: (1) the helminth fauna south of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, and especially south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, shows strong Neotropical affinities; (2) host-parasite associations follow principles of the 'biogeographic core fauna' in which host-lineage specificity is pronounced; (3) phylogenetic analysis of the widespread freshwater trematode family Allocreadiidae reveals a complex history of host-shifting and co-diversification involving mainly cyprinodontiforms and characids; (4) allocreadiids, monogeneans and spiruridan nematodes of Middle American cyprinodontiforms may provide clues to the evolutionary history of their hosts; and (5) phylogenetic analyses of cryptogonimid trematodes may reveal whether or how cichlids interacted with marine or brackish-water environments during their colonization history. The review shows that 'interchange' is limited and asymmetrical, but simple narratives of northward isthmian dispersal will likely prove inadequate to explain the historical biogeography of many host-parasite associations in tropical Middle America, particularly those involving poeciliids. Finally, our study highlights the urgent need for targeted survey work across Middle America, focused sampling in river drainages of Colombia and Venezuela, and deeper strategic sampling in other parts of South America, in order to develop and test robust hypotheses about fish-parasite associations in Middle America.

  3. Using biotic ligand models to predict metal toxicity in mineralized systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kathleen S.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Todd, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    The biotic ligand model (BLM) is a numerical approach that couples chemical speciation calculations with toxicological information to predict the toxicity of aquatic metals. This approach was proposed as an alternative to expensive toxicological testing, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency incorporated the BLM into the 2007 revised aquatic life ambient freshwater quality criteria for Cu. Research BLMs for Ag, Ni, Pb, and Zn are also available, and many other BLMs are under development. Current BLMs are limited to ‘one metal, one organism’ considerations. Although the BLM generally is an improvement over previous approaches to determining water quality criteria, there are several challenges in implementing the BLM, particularly at mined and mineralized sites. These challenges include: (1) historically incomplete datasets for BLM input parameters, especially dissolved organic carbon (DOC), (2) several concerns about DOC, such as DOC fractionation in Fe- and Al-rich systems and differences in DOC quality that result in variations in metal-binding affinities, (3) water-quality parameters and resulting metal-toxicity predictions that are temporally and spatially dependent, (4) additional influences on metal bioavailability, such as multiple metal toxicity, dietary metal toxicity, and competition among organisms or metals, (5) potential importance of metal interactions with solid or gas phases and/or kinetically controlled reactions, and (6) tolerance to metal toxicity observed for aquatic organisms living in areas with elevated metal concentrations.

  4. Influence of biotic variables on invertebrate size structure and diversity in coastal wetlands of Southeastern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antón-Pardo, María; Armengol, Xavier

    2016-10-01

    Biomass and size-based estimations provide relevant information regarding ecosystem functioning and biotic interactions. Our aims were to study the effect of fish and macrophytes on the size structure of invertebrate assemblages (from rotifers to insects) in a set of coastal water bodies, estimating the biomass (total and main invertebrate groups), the biomass-size spectra (model of Pareto) and size diversity. In fishless ponds, cladoceran and ostracod biomass were higher, and they presented greater size diversity. In fish ponds, rotifer biomass presented greater proportion; while in fishless ponds, cladocerans were usually the most abundant taxa and the largest organisms. The biomass size spectra showed more irregularities in fishless ponds, due to the low densities of small taxa (rotifers and copepod juveniles) and big taxa (malacostraceans or insects). Differences is size structure and diversity were also observed between spring and summer, suggesting a higher recruitment of juveniles in spring, and thus, a higher predation pressure upon zooplankton at that moment. Macrophyte cover did not apparently influence those parameters, except for the biomass of ostracods, copepods, and insects. Therefore, predation by fish strongly affected invertebrate biomass, reflecting their selective feeding, and allowing high densities of small taxa. Predation pressure decreased size diversity, by limiting the abundance of vulnerable taxa of specific size. Seasonal changes were likely related to the spring recruitment of fish juveniles. The presence of small fish and invertebrate predator taxa among the macrophytes, restrict their role as refuges for prey invertebrates.

  5. A membrane-bound NAC transcription factor as an integrator of biotic and abiotic stress signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Pil Joon; Park, Chung-Mo

    2010-05-01

    Transcription factors are central components of gene regulatory networks that mediate virtually all aspects of growth and developmental processes in biological systems. The activity of transcription factors is regulated at multiple steps, such as gene transcription, posttranscriptional RNA processing, posttranslational modification, protein-protein interactions, and controlled protein turnover. Controlled activation of dormant, membrane-bound transcription factor (MTF) is an intriguing regulatory mechanism that ensures quick transcriptional responses to environmental fluctuations in plants, in which various stress hormones serve as signaling mediators. NTL6 is proteolytically activated upon exposure to cold and induces expression of the Pathogenesis-Related (PR) genes. The membrane-mediated cold signaling in inducing pathogen resistance is considered to be an adaptive strategy that protects plants against infection by hydrophilic pathogens frequently occurring during cold season. We found that NTL6 also mediates abscisic acid (ABA) regulation of abiotic stress responses in Arabidopsis. NTL6 is proteolytically activated by ABA. Transgenic plants overexpressing a nuclear NTL6 form (35S:6ΔC) exhibited a hypersensitive response to ABA and high salinity in seed germination. Taken together, these observations indicate that NTL6 plays an integrative role in plant responses to both biotic and abiotic stress conditions.

  6. Ecological macroeconomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2013-01-01

    of this discussion includes contributions from actors involved with efforts to advance a ‘Green New Deal’ that repeats the idea that the promotion of green innovation and government funding of greener infrastructure would improve competitiveness and increase employment. This time ‘Green Keynesianism’ is accompanied...... 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...... to energy, transport, housing, food and so forth. The fourth section outlines briefly the roles of consumer-citizens in relation to such sustainability transformations and the final section considers the possibilities for initiating the envisioned changes....

  7. Meteoritic Versus Biotic Amino Acids: An Update on Aib and Iva

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brückner, H.; Degenkolb, T.; Fox, S.

    2016-08-01

    Biotically synthesized Aib and Iva hav been found in >1,350 structurally characterized microbial peptides. However, the structural diversity of the non-proteinogenic amino acids in CM-type meteorites is not displayed in individual fungal peptides.

  8. Biotic wetland connectivity-supporting a new approach for wetland policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amezaga, J.M.; Santamaria, L.; Green, A.J.

    2002-01-01

    Wetlands are key habitats connected physically and socially with processes occurring over a much wider territory. The biotic connection through dispersal mechanisms among wetlands is of primary importance to wetland management and policies. However, traditional wetland conservation approaches are ba

  9. Antagonistic interactions are sufficient to explain self-assemblage of bacterial communities in a homogeneous environment: a computational modeling approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Román eZapién-Campos

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Most of the studies in Ecology have been devoted to analyzing the effects the environment has on individuals, populations, and communities, thus neglecting the effects of biotic interactions on the system dynamics. In the present work we study the structure of bacterial communities in the oligotrophic shallow water system of Churince, Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico. Since the physicochemical conditions of this water system are homogeneous and quite stable in time, it is an excellent candidate to study how biotic factors influence the structure of bacterial communities. In a previous study, the binary antagonistic interactions of 78 bacterial strains, isolated from Churince, were experimentally determined. We employ these data to develop a computer algorithm to simulate growth experiments in a cellular grid representing the pond. Remarkably, in our model, the dynamics of all the simulated bacterial populations is determined solely by antagonistic interactions. Our results indicate that all bacterial strains (even those that are antagonized by many other bacteria survive in the long term, and that the underlying mechanism is the formation of bacterial community patches. Patches corresponding to less antagonistic and highly susceptible strains are consistently isolated from the highly-antagonistic bacterial colonies by patches of neutral strains. These results concur with the observed features of the bacterial community structure previously reported. Finally, we study how our findings depend on factors like initial population size, differential population growth rates, homogeneous population death rates, and enhanced bacterial diffusion.

  10. An ecological and evolutionary perspective on the parallel invasion of two cross-compatible trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besnard, Guillaume; Cuneo, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Invasive trees are generally seen as ecosystem-transforming plants that can have significant impacts on native vegetation, and often require management and control. Understanding their history and biology is essential to guide actions of land managers. Here, we present a summary of recent research into the ecology, phylogeography and management of invasive olives, which are now established outside of their native range as high ecological impact invasive trees. The parallel invasion of European and African olive in different climatic zones of Australia provides an interesting case study of invasion, characterized by early genetic admixture between domesticated and wild taxa. Today, the impact of the invasive olives on native vegetation and ecosystem function is of conservation concern, with European olive a declared weed in areas of South Australia, and African olive a declared weed in New South Wales and Pacific islands. Population genetics was used to trace the origins and invasion of both subspecies in Australia, indicating that both olive subspecies have hybridized early after introduction. Research also indicates that African olive populations can establish from a low number of founder individuals even after successive bottlenecks. Modelling based on distributional data from the native and invasive range identified a shift of the realized ecological niche in the Australian invasive range for both olive subspecies, which was particularly marked for African olive. As highly successful and long-lived invaders, olives offer further opportunities to understand the genetic basis of invasion, and we propose that future research examines the history of introduction and admixture, the genetic basis of adaptability and the role of biotic interactions during invasion. Advances on these questions will ultimately improve predictions on the future olive expansion and provide a solid basis for better management of invasive populations. PMID:27519914

  11. Effect of Mining Activities in Biotic Communities of Villa de la Paz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Mining is one of the most important industrial activities worldwide. During its different stages numerous impacts are generated to the environment. The activities in the region have generated a great amount of mining residues, which have caused severe pollution and health effects in both human population and biotic components. The aim of this paper was to assess the impact of mining activities on biotic communities within the district of Villa de la Paz. The results showed that the concentrat...

  12. The Great American Biotic Interchange: Dispersals, Tectonics, Climate, Sea Level and Holding Pens

    OpenAIRE

    Woodburne, Michael O.

    2010-01-01

    The biotic and geologic dynamics of the Great American Biotic Interchange are reviewed and revised. Information on the Marine Isotope Stage chronology, sea level changes as well as Pliocene and Pleistocene vegetation changes in Central and northern South America add to a discussion of the role of climate in facilitating trans-isthmian exchanges. Trans-isthmian land mammal exchanges during the Pleistocene glacial intervals appear to have been promoted by the development of diverse non-tropical...

  13. Anti-biotic Effect of Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water on Plant Bacterial / Fungal Pathogen

    OpenAIRE

    津野, 和宣; 中村, 悌一

    2012-01-01

    The anti-biotic effect of slightly acidic electrolyzed water on plant pathogen was determined. The spores of 4 kinds of fungal pathogen and 17 kinds of plant pathogenic bacteria were applied at different concentration.###Slightly acidic electrolyzed water showed strong growth inhibition in germination of fungi spores tested. In addition, by the treatment with slightly acidic electrolyzed water for 30 sec., all kinds of bacteria tested were inhibited to grow on the medium.###The anti-biotic ef...

  14. Quantitative patterns between plant volatile emissions induced by biotic stresses and the degree of damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ülo eNiinemets

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Plants have to cope with a plethora of biotic stresses such as herbivory and pathogen attacks throughout their life cycle. The biotic stresses typically trigger rapid emissions of volatile products of lipoxygenase pathway (LOX products, various C6 aldehydes, alcohols and derivatives, also called green leaf volatiles associated with oxidative burst. Further a variety of defense pathways is activated, leading to induction of synthesis and emission of a complex blend of volatiles, often including methyl salicylate, indole, mono-, homo- and sesquiterpenes. The airborne volatiles are involved in systemic responses leading to elicitation of emissions from non-damaged plant parts. For several abiotic stresses, it has been demonstrated that volatile emissions are quantitatively related to the stress dose. The biotic impacts under natural conditions vary in severity from mild to severe, but it is unclear whether volatile emissions also scale with the severity of biotic stresses in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, biotic impacts are typically recurrent, but it is poorly understood how direct stress-triggered and systemic emission responses are silenced during periods intervening sequential stress events. Here we review the information on induced emissions elicited in response to biotic attacks, and argue that biotic stress severity vs. emission rate relationships should follow principally the same dose-response relationships as previously demonstrated for several abiotic stresses. Analysis of several case studies investigating the elicitation of emissions in response to chewing herbivores, aphids, rust fungi, powdery mildew and Botrytis, suggests that induced emissions do respond to stress severity in dose-dependent manner. Bi-phasic emission kinetics of several induced volatiles have been demonstrated in these experiments, suggesting that next to immediate stress-triggered emissions, biotic stress elicited emissions typically have a secondary

  15. Ecological functions of earthworms in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andriuzzi, W.S.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological functions of earthworms in soil Walter S. Andriuzzi Abstract Earthworms are known to play an important role in soil structure and fertility, but there are still big knowledge gaps on the functional ecology of distinct earthworm species, on their own and in interaction wit

  16. Biotic element analysis of reptiles of China: A test of vicariance model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Youhua CHEN

    2013-01-01

    In this contribution,I identify possible biotic elements of reptiles of China using biotic element analysis.I test whether the vicariance model could significantly shape reptilian current distribution patterns.My results show that dispersal is prevailing for reptiles in China.There are four major biotic elements in reptilian distribution,which are East Xizang,YunnanGuizhou Plateau,Taiwan and Hainan,respectively.The test of distributional areas is significantly more clustered than expected by chance,while in another test that closely related species are homogeneously distributed across biotic elements cannot be rejected.Therefore I argued that vicariance might be one of the key processes in patterning reptilian distribution in China.In addition,I develop an improved biotic element analysis in biogeographic studies,by performing biotic element analysis in an iterative manner in order to diagnose more geographically restricted elements until no noise components found.The importance of antecedent selection of distributional data for the subsequent analysis is also discussed.Besides,my study indicates that biodiversity hotspots are not fully overlapped with areas of endemism for reptilians in East Asia.

  17. Ecological model of competitive interaction among three species of amphipods associated to Bryocladia thrysigera (J. Agardh and extreme environmental stress effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Máurea Nicoletti Flynn

    Full Text Available Population rates of the three dominant amphipod species (Hyale nigra, Caprella danileviskii and Caprella penantis associated to Bryocladia thrysigera, were calculated revealing similar values for the intrinsic growth rate. The empirical data modeled presented a good fit to the May-Leonard three-species competition model in a discrete Ricker form with periodic cycles for the carrying capacity. In adjusting model to data, a new method to calculate competition coefficients emerged in good agreement with ecological and behavior particularities. A simulation of environmental stochasticity was achieved by the insertion of random parameters for the calculation of each species carrying capacity. H. nigra presented a persistent behavior in extreme environmental stress, whereas C. penantis is highly sensitive to stress.

  18. An Index of Biotic Integrity for shallow streams of the Hondo River basin, Yucatan Peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmitter-Soto, Juan J., E-mail: jschmitt@ecosur.mx; Ruiz-Cauich, Lissie E.; Herrera, Roberto L.; Gonzalez-Solis, David

    2011-01-15

    An Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) is proposed, based on the fish communities and populations in streams of the Hondo River basin, Mexico-Belize. Freshwater environments in this area are threatened by exotic fishes, eutrophication, and pesticide pollution, among other problems. This IBI should allow to identify the most vulnerable sites and eventually guide rehabilitation efforts. Data on composition, structure, and function of fish communities were evaluated. Twenty-three sites in the Mexican part of the basin were explored; a stratified sample of 13 sites was used to design the IBI, and the rest were used to test and refine the index. Thirty-four candidate indicator metrics were scanned for their correlation with an index of water and habitat quality (IWHQ), as well as for the possible influence of stream width and altitude or distance to the Hondo River mainstem. Twelve variables were selected to constitute the IBI: relative abundances of Astyanax aeneus, 'Cichlasoma' urophthalmus, Poecilia mexicana, Poecilia sp. (a new species, probably endemic to the upper Hondo River basin), Xiphophorus hellerii, and X. maculatus; relative abundances of bentholimnetic, herbivore, and sensitive species; percentage of native and tolerant species; and Pielou's evenness index. Most of the sites have a low-medium quality and integrity, showing impact due to partial channelization or to suboptimal water quality, reflected in scarcity or absence of sensitive species, frequent excess of tolerant species, occasional presence of exotics, dominance of herbivores (perhaps due to proliferation of filamentous algae), or dominance of the opportunistic species P. mexicana. The streams with better water and habitat quality are those farthest away from the river mainstem, probably because of lower human population and economical production. - Research Highlights: {yields} An Index of Biotic Integrity based on fishes is proposed for streams of the Hondo River basin. {yields

  19. Groundwater-ocean interaction and its effects on coastal ecological processes - are there groundwater-dependant ecosystems in the coastal zone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stieglitz, T. C.

    2013-05-01

    Hydrological land-ocean connectivity is an important driver of coastal ecosystems. Rivers are obvious and visible pathways for terrestrial runoff. The critical role of surface water discharge from rivers to coastal ecosystems has been well documented. Hidden from view, 'downstream' effects of coastal (supra-tidal, intertidal and submarine) groundwater discharge are far less well understood. Whilst hydrological and geochemical processes associated with coastal groundwater discharge have received an increasing amount of scientific attention over the past decade or so, the effects of groundwater flow on productivity, composition, diversity and functioning of coastal ecosystems along the world's shorelines have received little attention to date. Coastal groundwater discharge includes both terrestrial (fresh) groundwater fluxes and the recirculation of seawater through sediments, analogous to hyporheic flow in rivers. I will present an overview over relevant coastal hydrological processes, and will illustrate their ecological effects on examples from diverse tropical coastal ecosystems, e.g. (1) perennial fresh groundwater discharge from coastal sand dune systems permitting growth of freshwater-dependent vegetation in the intertidal zone of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), (2) recirculation of seawater through mangrove forest floors directly affecting tree health and providing a pathway for carbon export from these ecosystems, (3) the local hydrology of groundwater-fed coastal inlets on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula affecting the movement behaviour of and habitat use by the queen conch Strombus gigas, an economically important species in the Caribbean region. These examples for hydrological-ecological coupling in the coastal zone invite the question if we should not consider these coastal ecosystems to be groundwater-dependent, in analogy to groundwater-dependency in freshwater aquatic systems.

  20. The National Ecological Observatory Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michener, W. K.

    2006-05-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a research platform designed to advance understanding of how ecosystems and organisms respond to variations in climate and changes in land use. NEON is the first long-term ecological observatory conceived as a continental-scale network; equipped with standardized sensors, cyberinfrastructure, and data-collection protocols across the network; and designed to simultaneously address a common set of research questions and support investigator-driven ecological research in all regions of the United States. The Observatory focuses on variations in climate and land use because they are primary drivers of the Nation's environmental challenges, as identified by the National Research Council--i.e., biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, climate change, hydroecology, infectious disease, invasive species, and land use. At the broadest scale, NEON links the complexity of climate variation to the behavior of ecological systems, a core aspect of ecological complexity. At the same time, because of the complexity of the interactions among humans and ecosystems, the network design includes NEON sites in wild, managed and urban systems within climate domains. Observatory data will also be part of a national education program designed to advance ecological science literacy through new programs and activities that develop and promote scientific ways of thinking.

  1. Ecological stability in response to warming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fussmann, Katarina E.; Schwarzmueller, Florian; Brose, Ulrich; Jousset, Alexandre; Rall, Bjoern C.

    2014-01-01

    That species' biological rates including metabolism, growth and feeding scale with temperature is well established from warming experiments(1). The interactive influence of these changes on population dynamics, however, remains uncertain. As a result, uncertainty about ecological stability in respon

  2. Wordsworthian Ecology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱文宣

    2014-01-01

    Wordsworth devoted himself to the ideal of a harmonious relation between human and nature, between man and soci-ety, between man and the ego. In this sense, Wordsworth improved the development of ecology. This argument will be support-ed by the approach of eco-criticism and Heidegger’s eco-philosophy. And it is supported by the following points.The first part points out that Wordsworth’s love of nature led to his love of man, which was reflected by his care for common people. Part Two shows Wordsworth’s solicitude for dwelling. His notion of dwelling had aspect of poetic dwelling. The harmonious hu-man-nature relationship reveals thee essence of free dwelling. His poetic experiment agreed with Heidegger ’s argument on poet-ic creation. His discussion of free labour was like Heidegger’s interpretation of“merit”. Part Three tells about Wordsworth’s great effort to amend the alienated human nature by treasuring the Child’s nature, imagination and human feelings.In this way, the conclusion can be got:although it would be a huge project to reinterpret Wordsworth with the approaches of eco-criticism and Heidegger’s eco-philosophy, it is still worth making the effort.

  3. Sound Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Duffy

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Discussions about what constitutes ‘the rural’ invariably focus on notions of spatial location – of inhabiting spaces apart from that of the metropolitan. Deeply embedded in our images of what it means to be Australian, nonetheless our intellectual framing of ‘the rural’ as something outback and beyond has significant implications for our relations with these spaces. The relatively recent phenomenon of sea- and tree-changes has struck many unawares, and not simply because a good latté is so hard to find. Although a frivolous remark, such an apparent lack does shift our focus to a bodily scale of the rural; how is rural place re/made through our experiences of it? This article originates out of on-going research that explores the practice of listening and sound and the ways in which the body can draw attention to the intuitive, emotional, and psychoanalytical processes of subjectivity and place-making. Drawing on Nigel Thrift’s concept of an ecology of place, I suggest that contemporary heightened concerns with regards to loss and lack in rural Australia has led to a nascent emotional economy – one in which individual and intimate connections to the rural require a rethinking of how we live community and belonging. In such a terrain, what does it mean to be rural?

  4. Complete ecological isolation and cryptic diversity in Polynucleobacter bacteria not resolved by 16S rRNA gene sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Martin W; Jezberová, Jitka; Koll, Ulrike; Saueressig-Beck, Tanja; Schmidt, Johanna

    2016-07-01

    Transplantation experiments and genome comparisons were used to determine if lineages of planktonic Polynucleobacter almost indistinguishable by their 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequences differ distinctively in their ecophysiological and genomic traits. The results of three transplantation experiments differing in complexity of biotic interactions revealed complete ecological isolation between some of the lineages. This pattern fits well to the previously detected environmental distribution of lineages along chemical gradients, as well as to differences in gene content putatively providing adaptation to chemically distinct habitats. Patterns of distribution of iron transporter genes across 209 Polynucleobacter strains obtained from freshwater systems and representing a broad pH spectrum further emphasize differences in habitat-specific adaptations. Genome comparisons of six strains sharing ⩾99% 16S rRNA similarities suggested that each strain represents a distinct species. Comparison of sequence diversity among genomes with sequence diversity among 240 cultivated Polynucleobacter strains indicated a large cryptic species complex not resolvable by 16S rRNA sequences. The revealed ecological isolation and cryptic diversity in Polynucleobacter bacteria is crucial in the interpretation of diversity studies on freshwater bacterioplankton based on ribosomal sequences.

  5. Psychoactive substances and the political ecology of mental distress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Sunil K; Carter, Gregory T; Zumbrunnen, Craig; Morrill, Richard; Sullivan, Mark; Mayer, Jonathan D

    2012-01-18

    The goal of this paper is to both understand and depathologize clinically significant mental distress related to criminalized contact with psychoactive biotic substances by employing a framework known as critical political ecology of health and disease from the subdiscipline of medical geography. The political ecology of disease framework joins disease ecology with the power-calculus of political economy and calls for situating health-related phenomena in their broad social and economic context, demonstrating how large-scale global processes are at work at the local level, and giving due attention to historical analysis in understanding the relevant human-environment relations. Critical approaches to the political ecology of health and disease have the potential to incorporate ever-broadening social, political, economic, and cultural factors to challenge traditional causes, definitions, and sociomedical understandings of disease. Inspired by the patient-centered medical diagnosis critiques in medical geography, this paper will use a critical political ecology of disease approach to challenge certain prevailing sociomedical interpretations of disease, or more specifically, mental disorder, found in the field of substance abuse diagnostics and the related American punitive public policy regimes of substance abuse prevention and control, with regards to the use of biotic substances. It will do this by first critically interrogating the concept of "substances" and grounding them in an ecological context, reviewing the history of both the development of modern substance control laws and modern substance abuse diagnostics, and understanding the biogeographic dimensions of such approaches. It closes with proposing a non-criminalizing public health approach for regulating human close contact with psychoactive substances using the example of cannabis use.

  6. The ecology of Zymomonas: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Patrick M

    2016-09-01

    Zymomonas mobilis is a Gram-negative bacterium studied primarily as a spoilage organism and ethanol producer. As with many bacteria, much remains to be learned about its ecology. It can serve as a model organism for examining microbial interactions, as well as interactions between plants and bacteria. Better understanding of its ecology can help with biotechnological applications, such as process improvement, new uses of the bacterium, and the search for new strains.

  7. Long-term, Ecosystem-Scale Changes in the Southern Benguela Marine Pelagic Social-Ecological System: Interaction of Natural and Human Drivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Jarre

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available South Africa's small pelagics fishery is currently the largest in volume and second largest in value in the southern Benguela. It exploits short-lived, small pelagic fishes such as anchovy (for reduction into fish meal and oil and sardine (for reduction as well as human consumption through canned products, and to a lesser extent redeye round herring and mesopelagics, largely for reduction. We explore the recent history (1940s to present of the social-ecological system around this fishery. The natural subsystem, at the scales of the ocean environment and the ecosystem, is characterized by high interannual and documented decadal-scale variability. We characterize the human social subsystem at the scales of the fishing industry, legislation, and west coast fishing towns, and demonstrate interdependencies between the natural and social subsystems by following system-scale changes. The pelagic fishing industry has evolved to deal with variability through consolidation, diversification, and range expansion. Legislation has increasingly looked for conservation of the resource while ensuring economic viability of the industry, and hence factory- and vessel-related jobs. Fishing communities under apartheid stayed largely dependent on company-generated infrastructure, combining seasonal employment in the fishing factories with inshore fishing, targeting rock lobster and line fish. While the pelagic industry persisted and communities survived, the resource base for both offshore and inshore fisheries gradually eroded. The advent of democracy in the mid-1990s brought allocation of long-term fishing rights to individuals or companies under conditions of depleted inshore resources aggravated by a shift in the distribution of pelagic fish away from the west coast towards the Cape south coast in the second half of the 1990s. The resultant loss of employment and fishing rights in the inshore has generated community coping strategies that include poaching and

  8. Large-scale impacts of multiple co-occurring invaders on monkey puzzle forest regeneration, native seed predators and their ecological interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José L. Tella

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Most ecosystems of the world are being increasingly invaded by a variety of alien species. However, little is known about the combined ecological impacts of multiple co-occurring invaders. We assessed the impact of a community of exotic mammals (five domestic and four wild on forests of monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana, a globally endangered tree restricted to ca 400 km2 on the slopes of the Andes in Chile and Argentina. Seeds of monkey puzzles provide food during winter to a small community of native mice and Austral parakeets (Enicognathus ferrugineus. We recorded the number of uneaten seeds and the number of young seedlings at the end of winter under 516 female monkey puzzle trees located across the species’ distribution, and identified the signals of native and exotic species that visited the under-canopy of each tree. Moreover, we studied the diet and foraging behavior of Austral parakeets to explore the potential indirect effects of exotic mammals through the disruption of a key ecosystem service (seed dispersal supposedly provided by parakeets. All but one tree were visited by at least one seed predator species. Austral parakeets and mice predated seeds from 85% and at least 45% of the trees, respectively, and both the number of remaining seeds and seedlings were significantly larger when only parakeets or mice predated seeds than when exotic mammals also visited the trees. At least 90% of trees were visited by one or more exotic species, and the number of seeds and seedlings dropped drastically when at least two and four exotic species visited the tree, respectively. Austral parakeets mostly foraged on monkey puzzle trees during the winter period and dispersed their seeds in most feeding instances once seeds fell to the ground. The proliferation of exotic mammals may reduce the populations of native seed-predators in the long-term as well as the regeneration of monkey puzzle forests, directly through a reduction of seed availability

  9. [Effect of abiotic and biotic factors on the structural and functional organization of the saline lake ecosystems in Crimea].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balushkina, E V; Golubkov, S M; Golubkov, M S; Litvinchuk, L F; Shadrin, N V

    2009-01-01

    Decrease of both zooplankton and zoobenthos species richness and a trend toward decrease of their biomass with the salinity increase was recorded in the hypersaline lakes of Crimea. The most of structural and functional characteristics of macrobenthos is positively correlated with abiotic and biotic characteristics of those lakes. Abundance, biomass, productivity of macrobenthos and ration of non-predating macrozoobenthos decrease with salinity increase, while they increase with the depth and growth of amount of chlorophyll a and primary production. Macrozoobenthos portion in the total zooplankton and macrozoobenthos biomass decreases with both salinity and depth increase. Zooplankton community is less controlled by abiotic factors as compared to macrozoobenthos, while the former's species number significantly decrease with salinity increase. Effect of salinity on zooplankton biomass is slightly significant, unlike that of macrozoobenthos. Comparison of total amount of rations of zooplankton and macrozoobenthos with amount of primary production indicates intense trophic interactions in the lakes under study.

  10. Global ecological impacts of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallardo, Belinda; Clavero, Miguel; Sánchez, Marta I; Vilà, Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    The introduction of invasive species, which often differ functionally from the components of the recipient community, generates ecological impacts that propagate along the food web. This review aims to determine how consistent the impacts of aquatic invasions are across taxa and habitats. To that end, we present a global meta-analysis from 151 publications (733 cases), covering a wide range of invaders (primary producers, filter collectors, omnivores and predators), resident aquatic community components (macrophytes, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates and fish) and habitats (rivers, lakes and estuaries). Our synthesis suggests a strong negative influence of invasive species on the abundance of aquatic communities, particularly macrophytes, zooplankton and fish. In contrast, there was no general evidence for a decrease in species diversity in invaded habitats, suggesting a time lag between rapid abundance changes and local extinctions. Invaded habitats showed increased water turbidity, nitrogen and organic matter concentration, which are related to the capacity of invaders to transform habitats and increase eutrophication. The expansion of invasive macrophytes caused the largest decrease in fish abundance, the filtering activity of filter collectors depleted planktonic communities, omnivores (including both facultative and obligate herbivores) were responsible for the greatest decline in macrophyte abundance, and benthic invertebrates were most negatively affected by the introduction of new predators. These impacts were relatively consistent across habitats and experimental approaches. Based on our results, we propose a framework of positive and negative links between invasive species at four trophic positions and the five different components of recipient communities. This framework incorporates both direct biotic interactions (predation, competition, grazing) and indirect changes to the water physicochemical conditions mediated by invaders (habitat

  11. The chemical ecology of copepods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heuschele, Jan; Selander, Erik

    2014-01-01

    for the functioning of the marine food web, much is still unknown. We synthesize current knowledge about chemical ecology of copepods including foraging, survival and reproduction. We also compile information on the sensory apparatus and new analytical approaches that may facilitate the identification of signal...... molecules. The review illustrates the importance of chemical interactions in many aspects of copepod ecology and identifies gaps in our knowledge, such as the lack of identified infochemicals and electrophysiological studies to confirm the function of sensory structures. We suggest approaches...

  12. Coastal adaptation with ecological engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheong, So-Min; Silliman, Brian; Wong, Poh Poh; van Wesenbeeck, Bregje; Kim, Choong-Ki; Guannel, Greg

    2013-09-01

    The use of combined approaches to coastal adaptation in lieu of a single strategy, such as sea-wall construction, allows for better preparation for a highly uncertain and dynamic coastal environment. Although general principles such as mainstreaming and no- or low-regret options exist to guide coastal adaptation and provide the framework in which combined approaches operate, few have examined the interactions, synergistic effects and benefits of combined approaches to adaptation. This Perspective provides three examples of ecological engineering -- marshes, mangroves and oyster reefs -- and illustrates how the combination of ecology and engineering works.

  13. Approaches to advancescientific understanding of macrosystems ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levy, Ofir; Ball, Becky; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Cheruvelil, Kendra; Finley, Andrew O.; Lottig, Noah; Punyasena, Surangi W.; Xiao, Jingfeng; Zhou, Jizhong; Buckley, Lauren B.; Filstrup, Christopher T.; Keitt, Tim H.; Kellner, James R.; Knapp, Alan K.; Richardson, Andrew D.; Tcheng, David; Toomey, Michael; Vargas, Rodrigo; Voordeckers, James W.; Wagner, Tyler; Williams, John W.

    2014-02-01

    Macrosystem ecological studies inherently investigate processes that interact across multiple spatial and temporal scales, requiring intensive sampling and massive amounts of data from diverse sources to incorporate complex cross-scale and hierarchical interactions. Inherent challenges associated with these characteristics include high computational demands, data standardization and assimilation, identification of important processes and scales without prior knowledge, and the need for large, cross-disciplinary research teams that conduct long-term studies. Therefore, macrosystem ecology studies must utilize a unique set of approaches that are capable of encompassing these methodological characteristics and associated challenges. Several case studies demonstrate innovative methods used in current macrosystem ecology studies.

  14. Volcano ecology: Disturbance characteristics and assembly of biological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volcanic eruptions are powerful expressions of Earth’s geophysical forces which have shaped and influenced ecological systems since the earliest days of life. The study of the interactions of volcanoes and ecosystems, termed volcano ecology, focuses on the ecological responses of organisms and biolo...

  15. Transgenic crops with an improved resistance to biotic stresses. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tohidfar, M.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Pests, diseases and weeds (biotic stresses are significant limiting factors for crop yield and production. However, the limitations associated with conventional breeding methods necessitated the development of alternative methods for improving new varieties with higher resistance to biotic stresses. Molecular techniques have developed applicable methods for genetic transformation of a wide range of plants. Genetic engineering approach has been demonstrated to provide enormous options for the selection of the resistance genes from different sources to introduce them into plants to provide resistance against different biotic stresses. Literature. In this review, we focus on strategies to achieve the above mentioned objectives including expression of insecticidal, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral resistance and herbicide detoxification for herbicide resistance. Conclusion. Regardless of the concerns about commercialization of products from genetically modified (GM crops resistant to biotic stresses, it is observed that the cultivation area of these crops is growing fast each year. Considering this trend, it is expected that production and commercialization of GM crops resistant to biotic stresses will continue to increase but will also extend to production of crops resistant to abiotic stresses (e.g. drought, salinity, etc. in a near future.

  16. Positive interactions between irrawaddy dolphins and artisanal fishers in the Chilika Lagoon of eastern India are driven by ecology, socioeconomics, and culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Lima, Coralie; Marsh, Helene; Hamann, Mark; Sinha, Anindya; Arthur, Rohan

    2014-09-01

    In human-dominated landscapes, interactions and perceptions towards wildlife are influenced by multidimensional drivers. Understanding these drivers could prove useful for wildlife conservation. We surveyed the attitudes and perceptions of fishers towards threatened Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) at Chilika Lagoon India. To validate the drivers of fisher perceptions, we : (1) observed dolphin foraging behavior at stake nets, and (2) compared catch per unit effort (CPUE) and catch income of fishers from stake nets in the presence and absence of foraging dolphins. We found that fishers were mostly positive towards dolphins, believing that dolphins augmented their fish catch and using culture to express their perceptions. Foraging dolphins were observed spending half their time at stake nets and were associated with significantly higher catch income and CPUE of mullet (Liza sp.), a locally preferred food fish species. Wildlife conservation efforts should use the multidimensional drivers of human-wildlife interactions to involve local stakeholders in management.

  17. Outrun or Outmaneuver: Predator–Prey Interactions as a Model System for Integrating Biomechanical Studies in a Broader Ecological and Evolutionary Context

    OpenAIRE

    Biewener, Andrew Austin; Moore, Talia Yuki

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  18. Bridging ecological and social systems coevolution. A review and proposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gual, Miguel A. [Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Crtra. Utrera, Km 1, 41013, Sevilla (Spain); Norgaard, Richard B. [Energy and Resources Program, 310 Barrows Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3050 (United States)

    2010-02-15

    Social and Natural sciences have, for the most part, ignored the existence of interlinked/interdependent evolutionary processes between cultural and biotic systems, both embedded in an overall dynamic biophysical environment. In this paper, we explore the potential of filling this gap by further developing a common coevolutionary framework based on earlier work in ecological economics. Our main concern is to contribute to the understanding of socioecological coevolution in two ways: (1) to find a general framework that accommodates advances in the explanation of sociocultural evolution in social sciences and, (2) to identify the specific mechanisms that could link this knowledge to what is known in the biological sciences. (author)

  19. Ecology through time, an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangelo, Giovanni; Bramanti, Lorenzo

    2006-01-01

    This brief review is an attempt to condense the major events in the history of Ecology into short 10 sections. In little more than two generations, a new science has emerged and developed into a fundamental part of our lives, spurred on by increasing interest in "natural systems" and concerns over the environmental changes we are witnessing. Ecology, rather neglected until the early decades of last century, flourished and established itself as mature science during the mid-1900s, producing many theories, models, hypothesis and trends of thought. Ecology deals with interacting natural systems and eclectically applies tools drawn from several different sciences (Biology, Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry, Geology, Physics and so on). The beauty of the subject and its multidisciplinary approach makes Ecology extremely intriguing for researchers. One of the main goals of Ecology is to forecast population, community and ecosystem trends over time. Ecological systems are complex: they are composed of such a large number of different, interacting components that their overall behavior can only be understood in terms of emerging properties. Therefore, some interactions and effects are difficult to predict. However, some insights into population and community trends can be inferred from exhaustive data sets and sufficiently long-term, time-series data and dynamic models. Unfortunately, due to the limited funding of environmental data collection, only a few exhaustive, long-term samplings have been carried out, and systematic record keeping for the purposes of ecological research has only recently become widespread. However, it is still possible to garner some insights from historical reports (proxies), which clearly show how the population structures of most of today's communities have been affected by human activities. This short review is based on a talk given at Arcidosso (Grosseto, Italy) during the September, 2005 workshop: "Scientific research and society during the

  20. Physical, biotic, and sampling influences on diel habitat use by stream-dwelling bull trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banish, N.P.; Peterson, J.T.; Thurow, R.F.

    2008-01-01

    We used daytime and nighttime underwater observation to assess microhabitat use by bull trout Salvelinus confluentus (N = 213) in streams of the intermountain western USA during the summers of 2001 and 2002. We recorded fish focal points and measured a set of habitat characteristics as well as habitat availability via line transects. Bull trout were benthic and solitary; most (88%) were observed at night. We developed a conditional logistic regression model to account for the effect of fish movement in response to snorkeling, and we fitted 18 candidate models to evaluate the relative influences of biotic and abiotic factors on habitat use. The candidate models were also fitted with a naive logistic regression (i.e., no movement) to evaluate the effects of movement on inferences of microhabitat use. The most plausible model describing bull trout habitat use was the same for the conditional and nai??ve regressions and included depth, velocity, percent rubble substratum, and the day X depth, body size X depth, and body size X day X depth interactions. The presence of brook trout S. fontinalis and the abundance of conspecifics did not strongly influence microhabitat use by bull trout. The relative rankings of the remaining models differed substantially between the conditional and nai??ve models. Relative to the conditional models, the naive models overestimated the importance of diurnal differences in habitat use and overestimated the use of deepwater habitats, particularly during the day. Both model types suggested that all sizes of bull trout were generally found in deeper, low-velocity habitat at night, whereas small bull trout (70-90 mm total length) were found in shallower habitats during the day. We recommend lhat biologists account for fish movement in response to sampling to avoid biasing modeled habitat use patterns by bull trout. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.

  1. Squamation and ecology of thelodonts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botella, Héctor

    2017-01-01

    Thelodonts are an enigmatic group of Paleozoic jawless vertebrates that have been well studied from taxonomical, biostratigraphic and paleogeographic points of view, although our knowledge of their ecology and mode of life is still scant. Their bodies were covered by micrometric scales whose morphology, histology and the developmental process are extremely similar to those of extant sharks. Based on these similarities and on the well-recognized relationship between squamation and ecology in sharks, here we explore the ecological diversity and lifestyles of thelodonts. For this we use classic morphometrics and discriminant analysis to characterize the squamation patterns of a significant number of extant shark species whose ecology is well known. Multivariate analyses have defined a characteristic squamation pattern for each ecological group, thus establishing a comparative framework for inferring lifestyles in thelodonts. We then use this information to study the squamation of the currently described 147 species of thelodonts, known from both articulated and disarticulated remains. Discriminant analysis has allowed recognizing squamation patterns comparable to those of sharks and links them to specific ecological groups. Our results suggest a remarkable ecological diversity in thelodonts. A large number of them were probably demersal species inhabiting hard substrates, within caves and crevices in rocky environments or reefs, taking advantage of the flexibility provided by their micromeric squamations. Contrary to classical interpretations, only few thelodonts were placed among demersal species inhabiting sandy and muddy substrates. Schooling species with defensive scales against ectoparasites could be also abundant suggesting that social interactions and pressure of ectoparasites were present in vertebrates as early the Silurian. The presence of species showing scales suggestive of low to moderate speed and a lifestyle presumably associated with open water

  2. A truly ecological epigenetics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossdorf, Oliver; Zhang, Yuanye

    2011-04-01

    Until a few years ago, epigenetics was a field of research that had nothing to do with ecology and that virtually no ecologist had ever heard of. This is now changing, as more and more ecologists learn about epigenetic processes and their potential ecological and evolutionary relevance, and a new research field of ecological epigenetics is beginning to take shape. One question that is particularly intriguing ecologists is to what extent epigenetic variation is an additional, and hitherto overlooked, source of natural variation in ecologically important traits. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Herrera & Bazaga (2011) provide one of the first attempts to truly address this question in an ecological setting. They study variation of DNA methylation in a wild population of the rare, long-lived violet Viola cazorlensis, and they use these data to explore interrelations between environmental, genetic and epigenetic variation, and in particular the extent to which these factors are related to long-term differences in herbivore damage among plants. They find substantial epigenetic variation among plant individuals. Interestingly, this epigenetic variation is significantly correlated with long-term differences in herbivory, but only weakly with herbivory-related DNA sequence variation, which suggests that besides habitat, substrate and genetic variation, epigenetic variation may be an additional, and at least partly independent, factor influencing plant–herbivore interactions in the field. Although the study by Herrera & Bazaga (2011) raises at least as many new questions as it answers, it is a pioneering example of how epigenetics can be incorporated into ecological field studies, and it illustrates the value and potential novel insights to be gained from such efforts.

  3. Butachlor degradation in tropical soils: effect of application rate, biotic-abiotic interactions and soil conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, R; Das, P; Chakrabarti, K; Chakraborty, A; Chowdhury, A

    2006-01-01

    The degradative characteristics of butachlor (N-Butoxymethyl-2-chloro-2',6'-diethyla- cetanilide) were studied under controlled laboratory conditions in clay loam alluvial (AL) soil (Typic udifluvent) and coastal saline (CS) soil (Typic endoaquept) from rice cultivated fields. The application rates included field rate (FR), 2-times FR (2FR) and 10-times FR (10FR). The incubation study was carried out at 30 degrees C with and without decomposed cow manure (DCM) at 60% of maximum water holding capacity (WHC) and waterlogged soil condition. The half-life values depended on the soil types and initial concentrations of butachlor. Butachlor degraded faster in AL soil and in soil amended with DCM under waterlogged condition. Microbial degradation is the major avenue of butachlor degradation from soils.

  4. Plant basal resistance: genetics, biochemistry, and impacts on plant-biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahmad, S.

    2012-01-01

    Basal resistance depends largely on a diverse range of defence mechanisms that become active upon attack by pathogens or insects. These mechanisms range from rapid stomatal closure and production of reactive oxygen species, to callose deposition and defence gene induction. It is commonly assumed tha

  5. Do Karst Rivers “deserve” their own biotic index? A ten years study on macrozoobenthos in Croatia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rađa Biljana

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study we present the results of a ten year survey of the aquatic macroinvertebrate fauna along four karst rivers: Jadro, Žrnovnica, Grab and Ruda, all of them situated in the Middle Dalmatia region of Croatia, in an attempt to construct the Iliric Biotic Index, which will be more applicable for the water quality analysis than the most frequently applied biotic index in Croatia, the Italian Modification of Extended Biotic Index. The rivers geologically belong to the Dinaric karst, unique geological phenomena in Europe. Benthic macroinvertebrates were collected along each river at 15 sites by standard methods of sampling along with several physicochemical parameters, including: temperature, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, alkalinity, hardness and pH. Univariate and multivariate techniques revealed differences in the macroinvertebrate community structure as well as in physicochemical parameters between the Karst rivers and continental rivers. Based on those differences, the Iliric Biotic Index was proposed as the standard of karst river water quality in Croatia in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive. Differences between the Iliric Biotic Index and the most commonly used biotic indices in the European Community and the USA (The Biological Monitoring Working Party (B.M.W.P. scores, i.e. Extended Biotic Index, Indice Biotique, Family Biotic Index suggest that karst rivers need a new biotic index.

  6. Stable carbon isotope analysis to distinguish biotic and abiotic degradation of 1,1,1-trichloroethane in groundwater sediments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broholm, Mette Martina; Hunkeler, Daniel; Tuxen, Nina;

    2014-01-01

    dechlorination. In all biotic microcosms 1,1,1-TCA was degraded with no apparent increase in the biotic degradation product 1,1-DCA. 1,1,1-TCA degradation was documented by a clear enrichment in 13C in all biotic microcosms, but not in the abiotic control, which suggests biotic or biotically mediated degradation...... not appear to be reductive dechlorination via 1,1-DCA. In the biotic microcosms, the degradation of 1,1,1-TCA occurred under iron and sulfate reducing conditions. Biotic reduction of iron and sulfate likely resulted in formation of FeS, which can abiotically degrade 1,1,1-TCA. Hence, abiotic degradation of 1......,1,1-TCA mediated by biotic FeS formation constitute an explanation for the observed 1,1,1-TCA degradation. This is supported by a high 1,1,1-TCA 13C enrichment factor consistent with abiotic degradation in biotic microcosms. 1,1-DCA carbon isotope field data suggest that this abiotic degradation of 1...

  7. The abundance of biotic exoplanets and life on planets of Red Dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandel, Amri; Gale, Joseph

    2016-07-01

    The Kepler mission has shown that Earthlike planets orbiting within the Habitable Zones of their host stars are common. We derive an expression for the abundance of life bearing (biotic) extra-solar-system planets (exoplanets) in terms of the (yet unknown) probability for the evolution of biotic life. This "biotic probability" may be estimated by future missions and observations, e.g. spectral analyses of the atmospheres of exoplanets, looking for biomarkers. We show that a biotic probability in the range 0.001-1 implies that a biotic planet may be expected within ~10-100 light years from Earth. Of particular interest in the search for exolife are planets orbiting Red Dwarf (RD) stars, the most frequent stellar type. Previous researches suggested that conditions on planets near RDs would be inimical to life, e.g. the Habitable Zone of RDs is small, so their habitable planets would be close enough to be tidally locked. Recent calculations show that this and other properties of RDs, presumed hostile for the evolution of life, are less severe than originally estimated. We conclude that RD planets could be hospitable for the evolution of life as we know it, not less so than planets of solar-type stars. This result, together with the large number of RDs and their Kepler planet-statistics, makes finding life on RD planets ~10-1000 times more likely than on planets of solar-type stars. Our nearest biotic RD-planet is likely to be 2-10 times closer than the nearest solar-type one.

  8. Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region: Invertebrate species composition, ecology, and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, N.H.; Wrubleski, D.A.; Mushet, D.M.; Batzer, D.P.; Rader, R.B.; Wissinger, S.A.

    1999-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the United States and Canada is a unique area where shallow depressions created by the scouring action of Pleistocene glaciation interact with mid-continental climate variations to create and maintain a variety of wetland classes. These wetlands possess unique environmental and biotic characteristics that add to the overall regional diversity and production of aquatic invertebrates and the vertebrate wildlife that depend upon them as food. Climatic extremes in the PPR have a profound and dynamic influence on wetland hydrology, hydroperiod, chemistry, and ultimately the biota. Available knowledge of aquatic invertebrates in the PPR suggests that diversity of invertebrates within each wetland class is low. Harsh environmental conditions range from frigid winter temperatures that freeze wetlands and their sediments to hot summer temperatures and drought conditions that create steep salinity gradients and seasonally dry habitats. Consequently, the invertebrate community is composed mostly of ecological generalists that possess the necessary adaptations to tolerate environmental extremes. In this review, we describe the highly dynamic nature of prairie pothole wetlands and suggest that invertebrate studies be evaluated within a conceptual framework that considers important hydrologic, chemical, and climatic events.

  9. ecological geological maps: GIS-based evaluation of the Geo-Ecological Quality Index (GEQUI) in Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Arisco, Giuseppe; Perricone, Marcella; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    The condition of landscapes and the ecological communities within them is strongly related to levels of human activity. As a consequence, determining status and trends in the pattern of human-dominated landscapes can be useful for understanding the overall conditions of geo-ecological resources. Ecological geological maps are recent tools providing useful informations about a-biotic and biotic features worldwide. These maps represents a new generation of geological maps and depict the lithospheric components conditions on surface, where ecological dynamics (functions and properties) and human activities develop. Thus, these maps are too a fundamental political tool to plan the human activities management in relationship to the territorial/environmental patterns of a date region. Different types of ecological geological maps can be develop regarding the: conditions (situations), zoning, prognosis and recommendations. The ecological geological conditions maps reflects the complex of parameters or individual characteristics of lithosphere, which characterized the opportunity of the influence of lithosphere components on the biota (man, fauna, flora, and ecosystem). The ecological geological zoning maps are foundamental basis for prognosis estimation and nature defenses measures. Estimation from the position of comfort and safety of human life and function of ecosystem is given on these maps. The ecological geological prognosis maps reflect the spatial-temporary prognoses of ecological geological conditions changing during the natural dynamic of natural surrounding and the main-during the economic mastering of territory and natural technical systems. Finally, the ecological geological recommendation maps are based on the ecological geological and social-economical informations, aiming the regulation of territory by the regulation of economic activities and the defense of bio- and socio-sphere extents. Each of these maps may also be computed or in analytic or in

  10. 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.

    ). Changes in the community structure at any trophic level will have a cascading effect that, in turn, affects the ecosystem functioning (e.g. Hooper et al., 2005; Frank et al., 2011). Given the increasing threat to the coastal environment, many countries..., the area outside the harbour (ZU estuary) showed a disturbed condition only during the SWM, which was due to the monsoonal defaunation and initial colonization by EG III and IV. This indicates that the estuarine communities are structured by natural...

  11. Characterization and comparison of iron oxyhydroxide precipitates from biotic and abiotic groundwater treatments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arturi, Katarzyna Ratajczyk; Koch, Christian Bender; Søgaard, Erik Gydesen

    2017-01-01

    Removal of iron is an important step in groundwater treatment for drinking water production. It is performed to prevent organoleptic issues and clogging in water supply systems. Iron can be eliminated with a purely physico-chemical (abiotic) method or biotically with the help of iron......-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB). Each of the purification methods requires different operating conditions and results in formation of iron oxyhydroxide (FeOOH) precipitates. Knowledge about the differences in composition and properties of the biotic and abiotic precipitates is desirable from a technical, but also...

  12. WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS OF LOTIC ECOSYSTEMS FROM UPPER MUREŞ RIVER CATCHMENT AREA USING DIFFERENT BIOTIC INDICES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milca PETROVICI

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Present paper approach the issue of assessing the water quality of tributaries located in the upper basin of the river Mureş, taking into account changes in the value of biotic indices. In this sense, have been selected the next five biotic indices: Ephemeroptera Plecoptera Trichoptera index (EPT, Total Invertebrates index (T, Chironomidae index (Ch, EPT / Total invertebrates index (EPT / T, EPT / Chironomidae index (EPT / Ch and % Chironomidae index (% Chironomidae. Considering all these indices, it was found existence of a medium to best quality water in Mureş tributaries from Harghita Mountains and a good quality water which comes from the Maramureş Mountains and Transylvania Plateau.

  13. Recommended Reference Genes for Quantitative PCR Analysis in Soybean Have Variable Stabilities during Diverse Biotic Stresses

    OpenAIRE

    Raman Bansal; Priyanka Mittapelly; CASSONE, BRYAN J.; Praveen Mamidala; Redinbaugh, Margaret G.; Andy Michel

    2015-01-01

    For real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) in soybean, reference genes in different tissues, developmental stages, various cultivars, and under stress conditions have been suggested but their usefulness for research on soybean under various biotic stresses occurring in North-Central U.S. is not known. Here, we investigated the expression stabilities of ten previously recommended reference genes (ABCT, CYP, EF1A, FBOX, GPDH, RPL30, TUA4, TUB4, TUA5, and UNK2) in soybean under biotic str...

  14. Biotic survival in the cryobiosphere on geological scale: implication for astro/terrestrial biogeoscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2003-04-01

    In current opinion the most fundamental aspect of any environment, the temperature regime, acts as a regulator of all of the physical-chemical reactions and forms the basis of all biological processes. Now hard data indicate the biotic survival over geological periods from subzero temperatures (down to -27oC in permafrost and to -50oC in ice) to positive one in amber and halite. All these very different environments have, nevertheless, common features: complete isolation, stability and waterproof. In such unique physical-chemical complexes, the dehydration of macromolecules and the reorganization of membrane components apparently lead to a considerable decrease or stop of metabolic activity independently of temperature. This allowed the prolonged survival of ancient microbial lineage that realize unknown possibilities of physiological and biochemical adaptation incomparably longer than any other known habitat. The ability of microorganisms to survive on geological scale within the broad limits of natural systems forces us to redefine the spatial and temporal limits of the terrestrial and extraterrestrial biospheres and suggested that universal mechanisms of such adaptation might operate for millions of years. Among new scientific directions formed on this base, the most general is the fundamental question: how long the life might be preserved and what mechanisms could ensure survival? Because the length of lifetime cannot be reproduced, this highlights the natural storages that make possible the observation of the results of biotic survival on geological scale. Of special interest is the interaction of knowledge to understanding of the limits of the deep cold biosphere as a depository of ancient active biosignatures (biogases, biominerals, pigments, lipids, enzymes, proteins, RNA/DNA fragments) and viable cells. The last are the only known a huge mass of organisms that have retained viability over geological periods and upon thawing, renew physiological activity

  15. Ecological Theory of Language Acquisition

    OpenAIRE

    Lacerda, Francisco; Klintfors, Eeva; Gustavsson, Lisa; Lagerkvist, Lisa; MARKLUND, ELLEN; Sundberg, Ulla

    2004-01-01

    This poster outlines an Ecological Theory of Language Acquisition (ETLA). The theory views the early phases of the language acquisition process as an emergent consequence of the interaction between the infant and its linguistic environment. The newborn infant is considered to be linguistically and phonetically naïve but endowed with the ability to register a wide range of multi-sensory inputs along with the ability to detect similarity between the multi-sensory stimuli it is exposed to. The i...

  16. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels M.; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier;

    2017-01-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they ...... that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems....

  17. Ecological interactions and the fitness effect of water-use efficiency: Competition and drought alter the impact of natural MPK12 alleles in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campitelli, Brandon E; Des Marais, David L; Juenger, Thomas E

    2016-04-01

    The presence of substantial genetic variation for water-use efficiency (WUE) suggests that natural selection plays a role in maintaining alleles that affect WUE. Soil water deficit can reduce plant survival, and is likely to impose selection to increase WUE, whereas competition for resources may select for decreased WUE to ensure water acquisition. We tested the fitness consequences of natural allelic variation in a single gene (MPK12) that influences WUE in Arabidopsis, using transgenic lines contrasting in MPK12 alleles, under four treatments; drought/competition, drought/no competition, well-watered/competition, well-watered/no competition. Results revealed an allele × environment interaction: Low WUE plants performed better in competition, resulting from increased resource consumption. Contrastingly, high WUE individuals performed better in no competition, irrespective of water availability, presumably from enhanced water conservation and nitrogen acquisition. Our findings suggest that selection can influence MPK12 evolution, and represents the first assessment of plant fitness resulting from natural allelic variation at a single locus affecting WUE.

  18. Climatic and biotic extreme events moderate long-term responses of above- and belowground sub-Arctic heathland communities to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth K; Berg, Matty P; Callaghan, Terry V; Kirby-Lambert, Christopher; Bjerke, Jarle W

    2015-11-01

    Climate change impacts are not uniform across the Arctic region because interacting factors causes large variations in local ecosystem change. Extreme climatic events and population cycles of herbivores occur simultaneously against a background of gradual climate warming trends and can redirect ecosystem change along routes that are difficult to predict. Here, we present the results from sub-Arctic heath vegetation and its belowground micro-arthropod community in response to the two main drivers of vegetation damage in this region: extreme winter warming events and subsequent outbreaks of the defoliating autumnal moth caterpillar (Epirrita autumnata). Evergreen dwarf shrub biomass decreased (30%) following extreme winter warming events and again by moth caterpillar grazing. Deciduous shrubs that were previously exposed to an extreme winter warming event were not affected by the moth caterpillar grazing, while those that were not exposed to warming events (control plots) showed reduced (23%) biomass from grazing. Cryptogam cover increased irrespective of grazing or winter warming events. Micro-arthropods declined (46%) following winter warming but did not respond to changes in plant community. Extreme winter warming and caterpillar grazing suppressed the CO2 fluxes of the ecosystem. Evergreen dwarf shrubs are disadvantaged in a future sub-Arctic with more stochastic climatic and biotic events. Given that summer warming may further benefit deciduous over evergreen shrubs, event and trend climate change may both act against evergreen shrubs and the ecosystem functions they provide. This is of particular concern given that Arctic heath vegetation is typically dominated by evergreen shrubs. Other components of the vegetation showed variable responses to abiotic and biotic events, and their interaction indicates that sub-Arctic vegetation response to multiple pressures is not easy to predict from single-factor responses. Therefore, while biotic and climatic events may

  19. Biotic and abiotic oxidation and reduction of iron at circumneutral pH are inseparable processes under natural conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ionescu, Danny; Heim, Christine; Polerecky, L.; Thiel, Volker; de Beer, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Oxidation and reduction of iron can occur through abiotic (chemical) and biotic (microbial) processes. Abiotic iron oxidation is a function of pH and O2 concentration. Biotic iron oxidation is carried out by a diverse group of bacteria, using O2 or NO3 as terminal electron acceptors. At circumneutra

  20. Metabolomics of cereals under biotic stress: current knowledge and techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dirk eBalmer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Prone to attacks by pathogens and pests, plants employ intricate chemical defense mechanisms consisting of metabolic adaptations. However, many plant attackers are manipulating the host metabolism to counteract defense responses and to induce favorable nutritional conditions. Advances in analytical chemistry have allowed the generation of extensive metabolic profiles during plant-pathogen and pest interactions. Thereby, metabolic processes were found to be highly specific for given tissues, species and plant-pathogen/pest interactions. The clusters of identified compounds not only serve as base in the quest of novel defense compounds, but also as markers for the characterization of the plants’ defensive state. The latter is especially useful in agronomic applications where meaningful markers are essential for crop protection. Cereals such as maize make use of their metabolic arsenal during both local and systemic defense responses, and the chemical response is highly adapted to specific attackers. Here, we summarize highlights and recent findings of metabolic patterns of cereals under pathogen and pest attack.

  1. Genetics and regulation of combined abiotic and biotic stress tolerance in tomato

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissoudis, C.

    2016-01-01

    Projections on the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity foresee prolonged and/or increased stress intensities and enlargement of a significant number of pathogens habitats. This significantly raises the occurrence probability of (new) abiotic and biotic stress combinations. With str

  2. Comprehensive Analysis Suggests Overlapping Expression of Rice ONAC Transcription Factors in Abiotic and Biotic Stress Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijun Sun

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available NAC (NAM/ATAF/CUC transcription factors comprise a large plant-specific gene family that contains more than 149 members in rice. Extensive studies have revealed that NAC transcription factors not only play important roles in plant growth and development, but also have functions in regulation of responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, biological functions for most of the members in the NAC family remain unknown. In this study, microarray data analyses revealed that a total of 63 ONAC genes exhibited overlapping expression patterns in rice under various abiotic (salt, drought, and cold and biotic (infection by fungal, bacterial, viral pathogens, and parasitic plants stresses. Thirty-eight ONAC genes exhibited overlapping expression in response to any two abiotic stresses, among which 16 of 30 selected ONAC genes were upregulated in response to exogenous ABA. Sixty-five ONAC genes showed overlapping expression patterns in response to any two biotic stresses. Results from the present study suggested that members of the ONAC genes with overlapping expression pattern may have pleiotropic biological functions in regulation of defense response against different abiotic and biotic stresses, which provide clues for further functional analysis of the ONAC genes in stress tolerance and pathogen resistance.

  3. Ecosystem services in grassland associated with biotic and abiotic soil parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eekeren, van N.J.M.; Boer, H.; Hanegraaf, M.C.; Bokhorst, J.; Nierop, D.; Bloem, J.; Schouten, T.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Brussaard, L.

    2010-01-01

    Biotic soil parameters have so far seldom played a role in practical soil assessment and management of grasslands. However, the ongoing reduction of external inputs in agriculture would imply an increasing reliance on ecosystem self-regulating processes. Since soil biota play an important role in th

  4. Using biotechnology and genomics to improve biotic and abiotic stress in apple

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genomic sequencing, molecular biology, and transformation technologies are providing valuable tools to better understand the complexity of how plants develop, function, and respond to biotic and abiotic stress. These approaches should complement but not replace a solid understanding of whole plant ...

  5. Development of a wireless computer vision instrument to detect biotic stress in wheat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowledge of soil water deficits, crop water stress, and biotic stress from disease or insect pressure is important for optimal irrigation scheduling and water management. While spectral reflectance and thermometry provide a means to quantify crop stress remotely, measurements can be cumbersome, exp...

  6. Influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrient enrichment in agricultural streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maret, Terry R.; Konrad, Christopher P.; Tranmer, Andrew W.

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes.

  7. Biotic soil crusts in relation to topography, cheatgrass, and fire in the Columbia Basin, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponzetti, Jeanne; McCune, B.; Pyke, David A.

    2007-01-01

    We studied lichen and bryophyte soil crust communities in a large public grazing allotment within a sagebrush steppe ecosystem in which the biotic soil crusts are largely intact. The allotment had been rested from grazing for 12 years, but experienced an extensive series of wildfires. In the 350, 4 ?? 0.5 m plots, stratified by topographic position, we found 60 species or species groups that can be distinguished in the field with a hand lens, averaging 11.5 species groups per plot. Lichen and bryophyte soil crust communities differed among topographic positions. Draws were the most disturbed, apparently from water erosion in a narrow channel and mass wasting from the steepened sides. Presumably because of this disturbance, draws had the lowest average species richness of all the topographic strata we examined. Biotic crust species richness and cover were inversely related to cover of the invasive annual, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and positively related to cover of native bunchgrasses. Integrity of the biotic crust was more strongly related to cheatgrass than to fire. In general, we observed good recovery of crusts following fire, but only in those areas dominated by perennial bunchgrasses. We interpret the resilience of the biotic crust, in this case, to the low abundance of cheatgrass, low amounts of soil disturbance and high moss cover. These fires have not resulted in an explosion of the cheatgrass population, perhaps because of the historically low levels of livestock grazing.

  8. Characterization of the summer pack ice biotic community of Canada Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HE Ji anfeng; CAI Minghong; JIANG Xiaodong; CHEN Bo; YU Yong

    2005-01-01

    Summer pack ice biotic community of the Canada Basin was characterized during the Second Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (CHINARE-2003, 20 August-5 September 2003). Bacteria, ice algae (diatoms and autotrophic flagellates) and protozoa (mainly heterotrophic flagellates) were observed throughout the whole ice column. The vertical distribufon of biotic taxa varied among sites.The integrated biomass ranged from 48.4 and 58.1 mg/m2, with an average of 55.2 mg/m2. Bacteria were the dominant of the assem-blage in pack ice, accounted for 84.1% of the integrated, and ice algae, which usually dominate the ice biotic community, constituted only 3.5% of the total. Considering the quick environmental changes of the Arctic Ocean in recent years, we suggested that quick melting of pack ice in summer was suggested, which caused such change of pack ice biotic community. The low salinity throughout the whole ice column and the continuous melting of the pack ice cumbered the formation of ice algae bloom in summer, finally resulting in the dominance of microbial food web with bacteria and heterotrophic flagellates as the most obvious characteristics. Considering the high ratio of pack ice primary production to the total found in previous studies, the quick change of pack ice community structure in summer would deeply influence the marine ecosystem of the high Arctic Ocean.

  9. Urbanization breaks up host-parasite interactions: a case study on parasite community ecology of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization drastically alters natural ecosystems and the structure of their plant and animal communities. Whereas some species cope successfully with these environmental changes, others may go extinct. In the case of parasite communities, the expansion of urban areas has a critical effect by changing the availability of suitable substrates for the eggs or free-larval stages of those species with direct life cycles or for the range of hosts of those species with complex cycles. In this study we investigated the influence of the degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity on helminth richness, abundance and community structure of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This common native bird species of southern Brazil hosts 15 endoparasite species at the study region. A total of 144 thrushes were collected with mist nets at 11 sites. The degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity were estimated by quantifying five landscape elements: buildings, woodlands, fields, bare lands, and water. Landscape analyses were performed at two spatial scales (10 and 100 ha) taking into account home range size and the potential dispersal distance of thrushes and their prey (intermediate hosts). Mean parasite richness showed an inverse relationship with the degree of urbanization, but a positive relationship with environmental heterogeneity. Changes in the structure of component communities along the rural-urban gradient resulted from responses to the availability of particular landscape elements that are compatible with the parasites' life cycles. We found that the replacement of natural environments with buildings breaks up host-parasite interactions, whereas a higher environmental (substrate) diversity allows the survival of a wider range of intermediate hosts and vectors and their associated parasites.

  10. Nutrient Concentrations and Their Relations to the Biotic Integrity of Nonwadeable Rivers in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Dale M.; Weigel, Brian M.; Graczyk, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Excessive nutrient [phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N)] input from point and nonpoint sources is frequently associated with degraded water quality in streams and rivers. Point-source discharges of nutrients are fairly constant and are controlled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. To reduce inputs from nonpoint sources, agricultural performance standards and regulations for croplands and livestock operations are being proposed by various States. In addition, the USEPA is establishing regionally based nutrient criteria that can be refined by each State to determine whether actions are needed to improve water quality. More confidence in the environmental benefits of the proposed performance standards and nutrient criteria would be possible with improved understanding of the biotic responses to a range of nutrient concentrations in different environmental settings. To achieve this general goal, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources collected data from 282 streams and rivers throughout Wisconsin during 2001 through 2003 to: (1) describe how nutrient concentrations and biotic-community structure differ throughout the State, (2) determine which environmental characteristics are most strongly related to the distribution of nutrient concentrations and biotic-community structure, (3) determine reference conditions for water quality and biotic indices for streams and rivers in the State, (4) determine how the biotic communities in streams and rivers in different areas of the State respond to differences in nutrient concentrations, (5) determine the best regionalization scheme to describe the patterns in reference conditions and the corresponding responses in water quality and the biotic communities (primarily for smaller streams), and (6) develop algorithms to estimate nutrient concentrations in streams and rivers from a combination of biotic indices. The ultimate goal of

  11. Ecological, Pedagogical, Public Rhetoric

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivers, Nathaniel A.; Weber, Ryan P.

    2011-01-01

    Public rhetoric pedagogy can benefit from an ecological perspective that sees change as advocated not through a single document but through multiple mundane and monumental texts. This article summarizes various approaches to rhetorical ecology, offers an ecological read of the Montgomery bus boycotts, and concludes with pedagogical insights on a…

  12. Turning ecology and evolution against cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korolev, Kirill S; Xavier, Joao B; Gore, Jeff

    2014-05-01

    The fight against cancer has drawn researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from molecular biology to physics, but the perspective of an ecological theorist has been mostly overlooked. By thinking about the cells that make up a tumour as an endangered species, cancer vulnerabilities become more apparent. Studies in conservation biology and microbial experiments indicate that extinction is a complex phenomenon, which is often driven by the interaction of ecological and evolutionary processes. Recent advances in cancer research have shown that tumours, like species striving for survival, harbour intricate population dynamics, which suggests the possibility to exploit the ecology of tumours for treatment.

  13. Modularity and stability in ecological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilli, Jacopo; Rogers, Tim; Allesina, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    Networks composed of distinct, densely connected subsystems are called modular. In ecology, it has been posited that a modular organization of species interactions would benefit the dynamical stability of communities, even though evidence supporting this hypothesis is mixed. Here we study the effect of modularity on the local stability of ecological dynamical systems, by presenting new results in random matrix theory, which are obtained using a quaternionic parameterization of the cavity method. Results show that modularity can have moderate stabilizing effects for particular parameter choices, while anti-modularity can greatly destabilize ecological networks. PMID:27337386

  14. The importance of biotic entrainment for base flow fluvial sediment transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Stephen P.; Johnson, Matthew F.; Mathers, Kate; Reeds, Jake; Extence, Chris

    2016-05-01

    Sediment transport is regarded as an abiotic process driven by geophysical energy, but zoogeomorphological activity indicates that biological energy can also fuel sediment movements. It is therefore prudent to measure the contribution that biota make to sediment transport, but comparisons of abiotic and biotic sediment fluxes are rare. For a stream in the UK, the contribution of crayfish bioturbation to suspended sediment flux was compared with the amount of sediment moved by hydraulic forcing. During base flow periods, biotic fluxes can be isolated because nocturnal crayfish activity drives diel turbidity cycles, such that nighttime increases above daytime lows are attributable to sediment suspension by crayfish. On average, crayfish bioturbation contributed at least 32% (474 kg) to monthly base flow suspended sediment loads; this biotic surcharge added between 5.1 and 16.1 t (0.21 to 0.66 t km-2 yr-1) to the annual sediment yield. As anticipated, most sediment was moved by hydraulic forcing during floods and the biotic contribution from baseflow periods represented between 0.46 and 1.46% of the annual load. Crayfish activity is nonetheless an important impact during baseflow periods and the measured annual contribution may be a conservative estimate because of unusually prolonged flooding during the measurement period. In addition to direct sediment entrainment by bioturbation, crayfish burrowing supplies sediment to the channel for mobilization during floods so that the total biotic effect of crayfish is potentially greater than documented in this study. These results suggest that in rivers, during base flow periods, bioturbation can entrain significant quantities of fine sediment into suspension with implications for the aquatic ecosystem and base flow sediment fluxes. Energy from life rather than from elevation can make significant contributions to sediment fluxes.

  15. Identification of Arabidopsis candidate genes in response to biotic and abiotic stresses using comparative microarrays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjun Sham

    Full Text Available Plants have evolved with intricate mechanisms to cope with multiple environmental stresses. To adapt with biotic and abiotic stresses, plant responses involve changes at the cellular and molecular levels. The current study was designed to investigate the effects of combinations of different environmental stresses on the transcriptome level of Arabidopsis genome using public microarray databases. We investigated the role of cyclopentenones in mediating plant responses to environmental stress through TGA (TGACG motif-binding factor transcription factor, independently from jasmonic acid. Candidate genes were identified by comparing plants inoculated with Botrytis cinerea or treated with heat, salt or osmotic stress with non-inoculated or non-treated tissues. About 2.5% heat-, 19% salinity- and 41% osmotic stress-induced genes were commonly upregulated by B. cinerea-treatment; and 7.6%, 19% and 48% of genes were commonly downregulated by B. cinerea-treatment, respectively. Our results indicate that plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses are mediated by several common regulatory genes. Comparisons between transcriptome data from Arabidopsis stressed-plants support our hypothesis that some molecular and biological processes involved in biotic and abiotic stress response are conserved. Thirteen of the common regulated genes to abiotic and biotic stresses were studied in detail to determine their role in plant resistance to B. cinerea. Moreover, a T-DNA insertion mutant of the Responsive to Dehydration gene (rd20, encoding for a member of the caleosin (lipid surface protein family, showed an enhanced sensitivity to B. cinerea infection and drought. Overall, the overlapping of plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses, coupled with the sensitivity of the rd20 mutant, may provide new interesting programs for increased plant resistance to multiple environmental stresses, and ultimately increases its chances to survive. Future research

  16. Reverse genetics in ecological research.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Schwachtje

    Full Text Available By precisely manipulating the expression of individual genetic elements thought to be important for ecological performance, reverse genetics has the potential to revolutionize plant ecology. However, untested concerns about possible side-effects of the transformation technique, caused by Agrobacterium infection and tissue culture, on plant performance have stymied research by requiring onerous sample sizes. We compare 5 independently transformed Nicotiana attenuata lines harboring empty vector control (EVC T-DNA lacking silencing information with isogenic wild types (WT, and measured a battery of ecologically relevant traits, known to be important in plant-herbivore interactions: phytohormones, secondary metabolites, growth and fitness parameters under stringent competitive conditions, and transcriptional regulation with microarrays. As a positive control, we included a line silenced in trypsin proteinase inhibitor gene (TPI expression, a potent anti-herbivore defense known to exact fitness costs in its expression, in the analysis. The experiment was conducted twice, with 10 and 20 biological replicates per genotype. For all parameters, we detected no difference between any EVC and WT lines, but could readily detect a fitness benefit of silencing TPI production. A statistical power analyses revealed that the minimum sample sizes required for detecting significant fitness differences between EVC and WT was 2-3 orders of magnitude larger than the 10 replicates required to detect a fitness effect of TPI silencing. We conclude that possible side-effects of transformation are far too low to obfuscate the study of ecologically relevant phenotypes.

  17. Interactions between groundwater and surface water: The state of the science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sophocleous, M.

    2002-01-01

    The interactions between groundwater and surface water are complex. To understand these interactions in relation to climate, landform, geology, and biotic factors, a sound hydrogeoecological framework is needed. All these aspects are synthesized and exemplified in this overview. In addition, the mechanisms of interactions between groundwater and surface water (GW-SW) as they affect recharge-discharge processes are comprehensively outlined, and the ecological significance and the human impacts of such interactions are emphasized. Surface-water and groundwater ecosystems are viewed as linked components of a hydrologic continuum leading to related sustainability issues. This overview concludes with a discussion of research needs and challenges facting this evolving field. The biogeochemical processes within the upper few centimeters of sediments beneath nearly all surface-water bodies (hyporheic zone) have a profound effect on the chemistry of the water interchange, and here is where most of the recent research has been focusing. However, to advance conceptual and other modeling of GW-SW systems, a broader perspective of such interactions across and between surface-water bodies is needed, including multidimensional analyses, interface hydraulic characterization and spatial variability, site-to-region regionalization approaches, as well as cross-disciplinary collaborations.

  18. How severe is the modern biotic crisis?——A comparison of global change and biotic crisis between Permian-Triassic transition and modern times

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hongfu YIN; Weihong HE; Shucheng XIE

    2011-01-01

    A comparison of the modern condition with the Permian-Triassic Boundary (PTB) times was made to estimate how severe the modern biotic crisis is. About the global changes, the two periods are correlative in carbon dioxide concentration and carbon isotope negative excursion, UV strengthening, temperature increase, ocean acidification, and weathering enhancement. The following tendencies of biotic crises are also correlative: acceleration of extinction rates accompanied by parabolic curve of extinction with a turning interval representing the critical crisis; decline of the three main ecosystems: reefs, tropical rain forests and marine phytoplankton. It is also interesting to note that certain leading organism in both periods undergo accelerated evolution during the crisis. The comparison shows that the modem crisis is about at the tuming point from decline to decimation. The extinction curve is now parabolic, and the extinction rate has been accelerated, but the decimation is not yet in real. This is also justified by the modem situation of the three main ecosystems. Modem biotic decline may worsen into decimation and mass extinction but may also get better and recover to ordinary evolution. Since human activities are the main cause of the deterioration of environments and organisms, mankind should be responsible and able to strive for the recovery of the crisis. For the future of mankind, Homo sapiens may become extinct, I.e.,disappear without leaving descendants, or evolve into a new and more advanced species, I.e., disappear but leave descendants. For a better future, mankind should be conscious of the facing danger and act as a whole to save biodiversity and harmonize with the environments.

  19. Statistical physics and ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkov, Igor

    This work addresses the applications of the methods of statistical physics to problems in population ecology. A theoretical framework based on stochastic Markov processes for the unified neutral theory of biodiversity is presented and an analytical solution for the distribution of the relative species abundance distribution both in the large meta-community and in the small local community is obtained. It is shown that the framework of the current neutral theory in ecology can be easily generalized to incorporate symmetric density dependence. An analytically tractable model is studied that provides an accurate description of beta-diversity and exhibits novel scaling behavior that leads to links between ecological measures such as relative species abundance and the species area relationship. We develop a simple framework that incorporates the Janzen-Connell, dispersal and immigration effects and leads to a description of the distribution of relative species abundance, the equilibrium species richness, beta-diversity and the species area relationship, in good accord with data. Also it is shown that an ecosystem can be mapped into an unconventional statistical ensemble and is quite generally tuned in the vicinity of a phase transition where bio-diversity and the use of resources are optimized. We also perform a detailed study of the unconventional statistical ensemble, in which, unlike in physics, the total number of particles and the energy are not fixed but bounded. We show that the temperature and the chemical potential play a dual role: they determine the average energy and the population of the levels in the system and at the same time they act as an imbalance between the energy and population ceilings and the corresponding average values. Different types of statistics (Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein, Fermi-Dirac and one corresponding to the description of a simple ecosystem) are considered. In all cases, we show that the systems may undergo a first or a second order

  20. The transcriptional network of WRKY53 in cereals links oxidative responses to biotic and abiotic stress inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Eck, Leon; Davidson, Rebecca M; Wu, Shuchi; Zhao, Bingyu Y; Botha, Anna-Maria; Leach, Jan E; Lapitan, Nora L V

    2014-06-01

    The transcription factor WRKY53 is expressed during biotic and abiotic stress responses in cereals, but little is currently known about its regulation, structure and downstream targets. We sequenced the wheat ortholog TaWRKY53 and its promoter region, which revealed extensive similarity in gene architecture and cis-acting regulatory elements to the rice ortholog OsWRKY53, including the presence of stress-responsive abscisic acid-responsive elements (ABRE) motifs and GCC-boxes. Four proteins interacted with the WRKY53 promoter in yeast one-hybrid assays, suggesting that this gene can receive inputs from diverse stress-related pathways such as calcium signalling and senescence, and environmental cues such as drought and ultraviolet radiation. The Ser/Thr receptor kinase ORK10/LRK10 and the apoplastic peroxidase POC1 are two downstream targets for regulation by the WRKY53 transcription factor, predicted based on the presence of W-box motifs in their promoters and coregulation with WRKY53, and verified by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Both ORK10/LRK10 and POC1 are upregulated during cereal responses to pathogens and aphids and important components of the oxidative burst during the hypersensitive response. Taken with our yeast two-hybrid assay which identified a strong protein-protein interaction between microsomal glutathione S-transferase 3 and WRKY53, this implies that the WRKY53 transcriptional network regulates oxidative responses to a wide array of stresses.

  1. Philosophy of ecology

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Bryson; Peacock, Kent A

    2011-01-01

    The most pressing problems facing humanity today - over-population, energy shortages, climate change, soil erosion, species extinctions, the risk of epidemic disease, the threat of warfare that could destroy all the hard-won gains of civilization, and even the recent fibrillations of the stock market - are all ecological or have a large ecological component. in this volume philosophers turn their attention to understanding the science of ecology and its huge implications for the human project. To get the application of ecology to policy or other practical concerns right, humanity needs a clear and disinterested philosophical understanding of ecology which can help identify the practical lessons of science. Conversely, the urgent practical demands humanity faces today cannot help but direct scientific and philosophical investigation toward the basis of those ecological challenges that threaten human survival. This book will help to fuel the timely renaissance of interest in philosophy of ecology that is now oc...

  2. The relative contribution of climatic, edaphic, and biotic drivers to risk of tree mortality from drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, R. G.; Moore, G. W.; Edgar, C. B.; Lawing, A. M.; Washington-Allen, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    In recorded history, the 2011 Texas Drought was comparable in severity only to a drought that occurred 300 years ago. By mid-September, 88% of the state experienced 'exceptional' conditions, with the rest experiencing 'extreme' or 'severe' drought. By recent estimates, the 2011 Texas Drought killed 6.2% of all the state's trees, at a rate nearly 9 times greater than average. The vast spatial scale and relatively uniform intensity of this drought has provided an opportunity to examine the comparative interactions among forest types, terrain, and edaphic factors across major climate gradients which in 2011 were subjected to extreme drought conditions that ultimately caused massive tree mortality. We used maximum entropy modeling (Maxent) to rank environmental landscape factors with the potential to drive drought-related tree mortality and test the assumption that the relative importance of these factors are scale-dependent. Occurrence data of dead trees were collected during the summer of 2012 from 599 field plots distributed across Texas with 30% used for model evaluation. Bioclimatic variables, ecoregions, soils characteristics, and topographic variables were modeled with drought-killed tree occurrence. Their relative contribution to the model was seen as their relative importance in driving mortality. To test determinants at a more local scale, we examined Landsat 7 scenes in East and West Texas with moderate-resolution data for the same variables above with the exception of climate. All models were significantly better than random in binomial tests of omission and receiver operating characteristic analyses. The modeled spatial distribution of probability of occurrence showed high probability of mortality in the east-central oak woodlands and the mixed pine-hardwood forest region in northeast Texas. Both regional and local models were dominated by biotic factors (ecoregion and forest type, respectively). Forest density and precipitation of driest month also

  3. Nutrient concentrations and their relations to the biotic integrity of wadeable streams in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Dale M.; Graczyk, David J.; Garrison, Paul J.; Wang, Lizhu; LaLiberte, Gina; Bannerman, Roger

    2006-01-01

    Excessive nutrient (phosphorus and nitrogen) loss from watersheds is frequently associated with degraded water quality in streams. To reduce this loss, agricultural performance standards and regulations for croplands and livestock operations are being proposed by various States. In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is establishing regionally based nutrient criteria that can be refined by each State to determine whether actions are needed to improve a stream's water quality. More confidence in the environmental benefits of the proposed performance standards and nutrient criteria will be possible with a better understanding of the biotic responses to a range of nutrient concentrations in different environmental settings. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources collected data from 240 wadeable streams throughout Wisconsin to: 1) describe how nutrient concentrations and biotic-community structure vary throughout the State; 2) determine which environmental characteristics are most strongly related to the distribution of nutrient concentrations; 3) determine reference water-quality and biotic conditions for different areas of the State; 4) determine how the biotic community of streams in different areas of the State respond to changes in nutrient concentrations; 5) determine the best regionalization scheme to describe the patterns in reference conditions and the responses in water quality and the biotic community; and 6) develop new indices to estimate nutrient concentrations in streams from a combination of biotic indices. The ultimate goal of this study is to provide the information needed to guide the development of regionally based nutrient criteria for Wisconsin streams. For total nitrogen (N) and suspended chlorophyll (SCHL) concentrations and water clarity, regional variability in reference conditions and in the responses in water quality to changes in land use are best described by subdividing wadeable streams

  4. What is dental ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth have long been used as indicators of primate ecology. Early work focused on the links between dental morphology, diet, and behavior, with more recent years emphasizing dental wear, microstructure, development, and biogeochemistry, to understand primate ecology. Our study of Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, has revealed an unusual pattern of severe tooth wear and frequent tooth loss, primarily the result of consuming a fallback food for which these primates are not dentally adapted. Interpreting these data was only possible by combining our areas of expertise (dental anatomy [FC] and primate ecology [MS]). By integrating theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of both areas of research, we adopted the term "dental ecology"-defined as the broad study of how teeth respond to the environment. Specifically, we view dental ecology as an interpretive framework using teeth as a vehicle for understanding an organism's ecology, which builds upon earlier work, but creates a new synthesis of anatomy and ecology that is only possible with detailed knowledge of living primates. This framework includes (1) identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, within the context of feeding ecology, behavior, habitat variation, and anthropogenic change, (2) assessing ways in which dental development and biogeochemical signals can reflect habitat, environmental change and/or stress, and (3) how dental microstructure and macro-morphology are adapted to, and reflect feeding ecology. Here we define dental ecology, provide a short summary of the development of this perspective, and place our new work into this context.

  5. Ecological Interactions Between Metals and Microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konopka, Allan E.

    2004-06-01

    Analyses of chromium resistant microbes. Culturable xylene-degrading and chromate-resistant microbes were obtained from chronically cocontaminated soil using a microcosm enrichment technique, and shown to correlate to dominant soil populations using culture independent techniques. The soil microbial community proved able to mount a respiratory response to addition of xylene in the presence of chromate. The majority of isolates belonged to the ubiquitous but poorly studied high %G+C Gram positive genus Arthrobacter, and exhibited considerable genotypic and phenotypic variability. Phenotypic assays uncovered a wide variation in the levels of chromate resistance, even between very closely related strains. Primers designed against conserved motifs in the known chrA chromate efflux gene failed to detect similar sequences among the chromate resistant Arthrobacter isolates obtained through enrichment.

  6. Ecology of parasite-vector interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takken, W.; Koenraadt, C.J.M.

    2013-01-01

    Vector-borne diseases continue to be one of the most important determinants affecting human and animal health. Large numbers of people suffer from diseases like malaria, dengue, filariasis and leishmaniasis, especially in the tropics. Whereas these diseases were eradicated from the temperate climate

  7. Ecological Interactions Between Metals and Microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konopka, Allan E.

    2005-06-01

    Analysis of Lead Resistant Arthrobacter sp. SI-1 Arthrobacter sp. SI-1 was isolated from contaminated soils at the Seymour site, and was found to be resistant to Pb at concentrations near its solubility limit (150 micromolar). The genetic region that confers lead resistance is located on a plasmid (PSI-1)has been cloned. We have continued to analyze the sub-clones from the pSI-1 region. Initially we had predicted that ORF1-ORF5 were involved in lead resistance because their organization suggest a potential operon. In addition these same five genes have been found in a similar organization on a plasmid from Arthrobacter FB24, while the pAA1 plasmid from A. aurescens TC1 contains three of the five genes. In order to determine the minimum genes required for lead resistance a series of deletion mutants were constructed from the 14.7 kb clone pKJ60. Deletion of ORFs 3-5 did not have any measurable effect on the ability of the cloned fragment to rescue the lead resistance phenotype in a lead sensitive strain of E. coli (RW3110). The construct pKJ65 was generated by removing approximately 200 bp from the center region of ORF2, which codes for the P-Type ATPase; as expected this deletion resulted in a lead sensitive phenotype. While the genes downstream of ORF 2 do not appear to play a significant role in lead resistance the same cannot be said for ORF1 which is upstream. Based on amino acid sequence homology a BLAST search indicates ORF1 is likely a regulatory protein from the ArsR family. When ORF1 is removed (pKJ64, pKJ67), a lead sensitive phenotype occurs. Approximately 100 bp from the sequence of ORF1 was deleted (pKJ70) in order to test if ORF1 is required for lead resistance, or if the cells require something in the upstream non-coding region (binding site, promoter). Cells with pKJ70 show some limited growth in the presence lead, but it is generally much slower than the lead resistant constructs where ORF1 is present. These results suggest that ORF1 has a positive effect on lead resistance, perhaps acting as an activator of transcription. We are currently working to repeat this same set of experiments using cadmium. Previous work on the physiology of lead resistance was done in a MES buffered minimal media at pH6.5, the concentration of PbNO3 in these experiments ranged from 0 to 200 micromolar.

  8. Daily variation of zooplankton abundance and evenness in the Rosana reservoir, Brazil: biotic and abiotic inferences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Érica M. Takahashi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The zooplankton community presents stochastic temporal fluctuation and heterogeneous spatial variation determined by the relationships among the organisms and environmental conditions. We predicted that the temporal and spatial zooplankton distribution is heterogeneous and discrete, respectively, and that the daily variation of most abundant species is related to environmental conditions, specifically the availability of resources. Zooplankton samples were collected daily at three sampling stations in a lateral arm of the Rosana Reservoir (SP/PR. The zooplankton did not present significant differences in abundance and evenness among sampling stations, but the temporal variation of these attributes was significant. Abiotic variables and algal resource availability have significantly explained the daily variation of the most abundant species (p<0.001, however, the species distribution makes inferences on biotic relationships between them. Thus, not only the food resource availability is influential on the abundance of principal zooplankton species, but rather a set of factors (abiotic variables and biotic relationships.

  9. Mercury anomalies and the timing of biotic recovery following the end-Triassic mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibodeau, Alyson M; Ritterbush, Kathleen; Yager, Joyce A; West, A Joshua; Ibarra, Yadira; Bottjer, David J; Berelson, William M; Bergquist, Bridget A; Corsetti, Frank A

    2016-04-06

    The end-Triassic mass extinction overlapped with the eruption of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), and release of CO2 and other volcanic volatiles has been implicated in the extinction. However, the timing of marine biotic recovery versus CAMP eruptions remains uncertain. Here we use Hg concentrations and isotopes as indicators of CAMP volcanism in continental shelf sediments, the primary archive of faunal data. In Triassic-Jurassic strata, Muller Canyon, Nevada, Hg levels rise in the extinction interval, peak before the appearance of the first Jurassic ammonite, remain above background in association with a depauperate fauna, and fall to pre-extinction levels during significant pelagic and benthic faunal recovery. Hg isotopes display no significant mass independent fractionation within the extinction and depauperate intervals, consistent with a volcanic origin for the Hg. The Hg and palaeontological evidence from the same archive indicate that significant biotic recovery did not begin until CAMP eruptions ceased.

  10. A biotic Fe0-H2O system for nitrobenzene removal from groundwater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wu, Jinhua; Yin, Weizhao; Gu, Jingjing;

    2013-01-01

    Batch experiment was conducted to evaluate the capability of a biotic Fe0-H2O for nitrobenzene (NB) removal from groundwater. In this study, iron dosage was 0.25gL-1 throughout the whole experiment and the Fe0-H2O system was amended with 180mgL-1 VSS of mixed culture. The biotic system was tested...... at low concentrations (50mgL-1 as COD) of organic substrates (e.g., ethanol, glucose and sodium acetate) and different concentrations of sulfate, nitrate and dissolved oxygen. The bio-iron system exhibited higher NB removal rate and more AN production. The increasing order of efficiency of tested......), and nitrate showed more significant suppression on NB removal as compared to sulfate. AN elimination occurred during both sulfate-reducing and nitrate-reducing processes and microorganisms got extra reduction capacity from the degradation of AN to reduce nitrate and sulfate, causing the mineralization of NB...

  11. A biotic game design project for integrated life science and engineering education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cira, Nate J; Chung, Alice M; Denisin, Aleksandra K; Rensi, Stefano; Sanchez, Gabriel N; Quake, Stephen R; Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar H

    2015-03-01

    Engaging, hands-on design experiences are key for formal and informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Robotic and video game design challenges have been particularly effective in stimulating student interest, but equivalent experiences for the life sciences are not as developed. Here we present the concept of a "biotic game design project" to motivate student learning at the interface of life sciences and device engineering (as part of a cornerstone bioengineering devices course). We provide all course material and also present efforts in adapting the project's complexity to serve other time frames, age groups, learning focuses, and budgets. Students self-reported that they found the biotic game project fun and motivating, resulting in increased effort. Hence this type of design project could generate excitement and educational impact similar to robotics and video games.

  12. A biotic game design project for integrated life science and engineering education.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nate J Cira

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Engaging, hands-on design experiences are key for formal and informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM education. Robotic and video game design challenges have been particularly effective in stimulating student interest, but equivalent experiences for the life sciences are not as developed. Here we present the concept of a "biotic game design project" to motivate student learning at the interface of life sciences and device engineering (as part of a cornerstone bioengineering devices course. We provide all course material and also present efforts in adapting the project's complexity to serve other time frames, age groups, learning focuses, and budgets. Students self-reported that they found the biotic game project fun and motivating, resulting in increased effort. Hence this type of design project could generate excitement and educational impact similar to robotics and video games.

  13. Evolution and Adaptation of Wild Emmer Wheat Populations to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Raats, Dina; Sela, Hanan; Klymiuk, Valentina; Lidzbarsky, Gabriel; Feng, Lihua; Krugman, Tamar; Fahima, Tzion

    2016-08-04

    The genetic bottlenecks associated with plant domestication and subsequent selection in man-made agroecosystems have limited the genetic diversity of modern crops and increased their vulnerability to environmental stresses. Wild emmer wheat, the tetraploid progenitor of domesticated wheat, distributed along a wide range of ecogeographical conditions in the Fertile Crescent, has valuable "left behind" adaptive diversity to multiple diseases and environmental stresses. The biotic and abiotic stress responses are conferred by series of genes and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that control complex resistance pathways. The study of genetic diversity, genomic organization, expression profiles, protein structure and function of biotic and abiotic stress-resistance genes, and QTLs could shed light on the evolutionary history and adaptation mechanisms of wild emmer populations for their natural habitats. The continuous evolution and adaptation of wild emmer to the changing environment provide novel solutions that can contribute to safeguarding food for the rapidly growing human population.

  14. Interaction network of vascular epiphytes and trees in a subtropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Sergio Javier; Chacoff, Natacha Paola; Malizia, Agustina

    2016-11-01

    The commensalistic interaction between vascular epiphytes and host trees is a type of biotic interaction that has been recently analysed with a network approach. This approach is useful to describe the network structure with metrics such as nestedness, specialization and interaction evenness, which can be compared with other vascular epiphyte-host tree networks from different forests of the world. However, in several cases these comparisons showed different and inconsistent patterns between these networks, and their possible ecological and evolutionary determinants have been scarcely studied. In this study, the interactions between vascular epiphytes and host trees of a subtropical forest of sierra de San Javier (Tucuman, Argentina) were analysed with a network approach. We calculated metrics to characterize the network and we analysed factors such as the abundance of species, tree size, tree bark texture, and tree wood density in order to predict interaction frequencies and network structure. The interaction network analysed exhibited a nested structure, an even distribution of interactions, and low specialization, properties shared with other obligated vascular epiphyte-host tree networks with a different assemblage structure. Interaction frequencies were predicted by the abundance of species, tree size and tree bark texture. Species abundance and tree size also predicted nestedness. Abundance indicated that abundant species interact more frequently; and tree size was an important predictor, since larger-diameter trees hosted more vascular epiphyte species than small-diameter trees. This is one of the first studies analyzing interactions between vascular epiphytes and host trees using a network approach in a subtropical forest, and taking the whole vascular epiphyte assemblage of the sampled community into account.

  15. Silicon, the silver bullet for mitigating biotic and abiotic stress, and improving grain quality, in rice?

    OpenAIRE

    Meharg,Caroline; Andrew A Meharg

    2015-01-01

    Adequate silicon fertilization greatly boosts rice yield and mitigates biotic and abiotic stress, and improves grain quality through lowering the content of cadmium and inorganic arsenic. This review on silicon dynamics in rice considers recent advances in our understanding of the role of silicon in rice, and the challenges of maintaining adequate silicon fertility within rice paddy systems. Silicon is increasingly considered as an element required for optimal plant performance, particularly ...

  16. A BIOTIC CONTROL PERSPECTIVE ON NITRATE CONTAMINATION OF GROUNDWATER FROM AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

    OpenAIRE

    Erickson, Jon D.; Schlapfer, Felix

    2001-01-01

    Agronomists consider the continuity and nutrient capturing properties of cover crops as important determinants of nutrient cycling in agricultural systems. Managing for these biotic control functions can help limit nutrient loss and groundwater contamination between main crop harvests. This simulation study highlights the potential role of cover crop management in a welfare economics framework. The objective is to find the optimal combination of nutrient input to the main crop, the extent of ...

  17. Biotic wetland connectivity—supporting a new approach for wetland policy

    OpenAIRE

    Amezaga, J.M.; Santamaría, Luis; Green, Andy J.

    2002-01-01

    Wetlands are key habitats connected physically and socially with processes occurring over a much wider territory. The biotic connection through dispersal mechanisms among wetlands is of primary importance to wetland management and policies. However, traditional wetland conservation approaches are based on the preservation of isolated sites considered to be of special importance (typically owing to their importance for concentrations of migratory waterbirds). Research linking local species ric...

  18. Improvement of the characterization factor for biotic-resource depletion of fisheries

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Langlois et al. (2012; 2014a) proposed characterization factors (CF) for fish biotic resource extraction impact assessment at the species level. This paper is an improvement of this approach. In the present work, the CF depends on the Maximum Sustainability Yield (MSY), weighted by the ratio of the current total fishing effort to the fishing effort at the MSY value. Because this ratio often cannot be computed from current databases, it is here obtained from the ratio of total catches to MSY a...

  19. Development of Ecological Buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrius Keizikas

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The article presents research on ecological buildings and their influence on the constructional sphere. The aim of the paper is to reveal the essence of ecological architecture showing substantial progress and its potential to stimulate architectural and technological growth. The article also describes relations between the ideas of ecological buildings and the ‘passive house’ concepts and aspects of development as well as describes the possibilities of improving building sustainability and energy efficiency. Article in Lithuanian

  20. Between Design and Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørn, Mona Chor

    such vegetation, based on concepts and theories in plant community ecology. If these communities are based on local forbs there is a continuum in anthropogenic intervention from designed and intensively maintained to semi-natural herbaceous vegetation. Results from a large field experiment show that, after three...... colonised by grasses and eventually woody species. This thesis adds useful basic knowledge in plant community ecology and species-specific growth, which are relevant to research and planning in landscape architecture and ecology....

  1. Plant domestication through an ecological lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milla, Rubén; Osborne, Colin P; Turcotte, Martin M; Violle, Cyrille

    2015-08-01

    Our understanding of domestication comes largely from archeology and genetics. Here, we advocate using current ecological theory and methodologies to provide novel insights into the causes and limitations of evolution under cultivation, as well as into the wider ecological impacts of domestication. We discuss the importance of natural selection under cultivation, that is, the forces promoting differences in Darwinian fitness between plants in crop populations and of constraints, that is, limitations of diverse nature that, given values for trait X, shorten the range of variation of trait Y, during the domestication process. Throughout this opinion paper, we highlight how ecology can yield insight into the effects of domestication on plant traits, on crop feedback over ecological processes, and on how species interactions develop in croplands.

  2. Can law foster social-ecological resilience?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garmestani, Ahjond S.; Allen, Craig R.; Benson, Melinda H.

    2013-01-01

    Law plays an essential role in shaping natural resource and environmental policy, but unfortunately, many environmental laws were developed around the prevailing scientific understanding that there was a “balance of nature” that could be managed and sustained. This view assumes that natural resource managers have the capacity to predict the behavior of ecological systems, know what its important functional components are, and successfully predict the outcome of management interventions. This paper takes on this problem by summarizing and synthesizing the contributions to this Special Feature (Law and Social-Ecological Resilience, Part I: Contributions from Resilience 2011), focusing on the interaction of law and social-ecological resilience, and then offering recommendations for the integration of law and social-ecological resilience.

  3. Can Law Foster Social-Ecological Resilience?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahjond S. Garmestani

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Law plays an essential role in shaping natural resource and environmental policy, but unfortunately, many environmental laws were developed around the prevailing scientific understanding that there was a "balance of nature" that could be managed and sustained. This view assumes that natural resource managers have the capacity to predict the behavior of ecological systems, know what its important functional components are, and successfully predict the outcome of management interventions. This paper takes on this problem by summarizing and synthesizing the contributions to this Special Feature (Law and Social-Ecological Resilience, Part I: Contributions from Resilience 2011, focusing on the interaction of law and social-ecological resilience, and then offering recommendations for the integration of law and social-ecological resilience.

  4. Hydrogen sulfide regulates abiotic stress tolerance and biotic stress resistance in Arabidopsis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haitao Shi; Tiantian Ye; Ning Han; Hongwu Bian; Xiaodong Liu; Zhulong Chan

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an important gaseous molecule in various plant developmental processes and plant stress responses. In this study, the transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants with modulated expressions of two cysteine desulfhydrases, and exogenous H2S donor (sodium hydrosulfide, NaHS) and H2S scavenger (hypotaurine, HT) pre-treated plants were used to dissect the involvement of H2S in plant stress responses. The cysteine desulfhydrases overexpressing plants and NaHS pre-treated plants exhibited higher endogenous H2S level and improved abiotic stress tolerance and biotic stress resistance, while cysteine desulfhydrases knockdown plants and HT pre-treated plants displayed lower endogenous H2S level and decreased stress resistance. Moreover, H2S upregulated the transcripts of multiple abiotic and biotic stress-related genes, and inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Interest-ingly, MIR393-mediated auxin signaling including MIR393a/b and their target genes (TIR1, AFB1, AFB2, and AFB3) was transcrip-tional y regulated by H2S, and was related with H2S-induced antibacterial resistance. Moreover, H2S regulated 50 carbon metabolites including amino acids, organic acids, sugars, sugar alcohols, and aromatic amines. Taken together, these results indicated that cysteine desulfhydrase and H2S conferred abiotic stress tolerance and biotic stress resistance, via affecting the stress-related gene expressions, ROS metabolism, metabolic homeostasis, and MIR393-targeted auxin receptors.

  5. Effect of Mining Activities in Biotic Communities of Villa de la Paz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa-Reyes, Guillermo; González-Mille, Donaji J.; Ilizaliturri-Hernández, César A.; Mejía-Saavedra, Jesús; Cilia-López, V. Gabriela; Costilla-Salazar, Rogelio; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Mining is one of the most important industrial activities worldwide. During its different stages numerous impacts are generated to the environment. The activities in the region have generated a great amount of mining residues, which have caused severe pollution and health effects in both human population and biotic components. The aim of this paper was to assess the impact of mining activities on biotic communities within the district of Villa de la Paz. The results showed that the concentrations of As and Pb in soil were higher than the national regulations for urban or agricultural areas. The bioavailability of these metals was certified by the presence of them in the roots of species of plants and in kidneys and livers of wild rodents. In regard to the community analysis, the sites that were located close to the mining district of Villa de la Paz registered a lower biological diversity, in both plants and wild rodents, aside from showing a change in the species composition of plant communities. The results of this study are evidence of the impact of mining on biotic communities, and the need to take into account the wildlife in the assessment of contaminated sites. PMID:24592381

  6. Effect of mining activities in biotic communities of Villa de la Paz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa-Reyes, Guillermo; González-Mille, Donaji J; Ilizaliturri-Hernández, César A; Mejía-Saavedra, Jesús; Cilia-López, V Gabriela; Costilla-Salazar, Rogelio; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Mining is one of the most important industrial activities worldwide. During its different stages numerous impacts are generated to the environment. The activities in the region have generated a great amount of mining residues, which have caused severe pollution and health effects in both human population and biotic components. The aim of this paper was to assess the impact of mining activities on biotic communities within the district of Villa de la Paz. The results showed that the concentrations of As and Pb in soil were higher than the national regulations for urban or agricultural areas. The bioavailability of these metals was certified by the presence of them in the roots of species of plants and in kidneys and livers of wild rodents. In regard to the community analysis, the sites that were located close to the mining district of Villa de la Paz registered a lower biological diversity, in both plants and wild rodents, aside from showing a change in the species composition of plant communities. The results of this study are evidence of the impact of mining on biotic communities, and the need to take into account the wildlife in the assessment of contaminated sites.

  7. Expert knowledge-based assessment of farming practices for different biotic indicators using fuzzy logic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sattler, Claudia; Stachow, Ulrich; Berger, Gert

    2012-03-01

    The study presented here describes a modeling approach for the ex-ante assessment of farming practices with respect to their risk for several single-species biodiversity indicators. The approach is based on fuzzy-logic techniques and, thus, is tolerant to the inclusion of sources of uncertain knowledge, such as expert judgment into the assessment. The result of the assessment is a so-called Index of Suitability (IS) for the five selected biotic indicators calculated per farming practice. Results of IS values are presented for the comparison of crops and for the comparison of several production alternatives per crop (e.g., organic vs. integrated farming, mineral vs. organic fertilization, and reduced vs. plow tillage). Altogether, the modeled results show that the different farming practices can greatly differ in terms of their suitability for the different biotic indicators and that the farmer has a certain scope of flexibility in opting for a farming practice that is more in favor of biodiversity conservation. Thus, the approach is apt to identify farming practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation and, moreover, enables the identification of farming practices that are suitable with respect to more than one biotic indicator.

  8. Biotic Homogenization Caused by the Invasion of Solidago canadensis in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Guo-qi; ZHANG Chao-bin; MA Ling; QIANG Sheng; John A Silander; Li Li Qi

    2013-01-01

    Although studies argue that invasive species can cause biotic differentiation, some cases show that biological invasions actually decrease biodiversity through biotic homogenization. The concept of biotic homogenization through the invasion of a certain serious invasive plant species merit more studies. Hence, we used field surveys to quantitatively compare invasive populations of Solidago canadensis (SC) in China with the control sites (adjacent sites to SC present sites yet without the species) and SC native populations in the USA. We found that plant communities in SC invaded habitats shared similarities with those in SC native ranges. Bray-Curtis similarity clearly showed that the composition of plant communities in SC invaded habitats were similar to those in SC native ranges. Both in the native and introduced range, plant communities with SC present were characterized by SC being dominant, significantly lower species richness,α-diversity andβ-diversity, as well as a decrease in the correlation coefficient between geographic distance and floristic similarities. SC favors fertile and moist loam habitat, while it dominated in various habitats in China, where more than 20 different dominants should have occurred. In conclusion, serious invasive species can quickly remodel and homogenize diverse communities by dominating them.

  9. Comparative study of the corrosion product films formed in biotic and abiotic media

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Videla, H.A.; Mele, M.F.L. de [Univ. of La Plata (Argentina). Dept. of Chemistry; Swords, C. [Univ. of Leeds (United Kingdom). School of Materials; Edyvean, R.G.J. [Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom). Dept. of Chemical and Processing Engineering; Beech, I.B. [Univ. of Portsmouth (United Kingdom). Dept. of Chemistry

    1999-11-01

    The growth of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) affects several important parameters at the metal/solution interface of carbon steel in liquid media such as pH and redox potential values, as well as modifications of the composition and structure of corrosion product layers. Electrochemical techniques for corrosion assessment and surface analyses by energy dispersion X-ray analysis (EDAX), X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS), X-ray distraction (XRD) and electron microprobe analysis (EPMA) complemented with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (MM) observations, were used to study the structure and composition of protective films on carbon steel in abiotic and biotic media containing different sulfur anions. The results revealed that in biotic and abiotic sulfide films the outer layers were formed by both FeS and FeS{sub 2}, although the relative content of these compounds varied in each case. Usually, the corrosion product films biotically formed were more adherent to the metal surface than those developed abiotically. The latter were flaky and loosely adherent, thus differing in their function during the corrosion process.

  10. Hydrogen sulfide regulates abiotic stress tolerance and biotic stress resistance in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Haitao; Ye, Tiantian; Han, Ning; Bian, Hongwu; Liu, Xiaodong; Chan, Zhulong

    2015-07-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an important gaseous molecule in various plant developmental processes and plant stress responses. In this study, the transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants with modulated expressions of two cysteine desulfhydrases, and exogenous H2S donor (sodium hydrosulfide, NaHS) and H2S scavenger (hypotaurine, HT) pre-treated plants were used to dissect the involvement of H2S in plant stress responses. The cysteine desulfhydrases overexpressing plants and NaHS pre-treated plants exhibited higher endogenous H2S level and improved abiotic stress tolerance and biotic stress resistance, while cysteine desulfhydrases knockdown plants and HT pre-treated plants displayed lower endogenous H2S level and decreased stress resistance. Moreover, H2S upregulated the transcripts of multiple abiotic and biotic stress-related genes, and inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Interestingly, MIR393-mediated auxin signaling including MIR393a/b and their target genes (TIR1, AFB1, AFB2, and AFB3) was transcriptionally regulated by H2S, and was related with H2S-induced antibacterial resistance. Moreover, H2S regulated 50 carbon metabolites including amino acids, organic acids, sugars, sugar alcohols, and aromatic amines. Taken together, these results indicated that cysteine desulfhydrase and H2S conferred abiotic stress tolerance and biotic stress resistance, via affecting the stress-related gene expressions, ROS metabolism, metabolic homeostasis, and MIR393-targeted auxin receptors.

  11. Effect of Mining Activities in Biotic Communities of Villa de la Paz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Espinosa-Reyes

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Mining is one of the most important industrial activities worldwide. During its different stages numerous impacts are generated to the environment. The activities in the region have generated a great amount of mining residues, which have caused severe pollution and health effects in both human population and biotic components. The aim of this paper was to assess the impact of mining activities on biotic communities within the district of Villa de la Paz. The results showed that the concentrations of As and Pb in soil were higher than the national regulations for urban or agricultural areas. The bioavailability of these metals was certified by the presence of them in the roots of species of plants and in kidneys and livers of wild rodents. In regard to the community analysis, the sites that were located close to the mining district of Villa de la Paz registered a lower biological diversity, in both plants and wild rodents, aside from showing a change in the species composition of plant communities. The results of this study are evidence of the impact of mining on biotic communities, and the need to take into account the wildlife in the assessment of contaminated sites.

  12. Benefits of Biotic Pollination for Non-Timber Forest Products and Cultivated Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehel Shiny

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity supplies multiple goods and services to society and is critical for the support of livelihoods across the globe. Many indigenous people depend upon non-timber forest products (NTFP and crops for a range of goods including food, medicine, fibre and construction materials. However, the dependency of these products on biotic pollination services is poorly understood. We used the biologically and culturally diverse Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in India to characterise the types of NTFP and crop products of 213 plant species and asses their degree of dependency on animal pollination. We found that 80 per cent of all species benefited from animal pollination in their reproduction, and that 62 per cent of crop products and 40 per cent of NTFP benefited from biotic pollination in their production. Further we identified the likely pollinating taxa documented as responsible for the production of these products, mainly bees and other insects. A lower proportion of indigenous plant products (39 per cent benefited from biotic pollination than products from introduced plants (61 per cent. We conclude that pollinators play an important role in the livelihoods of people in this region.

  13. Undamming rivers: a review of the ecological impacts of dam removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednarek, A T

    2001-06-01

    Dam removal continues to garner attention as a potential river restoration tool. The increasing possibility of dam removal through the FERC relicensing process, as well as through federal and state agency actions, makes a critical examination of the ecological benefits and costs essential. This paper reviews the possible ecological impacts of dam removal using various case studies. Restoration of an unregulated flow regime has resulted in increased biotic diversity through the enhancement of preferred spawning grounds or other habitat. By returning riverine conditions and sediment transport to formerly impounded areas, riffle/pool sequences, gravel, and cobble have reappeared, along with increases in biotic diversity. Fish passage has been another benefit of dam removal. However, the disappearance of the reservoir may also affect certain publicly desirable fisheries. Short-term ecological impacts of dam removal include an increased sediment load that may cause suffocation and abrasion to various biota and habitats. However, several recorded dam removals have suggested that the increased sediment load caused by removal should be a short-term effect. Pre-removal studies for contaminated sediment may be effective at controlling toxic release problems. Although monitoring and dam removal studies are limited, a continued examination of the possible ecological impacts is important for quantifying the resistance and resilience of aquatic ecosystems. Dam removal, although controversial, is an important alternative for river restoration.

  14. Evaluation of stream ecological integrity using litter decomposition and benthic invertebrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castela, Jose [Departamento de Zoologia and IMAR-CIC, Universidade de Coimbra, Largo Marques de Pombal, 3004-517 Coimbra (Portugal)], E-mail: jcccastela@gmail.com; Ferreira, Veronica [Departamento de Zoologia and IMAR-CIC, Universidade de Coimbra, Largo Marques de Pombal, 3004-517 Coimbra (Portugal)], E-mail: veronica@ci.uc.pt; Graca, Manuel A.S. [Departamento de Zoologia and IMAR-CIC, Universidade de Coimbra, Largo Marques de Pombal, 3004-517 Coimbra (Portugal)], E-mail: mgraca@ci.uc.pt

    2008-05-15

    Biomonitoring programs to access the ecological integrity of freshwaters tend to rely exclusively on structural parameters. Here we evaluated stream ecological integrity using (a) benthic macroinvertebrate derived metrics and a biotic index as measures of structural integrity and (b) oak litter decomposition and associated fungal sporulation rates as measures of functional integrity. The study was done at four sites (S1, S2, S3 and S4) along a downstream increasing phosphorus and habitat degradation gradient in a small stream. The biotic index, invertebrate metrics, invertebrate and fungal communities' structure and sporulation rates discriminated upstream and downstream sites. Decomposition rates classified sites S4 and S2 as having a compromised ecosystem functioning. Although both functional and structural approaches gave the same results for the most impacted site (S4), they were complementary for moderately impacted sites (S2 and S3), and we therefore support the need for incorporating functional measures in evaluations of stream ecological integrity. - This study supports the need for incorporating functional measures in evaluations of stream ecological integrity.

  15. Ecotoxicological endpoints, are they useful tools to support ecological status assessment in strongly modified water bodies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma, P; Ledo, L; Alvarenga, P

    2016-01-15

    Although man-made reservoirs represent an important water supply source in countries where water scarcity has become a problem, little work has been done on the evaluation of their ecological status. Taking this in account, the general aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of ecotoxicological endpoints in the potential ecological status characterization of water reservoirs, with the purpose of their possible integration in evaluation programs developed under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). To achieve this purpose, a group of bioassays were selected to evaluate both water and sediment compartments at the Alqueva reservoir (the biggest from the Iberian Peninsula), with representative species from different taxonomic and functional groups: Vibrio fischeri, Thamnocephalus platyurus, Daphnia magna and Heterocypris incongruens. The ecotoxicological assessment showed that sublethal endpoints (e.g., luminescence, growth or reproduction), would be more useful and sensitive to identify toxicity patterns in this type of water body. In general, the results from this ecotoxicological toolbox agreed with the potential ecological status established according to the WFD, which indicates that the bioassays complement the ecological assessment. Furthermore, the use of an ecotoxicological approach can be extremely useful, especially in cases where the biotic indices are difficult to establish, such as in man-made reservoirs. However, when pollutant concentrations are very low, and/or when nutrients and organic matter concentrations are high, the two approaches do not fit, requiring further research to determine which organisms are more sensitive and the best biotic indices to use under those conditions.

  16. Key ecological challenges for closed systems facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, William F.; Allen, John P.

    2013-07-01

    Closed ecological systems are desirable for a number of purposes. In space life support systems, material closure allows precious life-supporting resources to be kept inside and recycled. Closure in small biospheric systems facilitates detailed measurement of global ecological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Closed testbeds facilitate research topics which require isolation from the outside (e.g. genetically modified organisms; radioisotopes) so their ecological interactions and fluxes can be studied separate from interactions with the outside environment. But to achieve and maintain closure entails solving complex ecological challenges. These challenges include being able to handle faster cycling rates and accentuated daily and seasonal fluxes of critical life elements such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, macro- and mico-nutrients. The problems of achieving sustainability in closed systems for life support include how to handle atmospheric dynamics including trace gases, producing a complete human diet, recycling nutrients and maintaining soil fertility, the maintenance of healthy air and water and preventing the loss of critical elements from active circulation. In biospheric facilities, the challenge is also to produce analogues to natural biomes and ecosystems, studying processes of self-organization and adaptation in systems that allow specification or determination of state variables and cycles which may be followed through all interactions from atmosphere to soils. Other challenges include the dynamics and genetics of small populations, the psychological challenges for small isolated human groups and backup technologies and strategic options which may be necessary to ensure long-term operation of closed ecological systems.

  17. Interaction of Wild Strains of Aspergilla with Aspergillus parasiticus ATCC15517 and Aflatoxin Production †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, H. Marina; Almeida, Inês; Marques, Marta; Bernardo, Fernando

    2008-01-01

    Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced by some competent mould strains of Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus and A. nomius. These compounds have been extensively studied with regards to their toxicity for animals and humans; they are able to induce liver cancer and may cause a wide range of adverse effects in living organisms. Aflatoxins are found as natural contaminants of food and feed; the main line of the strategy to control them is based on the prevention of the mould growth in raw vegetable or during its storage and monitoring of each crop batch. Mould growth is conditioned by many ecological factors, including biotic ones. Hazard characterization models for aflatoxins in crops must take into consideration biotic interactions between moulds and their potential effects on growth development. The aim of this work is to study the effect of the biotic interaction of 14 different wild strains of Aspergilla (different species), with a competent strain (Aspergillus parasiticus ATCC 15517) using an in vitro production model. The laboratory model used was a natural matrix (humidified cracked corn), on which each wild strain challenged the aflatoxin production of a producer strain. Cultures were incubated at 28°C for 12 days and sampled at the 8th and 12th. Aflatoxin detection and quantification was performed by HPLC using a procedure with a MRPL = 1 μg/kg. Results of those interactive cultures revealed both synergic and antagonistic effects on aflatoxin biosynthesis. Productivity increases were particularly evident on the 8th day of incubation with wild strains of A. flavipes (+ 70.4 %), A. versicolor (+ 54.9 %) and A. flavus 3 (+ 62.6 %). Antagonistic effects were found with A. niger (− 69.5%), A. fumigatus (− 47.6 %) and A. terreus (− 47.6 %) on the 12th day. The increased effects were more evident on the 8th of incubation and the decreases were more patent on the 12th day. Results show that the development of Aspergilla strains concomitantly with

  18. Differences in competitive ability between plants from nonnative and native populations of a tropical invader relates to adaptive responses in abiotic and biotic environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Yong Liao

    Full Text Available The evolution of competitive ability of invasive plant species is generally studied in the context of adaptive responses to novel biotic environments (enemy release in introduced ranges. However, invasive plants may also respond to novel abiotic environments. Here we studied differences in competitive ability between Chromolaena odorata plants of populations from nonnative versus native ranges, considering biogeographical differences in both biotic and abiotic environments. An intraspecific competition experiment was conducted at two nutrient levels in a common garden. In both low and high nutrient treatments, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed consistently lower root to shoot ratios than did plants from native ranges grown in both monoculture and competition. In the low nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed significantly lower competitive ability (competition-driven decreases in plant height and biomass were more, which was associated with their lower root to shoot ratios and higher total leaf phenolic content (defense trait. In the high nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed lower leaf toughness and cellulosic contents (defense traits but similar competitive ability compared with plants from native ranges, which was also associated with their lower root to shoot ratios. Our results indicate that genetically based shifts in biomass allocation (responses to abiotic environments also influence competitive abilities of invasive plants, and provide a first potential mechanism for the interaction between range and environment (environment-dependent difference between ranges.

  19. Climatic Versus Biotic Constraints on Carbon and Water Fluxes in Seasonally Drought-affected Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems. Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, P. A.; Law, B. E.; Williams, M.; Irvine, J.; Kurpius, M.; Moore, D.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the relative importance of climatic versus biotic controls on gross primary production (GPP) and water vapor fluxes in seasonally drought-affected ponderosa pine forests. The study was conducted in young (YS), mature (MS), and old stands (OS) over 4 years at the AmeriFlux Metolius sites. Model simulations showed that interannual variation of GPP did not follow the same trends as precipitation, and effects of climatic variation were smallest at the OS (50%), and intermediate at the YS (<20%). In the young, developing stand, interannual variation in leaf area has larger effects on fluxes than climate, although leaf area is a function of climate in that climate can interact with age-related shifts in carbon allocation and affect whole-tree hydraulic conductance. Older forests, with well-established root systems, appear to be better buffered from effects of seasonal drought and interannual climatic variation. Interannual variation of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was also lowest at the OS, where NEE is controlled more by interannual variation of ecosystem respiration, 70% of which is from soil, than by the variation of GPP, whereas variation in GPP is the primary reason for interannual changes in NEE at the YS and MS. Across spatially heterogeneous landscapes with high frequency of younger stands resulting from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, interannual climatic variation and change in leaf area are likely to result in large interannual variation in GPP and NEE.

  20. Taxonomic scale-dependence of habitat niche partitioning and biotic neighbourhood on survival of tropical tree seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queenborough, Simon A; Burslem, David F R P; Garwood, Nancy C; Valencia, Renato

    2009-12-07

    In order to differentiate between mechanisms of species coexistence, we examined the relative importance of local biotic neighbourhood, abiotic habitat factors and species differences as factors influencing the survival of 2330 spatially mapped tropical tree seedlings of 15 species of Myristicaceae in two separate analyses in which individuals were identified first to species and then to genus. Using likelihood methods, we selected the most parsimonious candidate models as predictors of 3 year seedling survival in both sets of analyses. We found evidence for differential effects of abiotic niche and neighbourhood processes on individual survival between analyses at the genus and species levels. Niche partitioning (defined as an interaction of taxonomic identity and abiotic neighbourhood) was significant in analyses at the genus level, but did not differentiate among species in models of individual seedling survival. By contrast, conspecific and congeneric seedling and adult density were retained in the minimum adequate models of seedling survival at species and genus levels, respectively. We conclude that abiotic niche effects express differences in seedling survival among genera but not among species, and that, within genera, community and/or local variation in adult and seedling abundance drives variation in seedling survival. These data suggest that different mechanisms of coexistence among tropical tree taxa may function at different taxonomic or phylogenetic scales. This perspective helps to reconcile perceived differences of importance in the various non-mutually exclusive mechanisms of species coexistence in hyper-diverse tropical forests.

  1. Mycobacterium ulcerans dynamics in aquatic ecosystems are driven by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garchitorena, Andrés; Guégan, Jean-François; Léger, Lucas; Eyangoh, Sara; Marsollier, Laurent; Roche, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions are often embedded within complex host communities and can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, such as seasonal variations in climate or abiotic conditions in water and soil, which confounds our understanding of the main drivers of many multi-host pathogens. Here, we take advantage of a combination of large environmental data sets on Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU), an environmentally persistent microorganism associated to freshwater ecosystems and present in a large variety of aquatic hosts, to characterize abiotic and biotic factors driving the dynamics of this pathogen in two regions of Cameroon. We find that MU dynamics are largely driven by seasonal climatic factors and certain physico-chemical conditions in stagnant and slow-flowing ecosystems, with an important role of pH as limiting factor. Furthermore, water conditions can modify the effect of abundance and diversity of aquatic organisms on MU dynamics, which suggests a different contribution of two MU transmission routes for aquatic hosts (trophic vs environmental transmission) depending on local abiotic factors.

  2. Development of a decision support tool for water and resource management using biotic, abiotic, and hydrological assessments of Topock Marsh, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmquist-Johnson, Christopher; Hanson, Leanne; Daniels, Joan; Talbert, Colin; Haegele, Jeanette

    2016-05-23

    Topock Marsh is a large wetland adjacent to the Colorado River and the main feature of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge (Havasu NWR) in southern Arizona. In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Bureau of Reclamation began a project to improve water management capabilities at Topock Marsh and protect habitats and species. Initial construction required a drawdown, which caused below-average inflows and water depths in 2010–11. U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) scientists collected an assemblage of biotic, abiotic, and hydrologic data from Topock Marsh during the drawdown and immediately after, thus obtaining valuable information needed by FWS.Building upon that work, FORT developed a decision support system (DSS) to better understand ecosystem health and function of Topock Marsh under various hydrologic conditions. The DSS was developed using a spatially explicit geographic information system package of historical data, habitat indices, and analytical tools to synthesize outputs for hydrologic time periods. Deliverables include high-resolution orthorectified imagery of Topock Marsh; a DSS tool that can be used by Havasu NWR to compare habitat availability associated with three hydrologic scenarios (dry, average, wet years); and this final report which details study results. This project, therefore, has addressed critical FWS management questions by integrating ecologic and hydrologic information into a DSS framework. This DSS will assist refuge management to make better informed decisions about refuge operations and better understand the ecological results of those decisions by providing tools to identify the effects of water operations on species-specific habitat and ecological processes. While this approach was developed to help FWS use the best available science to determine more effective water management strategies at Havasu NWR, technologies used in this study could be applied elsewhere within the region.

  3. Ecologies of Learning, Ecologies of Creativity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Helene

    The subject of this project/paper is the challenges that digital media pose to earlier definitions, divisions and conceptions of learning institutions and their activities. It is argued that, in the light of digital media, the idea of institutional co-creation of learning and literacies needs...... in the light of the new Danish school reform. How can different learning institutions contribute to a “joint” ecology of learning? What would the benefits be from this in terms of young people’s literacies? On what theoretical basis can such an ecology and co-creation take place? And what kind of didactics...

  4. Monsoonal variability in abiotic parameters in coastal waters off Trivandrum evokes press and pulse response in biotic variables

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Subina, N.S.; Bhosle, S.; Nair, S.; Lokabharathi, P.A.

    Trivandrum Coast experiences coastal upwelling during south west monsoon, which is accompanied by abiotic changes in physio-chemical parameters. The resultant biotic responses could range from an instantaneous pulse to a sustained press reaction...

  5. Recommended Reference Genes for Quantitative PCR Analysis in Soybean Have Variable Stabilities during Diverse Biotic Stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Raman; Mittapelly, Priyanka; Cassone, Bryan J; Mamidala, Praveen; Redinbaugh, Margaret G; Michel, Andy

    2015-01-01

    For real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) in soybean, reference genes in different tissues, developmental stages, various cultivars, and under stress conditions have been suggested but their usefulness for research on soybean under various biotic stresses occurring in North-Central U.S. is not known. Here, we investigated the expression stabilities of ten previously recommended reference genes (ABCT, CYP, EF1A, FBOX, GPDH, RPL30, TUA4, TUB4, TUA5, and UNK2) in soybean under biotic stress from Bean pod mottle virus (BPMV), powdery mildew (PMD), soybean aphid (SBA), and two-spotted spider mite (TSSM). BPMV, PMD, SBA, and TSSM are amongst the most common pest problems on soybean in North-Central U.S. and other regions. Reference gene stability was determined using three software algorithms (geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper) and a web-based tool (RefFinder). Reference genes showed variability in their expression as well as stability across various stressors and the best reference genes were stress-dependent. ABCT and FBOX were found to be the most stable in soybean under both BPMV and SBA stress but these genes had only minimal to moderate stability during PMD and TSSM stress. Expression of TUA4 and CYP was found to be most stable during PMD stress; TUB4 and TUA4 were stable under TSSM stress. Under various biotic stresses on soybean analyzed, GPDH expression was found to be consistently unstable. For all biotic stressors on soybean, we obtained pairwise variation (V2/3) values less than 0.15 which suggested that combined use of the two most stable reference genes would be sufficient for normalization. Further, we demonstrated the utility of normalizing the qRT-PCR data for target genes using the most stable reference genes validated in current study. Following of the recommendations from our current study will enable an accurate and reliable normalization of qRT-PCR data in soybean under biotic stress.

  6. Exploring biotic vs. abiotic controls on syngenetic carbonate and clay mineral precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nascimento, Gabriela S.; McKenzie, Judith A.; Martinez Ruiz, Francisca; Bontognali, Tomaso R. R.; Vasconcelos, Crisogono

    2016-04-01

    A possible syngenetic relationship between carbonate and clay mineral precipitation has been reported for sedimentary rocks deposited in both lacustrine and marine sedimentary environments throughout the geological record. In particular, the mineral dolomite is often found associated with Mg-rich clays, such as stevensite. It is notable that this carbonate/clay association has been recorded in numerous samples taken from modern dolomite precipitating environments; for example, the Coorong lakes, South Australia, coastal sabkhas, Abu Dhabi, UAE and coastal hypersaline lagoons (Lagoa Vermelha and Brejo do Espinho) east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An HRTEM study of samples from these three locations indicates a possible physical/chemical association between the Ca-dolomite and Mg-rich clays, demonstrating a probable co-precipitation. To test this hypothesis, we have conducted a series of biotic and abiotic laboratory experiments. If this syngenesis actually occurs in nature, what, if any, are the biogeochemical processes controlling these precipitation reactions? Our experiments were designed to determine the extent of the biotic versus abiotic component influencing the mineral precipitation and, in the case of a biotic influence, to understand the mechanism through which microorganisms might mediate the formation of clay minerals. The experiments were carried out in the Geomicrobiology Laboratory of ETH Zürich using cultures of living microbes and artificial organic compounds that simulate functional groups present in natural biofilms formed under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. In addition, pure inorganic experiments were designed to understand possible physico-chemical conditions for diagenetic processes that could induce dissolution of Mg-carbonates and precipitation of Mg-rich clays. Our results show a remarkable biotic influence during the formation of clay minerals. Specifically, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), released by microbes in their

  7. Recommended Reference Genes for Quantitative PCR Analysis in Soybean Have Variable Stabilities during Diverse Biotic Stresses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raman Bansal

    Full Text Available For real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR in soybean, reference genes in different tissues, developmental stages, various cultivars, and under stress conditions have been suggested but their usefulness for research on soybean under various biotic stresses occurring in North-Central U.S. is not known. Here, we investigated the expression stabilities of ten previously recommended reference genes (ABCT, CYP, EF1A, FBOX, GPDH, RPL30, TUA4, TUB4, TUA5, and UNK2 in soybean under biotic stress from Bean pod mottle virus (BPMV, powdery mildew (PMD, soybean aphid (SBA, and two-spotted spider mite (TSSM. BPMV, PMD, SBA, and TSSM are amongst the most common pest problems on soybean in North-Central U.S. and other regions. Reference gene stability was determined using three software algorithms (geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and a web-based tool (RefFinder. Reference genes showed variability in their expression as well as stability across various stressors and the best reference genes were stress-dependent. ABCT and FBOX were found to be the most stable in soybean under both BPMV and SBA stress but these genes had only minimal to moderate stability during PMD and TSSM stress. Expression of TUA4 and CYP was found to be most stable during PMD stress; TUB4 and TUA4 were stable under TSSM stress. Under various biotic stresses on soybean analyzed, GPDH expression was found to be consistently unstable. For all biotic stressors on soybean, we obtained pairwise variation (V2/3 values less than 0.15 which suggested that combined use of the two most stable reference genes would be sufficient for normalization. Further, we demonstrated the utility of normalizing the qRT-PCR data for target genes using the most stable reference genes validated in current study. Following of the recommendations from our current study will enable an accurate and reliable normalization of qRT-PCR data in soybean under biotic stress.

  8. Biotic and a-biotic Mn and Fe cycling in deep sediments across a gradient of sulfate reduction rates along the California margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider-Mor, A.; Steefel, C.; Maher, K.

    2011-12-01

    The coupling between the biological and a-biotic processes controlling trace metals in deep marine sediments are not well understood, although the fluxes of elements and trace metals across the sediment-water interface can be a major contribution to ocean water. Four marine sediment profiles (ODP leg 167 sites 1011, 1017, 1018 and 1020)were examined to evaluate and quantify the biotic and abiotic reaction networks and fluxes that occur in deep marine sediments. We compared biogeochemical processes across a gradient of sulfate reduction (SR) rates with the objective of studying the processes that control these rates and how they affect major elements as well as trace metal redistribution. The rates of sulfate reduction, methanogenesis and anaerobic methane oxidation (AMO) were constrained using a multicomponent reactive transport model (CrunchFlow). Constraints for the model include: sediment and pore water concentrations, as well as %CaCO3, %biogenic silica, wt% carbon and δ13C of total organic carbon (TOC), particulate organic matter (POC) and mineral associated carbon (MAC). The sites are distinguished by the depth of AMO: a shallow zone is observed at sites 1018 (9 to 19 meters composite depth (mcd)) and 1017 (19 to 30 mcd), while deeper zones occur at sites 1011 (56 to 76 mcd) and 1020 (101 to 116 mcd). Sulfate reduction rates at the shallow AMO sites are on the order 1x10-16 mol/L/yr, much faster than rates in the deeper zone sulfate reduction (1-3x10-17 mol/L/yr), as expected. The dissolved metal ion concentrations varied between the sites, with Fe (0.01-7 μM) and Mn (0.01-57 μM) concentrations highest at Site 1020 and lowest at site 1017. The highest Fe and Mn concentrations occurred at various depths, and were not directly correlated with the rates of sulfate reduction and the maximum alkalinity values. The main processes that control cycling of Fe are the production of sulfide from sulfate reduction and the distribution of Fe-oxides. The Mn distribution

  9. The movement ecology of seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kathryn; van Dijk, Kor-Jent; Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Kendrick, Gary A; Krauss, Siegfried L; Waycott, Michelle; Verduin, Jennifer; Lowe, Ryan; Statton, John; Brown, Eloise; Duarte, Carlos

    2014-11-22

    A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and demographic connectivity over multiple timeframes is the novel feature of the movement ecology of seagrasses with significant evolutionary and ecological consequences. The space-time movement footprint of different life-history stages varies. For example, the distance moved by reproductive propagules and vegetative expansion via clonal growth is similar, but the timescales range exponentially, from hours to months or centuries to millennia, respectively. Consequently, environmental factors and key traits that interact to influence movement also operate on vastly different spatial and temporal scales. Six key future research areas have been identified.

  10. RADIOECOLOGY AND ECOLOGICAL IMMUNOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. M. Shubik

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The author's investigations results are presented in comparing with literary materials concerning the application of principles and methods of ecological immunology for solving radioecological questions. The data on characteristic of immunity and health of human population affected with radiation factors of the environment is given as well as animals' population state as the links offood ecological chains.

  11. Quantitative plant ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    This e-book is written in the Wolfram' CDF format (download free CDF player from Wolfram.com) The objective of this e-book is to introduce the population ecological concepts for measuring and predicting the ecological success of plant species. This will be done by focusing on the measurement......, will not be covered in this e-book....

  12. The ecology of citizenship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coates, Robert; Garmany, Jeff

    2017-01-01

    This article calls into question the relationship between citizenship, space and ecological stability. Drawing on case study research from urban Brazil, we argue that while space may be crucial to Western perspectives of citizenship – particularly in urban areas – the ecological coproduction of thes

  13. Predictive systems ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Matthew R; Bithell, Mike; Cornell, Stephen J; Dall, Sasha R X; Díaz, Sandra; Emmott, Stephen; Ernande, Bruno; Grimm, Volker; Hodgson, David J; Lewis, Simon L; Mace, Georgina M; Morecroft, Michael; Moustakas, Aristides; Murphy, Eugene; Newbold, Tim; Norris, K J; Petchey, Owen; Smith, Matthew; Travis, Justin M J; Benton, Tim G

    2013-11-22

    Human societies, and their well-being, depend to a significant extent on the state of the ecosystems that surround them. These ecosystems are changing rapidly usually in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment. To determine the likely impact of environmental change on ecosystems and the best ways to manage them, it would be desirable to be able to predict their future states. We present a proposal to develop the paradigm of predictive systems ecology, explicitly to understand and predict the properties and behaviour of ecological systems. We discuss the necessary and desirable features of predictive systems ecology models. There are places where predictive systems ecology is already being practised and we summarize a range of terrestrial and marine examples. Significant challenges remain but we suggest that ecology would benefit both as a scientific discipline and increase its impact in society if it were to embrace the need to become more predictive.

  14. 黔南晚石炭世生物礁群落中的生态关系研究%Ecological Interactions among the Late Carboniferous Reef Communities in Southern Guizhou Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    常洪伦; 巩恩普; 陈晓红; 杨大勇; 关长庆; 张永利; 韩炜忠

    2011-01-01

    equilibrium, whereas phylloid algae surpass corals with their sheer number of countless individuals. The phylloid algae and the brachiopods have special ecological interactions, i. e. , maintaining symbiosis while still competing for living space. In the reef-building process of Bianping village coral reef, the replacement of Forrnitchevella community and its lower communities resulted in the formation of Late Carboniferous large-scale coral reef.

  15. Role of Design in the Consumer Culture Development: Ecological Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankina, Marina V.; Khrustalyova, Christina ?.; Egarmin, Anton ?.; Shekhova, Natalia V.

    2016-01-01

    The relevance of the researched problem stems from ecological issues that are a reflection of the contemporary culture crisis covering the whole range of people's interactions with each other, with society and with nature. In many respects, an ecological crisis is an ideological crisis and global environmental problems are impossible to solve…

  16. Fractal basins in an ecological model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Djellit

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Complex dynamics is detected in an ecological model of host-parasitoid interaction. It illustrates fractalization of basins with self-similarity and chaotic attractors. This paper describes these dynamic behaviors, bifurcations, and chaos. Fractals basins are displayed by numerical simulations.

  17. Climatic ecology of charismatic leadership ideals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Vliert, Evert

    2006-01-01

    On the basis of the ecological leadership theory (van de Vliert & Smith, 2004), the perceived effectiveness of charismatic leadership in a country's organizations is conceptualized as an adaptation to two interacting characteristics of the environment-cold, temperate, or hot climate, and national we

  18. The Study of Situation Interaction and the Coordination Evolution of the Multi -type Cluster Library Ecology Position%多类型集群图书馆生态位的态势互动与协同进化研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘学平

    2012-01-01

    The multi-type cluster library is library aggregate in certain region, different systems, the different industry. The formation of ecology position is the result of the competition serves and the transformation of the library condition and the potential. The situation interaction of ecology position is the basis of its coordination evolution. The coordination evolution is the develop- ment trend of cluster libraries. It can realize the library maximization development by the smallest cost and the resources consumption. The paper has analyzed the multi - type cluster library ecology position situation interaction mechanism, has constructed the interactive model, has discussed its ecology position coordination evolution strategy, the strategic model and the strategy of strategic implementation.%多类集群型图书馆是在一定区域内,不同系统、不同行业图书馆的集聚体,其生态位的形成是服务竞争的结果,也是图书馆态与势转化的结果,生态位的态势互动,是其协同进化的基础。协同进化是集群图书馆的发展趋向,它能以最小的成本和资源消耗实现图书馆最大化的发展。文章分析了多类型集群图书馆生态位的态势互动机制,构建了互动模型,探讨了其生态位协同进化的战略、战略模型及战略实施的策略。

  19. [The introduction in France, between the two World Wars, of the ideas of American scientific ecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acot, P; Drouin, J M

    1997-01-01

    From the early XIXth century, studies of plant associations in relation to their different environments arose in geobotany, next to classical studies of species distribution. This trend in research was perpetuated and may explain some characteristics of the reception in France of American scientific ecology. Thus, during the interwar years, the Zürich-Montpellier school of phytosociology made possible important progress in bringing to the fore the discontinuities in vegetation. However, it hindered ecological research from the approach of plant associations dynamics, hence to ideas in systems ecology, while works on these subjects were successfully carried out at the same time in the USA. Nevertheless, several researchers (geobotanists, microbiologists or biocoenologists) worked within a conceptual framework that was in harmony with American studies on biotic communities.

  20. Local and landscape-scale biotic correlates of mistletoe distribution in Mediterranean pine forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roura-Pascual, N.; Brotons, L.; Garcia, D.; Zamora, R.; Caceres, M. de

    2012-11-01

    The study of the spatial patterns of species allows the examination of hypotheses on the most plausible ecological processes and factors determining their distribution. To investigate the determinants of parasite species on Mediterranean forests at regional scales, occurrence data of the European Misletoe (Viscum album) in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula) were extracted from forest inventory data and combined with different types of explanatory variables by means of generalized linear mixed models. The presence of mistletoes in stands of Pinus halepensis seems to be determined by multiple factors (climatic conditions, and characteristics of the host tree and landscape structure) operating at different spatial scales, with the availability of orchards of Olea europaea in the surroundings playing a relevant role. These results suggest that host quality and landscape structure are important mediators of plant-plant and plant-animal interactions and, therefore, management of mistletoe populations should be conducted at both local (i.e. clearing of infected host trees) and landscape scales (e.g. controlling the availability of nutrient-rich food sources that attract bird dispersers). Research and management at landscape-scales are necessary to anticipate the negative consequence of land-use changes in Mediterranean forests. (Author) 38 refs.

  1. Ecological epigenetics: an introduction to the symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledón-Rettig, Cris C

    2013-08-01

    Phenotypic variation arises from interactions between environmental and genetic variation, and the emergence of such variation is, in part, mediated by epigenetic mechanisms: factors that modify gene expression but do not change the gene sequence, per se. The role of epigenetic variation and inheritance in natural populations, however, remains poorly understood. The budding field of Ecological Epigenetics seeks to extend our knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms and processes to natural populations, and recent conceptual and technical advances have made progress toward this goal more feasible. In light of these breakthroughs, now is a particularly opportune time to develop a framework that will guide and facilitate exceptional studies in Ecological Epigenetics. Toward this goal, the Ecological Epigenetics symposium brought together researchers with diverse strengths in theory, developmental genetics, ecology, and evolution, and the proceedings from their talks are presented in this issue. By characterizing environmentally dependent epigenetic variation in natural populations, we will enhance our understanding of developmental, ecological, and evolutionary phenomena. In particular, ecological epigenetics has the potential to explain how populations endure (or fail to endure) profound and rapid environmental change. Here, my goal is to introduce some of the common goals and challenges shared by those pursuing this critical field.

  2. Industrial ecology Prosperity Game{trademark}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beck, D.; Boyack, K.; Berman, M.

    1998-03-01

    Industrial ecology (IE) is an emerging scientific field that views industrial activities and the environment as an interactive whole. The IE approach simultaneously optimizes activities with respect to cost, performance, and environmental impact. Industrial Ecology provides a dynamic systems-based framework that enables management of human activity on a sustainable basis by: minimizing energy and materials usage; insuring acceptable quality of life for people; minimizing the ecological impact of human activity to levels that natural systems can sustain; and maintaining the economic viability of systems for industry, trade and commerce. Industrial ecology applies systems science to industrial systems, defining the system boundary to incorporate the natural world. Its overall goal is to optimize industrial activities within the constraints imposed by ecological viability, globally and locally. In this context, Industrial systems applies not just to private sector manufacturing and services but also to government operations, including provision of infrastructure. Sandia conducted its seventeenth Prosperity Game{trademark} on May 23--25, 1997, at the Hyatt Dulles Hotel in Herndon, Virginia. The primary sponsors of the event were Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, who were interested in using the format of a Prosperity Game to address some of the issues surrounding Industrial Ecology. Honorary game sponsors were: The National Science Foundation; the Committee on Environmental Improvement, American Chemical Society; the Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Division, American Chemical Society; the US EPA--The Smart Growth Network, Office of Policy Development; and the US DOE-Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development.

  3. The raison d'être of chemical ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raguso, Robert A; Agrawal, Anurag A; Douglas, Angela E; Jander, Georg; Kessler, André; Poveda, Katja; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2015-03-01

    Chemical ecology is a mechanistic approach to understanding the causes and consequences of species interactions, distribution, abundance, and diversity. The promise of chemical ecology stems from its potential to provide causal mechanisms that further our understanding of ecological interactions and allow us to more effectively manipulate managed systems. Founded on the notion that all organisms use endogenous hormones and chemical compounds that mediate interactions, chemical ecology has flourished over the past 50 years since its origin. In this essay we highlight the breadth of chemical ecology, from its historical focus on pheromonal communication, plant-insect interactions, and coevolution to frontier themes including community and ecosystem effects of chemically mediated species interactions. Emerging approaches including the -omics, phylogenetic ecology, the form and function of microbiomes, and network analysis, as well as emerging challenges (e.g., sustainable agriculture and public health) are guiding current growth of this field. Nonetheless, the directions and approaches we advocate for the future are grounded in classic ecological theories and hypotheses that continue to motivate our broader discipline.

  4. Recent Developments in Ecological Economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reader with published articles within the field of ecological economics, mostly from 1997 - 2007......Reader with published articles within the field of ecological economics, mostly from 1997 - 2007...

  5. Quantitative plant ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    This e-book is written in the Wolfram' CDF format (download free CDF player from Wolfram.com) The objective of this e-book is to introduce the population ecological concepts for measuring and predicting the ecological success of plant species. This will be done by focusing on the measurement...... and statistical modelling of plant species abundance and the relevant ecological processes that control species abundance. The focus on statistical modelling and likelihood function based methods also means that more algorithm based methods, e.g. ordination techniques and boosted regression tress...

  6. Complex adaptive systems ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommerlund, Julie

    2003-01-01

    In the following, I will analyze two articles called Complex Adaptive Systems EcologyI & II (Molin & Molin, 1997 & 2000). The CASE-articles are some of the more quirkyarticles that have come out of the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group - a groupwhere I am currently making observational s