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Sample records for biotic interactions ecological

  1. Managing biotic interactions for ecological intensification of agroecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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

  3. Inferring biotic interactions from proxies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Matias, Miguel G; Gravel, Dominique; Araújo, Miguel B

    2015-06-01

    Inferring biotic interactions from functional, phylogenetic and geographical proxies remains one great challenge in ecology. We propose a conceptual framework to infer the backbone of biotic interaction networks within regional species pools. First, interacting groups are identified to order links and remove forbidden interactions between species. Second, additional links are removed by examination of the geographical context in which species co-occur. Third, hypotheses are proposed to establish interaction probabilities between species. We illustrate the framework using published food-webs in terrestrial and marine systems. We conclude that preliminary descriptions of the web of life can be made by careful integration of data with theory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, F; Bergelson, J

    2016-01-01

    In the context of global change, predicting the responses of plant communities in an ever-changing biotic environment calls for a multipronged approach at the interface of evolutionary genetics and community ecology. However, our understanding of the genetic basis of natural variation involved in mediating biotic interactions, and associated adaptive dynamics of focal plants in their natural communities, is still in its infancy. Here, we review the genetic and molecular bases of natural variation in the response to biotic interactions (viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, herbivores, and plants) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as well as the adaptive value of these bases. Among the 60 identified genes are a number that encode nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR)-type proteins, consistent with early examples of plant defense genes. However, recent studies have revealed an extensive diversity in the molecular mechanisms of defense. Many types of genetic variants associate with phenotypic variation in biotic interactions, even among the genes of large effect that tend to be identified. In general, we found that (i) balancing selection rather than directional selection explains the observed patterns of genetic diversity within A. thaliana and (ii) the cost/benefit tradeoffs of adaptive alleles can be strongly dependent on both genomic and environmental contexts. Finally, because A. thaliana rarely interacts with only one biotic partner in nature, we highlight the benefit of exploring diffuse biotic interactions rather than tightly associated host-enemy pairs. This challenge would help to improve our understanding of coevolutionary quantitative genetics within the context of realistic community complexity. PMID:27282025

  6. The geographic scaling of biotic interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Araújo, Miguel B.; Rozenfeld, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    A central tenet of ecology and biogeography is that the broad outlines of species ranges are determined by climate, whereas the effects of biotic interactions are manifested at local scales. While the first proposition is supported by ample evidence, the second is still a matter of controversy. To address this question, we develop a mathematical model that predicts the spatial overlap, i.e. co-occurrence, between pairs of species subject to all possible types of interactions. We then identify...

  7. 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...... further enhance the risk of extinction. Maculinea alcon is selected as an umbrella for conservation and numerous aspects of its biology has been studied extensively. This thesis explores the spatio-temporal impact of the tight biotic dependence in this tritrophic interaction system and integrates...

  8. Location and foraging as basis for classification of biotic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khabibullin, Viner F

    2016-06-01

    Ecologists face an overwhelming diversity of ecological relationships in natural communities. In this paper, I propose to differentiate various types of the interspecific relations on the basis of two factors: relative localization and foraging activity of interacting partners. I advocate recognition of four types of environments: internal, surface, proximate external and distant external. Then I distinguish four types of synoikia-one partner lives in different degree of proximity to another; and four types of synmensalism: one partner forages in different degree of proximity to another. Intersection of localization-based (four subtypes of synoikia) and foraging-based (four subtypes of synmensalism) rows results in 16 types of interactions. This scheme can serve as a framework that manages diverse biotic interactions in a standardized way. I have made the first step to set up nomenclature standards for terms describing interspecific interactions and hope that this will facilitate research and communication. PMID:27160993

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Biotic interactions govern genetic adaptation to toxicants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Jeremias Martin; Liess, Matthias

    2015-05-01

    The genetic recovery of resistant populations released from pesticide exposure is accelerated by the presence of environmental stressors. By contrast, the relevance of environmental stressors for the spread of resistance during pesticide exposure has not been studied. Moreover, the consequences of interactions between different stressors have not been considered. Here we show that stress through intraspecific competition accelerates microevolution, because it enhances fitness differences between adapted and non-adapted individuals. By contrast, stress through interspecific competition or predation reduces intraspecific competition and thereby delays microevolution. This was demonstrated in mosquito populations (Culex quinquefasciatus) that were exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Non-selective predation through harvesting and interspecific competition with Daphnia magna delayed the selection for individuals carrying the ace-1(R) resistance allele. Under non-toxic conditions, susceptible individuals without ace-1(R) prevailed. Likewise, predation delayed the reverse adaptation of the populations to a non-toxic environment, while the effect of interspecific competition was not significant. Applying a simulation model, we further identified how microevolution is generally determined by the type and degree of competition and predation. We infer that interactions with other species-especially strong in ecosystems with high biodiversity-can delay the development of pesticide resistance. PMID:25833856

  11. EDP: A computer program for analysis of biotic interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Michael A.; Bolton, James C.

    1992-07-01

    Analyzing fossils for evidence of biotic interactions such as parasitism, commensalism, and predation can be accomplished using skeletal relationships (e.g. overlapping growth) on individual specimens and statistical information on populations of specimens. The latter approach provides information for use in larger scale paleocommunity analyses. This approach requires a large data set and extensive amounts of information management. The types of information that are needed include data concerning the identity of host and epibiont species, orientation of epibionts on hosts, position of encrustation, growth directions, region of occurrence, and associated fauna. We have written the Epibiont Digitizing Program (EDP) to collect the data necessary to study biotic interactions in the fossil record. The program is operator-interactive at all stages and versatile enough to allow modification depending upon the specific needs of the researcher.

  12. 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

  13. Biotic interaction strength and the intensity of selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:27602021

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Annual grass invasion in sagebrush-steppe: The relative importance of climate, soil properties and biotic interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Sheel; Sheley, Roger L.

    2016-01-01

    The invasion by winter-annual grasses (AGs) such as Bromus tectorum into sagebrush steppe throughout the western USA is a classic example of a biological invasion with multiple, interacting climate, soil and biotic factors driving the invasion, although few studies have examined all components together. Across a 6000-km2 area of the northern Great Basin, we conducted a field assessment of 100 climate, soil, and biotic (functional group abundances, diversity) factors at each of 90 sites that spanned an invasion gradient ranging from 0 to 100 % AG cover. We first determined which biotic and abiotic factors had the strongest correlative relationships with AGs and each resident functional group. We then used regression and structural equation modeling to explore how multiple ecological factors interact to influence AG abundance. Among biotic interactions, we observed negative relationships between AGs and biodiversity, perennial grass cover, resident species richness, biological soil crust cover and shrub density, whereas perennial and annual forb cover, tree cover and soil microbial biomass had no direct linkage to AG. Among abiotic factors, AG cover was strongly related to climate (increasing cover with increasing temperature and aridity), but had weak relationships with soil factors. Our structural equation model showed negative effects of perennial grasses and biodiversity on AG cover while integrating the negative effects of warmer climate and positive influence of belowground processes on resident functional groups. Our findings illustrate the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate on invasive abundance, while soil properties appear to have stronger relationships with resident biota than with invasives.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Mark C; Pearse, Ian S

    2016-08-01

    The role of information obtained via sensory cues and signals in mediating the interactions of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments has been a major focus of work on sensory and behavioral ecology. Information-mediated interactions also have important implications for broader ecological patterns emerging at the community and ecosystem levels that are only now beginning to be explored. Given the extent to which plants dominate the sensory landscapes of terrestrial ecosystems, information-mediated interactions involving plants should be a major focus of efforts to elucidate these broader patterns. Here we explore how such efforts might be enhanced by a clear understanding of information itself-a central and potentially unifying concept in biology that has nevertheless been the subject of considerable confusion-and of its relationship to adaptive evolution and ecology. We suggest that information-mediated interactions should be a key focus of efforts to more fully integrate evolutionary biology and ecology. PMID:27421106

  20. Niche-habitat mechanisms and biotic interactions explain the coexistence and abundance of congeneric sandgrouse species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez-López, Ana; Viñuela, Javier; Suárez, Francisco; Hervás, Israel; García, Jesús T

    2014-09-01

    Ascertaining which niche processes allow coexistence between closely related species is of special interest in ecology. We quantified variations in the environmental niches and densities of two congeneric species, the pin-tailed and the black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata and Pterocles orientalis) in allopatry and sympatry under similar abiotic, habitat and dispersal contexts to understand their coexistence. Using principal component analysis, we defined environmental gradients (niche dimensions) including abiotic, habitat and anthropogenic variables, and calculated niche breadth, position and overlap of both species in sympatry and allopatry. Additionally, sandgrouse density was modelled as a function of the niche dimensions and the density of the other species. We found evidence that each species occupies distinct environmental niches in sympatry and in allopatry. The black-bellied sandgrouse exploits a broader range of environmental conditions (wider niche breadth) while the pin-tailed sandgrouse reaches high densities where conditions seem to match its optimum. In sympatry, both species shift their niches to intermediate positions, indicating the importance of abiotic factors in setting coexistence areas. Environmental conditions determine regional densities of pin-tailed sandgrouse whereas biotic interactions explain the density of the black-bellied sandgrouse in areas with abiotic conditions similarly conducive for both species. Highly suitable areas for the pin-tailed sandgrouse fall beyond the upper thermal limit of the black-bellied sandgrouse, leading to niche segregation and low densities for the latter. Finally, local niche shift and expansion plus possible heterospecific aggregation allow the pin-tailed sandgrouse to thrive in a priori less favourable environments. This work provides insight into how different mechanisms allow species coexistence and how species densities vary in sympatry compared to allopatry as a result of environmental

  1. Causes of variation in biotic interaction strength and phenotypic selection along an altitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezquida, Eduardo T; Benkman, Craig W

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the causes of variation in biotic interaction strength and phenotypic selection remains one of the outstanding goals of evolutionary ecology. Here we examine the variation in strength of interactions between two seed predators, common crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and European red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris), and mountain pine (Pinus uncinata) at and below tree limit in the Pyrenees, and how this translates into phenotypic selection. Seed predation by crossbills increased whereas seed predation by squirrels decreased with increasing elevation and as the canopy became more open. Overall, seed predation by crossbills averaged about twice that by squirrels, and the intensity of selection exerted by crossbills averaged between 2.6 and 7.5 times greater than by squirrels. The higher levels of seed predation by crossbills than squirrels were related to the relatively open nature of most of the forests, and the higher intensity of selection exerted by crossbills resulted from their higher levels of seed predation. However, most of the differences in selection intensity between crossbills and squirrels were the result of habitat features having a greater effect on the foraging behavior of squirrels than of crossbills, causing selection to be much lower for squirrels than for crossbills. PMID:24593660

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    A persistent challenge in ecology is to tease apart the influence of multiple processes acting simultaneously and interacting in complex ways to shape the structure of species assemblages. We implement a heuristic approach that relies on explicitly defining species pools and permits assessment of the relative influence of the main processes thought to shape assemblage structure: environmental filtering, dispersal limitations, and biotic interactions. We illustrate our approach using data on the assemblage composition and geographic distribution of hummingbirds, a comprehensive phylogeny and morphological traits. The implementation of several process-based species pool definitions in null models suggests that temperature-but not precipitation or dispersal limitation-acts as the main regional filter of assemblage structure. Incorporating this environmental filter directly into the definition of assemblage-specific species pools revealed an otherwise hidden pattern of phylogenetic evenness, indicating that biotic interactions might further influence hummingbird assemblage structure. Such hidden patterns of assemblage structure call for a reexamination of a multitude of phylogenetic- and trait-based studies that did not explicitly consider potentially important processes in their definition of the species pool. Our heuristic approach provides a transparent way to explore patterns and refine interpretations of the underlying causes of assemblage structure. PMID:27277404

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Welk

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Performance of Lychnis flos-cuculi from fragmented populations under experimental biotic interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Galeuchet, D J; Perret, C; Fischer, M.

    2005-01-01

    To study genetic effects of habitat fragmentation on plant performance and plant response to biotic interactions, we performed a greenhouse study with plants from 27 populations of the common plant Lychnis flos-cuculi differing in size, isolation, and microsatellite heterozygosity. We germinated seeds of 449 plants and grew up to nine offspring per maternal plant in single pots assigned to a factorial competition-by-pathogen infection treatment. We applied competition by sowing seeds of the g...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Seedling recruitment is a critical life history stage for trees, and successful recruitment is tightly linked to both abiotic factors and biotic interactions. In order to better understand how tree species' distributions may change in response to anticipated climate change, more knowledge of the effects of complex climate and biotic interactions is needed. We conducted a seed-sowing experiment to investigate how temperature, precipitation and biotic interactions impact recruitment of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings in southern Norway. Seeds were sown into intact vegetation and experimentally created gaps. To study the combined effects of temperature and precipitation, the experiment was replicated across 12 sites, spanning a natural climate gradient from boreal to alpine and from sub-continental to oceanic. Seedling emergence and survival were assessed 12 and 16 months after sowing, respectively, and above-ground biomass and height were determined at the end of the experiment. Interestingly, very few seedlings were detected in the boreal sites, and the highest number of seedlings emerged and established in the alpine sites, indicating that low temperature did not limit seedling recruitment. Site precipitation had an overall positive effect on seedling recruitment, especially at intermediate precipitation levels. Seedling emergence, establishment and biomass were higher in gap plots compared to intact vegetation at all temperature levels. These results suggest that biotic interactions in the form of competition may be more important than temperature as a limiting factor for tree seedling recruitment in the sub- and low-alpine zone of southern Norway. PMID:26065402

  8. Nicotiana tabacum Tsip1-Interacting Ferredoxin 1 Affects Biotic and Abiotic Stress Resistance

    OpenAIRE

    Huh, Sung Un; Lee, In-Ju; Ham, Byung-Kook; Paek, Kyung-Hee

    2012-01-01

    Tsip1, a Zn finger protein that was isolated as a direct interactor with tobacco stress-induced 1 (Tsi1), plays an important role in both biotic and abiotic stress signaling. To further understand Tsip1 function, we searched for more Tsip1-interacting proteins by yeast two-hybrid screening using a tobacco cDNA library. Screening identified a new Tsip1-interacting protein, Nicotiana tabacum Tsip1-interacting ferredoxin 1 (NtTfd1), and binding specificity was confirmed both in vitro and in vivo...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. SIMBOURA

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. 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

  12. The SnRK1 Energy Sensor in Plant Biotic Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulsmans, Sander; Rodriguez, Marianela; De Coninck, Barbara; Rolland, Filip

    2016-08-01

    Our understanding of plant biotic interactions has grown significantly in recent years with the identification of the mechanisms involved in innate immunity, hormone signaling, and secondary metabolism. The impact of such interactions on primary metabolism and the role of metabolic signals in the response of the plants, however, remain far less explored. The SnRK1 (SNF1-related kinase 1) kinases act as metabolic sensors, integrating very diverse stress conditions, and are key in maintaining energy homeostasis for growth and survival. Consistently, an important role is emerging for these kinases as regulators of biotic stress responses triggered by viral, bacterial, fungal, and oomycete infections as well as by herbivory. While this identifies SnRK1 as a promising target for directed modification or selection for more quantitative and sustainable resistance, its central function also increases the chances of unwanted side effects on growth and fitness, stressing the need for identification and in-depth characterization of the mechanisms and target processes involved. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27156455

  13. '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.

  14. '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. PMID:25420573

  15. Physical Stress, Not Biotic Interactions, Preclude an Invasive Grass from Establishing in Forb-Dominated Salt Marshes

    OpenAIRE

    Qiang HE; Cui, Baoshan; An, Yuan

    2012-01-01

    Background Biological invasions have become the focus of considerable concern and ecological research, yet the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors in controlling the invasibility of habitats to exotic species is not well understood. Spartina species are highly invasive plants in coastal wetlands; however, studies on the factors that control the success or failure of Spartina invasions across multiple habitat types are rare and inconclusive. Methodology and Principal Findings We ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Plant microRNAs: key regulators of root architecture and biotic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couzigou, Jean-Malo; Combier, Jean-Philippe

    2016-10-01

    Contents 22 I. 22 II. 24 III. 25 IV. 27 V. 29 VI. 10 31 References 32 SUMMARY: Plants have evolved a remarkable faculty of adaptation to deal with various and changing environmental conditions. In this context, the roots have taken over nutritional aspects and the root system architecture can be modulated in response to nutrient availability or biotic interactions with soil microorganisms. This adaptability requires a fine tuning of gene expression. Indeed, root specification and development are highly complex processes requiring gene regulatory networks involved in hormonal regulations and cell identity. Among the different molecular partners governing root development, microRNAs (miRNAs) are key players for the fast regulation of gene expression. miRNAs are small RNAs involved in most developmental processes and are required for the normal growth of organisms, by the negative regulation of key genes, such as transcription factors and hormone receptors. Here, we review the known roles of miRNAs in root specification and development, from the embryonic roots to the establishment of root symbioses, highlighting the major roles of miRNAs in these processes. PMID:27292927

  20. The ecology of coral-microbe interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Marhaver, Kristen Laura

    2010-01-01

    At every moment, a tropical reef coral interacts with millions of microbial organisms from tens of thousands of different species. Among these viruses, bacteria, archaea, dinoflagellates, and protists are cooperative symbionts as well as pathogens and parasites. Each interaction between a coral and a microscopic organism has ecological consequences for the coral community. In this dissertation, I show that juveniles of the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata suffer distance-dependent mortal...

  1. 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. PMID:26851837

  2. 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.

  3. 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...... with significant patterns of taxon association. Most taxon pairs that exhibited co-occurrence patterns indicative of biotic interactions at one time did not exhibit significant associations at other times. Evidence for environmental filtering and dispersal limitation was weakest for aggregated pairs between 16...

  4. Combined effects of climate and biotic interactions on the elevational range of a phytophagous insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Richard M; Gutiérrez, David; Lewis, Owen T; Gutiérrez, Javier; Díez, Sonia B; Wilson, Robert J

    2008-01-01

    1. The ranges of many species have expanded in cool regions but contracted at warm margins in response to recent climate warming, but the mechanisms behind such changes remain unclear. Particular debate concerns the roles of direct climatic limitation vs. the effects of interacting species in explaining the location of low latitude or low elevation range margins. 2. The mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama (central Spain) include both cool and warm range margins for the black-veined white butterfly, Aporia crataegi, which has disappeared from low elevations since the 1970s without colonizing the highest elevations. 3. We found that the current upper elevation limit to A. crataegi's distribution coincided closely with that of its host plants, but that the species was absent from elevations below 900 m, even where host plants were present. The density of A. crataegi per host plant increased with elevation, but overall abundance of the species declined at high elevations where host plants were rare. 4. The flight period of A. crataegi was later at higher elevations, meaning that butterflies in higher populations flew at hotter times of year; nevertheless, daytime temperatures for the month of peak flight decreased by 6.2 degrees C per 1 km increase in elevation. 5. At higher elevations A. crataegi eggs were laid on the south side of host plants (expected to correspond to hotter microclimates), whereas at lower sites the (cooler) north side of plants was selected. Field transplant experiments showed that egg survival increased with elevation. 6. Climatic limitation is the most likely explanation for the low elevation range margin of A. crataegi, whereas the absence of host plants from high elevations sets the upper limit. This contrasts with the frequent assumption that biotic interactions typically determine warm range margins, and thermal limitation cool margins. 7. Studies that have modelled distribution changes in response to climate change may have underestimated

  5. Rhizodeposition and biotic interactions in the rhizosphere of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and Hordeum vulgare L.

    OpenAIRE

    Haase, Susan

    2008-01-01

    Biochemical processes at the soil-plant interface are largely regulated by organic and inorganic compounds released by roots and microorganisms. Several abiotic and biotic factors are suspected to stimulate rhizodeposition and, thus, contribute to enriching of the rhizosphere with plant-derived compounds. This thesis focused on the effects of two factors, (i) the elevation of atmospheric CO2 concentration accompanied by nutrient limitation in the soil and (ii) low-level root infestation by pl...

  6. Ecological Networks: Structure, Interaction Strength, and Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Samit; Sinha, Somdatta

    The fundamental building blocks of any ecosystem, the food webs, which are assemblages of species through various interconnections, provide a central concept in ecology. The study of a food web allows abstractions of the complexity and interconnectedness of natural communities that transcend the specific details of the underlying systems. For example, Fig. 1 shows a typical food web, where the species are connected through their feeding relationships. The top predator, Heliaster (starfish) feeds on many gastropods like Hexaplex, Morula, Cantharus, etc., some of whom predate on each other [129]. Interactions between species in a food web can be of many types, such as predation, competition, mutualism, commensalism, and ammensalism (see Section 1.1, Fig. 2).

  7. 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.

    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...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. Understanding controls on biotic assemblages and ecological status in Zambian rivers for the development of sustainable monitoring protocols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Michael; Gibbins, Chris; Lowe, Steven; Dallas, Helen; Taylor, Jonathan; Lang, Pauline; Saili, Kothelani; Sichingabula, Henry; Murphy, Kevin

    2014-05-01

    The water resources of Zambia are likely to experience increasing multiple pressures in the future as a result of very high predicted population growth, industrial development, land use change, and potentially, altered regional rainfall patterns. It is well known that rivers in tropical regions typically have a rich biodiversity, controlled in part by inter-annual variability in climate and discharge, and in part by local catchment conditions. However, till recently little country-wide work had had been carried out on the biota of Zambian rivers, and little was therefore known about the ecological status, or degree of catchment alteration of many of the rivers. To underpin sustainable water management, protocols have been developed to assess the ecological status of Zambian rivers. This paper describes the development of the protocols and their application to provide the first extensive assessment of the ecological status of rivers in the country. The protocols were designed to be simple, and hence rapid, easy and relatively inexpensive to apply. Status scores were derived for individual sites using sensitivity weightings from 3 major groups (macrophytes, diatoms and macroinvertebrates). The general approach was based on schemes used successfully elsewhere, with species and family sensitivity weightings modified so as be appropriate to Zambia. Modifications were based on a survey of 140 Zambian rivers, incorporating data on species distributions, physical habitat conditions and water quality. Analysis of historical data suggests that established Freshwater Ecoregions reflect hydro-climatic variability across Zambia. Survey data indicate that most of the spatial variation in biological assemblages across the country reflects these same hydro-climatic gradients, in addition to hydrochemical differences linked to geology. Site status scores suggest that rivers are generally in good health, although exceptions occur in some large urban areas and a small number of

  11. Bottom-up and top-down mechanisms indirectly mediate interactions between benthic biotic ecosystem components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Colen, Carl; Thrush, Simon F.; Parkes, Samantha; Harris, Rachel; Woodin, Sally A.; Wethey, David S.; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Vincx, Magda

    2015-04-01

    The loss or decline in population size of key species can instigate a cascade of effects that have implications for interacting species, therewith impacting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We examined how top-down and bottom-up interactions may mediate knock-on effects of a coastal deposit-feeding clam, Macomona liliana (hereafter Macomona), on sandflat meiobenthos densities. Therefore we manipulated densities of Macomona in combination with predator exclusion and experimental shading that was expected to alter microphytobenthos biomass. We show that Macomona regulated densities of meiobenthic (38-500 μm) nematodes, copepods, polychaetes, turbellarians, and ostracodes during the three months of incubation via indirect mechanisms. Predator pressure on Macomona by eagle rays (Myliobatis tenuicaudatus) was found to have a negative effect on densities of some meiobenthic taxa. Furthermore, experimental shading resulted in the loss of a positive relation between Macomona and microphytobenthos biomass, while concurrently increasing the density of some meiobenthic taxa. We suggest that this observation can be explained by the release from bioturbation interference effects of the cockle Austrovenus stutchburyi that was found to thrive in the presence of Macomona under non-shaded conditions. Our results highlight the importance of interactions between macrofaunal bioturbation, microphyte biomass, sediment stability, and predation pressure for the structuring of benthic communities. This experiment illustrates that manipulative field experiments may be particularly suitable to study such multiple indirect mechanisms that regulate ecosystem diversity and related functioning because such approaches may best capture the complex feedbacks and processes that determine ecosystem dynamics.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidal, Nicolas

    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...... 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......, accordingly, stronger cascading effects on the lower trophic levels could be traced in the Azorean lakes. However, in contrast to expectations, no effect on the trophic position of fish was found, but the shape of the food web structure was more triangular in the (cold) Faroese lakes that were also...

  15. 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

  16. A literature review on biotic homogenization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Conceptualizing power to study social-ecological interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiebren J. Boonstra

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available My aim is to conceptualize power using social science theory and to demonstrate why and how the concept of power can complement resilience studies and other analyses of social-ecological interaction. Social power as a scientific concept refers to the ability to influence both conduct and context. These two dimensions of power (conduct and context can be observed by differentiating between various sources of power, including, for example, technology or mental power. The relevance of the conceptualization of power presented here is illustrated with the example of fire as a source of social-ecological power. I conclude by discussing how attention to power can help to address issues of social justice and responsibility in social-ecological interactions.

  1. 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.

  2. The ecology of social interactions in online and offline environments

    OpenAIRE

    Antoci, Angelo; Delfino, Alexia; Paglieri, Fabio; Sabatini, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The rise in online social networking has brought about a revolution in social relations. However, its effects on offline interactions and its implications for collective well-being are still not clear and are under-investigated. We study the ecology of online and offline interaction in an evolutionary game framework where individuals can adopt different strategies of socialization. Our main result is that the spreading of self-protective behaviors to cope with hostile social environments can ...

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Algae and bacteria have coexisted ever since the early stages of evolution. This coevolution has revolutionized life on earth in many aspects. Algae and bacteria together influence ecosystems as varied as deep seas to lichens and represent all conceivable modes of interactions - from mutualism to parasitism. Several studies have shown that algae and bacteria synergistically affect each other's physiology and metabolism, a classic case being algae-roseobacter interaction. These interactions are ubiquitous and define the primary productivity in most ecosystems. In recent years, algae have received much attention for industrial exploitation but their interaction with bacteria is often considered a contamination during commercialization. A few recent studies have shown that bacteria not only enhance algal growth but also help in flocculation, both essential processes in algal biotechnology. Hence, there is a need to understand these interactions from an evolutionary and ecological standpoint, and integrate this understanding for industrial use. Here we reflect on the diversity of such relationships and their associated mechanisms, as well as the habitats that they mutually influence. This review also outlines the role of these interactions in key evolutionary events such as endosymbiosis, besides their ecological role in biogeochemical cycles. Finally, we focus on extending such studies on algal-bacterial interactions to various environmental and bio-technological applications. PMID:26657897

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Do cultural models facilitate particular ways of perceiving interactions in nature? We explore variability in folkecological principles of reasoning about interspecies interactions (specifically, competitive or cooperative). In two studies, Indigenous Panamanian Ngöbe and U.S. participants interpreted an illustrated, wordless nonfiction book about the hunting relationship between a coyote and badger. Across both studies, the majority of Ngöbe interpreted the hunting relationship as cooperative and the majority of U.S. participants as competitive. Study 2 showed that this pattern may reflect different beliefs about, and perhaps different awareness of, plausible interspecies interactions. Further probes suggest that these models of ecological interaction correlate with recognition of social agency (e.g., communication, morality) in nonhuman animals. We interpret our results in terms of cultural models of nature and nonhuman agency. PMID:26431824

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    The controversy over whether vaccine-targeted HPV types will be replaced by other oncogenic, non-vaccine-targeted types remains unresolved. This is in part because little is known about the ecology of HPV types. Patient data has been interpreted to suggest independence or facilitative interactions between types and therefore replacement is believed to be unlikely. With a novel mathematical model, we investigated which HPV type interactions and their immune responses gave qualitatively similar patterns frequently observed in patients. To assess the possibility of type replacement, vaccination was added to see if non-vaccine-targeted types increased their 'niche'. Our model predicts that independence and facilitation are not necessary for the coexistence of types inside hosts, especially given the patchy nature of HPV infection. In fact, independence and facilitation inadequately represented co-infected patients. We found that some form of competition is likely in natural co-infections. Hence, non-vaccine-targeted types that are not cross-reactive with the vaccine could spread to more patches and can increase their viral load in vaccinated hosts. The degree to which this happens will depend on replication and patch colonization rates. Our results suggest that independence between types could be a fallacy, and so without conclusively untangling HPV within-host ecology, type replacement remains theoretically viable. More ecological thinking is needed in future studies. PMID:24412334

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    modelling is anchored. The egocentric interaction paradigm is described by a set of design principles and models including the situative space model that is intended for the ambient ecology designers and developers. Ambient ecology could be considered as a metaphor for the infrastructure through which...... with an intention of exploring the egocentric interaction paradigm. 20 subjects took part in a quantitative and agent experience study, with the results showing promise to continue further research in the direction of exploring the egocentric interaction paradigm....

  13. Hydrothermal plume particles deconstructed: evidence of biotic and abiotic interactions in particle formation at 9N East Pacific Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breier, J. A.; Toner, B.; Manganini, S. J.; German, C. R.

    2008-12-01

    We are using non-buoyant hydrothermal plume samples collected at 9° 50' N East Pacific Rise to conduct an unprecedented examination of the fine scale (μm- and nm-range) mineralogical and biogeochemical composition of hydrothermal particulates. Recent findings from studies of sinking particulate, suggest that East Pacific Rise hydrothermal particulates are inorganic/organic aggregates. We confirmed this with suspended particulate samples collected, during a 3-day moored multi-sampler deployment in the non- buoyant hydrothermal plume above Tica vent at 9° 50' N East Pacific Rise in November 2007. A combination of high energy synchrotron x-ray absorption spectroscopy and bulk and trace elemental analysis reveal that the >1 μm suspended particulates consist of inorganic Fe oxide grains in a pervasive organic C matrix with carbon K-edge spectra consistent with proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides. This aggregate structure may preserve reduced Fe phases in the presence of oxygenated seawater and alter our basic assumptions about hydrothermal particle dispersion. Scavenging, by coprecipitation and surface adsorption, of seawater nutrients and trace elements such as P, U, Mo, Cr, V, and As may also be influenced by this particulate composition. These samples were collected with a newly developed Suspended Particulate Rosette multi-sampling system designed to collect geochemical and microbial samples from rising deep-sea hydrothermal plumes to enable investigations of abiotic and biotic plume processes.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    Current predictions on species responses to climate change strongly rely on projecting altered environmental conditions on species distributions. However, it is increasingly acknowledged that climate change also influences species interactions. We review and synthesize literature information on biot

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putten, van der W.H.; Macel, M.; Visser, de M.

    2010-01-01

    Current predictions on species responses to climate change strongly rely on projecting altered environmental conditions on species distributions. However, it is increasingly acknowledged that climate change also influences species interactions. We review and synthesize literature information on biot

  18. Sustainable Development of the Boreal Forest: Interaction of Ecological, Social, and Business Feedbacks

    OpenAIRE

    Gail Whiteman; Stuart Chapin, F.

    1998-01-01

    Humans are an integral component of ecosystems, just as the products of ecosystems are critical to social systems. To understand the future state of the boreal forest, we must understand the ecological, social, economic, and business interactions that link ecological and social systems into a common regional system, as well as the feedbacks that govern changes in these interactions. We analyze the negative feedbacks that promoted a sustainable interaction between ecological and social systems...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Troxler, T. G.; C. Coronado-Molina; Rondeau, D. N.; Krupa, S.; Newman, S.; Manna, M.; Price, R. M.; Sklar, F. H.

    2013-01-01

    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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Troxler, T. G.; C. Coronado-Molina; Rondeau, D. N.; Krupa, S.; Newman, S.; Manna, M.; Price, R. M.; Sklar, F. H.

    2014-01-01

    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 fore...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  5. 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

  6. The ecological significance of manipulative parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Lebarbenchon, Camille; Gauthier-Clerc, M; Missé, Dorothée; Poulin, R.; Thomas, F.

    2009-01-01

    The diversity of ways in which host manipulation by parasites interferes with ecological and evolutionary processes governing biotic interactions has been recently documented, and indicates that manipulative parasites are full participants in the functioning of ecosystems. Phenotypic alterations in parasitised hosts modify host population ecology, apparent competition processes, food web structure and energy and nutrient flow between habitats, as well as favouring habitat creation. As is usua...

  7. Towards an Ecological Inquiry in Child-Computer Interaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Styrsky, John D; EUBANKS, MICKY D.

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Species Interactions Among Larval Mosquitoes: Context Dependence Across Habitat Gradients

    OpenAIRE

    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 eme...

  10. Spatial and temporal dynamics of biotic and abiotic features of temperate coastal ecosystems as revealed by a combination of ecological indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grangeré, K.; Lefebvre, S.; Blin, J.-L.

    2012-08-01

    Coastal ecosystems exhibit complex spatio-temporal patterns due to their position at the interface between land and sea. This is particularly the case of temperate ecosystems where exploitation of coastal resources (fisheries and aquaculture) and intensive agricultural use of watersheds further complicate our understanding of their dynamics. The aim of the present study was to unravel the spatio-temporal dynamics of contrasted megatidal coastal ecosystems located at the same regional scale (i.e. under the same regional climate), but under different kinds of human pressure. Two kinds of ecological indicators were assessed over a period of four years at 11 locations along the coast of the Cotentin peninsula (Normandy, France). A first set of hydrobiological variables (dissolved nutrients, Chl a, temperature, salinity, etc.) was measured fortnightly in the water column. These data were analysed by principal components analysis (PCA). A second set of variables were the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of the adductor muscles of cultured Crassostrea gigas introduced every year to typify the bentho-pelagic coupling at each location. Food sources were also investigated using a mixing model with data on the isotopic composition of the food sources obtained previously. To identify which environmental variables played a significant role in determining the oyster diet, the contributions of oyster food sources were combined with environmental variables in a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). Isotopic values of adductor muscles varied significantly between -20.12‰ and -16.79‰ for δ13C and between 8.28‰ and 11.87‰ for δ15N. The PCA distinguished two groups of coastal ecosystems that differed in their coastal hydrology, nutrient inputs, and the size of their respective watershed, irrespective of the year. In each zone, different spatial patterns in the measured variables were observed depending on the year showing that local impacts differed temporally

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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...... through ubiquitination. The wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses that affect crop plants limits agricultural production....... into the complex hormonal crosstalk of classical growth stimulating plant hormones within the naturally occurring biotic and abiotic multistress environment of higher plants. The MAPK- and phytohormone-cascades which comprise a multitude of single molecules on different signalling levels, as well as interactions...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    occurrence on light-demanding species via size-asymmetric competition for light, but a facilitative effect on shade-tolerant species. In order to compare the relative importance of tree cover, four models with different combinations of variables (climate, soil and tree cover) were run for each species. Then......, we simulated a removal experiment by comparing the elevational distribution of each species under high and low tree cover. Tree cover improved model performances and species’ response curves to a tree cover gradient varied depending on their shade tolerance, supporting the hypothesized antagonistic...... role. Results indicated that high tree cover causes range contraction, especially at the upper limit, for light-demanding species, whereas it causes shade-tolerant species to extend their range upwards and downwards. Tree cover thus drives plant-plant interactions to shape plant species distribution...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, M.E.

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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...... reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology....

  19. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Visser, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection shapes the life histories of organisms. The ecological interactions of these organisms with their biotic and abiotic environment shape the selection pressure on their phenotypes while their genetics determine how fast this selection leads to adaptation to their environment. The field of ecological genetics studies the response to natural selection in the wild and thus plays a key role in our understanding of the adaptive capacity of life, essential to understand how a changi...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Ecological interactions between herbivores and silver birch and aspen trees genetically modified for fungal disease resistance

    OpenAIRE

    Vihervuori , Liisa

    2015-01-01

    Many risks and environmental concerns have been linked with the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) trees. Among the most frequently mentioned risks are the unintentional/pleiotropic effects of transgenes on organisms or plant properties that are not the targets of genetic modification. Risks in forest ecosystems are difficult to predict, due to the long life cycles of trees and their complex ecological interactions. This thesis is focused on the interactions between insect and mammal he...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    Polymicrobial interactions are widespread in nature, and play a major role in maintaining human health and ecosystems. Whenever one organism uses metabolites produced by another organism as energy or nutrient sources, this is called cross-feeding. The ecological outcomes of cross-feeding interactions are poorly understood and potentially diverse: mutualism, competition, exploitation or commensalism. A major reason for this uncertainty is the lack of theoretical approaches linking microbial me...

  9. 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.

  10. Coupling Ecology and River Dynamics using a Simplified Interaction Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longjas, A.; Czuba, J. A.; Schwenk, J.; Danesh Yazdi, M.; Hansen, A.; Foufoula-Georgiou, E.

    2013-12-01

    Quantifying how changes in streamflow and sediment affect riverine life is an important component of river basin management and stream restoration efforts, especially under human and climate-induced changes affecting many basins around the world. In the Midwestern US, drastic changes in mussel populations have been witnessed over the past decade begging quantitative understanding of cause and effect and attribution of these changes to the concurrent changes in streamflow and sediment loads to the rivers. Previous empirical analyses have attempted to explore mussel abundance with habitat associations and bulk hydrologic and geomorphic attributes as predictors but results showed relatively weak relationships and low predictive power. In this work, we developed a process-based model that incorporates water-sediment-mussel interactions using functional relationships and predicts the long-term trends of suspended-sediment, chlorophyll-a and mussel population using a daily streamflow record. We applied the model to the Minnesota River Basin, which has experienced significant changes in precipitation and runoff, increased sediment delivery, and decreasing mussel populations. Our model captures the general dynamics of the system and provides a better predictor of mussel populations than predictions based on geomorphic (e.g. upstream drainage area, slope) and hydraulic variables (e.g. 2-year recurrence interval peak streamflow, depth, width, cross sectional area, velocity, and Froude number) alone. To highlight the utility of our model, we tested possible scenarios that illustrate (1) how climate and land-use change may undermine the resilience of mussel populations and (2) how management efforts can allow mussel populations to recover.

  11. 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.

  12. Seed arrival and ecological filters interact to assemble high-diversity plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Jonathan A; Harms, Kyle E

    2011-03-01

    Two prominent mechanisms proposed to structure biodiversity are niche-based ecological filtering and chance arrival of propagules from the species pool. Seed arrival is hypothesized to play a particularly strong role in high-diversity plant communities with large potential species pools and many rare species, but few studies have explored how seed arrival and local ecological filters interactively assemble species-rich communities in space and time. We experimentally manipulated seed arrival and multiple ecological filters in high-diversity, herbaceous-dominated groundcover communities in longleaf pine savannas, which contain the highest small-scale species richness in North America (up to > 40 species/m2). We tested three hypotheses: (1) local communities constitute relatively open-membership assemblages, in which increased seed arrival from the species pool strongly increases species richness; (2) ecological filters imposed by local fire intensity and soil moisture influence recruitment and richness of immigrating species; and (3) ecological filters increase similarity in the composition of immigrating species. In a two-year factorial field experiment, we manipulated local fire intensity by increasing pre-fire fuel loads, soil moisture using rain shelters and irrigation, and seed arrival by adding seeds from the local species pool. Seed arrival increased species richness regardless of fire intensity and soil moisture but interacted with both ecological filters to influence community assembly. High-intensity fire decreased richness of resident species, suggesting an important abiotic filter. In contrast, high-intensity fire increased recruitment and richness of immigrating species, presumably by decreasing effects of other ecological filters (competition and resource limitation) in postfire environments. Drought decreased recruitment and richness of immigrating species, whereas wet soil conditions increased recruitment but decreased or had little effect on

  13. Effects of Biotic and Abiotic Setting on a Host-Pathogen Relationship: How Environmental and Community Characteristics Influence Infection Prevalence and Intensity of Amphibian Chytrid on California's Central Coast

    OpenAIRE

    Hemingway, Valentine

    2015-01-01

    In the face of swift anthropogenic change, it is essential to examine the broad ecological context for species of concern using a variety of approaches in order to understand their interactions in a natural context. Host-pathogen relationships offer a close interaction to examine how each are acted upon by biotic and abiotic conditions. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an emerging infectious disease of amphibians, has been implicated with wholesale loss and marked declines in amphibian speci...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rescan, Marie; Lenormand, Thomas; Roze, Denis

    2016-01-01

    Sexual reproduction leads to an alternation between haploid and diploid phases, whose relative length varies widely across taxa. Previous genetical models showed that diploid or haploid life cycles may be favored, depending on dominance interactions and on effective recombination rates. By contrast, niche differentiation between haploids and diploids may favor biphasic life cycles, in which development occurs in both phases. In this article, we explore the interplay between genetical and ecological factors, assuming that deleterious mutations affect the competitivity of individuals within their ecological niche and allowing different effects of mutations in haploids and diploids (including antagonistic selection). We show that selection on a modifier gene affecting the relative length of both phases can be decomposed into a direct selection term favoring the phase with the highest mean fitness (due to either ecological differences or differential effects of mutations) and an indirect selection term favoring the phase in which selection is more efficient. When deleterious alleles occur at many loci and in the presence of ecological differentiation between haploids and diploids, evolutionary branching often occurs and leads to the stable coexistence of alleles coding for haploid and diploid cycles, while temporal variations in niche sizes may stabilize biphasic cycles. PMID:27277400

  17. Plant Responses to Simultaneous Biotic and Abiotic Stress: Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines Ben Rejeb

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants are constantly confronted to both abiotic and biotic stresses that seriously reduce their productivity. Plant responses to these stresses are complex and involve numerous physiological, molecular, and cellular adaptations. Recent evidence shows that a combination of abiotic and biotic stress can have a positive effect on plant performance by reducing the susceptibility to biotic stress. Such an interaction between both types of stress points to a crosstalk between their respective signaling pathways. This crosstalk may be synergistic and/or antagonistic and include among others the involvement of phytohormones, transcription factors, kinase cascades, and reactive oxygen species (ROS. In certain cases, such crosstalk can lead to a cross-tolerance and enhancement of a plant’s resistance against pathogens. This review aims at giving an insight into cross-tolerance between abiotic and biotic stress, focusing on the molecular level and regulatory pathways.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Alfred G; Krimmel, Billy A

    2015-01-01

    Sticky plants-those having glandular trichomes (hairs) that produce adhesive, viscous exudates-can impede the movement of, and entrap, generalist insects. Disparate arthropod groups have adapted to these widespread and taxonomically diverse plants, yet their interactions with glandular hosts rarely are incorporated into broad ecological theory. Ecologists and entomologists might be unaware of even well-documented examples of insects that are sticky-plant specialists. The hemipteran family Miridae (more specifically, the omnivorous Dicyphini: Dicyphina) is the best-known group of arthropods that specializes on sticky plants. In the first synthesis of relationships with glandular plants for any insect family, we review mirid interactions with sticky hosts, including their adaptations (behavioral, morphological, and physiological) and mutualisms with carnivorous plants, and the ecological and agricultural implications of mirid-sticky plant systems. We propose that mirid research applies generally to tritrophic interactions on trichome-defended plants, enhances an understanding of insect-plant interactions, and provides information useful in managing crop pests. PMID:25564742

  20. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva; Hagemann, Melissa

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Stephen T.; Blois, Jessica L.

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Biotic and abiotic controls of argentine ant invasion success at local and landscape scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menke, S.B.; Fisher, R.N.; Jetz, W.; Holway, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Although the ecological success of introduced species hinges on biotic interactions and physical conditions, few experimental studies - especially on animals - have simultaneously investigated the relative importance of both types of factors. The lack of such research may stem from the common assumption that native and introduced species exhibit similar environmental tolerances. Here we combine experimental and spatial modeling approaches (1) to determine the relative importance of biotic and abiotic controls of Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) invasion success, (2) to examine how the importance of these factors changes with spatial scale in southern California (USA), and (3) to assess how Argentine ants differ from native ants in their environmental tolerances. A factorial field experiment that combined native ant removal with irrigation revealed that Argentine ants failed to invade any dry plots (even those lacking native ants) but readily invaded all moist plots. Native ants slowed the spread of Argentine ants into irrigated plots but did not prevent invasion. In areas without Argentine ants, native ant species showed variable responses to irrigation. At the landscape scale, Argentine ant occurrence was positively correlated with minimum winter temperature (but not precipitation), whereas native ant diversity increased with precipitation and was negatively correlated with minimum winter temperature. These results are of interest for several reasons. First, they demonstrate that fine-scale differences in the physical environment can eclipse biotic resistance from native competitors in determining community susceptibility to invasion. Second, our results illustrate surprising complexities with respect to how the abiotic factors limiting invasion can change with spatial scale, and third, how native and invasive species can differ in their responses to the physical environment. Idiosyncratic and scale-dependent processes complicate attempts to forecast where

  5. Ecological immunology of mosquito-malaria interactions: Of non-natural versus natural model systems and their inferences

    OpenAIRE

    Tripet, F.

    2009-01-01

    There has been a recent shift in the literature on mosquito/Plasmodium interactions with an increasingly large number of theoretical and experimental studies focusing on their population biology and evolutionary processes. Ecological immunology of mosquito-malaria interactions - the study of the mechanisms and function of mosquito immune responses to Plasmodium in their ecological and evolutionary context - is particularly important for our understanding of malaria transmission and how to con...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    We engaged experts in various fields of study (pollination ecology, chemical ecology, and ethnobotany), invited community participation, and provided environmental education in an effort to conserve an endangered birthwort (Aristolochia delavayi) and a vulnerable pipevine swallowtail (Byasa daemonius). Scientists studied the uptake and sequestration of the secondary metabolites aristolochic acids from A. delavayi leaves by different stages of pipevine swallowtail as a defense mechanism; low fruit set of the myophilous A. delavayi due to pollinator limitation; and the emission of chemical signals that attract parasitic wasps by the prepupae of B. daemonius. The results of these studies were part of an education program delivered by personnel of non-governmental organizations. The program was devised to deliver information to the public about the health risks of consuming A. delavayi individuals (aristolochic-acid-associated cancers) and to establish a bridge between the public and scientific research. Following delivery of the program, the behavior of residents changed considerably. Community residents were involved in management activities, including participation in a program to promote understanding of ecological interactions between A. delavayi and B. daemonius; designing an in situ conservation site; monitoring A. delavayi and B. daemonius individuals; and promoting the natural fruit set of A. delavayi by scattering animal excrement to attract fly pollinators. The integration of scientific information and community participation appears to have resulted in an increase in abundance of threatened A. delavayi and B. daemonius populations. We believe the involvement of local people in conservation is necessary for successful species conservation. PMID:26372410

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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, δ13C, δ15N), 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-fishery closure.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Uranium Isotopes Fingerprint Biotic Reduction

    OpenAIRE

    Stylo, Malgorzata Alicja; 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 t...

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Combining system dynamics and agent-based modeling to analyze social-ecological interactions - an example from modeling restoration of a shallow lake

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Romina; Schlüter, Maja

    2015-01-01

    Modeling social-ecological interactions between humans and ecosystems to analyze their implications for sustainable management of social-ecological systems (SES) has multiple challenges. When integrating social and ecological dynamics, which are often studied separately, one has to deal with different modeling paradigms, levels of analysis, temporal and spatial scales, and data availabilities in the social and ecological domains. A major challenge, for instance, is linking the emergent patter...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Following the trend of studies that investigate microbial ecosystems using different metagenomic techniques, we propose a new integrative systems ecology approach that aims to decipher functional roles within a consortium through the integration of genomic and metabolic knowledge at genome scale. For the sake of application, using public genomes of five bacterial strains involved in copper bioleaching: Acidiphilium cryptum, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans, we first reconstructed a global metabolic network. Next, using a parsimony assumption, we deciphered sets of genes, called Sets from Genome Segments (SGS), that (1) are close on their respective genomes, (2) take an active part in metabolic pathways and (3) whose associated metabolic reactions are also closely connected within metabolic networks. Overall, this SGS paradigm depicts genomic functional units that emphasize respective roles of bacterial strains to catalyze metabolic pathways and environmental processes. Our analysis suggested that only few functional metabolic genes are horizontally transferred within the consortium and that no single bacterial strain can accomplish by itself the whole copper bioleaching. The use of SGS pinpoints a functional compartmentalization among the investigated species and exhibits putative bacterial interactions necessary for promoting these pathways. PMID:26677108

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Modeling Complex Interactions between Ecology, Hydrology and Soil Erosion Patterns in Arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saco, P. M.; Willgoose, G. R.

    2006-12-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas function as tightly coupled ecological hydrological systems with strong feedbacks and interactions occurring across fine to coarse scales. Generally, the vegetation of these regions consists of a mosaic of patches with high biomass cover interspersed within bare soil. A key condition for the development of these patterns is the emergence of a spatially variable infiltration field with low infiltration rates in the bare areas and high infiltration rates in the vegetated areas. The enhanced infiltration rates under vegetated patches are due to improved soil aggregation and macroporosity related to biological activity and vegetation roots. This spatially variable infiltration field is responsible for the development of a runoff-runon system which, together with the effect of vegetation on soil erodibility, modulates the resulting sediment erosion and deposition areas. We use a modeling framework that couples evolving vegetation, erosion and soil moisture patterns to explore hillslope-scale ecohydrologic interactions between vegetation patterns and sediment movement in arid and semi-arid regions. The model reproduces the observed dynamics of banded vegetation patterns for mild slopes and stippled or spotted patterns for steeper areas. The effects of climate variability on the hydrologic variables (soil moisture and runoff distribution) and erosion patterns are analysed and compared to the observations available for banded vegetation patterns in Australia. Model results stress the need to incorporate these emergent spatially varying soil infiltration patterns in order to correctly capture the redistribution of resources in these regions and the possible changes of these patterns in response to disturbances. While the timescales of response of the vegetation are of the order of a few years, the coupled soil organization responds more slowly (decades or longer). This suggests the possibility of out of phase response of the hillslope runoff

  8. 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.

  9. Criteria for the a-biotic and biotic realm: environment and ecology

    OpenAIRE

    van Mansvelt, J.D.; Znaor, Darko

    1999-01-01

    This work is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, widely-calibrated checklist for EU sustainable landscape management, which is intended to serve both as an analytical tool of reference as well as a design tool for local, regional and European policy making on sustainable developments. The tool has been developed out of a multidisciplinary study in EU countries which was designed to find out what would be the overall requirements for a sustainable management of the landscape of rural are...

  10. 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.

  11. Ecological Restoration in an Era of Ecological Disequilibrium

    OpenAIRE

    Cairns, John

    2006-01-01

    The current rate of ecological destruction greatly exceeds the rate of ecological repair, a situation that obviously cannot continue indefinitely. In addition, the rate of biotic impoverishment makes finding suitable species for recolonization extremely difficult. Furthermore, for the first time in human history, humankind is confronted with two global, ecological problems: (1) climate change, including global warming, which makes return to antecedent conditions extremely difficult, and (2) a...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    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....../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...... 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...

  14. Associations between Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Bacterial Needle Endophytes in Pinus radiata: Implications for Biotic Selection of Microbial Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rúa, Megan A.; Wilson, Emily C.; Steele, Sarah; Munters, Arielle R.; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Frank, Anna C.

    2016-01-01

    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 that both biotic

  15. 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

  16. Associations between Ectomycorrhizal Fungi and Bacterial Needle Endophytes in Pinus radiata: Implications for Biotic Selection of Microbial Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rúa, Megan A; Wilson, Emily C; Steele, Sarah; Munters, Arielle R; Hoeksema, Jason D; Frank, Anna C

    2016-01-01

    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 that both biotic species

  17. 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

  18. NEW INTERACTION PARADIGM OF ECOLOGICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC STRUCTURES OF HUMAN ACTIVITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalya Yevgenyevna Buletova

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Realities of the XXI century demand searching and grounding measures on changing economic, political, and the main thing, ideological institutions that determine trends of evolution and managing vital human activity at national and over-national levels. Using synergetic approach, the authors made an attempt to synthesize conclusions and main theses of neo-institutionalism theory, onto-psychology, as well as results of biological evolution for determining the way to overcome global ecological crisis at nano-level and to form a model of the mankind’s optimal evolution on the base of principle “priorities through parities”, using DNAsymbol as a code of survival, through co-evolution of economy and ecology. The main problem, existing even in economically developed countries, is the realization of the fact that the paradigm of the stationary economy is the only condition for the mankind’s survival. To solve this problem serious transformation of ideological institutions is necessary, at the expense of comprehensive and based on onto-psychological methods program of ecological literacy, that should harmonically blend with the presented by the authors triads of state strategic management and achieving the goal of development. It is the transformation of the national matrix, content and direction of which are set in order to ensure a balance of interests of all participants in ecological and economic development, will lay the necessary rules, both formal and informal, in the style of human behavior, social groups, the national economy. Realization of the program ecological literacy within the national policy on ecological development of the regions is one of the most important conditions for a natural, not imposed from the outside, prepare to use the paradigm of a sustainable economy as the basis of economic, political and ideological institutions of modern society, which is primarily the formation of a new paradigm of human device — devices

  19. 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

  20. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN EVAPO-TRANSPIRATION AND ECOLOGICAL CHANGES IN JUNIPER WOODLANDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    THE EXPANSION OF JUNIPER SPECIES INTO GRASSLAND AND SHRUB-STEPPE COMMUNITIES HAS OCCURRED ACROSS VAST AREAS AND AT A GLOBAL SCALE. IN MANY CASES WE HAVE DEVELOPED A REASONABLE UNDERSTANDING OF THE ECOLOGICAL OR SUCCESSIONAL CHANGES THAT ARE LIKELY WITH THE EXPANSION. IMPACTS ON EVAPO-TRANSPIRATION (...

  1. On the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions: addressing the question with regard to bumblebees and their parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2001-05-01

    Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in the study of adaptive patterns and processes towards including the role of host-parasite interactions, informed by concepts from evolutionary ecology. As a consequence, a number of major questions have emerged. For example, how genetics affects host-parasite interactions, whether parasitism selects for offspring diversification, whether parasite virulence is an adaptive trait, and what constrains the use of the host's immune defences. Using bumblebees, Bombus spp, and their parasites as a model system, answers to some of these questions have been found, while at the same time the complexity of the interaction has led expectations away from simple theoretical models. In addition, the results have also led to the unexpected discovery of novel phenomena concerning, for instance, female mating strategies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maj-Lis Follér

    2001-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Toward a Scientifically Rigorous Basis for Developing Mapped Ecological Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Gerard; Wiken, Ed B.; Gauthier, David A.

    2004-04-01

    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.

  8. Community Interactions In Tropical Forest Restoration And Environmental Governance In The Panama Canal Watershed

    OpenAIRE

    Schweizer, Daniella

    2012-01-01

    Increased global awareness of the loss of environmental services that derive from deforestation has triggered calls to promote the recovery of tropical forests. I studied two types of community interactions in tropical forest restoration. The first two chapters present the results of applying tools from phylogenetic ecology to tropical forest restoration. I hypothesized that negative biotic interactions, driven mainly by shared deleterious symbionts, would reduce the natural recruitment of cl...

  9. As Old as the hills: montane scorpions in Southwestern North America reveal ancient associations between biotic diversification and landscape history.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Bryson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The age of lineages has become a fundamental datum in studies exploring the interaction between geological transformation and biotic diversification. However, phylogeographical studies are often biased towards lineages that are younger than the geological features of the landscapes they inhabit. A temporally deeper historical biogeography framework may be required to address episodes of biotic diversification associated with geologically older landscape changes. Signatures of such associations may be retained in the genomes of ecologically specialized (stenotopic taxa with limited vagility. In the study presented here, genetic data from montane scorpions in the Vaejovis vorhiesi group, restricted to humid rocky habitats in mountains across southwestern North America, were used to explore the relationship between scorpion diversification and regional geological history. RESULTS: Strong phylogeographical signal was evident within the vorhiesi group, with 27 geographically cohesive lineages inferred from a mitochondrial phylogeny. A time-calibrated multilocus species tree revealed a pattern of Miocene and Pliocene (the Neogene period lineage diversification. An estimated 21 out of 26 cladogenetic events probably occurred prior to the onset of the Pleistocene, 2.6 million years ago. The best-fit density-dependent model suggested diversification rate in the vorhiesi group gradually decreased through time. CONCLUSIONS: Scorpions of the vorhiesi group have had a long history in the highlands of southwestern North America. Diversification among these stenotopic scorpions appears to have occurred almost entirely within the Neogene period, and is temporally consistent with the dynamic geological history of the Basin and Range, and Colorado Plateau physiographical provinces. The persistence of separate lineages at small spatial scales suggests that a combination of ecological stenotopy and limited vagility may make these scorpions particularly

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Macrophytes: Ecology of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bornette, G.; Puijalon, S.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gase Klaus

    2004-09-01

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

  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. Morphological similarity and ecological overlap in two rotifer species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Gabaldón

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

  15. Abiotic vs. biotic influences on habitat selection of coexisting species: Climate change impacts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, T.E.

    2001-01-01

    Species are commonly segregated along gradients of microclimate and vegetation. I explore the question of whether segregation is the result of microhabitat partitioning (biotic effects) or choice of differing microclimates (abiotic effects). I explored this question for four ground-nesting bird species that are segregated along a microclimate and vegetation gradient in Arizona. Birds shifted position of their nests on the microhabitat and microclimate gradient in response to changing precipitation over nine years. Similarly, annual bird abundance varied with precipitation across 12 yr. Those shifts in abundance and nesting microhabitat with changing precipitation demonstrate the importance of abiotic influences on bird distributions and habitat choice. However, nest-site shifts and microhabitat use also appear to be influenced by interactions among coexisting species. Moreover, shifts in habitat use by all species caused nest predation (i.e., biotic) costs that increased with increasing distance along the microclimate gradient. These results indicate that abiotic and biotic costs can strongly interact to influence microhabitat choice and abundances of coexisting species. Global climate change impacts have been considered largely in terms of simple distributional shifts, but these results indicate that shifts can also increase biotic costs when species move into habitat types for which they are poorly adapted or that create new biotic interactions.

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Potential Effects of Climate Change on Ecological Interaction Outcomes Between Two Disease-Vector Mosquitoes: A Mesocosm Experimental Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonel, B F; Koroiva, R; Hamada, N; Ferreira-Keppler, R L; Roque, F O

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to experimentally assess the effects of different climate change scenarios on the outcomes of interactions between Aedes aegypti (L.) and Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae. The experimental design maintained a constant density of specimens while the proportion of the species in different experimental climate change scenarios varied. Our results indicate that survival of the two species was not affected, but larval development and pupation times decreased under elevated atmospheric CO(2) concentration and high air temperature. In climate change scenarios with both species together, the survival of Ae. aegypti increased and its larval development time decreased with increasing density of Cx. quinquefasciatus. This may be attributed to the effects of intraspecific competition being more significant than interspecific competition in Ae. aegypti. Our study also reveals that climatic changes may affect the patterns of interactions between Cx. quinquefasciatus and Ae. aegypti. Alterations in climatic conditions changed the response of context-dependent competition, indicating the importance of studies on how ecological interactions will be affected by projected future climatic change. PMID:26336208

  19. 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. PMID:26013265

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Janelle Renee Thompson; Rivera, Hanny E.; Closek, Collin J.; Monica eMedina

    2015-01-01

    In the last two decades, genetic and genomic studies have revealed the astonishing diversity and ubiquity of microorganisms. Emergence and expansion of the human microbiome project has reshaped our thinking about how microbes control host health – not only as pathogens, but also as symbionts. In coral reef environments, scientists have begun to examine the role that microorganisms play in coral life history. Herein we review the current literature on coral-microbe interactions within the con...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    In the last two decades, genetic and genomic studies have revealed the astonishing diversity and ubiquity of microorganisms. Emergence and expansion of the human microbiome project has reshaped our thinking about how microbes control host health—not only as pathogens, but also as symbionts. In coral reef environments, scientists have begun to examine the role that microorganisms play in coral life history. Herein, we review the current literature on coral-microbe interactions within the conte...

  9. Economic and ecological implications of interactions between lobsters and invasive lionfish in the Bahamas

    OpenAIRE

    Henderson, Evan Basil

    2012-01-01

    Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfishes (Pterois volitans and P. miles) threaten Caribbean coral reefs, yet there has been little examination of possible economic effects of this invasion. In this thesis I explore interactions between lionfish and Caribbean spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) in natural reef environments and in Bahamian ‘condo’ fishing gear. In both settings I found circumstantial evidence for competition for space between the two species but it is unclear who is displacing whom. Deter...

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl Codron

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    N̆ancucheo, Ivan; Johnson, D. Barrie

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Use of Metabolic Inhibitors to Characterize Ecological Interactions in an Estuarine Microbial Food Web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLorenzo, M.E.; Lewitus, A.J.; Scott, G.I.; Ross, P.E.

    2001-10-01

    Understanding microbial food web dynamics is complicated by the multitude of competitive or interdependent trophic interactions involved in material and energy flow. Metabolic inhibitors can be used to gain information on the relative importance of trophic pathways by uncoupling selected microbial components and examining the net effect on ecosystem structure and function. A eukaryotic growth inhibitor (cycloheximide), a prokaryotic growth inhibitor (antibiotic mixture), and an inhibitor of photosynthesis (DCMU) were used to examine the trophodynamics of microbial communities from the tidal creek in North Inlet, a salt marsh estuary near Georgetown, South Carolina. Natural microbial communities were collected in the spring, summer, and fall after colonization onto polyurethane foam substrates deployed in the tidal creek. Bacterial abundance and productivity, heterotrophic ciliate and flagellate abundance, and phototrophic productivity, biomass, and biovolume were measured at five time points after inhibitor additions. The trophic responses of the estuarine microbial food web to metabolic inhibitors varied with season. In the summer, a close interdependency among phototrophs, bacteria, and protozoa was indicated, and the important influence of microzooplanktonic nutrient recycling was evident (i.e., a positive feedback loop). In the fall, phototroph and bacteria interactions were competitive rather than interdependent, and grazer nutrient regeneration did not appear to be an important regulatory factor for bacterial or phototrophic activities. The results indicate a seasonal shift in microbial food web structure and function in North Inlet, from a summer community characterized by microbial loop dynamics to a more linear trophic system in the fall. This study stresses the important role of microbial loops in driving primary and secondary production in estuaries such as North Inlet that are tidally dominated by fluctuations in nutrient supply and a summer

  17. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinoth Wigneswaran

    2016-03-01

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

  18. Spatial scale modulates the strength of ecological processes driving disease distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Jeremy M; Civitello, David J; Brace, Amber J; Feichtinger, Erin M; Ortega, C Nicole; Richardson, Jason C; Sauer, Erin L; Liu, Xuan; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-06-14

    Humans are altering the distribution of species by changing the climate and disrupting biotic interactions and dispersal. A fundamental hypothesis in spatial ecology suggests that these effects are scale dependent; biotic interactions should shape distributions at local scales, whereas climate should dominate at regional scales. If so, common single-scale analyses might misestimate the impacts of anthropogenic modifications on biodiversity and the environment. However, large-scale datasets necessary to test these hypotheses have not been available until recently. Here we conduct a cross-continental, cross-scale (almost five orders of magnitude) analysis of the influence of biotic and abiotic processes and human population density on the distribution of three emerging pathogens: the amphibian chytrid fungus implicated in worldwide amphibian declines and West Nile virus and the bacterium that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), which are responsible for ongoing human health crises. In all three systems, we show that biotic factors were significant predictors of pathogen distributions in multiple regression models only at local scales (∼10(2)-10(3) km(2)), whereas climate and human population density always were significant only at relatively larger, regional scales (usually >10(4) km(2)). Spatial autocorrelation analyses revealed that biotic factors were more variable at smaller scales, whereas climatic factors were more variable at larger scales, as is consistent with the prediction that factors should be important at the scales at which they vary the most. Finally, no single scale could detect the importance of all three categories of processes. These results highlight that common single-scale analyses can misrepresent the true impact of anthropogenic modifications on biodiversity and the environment. PMID:27247398

  19. 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.

  20. On the Relationship Between Input and Interaction Psycholinguistic, Cognitive, and Ecological Perspectives in SLA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parisa Daftarifard

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Input is one of the most important elements in the process of second language acquisition (SLA. As Gass (1997 points out, second language learning simply cannot take place without input of some sort. Since then, specific issues have been actively debated in SLA on the nature of input and input processing, such as the amount of input that is necessary for language acquisition, various attributes of input and how they may facilitate or hinder acquisition, and instructional method that may enhance input. In this paper, four hypotheses and paradigms of input processing have been described. It is delineated that although the three paradigms of triggering, input hypothesis, and interaction hypothesis have been widely used and accepted, they lack the ability to account for the dynamic nature of language. Affordance, on the other hand, can account for such a nature of language.
    Therefore, affordance replaces fixed-eye vision by mobile-eye vision; an active learner establishes relationships with and within the environment. The learner can directly perceive and act on the ambient language without having to route everything through a pre-existing mental apparatus of schemata and representation, while this is not true in the fixed-code theory. In the fixed-eye theory of communication it is assumed that ready-made messages are coded at one end, transmitted,
    and then decoded in identical form at the other end. We need in its place a constructivist theory of message construction and interpretation.

  1. 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.

  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. PMID:22743759

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:27408583

  5. 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.

  6. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R. Scott; Dainat, Jacques; 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; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:27118586

  7. Coral reefs in crisis: reversing the biotic death spiral

    OpenAIRE

    Hay, Mark E.; Rasher, Douglas B

    2010-01-01

    Coral reefs are disappearing due to global warming, overfishing, ocean acidification, pollution, and interactions of these and other stresses. Ecologically informed management of fishes that facilitate corals by suppressing seaweeds may be our best bet for bringing reefs back from the brink of extinction.

  8. 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

  9. Paleobiology, community ecology, and scales of ecological pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonski, D.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The fossil record provides a wealth of data on the role of regional processes and historical events in shaping biological communities over a variety of time scales. The Quaternary record with its evidence of repeated climatic change shows that both terrestrial and marine species shifted independently rather than as cohesive assemblages over scales of thousands of years. Larger scale patterns also show a strong individualistic component to taxon dynamics; assemblage stability, when it occurs, is difficult to separate from shared responses to low rates of environmental change. Nevertheless, the fossil record does suggest that some biotic interactions influence large-scale ecological and evolutionary patterns, albeit in more diffuse and protracted fashions than those generally studied by community ecologists. These include: (1) the resistance by incumbents to the establishment of new or invading taxa, with episodes of explosive diversification often appearing contingent on the removal of incumbents at extinction events; (2) steady states of within-habitat and global diversity at longer time scales (10(7)-l0(8) yr), despite enormous turnover of taxa; and (3) morphological and biogeographic responses to increased intensities of predation and substratum disturbance over similarly long time scales. The behavior of species and communities over the array of temporal and spatial scales in the fossil record takes on additional significance for framing conservation strategies, and for understanding recovery of species, lineages, and communities from environmental changes.

  10. 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.

  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. Characterization of the ecological interactions of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horak, Michael J; Rosenbaum, Eric W; Phillips, Samuel L; Kendrick, Daniel L; Carson, David; Clark, Pete L; Nickson, Thomas E

    2015-01-01

    As part of an ecological risk assessment, Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean (MON 89788) was compared to a conventional control soybean variety, A3244, for disease and arthropod damage, plant response to abiotic stress and cold, effects on succeeding plant growth (allelopathic effects), plant response to a bacterial symbiont, and effects on the ability of seed to survive and volunteer in a subsequent growing season. Statistically significant differences between MON 89788 and A3244 were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were assessed for their potential impact on plant pest (weed) potential and adverse environmental impact. The results of these studies revealed no effects of the genetic modification that would result in increased pest potential or adverse environmental impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. This paper illustrates how such characterization studies conducted in a range of environments where the crop is grown are used in an ecological risk assessment of the genetically modified (GM) crop. Furthermore, risk assessors and decision makers use this information when deciding whether to approve a GM crop for cultivation in-or grain import into-their country. PMID:26177011

  13. 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

  14. 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...... biogeochemical processes are carried exclusively by bacteria. * Bacteria play an important role in all types of habitats including some that cannot support eukaryotic life....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groner, V. P.; Claussen, M.; Reick, C.

    2015-10-01

    We critically reassess a conceptual model here, dealing with the potential effect of plant diversity on climate-vegetation feedback, and we 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 2 decades using a wide range of model and palaeo-proxy 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. In the light of recently published pollen data and the current state of ecological literature, the conceptual model by Claussen et al. (2013) reproduces the main features of different plant types interacting together with climate, but it does not capture the reconstructed diversity of AHP vegetation. Especially tropical gallery forest taxa, indirectly linked to local precipitation, are not appropriately represented. With a new model version adjusted to AHP vegetation, we can simulate a diverse mosaic-like environment as reconstructed from pollen, and we observe a stabilizing effect of high functional diversity on vegetation cover and precipitation. Sensitivity studies with different combinations of plant types highlight the importance of plant composition on system stability, and the stabilizing or destabilizing potential a single plant type may inherit. The model's simplicity limits its application; however, it provides a useful tool to

  16. Biotic Resources Abundance and the Corresponding Causes in Panxi Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Yun; SU Chunjiang; LIU Xingliang; MAN Zhenchuang; LI Ping

    2006-01-01

    This paper gives a detailed introduction to the biotic resources in Panxi Area and lists the most typical biotic resources in this area. The authors of this paper adopt the biotic resource abundance evaluation index model Ri=(S0i-S1i)×S1i-1(i=1,2,3,…n) to make a quantitative calculation of the biotic resource abundance in this area, and the calculation results show that this area abounds in biotic resources. Through the analysis of the causes of abundant biotic resources in this area, the luxuriant biotic resources in Panxi Area are largely attributed to the complex and varied environment, atrocious climate in history and the introduction of alien species. The purpose of this paper is to point out that biotic resource exploitation is one of the driving forces of economic development in this area, and to emphasize the necessity of biotic resource preservation and its harmonious development with the environment.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Methyl salicylate production in tomato affects biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    K. Ament; V. Krasikov; S. Allmann; M. Rep; F.L.W. Takken; R.C. Schuurink

    2010-01-01

    The role of methyl salicylate (MeSA) production was studied in indirect and direct defence responses of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to the spider mite Tetranychus urticae and the root-invading fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, respectively. To this end, we silenced the tomato gene enco

  20. Biotic and Climatic Velocity Identify Contrasting Areas of Vulnerability to Climate Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Carroll

    Full Text Available Metrics that synthesize the complex effects of climate change are essential tools for mapping future threats to biodiversity and predicting which species are likely to adapt in place to new climatic conditions, disperse and establish in areas with newly suitable climate, or face the prospect of extirpation. The most commonly used of such metrics is the velocity of climate change, which estimates the speed at which species must migrate over the earth's surface to maintain constant climatic conditions. However, "analog-based" velocities, which represent the actual distance to where analogous climates will be found in the future, may provide contrasting results to the more common form of velocity based on local climate gradients. Additionally, whereas climatic velocity reflects the exposure of organisms to climate change, resultant biotic effects are dependent on the sensitivity of individual species as reflected in part by their climatic niche width. This has motivated development of biotic velocity, a metric which uses data on projected species range shifts to estimate the velocity at which species must move to track their climatic niche. We calculated climatic and biotic velocity for the Western Hemisphere for 1961-2100, and applied the results to example ecological and conservation planning questions, to demonstrate the potential of such analog-based metrics to provide information on broad-scale patterns of exposure and sensitivity. Geographic patterns of biotic velocity for 2954 species of birds, mammals, and amphibians differed from climatic velocity in north temperate and boreal regions. However, both biotic and climatic velocities were greatest at low latitudes, implying that threats to equatorial species arise from both the future magnitude of climatic velocities and the narrow climatic tolerances of species in these regions, which currently experience low seasonal and interannual climatic variability. Biotic and climatic velocity, by

  1. Biotic pump of atmospheric moisture as driver of the hydrological cycle on land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Makarieva

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper the basic geophysical and ecological principles are jointly analyzed that allow the landmasses of Earth to remain moistened sufficiently for terrestrial life to be possible. 1. Under gravity, land inevitably loses water to the ocean. To keep land moistened, the gravitational water runoff must be continuously compensated by the atmospheric ocean-to-land moisture transport. Using data for five terrestrial transects of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program we show that the mean distance to which air fluxes can transport moisture over non-forested areas, does not exceed several hundred kilometers; precipitation decreases exponentially with distance from the ocean. 2. In contrast, precipitation over extensive natural forests does not depend on the distance from the ocean along several thousand kilometers, as illustrated for the Amazon and Yenisey river basins and Equatorial Africa. This points to the existence of an active biotic pump transporting atmospheric moisture inland from the ocean. 3. Physical principles of the biotic moisture pump are investigated based on the previously unstudied properties of atmospheric water vapor, which can be either in or out of aerostatic equilibrium depending on the lapse rate of air temperature. A novel physical principle is formulated according to which the low-level air moves from areas with weak evaporation to areas with more intensive evaporation. Due to the high leaf area index, natural forests maintain high evaporation fluxes, which support the ascending air motion over the forest and "suck in" moist air from the ocean, which is the essence of the biotic pump of atmospheric moisture. In the result, the gravitational runoff water losses from the optimally moistened forest soil can be fully compensated by the biotically enhanced precipitation at any distance from the ocean. 4. It is discussed how a continent-scale biotic water pump mechanism could be produced by natural selection acting on

  2. Research on mutualisms between native and non-native partners can contribute critical ecological insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare E. Aslan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Mutualisms are important structuring forces in ecological communities, influencing ecosystem functions, diversity, and evolutionary trajectories. New interactions, particularly between native and non-native species, are globally increasing in biotic communities as species introductions accelerate. Positive interactions such as novel mutualisms can affect the fitness of organisms in invaded communities. Non-natives can augment native mutualism networks, replace extinct native partners, or disrupt native mutualisms. Because they are actively forming or newly formed, novel mutualisms offer a unique opportunity to examine in real time the factors governing early mutualism formation and stability, including frequency-dependent processes and those relying on specific traits or functions. These central ecological questions have been inferred from long-formed mutualisms, but novel mutualisms may allow a glimpse of successes and failures in ecological time with insights into the relative importance of these factors as ecological systems shift. To this end, this commentary addresses how novel mutualisms inform our understanding of mutualism formation, stability, the importance of functional traits, and niche vs. neutral processes, using examples across multiple systems. Novel mutualism research thus far has been largely limited in both questions and ecosystems, but if more broadly applied could benefit both theoretical and applied ecology.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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. PMID:26990796

  6. 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.

  7. Biological stoichiometry: a theoretical framework connecting ecosystem ecology, evolution, and biochemistry for application in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elser, James J.

    2003-07-01

    Astrobiology is an extremely wide-ranging field and thus is in special need of conceptual and theoretical frameworks that can integrate its various arenas of study. In this paper I review recent work associated with a conceptual framework known as "ecological stoichiometry" and even more recent extensions in the development of "biological stoichiometry". Ecological stoichiometry is the study of the balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in ecological interactions and has developed rapidly in the study of nutrient cycling and energy flow in aquatic food webs. It identifies the elemental composition of interacting biota as central in understanding the nature of their interactions and dynamics, including key feedbacks via nutrient recycling. Biological stoichiometry extends this mode of thinking to all types of biological systems. It especially seeks to better understand, at the biochemical and genetic levels, the factors influencing the elemental composition of living things and the evolutionary forces that drive and constrain that elemental composition. By connecting key concepts of ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology and biochemistry, stoichiometric theory integrates biological information into a more coherent whole that holds considerable promise for application in astrobiology. Several examples of potential astrobiological applications of stoichiometric analysis are offered, including ones related to pre-biotic evolution, the Cambrian explosion, biosignatures and biological feedbacks on planetary carbon cycling.

  8. 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…

  9. Advances in pollination ecology from tropical plantation crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Cunningham, Saul A; Bos, Merijn; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-04-01

    Although ecologists traditionally focus on natural ecosystems, there is growing awareness that mixed landscapes of managed and unmanaged systems provide a research environment for understanding basic ecological relationships on a large scale. Here, we show how tropical agroforestry systems can be used to develop ideas about the mechanisms that influence species diversity and subsequent biotic interactions at different spatial scales. Our focus is on tropical plantation crops, mainly coffee and cacao, and their pollinators, which are of basic ecological interest as partners in an important mutualistic interaction. We review how insect-mediated pollination services depend on local agroforest and natural habitats in surrounding landscapes. Further, we evaluate the functional significance of pollinator diversity and the explanatory value of species traits, and we provide an intercontinental comparison of pollinator assemblages. We found that optimal pollination success might be best understood as a consequence of niche complementarities among pollinators in landscapes harboring various species. We further show that small cavity-nesting bees and small generalist beetles were especially affected by isolation from forest and that larger-bodied insects in the same landscapes were not similarly affected. We suggest that mixed tropical landscapes with agroforestry systems have great potential for future research on the interactions between plants and pollinators. PMID:18481518

  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. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Genetic improvement of rice for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance

    OpenAIRE

    ANSARI, MAHMOOD UR RAHMAN; Shaheen, Tayyaba; BUKHARI, SHAZAI; Husnain, Tayyab

    2015-01-01

    Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is among the most important food crops that provide a staple food for nearly half of the world's population. Rice crops are prone to various types of stresses, both biotic and abiotic. Biotic stresses include insect pests, fungus, bacteria, viruses, and herbicide toxicity. Among abiotic stresses, drought, cold, and salinity are also well studied in rice. Various genes have been identified, cloned, and characterized to combat these stresses and protect rice crops. T...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ecological restoration across the Mediterranean Basin as viewed by practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Alice; Oliveira, Graça; Mexia, Teresa; Valdecantos, Alejandro; Zucca, Claudio; Costantini, Edoardo A C; Abraham, Eleni M; Kyriazopoulos, Apostolos P; Salah, Ayman; Prasse, Ruediger; Correia, Otília; Milliken, Sarah; Kotzen, Benz; Branquinho, Cristina

    2016-10-01

    Restoration efforts in the Mediterranean Basin have been changing from a silvicultural to an ecological restoration approach. Yet, to what extent the projects are guided by ecological restoration principles remains largely unknown. To analyse this issue, we built an on-line survey addressed to restoration practitioners. We analysed 36 restoration projects, mostly from drylands (86%). The projects used mainly soil from local sources. The need to comply with legislation was more important as a restoration motive for European Union (EU) than for non-EU countries, while public opinion and health had a greater importance in the latter. Non-EU countries relied more on non-native plant species than EU countries, thus deviating from ecological restoration guidelines. Nursery-grown plants used were mostly of local or regional provenance, whilst seeds were mostly of national provenance. Unexpected restoration results (e.g. inadequate biodiversity) were reported for 50% of the projects and restoration success was never evaluated in 22%. Long term evaluation (>6years) was only performed in 31% of cases, and based primarily on plant diversity and cover. The use of non-native species and species of exogenous provenances may: i) entail the loss of local genetic and functional trait diversity, critical to cope with drought, particularly under the predicted climate change scenarios, and ii) lead to unexpected competition with native species and/or negatively impact local biotic interactions. Absent or inappropriate monitoring may prevent the understanding of restoration trajectories, precluding adaptive management strategies, often crucial to create functional ecosystems able to provide ecosystem services. The overview of ecological restoration projects in the Mediterranean Basin revealed high variability among practices and highlighted the need for improved scientific assistance and information exchange, greater use of native species of local provenance, and more long

  17. 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.

  18. Enhancing the ecological validity of tests of lateralization and hemispheric interaction: Evidence from fixated displays of letters or symbols of varying complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Andrew J; Upshaw, Jennifer N; Macaulay, Georgia M; Rutherford, Barbara J

    2016-07-01

    Two experiments expand upon behavioural evidence of interactions among lateralization, hemispheric interaction, and task complexity with findings from an ecologically valid procedure. Target displays of letters or symbols were presented at fixation in go/no-go matching tasks of physical or categorical identity. Simultaneously with the target, a distractor appeared in the left visual field or right visual field to weight processing of the target to the hemisphere ipsilateral to the distractor, or the distractor did not appear at all. Comparison of the respective distractor-present trials with distractor-absent trials measures the relative costs or benefits of hemispheric interaction. Both experiments found that 3-item displays were processed faster and more accurately than displays of 5 items, suggesting they are relatively simple. Accuracy to the simple tasks showed left-hemisphere lateralization in the lexical task, right-hemisphere lateralization in the spatial task, a cost of hemispheric interaction compared to the advantaged hemisphere, and a benefit of hemispheric interaction compared to the less-advantaged hemisphere, suggesting that the contributions of the less-advantaged hemisphere interfere with processing, and that the advantaged hemisphere controls the lion's share. In contrast, 5-item displays for physical match in both experiments showed a significant benefit to accuracy of hemispheric interaction compared to the left hemisphere, an insignificant benefit compared to the right hemisphere, no lateralization, no cost of hemispheric interaction, and a consequence to performance that was more costly to the hemisphere that had been advantaged in simple tasks, suggesting that the advantaged hemisphere relinquishes control as tasks become more complex and complementary processing results from both increased collaboration and decreased lateralization between the hemispheres. The findings expand upon behavioural evidence, converge with imaging evidence, and

  19. Function of ABA in Stomatal Defense against Biotic and Drought Stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chae Woo Lim

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA regulates many key processes involved in plant development and adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses. Under stress conditions, plants synthesize ABA in various organs and initiate defense mechanisms, such as the regulation of stomatal aperture and expression of defense-related genes conferring resistance to environmental stresses. The regulation of stomatal opening and closure is important to pathogen defense and control of transpirational water loss. Recent studies using a combination of approaches, including genetics, physiology, and molecular biology, have contributed considerably to our understanding of ABA signal transduction. A number of proteins associated with ABA signaling and responses—especially ABA receptors—have been identified. ABA signal transduction initiates signal perception by ABA receptors and transfer via downstream proteins, including protein kinases and phosphatases. In the present review, we focus on the function of ABA in stomatal defense against biotic and abiotic stresses, through analysis of each ABA signal component and the relationships of these components in the complex network of interactions. In particular, two ABA signal pathway models in response to biotic and abiotic stress were proposed, from stress signaling to stomatal closure, involving the pyrabactin resistance (PYR/PYR-like (PYL or regulatory component of ABA receptor (RCAR family proteins, 2C-type protein phosphatases, and SnRK2-type protein kinases.

  20. Function of ABA in Stomatal Defense against Biotic and Drought Stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Chae Woo; Baek, Woonhee; Jung, Jangho; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Lee, Sung Chul

    2015-01-01

    The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates many key processes involved in plant development and adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses. Under stress conditions, plants synthesize ABA in various organs and initiate defense mechanisms, such as the regulation of stomatal aperture and expression of defense-related genes conferring resistance to environmental stresses. The regulation of stomatal opening and closure is important to pathogen defense and control of transpirational water loss. Recent studies using a combination of approaches, including genetics, physiology, and molecular biology, have contributed considerably to our understanding of ABA signal transduction. A number of proteins associated with ABA signaling and responses--especially ABA receptors--have been identified. ABA signal transduction initiates signal perception by ABA receptors and transfer via downstream proteins, including protein kinases and phosphatases. In the present review, we focus on the function of ABA in stomatal defense against biotic and abiotic stresses, through analysis of each ABA signal component and the relationships of these components in the complex network of interactions. In particular, two ABA signal pathway models in response to biotic and abiotic stress were proposed, from stress signaling to stomatal closure, involving the pyrabactin resistance (PYR)/PYR-like (PYL) or regulatory component of ABA receptor (RCAR) family proteins, 2C-type protein phosphatases, and SnRK2-type protein kinases. PMID:26154766

  1. 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

  2. Relative importance of biotic and abiotic soil components to plant growth and insect herbivore population dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martijn L Vandegehuchte

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plants are affected by several aspects of the soil, which have the potential to exert cascading effects on the performance of herbivorous insects. The effects of biotic and abiotic soil characteristics have however mostly been investigated in isolation, leaving their relative importance largely unexplored. Such is the case for the dune grass Ammophila, whose decline under decreasing sand accretion is argued to be caused by either biotic or abiotic soil properties. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By manipulating dune soils from three different regions, we decoupled the contributions of region, the abiotic and biotic soil component to the variation in characteristics of Ammophila arenaria seedlings and Schizaphis rufula aphid populations. Root mass fraction and total dry biomass of plants were affected by soil biota, although the latter effect was not consistent across regions. None of the measured plant properties were significantly affected by the abiotic soil component. Aphid population characteristics all differed between regions, irrespective of whether soil biota were present or absent. Hence these effects were due to differences in abiotic soil properties between regions. Although several chemical properties of the soil mixtures were measured, none of these were consistent with results for plant or aphid traits. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Plants were affected more strongly by soil biota than by abiotic soil properties, whereas the opposite was true for aphids. Our results thus demonstrate that the relative importance of the abiotic and biotic component of soils can differ for plants and their herbivores. The fact that not all effects of soil properties could be detected across regions moreover emphasizes the need for spatial replication in order to make sound conclusions about the generality of aboveground-belowground interactions.

  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. 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.

  5. Development of a field method to assess root parasites of woody plants - ecological analyses of the grapevine-phylloxera interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Hoffmann, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The development and the growth of plants is strongly affected by the interactions between roots, rootrnassociated organisms and rhizosphere communities. Methods to assess such interactions are hardly torndevelop particularly in perennial and woody plants, due to their complex root system structure and theirrntemporal change in physiology patterns. In this respect, grape root systems are not investigated veryrnwell. The aim of the present work was the development of a method to assess and pred...

  6. BIOTIC INTEGRITY OF STREAMS IN THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE INTEGRATOR OPERABLE UNITS, 1996 TO 2003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paller, M; Susan Dyer, S

    2004-11-08

    The Savannah River Site (SRS) has been divided into six Integrator Operable Units (IOUs) that correspond to the watersheds of the five major streams on the SRS (Upper Three Runs, Fourmile Branch, Pen Branch, Steel Creek, and Lower Three Runs) and the portions of the Savannah River and Savannah River Swamp associated with the SRS. The streams are the primary integrators within each IOU because they potentially receive, through surface or subsurface drainage, soluble contaminants from all waste sites within their watersheds. If these contaminants reach biologically significant levels, they would be expected to effect the numbers, types, and health of stream organisms. In this study, biological sampling was conducted within each IOU as a measure of the cumulative ecological effects of the waste sites within the IOUs. The use of information from biological sampling to assess environmental quality is often termed bioassessment. The IOU bioassessment program included 38 sites in SRS streams and nine sites in the Savannah River. Sampling was conducted in 1996 to 1998, 2000, and 2003. Four bioassessment methods were used to evaluate ecological conditions in the IOU streams: the Index of Biotic Integrity, the Fish Health Assessment Index, measurement of fish tissue contaminant levels, and two benthic macroinvertebrate indices. The Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) is an EPA supported method based on comparison of ecologically important and sensitive fish assemblage variables between potentially disturbed and reference (i.e., undisturbed) sites. It is designed to assess the ability of a stream to support a self-sustaining biological community and ecological processes typical of undisturbed, natural conditions. Since many types of contaminants can bioaccumulate, fish tissue contaminant data were used to determine the types of chemicals fish were exposed to and their relative magnitudes among IOUs. The Fish Health Assessment Index (HAI) is an EPA supported method for assessing

  7. 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.

  8. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Ecological Succession Model

    OpenAIRE

    Lanchier, Nicolas

    2003-01-01

    We introduce a new interacting particle system intended to model an example of ecological succession involving two species: the bracken and the european beech. The objective is to exhibit phase transitions by proving that there exist three possible evolutions of the system to distinct ecological balances. More precisely, the whole population may die out, the european beech may conquer the bracken, and coexistence of both species may occur.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Root signals that mediate mutualistic interactions in the rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmann, Sergio; Turlings, Ted Cj

    2016-08-01

    A recent boom in research on belowground ecology is rapidly revealing a multitude of fascinating interactions, in particular in the rhizosphere. Many of these interactions are mediated by photo-assimilates that are excreted by plant roots. Root exudates are not mere waste products, but serve numerous functions to control abiotic and biotic processes. These functions range from changing the chemical and physical properties of the soil, inhibiting the growth of competing plants, combatting herbivores, and regulating the microbial community. Particularly intriguing are root-released compounds that have evolved to serve mutualistic interactions with soil-dwelling organisms. These mutually beneficial plant-mediated signals are not only of fundamental ecological interest, but also exceedingly important from an agronomical perspective. Here, we attempt to provide an overview of the plant-produced compounds that have so far been implicated in mutualistic interactions. We propose that these mutualistic signals may have evolved from chemical defenses and we point out that they can be (mis)used by specialized pathogens and herbivores. We speculate that many more signals and interactions remain to be uncovered and that a good understanding of the mechanisms and ecological implications can be the basis for exploitation and manipulation of the signals for crop improvement and protection. PMID:27393937

  18. 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.

  19. Individual Cell Based Traits Obtained by Scanning Flow-Cytometry Show Selection by Biotic and Abiotic Environmental Factors during a Phytoplankton Spring Bloom

    OpenAIRE

    Francesco Pomati; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Thomas Posch; Bettina Eugster; Jukka Jokela; Bas W Ibelings

    2013-01-01

    In ecology and evolution, the primary challenge in understanding the processes that shape biodiversity is to assess the relationship between the phenotypic traits of organisms and the environment. Here we tested for selection on physio-morphological traits measured by scanning flow-cytometry at the individual level in phytoplankton communities under a temporally changing biotic and abiotic environment. Our aim was to study how high-frequency temporal changes in the environment influence biodi...

  20. Plant-ants use symbiotic fungi as a food source: new insight into the nutritional ecology of ant-plant interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle

    2012-10-01

    Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant-plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or (15)N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a (15)N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants. PMID:22859596

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been...... renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....

  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. PMID:27090772

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Metabolic ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Murray M; McCann, Kevin S

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory that is grounded in metabolic currencies and constraints offers the potential to link ecological outcomes to biophysical processes across multiple scales of organization. The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) has emphasized the potential for metabolism to serve as a unified theory of ecology, while focusing primarily on the size and temperature dependence of whole-organism metabolic rates. Generalizing metabolic ecology requires extending beyond prediction and application of standardized metabolic rates to theory focused on how energy moves through ecological systems. A bibliometric and network analysis of recent metabolic ecology literature reveals a research network characterized by major clusters focused on MTE, foraging theory, bioenergetics, trophic status, and generalized patterns and predictions. This generalized research network, which we refer to as metabolic ecology, can be considered to include the scaling, temperature and stoichiometric models forming the core of MTE, as well as bioenergetic equations, foraging theory, life-history allocation models, consumer-resource equations, food web theory and energy-based macroecology models that are frequently employed in ecological literature. We conclude with six points we believe to be important to the advancement and integration of metabolic ecology, including nomination of a second fundamental equation, complementary to the first fundamental equation offered by the MTE. PMID:24028511

  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.

    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. PMID:24904607

  17. 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.

  18. Taking peer victimization research to the next level: complex interactions among genes, teacher attitudes/behaviors, peer ecologies, & classroom characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espelage, Dorothy L

    2015-01-01

    This commentary reviews research findings of the five papers in the special entitled "School-related Factors in the Development of Bullying Perpetration and Victimization", which represent critical areas that are often overlooked in the literature. First, one paper points to the complex interaction between a genetic disposition for aggression and classroom norms toward aggression. Second, an intervention paper unpacks the underlying mechanisms of an efficacious school-wide bully prevention program by opening the "black box" and testing for mediators. Third, the remaining studies employ a wide range of rigorous designs to identify how teachers' attitudes, behaviors, and classroom practices play a critical role in the prevalence of victimization and bullying in the classroom. Further, teachers' attitudes and behaviors are shown to be predictive of youth's willingness to intervene to assist a peer who is being victimized. Results are situated in what is known about bullying prevention, and how the findings from these studies could maximize the sensitivity of future prevention efforts. PMID:25345834

  19. 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.

  20. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  1. 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.

  2. [Ecological regularities of the existence of pathogenic Yersinia in soil ecosystems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breneva, N V; Maramovich, A S; Klimov, V T

    2005-01-01

    In this review the data on the ecology of pathogenic Yersinia in soil ecosystems, based on prolonged observations, were analyzed and summarized. In contrast to saprophytic species, ubiquitously spread in nature, pathogenic representatives of the genus Yersinia occurred only in the soil of natural foci and of these, Y. pestis were found only in the soil of burrows of the main carriers. The complex of abiotic and biotic factors (temperature, humidity, chemical composition, interactions in biocenosis) which determined the possibility of the existence of Yersinia in the soil environment and the preservation of their pathogenic properties was considered. Special attention was paid to their geno-phenotypic variability as the main factor of the adaptation of the causative agents of plague, pseudotuberculosis and intestinal yersiniosis in the environment. PMID:16438385

  3. 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. PMID:27278857

  4. Ecological Economics

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez Alier, Joan

    2001-01-01

    Ecological economics is a relatively new interdisciplinary field concerned with the relationship between economic systems and the biological and physical world. This article covers the following topics: A discussion of views on whether ecological economics is just a field or approach within economics or a new ÒtransdisciplinaryÓ field in its own right; Origin of the name of the field; Core common principles of ecological economics; Comparison with environmental economics; Applications; Histor...

  5. Abiotic/biotic coupling in the rhizosphere: a reactive transport modeling analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Corey R.; Steefel, Carl; Maher, Kate

    2014-01-01

    A new generation of models is needed to adequately simulate patterns of soil biogeochemical cycling in response changing global environmental drivers. For example, predicting the influence of climate change on soil organic matter storage and stability requires models capable of addressing complex biotic/abiotic interactions of rhizosphere and weathering processes. Reactive transport modeling provides a powerful framework simulating these interactions and the resulting influence on soil physical and chemical characteristics. Incorporation of organic reactions in an existing reactive transport model framework has yielded novel insights into soil weathering and development but much more work is required to adequately capture root and microbial dynamics in the rhizosphere. This endeavor provides many advantages over traditional soil biogeochemical models but also many challenges.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26961305

  8. 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.

  9. Early Triassic Marine Biotic Recovery: The Predators' Perspective

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 e...

  10. Changes in biotic and abiotic processes following mangrove clearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granek, Elise; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.

    2008-12-01

    Mangrove forests, important tropical coastal habitats, are in decline worldwide primarily due to removal by humans. Changes to mangrove systems can alter ecosystem properties through direct effects on abiotic factors such as temperature, light and nutrient supply or through changes in biotic factors such as primary productivity or species composition. Despite the importance of mangroves as transitional habitats between land and sea, little research has examined changes that occur when they are cleared. We examined changes in a number of biotic and abiotic factors following the anthropogenic removal of red mangroves ( Rhizophora mangle) in the Panamanian Caribbean, including algal biomass, algal diversity, algal grazing rates, light penetration, temperature, sedimentation rates and sediment organic content. In this first study examining multiple ecosystem-level effects of mangrove disturbance, we found that areas cleared of mangroves had higher algal biomass and richness than intact mangrove areas. This increase in algal biomass and richness was likely due to changes in abiotic factors (e.g. light intensity, temperature), but not biotic factors (fish herbivory). Additionally the algal and cyanobacterial genera dominating mangrove-cleared areas were rare in intact mangroves and included a number of genera that compete with coral for space on reefs. Interestingly, sedimentation rates did not differ between intact and cleared areas, but the sediments that accumulated in intact mangroves had higher organic content. These findings are the first to demonstrate that anthropogenic clearing of mangroves changes multiple biotic and abiotic processes in mangrove forests and that some of these changes may influence adjacent habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Additional research is needed to further explore the community and ecosystem-level effects of mangrove clearing and their influence on adjacent habitats, but it is clear that mangrove conservation is an

  11. 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

  12. Characterizing biotic and abiotic properties of landscape and their implications for ecohydrological processes across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, J.; Langford, Z.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2015-12-01

    Ecohydrological processes governing the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems and its response and feedback to climate change occur at diverse spatial and temporal scales. To accurately capture the dynamics of ecohydrological processes in the model, its critically important to capture the subgrid scale heterogeneity of the landscape and develop scale aware process representation and parameterization. This study focused on the Arctic tundra landscape at Seward Peninsula of Alaska. Ecohydrological processes in this sensitive landscape are strongly governed by the physical and structural properties (like topography, soil, permafrost, geomorphology etc.) of the landscape, environmental conditions (like temperature, precipitation, light, radiation) and biotic conditions (vegetation, above/below biomass and organic matter, disturbance history etc.). From site to watershed to regional (scale at which models often operate), landscape is a complex mosaic of a range of biotic and abiotic properties. We have developed and applied a hierarchical characterization and classification approach to segment the landscape in distinct units which can be used to develop and parameterize process models at local scale. We also analyze how the distribution and organization of the landscape units as building blocks influence and interact with ecosystem processes across scales. Our goals is understand the landscape organization principles and their roles to inform and improve process based models of ecohydrological processes in Arctic tundra landscape.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  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. Identifying Biotic Integrity and Water Chemistry Relations in Nonwadeable Rivers of Wisconsin: Toward the Development of Nutrient Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigel, Brian M.; Robertson, Dale M.

    2007-10-01

    explained 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Ecological shortage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Meadows study (Limits to Growth) has made the environmental problem popular, but it has reduced the ecological problem to one of population and raw materials, leaving the conditions of social organisation and developmental policy out of consideration. This means that in spite of the repeated moral appeals, developing countries are left to their natural fate while fear and resignation are spread in the industrial nations. The present study tries to contradict this trend in consideration of interdependences in ecological development. (orig.)

  3. Perspectives on economics and ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O`Neill, R.V.

    1995-02-01

    As we move toward the twenty-first century, the overlap and synergism between economics and ecology demands our scientific attention. But in the intellectual excitement of seeing this new field emerge, we must not lose sight of the underlying global dynamics that are driving the pending merger. Simply stated: the population bomb has not been defused. The media and ecologists have simply fatigued of repeating the obvious. The combination of human population growth and increasing per capita impact is placing irreconcilable demands on the global biotic system. We can reduce per capita demands with technology and recycling. But such strategies simply delay the inevitable unless the human population asymptotes. of course, the population will reach a limit. The choice is between a series of global crises and a reasoned plan for the future. But for Global Sustainability to avoid becoming a cruel and unattainable fantasy, plans must include human population control and economics.

  4. A Model of Continental Growth and Mantle Degassing Comparing Biotic and Abiotic Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höning, D.; Hansen-Goos, H.; Spohn, T.

    2012-12-01

    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. PMID:27105420

  9. 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)

  10. Evaluating the spatio-temporal factors that structure network parameters of plant-herbivore interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio López-Carretero

    Full Text Available Despite the dynamic nature of ecological interactions, most studies on species networks offer static representations of their structure, constraining our understanding of the ecological mechanisms involved in their spatio-temporal stability. This is the first study to evaluate plant-herbivore interaction networks on a small spatio-temporal scale. Specifically, we simultaneously assessed the effect of host plant availability, habitat complexity and seasonality on the structure of plant-herbivore networks in a coastal tropical ecosystem. Our results revealed that changes in the host plant community resulting from seasonality and habitat structure are reflected not only in the herbivore community, but also in the emergent properties (network parameters of the plant-herbivore interaction network such as connectance, selectiveness and modularity. Habitat conditions and periods that are most stressful favored the presence of less selective and susceptible herbivore species, resulting in increased connectance within networks. In contrast, the high degree of selectivennes (i.e. interaction specialization and modularity of the networks under less stressful conditions was promoted by the diversification in resource use by herbivores. By analyzing networks at a small spatio-temporal scale we identified the ecological factors structuring this network such as habitat complexity and seasonality. Our research offers new evidence on the role of abiotic and biotic factors in the variation of the properties of species interaction networks.

  11. 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...... interactions between one or many users with one or many artifacts. Case studies from a recently run workshop on product sound design are examined....

  12. 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.

  13. Combat erosion prone conditions with biotic growth mediums

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    2009-10-01

    This article discussed methods of preserving soils in order to support remediation activities at 2 sites with sandy subsoil conditions and a lack of organic materials. An advanced hydroseeding technology was used to control erosion at the sites. Biotic Earth is a wheat straw-based hydromulch mixed with peat moss. The straw is used as an erosion control material, while the peat moss is used as an organic addition to the soil. Biotic Earth was applied at a site near James Bay where topsoil could not be salvaged. The aim of the project was to establish vegetation within a single season without the use of topsoil. The product was also used to combat the erosion challenges at a wastewater lagoon development in Manitoba that involved the protection of 70,000 m{sup 2} of eroded slopes and channels that threatened to undermine the lagoon structure. Vegetation was established on the sand beams surrounding the lagoon. Erosion control blankets were used to kick-start vegetation growth. The specialized hydroseeding proposal was selected as the lowest cost option among several alternatives. It was concluded that vegetation growth in the region was rapid and consistent through the planted areas. 12 figs.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Circulation of copper in the biotic compartments of a freshwater dammed reservoir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study concerns a chronic copper release in an aquatic ecosystem: Mirgenbach reservoir; which is characterized by high salinity, conductivity and hardness, a eutrophic state and a high temperature. To study the bioavailability of copper in the biotic compartments, the sampling covered the entire food chain (phyto- and zooplankton, macroalgae, aquatic plants, crustaceans, mollusks, and fish). Of the organisms present, the filter feeder Dreissena polymorpha, the detritivorous Bithynia tentaculata and Orconectes limosus were most contaminated by copper. The level of copper found in fish was the lowest. Body copper concentrations recorded in the present study show large variability between species even in some that are closely related. In most cases, however, the metal handling strategy, feeding habits, morphology and ecology can, at least partially, explain the metal content recorded. Pollution factors have been used to assess the state of contamination of the food chain. This study showed finally that the copper in the lake is bioavailable and bioaccumulated by organisms up to high levels and some effects of long-term toxicity of copper on benthic community and planktonic biomass were pointed out

  17. 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. PMID:27122551

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A comparison of survey methods to evaluate macrophyte index of biotic integrity performance in Minnesota lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vondracek, Bruce C.; Koch, Justine D.; Beck, Marcus W.

    2014-01-01

    Aquatic macrophytes shape trophic web dynamics, provide food and refuge for macroinvertebrates and fish, and increase nutrient retention, sediment stabilization, and water clarity. Macrophytes are well-suited as indicators of ecological health because they are immobile, relatively easy to sample and identify, and respond to anthropogenic disturbance on an ecological time scale. Aquatic plant monitoring programs can provide valuable information to water resource managers, especially in conjunction with macrophyte-based indices of biotic integrity (IBI). However, there are several current sampling designs and the precision of IBI scores has not been evaluated across different surveys. We evaluated the performance of the Minnesota macrophyte-based IBI for two survey designs; a point intercept (PI) survey and a belt transect (BT) survey. PI surveys are time intensive, especially on large lakes, whereas BT are less time intensive and have been used historically in Minnesota. Our objectives were to compare the PI surveys with BT surveys on the same lakes, and to modify the BT survey (MT survey) to improve information obtained from BT surveys. BT surveys consistently overestimated IBI scores compared to the PI method (t = 6.268, df = 60, p < 0.001). Overall IBI scores calculated from MT surveys differed significantly from PI scores, but on average, MT surveys predicted scores only 3% lower than PI scores. Implementation of the Minnesota macrophyte-based IBI through the adoption of the MT survey approach would improve sampling efficiency and enable widespread documentation of the effects of landscape change, shifts in hydrologic regimes, and other anthropogenic activities on the integrity of lacustrine systems.

  1. Information Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Ellen Tove

    2006-01-01

    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......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......-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....

  2. ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GABRIELA GYONGY MIHUT

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available While in most emerging and developing countries, the population has a lower ecological footprint in the developed countries have a larger footprint.There is also an alarming contrast between a person perception of her liability for damages to its environment and its actual size. These misconceptions may have their source in the absence of awareness of risks from climate change, culture or religion.The purpose of this study is to analyze the situation at the international and Romanian level and to draw attention on the necessity of un ecological education.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Amazing Ecology of Terrestrial Isopods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Christopher; Postema, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with their environment, and the best place to see these interactions is outside in natural habitats. Pillbugs (roly-polies) provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn ecological concepts through inquiry. Because of their fascinating behaviors, pillbugs are ideal organisms to introduce…

  6. 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.

  7. 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......, and demonstrated in public settings. We then describe INTERACT, a proposed research project that stages the robotic marionettes in a live performance. The interdisciplinary project brings humanities research to bear on scientific and technological inquiry, and culminates in the development a live performance which...

  8. The interactions between an orthodox Christian worldview and environmental attitudes and beliefs; for the purpose of developing better instructional practice in support of environmental/ecological attitudes and knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keys, Robert S.

    Students bring with them to the classroom a wide variety of beliefs and attitudes about the environment and its associated issues. One worldview belief structure prominently discussed in ecological discussions is the worldview of orthodox Christianity. This study uses both quantitative and qualitative measures to analyze the degree to which the orthodox Christian worldview of students influences their environmental attitudes and beliefs. Surveys were conducted with 281 undergraduate pre-service elementary teaching students enrolled in a science methods course to determine the degree to which orthodox Christian worldviews and ecological worldviews interact with one another. From this pool of students, 16 students representing both positive and neutral-negative orthodox Christian worldviews and ecological worldviews were interviewed to determine how orthodox Christian students may differ from non-orthodox Christian students in their attitudes and beliefs about the environment. Analysis revealed that students with orthodox Christian worldview beliefs do not as a general rule use their orthodox Christian worldview beliefs in the discussion of their environmental beliefs and attitudes. Exceptions to this may occur when environmental issues touch on orthodox Christian worldview beliefs which have a bearing on matters of origin, life purpose, or destiny. These interactions between ecological and orthodox Christian worldviews have implications for the teaching of environmental issues to students in that the orthodox Christian worldview of students is not likely to hinder the appropriation of concepts associated with environmental issues. However, moving students with an orthodox Christian worldview to a view where they become actively involved in environmental issue resolution may require educators to situate curriculum in such a way as to invoke the students' orthodox Christian worldview beliefs.

  9. Evaluation of the Ecological Condition of the Rivers from the Subbasin of Arda River

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina M. Mecheva

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The Water Framework Directive 2000/60/;> requires new ecological approaches towards water resources sustainable management on the basinprinciple and new concept for assessment the water bodies ecological status to be applied. Current research aims at establishment of the rivers ecological status in the Arda River sub-basin. Data on Biotic Index at 66 sampling sites in the period 2000-2006 and additionally 25 common physical and inorganic chemical parameters at 7 sites during 2004-2006 have been assessed. The results for the sub-basin indicate a risk of failing to achieve good ecological status by 2015.

  10. 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 ......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...... 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....

  11. Ecological palaeoecology: a missing link between ecology and evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Rull, V.

    2014-01-01

    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...

  12. 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

  13. The interplay between habitat structure and chemical contaminants on biotic responses of benthic organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer-Pinto, Mariana; Matias, Miguel G; Coleman, Ross A

    2016-01-01

    Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their 'susceptibility' or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioning of systems and are also likely to increase due to coastal urbanisation. Understanding how habitat structure interacts with contaminants is essential to predict and therefore manage such effects, minimising their consequences to marine systems. Here, we manipulated two structurally different habitats and exposed them to different types of contaminants. The effects of contamination and habitat structure interacted, affecting species richness. More complex experimental habitats were colonized by a greater diversity of organisms than the less complex habitats. These differences disappeared, however, when habitats were exposed to contaminants, suggesting that contaminants can override effects of habitats structure at small spatial scales. These results provide insight into the complex ways that habitat structure and contamination interact and the need to incorporate evidence of biotic responses from individual disturbances to multiple stressors. Such effects need to be taken into account when designing and planning management and conservation strategies to natural systems. PMID:27168991

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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: → An Index of Biotic Integrity based on fishes is proposed for streams of the Hondo River basin. → Twelve variables were

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Ecological model of disaster management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaton, Randal; Bridges, Elizabeth; Salazar, Mary K; Oberle, Mark W; Stergachis, Andy; Thompson, Jack; Butterfield, Patricia

    2008-11-01

    The ecological model of disaster management provides a framework to guide occupational health nurses who are developing disaster management programs.This ecological model assumes that disaster planning, preparedness, response, and recovery occur at various levels of the organization. These nested, increasingly complex organizational levels include individual and family, workplace, community, state, tribal, federal, and global levels. The ecological model hypothesizes that these levels interact and these dynamic interactions determine disaster planning, preparedness, response, and recovery outcomes. In addition to the features of the hazard or disaster, it is also assumed that parallel disaster planning, preparedness, and response elements, logistical challenges, and flexibility, sustainability, and rehabilitation elements occur at each level of the ecological model. Finally, the model assumes that evaluation of response and recovery efforts should inform future planning and preparedness efforts. PMID:19051571

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Ecological macroeconomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2013-01-01

    of the economy could go hand in hand with increased employment. These ideas were not reflected much in actual policies, and – despite some green elements – the subsequent economic upturn was driven first of all by consumption, and in several affluent countries, fueled by credit expansion. The current revival...... on how to reconcile environmental and social concerns. Based on this broad variety of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, a new ecological macroeconomics is emerging, but the contours are still vague. This chapter seeks to outline some of this topography and to add a few pieces of its own by highlighting the need...... to shift resources from consumption to investment and describing the role of consumer-citizens in such a change. The chapter starts by identifying the problems and challenges for an ecological macroeconomics. The next section outlines some of the shortcomings of traditional macroeconomics...

  3. The contribution of biotic and abiotic processes during azo dye reduction in anaerobic sludge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zee, van der F.P.; Bisschops, I.A.E.; Blanchard, V.G.; Bouwman, R.H.M.; Lettinga, G.; Field, J.A.

    2003-01-01

    Azo dye reduction results from a combination of biotic and abiotic processes during the anaerobic treatment of dye containing effluents. Biotic processes are due to enzymatic reactions whereas the chemical reaction is due to sulfide. In this research, the relative impact of the different azo dye red

  4. 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...

  5. ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION

    OpenAIRE

    GABRIELA GYONGY MIHUT

    2011-01-01

    While in most emerging and developing countries, the population has a lower ecological footprint in the developed countries have a larger footprint.There is also an alarming contrast between a person perception of her liability for damages to its environment and its actual size. These misconceptions may have their source in the absence of awareness of risks from climate change, culture or religion.The purpose of this study is to analyze the situation at the international and Romanian level an...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27220203

  9. Feeding ecology and population characteristics of Oreochromis niloticus (L.) and trophic interactions in the fish community of Nyanza Gulf, Lake Victoria, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Njiru, M.

    1999-01-01

    Oreochromis niloticus (L.) were caught by beach seining, hook and line and trawling from Nyanza Gulf, lake Victoria (Kenya) in order to study their feeding ecology and population characteristics. Collected fish were weighed and TL measured immediately after capture. Fish were dissected and sexed. Stomach contents were removed and preserved in 4% buffered formalin for laboratory analysis. In the laboratory items were sorted into categories such as three quarters, half and quarter and awarded 2...

  10. Feeding ecology and population characteristics of Oreochromis niloticus (L.) and trophic interactions in the fish community of Nyanza Gulf, Lake Victoria, Kenya.

    OpenAIRE

    Njiru, M.

    1999-01-01

    The diet of Oreochromis niloticus (L.) is now more diverse than earlier reported. Oreochromis niloticus was considered to be a herbivore feeding mostly on algae and plant material. The diet now consists of insects, fish, algae and plant material. The shift in diet may be due to ecological changes in the lake. Water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, which harbours insects in its root balls, now has extensive coverage of the lake. The native species which preyed on insects (e.g. hap...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Evidence for biotic controls on topography and soil production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roering, Joshua J.; Marshall, Jill; Booth, Adam M.; Mort, Michele; Jin, Qusheng

    2010-09-01

    The complex interplay of biological, physical, and chemical processes in pedogenesis and hillslope evolution limits our ability to predict and interpret landscape dynamics. Here, we synthesize a suite of observations from the steep, forested Oregon Coast Range to analyze the role of trees in topographic modification and bedrock-to-soil conversion. Using topographic data derived from airborne lidar, we demonstrate that the topographic signature of forest-driven soil and bedrock disturbance is pervasive. For length scales greater than 7.5 m, the land surface is defined by ridge-valley landforms, whereas smaller scales are dominated by pit-mound features generated by the turnover of large coniferous trees. From field surveys, the volume of bedrock incorporated in overturned rootwads increases rapidly with diameter for large conifers, reflecting the highly nonlinear increase in root biomass with tree diameter. Because trees younger than 60 years detach negligible bedrock, short timber harvest intervals may limit the extent to which root systems penetrate bedrock and facilitate bedrock fracturing and biogeochemical weathering. Using ground-penetrating radar, we show that the rootwads of large trees root achieve substantial penetration (1-3 m) into shallow bedrock. The radar transects also reveal that variations in soil thickness have characteristic length scales of 1 to 5 m, consistent with the scale of large rootwads, indicating that both the landscape surface and soil-bedrock interface exhibit a biogenic imprint. In our study area, the residence time of bedrock within dense rooting zones directly below large trees is similar to the time required for trees to occupy the entire forest floor through multiple cycles of forest succession, suggesting that biological modification of shallow bedrock is ubiquitous. Given increases in erosion rate, the ability of roots to initiate soil production may decline as bedrock exhumation through the biotic zone is rapid relative to the

  14. Reassembling ecologies

    OpenAIRE

    Justesen, Lise; Mouritsen, Jan; Tryggestad, Kjell

    2011-01-01

    In its general form, stakeholder theory posits an extension of the ecology. It claims that there are other stakes and interests than those posited by shareholder value theory (Freeman et al. 2004; Jensen and Sandström 2011), and some stakeholder theory proponents argue that the natural environment is also to be considered as a stakeholder (Driscoll and Starik 2004; Norton 2007). It is a positive claim – there are more stakes and interests – and a moral one – we should look towards more intere...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Ecological Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Common, Michael; Stagl, Sigrid

    2005-10-01

    Taking as its starting point the interdependence of the economy and the natural environment, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the emerging field of ecological economics. The authors, who have written extensively on the economics of sustainability, build on insights from both mainstream economics and ecological sciences. Part I explores the interdependence of the modern economy and its environment, while Part II focuses mainly on the economy and on economics. Part III looks at how national governments set policy targets and the instruments used to pursue those targets. Part IV examines international trade and institutions, and two major global threats to sustainability - climate change and biodiversity loss. Assuming no prior knowledge of economics, this textbook is well suited for use on interdisciplinary environmental science and management courses. It has extensive student-friendly features including discussion questions and exercises, keyword highlighting, real-world illustrations, further reading and website addresses. A comprehensive introduction to a developing field which will interest students from science, economics and management backgrounds A global approach to the problems of sustainability and sustainable development, issues which are increasingly prominent in political debate and policy making Filled with student-friendly features including focus areas for each chapter, keyword highlighting, real-world illustrations, discussion questions and exercises, further reading and website addresses

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. Ecological Ethics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deborah Oughton started with a view of the work in progress by the ICRP TG 94 on ethics, from the historical context and the principles-based ethics in RP, to continue with an overview of the ethical theories and with the main area of elaboration which concerns the common values, to conclude with considerations about the implementation in different area such as biomedicine, nuclear safety and workers, ecological aspects, and environmental health and society. By reading again the ICRP and IAEA publications on the ethical aspects in the protection of environment from the effects of ionizing radiation, the presentation covers the various and different cultures within the history of environmental ethics, the perception of Nature and the theories of environmental ethics, in particular by focusing on anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as philosophical worldwide views, and on conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, environmental justice and human dignity, as primary principles of environmental protection. The influence of western Christianity, with a view of man dominating over every creeping thing on earth, and of the non-western ideas, the human perception of Nature has been analyzed and discussed to conclude that, in reality then, the anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as reflected in many cultures and religions, they all support the need to protect the environment and to recognise and preserve the diversity. Three challenges were then discussed in the presentation: the ecosystem approach and ecological economics, for example in the case of Fukushima by asking what is the economic cost of marine contamination; the ecosystem changes with attention to what harms, as in the case of the environment in the contaminated areas around Chernobyl; and the environmental consequences of remediation, which can be considered a source of controversy for environmental ethics and policy

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Model-based Analysis of Mixed Uranium(VI) Reduction by Biotic and Abiotic Pathways During in Situ Bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Jiao; Scheibe, Timothy D.; Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan

    2013-10-24

    Uranium bioremediation has emerged as a potential strategy of cleanup of radionuclear contamination worldwide. An integrated geochemical & microbial community model is a promising approach to predict and provide insights into the bioremediation of a complicated natural subsurface. In this study, an integrated column-scale model of uranium bioremediation was developed, taking into account long-term interactions between biotic and abiotic processes. It is also combined with a comprehensive thermodynamic analysis to track the fate and cycling of biogenic species. As compared with other bioremediation models, the model increases the resolution of the connection of microbial community to geochemistry and establishes direct quantitative correlation between overall community evolution and geochemical variation, thereby accurately predicting the community dynamics under different sedimentary conditions. The thermodynamic analysis examined a recently identified homogeneous reduction of U(VI) by Fe(II) under dynamic sedimentary conditions across time and space. It shows that the biogenic Fe(II) from Geobacter metabolism can be removed rapidly by the biogenic sulphide from sulfate reducer metabolism, hence constituting one of the reasons that make the abiotic U(VI) reduction thermodynamically infeasible in the subsurface. Further analysis indicates that much higher influent concentrations of both Fe(II) and U(VI) than normal are required to for abiotic U(VI) reduction to be thermodynamically feasible, suggesting that the abiotic reduction cannot be an alternative to the biotic reduction in the remediation of uranium contaminated groundwater.

  5. Abiotic and biotic factors that influence the bioavailability of gold nanoparticles to aquatic macrophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, J Brad; Klaine, Stephen J

    2013-09-17

    This research identified and characterized factors that influenced nanomaterial bioavailability to three aquatic plants: Azolla caroliniana Willd, Egeria densa Planch., and Myriophyllum simulans Orch. Plants were exposed to 4-, 18-, and 30-nm gold nanoparticles. Uptake was influenced by nanoparticle size, the presence of roots on the plant, and dissolved organic carbon in the media. Statistical analysis of the data also revealed that particle uptake was influenced by a 4-way (plant species, plant roots, particle size, and dissolved organic carbon) interaction suggesting nanoparticle bioavailability was a complex result of multiple parameters. Size and species dependent absorption was observed that was dependent on the presence of roots and nanoparticle size. The presence of dissolved organic carbon was found to associate with 4- and 18-nm gold nanoparticles in suspension and form a nanoparticle/organic matter complex that resulted in (1) minimized particle aggregation and (2) a decrease of nanoparticle absorption by the aquatic plants. The same effect was not observed with the 30-nm nanoparticle treatment. These results indicate that multiple factors, both biotic and abiotic, must be taken into account when predicting bioavailability of nanomaterials to aquatic plants. PMID:23947987

  6. 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.

  7. Chemical controls on abiotic and biotic release of geogenic arsenic from Pleistocene aquifer sediments to groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillispie, Elizabeth C; Andujar, Erika; Polizzotto, Matthew L

    2016-08-10

    Over 150 million people in South and Southeast Asia consume unsafe drinking water from arsenic-rich Holocene aquifers. Although use of As-free water from Pleistocene aquifers is a potential mitigation strategy, such aquifers are vulnerable to geogenic As pollution, placing millions more people at potential risk. The goal of this research was to define chemical controls on abiotic and biotic release of geogenic As to groundwater. Batch incubations of sediments with natural chemical variability from a Pleistocene aquifer in Cambodia were conducted to evaluate how interactions among arsenic, manganese and iron oxides, and dissolved and sedimentary organic carbon influenced As mobilization from sediments. The addition of labile dissolved organic carbon produced the highest concentrations of dissolved As after >7 months, as compared to sediment samples incubated with sodium azide or without added carbon, and the extent of As release was positively correlated with the percent of initial extractable Mn released from the sediments. The mode of As release was impacted by the source of DOC supplied to the sediments, with biological processes responsible for 81% to 85% of the total As release following incubations with lactate and acetate but only up to 43% to 61% of the total As release following incubations with humic and fulvic acids. Overall, cycling of key redox-active elements and organic-carbon reactivity govern the potential for geogenic As release to groundwater, and results here may be used to formulate better predictions of the arsenic pollution potential of aquifers in South and Southeast Asia. PMID:27463026

  8. The timing and pattern of biotic recovery following the end-Permian mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Benton, Michael J.

    2012-06-01

    The aftermath of the great end-Permian period mass extinction 252 Myr ago shows how life can recover from the loss of >90% species globally. The crisis was triggered by a number of physical environmental shocks (global warming, acid rain, ocean acidification and ocean anoxia), and some of these were repeated over the next 5-6 Myr. Ammonoids and some other groups diversified rapidly, within 1-3 Myr, but extinctions continued through the Early Triassic period. Triassic ecosystems were rebuilt stepwise from low to high trophic levels through the Early to Middle Triassic, and a stable, complex ecosystem did not re-emerge until the beginning of the Middle Triassic, 8-9 Myr after the crisis. A positive aspect of the recovery was the emergence of entirely new groups, such as marine reptiles and decapod crustaceans, as well as new tetrapods on land, including -- eventually -- dinosaurs. The stepwise recovery of life in the Triassic could have been delayed either by biotic drivers (complex multispecies interactions) or physical perturbations, or a combination of both. This is an example of the wider debate about the relative roles of intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of large-scale evolution.

  9. Biotic nitrogen fixation in the bryosphere is inhibited more by drought than warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteley, Jonathan A; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2016-08-01

    The boreal forest is of particular interest to climate change research due to its large circumpolar distribution and accumulated soil carbon pool. Carbon uptake in this ecosystem is nitrogen (N)-limited, therefore factors affecting carbon or nitrogen dynamics in the boreal forest can have consequences for global climate. We used a 2-year field experiment to investigate the response of biotic nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria associated with boreal forest bryophytes, in a factorial experiment combining simulated climate change with habitat fragmentation treatments. We simulated climate change conditions using open-top greenhouse chambers in the field, which increased mean and maximum temperatures, and created a precipitation gradient from ambient levels in the center to extreme drought conditions at the periphery of the chamber. The dry patches near the chamber walls exhibited almost no N-fixation, despite having similar densities of cyanobacteria (predominantly Stigonema sp.) as other patches. Rates of N-fixation were best explained by a model containing moisture, fragmentation, cyanobacteria density and time; warming was not a significant variable affecting N-fixation. There was no significant interaction between warming and fragmentation. These results suggest that cyanobacteria responded physiologically to drought by reducing N-fixation activity long before any changes in density. Ecosystem processes, such as N-fixation, can respond in the short term to environmental change much more rapidly than changes in the underlying community structure. Such rapid physiological responses may occur faster than demographic insurance effects of biodiversity. PMID:27098528

  10. Ecological stability of landscape - ecological infrastructure - ecological management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Field Workshop 'Ecological Stability of Landscape - Ecological Infrastructure - Ecological Management' was held within a State Environmental Programme financed by the Federal Committee for the Environment. The objectives of the workshop were to present Czech and Slovak approaches to the ecological stability of the landscape by means of examples of some case studies in the field, and to exchange ideas, theoretical knowledge and practical experience on implementing the concept of ecological infrastructure in landscape management. Out of 19 papers contained in the proceedings, 3 items were inputted to the INIS system. (Z.S.)

  11. Spatial and temporal patterns of greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia: interactions of ecological and social factors affecting the Arctic normalized difference vegetation index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D. A.; Leibman, M. O.; Epstein, H. E.; Forbes, B. C.; Bhatt, U. S.; Raynolds, M. K.; Comiso, J. C.; Gubarkov, A. A.; Khomutov, A. V.; Jia, G. J.; Kaarlejärvi, E.; Kaplan, J. O.; Kumpula, T.; Kuss, P.; Matyshak, G.; Moskalenko, N. G.; Orekhov, P.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Ukraientseva, N. G.; Yu, Q.

    2009-10-01

    The causes of a greening trend detected in the Arctic using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) are still poorly understood. Changes in NDVI are a result of multiple ecological and social factors that affect tundra net primary productivity. Here we use a 25 year time series of AVHRR-derived NDVI data (AVHRR: advanced very high resolution radiometer), climate analysis, a global geographic information database and ground-based studies to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia. We assess the effects of climate change, gas-field development, reindeer grazing and permafrost degradation. In contrast to the case for Arctic North America, there has not been a significant trend in summer temperature or NDVI, and much of the pattern of NDVI in this region is due to disturbances. There has been a 37% change in early-summer coastal sea-ice concentration, a 4% increase in summer land temperatures and a 7% change in the average time-integrated NDVI over the length of the satellite observations. Gas-field infrastructure is not currently extensive enough to affect regional NDVI patterns. The effect of reindeer is difficult to quantitatively assess because of the lack of control areas where reindeer are excluded. Many of the greenest landscapes on the Yamal are associated with landslides and drainage networks that have resulted from ongoing rapid permafrost degradation. A warming climate and enhanced winter snow are likely to exacerbate positive feedbacks between climate and permafrost thawing. We present a diagram that summarizes the social and ecological factors that influence Arctic NDVI. The NDVI should be viewed as a powerful monitoring tool that integrates the cumulative effect of a multitude of factors affecting Arctic land-cover change.

  12. 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.

  13. Spatial and temporal patterns of greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia: interactions of ecological and social factors affecting the Arctic normalized difference vegetation index

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The causes of a greening trend detected in the Arctic using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) are still poorly understood. Changes in NDVI are a result of multiple ecological and social factors that affect tundra net primary productivity. Here we use a 25 year time series of AVHRR-derived NDVI data (AVHRR: advanced very high resolution radiometer), climate analysis, a global geographic information database and ground-based studies to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation greenness on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia. We assess the effects of climate change, gas-field development, reindeer grazing and permafrost degradation. In contrast to the case for Arctic North America, there has not been a significant trend in summer temperature or NDVI, and much of the pattern of NDVI in this region is due to disturbances. There has been a 37% change in early-summer coastal sea-ice concentration, a 4% increase in summer land temperatures and a 7% change in the average time-integrated NDVI over the length of the satellite observations. Gas-field infrastructure is not currently extensive enough to affect regional NDVI patterns. The effect of reindeer is difficult to quantitatively assess because of the lack of control areas where reindeer are excluded. Many of the greenest landscapes on the Yamal are associated with landslides and drainage networks that have resulted from ongoing rapid permafrost degradation. A warming climate and enhanced winter snow are likely to exacerbate positive feedbacks between climate and permafrost thawing. We present a diagram that summarizes the social and ecological factors that influence Arctic NDVI. The NDVI should be viewed as a powerful monitoring tool that integrates the cumulative effect of a multitude of factors affecting Arctic land-cover change.

  14. 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

  15. RHIZOSPHERE ECOLOGY AND GLYPHOSATE-RESISTANT SOYBEAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    The interaction of glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybean with the ecology of plant-associated microbial populations has been the subject of environmental assessments in response to the public concern regarding the ecological compatibility of transgenic crops. Changes in the dynamics of soil and rhizosph...

  16. BOOTSTRAPPING AND MONTE CARLO METHODS OF POWER ANALYSIS USED TO ESTABLISH CONDITION CATEGORIES FOR BIOTIC INDICES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biotic indices have been used ot assess biological condition by dividing index scores into condition categories. Historically the number of categories has been based on professional judgement. Alternatively, statistical methods such as power analysis can be used to determine the ...

  17. 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.

  18. Ecological network analysis: network construction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fath, B.D.; Scharler, U.M.; Ulanowicz, R.E.; Hannon, B.

    2007-01-01

    Ecological network analysis (ENA) is a systems-oriented methodology to analyze within system interactions used to identify holistic properties that are otherwise not evident from the direct observations. Like any analysis technique, the accuracy of the results is as good as the data available, but t

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Biotic potential and reproductive parameters of Spodoptera eridania (Stoll) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) in the laboratory

    OpenAIRE

    Débora Goulart Montezano; Alexandre Specht; Daniel Ricardo Sosa-Gómez; Vânia Ferreira Roque-Specht; Neiva Monteiro de Barros

    2013-01-01

    Biotic potential and reprodutcive parameters of Spodoptera eridania (Stoll) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) in the laboratory: This study aimed to evaluate the biotic potential and reproductive parameters of Spodoptera eridania (Stoll, 1782) under controlled conditions (25 ± 1ºC, 70 ± 10% RH and 14 hour photophase). The longevity, pre-, post- and oviposition periods, fecundity and fertility of 15 couples was evaluated. The longevity of females (10.80 days) was not significantly higher than those of ...

  2. 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

  3. Biotic and abiotic factors affecting territorial and reproductive behaviour of dragonflies (Odonata)

    OpenAIRE

    KYBICOVÁ, Tereza

    2015-01-01

    Habitat selection, territorial behaviour and reproductive behaviour of dragonflies (Odonata) are discussed and biotic and abiotic factors affecting their territorial and reproductive behaviour are reviewed. The most important biotic factors are predation risk affecting larval survival and the presence of aquatic vegetation, which provides spatial structure. The review is complemented by a field study of territorial and reproductive behavior of dragonflies at an experimental site, at which the...

  4. A Landscape Indicator Approach to the Identification and Articulation of the Ecological Consequences of Land Cover Change in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, 1970-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slonecker, Terrence

    2008-01-01

    The advancement of geographic science in the area of land surface status and trends and land cover change is at the core of the current geographic scientific research of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (McMahon and others, 2005). Perhaps the least developed or articulated aspects of USGS land change science have been the identification and analysis of the ecological consequences of land cover change. Changes in land use and land cover significantly affect the ability of ecosystems to provide essential ecological goods and services, which, in turn, affect the economic, public health, and social benefits that these ecosystems provide. One of the great scientific challenges for geographic science is to understand and calibrate the effects of land use and land cover change and the complex interaction between human and biotic systems at a variety of natural, geographic, and political scales. Understanding the dynamics of land surface change requires an increased understanding of the complex nature of human-environmental systems and will require a suite of scientific tools that include traditional geographic data and analysis methods, such as remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), as well as innovative approaches to understanding the dynamics of complex systems. One such approach that has gained much recent scientific attention is the landscape indicator, or landscape assessment, approach, which has been developed with the emergence of the science of landscape ecology.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Metabolomic changes of Brassica rapa under biotic stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abdel-Farid Ali, Ibrahim Bayoumi

    2009-01-01

    It has been shown by this thesis that plant metabolomics is a promising tool for studying the interaction between B. rapa and pathogenic fungi. It gives a picture of the plant metabolites during the interaction. Brassica rapa has many defense related compounds such as glucosinolates, IAA, phenylprop

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Psychoactive substances and the political ecology of mental distress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aggarwal Sunil K

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Megan Arlene Rúa; Emily Catherine Wilson; Sarah eSteele; Munters, Arielle R.; Hoeksema, Jason D.; Carolin eFrank

    2016-01-01

    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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 金融杠杆在鄱阳湖生态经济区建设中的作用空间%The Interaction Space of Financial Leverage in Construction of Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘兵

    2011-01-01

    在江西各级政府的大力扶持下,金融机构积极履行金融政策职能,在鄱阳湖生态经济区建设中发挥了重要作用。为了更好地助力鄱阳湖生态经济区建设,金融机构可进一步挖掘作用空间:加快金融机构发展,进一步壮大金融产业;在控制风险的前提下,积极满足政府融资平台的信贷需求;进一步提升政银企合作水平,解决中小企业的融资难题;在创新金融产品的同时,对其他新兴融资方式予以大力支持。%Supported by Jiangxi governments at all levels, the financial institutions have actively performed financial policies and played an important role in the construction of Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone. For a better construction of Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone, interaction spaces could be further mined. The financial institutions would further strengthen the financial industry, actively support credit demands of the govern ment financing platform in the precondition of controlling risks, further improve the cooperation among governments, banks and enterprises to solve financing difficulties of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and offer great supports to other emerging financing ways when innovating financial products.

  4. 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...

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Application of Irradiated Pro biotic Microorganism in Black Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus monodon Fabricius) Culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marine shrimp culture in Thailand has been developed continuously for the past two decades. This development will ensure the highest level of shrimp quality that will be suitable for the consumption of the people in the country and also aboard. The trend of culture system emphasizes on disease prevention more than treatment which will consequently limit the application of drug and chemicals. Application of pro biotic has been one means of this prevention that are commonly practiced by shrimp farmers. This research was conducted to compare the efficacy of normal Bacillus subtilis isolate from shrimp intestine and an irradiated B. subtilis as a pro biotic in shrimp feed. It was found that overall results were quite the same. These included the broth Co-culture assay. Effects on immune functions were conducted with Penaeus monodon with initial average weight of 17 gms by feeding with 3 gms/kg feed of spore of these two pro biotic for two mouths. The results indicated that both pro biotic caused significant improvement on percent phagocytosis only at the forth week of feeding trial and the overall enhancement of bactericidal activity. However, total haemocyte count and phenoloxidase activity were not altered. Total bacterial count in shrimp intestine was also conducted during the two month trial. the results indicated significant reduction of Vibrio spp. of both pro biotic groups when compared with the control. Number of Bacillus spp. in intestine were continuously high even after pro biotic treatment had been stopped Growth rate of experiment and control shrimp was not significantly different.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:26868103

  11. Marine ecological habitat: A case study on projected thermal power plant around Dharamtar creek, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Kulkarni, V.A.; Naidu, V.S.; Jagtap, T.G.

    Project, Department of Ocean Development, Govt. of India, New Delhi, India (1998). 219 Journal of Environmental Biology circleshadowdwnMarch 2011circleshadowdwn Case study of marine habitats near projected thermal power plant Efimova, T.A.: Effect of warm...). Kennish, M.J.: Ecology of estuaries: Anthropogenic effects. CRC Press, Inc., Lewis Publishers, 2000 Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, Florida. (1992). Kennish, M.J.: Pollution impacts on marine biotic communities. CRC Press, Inc., Lewis Publishers, 2000...

  12. Prolonged Permian–Triassic ecological crisis recorded by molluscan dominance in Late Permian offshore assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Clapham, Matthew E.; Bottjer, David J.

    2007-01-01

    The end-Permian mass extinction was the largest biotic crisis in the history of animal life, eliminating as many as 95% of all species and dramatically altering the ecological structure of marine communities. Although the causes of this pronounced ecosystem shift have been widely debated, the broad consensus based on inferences from global taxonomic diversity patterns suggests that the shift from abundant brachiopods to dominant molluscs was abrupt and largely driven by the catastrophic effec...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rocco Tiberti; Sabino Metta; Martina Austoni; Cristiana Callieri; Morabito Giuseppe; Marchetto Aldo; Michela Rogora; Gabriele A. TARTARI; Jost Von Hardenberg; Antonello Provenzale

    2013-01-01

    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 l...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Why are biotic iron pools uniform across high- and low-iron pelagic ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, P. W.; Strzepek, R. F.; Ellwood, M. J.; Hutchins, D. A.; Nodder, S. D.; Twining, B. S.; Wilhelm, S. W.

    2015-07-01

    Dissolved iron supply is pivotal in setting global phytoplankton productivity and pelagic ecosystem structure. However, most studies of the role of iron have focussed on carbon biogeochemistry within pelagic ecosystems, with less effort to quantify the iron biogeochemical cycle. Here we compare mixed-layer biotic iron inventories from a low-iron (~0.06 nmol L-1) subantarctic (FeCycle study) and a seasonally high-iron (~0.6 nmol L-1) subtropical (FeCycle II study) site. Both studies were quasi-Lagrangian, and had multi-day occupation, common sampling protocols, and indirect estimates of biotic iron (from a limited range of available published biovolume/carbon/iron quotas). Biotic iron pools were comparable (~100 ± 30 pmol L-1) for low- and high-iron waters, despite a tenfold difference in dissolved iron concentrations. Consistency in biotic iron inventories (~80 ± 24 pmol L-1, largely estimated using a limited range of available quotas) was also conspicuous for three Southern Ocean polar sites. Insights into the extent to which uniformity in biotic iron inventories was driven by the need to apply common iron quotas obtained from laboratory cultures were provided from FeCycle II. The observed twofold to threefold range of iron quotas during the evolution of FeCycle II subtropical bloom was much less than reported from laboratory monocultures. Furthermore, the iron recycling efficiency varied by fourfold during FeCycle II, increasing as stocks of new iron were depleted, suggesting that quotas and iron recycling efficiencies together set biotic iron pools. Hence, site-specific differences in iron recycling efficiencies (which provide 20-50% and 90% of total iron supply in high- and low-iron waters, respectively) help offset the differences in new iron inputs between low- and high-iron sites. Future parameterization of iron in biogeochemical models must focus on the drivers of biotic iron inventories, including the differing iron requirements of the resident biota

  17. Expression of an engineered heterologous antimicrobial peptide in potato alters plant development and mitigates normal abiotic and biotic responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravinder K Goyal

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial cationic peptides (AMPs are ubiquitous small proteins used by living cells to defend against a wide spectrum of pathogens. Their amphipathic property helps their interaction with negatively charged cellular membrane of the pathogen causing cell lysis and death. AMPs also modulate signaling pathway(s and cellular processes in animal models; however, little is known of cellular processes other than the pathogen-lysis phenomenon modulated by AMPs in plants. An engineered heterologous AMP, msrA3, expressed in potato was previously shown to cause resistance of the transgenic plants against selected fungal and bacterial pathogens. These lines together with the wild type were studied for growth habits, and for inducible defense responses during challenge with biotic (necrotroph Fusarium solani and abiotic stressors (dark-induced senescence, wounding and temperature stress. msrA3-expression not only conferred protection against F. solani but also delayed development of floral buds and prolonged vegetative phase. Analysis of select gene transcript profiles showed that the transgenic potato plants were suppressed in the hypersensitive (HR and reactive oxygen species (ROS responses to both biotic and abiotic stressors. Also, the transgenic leaves accumulated lesser amounts of the defense hormone jasmonic acid upon wounding with only a slight change in salicylic acid as compared to the wild type. Thus, normal host defense responses to the pathogen and abiotic stressors were mitigated by msrA3 expression suggesting MSRA3 regulates a common step(s of these response pathways. The stemming of the pathogen growth and mitigating stress response pathways likely contributes to resource reallocation for higher tuber yield.

  18. Quantifying Variability in Four U.S. Streams Using a Long-Term Dataset: Patterns in Biotic Endpoints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flinders, Camille A.; McLaughlin, Douglas B.; Ragsdale, Renee L.

    2015-08-01

    Effective water resources assessment and management requires quantitative information on the variability of ambient and biological conditions in aquatic communities. Although it is understood that natural systems are variable, robust estimates of long-term variation in community-based structure and function metrics are rare in U.S. waters. We used a multi-year, seasonally sampled dataset from multiple sites ( n = 5-6) in four streams (Codorus Creek, PA; Leaf River, MS; McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, OR) to examine spatial and temporal variation in periphyton chlorophyll a, and fish and macroinvertebrate metrics commonly used in bioassessment programs. Within-site variation of macroinvertebrate metrics and benthic chlorophyll a concentration showed coefficient of variation ranging from 16 to 136 %. Scale-specific variability patterns (stream-wide, season, site, and site-season patterns) in standardized biotic endpoints showed that within-site variability patterns extended across sites with variability greatest in chlorophyll a and lowest in Hilsenhoff's Biotic Index. Across streams, variance components models showed that variance attributed to the interaction of space and time and sample variance accounted for the majority of variation in macroinvertebrate metrics and chlorophyll a, while most variation in fish metrics was attributed to sample variance. Clear temporal patterns in measured endpoints were rare and not specific to any one stream or assemblage, while apparent shifts in metric variability related to point source discharges were seen only in McKenzie River macroinvertebrate metrics in the fall. Results from this study demonstrate the need to consider and understand spatial, seasonal, and longer term variability in the development of bioassessment programs and subsequent decisions.

  19. An agent for ecological deliberation

    OpenAIRE

    Debenham, John; Sierra, Carles

    2010-01-01

    An agent architecture supports the two forms of deliberation used by human agents. Cartesian, constructivist rationalism leads to game theory, decision theory and logical models. Ecological rationalism leads to deliberative actions that are derived from agents’ prior interactions and are not designed; i.e., they are strictly emergent. This paper aims to address the scant attention paid by the agent community to the predominant form of deliberation used by mankind.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. How to comprehensively evaluate river corridor conditions? A comparison of different biotic and morphological indices in northern Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golfieri, Bruno; Surian, Nicola; Hardersen, Sönke; Maiolini, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    The assessment of river conditions is crucial for planning appropriate management actions. The European Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC (WFD) requires the assessment of biological, physical-chemical and hydromorphological elements to define the ecological status of rivers. The WFD suggests the use of different bioindicators (i.e. benthic macroinvertebrates, diatoms, aquatic macrophytes and fish), the so called "biological quality elements" (BQEs). However, recent studies showed that BQEs-based indices have two main limitations: (i) their standard application is limited to flowing channels and (ii) they are not sensitive to hydromorphological alteration. Hydromorphological conditions are usually evaluated applying methods for physical habitat assessment (i.e. the River Habitat Survey or derived methods) that consist in site-scale inventories of river forms and anthropic structures. The lack of consideration of wider spatial (i.e. reach or catchment scale) and temporal scales (e.g. channel evolution over the last 50-100 years) make such methods inadequate for a sound diagnosis of morphological alterations. The Morphological Quality Index (MQI) and the dragonfly-based Odonate River Index (ORI) were developed in the recent years to overcome the above-mentioned limitations and to assess the condition of the whole river corridor (i.e. the channel and its adjacent floodplain) at reach scale. In this study we correlated the assessments of MQI, ORI and two BQEs-based biotic indices (i.e. STAR_ICMi for benthic macroinvertebrates and ICMi for diatoms) in 15 lowland river reaches in northern Italy. The selected reaches are characterized by a wide range of morphological degradation. MQI and ORI were highly correlated, probably because both methods work at reach scale and consider the integrity of the whole river corridor, either in terms of morphology or considering ecological aspects. In contrast, no significant relationships were found between MQI and ORI and the BQEs

  3. Taoism and Deep Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvan, Richard; Bennett, David

    1988-01-01

    Contrasted are the philosophies of Deep Ecology and ancient Chinese. Discusses the cosmology, morality, lifestyle, views of power, politics, and environmental philosophies of each. Concludes that Deep Ecology could gain much from Taoism. (CW)

  4. EcologicOther_ELT

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — The EcologicOther_ELT (Ecological Land Type) data layer was developed by the Green Mountain National Forest in the early 1980's from aerial photography. Using...

  5. Ecological factors driving avian influenza virus dynamics in Spanish wetland ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Pérez-Ramírez

    Full Text Available Studies exploring the ecological interactions between avian influenza viruses (AIV, natural hosts and the environment are scarce. Most work has focused on viral survival and transmission under laboratory conditions and through mathematical modelling. However, more integrated studies performed under field conditions are required to validate these results. In this study, we combined information on bird community, environmental factors and viral epidemiology to assess the contribution of biotic and abiotic factors in the occurrence of low pathogenic AIV in Spanish wetlands. For that purpose, seven locations in five different wetlands were studied during two years (2007-2009, including seven sampling visits by location. In each survey, fresh faeces (n = 4578 of wild birds and water samples were collected for viral detection. Also, the vegetation structure, water physical properties of wetlands, climatic conditions and wild bird community composition were determined. An overall AIV prevalence of 1.7%±0.4 was detected in faecal samples with important fluctuations among seasons and locations. Twenty-six AIV were isolated from the 78 RRT-PCR positive samples and eight different haemagglutinines and five neuraminidases were identified, being the combination H3N8 the most frequent. Variation partitioning procedures identified the combination of space and time variables as the most important pure factor - independently to other factors - explaining the variation in AIV prevalence (36.8%, followed by meteorological factor (21.5% and wild bird community composition/vegetation structure (21.1%. These results contribute to the understanding of AIV ecological drivers in Spanish ecosystems and provide useful guidelines for AIV risk assessment identifying potential hotspots of AIV activity.

  6. 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

  7. Macroecological signals of species interactions in the Danish avifauna

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gotelli, N.J.; Graves, Christopher R.; Rahbek, C.

    2010-01-01

    The role of intraspecific and interspecific interactions in structuring biotic communities at fine spatial scales is well documented, but the signature of species interactions at coarser spatial scales is unclear. We present evidence that species interactions may be a significant factor in mediat...

  8. 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…

  9. Ecological Sustainability of Birds in Boreal Forests

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Venier; Mikko Mönkkönen; Robert Howe; Pekka Helle; JoAnn Hanowski; Gerald Niemi; Daniel Welsh

    1998-01-01

    We review characteristics of birds in boreal forests in the context of their ecological sustainability under both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. We identify the underlying ecological factors associated with boreal bird populations and their variability, review the interactions between boreal bird populations and disturbance, and describe some tools on how boreal bird populations may be conserved in the future. The boreal system has historically been an area with extensive disturbance...

  10. Steps Towards an Ecology of Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Chamberlain, Franc; Lavery, Carl; Yarrow, Ralph

    2012-01-01

    Our aim in constructing our keynote events was to present a spectrum of approaches to the conjunction of performance and ecology, to give some account of what has been done in writing and in practice. We also wanted to demonstrate in our methodology some of the dynamics of the conjunction; to raise some questions both about the 'ecology' of a 'performance' in a group setting and to suggest some topics for further speculation. Since we adopted an interactive approach, picking up approaches and...

  11. Contrasting intra-annual patterns of six biotic groups with different dispersal mode and ability in Mediterranean temporary ponds

    OpenAIRE

    Boix, Dani; Caria, Maria Carmela; Gascón, Stéphanie; Mariani, Maria Antonietta; Sala, Jordi; Ruhi, Albert; Compte Ciurana, Jordi; Bagella, Simonetta

    2015-01-01

    The temporal patterns of six biotic groups (amphibians, macroinvertebrates with active and passive dispersal mode, microcrustaceans, vascular plants and phytoplankton) and the responses of each biotic group to environmental variation (water, pond and landscape variables) were studied in a set of Sardinian temporary ponds.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Biotic regulation of CO2 uptake-climate responses: links to vegetation proproperties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Identifying the plant traits and patterns of trait distribution in communities that are responsible for biotic regulation of CO2 uptake-climate responses remains a priority for modelling terrestrial C dynamics. We used remotely-sensed estimates of GPP from plots planted to different combinations of...

  15. Electrode impedance analysis of chronic tungsten microwire neural implants: understanding abiotic vs. biotic contributions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viswanath eSankar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Changes in biotic and abiotic factors can be reflected in the complex impedance spectrum of the microelectrodes chronically implanted into the neural tissue. The recording surface of the tungsten electrode in vivo undergoes abiotic changes due to recording site corrosion and insulation delamination as well as biotic changes due to tissue encapsulation as a result of the foreign body immune response. We reported earlier that large changes in electrode impedance measured at 1 kHz were correlated with poor electrode functional performance, quantified through electrophysiological recordings during the chronic lifetime of the electrode. There is a need to identity the factors that contribute to the chronic impedance variation. In this work, we use numerical simulation and regression to equivalent circuit models to evaluate both the abiotic and biotic contributions to the impedance response over chronic implant duration. COMSOL® simulation of abiotic electrode morphology changes provide a possible explanation for the decrease in the electrode impedance at long implant duration while biotic changes play an important role in the large increase in impedance observed initially.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Comprehensive analysis suggests overlapping expression of rice ONAC transcription factors in abiotic and biotic stress responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lijun; Huang, Lei; Hong, Yongbo; Zhang, Huijuan; Song, Fengming; Li, Dayong

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25690040

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. The influences of forest stand management on biotic and abiotic risks of damage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jactel, H.; Nicoll, B.C.; Branco, M.; Gonzalez-Olabarria, J.R.; Grodzki, W.; Långström, B.; Moreira, F.; Netherer, S.; Orazio, C.; Piou, D.; Santos, H.; Schelhaas, M.J.; Tojic, K.; Vodde, F.

    2009-01-01

    • This article synthesizes and reviews the available information on the effects of forestry practices on the occurrence of biotic and abiotic hazards, as well as on stand susceptibility to these damaging agents, concentrating on mammal herbivores, pest insects, pathogenic fungi, wind and fire. • The

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The concept of biotope in marine ecology and coastal management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olenin, Sergej; Ducrotoy, Jean-Paul

    2006-01-01

    The term "biotope" was introduced by a German scientist, Dahl in 1908 as an addition to the concept of "biocenosis" earlier formulated by Möbius (1877). Initially it determined the physical-chemical conditions of existence of a biocenosis ("the biotope of a biocenosis"). Further, both biotope and biocenosis were respectively considered as abiotic and biotic parts of an ecosystem. This notion ("ecosystem = biotope + biocenosis") became accepted in German, French, Russian and other European "continental" ecological literature. The new interpretation of the term ("biotope = habitat + community") appeared in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s while classifying "marine habitats" of the coastal zone. Since then, this meaning was also used in international European environmental documents. This paper examines the evolution of the biotope notion. It is concluded that the contemporary concept is robust and may be used not only for the classification and mapping but also for functional marine ecology and coastal zone management. PMID:16600815

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Quantifying chaos for ecological stoichiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Jorge; Januário, Cristina; Martins, Nuno; Sardanyés, Josep

    2010-09-01

    The theory of ecological stoichiometry considers ecological interactions among species with different chemical compositions. Both experimental and theoretical investigations have shown the importance of species composition in the outcome of the population dynamics. A recent study of a theoretical three-species food chain model considering stoichiometry [B. Deng and I. Loladze, Chaos 17, 033108 (2007)] shows that coexistence between two consumers predating on the same prey is possible via chaos. In this work we study the topological and dynamical measures of the chaotic attractors found in such a model under ecological relevant parameters. By using the theory of symbolic dynamics, we first compute the topological entropy associated with unimodal Poincaré return maps obtained by Deng and Loladze from a dimension reduction. With this measure we numerically prove chaotic competitive coexistence, which is characterized by positive topological entropy and positive Lyapunov exponents, achieved when the first predator reduces its maximum growth rate, as happens at increasing δ1. However, for higher values of δ1 the dynamics become again stable due to an asymmetric bubble-like bifurcation scenario. We also show that a decrease in the efficiency of the predator sensitive to prey's quality (increasing parameter ζ) stabilizes the dynamics. Finally, we estimate the fractal dimension of the chaotic attractors for the stoichiometric ecological model.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Mud, Macrofauna and Microbes: An ode to benthic organism-abiotic interactions at varying scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benthic environments are dynamic habitats, subject to variable sources and rates of sediment delivery, reworking from the abiotic and biotic processes, and complex biogeochemistry. These activities do not occur in a vacuum, and interact synergistically to influence food webs, bi...

  12. 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...

  13. Ecological impact and recovery of a Mediterranean river after receiving the effluent from a textile dyeing industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colin, Nicole; Maceda-Veiga, Alberto; Flor-Arnau, Núria; Mora, Josep; Fortuño, Pau; Vieira, Cristiana; Prat, Narcís; Cambra, Jaume; de Sostoa, Adolfo

    2016-10-01

    The textile industry is one of the largest sectors globally, representing up to 20% of industrial water pollution. However, there is limited insight into how fluvial ecosystems respond and recover from this impact. From summer 2012 to spring 2013, we examined water quality and ecological status upstream and 1.5km downstream the input of a textile industry wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Ripoll River, NE Spain. The ecological status was determined via diversity measures and 10 biotic indices based on diatoms, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and fish. Our results showed that the WWTP severely deteriorated water quality and biological communities at the discharge site, but that they improved at 1.5km downstream. Severity also varied across taxa and seasons, being fish the most affected taxa and spring the season with the best ecological status. The strong correlation amongst water quality variables and many biotic indices across taxa indicated that this is a chronic pollution event affecting multiple trophic levels. Thus, this study suggests that there is an urgent need to invest in wastewater treatment in this industry to preserve the ecological integrity of Ripoll River and especially its fish fauna. Likewise, it illustrates the diagnostic power of biotic indices based on diatoms, macroinvertebrates and fish, as driven by the European Water Framework Directive. PMID:27344397

  14. 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.

  15. The Multiple Impacts of Tropical Forest Fragmentation on Arthropod Biodiversity and on their Patterns of Interactions with Host Plants

    OpenAIRE

    Julieta Benítez-Malvido; Wesley Dáttilo; Ana Paola Martínez-Falcón; César Durán-Barrón; Jorge Valenzuela**; Sara López; Rafael Lombera

    2016-01-01

    Tropical rain forest fragmentation affects biotic interactions in distinct ways. Little is known, however, about how fragmentation affects animal trophic guilds and their patterns of interactions with host plants. In this study, we analyzed changes in biotic interactions in forest fragments by using a multitrophic approach. For this, we classified arthropods associated with Heliconia aurantiaca herbs into broad trophic guilds (omnivores, herbivores and predators) and assessed the topological ...

  16. 蚂蚁与排泄蜜露的同翅目昆虫的相互作用及其生态学效应%Interactions and ecological consequences of interactions between ants and honeydew-producing homopteran

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王思铭; 陈又清

    2011-01-01

    同翅目昆虫多为植食性害虫,但有些种类也是重要的经济昆虫.以蜜露为纽带,蚂蚁与排泄蜜露的同翅目昆虫在漫长的进化过程中逐渐形成了复杂而密切的关系.研究蚂蚁-同翅目昆虫之间的相互作用,有选择的防治或保护某些同翅目昆虫,并控制其在寄主植物上的数量,可提高经济效益.本文介绍蚂蚁与排泄蜜露的同翅目昆虫的相互作用,以及相互作用对节肢动物群落和寄主植物产生的生态学效益,提出研究过程中的不足,并探讨蚂蚁-同翅目昆虫之间的相互作用在生物防治、生物多样性及生态系统功能方面的重要意义,以促进种间关系研究的进一步发展.%Homopterans are mostly herbivorous pests and some species cause significant economic losses. The relationships between ants,homopterans and honeydew are complex and have a long evolutionary history. By exploiting these relationships it may be possible to selectively prevent or control the establishment of specific homopteran insects on commercially significant plants, thereby improving the economic returns from these crops. We here review anthomopteran interactions and the consequences of these for arthropod communities and their host plants. We point out limitations of current research, discuss the importance of interactions between ants and homopterans for biological control, biodiversity and ecosystem function and highlight the need for further research on interspecies relationships.

  17. Coupled biotic-abiotic oxidation of organic matter by biogenic MnO_{2}

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Julia; Peña, Jasquelin

    2016-04-01

    Some reactive soil minerals are strongly implicated in stabilising organic matter. However, others can play an active role in the oxidation of organic molecules. In natural systems, layer-type manganese oxide minerals (MnO2) typically occur as biomineral assemblages consisting of mineral particles and microbial biomass. Both the mineral and biological fractions of the assemblage can be powerful oxidants of organic C. The biological compartment relies on a set of enzymes to drive oxidative transformations of reduced C-substrates, whereas MnO2 minerals are strong, less specific abiotic oxidants that are assumed to rely on interfacial interactions between C-substrates and the mineral surface. This project aims to understand the coupling between microbial C mineralization and abiotic C oxidation mediated by MnO2 in bacterial-MnO2 assemblages. Specifically, under conditions of high C turnover, microbial respiration can significantly alter local pH, dissolved oxygen and pool of available reductants, which may modify rates and mechanism of C oxidation by biotic and abiotic components. We first investigated changes in the solution chemistry of Pseudomonas putida suspensions exposed to varying concentrations of glucose, chosen to represent readily bioavailable substrates in soils. Glucose concentrations tested ranged between 0 and 5.5mM and changes in pH, dissolved oxygen and dissolved organic and inorganic carbon were tracked over 48h. We then combined literature review and wet-chemical experiments to compile the pH dependence of rates of organic substrate oxidation by MnO2, including glucose. Our results demonstrate a strong pH dependence for these abiotic reactions. In assemblages of P. putida - MnO2, kinetic limitations for abiotic C oxidation by MnO2 are overcome by changes in biogeochemical conditions that result from bacterial C metabolism. When extrapolated to a soil solution confronted to an input of fresh dissolved organic matter, bacterial C metabolism of the

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. [Human ecology: an overview of man-environment relationships].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begossi, A

    1993-01-01

    Cultural ecology, ethnobiology, sociobiology, models of subsistence and of cultural transmission, and applied ecology as parts of human ecology have a common denominator: they all present an ecological basis as continued biological force. Both the concepts and analytical models of ecology are necessary for understanding the relationship between man and nature. Cultural ecology studies the influence of environmental variables on the behavior of human cultures; sociobiology studies the biological bases of behavior; and ethnobiology studies classification systems of nature. The disciplines of anthropology, geography, sociology, and psychology represent specific branches of human ecology. Cultural ecology or ecological anthropology arise from the interaction of ecology (evolution of systems) with anthropology. Sociobiology evolved since the early 1970s, and it includes the disciplines of classical ethnology, evolutive ecology, and genetics. The interaction of evolutive ecology with ethology helped create sociology. In Brazil the study of human ecology on indigenous human populations (in particular in the Amazon basin) deals with cultural ecology, ethnology, and models of subsistence (goal model, models of decision, the theory of players, linear programming, central place foraging). Recent work includes that of Neves (1989), Moran (1983), and Fearnside (1986) who studies acculturated Brazilian half-breed Indians, fishermen, and migrants. Ethnobiology is well represented in Brazilian studies of indigenous populations. The works of Posey (1983) about ethnobotanics, ethnoentemology, and ethnoecology with Kayapo Indians are distinguished. Studies about littoral populations and other fishermen and agriculturists include such ecological aspects as territoriality (Forman 1970), diversity, and subsistence models (Begossi 1992, Begossi and Richerson 1993), ethnoichthyology (Marques 1991), and food taboos (Begossi 1992). In the social, environmental, and conservationist context

  3. Germination ecology in orchids

    OpenAIRE

    TĚŠITELOVÁ, Tamara

    2009-01-01

    Germination ecology of four Epipactis species (E. albensis, E. atrorubens, E. helleborine, E. purpurata) was studied. Habitat preferences of adult plants were analyzed using phytosociological relevés from the Czech Phytosociological Database. A field experiment was carried out to determine course of germination of Epipactis seeds sown in different habitat types. Relationship between ecological preferences and germination ecology, and spatial aspects of seed dispersal and seedling recruitment ...

  4. 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

  5. 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....

  6. The ecological economics: An ecological economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ecological Economics arise as a scientific discipline aimed to integrate concepts of economics, ecology, thermodynamics, ethic and other natural and social sciences in order to incorporate a biophysical and integrated perspective of the inter dependences between economies and environment, from a plural conception and a methodology beyond disciplines. Ecological Economics studies the black box of economic processes usually excluded of the traditional economics: thermodynamics and ecology. Although it is relatively a new field of study, it has been strengthening its theoretical framework with scientific basis and analytic principles that lead to its identification as a new discipline that show a whole new paradigm. The scope of this article is to show the conceptual and methodological bases, the main founders, approaches and central debates of this new discipline. This brief introduction is a preamble to the papers of the meeting Ecological Economics: a perspective for Colombia included in this number, that took place on September 22 - 27 of 2007, at the National University of Colombia at Bogota. During tree days national and international experts, professors, researchers, workers of environmental sector and people interested on environmental issues joined together to know the conceptual and methodological achievements reached of this discipline; as well as to analyse and evaluate the environmental problems of the country, from the systemic, interdisciplinary and general perspective that it promotes

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27296141

  13. Land Use in LCIA: an absolute scale proposal for Biotic Production Potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saez de Bikuna Salinas, Koldo; Ibrom, Andreas; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    , the present study proposes a single absolute scale for the midpoint impact category (MIC) of Biotic Production Potential (BPP). It is hypothesized that, for an ecosystem in equilibrium (where NPP equals decay), such an ecosystem has reached the maximum biotic throughput subject to site-specific conditions......Environmental impacts caused by land occupation and transformation have been bypassed in many LCA studies due to soils’ multifunctionality and the interconnectedness between the ecosystem services they provide. These inherent modelling complexities have traditionally forced LCA practitioners...... and no externally added inputs. The original ecosystem (or Potential Natural Vegetation) of a certain land gives then the maximum BPP with no additional, downstream or upstream, impacts. This Natural BPP is proposed as the maximum BPP in a hypothetical Absolute Scale for LCA’s Land Use framework. It is argued...

  14. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  15. 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. PMID:25807212

  16. AMBI indices and multivariate approach to assess the ecological health of Vellar-Coleroon estuarine system undergoing various human activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigamani, Sivaraj; Perumal, Murugesan; Arumugam, Silambarasan; Preetha Mini Jose, H M; Veeraiyan, Bharathidasan

    2015-11-15

    Estuaries receive a considerable amount of pollutants from various sources. Presently an attempt has been made to assess whether the aquaculture discharges and dredging activities alter the ecological conditions of Vellar-Coleroon estuarine complex. The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) established a framework for the protection of marine waters. In this commission, a variety of indices were used, among them, AMBI (AZTI Marine Biotic Index) indices along with multivariate statistical approach is unique, to assess the ecological status by using macrobenthic communities. Keeping this in view, stations VE-1 and VE-4 in Vellar; CE-6 and CE-7 in Coleroon estuaries showed moderately disturbed with the AMBI values ranging between 3.45 and 3.72. The above said stations were situated near the shrimp farm discharge point and sites of dredging activities. The present study proves that various statistical and biotic indices have great potential in assessing the nature of the ecosystem undergoing various human pressures. PMID:26323865

  17. 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.

  18. Overexpression of VOZ2 confers biotic stress tolerance but decreases abiotic stress resistance in Arabidopsis

    OpenAIRE

    Nakai, Yusuke; Fujiwara, Sumire; Kubo, Yasuyuki; Sato, Masa H.

    2013-01-01

    VOZ (vascular plant one zinc-finger protein) is a plant specific one-zinc finger type transcriptional activator, which is highly conserved through land plant evolution. We have previously shown that loss-of-function mutations in VOZ1 and VOZ2 showed increased cold and drought stress tolerances whereas decreased biotic stress resistance in Arabidopsis. Here, we demonstrate that transgenic plants overexpressing VOZ2 impairs freezing and drought stress tolerances but increases resistance to a fu...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Meharg, Caroline; Meharg, Andrew A.

    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 ...

  20. Function of ABA in Stomatal Defense against Biotic and Drought Stresses

    OpenAIRE

    Chae Woo Lim; Woonhee Baek; Jangho Jung; Jung-Hyun Kim; Sung Chul Lee

    2015-01-01

    The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates many key processes involved in plant development and adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses. Under stress conditions, plants synthesize ABA in various organs and initiate defense mechanisms, such as the regulation of stomatal aperture and expression of defense-related genes conferring resistance to environmental stresses. The regulation of stomatal opening and closure is important to pathogen defense and control of transpirational water loss....

  1. Biotic homogenization and differentiation in weed vegetation over the last 70 years

    OpenAIRE

    Šilc Urban

    2015-01-01

    Biotic homogenization is the increasing similarity of the species composition of communities over time and represents a loss of biodiversity. We analysed changes in weed vegetation over a period of 70 years by comparing three datasets (from 1939, 2002 and 2012) sampled with the same methodology. We present the results of changes in species richness, homogenization and differentiation as expanding neophytes and generalist species. The species richness of weed communitie...

  2. An evaluation of biotic ligand models predicting acute copper toxicity to Daphnia magna in wastewater effluent

    OpenAIRE

    Constantino, C.; Scrimshaw, M; Comber, S; Churchley, J.

    2011-01-01

    This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published article is available from the link below. Copyright @ 2010 SETAC. The toxicity of Cu to Daphnia magna was investigated in a series of 48-h immobilization assays in effluents from four wastewater treatment works. The assay results were compared with median effective concentration (EC50) forecasts produced by the HydroQual biotic ligand model (BLM), the refined D. magna BLM, and a modified BLM that was constructed by integrating t...

  3. The effect of sewage effluent on trace metal speciation: implications for the biotic ligand model approach

    OpenAIRE

    Constantino, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University This research examined the suitability of the biotic ligand model (BLM) approach for assessing environmental risk in surface waters consisting substantially of treated sewage effluent, and the implications of its use within a compliance-based regulatory framework aimed at controlling discharges of metals into the aquatic environment. The results from a series of Daphnia magna acute copp...

  4. The Methodology of Psychological Research of Ecological Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Irina A. Shmeleva

    2009-01-01

    The paper examines the methodological principles of the psychological study of ecological consciousness as one of the urgent interdisciplinary problems of XX–XXI century, caused by the aggravation of global ecological problems and the need for the realization of the “sustainable development”ideas. Ecological consciousness is considered as multilayered, dynamic, reflexive element of human consciousness, incorporating multivariate, holistic aspects of interaction of the human being as the H.S. ...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Predominance of biotic over abiotic formation of halogenated hydrocarbons in hypersaline sediments in Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruecker, A; Weigold, P; Behrens, S; Jochmann, M; Laaks, J; Kappler, A

    2014-08-19

    Volatile halogenated organic compounds (VOX) contribute to ozone depletion and global warming. There is evidence of natural VOX formation in many environments ranging from forest soils to salt lakes. Laboratory studies have suggested that VOX formation can be chemically stimulated by reactive Fe species while field studies have provided evidence for direct biological (enzymatic) VOX formation. However, the relative contribution of abiotic and biotic processes to global VOX budgets is still unclear. The goals of this study were to quantify VOX release from sediments from a hypersaline lake in Western Australia (Lake Strawbridge) and to distinguish between the relative contributions of biotic and abiotic VOX formation in microbially active and sterilized microcosms. Our experiments demonstrated that the release of organochlorines from Lake Strawbridge sediments was mainly biotic. Among the organochlorines detected were monochlorinated, e.g., chloromethane (CH3Cl), and higher chlorinated VOX compounds such as trichloromethane (CHCl3). Amendment of sediments with either Fe(III) oxyhydroxide (ferrihydrite) or a mixture of lactate/acetate or both ferrihydrite and lactate/acetate did not stimulate VOX formation. This suggests that although microbial Fe(III) reduction took place, there was no stimulation of VOX formation via Fe redox transformations or the formation of reactive Fe species under our experimental conditions. PMID:25073729

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25329496

  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. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Zhi-Yong; Zhang, Ru; Barclay, Gregor F; Feng, Yu-Long

    2013-01-01

    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). PMID:23977140

  17. 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.

  18. The impact of biotic/abiotic interfaces in mineral nutrient cycling: A study of soils of the Santa Cruz chronosequence, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Art F.; Schulz, Marjorie S.; Vivit, Davison V.; Bullen, Tomas D.; Fitzpatrick, John A.

    2012-01-01

    Biotic/abiotic interactions between soil mineral nutrients and annual grassland vegetation are characterized for five soils in a marine terrace chronosequence near Santa Cruz, California. A Mediterranean climate, with wet winters and dry summers, controls the annual cycle of plant growth and litter decomposition, resulting in net above-ground productivities of 280–600 g m-2 yr-1. The biotic/abiotic (A/B) interface separates seasonally reversible nutrient gradients, reflecting biological cycling in the shallower soils, from downward chemical weathering gradients in the deeper soils. The A/B interface is pedologically defined by argillic clay horizons centered at soil depths of about one meter which intensify with soil age. Below these horizons, elevated solute Na/Ca, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios reflect plagioclase and smectite weathering along pore water flow paths. Above the A/B interface, lower cation ratios denote temporal variability due to seasonal plant nutrient uptake and litter leaching. Potassium and Ca exhibit no seasonal variability beneath the A/B interface, indicating closed nutrient cycling within the root zone, whereas Mg variability below the A/B interface denotes downward leakage resulting from higher inputs of marine aerosols and lower plant nutrient requirements.

  19. The Role of Anthropic, Ecological, and Social Factors in Sleeping Site Choice by Long‐Tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis)

    OpenAIRE

    Brotcorne, Fany; Maslarov, Cindy; Wandia, I. Nengah; Fuentes, Agustin; Beudels-Jamar, Roseline C.; Huynen, Marie-Claude

    2014-01-01

    When choosing their sleeping sites, primates make adaptive trade‐offs between various biotic and abiotic constraints. In human‐modified environments, anthropic factors may play a role. We assessed the influence of ecological (predation), social (intergroup competition), and anthropic (proximity to human settlements) factors in sleeping site choice by long‐tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) occupying a habitat at the interface of natural forests and human‐modified zones in Bali Barat Nation...

  20. Comparison of ecological diversity and species composition of macroalgae, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish assemblages between two tropical rocky reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Verónica C. García-Hernández; Héctor Reyes-Bonilla; Balart, Eduardo F; Eduardo Ríos-Jara; Lluch-Cota, Salvador E.; Elisa Serviere-Zaragoza

    2014-01-01

    Within the marine environment, the rocky shores are recognized for their high species diversity and particularly transitional zones represent areas of biotic mix, promoted by historical and ecological natural variations that allow the presence of taxa from different regions and which present dissimilar biological traits. An extensive survey describes the benthic macroalgae, macroinvertebrates (molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms), and fish assemblages at two rocky reefs, Islas Marietas and...