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Sample records for calcareous grassland species

  1. The small-scale species mobility in calcareous grasslands - example from southern Poland

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    Wojciech Bąba

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper I use the different measures of species mobility to describe the fine small-scale dynamics of calcareous grassland built mainly by perennial species and developed in the highly heterogeneous habitat of calcareous rocks. The community showed the low dynamics on a plot-scale (100 m2 and a high one on the scale of 1 m2. However, the studied species differed greatly in calculated indices: turnover rate, (T; 6-64, residence time (RT; 0.5-21.8 y and carousel time (CT; 4-420 y as well as the observed tendency to persistence on the spots (PERSIST and their re-colonisation (AGAIN. This allowed to distinguish the three groups of species: (1 "core species" characterized by high frequency and low T and high CT and RT values, which determine the low dynamics of a community on the plot scale, (2 species with intermediate mobility rate and (3 the group with high mobility rate. The observed cumulative frequencies of all the studied species (CFobs were much lower than expected under the random re-assignation model (CFRR. Moreover, they were also lower than those predicted by random immigration model (CFRI. The results showed that the "complex carousel" model rather than "single carousel" one explained better the small-scale dynamics of calcareous grasslands.

  2. Specialist plant species harbour higher reproductive performances in recently restored calcareous grasslands than in reference habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Harzé, Mélanie; Mahy, Grégory; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe; Piqueray, Julien; Monty, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their success has traditionally been assessed using a plant community approach. However, population ecology can also be useful to assess restoration success and to understand underlying mechanisms. Methods_We took advantage of three calcareous grassland sites in Southern Belgium, where reference p...

  3. Long-term after-effects of fertilisation on restoration of calcareous grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, N.A.C.; Bobbink, R.; Willems, J.H.

    2008-01-01

    Question: What are the long-term implications of former fertilisation for the ecological restoration of calcareous grasslands? Location: Gerendal, Limburg, The Netherlands. Methods: In 1970, ten permanent plots were established in just abandoned agricultural calcareous grassland under a regime of

  4. Potential of endozoochorous seed dispersal by sheep in calcareous grasslands: correlations with seed traits.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiters, A.T.; Huiskes, H.P.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: What is the potential of sheep to serve as seed dispersers via ingestion and defecation in calcareous grasslands? Is the presence of viable seeds from dung correlated with specific seed traits? Location: Calcareous grasslands, South Limburg, the Netherlands/Belgium. Methods: Dung samples

  5. Soil seed-bank composition reveals the land-use history of calcareous grasslands

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    Karlík, Petr; Poschlod, Peter

    2014-07-01

    We compared soil seed banks and vegetation of recent (established on abandoned arable fields) and ancient (continuously managed as pastures at least since 1830) calcareous grasslands if there is any impact of former arable field use. The study was carried out in two regions of Southern Germany with well-preserved dry grassland vegetation: the western Jurassic mountains (Kaltes Feld) and the climatically drier eastern part of Southern Germany (Kallmünz). Total number of species in the seed bank was similar in both regions, but species composition partly differed, reflecting phytogeographical differences between the regions. The total number of emerged seedlings showed a large disparity (5457 compared to 2523 seedlings/m2 in Kaltes Feld and Kallmünz, respectively). Though there were differences in seed bank composition and size, we found a uniform pattern of plant traits (affiliation to phytosociological groups, Raunkiaer plant life-forms and seed longevity), which depended on the age of the grassland. The main conclusion is that seed banks in contemporary calcareous grasslands still reflect the history of former land use - in this case arable cultivation, even though it occurred a long time ago (up to 150 years). Indicators of former arable fields are germinable seeds of weeds which have persisted in the soil to the present. By contrast, weedy species are completely absent from the seed banks of ancient grasslands. Soil seed banks of recent grasslands may be of substantial conservation importance because they may store seeds of rare and endangered weed species such as Kickxia spuria, Silene noctiflora and Stachys annua, the majority of which have already gone extinct from the current vegetation of the study sites.

  6. DRY CALCAREOUS GRASSLAND COMMUNITIES (FILIPENDULA VULGARIS-HELICTOTRICHON PRATENSE IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL LATVIA

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    S. RUSINA

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The dry calcareous grassland vegetation of Westem and Central Latvia is described based on 93 rclevés, Ali relevés could be assigned to one community type Filipendula vulgaris-Helictotrichon pratense named according to dominant species. Four variants were distinguished: typicum, Viscaria vulgaris, Astragalus danicus and Carex flacca. Ellenberg indìcator values were calculated to study the ecology of communities. Floristic differences among variants are associated mainly with soil reaction (Ellenberg indicator values for soil pH range from 6.0 to 7.6, but conditions of moisture and fertility are similar among the variants. The calcareous grassland vegetation in Latvia represents transition vegetation between the c1asses Molinio-Arrhenatheretea and Festuco-Brometea. However, ecologically and floristically, these communities are closer to the class Festuco-Brometea and could be assigned to the order Brometalia. For designation to alliance and associations, more data is required. The results are compared with similar communities in other European countries.

  7. Ozone pollution affects flower numbers and timing in a simulated BAP priority calcareous grassland community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayes, Felicity; Williamson, Jennifer; Mills, Gina

    2012-01-01

    Mesocosms representing the BAP Priority habitat ‘Calcareous Grassland’ were exposed to eight ozone profiles for twelve-weeks in two consecutive years. Half of the mesocosms received a reduced watering regime during the exposure periods. Numbers and timing of flowering in the second exposure period were related to ozone concentration and phytotoxic ozone dose (accumulated stomatal flux). For Lotus corniculatus, ozone accelerated the timing of the maximum number of flowers. An increase in mean ozone concentration from 30 ppb to 70 ppb corresponded with an advance in the timing of maximum flowering by six days. A significant reduction in flower numbers with increasing ozone was found for Campanula rotundifolia and Scabiosa columbaria and the relationship with ozone was stronger for those that were well-watered than for those with reduced watering. These changes in flowering timing and numbers could have large ecological impacts, affecting plant pollination and the food supply of nectar feeding insects. - Highlights: ► An increase in ozone accelerated timing of maximum flowering in Lotus corniculatus. ► Ozone reduced flower numbers in Campanula rotundifolia and Scabiosa columbaria. ► Reduced water availability did not protect most species from the effects of ozone. - Increased tropospheric ozone affected timing of flowering and maximum flower numbers in calcareous grassland mesocosms.

  8. Methodology for the elaboration of Natura 2000 sites designation acts in the Walloon Region (Belgium: calcareous grasslands in the Lesse-and-Lomme area

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    Mahy G.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In the Walloon Region (Belgium, 239 sites have been selected to be included in the Natura 2000 network. The next step is to write designation acts in order to legally protect these 221,000 ha. In this pilot study, a designation act was elaborated for a Natura 2000 site of 2,569 ha and located in the Lesse-and-Lomme area within the Calestienne region. Although the site includes 40 ha of calcareous grasslands, characterised by an exceptional flora and fauna, this habitat is very threatened by abandonment and fragmentation.The methodology used to elaborate the designation act is presented with respect to calcareous grassland. Firstly, in spring and summer 2003, an accurate map of natural habitats was produced, with every single patch of calcareous grassland being mapped. Information was also collected in order to evaluate conservation status. Based on this information, conservation status was then assessed with respect to three different criteria: (1 integrity of the cortege species, (2 habitat structure and (3 degradations. Thirdly, the site was divided into objective zones according to the different habitats and species of Community interest found in the site. Hence, an objective zone was delineated for calcareous grasslands. This objective zone was then divided in several management units. Finally, at these different spatial levels (site, objective zone, management unit, management measures were suggested. As a result, in the draft designation act, the target is to maintain or restore 230 ha of calcareous grassland, instead of the existing 40 ha. This ambitious target requires large-scale restoration and an efficient grazing scheme. These will need important resources for their successful implementation

  9. Grazing damage to plants and gastropod and grasshopper densities in a CO 2-enrichment experiment on calcareous grassland

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    Ledergerber, Stephan; Thommen, G. Heinrich; Baur, Bruno

    Plant-herbivore interactions may change as atmospheric CO 2 concentrations continue to rise. We examined the effects of elevated atmospheric CO 2 and CO 2-exposure chambers on the grazing damage to plants, and on the abundances of potential herbivores (terrestrial gastropods and grasshoppers) in a calcareous grassland in the Jura mountains of Switzerland (village of Nenzlingen). Individuals of most plant species examined showed slight grazing damage. However, plots with CO 2 enrichment and plots with ambient atmosphere did not differ in the extent of grazing damage. Similarly, plots with CO 2 enrichment and plots with ambient atmosphere did not differ in either gastropod or grasshopper density. Experimental plots with and without chambers did not differ in the number of gastropods. However, the densities of gastropods and grasshoppers and extent of grazing damage to plants were generally lower in the experimental area than in the grassland outside the experimental field.

  10. The interplay of stress and mowing disturbance for the intensity and importance of plant interactions in dry calcareous grasslands.

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    Maalouf, Jean-Paul; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Marchand, Lilian; Touzard, Blaise; Michalet, Richard

    2012-09-01

    There is still debate regarding the direction and strength of plant interactions under intermediate to high levels of stress. Furthermore, little is known on how disturbance may interact with physical stress in unproductive environments, although recent theory and models have shown that this interplay may induce a collapse of plant interactions and diversity. The few studies assessing such questions have considered the intensity of biotic interactions but not their importance, although this latter concept has been shown to be very useful for understanding the role of interactions in plant communities. The objective of this study was to assess the interplay between stress and disturbance for plant interactions in dry calcareous grasslands. A field experiment was set up in the Dordogne, southern France, where the importance and intensity of biotic interactions undergone by four species were measured along a water stress gradient, and with and without mowing disturbance. The importance and intensity of interactions varied in a very similar way along treatments. Under undisturbed conditions, plant interactions switched from competition to neutral with increasing water stress for three of the four species, whereas the fourth species was not subject to any significant biotic interaction along the gradient. Responses to disturbance were more species-specific; for two species, competition disappeared with mowing in the wettest conditions, whereas for the two other species, competition switched to facilitation with mowing. Finally, there were no significant interactions for any species in the disturbed and driest conditions. At very high levels of stress, plant performances become too weak to allow either competition or facilitation and disturbance may accelerate the collapse of interactions in dry conditions. The results suggest that the importance and direction of interactions are more likely to be positively related in stressful environments.

  11. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

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    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  12. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

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    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

  13. Two new species of calcareous sponges (Porifera: Calcarea) from the deep Antarctic Eckström Shelf and a revised list of species found in Antarctic waters

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    Rapp, Hans Tore; Göcke, Christian; Tendal, Ole Secher

    2013-01-01

    The paper reports on two new species of calcareous sponges (Porifera, Calcarea) from the Antarctic Weddell Sea, Clathrina brandtae sp. nov. and Leucetta delicata sp. nov., collected at 600 m depth during the ANT XXIV/2-SYSTCO expedition in January 2008. The new species are described based...... on a combination of morphological and molecular data. With these new additions the number of species of calcareous sponges reported from south of 50 degrees S (similar to south of the Polar Front) reaches 50 species. We report an exceptionally high degree of endemism within the group, and as many as 44 out...... of the 50 species of calcareous sponges are solely confined to Antarctic waters. An updated list of species of calcareous sponges from the area is provided....

  14. The calcareous mires in South-East Poland are home to two rare Anthracoidea species

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    Marcin Piątek

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The new collections of Anthracoidea buxbaumii Kukkonen on Carex buxbaumii Wahlenb. and Anthracoidea hostianae B.Lindeb. ex Nannf. on Carex lepidocarpa Tausch recorded in the calcareous mires in South-East Poland are described, illustrated and discussed. The holotype of the latter smut is also re-examined, described and illustrated in detail. Anthracoidea buxbaumii is reported for the second time from Poland on a new host plant. Anthracoidea hostianae is new to Poland. The variability of spore sizes of both species is discussed. The conspecificity of Anthracoidea buxbaumii and A. hostianae suggested in the literature is analyzed.

  15. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

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    Suttle, K B; Thomsen, Meredith A; Power, Mary E

    2007-02-02

    Predictions of ecological response to climate change are based largely on direct climatic effects on species. We show that, in a California grassland, species interactions strongly influence responses to changing climate, overturning direct climatic effects within 5 years. We manipulated the seasonality and intensity of rainfall over large, replicate plots in accordance with projections of leading climate models and examined responses across several trophic levels. Changes in seasonal water availability had pronounced effects on individual species, but as precipitation regimes were sustained across years, feedbacks and species interactions overrode autecological responses to water and reversed community trajectories. Conditions that sharply increased production and diversity through 2 years caused simplification of the food web and deep reductions in consumer abundance after 5 years. Changes in these natural grassland communities suggest a prominent role for species interactions in ecosystem response to climate change.

  16. Earthworm introduction on calcareous minesoils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vimmerstedt, J.P.; Kost, D.A.

    1994-01-01

    Burrowing activity of the nightcrawler, Lumbricus terrestis (L.t.), incorporates organic matter into mineral soil while creating long-lasting macropores. Thus L.t. has potential as a biological means of improving physical and chemical properties of surface mined areas. Efforts to establish L.t. population on forested acidic or calcareous minesoils have been successful, but thus far have not been able to establish L.t. in grassland ecosystems on calcareous minesoils. In May, 1989, the authors put 11 clitellate L.t. under sphagnum moss on calcareous gray cast overburden on standard graded topsoil, or on ripped and disked topsoil. All soils had cover of agronomic grasses and legumes. They found no L.t. at the 24 points of inoculation during sampling in fall of 1990 with formalin extractant, although smaller species, Lumbricus rubellus and Dendrobaena spp., were found. At another location, in May, 1990, they put 25 clitellate L.t. at 16 points in grasslands growing on gray cast overburden. Using formalin extraction, they found no L.t. in May 1992 at these locations. Working in this same area in November, 1992, they released 10 clitellate L.t. at 16 points under 10 cm of moist Alnus glutinosa leaf litter. Careful examination of the surface inoculation points in spring and fall of 1993 did not show obvious signs of earthworm activity. Their next step will be to use Earthworm Inoculation Units (earthworm-minesoil microcosms containing L.t. adults, immatures, and cocoons) as the source of the new populations

  17. Grassland invader responses to realistic changes in native species richness.

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    Rinella, Matthew J; Pokorny, Monica L; Rekaya, Romdhane

    2007-09-01

    The importance of species richness for repelling exotic plant invasions varies from ecosystem to ecosystem. Thus, in order to prioritize conservation objectives, it is critical to identify those ecosystems where decreasing richness will most greatly magnify invasion risks. Our goal was to determine if invasion risks greatly increase in response to common reductions in grassland species richness. We imposed treatments that mimic management-induced reductions in grassland species richness (i.e., removal of shallow- and/or deep-rooted forbs and/or grasses and/or cryptogam layers). Then we introduced and monitored the performance of a notorious invasive species (i.e., Centaurea maculosa). We found that, on a per-gram-of-biomass basis, each resident plant group similarly suppressed invader growth. Hence, with respect to preventing C. maculosa invasions, maintaining overall productivity is probably more important than maintaining the productivity of particular plant groups or species. But at the sites we studied, all plant groups may be needed to maintain overall productivity because removing forbs decreased overall productivity in two of three years. Alternatively, removing forbs increased productivity in another year, and this led us to posit that removing forbs may inflate the temporal productivity variance as opposed to greatly affecting time-averaged productivity. In either case, overall productivity responses to single plant group removals were inconsistent and fairly modest, and only when all plant groups were removed did C. maculosa growth increase substantially over a no-removal treatment. As such, it seems that intense disturbances (e.g., prolonged drought, overgrazing) that deplete multiple plant groups may often be a prerequisite for C. maculosa invasion.

  18. Prescribed burning supports grassland biodiversity - A multi-species study

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    Valkó, Orsolya; Deák, Balázs; Magura, Tibor; Török, Péter; Kelemen, András; Tóth, Katalin; Horváth, Roland; Nagy, Dávid; Debnár, Zsuzsanna; Zsigrai, György; Kapocsi, István; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2017-04-01

    During ancient times, fire was an important factor shaping European landscapes. Nowadays, prescribed burning can be one of the most effective conservation tools for the management of open landscapes, controlling dominant species, reducing accumulated litter or decreasing wildfire risk. In a prescribed burning experiment, we studied the effects of fire on dry alkaline grasslands. We tested whether autumn prescribed burning can be an alternative conservation measure in these grasslands. We selected six sites in Hungary: in three sites, prescribed burning was applied in November 2011, while three sites remained unburnt. We studied the effects of fire on soil characteristics, plant biomass and on the vegetation and arthropod assemblages (isopods, spiders, ground beetles and rove beetles). Soluble salt content increased significantly in the burnt sites, but soil pH, organic matter, potassium and phosphorous did not change. We found that prescribed fire had several positive effects from the nature conservation viewpoint. Diversity and the number of flowering shoots were higher, and the cover of the dominant grass was lower in the burnt sites. Graminoid biomass was lower, while total, green and forb biomass were higher in the burnt plots compared to the control ones. Our findings suggest that prescribed burning fire did not harm arthropods; species-level analyses showed that out of the most abundant invertebrate species, the abundance of ten was not affected, one decreased and one increased after burning. Our findings highlight that mosaic prescribed fire is a viable management tool in open landscapes, because it supports plant diversity and does not threaten arthropods.

  19. Does resource availability, resource heterogeneity or species turnover mediate changes in plant species richness in grazed grasslands?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

    Grazing by large ungulates often increases plant species richness in grasslands of moderate to high productivity. In a mesic North American grassland with and without the presence of bison (Bos bison), a native ungulate grazer, three non-exclusive hypotheses for increased plant species richness in

  20. Plant species occurrence patterns in Eurasian grasslands reflect adaptation to nutrient ratios

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    Roeling, Ineke S.; Ozinga, Wim A.; van Dijk, Jerry; Eppinga, Maarten B.; Wassen, Martin J.

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies of Eurasian grasslands have suggested that nutrient ratios, rather than absolute nutrient availabilities and associated productivity, may be driving plant species richness patterns. However, the underlying assumption that species occupy distinct niches along nutrient ratio gradients

  1. Genetic sorting of subordinate species in grassland modulated by intraspecific variation in dominant species.

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    Danny J Gustafson

    Full Text Available Genetic variation in a single species can have predictable and heritable effects on associated communities and ecosystem processes, however little is known about how genetic variation of a dominant species affects plant community assembly. We characterized the genetic structure of a dominant grass (Sorghastrum nutans and two subordinate species (Chamaecrista fasciculata, Silphium integrifolium, during the third growing season in grassland communities established with genetically distinct (cultivated varieties or local ecotypes seed sources of the dominant grasses. There were genetic differences between subordinate species growing in the cultivar versus local ecotype communities, indicating that intraspecific genetic variation in the dominant grasses affected the genetic composition of subordinate species during community assembly. A positive association between genetic diversity of S. nutans, C. fasciculata, and S. integrifolium and species diversity established the role of an intraspecific biotic filter during community assembly. Our results show that intraspecific variation in dominant species can significantly modulate the genetic composition of subordinate species.

  2. Soil communities promote temporal stability and species asynchrony in experimental grassland communities

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    Pellkofer, Sarah; Van Der Heijden, Marcel G A; Schmid, Bernhard; Wagg, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Background Over the past two decades many studies have demonstrated that plant species diversity promotes primary productivity and stability in grassland ecosystems. Additionally, soil community characteristics have also been shown to influence the productivity and composition of plant communities,

  3. Two fern species new to New Hampshire, with comments on the generation of calcareous-like habitat by base-poor rocks

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    Scott W. Bailey

    2013-01-01

    Incidental to other field investigations, I happened upon small populations of two fern species not previously reported from New Hampshire: Pellaea atropurpurea (L.) Link and Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott. Both species are typically associated with calcareous habitats, although limestone and marble are nearly absent from New...

  4. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  5. Floristic composition, environmental variation and species distribution patterns in burned grassland in southern Brazil.

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    Overbeck, G E; Müller, S C; Pillar, V D; Pfadenhauer, J

    2006-11-01

    In regularly burned grassland on Morro Santana, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, we investigated differences in the floristic composition and their relation to soil properties, aspect and distance from the forest border. In 48 plots of 0.75 m2, we identified a total of 201 species from a local species pool of approximately 450 to 500 species. Most species occurred in low frequencies, showing clumpy distribution patterns in the studied area. Multivariate analysis showed that plots close to the forest edge clearly differed from plots in the open grassland concerning composition and structure. Plots exposed to the north differed from plots on the top of the hill both in the composition of species as well as in soil variables, mainly due to shallower soil in the former. No strong relation between soil properties and variation in vegetation composition could be detected at a finer scale. The studied grassland, as all grassland vegetation in southern Brazil, is very rich in species compared to other grassland formations worldwide. However, this high biodiversity and conservational value of Campos vegetation in general has so far not been recognized properly. Disturbance is essential to maintain this open vegetation type and its species richness. Fire should be considered as a management option in the absence of grazing.

  6. Effects of water and nitrogen addition on species turnover in temperate grasslands in northern China.

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    Zhuwen Xu

    Full Text Available Global nitrogen (N deposition and climate change have been identified as two of the most important causes of current plant diversity loss. However, temporal patterns of species turnover underlying diversity changes in response to changing precipitation regimes and atmospheric N deposition have received inadequate attention. We carried out a manipulation experiment in a steppe and an old-field in North China from 2005 to 2009, to test the hypothesis that water addition enhances plant species richness through increase in the rate of species gain and decrease in the rate of species loss, while N addition has opposite effects on species changes. Our results showed that water addition increased the rate of species gain in both the steppe and the old field but decreased the rates of species loss and turnover in the old field. In contrast, N addition increased the rates of species loss and turnover in the steppe but decreased the rate of species gain in the old field. The rate of species change was greater in the old field than in the steppe. Water interacted with N to affect species richness and species turnover, indicating that the impacts of N on semi-arid grasslands were largely mediated by water availability. The temporal stability of communities was negatively correlated with rates of species loss and turnover, suggesting that water addition might enhance, but N addition would reduce the compositional stability of grasslands. Experimental results support our initial hypothesis and demonstrate that water and N availabilities differed in the effects on rate of species change in the temperate grasslands, and these effects also depend on grassland types and/or land-use history. Species gain and loss together contribute to the dynamic change of species richness in semi-arid grasslands under future climate change.

  7. Plant species' origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands

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    Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cleland, Elsa E.; Davies, Kendi F.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Lind, Eric M.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Adler, Peter B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Chengjin; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Dantonio, Carla M.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Fay, Philip A.; Frater, Paul; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Humphries, Hope C.; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Ladwig, Laura; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Qi; Li, Wei; Marushia, Robin; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schuetz, Martin; Simonsen, Anna; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren; Wolkovich, Elizabeth; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin; Yang, Louie

    2015-01-01

    Exotic species dominate many communities; however the functional significance of species' biogeographic origin remains highly contentious. This debate is fuelled in part by the lack of globally replicated, systematic data assessing the relationship between species provenance, function and response to perturbations. We examined the abundance of native and exotic plant species at 64 grasslands in 13 countries, and at a subset of the sites we experimentally tested native and exotic species responses to two fundamental drivers of invasion, mineral nutrient supplies and vertebrate herbivory. Exotic species are six times more likely to dominate communities than native species. Furthermore, while experimental nutrient addition increases the cover and richness of exotic species, nutrients decrease native diversity and cover. Native and exotic species also differ in their response to vertebrate consumer exclusion. These results suggest that species origin has functional significance, and that eutrophication will lead to increased exotic dominance in grasslands. PMID:26173623

  8. Hemiptera community and species responses to grassland sward islets

    OpenAIRE

    Helden, Alvin J.; Dittrich, Alex D. K.

    2016-01-01

    Sward islet is a term that has been used to describe a patch of longer vegetation in a pasture produced by a reduction in cattle grazing around their dung. They are known to affect the abundance and distribution of grassland arthropods. Hemiptera, like other groups, are found in higher densities within islets than the surrounding sward. Does this modify the community composition or is there just a density effect? Evidence from a paired (islets, non-islets) study at an Irish cattle-grazed site...

  9. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on ex-arable land: Seed addition outweighs soil fertility reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Van der Wal, A.; Bezemer, T.M.; De Boer, W.; Duyts, H.; Holtkamp, R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2008-01-01

    A common practice in biodiversity conservation is restoration of former species-rich grassland on ex-arable land. Major constraints for grassland restoration are high soil fertility and limited dispersal ability of plant species to target sites. Usually, studies focus on soil fertility or on methods

  10. Non-random co-occurrence of native and exotic plant species in Mediterranean grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Miguel, José M.; Martín-Forés, Irene; Acosta-Gallo, Belén; del Pozo, Alejandro; Ovalle, Carlos; Sánchez-Jardón, Laura; Castro, Isabel; Casado, Miguel A.

    2016-11-01

    Invasion by exotic species in Mediterranean grasslands has determined assembly patterns of native and introduced species, knowledge of which provides information on the ecological processes underlying these novel communities. We considered grasslands from Spain and Chile. For each country we considered the whole grassland community and we split species into two subsets: in Chile, species were classified as natives or colonizers (i.e. exotics); in Spain, species were classified as exclusives (present in Spain but not in Chile) or colonizers (Spanish natives and exotics into Chile). We used null models and co-occurrence indices calculated in each country for each one of 15 sites distributed along a precipitation gradient and subjected to similar silvopastoral exploitation. We compared values of species co-occurrence between countries and between species subsets (natives/colonizers in Chile; exclusives/colonizers in Spain) within each country and we characterised them according to climatic variables. We hypothesized that: a) the different coexistence time of the species in both regions should give rise to communities presenting a spatial pattern further from random in Spain than in Chile, b) the co-occurrence patterns in the grasslands are affected by mesoclimatic factors in both regions. The patterns of co-occurrence are similar in Spain and Chile, mostly showing a spatial pattern more segregated than expected by random. The colonizer species are more segregated in Spain than in Chile, possibly determined by the longer residence time of the species in the source area than in the invaded one. The segregation of species in Chile is related to water availability, being species less segregated in habitat with greater water deficit; in Spain no relationship with climatic variables was found. After an invasion process, our results suggest that the possible process of alteration of the original Chilean communities has not prevented the assembly between the native and

  11. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  12. Quantifying establishment limitations during the ecological restoration of species-rich Nardus grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daele, Van Frederik; Wasof, Safaa; Demey, Andreas; Schelfhout, Stephanie; Schrijver, De A.; Baeten, Lander; Ruijven, van Jasper; Mertens, Jan; Verheyen, Kris

    2017-01-01

    Aims: Successful establishment of species-rich Nardus grasslands on ex-agricultural land requires identification and removal of barriers to effective seed germination and seedling survival. Therefore, we investigate how germination and early development are affected by soil conditions from

  13. Soil chemical factors and grassland species density in Emas National Park (central Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, P K; Batalha, M A

    2008-05-01

    Studies of grasslands on specific soil types suggest that different nutrients can limit biomass production and, hence, species composition and number. The Brazilian cerrado is the major savanna region in America and once covered about 2 million km(2), mainly in the Brazilian Central Plateau, under seasonal climate, with wet summer and dry winter. In view of the importance of soil chemical factors in the distribution of the vegetation forms within the Cerrado domain and which may influence the number of species, we analyzed some soil characteristics in three herbaceous vegetation forms -- hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado, and wet grassland -- in Emas National Park, a core cerrado site, to investigate the relationship between number of species and soil characteristics. We collected vegetation and soil samples in these three vegetation forms and submitted the obtained data to multiple linear regression. We found out that aluminum and pH were the best predictors of species density, the former positively related to species density and the latter negatively related. Since the predictable variation in species density is important in determining areas of conservation, we can postulate that these two soil factors are indicators of high species density areas in tropical grasslands, which could be used in selecting priority sites for conservation.

  14. No evidence of complementary water use along a plant species richness gradient in temperate experimental grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dörte Bachmann

    Full Text Available Niche complementarity in resource use has been proposed as a key mechanism to explain the positive effects of increasing plant species richness on ecosystem processes, in particular on primary productivity. Since hardly any information is available for niche complementarity in water use, we tested the effects of plant diversity on spatial and temporal complementarity in water uptake in experimental grasslands by using stable water isotopes. We hypothesized that water uptake from deeper soil depths increases in more diverse compared to low diverse plant species mixtures. We labeled soil water in 8 cm (with 18O and 28 cm depth (with ²H three times during the 2011 growing season in 40 temperate grassland communities of varying species richness (2, 4, 8 and 16 species and functional group number and composition (legumes, grasses, tall herbs, small herbs. Stable isotope analyses of xylem and soil water allowed identifying the preferential depth of water uptake. Higher enrichment in 18O of xylem water than in ²H suggested that the main water uptake was in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, our results revealed no differences in root water uptake among communities with different species richness, different number of functional groups or with time. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of increased complementarity in water use in more diverse than in less diverse communities of temperate grassland species.

  15. Hyperspectral classification of grassland species: towards a UAS application for semi-automatic field surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopatin, Javier; Fassnacht, Fabian E.; Kattenborn, Teja; Schmidtlein, Sebastian

    2017-04-01

    Grasslands are one of the ecosystems that have been strongly intervened during the past decades due to anthropogenic impacts, affecting their structural and functional composition. To monitor the spatial and/or temporal changes of these environments, a reliable field survey is first needed. As quality relevés are usually expensive and time consuming, the amount of information available is usually poor or not well spatially distributed at the regional scale. In the present study, we investigate the possibility of a semi-automated method used for repeated surveys of monitoring sites. We analyze the applicability of very high spatial resolution hyperspectral data to classify grassland species at the level of individuals. The AISA+ imaging spectrometer mounted on a scaffold was applied to scan 1 m2 grassland plots and assess the impact of four sources of variation on the predicted species cover: (1) the spatial resolution of the scans, (2) the species number and structural diversity, (3) the species cover, and (4) the species functional types (bryophytes, forbs and graminoids). We found that the spatial resolution and the diversity level (mainly structural diversity) were the most important source of variation for the proposed approach. A spatial resolution below 1 cm produced relatively high model performances, while predictions with pixel sizes over that threshold produced non adequate results. Areas with low interspecies overlap reached classification median values of 0.8 (kappa). On the contrary, results were not satisfactory in plots with frequent interspecies overlap in multiple layers. By means of a bootstrapping procedure, we found that areas with shadows and mixed pixels introduce uncertainties into the classification. We conclude that the application of very high resolution hyperspectral remote sensing as a robust alternative or supplement to field surveys is possible for environments with low structural heterogeneity. This study presents the first try of a

  16. Does species diversity limit productivity in natural grassland communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Smith, Melinda D.; Seabloom, Eric; Andelman, Sandy J.; Meche, Gayna; Weiher, Evan; Allain, Larry K.; Jutila, Heli; Sankaran, Mahesh; Knops, Johannes; Ritchie, Mark; Willig, Michael R.

    Theoretical analyses and experimental studies of synthesized assemblages indicate that under particular circumstances species diversity can enhance community productivity through niche complementarity. It remains unclear whether this process has important effects in mature natural ecosystems where

  17. The influence of vegetation structure on spider species richness, diversity and community organization in the Apšuciems calcareous fen, Latvia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Štokmane, M.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Calcareous fens are considered to be among the most threatened ecosystems of Europe. They are also one of the most diverse habitats as they support an incredibly rich and diverse range of plant and animal species. However, in spite of their diversity, calcareous fens are still poorly investigated, especially when referring to fen invertebrates, such as spiders. Because spiders are good bioindicators, knowledge of their ecology in rare and threatened habitats is of interest. The aim of this study was to document the composition and diversity of spider species, families and foraging guilds in the ground– and grass–layers of the Apšuciems calcareous fen, and to evaluate the influence of vegetation structure on spider community organization. In summer 2012, we collected ground–dwelling spiders using pitfall traps and grass–dwelling spiders using sweep–netting. A total of 2,937 spider individuals belonging to 19 families and 80 species was collected in the Apšuciems fen. Our results indicate that spider species and families tend to be stratified across the vertical structure of the habitat; the spider composition in the ground stratum differed from that in the grass stratum. On the contrary, however, the spider foraging guild structure between the ground–layer and the grass–layer was similar. Each of the two studied strata presented similar guilds in similar proportions. Our results also showed that spider composition differed considerably between fen parts and that much of this variability could be explained by the architectural properties of the habitat. More diverse vegetation generally supported a higher number of spider species.

  18. The influence of vegetation structure on spider species richness, diversity and community organization in the Apšuciems calcareous fen, Latvia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Štokmane, M.; Spuņģis, V.

    2016-07-01

    Calcareous fens are considered to be among the most threatened ecosystems of Europe. They are also one of the most diverse habitats as they support an incredibly rich and diverse range of plant and animal species. However, in spite of their diversity, calcareous fens are still poorly investigated, especially when referring to fen invertebrates, such as spiders. Because spiders are good bioindicators, knowledge of their ecology in rare and threatened habitats is of interest. The aim of this study was to document the composition and diversity of spider species, families and foraging guilds in the ground– and grass–layers of the Apšuciems calcareous fen, and to evaluate the influence of vegetation structure on spider community organization. In summer 2012, we collected ground–dwelling spiders using pitfall traps and grass–dwelling spiders using sweep–netting. A total of 2,937 spider individuals belonging to 19 families and 80 species was collected in the Apšuciems fen. Our results indicate that spider species and families tend to be stratified across the vertical structure of the habitat; the spider composition in the ground stratum differed from that in the grass stratum. On the contrary, however, the spider foraging guild structure between the ground–layer and the grass–layer was similar. Each of the two studied strata presented similar guilds in similar proportions. Our results also showed that spider composition differed considerably between fen parts and that much of this variability could be explained by the architectural properties of the habitat. More diverse vegetation generally supported a higher number of spider species. (Author)

  19. Linking root traits and competitive success in grassland species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ravenek, Janneke M.; Mommer, Liesje; Visser, Eric J.W.; Ruijven, van Jasper; Paauw, van der Jan Willem; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek; Caluwe, de Hannie; Kroon, de Hans

    2016-01-01

    Background and aims: Competition is an important force shaping plant communities. Here we test the hypothesis that high overall root length density and selective root placement in nutrient patches, as two alternative strategies, confer competitive advantage in species mixtures. Methods: We

  20. Competition under high and low nutrient levels among three grassland species occupying different positions in a successional sequence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Snoeijing, I.; Kropff, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    To clarify the role of seasonal change, competitive response and nutrient availability in the competitive asymmetry of grassland species a competition experiment was conducted on Holcus lanatus, Anthoxanthum odoratum and Festuca ovina, which represent a successional sequence of decreasing nutrient

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Biomass production in experimental grasslands of different species richness during three years of climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boeck, H. J.; Lemmens, C. M. H. M.; Zavalloni, C.; Gielen, B.; Malchair, S.; Carnol, M.; Merckx, R.; van den Berge, J.; Ceulemans, R.; Nijs, I.

    2008-04-01

    Here we report on the single and combined impacts of climate warming and species richness on the biomass production in experimental grassland communities. Projections of a future warmer climate have stimulated studies on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global change. Experiments have likewise addressed the importance of species numbers for ecosystem functioning. There is, however, little knowledge on the interplay between warming and species richness. During three years, we grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers in Wilrijk, Belgium. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures (unheated), while the other half were warmed by 3°C (heated). Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, so that warming would imply drier soils if evapotranspiration was higher. Biomass production was decreased due to warming, both aboveground (-29%) and belowground (-25%), as negative impacts of increased heat and drought stress in summer prevailed. Complementarity effects, likely mostly through both increased aboveground spatial complementarity and facilitative effects of legumes, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  3. Base cation depletion, eutrophication and acidification of species-rich grasslands in response to long-term simulated nitrogen deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horswill, Paul [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)], E-mail: paul.horswill@naturalengland.org.uk; O' Sullivan, Odhran; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Lee, John A.; Leake, Jonathan R. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2008-09-15

    Pollutant nitrogen deposition effects on soil and foliar element concentrations were investigated in acidic and limestone grasslands, located in one of the most nitrogen and acid rain polluted regions of the UK, using plots treated for 8-10 years with 35-140 kg N ha{sup -2} y{sup -1} as NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}. Historic data suggests both grasslands have acidified over the past 50 years. Nitrogen deposition treatments caused the grassland soils to lose 23-35% of their total available bases (Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and they became acidified by 0.2-0.4 pH units. Aluminium, iron and manganese were mobilised and taken up by limestone grassland forbs and were translocated down the acid grassland soil. Mineral nitrogen availability increased in both grasslands and many species showed foliar N enrichment. This study provides the first definitive evidence that nitrogen deposition depletes base cations from grassland soils. The resulting acidification, metal mobilisation and eutrophication are implicated in driving floristic changes. - Nitrogen deposition causes base cation depletion, acidification and eutrophication of semi-natural grassland soils.

  4. Effects of hay management and native species sowing on grassland community structure, biomass, and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Bryan L; Kindscher, Kelly; Houseman, Greg R; Murphy, Cheryl A

    2009-10-01

    Prairie hay meadows are important reservoirs of grassland biodiversity in the tallgrass prairie regions of the central United States and are the object of increasing attention for conservation and restoration. In addition, there is growing interest in the potential use of such low-input, high-diversity (LIHD) native grasslands for biofuel production. The uplands of eastern Kansas, USA, which prior to European settlement were dominated by tallgrass prairie, are currently utilized for intensive agriculture or exist in a state of abandonment from agriculture. The dominant grasslands in the region are currently high-input, low-diversity (HILD) hay fields seeded to introduced C3 hay grasses. We present results from a long-term experiment conducted in a recently abandoned HILD hay field in eastern Kansas to evaluate effects of fertilization, haying, and native species sowing on community dynamics, biomass, and potential for restoration to native LIHD hay meadow. Fertilized plots maintained dominance by introduced grasses, maintained low diversity, and were largely resistant to colonization throughout the study. Non-fertilized plots exhibited rapid successional turnover, increased diversity, and increased abundance of C4 grasses over time. Haying led to modest changes in species composition and lessened the negative impact of fertilization on diversity. In non-fertilized plots, sowing increased representation by native species and increased diversity, successional turnover, and biomass production. Our results support the shifting limitations hypothesis of community organization and highlight the importance of species pools and seed limitations in constraining successional turnover, community structure, and ecosystem productivity under conditions of low fertility. Our findings also indicate that several biological and functional aspects of LIHD hay meadows can be restored from abandoned HILD hay fields by ceasing fertilization and reintroducing native species through

  5. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi Lampinen

    Full Text Available Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas.

  6. Sensitive Indicators of Zonal Stipa Species to Changing Temperature and Precipitation in Inner Mongolia Grassland, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Xiaomin; Zhou, Guangsheng; Wang, Yuhui; Song, Xiliang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change often induces shifts in plant functional traits. However, knowledge related to sensitivity of different functional traits and sensitive indicator representing plant growth under hydrothermal change remains unclear. Inner Mongolia grassland is predicted to be one of the terrestrial ecosystems which are most vulnerable to climate change. In this study, we analyzed the response of four zonal Stipa species (S. baicalensis, S. grandis, S. breviflora, and S. bungeana) from Inner Mongolia grassland to changing temperature (control, increased 1.5, 2, 4, and 6°C), precipitation (decreased 30 and 15%, control, increased 15 and 30%) and their combined effects via climate control chambers. The relative change of functional traits in the unit of temperature and precipitation change was regarded as sensitivity coefficient and sensitive indicators were examined by pathway analysis. We found that sensitivity of the four Stipa species to changing temperature and precipitation could be ranked as follows: S. bungeana > S. grandis > S. breviflora > S. baicalensis. In particular, changes in leaf area, specific leaf area and root/shoot ratio could account for 86% of the changes in plant biomass in the four Stipa species. Also these three measurements were more sensitive to hydrothermal changes than the other functional traits. These three functional indicators reflected the combination of plant production capacity (leaf area), adaptive strategy (root/shoot ratio), instantaneous environmental effects (specific leaf area), and cumulative environmental effects (leaf area and root/shoot ratio). Thus, leaf area, specific leaf area and root/shoot ratio were chosen as sensitive indicators in response to changing temperature and precipitation for Stipa species. These results could provide the basis for predicting the influence of climate change on Inner Mongolia grassland based on the magnitude of changes in sensitive indicators. PMID:26904048

  7. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research.

  8. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Nitrogen transfer from forage legumes to nine neighbouring plants in a multi-species grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofer-Walzl, Karin; Rasmussen, Jim; Jensen, Henning Høgh

    2012-01-01

    Legumes play a crucial role in nitrogen supply to grass-legume mixtures for ruminant fodder. To quantify N transfer from legumes to neighbouring plants in multi-species grasslands we established a grass-legume-herb mixture on a loamy-sandy site in Denmark. White clover (Trifolium repens L.), red...... amounts of N from legumes than dicotyledonous plants which generally have taproots. Slurry application mainly increased N transfer from legumes to grasses. During the growing season the three legumes transferred approximately 40 kg N ha-1 to neighbouring plants. Below-ground N transfer from legumes...

  10. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomecek, John M; Pierce, Brian L; Reyna, Kelly S; Peterson, Markus J

    2017-01-01

    Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ; hereafter bobwhite) as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures) during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations ( n = 126) using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE) compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE); at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE) than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE). Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE) and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE) compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE) and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE). Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites and

  11. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations (n = 126 using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE; at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE. Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE. Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites

  12. Temperate grassland songbird species accumulate incrementally along a gradient of primary productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

    Full Text Available Global analyses of bird communities along elevation gradients suggest that bird diversity on arid mountains is primarily limited by water availability, not temperature or altitude. However, the mechanism by which water availability, and subsequently primary productivity, increases bird diversity is still unclear. Here we evaluate two possible mechanisms from species-energy theory. The more individuals hypothesis proposes that a higher availability of resources increases the total number of individuals that can be supported, and therefore the greater number of species that will be sampled. By contrast, the more specialization hypothesis proposes that increasing resource availability will permit specialists to exploit otherwise rare resources, thus increasing total diversity. We used 5 years of surveys of grassland songbird communities along an elevational gradient in British Columbia, Canada, to distinguish between these hypotheses. Vegetation changed markedly in composition along the gradient and contrary to the expectations of the more specialization hypothesis, bird community composition was remarkably constant. However, both total abundance and species richness of birds increased with increasing water availability to plants. When we used rarefaction to correct species richness for differences in total abundance, much of the increase in bird diversity was lost, consistent with the expectations of the more individuals hypothesis. Furthermore, high species richness was associated with reductions in territory size of common bird species, rather than the fine-scale spatial partitioning of the landscape. This suggests that bird diversity increases when greater resource availability allows higher densities rather than greater habitat specialization. These results help explain a pervasive global pattern in bird diversity on arid mountains, and suggest that in such landscapes conservation of grassland birds is strongly linked to climate and hydrology.

  13. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species: the possible role of soil-borne pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Hoorens, B.; De Goede, R.G.M.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gleichman, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carer

  14. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species : the possible role of soil-borne pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Hoorens, B.; Goede, R.G.M. de; Putten, W.H. van der; Gleichman, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carex

  15. Species Diversity and Botanical Composition of Permanent Grassland as a Response to Different Grazing Management Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Štýbnarová

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of different levels of grazing utilization (two, three and four grazing cycles per year and mineral fertilization (nil-fertilization; N100P30K60 on the botanical composition of permanent grasslands were studied in the locality of Rapotín (Czech Republic, 332 m a.s.l. from 2003–2010. The vegetation of the experimental pasture was classified as Cynosurion. It was found that moderate treatment (three grazing cycles per year without mineral fertilization showed the highest value of diversity index (DI = 6.08, and maximum dominance of legumes (Dmax = 9.1%, particularly Trifolium repens. The highest dominance of grasses (Dmax = 77.7%, mainly Dactylis glomerata and Elytrigia repens, was achieved with the fertilized treatment utilized in two grazing cycles per year. Based on RDA results, tested management treatments explained 26% of species composition variability, where effect of number of grazing cycles per year was five-times higher than effect of fertilization. We recommend grassland utilization in three grazing cycles per year as the most suitable way from the objective of both species diversity and botanical composition of pastures in similar site conditions. Pasture fertilization should be more controlled by careful consideration of individual pasture goals, actual nutrient status of the soil and possible environmental risks.

  16. Fire cue effects on seed germination of six species of northwestern Patagonian grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, S. L.; Ghermandi, L.

    2012-09-01

    Postfire recruitment of seedlings has been attributed to a stimulation of germination by fire-related cues. The germination response to heat shock (80 °C - 5 min), smoke (60 min), the combination of both factors and no heat no smoke (control) was studied in six native species (two dominant grasses, two dominant shrubs and two annual fugitive herbs) of northwestern Patagonian grasslands. Seeds of the grasses Festuca pallescens and Stipa speciosa and the shrub Senecio bracteolatus (Asteraceae) germinated when they were exposed to heat shock, whereas seeds of the other shrub, Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), were killed by this fire cue. In grasses, probably the glume of caryopsis protected embryos from heat. Possibly, the seed size could explain the different responses of the two shrubs. Heat combined with smoke reduced seed germination for S. speciosa and S. bracteolatus. The heat could have scarified seeds and the longer exposure to smoke could have been toxic for embryos. The same treatment increased germination of the annual fugitive herb Boopis gracilis (Calyceraceae). We concluded that fire differentially affects the seedling recruitment of the studied species in the northwestern Patagonian grasslands.

  17. Responses of Ammonia-Oxidising Bacterial Communities to Nitrogen, Lime, and Plant Species in Upland Grassland Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Clipson, N.J.W.; Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Gleeson, D.B.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural improvement of semi natural grasslands has been shown to result in changes to plant and microbial diversity, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. A microcosm approach was used to elucidate the effects of two key components of agricultural improvement (nitrogen addition and liming) on ammonia-oxidising bacterial (AOB) communities in an upland grassland soil. Plant species characteristic of unimproved and improved pastures (A. capillaries and L. perenne) were planted in microcosms, and lime, nitrogen (NH 4 NO 3 ), or lime plus nitrogen added. The AOB community was profiled using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of the amoA gene. AOB community structure was largely altered by NH 4 NO 3 addition, rather than liming, although interactions between nitrogen addition and plant species were also evident. Results indicate that nitrogen addition drives shifts in the structure of key microbial communities in upland grassland soils, and that plant species may play a significant role in determining AOB community structure

  18. Effect of Cutting Pattern and Fertilization Level on Species Diversity and Evaluation of Grassland Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef Raus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of fertilization level and cutting pattern on the species diversity and quality of a meadow stand were assessed in 2004–2012 in the small plot trial established in 2003 in Vatín, Vysočina Region, Czech Republic. Four levels of fertilization (none; N0 + P30 + K60 kg∙ha−1; N90 + P30 + K60 kg∙ha−1; N180 + P30 + K60 kg∙ha−1 were combined with four treatments of exploitation intensity (4 cuts per year, first cut on 15th May, every next after 45 days; 3 cuts per year, first cut on 30th May, every next after 60 days; 2 cuts per year, first cut on 15th June, next after 90 days; 2 cuts per year, first cut on 30th June, next after 90 days. Numbers of species, Simpson’s diversity index and evaluation of grassland quality according to Novák (2004 were evaluated. Numbers of species and Simpson’s diversity index were significantly affected by both fertilization level and cutting pattern. Species richness decreased along with increasing fertilization rates from 29.4 (no fertilization to 27.8 (N180PK. When comparing cutting pattern treatments the highest species richness was found in four-cut swards (29.6 in average of fertilization levels and it declines towards late double-cut regime (27.2. The Simpson’s index generally increased from two-cut swards to four-cut and from fertilized treatments to control. Grassland quality was significantly affected by cutting pattern. Values increased from four-cut swards (38.1 to two-cut ones (43.8 and 44.0 in early and late harvest respectively.

  19. Grassland habitat restoration: lessons learnt from long term monitoring of Swanworth Quarry, UK, 1997–2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Maria Smith

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration projects are often conducted when prior use or extraction of natural resources results in land degradation. The success of restoration programmes, however, is variable, and studies that provide evidence of long term outcomes are valuable for evaluation purposes. This study focused on the restoration of vegetation within a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK between 1997 and 2014. Using a randomised block design, the effect of seed mix and seed rate on the development of community assemblage was investigated in comparison to a nearby target calcareous grassland site. We hypothesised that seed mix composition and sowing rate would influence both the trajectory of the grassland assemblage and final community composition. We found that species composition (in relation to both richness and community assemblage was strongly influenced by time and to some extent by seed rate and seed mix. However, no treatments achieved strong resemblance to the calcareous grassland target vegetation; rather they resembled mesotrophic communities. We conclude that (as with previous studies there is no “quick fix” for the establishment of a grassland community; long-term monitoring provides useful information on the trajectory of community development; sowing gets you something (in our case mesotrophic grassland, but, it may not be the target vegetation (e.g., calcicolous grassland you want that is difficult to establish and regenerate; it is important to sow a diverse mix as subsequent recruitment opportunities are probably limited; post-establishment management should be explored further and carefully considered as part of a restoration project.

  20. Acidification of sandy grasslands - consequences for plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Pål Axel; Mårtensson, Linda-Maria; Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2009-01-01

    soil; a number of nationally red-listed species showed a similar pattern. Plant species diversity and number of red-listed species increased with slope. Where the topsoil had been acidified, limestone was rarely present above a depth of 30 cm. The presence of limestone restricts the availability......Questions: (1) Does soil acidification in calcareous sandy grasslands lead to loss of plant diversity? (2) What is the relationship between the soil content of lime and the plant availability of mineral nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in sandy grasslands? Location: Sandy glaciofluvial deposits......). Environmental variables were recorded at each plot, and soil samples were analysed for exchangeable P and N, as well as limestone content and pH. Data were analysed with regression analysis and canonical correspondence analysis. Results: Plant species richness was highest on weakly acid to slightly alkaline...

  1. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity.

  2. Evaluating ecosystem services provided by non-native species: an experimental test in California grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Claudia; Hallett, Lauren M; Harpole, W Stanley; Suding, Katharine N

    2014-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services--the benefits that nature provides to human's society--has gained increasing attention over the past decade. Increasing global abiotic and biotic change, including species invasions, is threatening the secure delivery of these ecosystem services. Efficient evaluation methods of ecosystem services are urgently needed to improve our ability to determine management strategies and restoration goals in face of these new emerging ecosystems. Considering a range of multiple ecosystem functions may be a useful way to determine such strategies. We tested this framework experimentally in California grasslands, where large shifts in species composition have occurred since the late 1700's. We compared a suite of ecosystem functions within one historic native and two non-native species assemblages under different grazing intensities to address how different species assemblages vary in provisioning, regulatory and supporting ecosystem services. Forage production was reduced in one non-native assemblage (medusahead). Cultural ecosystem services, such as native species diversity, were inherently lower in both non-native assemblages, whereas most other services were maintained across grazing intensities. All systems provided similar ecosystem services under the highest grazing intensity treatment, which simulated unsustainable grazing intensity. We suggest that applying a more comprehensive ecosystem framework that considers multiple ecosystem services to evaluate new emerging ecosystems is a valuable tool to determine management goals and how to intervene in a changing ecosystem.

  3. Effects of nitrogen and water addition on trace element stoichiometry in five grassland species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cai, Jiangping; Weiner, Jacob; Wang, Ruzhen

    2017-01-01

    A 9-year manipulative experiment with nitrogen (N) and water addition, simulating increasing N deposition and changing precipitation regime, was conducted to investigate the bioavailability of trace elements, iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in soil, and their uptake by plants...... in the organism and the chemical concentration in the growth substrate) and foliar Fe:Mn ratio in each plant was calculated. Our results showed that soil available Fe, Mn and Cu concentrations increased under N addition and were negatively correlated with both soil pH and cation exchange capacity. Water addition...... under the two environmental change factors in a semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia. We measured concentrations of trace elements in soil and in foliage of five common herbaceous species including 3 forbs and 2 grasses. In addition, bioaccumulation factors (BAF, the ratio of the chemical concentration...

  4. Discrimination of grassland species and their classification in botanical families by laboratory scale hyperspectral imaging NIR: preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this study was to discriminate by on-line hyperspectral imaging, taxonomic plant families comprised of different grassland species. Plants were collected from semi-natural meadows of the National Apuseni Park, Apuseni Mountains, Gârda area (Romania) according to botanical families. ...

  5. Distribution of dominant arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi among five plant species in undisturbed vegetation of a coastal grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtgrewe-Stukenbrock, Eva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2005-01-01

    Most plant species in mixed grassland vegetation are colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Previous studies have reported differences in host preferences among AM fungi, although the fungi are known to lack host specificity. In the present study, the distribution of phylogenetic groups...... of AM fungi belonging to a clade of Glomus species was studied in five plant species from a coastal grassland in Denmark. The occurrence of the fungi was determined by PCR analyses of fungal large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences amplified from root fragments using a specific primer set. The results...... showed that the dominant Glomus species were able to colonize all the studied plant species, supporting the view that the AM fungi represent a large underground interconnecting mycelial network....

  6. Plastic responses to elevated temperature in low and high elevation populations of three grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frei, Esther R; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Pluess, Andrea R

    2014-01-01

    Local persistence of plant species in the face of climate change is largely mediated by genetic adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. In species with a wide altitudinal range, population responses to global warming are likely to differ at contrasting elevations. In controlled climate chambers, we investigated the responses of low and high elevation populations (1200 and 1800 m a.s.l.) of three nutrient-poor grassland species, Trifolium montanum, Ranunculus bulbosus, and Briza media, to ambient and elevated temperature. We measured growth-related, reproductive and phenological traits, evaluated differences in trait plasticity and examined whether trait values or plasticities were positively related to approximate fitness and thus under selection. Elevated temperature induced plastic responses in several growth-related traits of all three species. Although flowering phenology was advanced in T. montanum and R. bulbosus, number of flowers and reproductive allocation were not increased under elevated temperature. Plasticity differed between low and high elevation populations only in leaf traits of T. montanum and B. media. Some growth-related and phenological traits were under selection. Moreover, plasticities were not correlated with approximate fitness indicating selectively neutral plastic responses to elevated temperature. The observed plasticity in growth-related and phenological traits, albeit variable among species, suggests that plasticity is an important mechanism in mediating plant responses to elevated temperature. However, the capacity of species to respond to climate change through phenotypic plasticity is limited suggesting that the species additionally need evolutionary adaptation to adjust to climate change. The observed selection on several growth-related and phenological traits indicates that the study species have the potential for future evolution in the context of a warming climate.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

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

  8. Disentangling the Effects of Precipitation Amount and Frequency on the Performance of 14 Grassland Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didiano, Teresa J.; Johnson, Marc T. J.; Duval, Tim P.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is causing shifts in the amount and frequency of precipitation in many regions, which is expected to have implications for plant performance. Most research has examined the impacts of the amount of precipitation on plants rather than the effects of both the amount and frequency of precipitation. To understand how climate-driven changes in precipitation can affect grassland plants, we asked: (i) How does the amount and frequency of precipitation affect plant performance? (ii) Do plant functional groups vary in their response to variable precipitation? To answer these questions we grew 14 monocot and eudicot grassland species and conducted a factorial manipulation of the amount (70 vs 90mm/month) and frequency (every 3, 15, or 30 days) of precipitation under rainout shelters. Our results show that both the amount and frequency of precipitation impact plant performance, with larger effects on eudicots than monocots. Above- and below-ground biomass were affected by the amount of precipitation and/or the interaction between the amount and frequency of precipitation. Above-ground biomass increased by 21–30% when the amount of precipitation was increased. When event frequency was decreased from 3 to 15 or 30 days, below-ground biomass generally decreased by 18–34% in the 70 mm treatment, but increased by 33–40% in the 90 mm treatment. Changes in stomatal conductance were largely driven by changes in event frequency. Our results show that it is important to consider changes in both the amount and frequency of precipitation when predicting how plant communities will respond to variable precipitation. PMID:27622497

  9. Predicting the establishment success of introduced target species in grassland restoration by functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engst, Karina; Baasch, Annett; Bruelheide, Helge

    2017-09-01

    Species-rich semi-natural grasslands are highly endangered habitats in Central Europe and numerous restoration efforts have been made to compensate for the losses in the last decades. However, some plant species could become more easily established than others. The establishment success of 37 species was analyzed over 6 years at two study sites of a restoration project in Germany where hay transfer and sowing of threshing material in combination with additional sowing were applied. The effects of the restoration method applied, time since the restoration took place, traits related to germination, dispersal, and reproduction, and combinations of these traits on the establishment were analyzed. While the specific restoration method of how seeds were transferred played a subordinate role, the establishment success depended in particular on traits such as flower season or the lifeform. Species flowering in autumn, such as Pastinaca sativa and Serratula tinctoria , became established better than species flowering in other seasons, probably because they could complete their life cycle, resulting in increasingly stronger seed pressure with time. Geophytes, like Allium angulosum and Galium boreale , became established very poorly, but showed an increase with study duration. For various traits, we found significant trait by method and trait by year interactions, indicating that different traits promoted establishment under different conditions. Using a multi-model approach, we tested whether traits acted in combination. For the first years and the last year, we found that models with three traits explained establishment success better than models with a single trait or two traits. While traits had only an additive effect on the establishment success in the first years, trait interactions became important thereafter. The most important trait was the season of flowering, which occurred in all best models from the third year onwards. Overall, our approach revealed the

  10. Using multi-proxy palaeoecology to test a relict status of refugial populations of calcareous-fen species in the Western Carpathians

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hájková, Petra; Horsák, M.; Hájek, Michal; Jankovská, Vlasta; Jamrichová, Eva; Moutelíková, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 4 (2015), s. 702-715 ISSN 0959-6836 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity * calcareous fen * fossil record * Holocene extinction * Western Carpathians Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.135, year: 2015

  11. Relative Importance of Current and Past Landscape Structure and Local Habitat Conditions for Plant Species Richness in Dry Grassland-Like Forest Openings

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, I.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2014), s. 1-15 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : landscape structure * species richness * dry grassland Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.234, year: 2014

  12. Spontaneous colonization of restored dry grasslands by target species: restoration proceeds beyond sowing regional seed mixtures

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Johanidesová, E.; Fajmon, K.; Jongepierová, I.; Prach, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 4 (2015), s. 631-638 ISSN 0142-5242 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : restoration * grasslands * spontaneous colonization Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.617, year: 2015

  13. Effects Of Elevated Ozone On Leaf {delta} {sup 13} C And Leaf Conductance Of Plant Species Grown In Semi-Natural Grassland With Or Without Irrigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaeggi, M.; Saurer, M.; Volk, M. [Agroscope-FAL (Switzerland); Fuhrer, J. [Agroscope-FAL (Switzerland)

    2005-03-01

    At the Swiss prealpine site Le Mouret (754 m a.s.l. 46deg 45min N / 7deg 10min E), semi-natural grassland species were kept under ambient or elevated ozone, paired with or without additional irrigation. Two of the four investigated grassland species showed an additive increase in {sup 13}C-values under drought and elevated ozone conditions. (author)

  14. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maron, John L; Auge, Harald; Pearson, Dean E; Korell, Lotte; Hensen, Isabell; Suding, Katharine N; Stein, Claudia

    2014-04-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed and undisturbed subplots in and out of rodent exclosures with seeds of native or exotic species in grasslands in Montana, California and Germany. Seed addition enhanced aboveground biomass and species richness compared with no-seeds-added controls, with exotics having disproportionate effects on productivity compared with natives. Disturbance enhanced the effects of seed addition on productivity and species richness, whereas rodents reduced productivity, but only in Germany and California. Our results demonstrate that experimental introduction of novel species can alter ecosystem function and community structure, but that local filters such as competition and herbivory influence the magnitude of these impacts. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Species-rich semi-natural grasslands have a higher resistance but a lower resilience than intensively managed agricultural grasslands in response to climate anomalies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keersmaecker, De Wanda; Rooijen, van Nils; Lhermitte, Stef; Tits, Laurent; Schaminée, Joop; Coppin, Pol; Honnay, Olivier; Somers, Ben

    2016-01-01

    The stable delivery of ecosystem services provided by grasslands is strongly dependent on the stability of grassland ecosystem functions such as biomass production. Biomass production is in turn strongly affected by the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The aim of this study is to

  16. Artificial sowing of endangered dry grassland species into disused basalt quarries

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novák, J.; Prach, Karel

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 205, č. 3 (2010), s. 179-183 ISSN 0367-2530 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600050702 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : dry grasslands * seedling survival * quarries Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.657, year: 2010

  17. Environmental factors influenting species composition of acidophilous grasslands patches in agricultural landscape

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halas, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 1 (2012), s. 16-27 ISSN 1210-8812 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : acidophilous grasslands * hemeroby * patch isolation * patch area * regression trees Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography http://www.geonika.cz/EN/research/ENMgr/MGR_2012_01.pdf

  18. Environmental factors influencing the species composition of acidophilous grassland patches in agricultural lanscapes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halas, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 1 (2012), s. 16-27 ISSN 1210-8812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518 Keywords : acidophilous grasslands * hemeroby * patch isolation * regression trees * Bohemian-Moravian Highland Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography http://www.geonika.cz/CZ/CZresearch/CZMgrArchive.html

  19. Phenotypic plasticity is a negative, though weak, predictor of the commonness of 105 grassland species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr; Fischer, M.; Prati, D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 4 (2016), s. 464-474 ISSN 1466-822X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-09119S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : niche breadth * temperate grasslands * phenotypic plastic ity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  20. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  1. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve

  2. Evident elevation of atmospheric monoterpenes due to degradation-induced species changes in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongjun; Wang, Xinming; Zhang, Yanli; Mu, Yujing; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-15

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted from plants have substantial effects on atmospheric chemistry/physics and feedbacks on ecosystem function. The on-going climate change and anthropogenic disturbance have been confirmed to cause the evident degradation of grassland with shift of plant community, and hence BVOCs emissions were suspected to be altered due to the different BOVCs emission potentials of different species. In this study, we investigated BVOCs concentration above ground surface during growing season in a degraded semi-arid grassland (41°2' N-45°6' N, 113°5'-117°8') in Inner Mongolia. The observed monoterpenes' concentrations varied from 0.10 to 215.78 μg m(-3) (34.88 ± 9.73 μg m(-3) in average) across 41 sites. Compared to non-degraded grassland, concentrations of monoterpenes were about 180 times higher at the sites dominated by subshrub--Artemisia frigida, a preponderant species under drought stress and over-grazing. The biomass of A. frigida explained 51.39% of the variation of monoterpenes' concentrations. α-pinene, β-pinene and γ-terpinene dominated in the 10 determined monoterpenes, accounting for 37.72 ± 2.98%, 14.65 ± 2.55% and 10.50 ± 2.37% of the total monoterpenes concentration, respectively. Low isoprene concentrations (≤ 3.25 μg m(-3)) were found and sedge biomass contributed about 51.76% to their spatial variation. α-pinene and isoprene emissions at noon were as high as 515.53 ± 88.34 μg m(-2)h(-1) and 7606.19 ± 1073.94 μg m(-2) h(-1) in A. frigida- and sedge-dominated areas where their biomass were 236.90 g m(-2) and 72.37 g m(-2), respectively. Our results suggested that the expansion of A. frigida and sedge caused by over-grazing and climatic stresses may increase local ambient BVOCs concentration in grassland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Chorological classification approach for species and ecosystem conservation practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogova, T. V.; Kozevnikova, M. V.; Prokhorov, V. E.; Timofeeva, N. O.

    2018-01-01

    The habitat type allocation approach based on the EUNIS Habitat Classification and the JUICE version 7 software is used for the conservation of species and ecosystem biodiversity. Using the vegetation plots of the Vegetation Database of Tatarstan, included in the EVA (European Vegetation Archive) and GIVD (Global Index of Vegetation-plots Databases) types of habitats of dry meadows and steppes are distinguished by differing compositions of the leading families composing their flora - Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae and Rosaceae. E12a - Semi-dry perennial calcareous grassland, and E12b - Perennial calcareous grassland and basic steppes were identified. The selected group of relevés that do not correspond to any of the EUNIS types can be considered specific for ecotone forest-steppe landscapes of the southeast of the Republic of Tatarstan. In all types of studied habitats, rare and protected plant species are noted, most of which are South-East-European-Asian species.

  4. N management of European grasslands: can the exchange of gaseous N species be influenced at the operational level?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calanca, P; Neftel, A; Fuhrer, J

    2001-11-30

    Grassland ecosystems can be regarded as biochemical reactors in which large amounts of organic nitrogen (N) are converted into inorganic N, and vice versa. If managed in a sustainable manner, grasslands should operate in a quasi steady state, characterized by an almost perfect balance between total N input and output. As a consequence, the exchange of gaseous N species (NH3, NO, NO2, N2O, and N2) between grasslands and the atmosphere is very small compared to the total N turnover. In this study, the effects of two management options (mowing and fertilization) on production and emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) from a grass/clover crop were examined on the basis of observations and model results referring to an experiment carried out on the Swiss Plateau in late summer of 2000. It was found that production and emission of N2O induced by mowing were of the same order of magnitude as those brought about by fertilization, suggesting a possible transfer of N from clover to the soil after defoliation. Emissions were strongly modulated by precipitation on time scales ranging from 1 day to 1 week. This indicates that effective control of N2O emissions through management on a day-to-day basis requires reliable medium-range weather forecasts. Model calculations were not able to reproduce essential characteristics of the emissions. The model slightly overestimated the background emissions, but severely underestimated the emission peaks following fertilizer application, and largely failed to reproduce emission induced by mowing. Shortfalls in the model used for this study were found in relation to the description of soil-water fluxes, soil organic matter, and the physiology of clover.

  5. N Management of European Grasslands: Can the Exchange of Gaseous N Species Be Influenced at the Operational Level?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Calanca

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems can be regarded as biochemical reactors in which large amounts of organic nitrogen (N are converted into inorganic N, and vice versa. If managed in a sustainable manner, grasslands should operate in a quasi steady state, characterized by an almost perfect balance between total N input and output. As a consequence, the exchange of gaseous N species (NH3, NO, NO2, N2O, and N2 between grasslands and the atmosphere is very small compared to the total N turnover. In this study, the effects of two management options (mowing and fertilization on production and emission of nitrous oxide (N2O from a grass/clover crop were examined on the basis of observations and model results referring to an experiment carried out on the Swiss Plateau in late summer of 2000. It was found that production and emission of N2O induced by mowing were of the same order of magnitude as those brought about by fertilization, suggesting a possible transfer of N from clover to the soil after defoliation. Emissions were strongly modulated by precipitation on time scales ranging from 1 day to 1 week. This indicates that effective control of N2O emissions through management on a day-to-day basis requires reliable medium-range weather forecasts. Model calculations were not able to reproduce essential characteristics of the emissions. The model slightly overestimated the background emissions, but severely underestimated the emission peaks following fertilizer application, and largely failed to reproduce emission induced by mowing. Shortfalls in the model used for this study were found in relation to the description of soil-water fluxes, soil organic matter, and the physiology of clover.

  6. Assessment of the Hindlimb Membrane Musculature of Bats: Implications for Active Control of the Calcar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanchak, Kathryn E; Santana, Sharlene E

    2018-03-01

    The striking postcranial anatomy of bats reflects their specialized ecology; they are the only mammals capable of powered flight. Bat postcranial adaptations include a series of membranes that connect highly-modified, or even novel, skeletal elements. While most studies of bat postcranial anatomy have focused on their wings, bat hindlimbs also contain many derived and functionally important, yet less studied, features. In this study, we investigate variation in the membrane and limb musculature associated with the calcar, a neomorphic skeletal structure found in the hindlimbs of most bats. We use diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography and standard histological techniques to examine the calcars and hindlimb membranes of three bat species that vary ecologically (Myotis californicus, a slow-flying insectivore; Molossus molossus, a fast-flying insectivore; and Artibeus jamaicensis, a slow-flying frugivore). We also assess the level of mineralization of the calcar at muscle attachment sites to better understand how muscle contraction may enable calcar function. We found that the arrangement of the calcar musculature varies among the three bat species, as does the pattern of mineral content within the calcar. M. molossus and M. californicus exhibit more complex calcar and calcar musculature morphologies than A. jamaicensis, and the degree of calcar mineralization decreases toward the tip of the calcar in all species. These results are consistent with the idea that the calcar may have a functional role in flight maneuverability. Anat Rec, 301:441-448, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Species at risk setback distances : the effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linnen, C.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds was discussed in this presentation. The overall purpose of the study was to examine the effects of minimal disturbance gas wells and associated activity on species richness; effects on species abundance; and effects on the occurrence of species. The presentation provided several hypotheses, including that species richness would increase with increasing distance from gas wells and trails; that abundance and occurrence of sensitive species would increase with distance from gas wells and trails; and that abundance and occurrence of brood parasites and predators would decrease with increasing distance from gas wells and trails. The presentation illustrated the study area and study design. Several graphs representing the study results were also presented. Bird species that were examined included the abundance and occurrence of western meadowlark; horned lark; chestnut-collared longspur; clay-coloured sparrow; vesper sparrow; sprague pipit; savannah sparrow; grasshopper sparrow; baird sparrow; and brown-headed cowbird. A summary slide was also presented that concluded that species richness did not vary with distance from gas development and that brown-headed cowbirds tended to favour areas with gas development and interior habitats. tabs., figs

  8. Mobilization and Role of Starch, Protein, and Fat Reserves during Seed Germination of Six Wild Grassland Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ming; Zhang, Hongxiang; Yan, Hong; Qiu, Lu; Baskin, Carol C

    2018-01-01

    Since seed reserves can influence seed germination, the quantitative and qualitative differences in seed reserves may relate to the germination characteristics of species. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the correlation between germination and seed reserves, as well as their mobilization during germination of six grassland species ( Chloris virgata , Kochia scoparia , Lespedeza hedysaroides , Astragalus adsurgens , Leonurus artemisia , and Dracocephalum moldavica ) and compare the results with domesticated species. We measured starch, protein, and fat content in dry seeds and the initial absorption of water during imbibition. Starch, soluble protein, fat, and soluble sugar content also were determined at five stages during germination. Starch, protein, and fat reserves in dry seeds were not significantly correlated with germination percentage and rate (speed), but soluble sugar and soluble protein contents at different germination stages were positively significantly correlated with germination rate for the six species. Starch was mainly used during seed imbibition, and soluble protein was used from the imbibition stage to the highest germination stage. Fat content for all species remained relatively constant throughout germination for six species, regardless of the proportion of other seed reserves in the seeds. Our results for fat utilization differ from those obtained for cultivated grasses and legumes. These results provide new insight on the role of seed reserves as energy resources in germination for wild species.

  9. Mobilization and Role of Starch, Protein, and Fat Reserves during Seed Germination of Six Wild Grassland Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zhao

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Since seed reserves can influence seed germination, the quantitative and qualitative differences in seed reserves may relate to the germination characteristics of species. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the correlation between germination and seed reserves, as well as their mobilization during germination of six grassland species (Chloris virgata, Kochia scoparia, Lespedeza hedysaroides, Astragalus adsurgens, Leonurus artemisia, and Dracocephalum moldavica and compare the results with domesticated species. We measured starch, protein, and fat content in dry seeds and the initial absorption of water during imbibition. Starch, soluble protein, fat, and soluble sugar content also were determined at five stages during germination. Starch, protein, and fat reserves in dry seeds were not significantly correlated with germination percentage and rate (speed, but soluble sugar and soluble protein contents at different germination stages were positively significantly correlated with germination rate for the six species. Starch was mainly used during seed imbibition, and soluble protein was used from the imbibition stage to the highest germination stage. Fat content for all species remained relatively constant throughout germination for six species, regardless of the proportion of other seed reserves in the seeds. Our results for fat utilization differ from those obtained for cultivated grasses and legumes. These results provide new insight on the role of seed reserves as energy resources in germination for wild species.

  10. The Use of AIS Data for Identifying and Mapping Calcareous Soils in Western Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, S. A.

    1985-01-01

    The identification of calcareous soils, through unique spectral responses of the vegetation to the chemical nature of calcareous soils, can improve the accuracy of delineating the boundaries of soil mapping units over conventional field techniques. The objective of this experiment is to evaluate the use of the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) in the identification and delineation of calcareous soils in the western Sandhills of Nebraska. Based upon statistical differences found in separating the spectral curves below 1.3 microns, calcareous and non-calcareous soils may be identified by differences in species of vegetation. Additional work is needed to identify biogeochemical differences between the two soils.

  11. Liquefaction resistance of calcareous sands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandoval Vallejo, Eimar

    2012-01-01

    Calcareous sands are unique in terms of their origin, mineralogy, shape, fragility and intra particle porosity. This article presents results from an experimental program carried out to study the liquefaction resistance of a calcareous sand retrieved from Cabo Rojo at Puerto Rico. The experimental program included mineralogical characterization, index properties, and undrained cyclic triaxial tests on isotropically consolidated reconstituted samples. Due to the large variation in the calcareous sand properties, results are compared with previous researches carried out on other calcareous sands around the world. Results showed a wide range in the liquefaction resistance of the studied calcareous sands. Cabo Rojo sand experienced greater liquefaction resistance than most of the calcareous sands used for comparison. Important differences in the excess pore pressure generation characteristics were also found.

  12. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species: the possible role of soil-borne pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olff, H; Hoorens, B; de Goede, R G M; van der Putten, W H; Gleichman, J M

    2000-10-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carex arenaria locally alternated in abundance, with different sites close together behaving out of phase, resulting in a shifting mosaic. The net effect of killing all soil biota on the growth of these two species was investigated in a greenhouse experiment using gamma radiation, controlling for possible effects of sterilization on soil chemistry. Both plant species showed a strong net positive response to soil sterilization, indicating that pathogens (e.g., nematodes, pathogenic fungi) outweighed the effect of mutualists (e.g., mycorrhizae). This positive growth response towards soil sterilization appeared not be due to effects of sterilization on soil chemistry. Growth of Carex was strongly reduced by soil-borne pathogens (86% reduction relative to its growth on sterilized soil) on soil from a site where this species decreased during the last decade (and Festuca increased), while it was reduced much less (50%) on soil from a nearby site where it increased in abundance during the last decade. Similarly, Festuca was reduced more (67%) on soil from the site where it decreased (and Carex increased) than on soil from the site where it increased (55%, the site where Carex decreased). Plant-feeding nematodes showed high small-scale variation in densities, and we related this variation to the observed growth reductions in both plant species. Carex growth on unsterilized soil was significantly more reduced at higher densities of plant-feeding nematodes, while the growth reduction in Festuca was independent of plant-feeding nematode densities. At high plant-feeding nematode densities, growth of Carex was reduced more than Festuca, while at low nematode densities the opposite was found

  13. Restoration of grasslands on ex-arable land using regional and commercial seed mixtures and spontaneous succession: Successional trajectories and changes in species richness

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Prach, Karel; Jongepierová, I.; Řehounková, Klára; Fajmon, K.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 182, Jan 2014 (2014), s. 131-136 ISSN 0167-8809 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/0256 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : dry grasslands * restoration * target species Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.402, year: 2014

  14. Leaf injury characteristics of grassland species exposed to ozone in relation to soil moisture condition and vapour pressure deficit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bungener, P.; Balls, G.R.; Nussbaum, S.; Geissmann, M.; Grub, A.; Fuhrer, J.

    1999-01-01

    A range of plant species typical of semi-natural grasslands were tested for their sensitivity to short-term ozone injury under normal and reduced irrigation, and in relationship to air vapour pressure deficit. Potted specimens of 24 herbs, legumes and grasses were exposed during two seasons to four O 3 treatments in open-top chambers. The ozone treatments were: (a) charcoal-filtered air; (b) charcoal-filtered air plus ozone to match ambient levels; (c) charcoal-filtered air plus O 3 to ambient levels 1.5 and (d) charcoal-filtered air with ozone added to twice ambient levels during selected episodes of 7–13 d. During these ozone episodes, half of the plants in each ozone treatment received reduced irrigation (dry treatment) while the rest was kept under full irrigation (wet treatment). Type and date of first occurrence of leaf injury were noted during individual growth periods. Plants were harvested three times per year, and the percentage of injured leaves was recorded. Depending on species, injury symptoms were expressed as flecking (O 3 -specific injury), leaf yellowing or anthocyanin formation. Carum carvi and most species of the Fabaceae family (Onobrychis sativa, Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense) were found to be most responsive to O 3 , injury occurring after only a few days of exposure in treatment (b). An episodic reduction in irrigation tended to reduce the expression of O 3 -specific symptoms, but only in species for which a reduction in soil moisture potential and an associated reduction in stomatal conductance during the dry episodes were observed. In other species, the protection from O 3 injury seemed to be of little importance. Using artificial neural networks the injury response of nine species was analysed in relation to Species, stomatal conductance, ozone as AOT40 (accumulated exposure above a threshold of 0.04 ppm for periods with global radiation ≥ 50 W m −2 (Fuhrer et al., 1997)), mean relative growth rate, air vapour pressure

  15. The effect of solar UV radiation of four plant species occurring in a coastal grassland vegetation in The Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tosserams, M.; Rozema, J. [Vrije Univ., Dept. of Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Pais, A. de Sa [Univ. de Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real (Portugal)

    1996-09-01

    During the summer of 1992, growth and some physiological parameters of four native plant species occurring in a coastal grassland in The Netherlands, were studied after reduction of solar UV irradiance using different cut-off filters. Biomass production, morphology and photosynthesis of all species tested were unaffected by the different treatments. Litter production of Plantago lanceolata was increased in the absence of the total UV waveband, indicating a possible role for this waveband in plant senescence. Depletion of the total UV waveband from sunlight resulted in alterations in biomass allocation in Calamagrostis epigeios and Urtica dioica while no changes were observed in P. lanceolatata and Verbascum thapsus. In C. epigeios and increase in the specific leaf area was observed, whereas in U. dioica root weight per total plant weight was decreased resulting in an increase in the shoot/root ratio. Both photosynthetic and UV-absorbing pigment concentrations were altered by the different filter applications. When compared to control plants receiving full sunlight, depletion of UV-B resulted in a significant increase in chlorophyll concentration in U. dioica leaves, this however did not affect photosynthetic rate. The presence of UV-B radiation enhanced the UV-absorbance of leaf extract of all species except P. lanceolata. Optical characteristics of the leaves were also changed. Both the quantity (P. lanceolata and U. dioica) and the quality (all species) of radiation transmitted by the leaves was affected by the different treatments. (au) 44 refs.

  16. Naturalization and impact of a horticultural species, Cotoneaster horizontalis (Rosaceae) in biodiversity hotspots in Belgium

    OpenAIRE

    Piqueray, Julien; Mahy, Grégory; Vanderhoeven, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    Cultivation of ornamental plant species has been recognized to foster plant naturalization of exotics by counteracting environmental stochasticity and continuously providing propagules. As a preliminary attempt to describe the invasion status of C horizontalis, we gathered information on the occurrence of the species in Belgium by compiling various databases. We assessed the naturalization status of C. horizontalis in Belgian calcareous grasslands, high-value habitats recognized as biodiversi...

  17. Changes in the Abundance of Grassland Species in Monocultures versus Mixtures and Their Relation to Biodiversity Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquard, Elisabeth; Schmid, Bernhard; Roscher, Christiane; De Luca, Enrica; Nadrowski, Karin; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have reported positive effects of species richness on plant community productivity. Such biodiversity effects are usually quantified by comparing the performance of plant mixtures with reference monocultures. However, several mechanisms, such as the lack of resource complementarity and facilitation or the accumulation of detrimental agents, suggest that monocultures are more likely than mixtures to deteriorate over time. Increasing biodiversity effects over time could therefore result from declining monocultures instead of reflecting increases in the functioning of mixtures. Commonly, the latter is assumed when positive trends in biodiversity effects occur. Here, we analysed the performance of 60 grassland species growing in monocultures and mixtures over 9 years in a biodiversity experiment to clarify whether their temporal biomass dynamics differed and whether a potential decline of monocultures contributed significantly to the positive net biodiversity effect observed. Surprisingly, individual species’ populations produced, on average, significantly more biomass per unit area when growing in monoculture than when growing in mixture. Over time, productivity of species decreased at a rate that was, on average, slightly more negative in monocultures than in mixtures. The mean net biodiversity effect across all mixtures was continuously positive and ranged between 64–217 g per m2. Short-term increases in the mean net biodiversity effect were only partly due to deteriorating monocultures and were strongly affected by particular species gaining dominance in mixtures in the respective years. We conclude that our species performed, on average, comparably in monocultures and mixtures; monoculture populations being slightly more productive than mixture populations but this trend decreased over time. This suggested that negative feedbacks had not yet affected monocultures strongly but could potentially become more evident in the future. Positive

  18. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

  19. C4 Photosynthesis Promoted Species Diversification during the Miocene Grassland Expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spriggs, Elizabeth L.; Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Edwards, Erika J.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying how organismal attributes and environmental change affect lineage diversification is essential to our understanding of biodiversity. With the largest phylogeny yet compiled for grasses, we present an example of a key physiological innovation that promoted high diversification rates. C4 photosynthesis, a complex suite of traits that improves photosynthetic efficiency under conditions of drought, high temperatures, and low atmospheric CO2, has evolved repeatedly in one lineage of grasses and was consistently associated with elevated diversification rates. In most cases there was a significant lag time between the origin of the pathway and subsequent radiations, suggesting that the ‘C4 effect’ is complex and derives from the interplay of the C4 syndrome with other factors. We also identified comparable radiations occurring during the same time period in C3 Pooid grasses, a diverse, cold-adapted grassland lineage that has never evolved C4 photosynthesis. The mid to late Miocene was an especially important period of both C3 and C4 grass diversification, coincident with the global development of extensive, open biomes in both warm and cool climates. As is likely true for most “key innovations”, the C4 effect is context dependent and only relevant within a particular organismal background and when particular ecological opportunities became available. PMID:24835188

  20. Flesh flies species (Diptera: Sarcophagidae from a grassland and a woodland in a Nature Reserve of Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo R Mulieri

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Temporal changes of flesh flies abundance were simultaneously recorded at monthly intervals during a year in a woodland and in a grassland at the "Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur" (RECS, Buenos Aires city, Argentina. Samples were taken at monthly intervals (February 2004-January 2005. Hourly captures of adult flies (10:00 am - 04:00 pm were taken each sampling date with a hand net. Temperature was recorded at each hourly capture. The baits used were 200 g of rotten cow liver and 200 g of fresh dog faeces. Records of abundance included only species whose abundance was ≥30 individuals accumulated during the whole sampling period. Considering overall abundance, a non-parametric Chi-square test was used to estimate deviations of an expected habitat and bait preference ratios of 1:1. The same criterion was applied to include species in a contingency table to describe their seasonality. The final matrix included four species whose associations to seasons were analyzed by using a Correspondence Analysis. To normalize the data, a log 10(n+1 transformation was applied prior to the analysis of correlation. Pearson product-moment correlations were used to examine the relationship between flesh-fly abundance with temperature and habitat preference. The entire sample accumulated 1 305 individuals and 18 species. The flies were more abundant in the grassland than in the woodland. Microcerella muehni, Oxysarcodexia paulistanensis, O. varia and Tricharaea (Sarcophagula occidua exhibited the higher relative abundance, representing the remaining species less than 8 % of the entire sample. Most of the recorded species showed preference for faces as bait. Concerning the dominant species, all of them but M. muehni, a suggestively termophobic species, prevailed in late spring-summer. The observed species arrangement at both sites indicates low species diversity and equitability and high information per individual in the average. The referred community traits would

  1. The role of above-ground competition and nitrogen vs. phosphorus enrichment in seedling survival of common European plant species of semi-natural grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Ceulemans

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic activities have severely altered fluxes of nitrogen and phosphorus in ecosystems worldwide. In grasslands, subsequent negative effects are commonly attributed to competitive exclusion of plant species following increased above-ground biomass production. However, some studies have shown that this does not fully account for nutrient enrichment effects, questioning whether lowering competition by reducing grassland productivity through mowing or herbivory can mitigate the environmental impact of nutrient pollution. Furthermore, few studies so far discriminate between nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. We performed a full factorial experiment in greenhouse mesocosms combining nitrogen and phosphorus addition with two clipping regimes designed to relax above-ground competition. Next, we studied the survival and growth of seedlings of eight common European grassland species and found that five out of eight species showed higher survival under the clipping regime with the lowest above-ground competition. Phosphorus addition negatively affected seven plant species and nitrogen addition negatively affected four plant species. Importantly, the negative effects of nutrient addition and higher above-ground competition were independent of each other for all but one species. Our results suggest that at any given level of soil nutrients, relaxation of above-ground competition allows for higher seedling survival in grasslands. At the same time, even at low levels of above-ground competition, nutrient enrichment negatively affects survival as compared to nutrient-poor conditions. Therefore, although maintaining low above-ground competition appears essential for species' recruitment, for instance through mowing or herbivory, these management efforts are likely to be insufficient and we conclude that environmental policies aimed to reduce both excess nitrogen and particularly phosphorus inputs are also necessary.

  2. Is the Invasive Species Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (Argentine Stem Weevil) a Threat to New Zealand Natural Grassland Ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barratt, Barbara I P; Barton, Diane M; Philip, Bruce A; Ferguson, Colin M; Goldson, Stephen L

    2016-01-01

    Listronotus bonariensis (Argentine stem weevil) is a stem-boring weevil that has become a major pasture pest in New Zealand, and cool climate turf grass in Australia. This species is also frequently found in native tussock grassland in New Zealand. Laboratory and field trials were established to determine the risk posed to both seedlings and established plants of three native grass species compared to what happens with a common host of this species, hybrid ryegrass (L. perenne X L. multiflorum). Adult weevil feeding damage scores were higher on Poa colensoi and Festuca novae-zelandiae than Chionochloa rigida. Oviposition was lower on P. colensoi than hybrid ryegrass, and no eggs were laid on F. novae-zelandiae. In field trials using the same four species established as spaced plants L. bonariensis laid more eggs per tiller in ryegrass in a low altitude pasture site than in ryegrass in a higher altitude site. No eggs were found on the three native grass species at the tussock sites, and only low numbers were found on other grasses at the low altitude pasture site. Despite this, numbers of adult weevils were extracted from the plants in the field trials. These may have comprised survivors of the original weevils added to the plants, together with new generation weevils that had emerged during the experiment. Irrespective, higher numbers were recovered from the tussock site plants than from those from the pasture site. It was concluded that L. bonariensis is likely to have little overall impact, but a greater impact on native grass seedling survival than on established plants.

  3. Water relations in grassland and desert ecosystems exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J A; Pataki, D E; Körner, C; Clark, H; Del Grosso, S J; Grünzweig, J M; Knapp, A K; Mosier, A R; Newton, P C D; Niklaus, P A; Nippert, J B; Nowak, R S; Parton, W J; Polley, H W; Shaw, M R

    2004-06-01

    Atmospheric CO2 enrichment may stimulate plant growth directly through (1) enhanced photosynthesis or indirectly, through (2) reduced plant water consumption and hence slower soil moisture depletion, or the combination of both. Herein we describe gas exchange, plant biomass and species responses of five native or semi-native temperate and Mediterranean grasslands and three semi-arid systems to CO2 enrichment, with an emphasis on water relations. Increasing CO2 led to decreased leaf conductance for water vapor, improved plant water status, altered seasonal evapotranspiration dynamics, and in most cases, periodic increases in soil water content. The extent, timing and duration of these responses varied among ecosystems, species and years. Across the grasslands of the Kansas tallgrass prairie, Colorado shortgrass steppe and Swiss calcareous grassland, increases in aboveground biomass from CO2 enrichment were relatively greater in dry years. In contrast, CO2-induced aboveground biomass increases in the Texas C3/C4 grassland and the New Zealand pasture seemed little or only marginally influenced by yearly variation in soil water, while plant growth in the Mojave Desert was stimulated by CO2 in a relatively wet year. Mediterranean grasslands sometimes failed to respond to CO2-related increased late-season water, whereas semiarid Negev grassland assemblages profited. Vegetative and reproductive responses to CO2 were highly varied among species and ecosystems, and did not generally follow any predictable pattern in regard to functional groups. Results suggest that the indirect effects of CO2 on plant and soil water relations may contribute substantially to experimentally induced CO2-effects, and also reflect local humidity conditions. For landscape scale predictions, this analysis calls for a clear distinction between biomass responses due to direct CO2 effects on photosynthesis and those indirect CO2 effects via soil moisture as documented here.

  4. Fire frequency and tree canopy structure influence plant species diversity in a forest-grassland ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. Peterson; Peter B. Reich

    2008-01-01

    Disturbances and environmental heterogeneity are two factors thought to influence plant species diversity, but their effects are still poorly understood in many ecosystems. We surveyed understory vegetation and measured tree canopy cover on permanent plots spanning an experimental fire frequency gradient to test fire frequency and tree canopy effects on plant species...

  5. Calcareous Fens - Source Feature Points

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Pursuant to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.223, this database contains points that represent calcareous fens as defined in Minnesota Rules, part...

  6. Patterns of plant diversity loss and species turnover resulting from land abandonment and intensification in semi-natural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, Kei; Koyanagi, Tomoyo F; Matsumura, Toshikazu; Koyama, Asuka

    2018-07-15

    Land-use changes cause biodiversity loss in semi-natural ecosystems worldwide. Biotic homogenization has led to biodiversity loss, mainly through declines in species composition turnover. Elucidating patterns of turnover in species composition could enhance our understanding of how anthropogenic activities affect community assembly. Here, we focused on whether the decreasing patterns in plant diversity and turnover of species composition resulting from land-use change vary in two regions. We estimated the species diversity and composition of semi-natural grasslands surrounding paddy fields in satoyama landscapes. We examined the differences in species diversity and composition across three land-use types (abandoned, traditional, and intensified) in two regions (Hyogo and Niigata Prefectures, Japan), which were characterized by different climatic conditions. We then assessed alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity to compare the patterns of diversity losses in the two regions as a result of land-use changes. In each region, gamma-diversity was consistently higher in the traditional sites compared to abandoned or intensified sites. The analyses revealed that most of the beta-diversity in traditional sites differed significantly from those of abandoned and intensified sites in both regions. However, the beta-diversity of total and perennial species did not differ between traditional and abandoned sites in the Hyogo region. We noted that the beta-diversity of total and perennial species in intensified sites was much lower than that in the traditional sites of the Niigata region. Overall, the patterns of alpha- and gamma-diversity loss were similar in both study regions. Although the biotic homogenization was caused by intensified land-use in the Niigata region, this hypothesis did not completely explain the loss of biodiversity in the abandoned sites in the Hyogo region. The present study contributes to the growing body of work investigating changes in biodiversity as a

  7. Diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in grassland spontaneously developed on area polluted by a fertilizer plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Renker, C.; Blanke, V.; Buscot, F.

    2005-01-01

    Mycorrhizal colonization and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were analyzed in a calcareous grassland with residual phosphate contamination 10 years after the closure of a pollutant fertilizer plant in Thuringia (Germany). AMF were detected in 21 of 22 plant species analyzed. Mean mycorrhization levels reached up to 74.5% root length colonized. AMF diversity was analyzed based on 104 sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a total of 6 species all belonging to the genus Glomus. There was no overlap between species detected as active mycorrhizas on roots (2 taxa) or as spores (4 taxa). Compared to the regional context, the diversity of AMF at our field site was reduced, which may reflect a residual disturbance effect. However, none of the detected species was exclusive to the polluted site as they are commonly found in the region. - Almost all plant species were mycorrhizal

  8. Plant species diversity affects infiltration capacity in an experimental grassland through changes in soil properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, C.; Tischer, J.; Roscher, C.; Eisenhauer, N.; Ravenek, J.; Gleixner, G.; Attinger, S.; Jensen, B.; Kroon, de H.; Mommer, L.; Scheu, S.; Hildebrandt, A.

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims Soil hydraulic properties drive water distribution and availability in soil. There exists limited knowledge of how plant species diversity might influence soil hydraulic properties. Methods We quantified the change in infiltration capacity affected by soil structural variables

  9. Galling Insects of the Brazilian Páramos: Species Richness and Composition Along High-Altitude Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcel S; Carneiro, Marco Antônio Alves; Branco, Cristina A; Borges, Rafael Augusto Xavier; Fernandes, G Wilson

    2017-12-08

    In this work, we investigated the factors that determine the distribution of galling insects in high-altitude grasslands, locally called 'campos de altitude' of Mantiqueira Range and tested whether 1) richness of galling insects decreases with altitude, 2) galling insect richness increases with plant richness, 3) variation in galling insect diversity is predominantly a consequence of its β component, and 4) turnover is the main mechanism driving the beta diversity of both galling insects and plants. Galling insect richness did not exhibit a negative relationship with altitude, but it did increase with plant richness. The additive partition of regional richness (γ) into its local and beta components showed that local diversity (α) of galling insects and plants was relatively low in relation to regional diversity; the β component incorporated most of the regional diversity. This pattern was also found in the multiscale analysis of the additive partition for galling insects and plants. The beta diversity of galling insects and plants was driven predominantly by the process of turnover and minimally by nesting. The results reported here point out that the spatial distribution of galling insects is best explained by historical factors, such as the distribution of genera and species of key host plants, as well as their relation to habitat, than ecological effects such as hygrothermal stress - here represented by altitude. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Trophic phylogenetics: evolutionary influences on body size, feeding, and species associations in grassland arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Eric M; Vincent, John B; Weiblen, George D; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Borer, Elizabeth T

    2015-04-01

    Contemporary animal-plant interactions such as herbivory are widely understood to be shaped by evolutionary history. Yet questions remain about the role of plant phylogenetic diversity in generating and maintaining herbivore diversity, and whether evolutionary relatedness of producers might predict the composition of consumer communities. We tested for evidence of evolutionary associations among arthropods and the plants on which they were found, using phylogenetic analysis of naturally occurring arthropod assemblages sampled from a plant-diversity manipulation experiment. Considering phylogenetic relationships among more than 900 arthropod consumer taxa and 29 plant species in the experiment, we addressed several interrelated questions. First, our results support the hypothesis that arthropod functional traits such as body size and trophic role are phylogenetically conserved in community ecological samples. Second, herbivores tended to cooccur with closer phylogenetic relatives than would be expected at random, whereas predators and parasitoids did not show phylogenetic association patterns. Consumer specialization, as measured by association through time with monocultures of particular host plant species, showed significant phylogenetic signal, although the. strength of this association varied among plant species. Polycultures of phylogenetically dissimilar plant species supported more phylogenetically dissimilar consumer communities than did phylogenetically similar polycultures. Finally, we separated the effects of plant species richness and relatedness in predicting the phylogenetic distribution of the arthropod assemblages in this experiment. The phylogenetic diversity of plant communities predicted the phylogenetic diversity of herbivore communities even after accounting for plant species richness. The phylogenetic diversity of secondary consumers differed by guild, with predator phylogenetic diversity responding to herbivore relatedness, while parasitoid

  11. Study of Plant Species Composition of Grasslands in Mugla Village Region (Western Rhodopes, South Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plamen S. Stoyanov

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The study presents data on the diversity of grass species in the region of the village of Mugla (the Western Rhodopes. One hundred forty-one species of higher plants belonging to 40families were registered. (Apiaceae, Aspleniaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae,Campanulaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Cistaceae, Cyperaceae, Dipsacaceae, Equisetaceae, Ericaceae,Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Gentianaceae, Geraniaceae, Gesneriaceae, Hypericaceae, Juncaceae,Lamiaceae, Lemnaceae, Liliaceae, Linaceae, Menyanthaceae, Oleacea, Onagraceae, Orchidaceae,Parnassiaceae, Plantaginaceae, Plumbaginaceae, Poaceae, Polygalaceae, Primulaceae,Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae, Saxifragaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Valerianaceae andViolaceae. Their conservation status was presented, as well as medicinal plants.

  12. Temporal priority effects on competition are not consistent among intermountain grassland species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Shengpeng; Li, Hongli; Ma, Yongqing; Callaway, Ragan M.

    2016-08-01

    Previous work indicates that priority effects exist, but mechanisms are not well understood. So we explored shifts in competitive outcomes and intensities as a potential general mechanism. In a standard greenhouse experiment the temporal priority effects of the target species Pseudoroegneria spicata and its competitive responses to five receptor species, i.e., Bromus ciliatus, Bromus marginatus, Coreopsis tinctoria, Senecio atratus, and Solidago canadensis were evaluated. P. spicata adults with a high root: shoot ratio had a significant inhibitory priority effect on B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, and C. tinctoria. Compared with the target species, under later and simultaneous sowing, B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, C. tinctoria, and S. atratus exhibited an increasing trend in terms of competition. However, S. canadensis did not display priority effects. In addition, the gram per gram competitive effect of P. spicata depended on the receptor species in the following order: B. marginatus > B. ciliatus > C. tinctoria > S. atratus. There were positive relationships between the relative interaction indices and the root: shoot ratios in B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, and C. tinctoria, thereby suggesting that the early germination or emergence of P. spicata may reduce the root: shoot ratios of these receptors. The results of this study indicate that priority effects occurred in early colonizers with high root: shoot ratios and greater competitive capacities.

  13. Species-rich grassland can persist under nitrogen-rich but phosphorus-limited conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dobben, van Han F.; Wamelink, Wieger; Slim, Pieter A.; Kamiński, Jan; Piórkowski, Hubert

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Deposition of nitrogen is assumed to cause loss of botanical diversity, probably through increased production and exclusion of less competitive species. However, if production is (co-)limited by phosphorus, acceleration of the phosphorus cycle may be responsible for the diversity loss and,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-17

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

  15. Late Palaeozoic calcareous algae in the Pisuerga basin (N-Palencia, Spain)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rácz, L.

    1965-01-01

    The calcareous algae were important rock-builders in the deposition of the many limestone members of the Pisuerga Basin. Systematic descriptions are given of 12 species. The following species are new: Clavaporella reinae, Clavaphysoporella endoi, Epimastopora camasobresensis, Psuedoepimastopora?

  16. Historical habitat connectivity affects current genetic structure in a grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münzbergová, Z; Cousins, S A O; Herben, T; Plačková, I; Mildén, M; Ehrlén, J

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have explored the effects of present and past landscape structure on species distribution and diversity. However, we know little about the effects of past landscape structure on distribution of genetic diversity within and between populations of a single species. Here we describe the relationship between present and past landscape structure (landscape connectivity and habitat size estimated from historical maps) and current genetic structure in a perennial herb, Succisa pratensis. We used allozymes as co-dominant markers to estimate genetic diversity and deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in 31 populations distributed within a 5 km(2) agricultural landscape. The results showed that current genetic diversity of populations was related to habitat suitability, habitat age, habitat size and habitat connectivity in the past. The effects of habitat age and past connectivity on genetic diversity were in most cases also significant after taking the current landscape structure into account. Moreover, current genetic similarity between populations was affected by past connectivity after accounting for current landscape structure. In both cases, the oldest time layer (1850) was the most informative. Most populations showed heterozygote excess, indicating disequilibrium due to recent gene flow or selection against homozygotes. These results suggest that habitat age and past connectivity are important determinants of distribution of genetic diversity between populations at a scale of a few kilometres. Landscape history may significantly contribute to our understanding of distribution of current genetic structure within species and the genetic structure may be used to better understand landscape history, even at a small scale. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's sparrow (Ammodrammus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Hofmeister, Erik K; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W

    2014-10-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n=346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2-6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4-10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4-9% and 9-20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n=165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  18. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Ribic, Christine A.; Sample, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n = 346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2–6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4–10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4–9% and 9–20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n = 165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  19. Nitrogen deposition and grass encroachment in calcareous and acidic Grey dunes (H2130) in NW-Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooijman, A.M.; van Til, M.; Noordijk, E.; Remke, E.; Kalbitz, K.

    We present an overview of high nitrogen deposition effects on coastal dune grasslands in NW-Europe (H2130), especially concerning grass encroachment in calcareous and acidic Grey Dunes. The problem is larger than previously assumed, because critical loads are still too high, and extra N-input from

  20. Biostratigraphic and morphometric analyses of specimens from the calcareous nannofossil genus Tribrachiatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Self-Trail, Jean; Seefelt, Ellen L.; Shepherd, Claire L.; Martin, Victoria A.

    2017-01-01

    Biostratigraphic and morphometric analyses of calcareous nannofossil assemblages from one outcrop and two cored sections of lower Eocene sediments reveal the presence of two new species: Tribrachiatus lunatus sp. nov., and Tribrachiatus absidatus sp. nov. Differences between the new species and Tribrachiatus orthostylus are discussed. The first occurrence of the two new species is just below the calcareous nannofossil Zone NP11/NP12 boundary, close to the Chron 24r/23n boundary, and thus they are globally useful biostratigraphic markers.

  1. The relationship between plant species richness and soil pH vanishes with increasing aridity across Eurasian dry grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Palpurina, S.; Wagner, V.; von Wehrden, H.; Hájek, M.; Horsák, M.; Brinkert, A.; Hölzel, N.; Wesche, K.; Kamp, J.; Hájková, Petra; Danihelka, Jiří; Lustyk, P.; Merunková, K.; Preislerová, Z.; Kočí, M.; Kubešová, S.; Cherosov, M. M.; Ermakov, N.; German, D.; Gogoleva, P. A.; Lashchinsky, N.; Martynenko, V. B.; Chytrý, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2017), s. 425-434 ISSN 1466-822X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : diversity-environment relationship * dry grassland * precipitation * soil pH Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  2. Photosynthetic response of mountain grassland species to drought stress is affected by UV-induced accumulation of epidermal flavonols

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rapantová, Barbora; Klem, Karel; Holub, Petr; Novotná, Kateřina; Urban, Otmar

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 9, 1-2 (2016), s. 31-40 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Agrostis capillaris * CO2 assimilation * drought stress * flavonols * grassland * Holcus mollis * Hypericum maculatum * precipitation * Rumex obtusifolius * UV radiation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  3. Integrating Agricultural and Ecological Goals into the Management of Species-Rich Grasslands: Learning from the Flowering Meadows Competition in France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magda, Danièle; de Sainte Marie, Christine; Plantureux, Sylvain; Agreil, Cyril; Amiaud, Bernard; Mestelan, Philippe; Mihout, Sarah

    2015-11-01

    Current agri-environmental schemes for reconciling agricultural production with biodiversity conservation are proving ineffective Europe-wide, increasing interest in results-based schemes (RBSs). We describe here the French "Flowering Meadows" competition, rewarding the "best agroecological balance" in semi-natural grasslands managed by livestock farmers. This competition, which was entered by about a thousand farmers in 50 regional nature parks between 2007 and 2014, explicitly promotes a new style of agri-environmental scheme focusing on an ability to reach the desired outcome rather than adherence to prescriptive management rules. Building on our experience in the design and monitoring of the competition, we argue that the cornerstone of successful RBSs is a collective learning process in which the reconciliation of agriculture and environment is reconsidered in terms of synergistic relationships between agricultural and ecological functioning. We present the interactive, iterative process by which we defined an original method for assessing species-rich grasslands in agroecological terms. This approach was based on the integration of new criteria, such as flexibility, feeding value, and consistency of use, into the assessment of forage production performance and the consideration of biodiversity conservation through its functional role within the grassland ecosystem, rather than simply noting the presence or abundance of species. We describe the adaptation of this methodology on the basis of competition feedback, to bring about a significant shift in the conventional working methods of agronomists and conservationists (including researchers).The potential and efficacy of RBSs for promoting ecologically sound livestock systems are discussed in the concluding remarks, and they relate to the ecological intensification debate.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dad, J. M.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Quality of the forage apparently consumed by beef calves in natural grassland under fertilization and oversown with cool season forage species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Adelaide Gomes Elejalde

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition of the forage apparently consumed by steers in a natural grassland on region of Campanha, in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, subjected or not to different inputs: NP - natural pasture without inputs; FNP - fertilized natural pasture and INP - improved natural grassland with fertilization and over-seeded with cultivated winter species. Three Angus steers testers and a variable number of regulator animals per experimental unit were utilized in order to maintain 13 kg of DM/100 kg of live weight (LW as forage allowance. One time at each season, hand plucking samples were performed along the daily grazing time simulating forage harvested by the animals. The collected samples after drying and grind were submitted to chemical analysis to determine the forage quality. Except in winter and spring, the values of neutral detergent fiber were higher than the critical value of 550 g/kg of DM, which could limit forage intake, demonstrating that the values of forage on offer provided (15.6; 13.7; 13.5; 15.8 kg of DM/100 kg of LW/day in summer, autumn, winter and spring, respectively were not restrictive to intake. The oversowing of winter cultivated species or fertilization positively alter the degradable fiber content. The seasons had marked influence on the chemical composition of forage apparently consumed; positively increasing some fractions of forage chemical composition in the seasons in which native or cultivated winter species increased their participation. The forage chemical composition is the determining factor in animal performance in natural pasture.

  6. Relative importance of current and past landscape structure and local habitat conditions for plant species richness in dry grassland-like forest openings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    In fragmented landscapes, plant species richness may depend not only on local habitat conditions but also on landscape structure. In addition, both present and past landscape structure may be important for species richness. There are, however, only a few studies that have investigated the relative importance of all of these factors. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of current and past landscape structures and habitat conditions on species richness at dry grassland-like forest openings in a forested landscape and to assess their relative importance for species richness. We analyzed information on past and present landscape structures using aerial photographs from 1938, 1973, 1988, 2000 and 2007. We calculated the area of each locality and its isolation in the present and in the past and the continuity of localities in GIS. At each locality, we recorded all vascular plant species (296 species in 110 forest openings) and information on abiotic conditions of the localities. We found that the current species richness of the forest openings was significantly determined by local habitat conditions as well as by landscape structure in the present and in the past. The highest species richness was observed on larger and more heterogeneous localities with rocks and shallow soils, which were already large and well connected to other localities in 1938. The changes in the landscape structure in the past can thus have strong effects on current species richness. Future studies attempting to understand determinants of species diversity in fragmented landscapes should also include data on past landscape structure, as it may in fact be more important than the present structure.

  7. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  8. Negative and positive interactions among plants: effects of competitors and litter on seedling emergence and growth of forest and grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loydi, A; Donath, T W; Otte, A; Eckstein, R L

    2015-05-01

    Living plant neighbours, but also their dead aboveground remains (i.e. litter), may individually exert negative or positive effects on plant recruitment. Although living plants and litter co-occur in most ecosystems, few studies have addressed their combined effects, and conclusions are ambivalent. Therefore, we examined the response in terms of seedling emergence and growth of herbaceous grassland and forest species to different litter types and amounts and the presence of competitors. We conducted a pot experiment testing the effects of litter type (grass, oak), litter amount (low, medium, high) and interspecific competition (presence or absence of four Festuca arundinacea individuals) on seedling emergence and biomass of four congeneric pairs of hemicryptophytes from two habitat types (woodland, grassland). Interactions between litter and competition were weak. Litter presence increased competitor biomass. It also had positive effects on seedling emergence at low litter amounts and negative effects at high litter amounts, while competition had no effect on seedling emergence. Seedling biomass was negatively affected by the presence of competitors, and this effect was stronger in combination with high amounts of litter. Litter affected seedling emergence while competition determined the biomass of the emerged individuals, both affecting early stages of seedling recruitment. High litter accumulation also reduced seedling biomass, but this effect seemed to be additive to competitor effects. This suggests that live and dead plant mass can affect species recruitment in natural systems, but the mechanisms by which they operate and their timing differ. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  9. A new species of Phrynopus (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehr, Edgar; von May, Rudolf; Moravec, Jiří; Cusi, Juan Carlos

    2017-01-01

    We describe a new species of Phrynopus from the upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands (puna) of the Pui Pui Protected Forest and its close surroundings (Región Junín, central Peru) and compare it morphologically and genetically with other species of Phrynopus . Phrynopus inti sp. n. is known from four localities outside and two localities inside the Pui Pui Protected Forest between 3350 and 3890 m a.s.l. Studied specimens of the new species are characterized by a snout-vent length of 27.2-35.2 mm in males (n = 6), and 40.4 mm in a single female, by having the skin on dorsum and flanks smooth with scattered tubercles, venter smooth, by lacking a tympanum, and males without vocal slits and nuptial pads. In life, the dorsum is pale grayish brown with or without dark brown blotches, or dorsum blackish brown with small yellow flecks, throat, chest and venter are pale grayish brown with salmon mottling, groin is pale grayish brown with salmon colored flecks, and the iris is golden orange with fine dark brown reticulations. The new species is morphologically most similar to Phrynopus kauneorum and P. juninensis . For the latter we describe the coloration in life for a specimen obtained at the type locality. A molecular phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences inferred that the new species is most closely related to Phrynopus kauneorum , P. miroslawae , P. tautzorum , and an undescribed species distributed at high elevation in Región Pasco, central Peru.

  10. A new species of Phrynopus (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae from upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edgar Lehr

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new species of Phrynopus from the upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands (puna of the Pui Pui Protected Forest and its close surroundings (Región Junín, central Peru and compare it morphologically and genetically with other species of Phrynopus. Phrynopus inti sp. n. is known from four localities outside and two localities inside the Pui Pui Protected Forest between 3350 and 3890 m a.s.l. Studied specimens of the new species are characterized by a snout-vent length of 27.2–35.2 mm in males (n = 6, and 40.4 mm in a single female, by having the skin on dorsum and flanks smooth with scattered tubercles, venter smooth, by lacking a tympanum, and males without vocal slits and nuptial pads. In life, the dorsum is pale grayish brown with or without dark brown blotches, or dorsum blackish brown with small yellow flecks, throat, chest and venter are pale grayish brown with salmon mottling, groin is pale grayish brown with salmon colored flecks, and the iris is golden orange with fine dark brown reticulations. The new species is morphologically most similar to Phrynopus kauneorum and P. juninensis. For the latter we describe the coloration in life for a specimen obtained at the type locality. A molecular phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences inferred that the new species is most closely related to Phrynopus kauneorum, P. miroslawae, P. tautzorum, and an undescribed species distributed at high elevation in Región Pasco, central Peru.

  11. Predation drives nesting success in moist highland grasslands: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    By focusing on process-oriented data rather than inventory-type data, this study provides a robust understanding of the effects of agricultural management on grassland bird reproductive output in the moist highland grasslands (MHGs) of South Africa. Four-hundred and four nests of 12 grassland-breeding bird species were ...

  12. Description and identification of four species of plant parasitic nematodes associated with grassland, fruit trees and maize in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badi, M; Geraert, E

    2002-01-01

    Three species of plant parasitic nematodes present in two romanian soil samples were described and identified in the present study. The species belong to order tylenchida and to taxonomical families Tylenchidae (Basiria aberrans) and Belonolaimidae (Tylenchorhynchus georgiensis and Merlinius brevidens). The identification of the present specimens was based on the classical taxonomy, following morphological and morphometrical characters in the species specific identification keys.

  13. Micronutrient metal speciation is controlled by competitive organic chelation in grassland soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boiteau, Rene M.; Shaw, Jared B.; Pasa Tolic, Ljiljana; Koppenaal, David W.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2018-05-01

    Many elements are scarcely soluble in aqueous conditions found in high pH environments, such as calcareous grassland soils, unless complexed to strong binding organic ligands. To overcome this limitation, some plants and microbes produce chelators that solubilize micronutrient metals such as Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn from mineral phases. These complexes are taken up by organisms via specific membrane receptors, thereby differentially impacting the bioavailability of these metals to the plant and microbial community. Although the importance of these chelation strategies for individual organisms has been well established, little is known about which pathways coexist within rhizosphere microbiomes or how they interact and compete for metal binding. Identifying these metallo-organic species within natural ecosystems has remained a formidable analytical challenge due to the vast diversity of compounds and poorly defined metabolic processes in complex soil matrix. Herein, we employed recently developed liquid chromatography (LC) mass spectrometry (MS) methods to characterize the speciation of water-soluble dissolved trace elements (Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn) from Kansas Prairie soil. Both plant and fungal chelators were identified, revealing compound-specific patterns of chelation to biologically essential metals. Numerous metabolites typically implicated in plant iron acquisition and homeostasis, including mugineic acids, deoxymugineic acid, nicotianamine, and hydroxynicotianamine, dominated the speciation of divalent metals such as Ni, Cu, and Zn (2-57 pmol / g soil). In contrast, the fungal siderophore ferricrocine bound comparatively more trivalent Fe (9pmol / g soil). These results define biochemical pathways that underpin the regulation of metals in the grassland rhizosphere. They also raise new questions about the competition of these compounds for metal binding and their bioavailability to different members of the rhizosphere population. Even small structural differences

  14. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  15. A Modified Thermal Time Model Quantifying Germination Response to Temperature for C3 and C4 Species in Temperate Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongxiang Zhang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Thermal-based germination models are widely used to predict germination rate and germination timing of plants. However, comparison of model parameters between large numbers of species is rare. In this study, seeds of 27 species including 12 C4 and 15 C3 species were germinated at a range of constant temperatures from 5 °C to 40 °C. We used a modified thermal time model to calculate germination parameters at suboptimal temperatures. Generally, the optimal germination temperature was higher for C4 species than for C3 species. The thermal time constant for the 50% germination percentile was significantly higher for C3 than C4 species. The thermal time constant of perennials was significantly higher than that of annuals. However, differences in base temperatures were not significant between C3 and C4, or annuals and perennial species. The relationship between germination rate and seed mass depended on plant functional type and temperature, while the base temperature and thermal time constant of C3 and C4 species exhibited no significant relationship with seed mass. The results illustrate differences in germination characteristics between C3 and C4 species. Seed mass does not affect germination parameters, plant life cycle matters, however.

  16. A higher-level classification of the Pannonian and western Pontic steppe grasslands (Central and Eastern Europe).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willner, Wolfgang; Kuzemko, Anna; Dengler, Jürgen; Chytrý, Milan; Bauer, Norbert; Becker, Thomas; Biţă-Nicolae, Claudia; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán; Čarni, Andraž; Csiky, János; Igić, Ruzica; Kącki, Zygmunt; Korotchenko, Iryna; Kropf, Matthias; Krstivojević-Ćuk, Mirjana; Krstonošić, Daniel; Rédei, Tamás; Ruprecht, Eszter; Schratt-Ehrendorfer, Luise; Semenishchenkov, Yuri; Stančić, Zvjezdana; Vashenyak, Yulia; Vynokurov, Denys; Janišová, Monika

    2017-01-01

    What are the main floristic patterns in the Pannonian and western Pontic steppe grasslands? What are the diagnostic species of the major subdivisions of the class Festuco-Brometea (temperate Euro-Siberian dry and semi-dry grasslands)? Carpathian Basin (E Austria, SE Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, N Croatia and N Serbia), Ukraine, S Poland and the Bryansk region of W Russia. We applied a geographically stratified resampling to a large set of relevés containing at least one indicator species of steppe grasslands. The resulting data set of 17 993 relevés was classified using the TWINSPAN algorithm. We identified groups of clusters that corresponded to the class Festuco-Brometea . After excluding relevés not belonging to our target class, we applied a consensus of three fidelity measures, also taking into account external knowledge, to establish the diagnostic species of the orders of the class. The original TWINSPAN divisions were revised on the basis of these diagnostic species. The TWINSPAN classification revealed soil moisture as the most important environmental factor. Eight out of 16 TWINSPAN groups corresponded to Festuco-Brometea . A total of 80, 32 and 58 species were accepted as diagnostic for the orders Brometalia erecti , Festucetalia valesiacae and Stipo-Festucetalia pallentis , respectively. In the further subdivision of the orders, soil conditions, geographic distribution and altitude could be identified as factors driving the major floristic patterns. We propose the following classification of the Festuco-Brometea in our study area: (1) Brometalia erecti (semi-dry grasslands) with Scabioso ochroleucae-Poion angustifoliae (steppe meadows of the forest zone of E Europe) and Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati (meadow steppes on deep soils in the forest-steppe zone of E Central and E Europe); (2) Festucetalia valesiacae (grass steppes) with Festucion valesiacae (grass steppes on less developed soils in the forest-steppe zone of E Central

  17. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: Effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Maron; Harald Auge; Dean E. Pearson; Lotte Korell; Isabell Hensen; Katharine N. Suding; Claudia Stein

    2014-01-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed...

  18. Comparison of the effects of temperature and water potential on seed germination of Fabaceae species from desert and subalpine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao Wen; Fan, Yan; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M; Wang, Yan Rong

    2015-05-01

    Temperature and water potential for germination based on the thermal and hydrotime models have been successfully applied in predicting germination requirements of physiologically dormant seeds as well as nondormant seeds. However, comparative studies of the germination requirements of physically dormant seeds from different ecosystems have not been done. Germination of scarified seeds of four legume species collected from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau and of four collected in the Alax Desert in China was compared over a range of temperatures and water potentials based on thermal time and hydrotime models. Seeds of species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau had a lower base temperature (T b) and optimal temperature (T o) for germination than those from the Alax Desert. Seeds of the four species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau germinated to high percentages at 5°C, whereas none of the four desert species did so. Seeds of species from the Alax Desert germinated to a high percentage at 35°C or 40°C, while no seeds of species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau germinated at 35°C or 40°C. The base median water potential [Ψ b(50)] differed among species but not between the two habitats. The thermal time and hydrotime models accurately predicted the germination time course of scarified seeds of most of the eight species in response to temperature and water potential; thus, they can be useful tools in comparative studies on germination of seeds with physical dormancy. Habitat temperatures but not rainfall is closely related to germination requirements of these species. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  19. Competitive interactions between a nonmycorrhizal invasive plant, Alliaria petiolata, and a suite of mycorrhizal grassland, old field, and forest species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Gary T; Maherali, Hafiz

    2015-01-01

    The widespread invasion of the nonmycorrhizal biennial plant, Alliaria petiolata in North America is hypothesized to be facilitated by the production of novel biochemical weapons that suppress the growth of mycorrhizal fungi. As a result, A. petiolata is expected to be a strong competitor against plant species that rely on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrient uptake services. If A. petiolata is also a strong competitor for soil resources, it should deplete nutrients to levels lower than can be tolerated by weaker competitors. Because the negative effect of losing the fungal symbiont for mycorrhizal plants is greatest when nutrients are low, the ability of A. petiolata to simultaneously suppress fungi and efficiently take up soil nutrients should further strengthen its competitive ability against mycorrhizal plants. To test this hypothesis, we grew 27 mycorrhizal tree, forb and grass species that are representative of invaded habitats in the absence or presence of competition with A. petiolata in soils that had previously been experimentally planted with the invader or left as a control. A history of A. petiolata in soil reduced plant available forms of nitrogen by >50% and phosphorus by 17% relative to control soil. Average mycorrhizal colonization of competitor species was reduced by >50% in A. petiolata history versus control soil. Contrary to expectations, competition between A. petiolata and other species was stronger in control than history soil. The invader suppressed the biomass of 70% of competitor species in control soil but only 26% of species in history soil. In addition, A. petiolata biomass was reduced by 56% in history versus control soil, whereas the average biomass of competitor species was reduced by 15%. Thus, our results suggest that the negative effect of nutrient depletion on A. petiolata was stronger than the negative effect of suppressing mycorrhizal colonization on competitor species. These findings indicate that the inhibitory potential of A

  20. Understanding the extreme species richness of semi-dry grasslands in east-central Europe: a comparative approach

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roleček, Jan; Čornej, I. I.; Tokarjuk, A. I.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 86, č. 1 (2014), s. 13-34 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/12/0649 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : species richness * environmental history * disjunct distribution Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.104, year: 2014

  1. Species turnover drives β-diversity patterns across multiple spatial scales of plant-galling interactions in mountaintop grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcel Serra; Carneiro, Marco Antônio Alves; Branco, Cristina Alves; Borges, Rafael Augusto Xavier; Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson

    2018-01-01

    This study describes differences in species richness and composition of the assemblages of galling insects and their host plants at different spatial scales. Sampling was conducted along altitudinal gradients composed of campos rupestres and campos de altitude of two mountain complexes in southeastern Brazil: Espinhaço Range and Mantiqueira Range. The following hypotheses were tested: i) local and regional richness of host plants and galling insects are positively correlated; ii) beta diversity is the most important component of regional diversity of host plants and galling insects; and iii) Turnover is the main mechanism driving beta diversity of both host plants and galling insects. Local richness of galling insects and host plants increased with increasing regional richness of species, suggesting a pattern of unsaturated communities. The additive partition of regional richness (γ) into local and beta components shows that local richnesses (α) of species of galling insects and host plants are low relative to regional richness; the beta (β) component incorporates most of the regional richness. The multi-scale analysis of additive partitioning showed similar patterns for galling insects and host plants with the local component (α) incorporated a small part of regional richness. Beta diversity of galling insects and host plants were mainly the result of turnover, with little contribution from nesting. Although the species composition of galling insects and host plant species varied among sample sites, mountains and even mountain ranges, local richness remained relatively low. In this way, the addition of local habitats with different landscapes substantially affects regional richness. Each mountain contributes fundamentally to the composition of regional diversity of galling insects and host plants, and so the design of future conservation strategies should incorporate multiple scales.

  2. Climate extreme effects on the chemical composition of temperate grassland species under ambient and elevated CO2: a comparison of fructan and non-fructan accumulators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamada AbdElgawad

    Full Text Available Elevated CO2 concentrations and extreme climate events, are two increasing components of the ongoing global climatic change factors, may alter plant chemical composition and thereby their economic and ecological characteristics, e.g. nutritional quality and decomposition rates. To investigate the impact of climate extremes on tissue quality, four temperate grassland species: the fructan accumulating grasses Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, and the nitrogen (N fixing legumes Medicago lupulina and Lotus corniculatus were subjected to water deficit at elevated temperature (+3°C, under ambient CO2 (392 ppm and elevated CO2 (620 ppm. As a general observation, the effects of the climate extreme were larger and more ubiquitous in combination with elevated CO2. The imposed climate extreme increased non-structural carbohydrate and phenolics in all species, whereas it increased lignin in legumes and decreased tannins in grasses. However, there was no significant effect of climate extreme on structural carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and mineral contents and stoichiometric ratios. In combination with elevated CO2, climate extreme elicited larger increases in fructan and sucrose content in the grasses without affecting the total carbohydrate content, while it significantly increased total carbohydrates in legumes. The accumulation of carbohydrates in legumes was accompanied by higher activity of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase and ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase. In the legumes, elevated CO2 in combination with climate extreme reduced protein, phosphorus (P and magnesium (Mg contents and the total element:N ratio and it increased phenol, lignin, tannin, carbon (C, nitrogen (N contents and C:N, C:P and N:P ratios. On the other hand, the tissue composition of the fructan accumulating grasses was not affected at this level, in line with recent views that fructans contribute to cellular homeostasis under stress. It is speculated that quality losses will

  3. Climate Extreme Effects on the Chemical Composition of Temperate Grassland Species under Ambient and Elevated CO2: A Comparison of Fructan and Non-Fructan Accumulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinta, Gaurav; Van den Ende, Wim; Janssens, Ivan A.; Asard, Han

    2014-01-01

    Elevated CO2 concentrations and extreme climate events, are two increasing components of the ongoing global climatic change factors, may alter plant chemical composition and thereby their economic and ecological characteristics, e.g. nutritional quality and decomposition rates. To investigate the impact of climate extremes on tissue quality, four temperate grassland species: the fructan accumulating grasses Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, and the nitrogen (N) fixing legumes Medicago lupulina and Lotus corniculatus were subjected to water deficit at elevated temperature (+3°C), under ambient CO2 (392 ppm) and elevated CO2 (620 ppm). As a general observation, the effects of the climate extreme were larger and more ubiquitous in combination with elevated CO2. The imposed climate extreme increased non-structural carbohydrate and phenolics in all species, whereas it increased lignin in legumes and decreased tannins in grasses. However, there was no significant effect of climate extreme on structural carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and mineral contents and stoichiometric ratios. In combination with elevated CO2, climate extreme elicited larger increases in fructan and sucrose content in the grasses without affecting the total carbohydrate content, while it significantly increased total carbohydrates in legumes. The accumulation of carbohydrates in legumes was accompanied by higher activity of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase and ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase. In the legumes, elevated CO2 in combination with climate extreme reduced protein, phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg) contents and the total element:N ratio and it increased phenol, lignin, tannin, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) contents and C:N, C:P and N:P ratios. On the other hand, the tissue composition of the fructan accumulating grasses was not affected at this level, in line with recent views that fructans contribute to cellular homeostasis under stress. It is speculated that quality losses will be less

  4. Physiological and biochemical stress responses in grassland species are influenced by both early-season ozone exposure and interspecific competition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scebba, Francesca [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Canaccini, Francesca [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Castagna, Antonella [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Bender, Juergen [Institute of Agroecology, FAL, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig (Germany); Weigel, Hans-Joachim [Institute of Agroecology, FAL, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig (Germany); Ranieri, Annamaria [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy)]. E-mail: aranieri@agr.unipi.it

    2006-08-15

    The effects of two-year early season ozone exposure on physiological and biochemical stress response were investigated in model plant communities. Achillea millefolium and Veronica chamaedrys target plants were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Poa pratensis (phytometer) and exposed in open-top chambers over two years for five weeks to charcoal-filtered (CF) air plus 25 nl l{sup -1} O{sub 3} (control) and non-filtered (NF) air plus 50 nl l{sup -1} O{sub 3}. Significant O{sub 3} effects were detected in different physiological and biochemical parameters, evidencing interspecific differences in metabolic stress responses and a strong influence of the competition factor. O{sub 3} induced strong oxidative effects in Achillea irrespective to the different growth modality. Veronica showed less O{sub 3}-induced effects in monoculture than when grown in competition with the phytometer. Poa exhibited a different behaviour against O{sub 3} depending on the species in competition, showing an overall higher sensitivity to O{sub 3} when in mixture with Achillea. - The competition between species modulates the ozone effect in a short-term.

  5. Physiological and biochemical stress responses in grassland species are influenced by both early-season ozone exposure and interspecific competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scebba, Francesca; Canaccini, Francesca; Castagna, Antonella; Bender, Juergen; Weigel, Hans-Joachim; Ranieri, Annamaria

    2006-01-01

    The effects of two-year early season ozone exposure on physiological and biochemical stress response were investigated in model plant communities. Achillea millefolium and Veronica chamaedrys target plants were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Poa pratensis (phytometer) and exposed in open-top chambers over two years for five weeks to charcoal-filtered (CF) air plus 25 nl l -1 O 3 (control) and non-filtered (NF) air plus 50 nl l -1 O 3 . Significant O 3 effects were detected in different physiological and biochemical parameters, evidencing interspecific differences in metabolic stress responses and a strong influence of the competition factor. O 3 induced strong oxidative effects in Achillea irrespective to the different growth modality. Veronica showed less O 3 -induced effects in monoculture than when grown in competition with the phytometer. Poa exhibited a different behaviour against O 3 depending on the species in competition, showing an overall higher sensitivity to O 3 when in mixture with Achillea. - The competition between species modulates the ozone effect in a short-term

  6. Effect of four plant species on soil 15N-access and herbage yield in temporary agricultural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofter-Walzl, Karin; Eriksen, Jørgen; Rasmussen, Jim

    2013-01-01

    access to greater amounts of soil 15N compared with a shallow-rooting binary mixture, and if leguminous plants affect herbage yield and soil 15N-access. Methods 15N-enriched ammonium-sulphate was placed at three different soil depths (0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 m) to determine the depth dependent soil 15N....... This positive plant diversity effect could not be explained by complementary soil 15N-access of the different plant species from 0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 m soil depths, even though deep-rooting chicory acquired relatively large amounts of deep soil 15N and shallow-rooting perennial ryegrass when grown in a mixture...

  7. Land use history, ecosystem type and species composition drive water use efficiency in annual maize and perennial grasslands in a humid temperate climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, I.; Abraha, M.; Chen, J.; Shao, C.; Su, Y. J.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE), carbon gained per unit water lost, is a fundamental plant and ecosystem function that regulates plant productivity, global hydrology and carbon cycles. We examined ecosystem (E) and intrinsic (i) WUEs derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements and plant carbon isotope discrimination, respectively, to study how WUE is affected by land-use history, ecosystem type, and plants community composition. We measured EWUE and iWUE of three perennial grasslands planted to mixed-prairie, switchgrass and brome grass as compared to a fields planted to corn. Each of studied ecosystems was replicated on two fields with contrasting land-use histories: one field was managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP, planted to bromgrass) and another was in conventional agriculture (AGR) corn/soybean rotation for few decades before start of the experiment. In 2009, all but one CRP field were converted to no-till soybean. In 2010, the converted CRP and AGR fields were planted to mixed-prairie (C3 and C4 grasses), switchgrass (C4 grass), and no-till corn (C4 grass). During 2009-2013, we measured carbon and water exchange over each field using an EC technique and sampled plant tissue for 13C isotopes analysis. Land-use history, ecosystem type, and species composition had large effects on EWUEs. Intrinsic WUE of individual C3 grass species, however, was similar across the study period, despite drought in 2012. Corn and brome grass had the highest and lowest overall mean EWUE, 4.1 and 2.2 g C kg-1 H2O, respectively. Restored prairie on former AGR land had a mean EWUE of 3.0 g C kg-1 H2O, significantly greater than on former CRP land with a EWUE of 2.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Land use history had no effect on interannual variability of EWUE of corn. Prairie and switchgrass established on former CRP land exhibited no change of EWUE, as well. Same ecosystems established on former AGR land, oppositely, increased their WUEs over the study period from ~ 2.5 g C kg-1

  8. Effects of ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) on growth and physiology of the dune grassland species Calamagrostis epigeios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tosserams, M.; Rozema, J.

    1995-01-01

    Seedlings of Calamagrostis epigeios were exposed to four levels of UV-B radiation (280-320 nm), simulating up to 44% reduction of stratospheric ozone concentration during summertime in The Netherlands, to determine the response of this plant species to UV-B irradiation. After six weeks of UV-B treatment, total biomass of all UV-B treated plants was higher, compared to plants that had received no UV-B radiation. The increase of biomass did not appear to be the result of a stimulation of net photosynthesis. Also, transpiration rate and water use efficiency were not altered by UV-B at any exposure level. Pigment analysis of leaf extracts showed no effect of enhanced UV-B radiation on chlorophyll content and accumulation of UV absorbing pigments. UV-B irradiance, however, did reduce the transmittance of visible light (400-700 nm) of intact attached leaves, suggesting a change in anatomical characteristics of the leaves. Additionally, the importance of including an ambient UV-B treatment in indoor experiments is discussed

  9. Within season and carry-over effects following exposure of grassland species mixtures to increasing background ozone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hayes, Felicity, E-mail: fhay@ceh.ac.uk [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Mills, Gina; Harmens, Harry; Wyness, Kirsten [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Few studies have investigated effects of increased background ozone in the absence of episodic peaks, despite a predicted increase throughout the northern hemisphere over the coming decades. In this study Leontodon hispidus was grown with Anthoxanthum odoratum or Dactylis glomerata and exposed in the UK to one of eight background ozone concentrations for 20 weeks in solardomes. Seasonal mean ozone concentrations ranged from 21.4 to 102.5 ppb. Ozone-induced senescence of L. hispidus was enhanced when grown with the more open canopy of A. odoratum compared to the denser growing D. glomerata. There was increased cover with increasing ozone exposure for both A. odoratum and D. glomerata, which resulted in an increase in the grass:Leontodon cover ratio in both community types. Carry-over effects of the ozone exposure were observed, including delayed winter die-back of L. hispidus and acceleration in the progression from flowers to seed-heads in the year following ozone exposure. - Highlights: > Increased background ozone concentrations increased the grass:forb cover ratio. > Competing grass species influenced ozone enhanced senescence of Leontodon hispidus. > Ozone delayed winter die-back of leaves of L. hispidus. > Flowering was accelerated for L. hispidus in the year following ozone exposure. - Increased background ozone enhanced leaf senescence and caused carry-over effects including reduced winter die-back and an acceleration in flowering the next year.

  10. Physiological and biochemical stress responses in grassland species are influenced by both early-season ozone exposure and interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scebba, Francesca; Canaccini, Francesca; Castagna, Antonella; Bender, Jürgen; Weigel, Hans-Joachim; Ranieri, Annamaria

    2006-08-01

    The effects of two-year early season ozone exposure on physiological and biochemical stress response were investigated in model plant communities. Achillea millefolium and Veronica chamaedrys target plants were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Poa pratensis (phytometer) and exposed in open-top chambers over two years for five weeks to charcoal-filtered (CF) air plus 25 nl l(-1) O3 (control) and non-filtered (NF) air plus 50 nl l(-1) O3. Significant O3 effects were detected in different physiological and biochemical parameters, evidencing interspecific differences in metabolic stress responses and a strong influence of the competition factor. O3 induced strong oxidative effects in Achillea irrespective to the different growth modality. Veronica showed less O3-induced effects in monoculture than when grown in competition with the phytometer. Poa exhibited a different behaviour against O3 depending on the species in competition, showing an overall higher sensitivity to O3 when in mixture with Achillea.

  11. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  12. Is succession in wet calcareous dune slacks affected by free sulfide?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adema, EB; van Gemerden, H; Grootjans, AP; Adema, Erwin B.; Grootjans, Ab P.; Rapson, G.

    Consequences of sulfide toxicity on succession in wet calcareous dune slacks were investigated. Sulfide may exert an inhibitory effect on dune slack plants, but several pioneer species exhibit ROL (Radial Oxygen Loss) and thereby protect themselves against free sulfide. Under oxic conditions free

  13. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success...... to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration...

  14. Local-scale spatial structure and community composition of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in semi-natural grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Oja, J.; Vahtra, J.; Bahram, M.; Kohout, Petr; Kull, T.; Rannap, R.; Köljalg, U.; Tedersoo, L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 4 (2017), s. 355-367 ISSN 0940-6360 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : mycorrhiza * orchids * fungal community composition * calcareous grassland * spatial distribution * grazing intensity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.047, year: 2016

  15. Diverse Effects of a Seven-Year Experimental Grassland Fragmentation on Major Invertebrate Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braschler, Brigitte; Baur, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but observed effects vary and may depend on the group examined. Time since fragmentation may explain some differences between taxonomical groups, as some species and thus species composition respond with a delay to changes in their environment. Impacts of drivers of global change may thus be underestimated in short-term studies. In our study we experimentally fragmented nutrient-poor dry calcareous grasslands and studied the response of species richness, individual density and species composition of various groups of invertebrates (gastropods, ants, ground beetles, rove beetles, orthoptera, spiders, woodlice) in 12 small (1.5 m * 1.5 m) and 12 large (4.5 m * 4.5 m) fragments and their corresponding control plots after 7 years. We further examined responses to fragmentation in relation to body size and habitat preferences. Responses to fragmentation varied between taxonomical groups. While spider species richness and individual density were lower in fragments, the opposite was true for an orthopteran species and woodlice. Species composition and β-diversity differed between fragments and control plots for some groups. However, the interaction treatment*plot size was rarely significant. Species with high occupancy rates in undisturbed control plots responded more negatively to the fragmentation, while species with large body size were relatively more abundant in fragments in some groups. No effect of the fragmentation was found for ants, which may have the longest lag times because of long-lived colonies. However, relationships between abundance and the species' preferences for environmental factors affected by edge effects indicate that ant diversity too may be affected in the longer-term. Our results show the importance of considering different groups in conservation management in times of widespread fragmentation of landscapes. While species richness may respond slowly, changes in abundance related to

  16. Diverse Effects of a Seven-Year Experimental Grassland Fragmentation on Major Invertebrate Groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Braschler

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but observed effects vary and may depend on the group examined. Time since fragmentation may explain some differences between taxonomical groups, as some species and thus species composition respond with a delay to changes in their environment. Impacts of drivers of global change may thus be underestimated in short-term studies. In our study we experimentally fragmented nutrient-poor dry calcareous grasslands and studied the response of species richness, individual density and species composition of various groups of invertebrates (gastropods, ants, ground beetles, rove beetles, orthoptera, spiders, woodlice in 12 small (1.5 m * 1.5 m and 12 large (4.5 m * 4.5 m fragments and their corresponding control plots after 7 years. We further examined responses to fragmentation in relation to body size and habitat preferences. Responses to fragmentation varied between taxonomical groups. While spider species richness and individual density were lower in fragments, the opposite was true for an orthopteran species and woodlice. Species composition and β-diversity differed between fragments and control plots for some groups. However, the interaction treatment*plot size was rarely significant. Species with high occupancy rates in undisturbed control plots responded more negatively to the fragmentation, while species with large body size were relatively more abundant in fragments in some groups. No effect of the fragmentation was found for ants, which may have the longest lag times because of long-lived colonies. However, relationships between abundance and the species' preferences for environmental factors affected by edge effects indicate that ant diversity too may be affected in the longer-term. Our results show the importance of considering different groups in conservation management in times of widespread fragmentation of landscapes. While species richness may respond slowly, changes in

  17. The effect of current and historical landscape structure and species life-history traits on species distribution in dry grassland-like forest openings

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 3 (2016), s. 545-556 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-21432S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : continuity of habitat * habitat fragmention * species composition Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.924, year: 2016

  18. Prescribed burning to affect a state transition in a shrub-encroached desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescribed burning is a commonly advocated and historical practice for control of woody species encroachment into grasslands on all continents. However, desert grasslands of the southwestern United States often lack needed herbaceous fuel loads for effective prescriptions, dominant perennial gramin...

  19. A performance comparison of sampling methods in the assessment of species composition patterns and environment–vegetation relationships in species-rich grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Grzegorz Swacha; Zoltán Botta-Dukát; Zygmunt Kącki; Daniel Pruchniewicz; Ludwik Żołnierz

    2017-01-01

    The influence that different sampling methods have on the results and the interpretation of vegetation analysis has been much debated, but little is yet known about how the spatial arrangement of samples affect patterns of species composition and environment–vegetation relationships within the same vegetation type. We compared three data sets of the same sample size obtained by three standard sampling methods: preferential, random, and systematic. These different sampling methods were applied...

  20. Foraminiferans as food for Cephalaspideans (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia), with notes on secondary tests around calcareous foraminiferans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cedhagen, Tomas

    1996-01-01

    species, Ammonia batavus and two agglutinating species, Ammoscalaria pseudospiralis and Ammotium cassis. The test (shell) material of the latter two species was sand grains (quartz). It was inferred that the gastropods avoid agglutinating foraminiferans as food. Many calcareous but not agglutinating......The food of four species of Cephalaspidea (Philine aperta, Philine denticulata, Philine scabra and Cylichna cylindracea) was studied in animals collected on silty clay bottoms at 20-35 m depth on the west coast of Sweden. The specimens were dissected. Only calcareous foraminiferans were found...... foraminiferans surround themselves with a “secondary test”, a cyst or covering of foreign particles around the test. This structure has earlier been called a “reproductive cyst” or “feeding cyst” in some species. “Secondary tests” are primarily connected with feeding, but might also be a preadaptation for other...

  1. Community structure and palaeoecological implications of calcareous encrusters on artificial substrates across a Mexican Caribbean reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepburn, L. J.; Blanchon, P.; Murphy, G.; Cousins, L.; Perry, C. T.

    2015-03-01

    Calcareous encrusters stabilize and bind reef framework and contribute significantly to reef function and biodiversity. Their calcareous skeletons have good preservation potential which, together with well-constrained habitat preferences, makes them useful indicators of past environmental conditions. However, our knowledge of environmental tolerances and spatial distribution trends of encrusters remains limited. Here, we determine the distributional trends and environmental tolerances of calcareous encrusters and delineate the relevance of particular species/genera for palaeoecological reconstructions. Artificial microhabitats were created to mimic exposed, partially cryptic, and cryptic habitats in various orientations for periods of 1 and 2 yr. Calcareous encruster coverage was high, especially in cryptic habitats (95 %), and clear successional trends were observed over time. Total encruster carbonate production was intermediate (range 72.8-476.3 g m-2 yr-1). Encruster species and growth morphology exhibited a defined zonation in response to reef sub-environment, microhabitat, and environmental factors such as light and wave exposure. Linear regression identified three coralline algae genera, as well as Homotrema rubrum, Planorbulina spp., and cemented bivalves as those most likely to occur in particular habitats. Therefore, the presence of these species may be used with greater confidence in distinguishing palaeomicroenvironments.

  2. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available In Rome both meadows of CentraI-European affinity and Mediterranean dry grasslands are presento We studied a site (Parco Regionale Urbano de] Pineto in Rome with very diverse vegetation, where species belonging to both coenologica] groups oceur. Wc fertilized a grassland with a combination of phosphorus (P and nitrogen (N. After fertilization diagDostie species of Helianthemetea guttati (Thcrophytes dccrease while species of MolinioArrhenatheretea (Hemicriptophytes increase. In a climate as that of Rome, transition between Mediterranean (with summer drought and Central European (without summer drought, nutrients availability modulates the distribution of vegetation Classes with respectively Mediterranean or Central-Europe affinities.

  3. Transport of Calcareous Fragments by Reef Fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardach, J E

    1961-01-13

    The weight of sand, coral scrapings, algal fragments, and other calcareous materials which pass through the intestines of reef fishes was calculated on a hectare-per-year basis. It was found that browsing omnivorous reef fishes which rely, in part, on a plant diet ingested and redeposited at least 2300 kg of such material on a 1-hectare study reef near Bermuda. Reasons are presented why this estimate, certainly in order of magnitude, should be applicable to coral reefs in general.

  4. Patellar calcar: MRI appearance of a previously undescribed anatomical entity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, Mark S.; Tiegs-Heiden, Christin A.; Stuart, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The femoral calcar is a constant anatomical structure within the proximal femur representing a condensation of bone trabeculae. It is our impression that a similar structure is present within the patella. The purpose of this retrospective study was to define the prevalence, appearance, location, and configuration of the patellar calcar on MRI examinations. One hundred consecutive unenhanced knee MRIs were retrospectively reviewed by two readers who were blinded to the clinical indication. The patellar calcar was defined as a dark signaling, linear or curvilinear structure subjacent to the patellar articular surface. If present, the patellar calcar was assigned to a ''well seen,'' ''moderately well seen,'' or ''faintly seen'' category. Location of the calcar within the patella, orientation, configuration, and thickness were recorded. Confounding variables, such as marrow edema, patellar chondromalacia, bipartite patella, or postoperative changes were also recorded. The patellar calcar was visualized in 81 out of 100 (81 %) MRIs. When detected, the calcar was well seen in 20 out of 81 (25 %), moderately well seen in 35 out of 81 (43 %), and faintly seen in 26 out of 81 (32 %). The anteroposterior width of the calcar measured at its thickest segment was: 1 mm in 10 out of 81 (12 %). The patellar calcar was seen in the majority of knee MRIs and had a consistent imaging appearance. The calcar may be obscured by degenerative arthrosis of the patella and rarely may mimic patellar stress fracture or osteochondritis dissecans. Radiologists and clinicians should be familiar with this normal anatomical structure. (orig.)

  5. Linking Above- and Belowground Responses to 16 Years of Fertilization, Mowing, and Removal of the Dominant Species in a Temperate Grassland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kotas, Petr; Chroma, M.; Šantrůčková, H.; Lepš, Jan; Tříska, Jan; Kaštovská, E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 2 (2017), s. 354-367 ISSN 1432-9840 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-17118S Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : dominant removal * fertilization * grassland * microbial community structure * mowing * pH * PLFA Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EG - Zoology (ENTU-I) OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7); Entomology (ENTU-I) Impact factor: 4.198, year: 2016

  6. AE Test of Calcareous Sands with Particle Rushing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Fengyi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The particle of calcareous sands was forced to crush, then the energy from the crushing was released by the form of sound waves. Therefore the AE technique was used to detect the calcareous sands AE signal when it crushed. by to study the AE characteristics, the mechanics of calcareous sands was studied. Study showed that: (1 there was the AE activities on the low confining pressure condition at the beginnig of test, (2 there was more and more AE activities with the continuing of test until to the end, (3 the calcareous sands’ AE activities was on the whole testing, (4 the calcareous sands’ particle crushing and mutual friction played different roles for its AE activities. Then the AE model based on the calcarous sands’ particle crushing was discussed.

  7. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  8. Resilience and stability of the grasslands of the Transkei | B | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In spite of very high stocking rates the grasslands of Transkei still have in many areas a high cover and many climax species. The concepts of resilience and stability are used in an attempt to explain dynamics of the grasslands. Keywords: resiliences|stabilities|grasslands|Transkei|stocking rates|basal covers|grass ...

  9. Voluntary intake and in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinenberg, M.H.; Valk, H.; Struik, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    To study in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands two experiments were carried out. In the first experiment lactating dairy cows were offered three different silage-based diets. Silage originated from intensively managed grassland (IM), extensively managed species-poor grassland

  10. Micronutrient metal speciation is driven by competitive organic chelation in grassland soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boiteau, R.; Shaw, J. B.; Paša-Tolić, L.; Koppenaal, D.; Jansson, J.

    2017-12-01

    Many elements are scarcely soluble in aqueous conditions found in high pH environments, such as calcareous grassland soils, unless complexed to strong binding organic ligands. To overcome this limitation, some plants and microbes produce chelators that solubilize micronutrient metals such as Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn from mineral phases. These complexes are taken up by organisms via specific membrane receptors, thereby differentially impacting the bioavailability of these metals to the plant and microbial community. Although the importance of these chelation strategies for individual organisms has been well established, little is known about which pathways coexist within rhizosphere microbiomes or how they interact and compete for metal binding. Identifying these metallo-organic species within natural ecosystems has remained a formidable analytical challenge due to the vast diversity of compounds and poorly defined metabolic processes in complex soil matrix. Herein, we employed recently developed liquid chromatography (LC) mass spectrometry (MS) methods to characterize the speciation of water-soluble dissolved trace elements (Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn) from Kansas Prairie soil. Both plant and fungal chelators were identified, revealing compound-specific patterns of chelation to biologically essential metals. Numerous metabolites typically implicated in plant iron acquisition and homeostasis, including mugineic acids, deoxymugineic acid, nicotianamine, and hydroxynicotianamine, dominated the speciation of divalent metals such as Ni, Cu, and Zn (2-57 pmol / g soil). In contrast, the fungal siderophore ferricrocine bound comparatively more trivalent Fe (9pmol / g soil). These results define biochemical pathways that underpin the regulation of metals in the grassland rhizosphere. They also raise new questions about the competition of these compounds for metal binding and their bioavailability to different members of the rhizosphere population.

  11. Contrasting effects of ocean acidification on tropical fleshy and calcareous algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Maggie Dorothy; Price, Nichole N; Smith, Jennifer E

    2014-01-01

    Despite the heightened awareness of ocean acidification (OA) effects on marine organisms, few studies empirically juxtapose biological responses to CO2 manipulations across functionally distinct primary producers, particularly benthic algae. Algal responses to OA may vary because increasing CO2 has the potential to fertilize photosynthesis but impair biomineralization. Using a series of repeated experiments on Palmyra Atoll, simulated OA effects were tested across a suite of ecologically important coral reef algae, including five fleshy and six calcareous species. Growth, calcification and photophysiology were measured for each species independently and metrics were combined from each experiment using a meta-analysis to examine overall trends across functional groups categorized as fleshy, upright calcareous, and crustose coralline algae (CCA). The magnitude of the effect of OA on algal growth response varied by species, but the direction was consistent within functional groups. Exposure to OA conditions generally enhanced growth in fleshy macroalgae, reduced net calcification in upright calcareous algae, and caused net dissolution in CCA. Additionally, three of the five fleshy seaweeds tested became reproductive upon exposure to OA conditions. There was no consistent effect of OA on algal photophysiology. Our study provides experimental evidence to support the hypothesis that OA will reduce the ability of calcareous algae to biomineralize. Further, we show that CO2 enrichment either will stimulate population or somatic growth in some species of fleshy macroalgae. Thus, our results suggest that projected OA conditions may favor non-calcifying algae and influence the relative dominance of fleshy macroalgae on reefs, perpetuating or exacerbating existing shifts in reef community structure.

  12. Contrasting effects of ocean acidification on tropical fleshy and calcareous algae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maggie Dorothy Johnson

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Despite the heightened awareness of ocean acidification (OA effects on marine organisms, few studies empirically juxtapose biological responses to CO2 manipulations across functionally distinct primary producers, particularly benthic algae. Algal responses to OA may vary because increasing CO2 has the potential to fertilize photosynthesis but impair biomineralization. Using a series of repeated experiments on Palmyra Atoll, simulated OA effects were tested across a suite of ecologically important coral reef algae, including five fleshy and six calcareous species. Growth, calcification and photophysiology were measured for each species independently and metrics were combined from each experiment using a meta-analysis to examine overall trends across functional groups categorized as fleshy, upright calcareous, and crustose coralline algae (CCA. The magnitude of the effect of OA on algal growth response varied by species, but the direction was consistent within functional groups. Exposure to OA conditions generally enhanced growth in fleshy macroalgae, reduced net calcification in upright calcareous algae, and caused net dissolution in CCA. Additionally, three of the five fleshy seaweeds tested became reproductive upon exposure to OA conditions. There was no consistent effect of OA on algal photophysiology. Our study provides experimental evidence to support the hypothesis that OA will reduce the ability of calcareous algae to biomineralize. Further, we show that CO2 enrichment either will stimulate population or somatic growth in some species of fleshy macroalgae. Thus, our results suggest that projected OA conditions may favor non-calcifying algae and influence the relative dominance of fleshy macroalgae on reefs, perpetuating or exacerbating existing shifts in reef community structure.

  13. Were Oceanic Plateaus Instrumental for Calcareous Nannoplankton Evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erba, E.; Casellato, C.; Bottini, C.

    2011-12-01

    The history of calcareous nannoplankton shows a general increase in species richness through the Mesozoic. Fertility and chemistry of the oceans, climate and pCO2 seem instrumental for nannoplankton abundance, diversification and adaptation, but high-resolution chronology of paleobiological and geological events is crucial for the understanding of evolutionary processes relative to ecosystem perturbations. Natural variations in atmospheric CO2 are essentially triggered by igneous activity and the role of ocean crust production in the evolution of seawater composition, nutrient cycling, climate change and, consequently, in calcareous nannoplankton biodiversity, might be more relevant than generally thought. Indeed, two major steps in nannofloral Mesozoic evolution correlate with construction of gigantic oceanic plateaus, namely the Shatsky Rise (SR) (Tithonian/Berriasian boundary interval) and the Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) (Barremian/Aptian boundary interval). During the latest Jurassic calcareous nannoplankton experienced a rapid diversification and rise in abundance of several taxa including heavily calcified nannoliths with consequent major increase in biogenic calcite production. The Tithonian origination of coccoliths and nannoliths suggests ideal paleoecological conditions for calcareous nannoplankton, presumably thriving in stable, relatively oligotrophic and cool oceans under low pCO2. Recent data indicate that this speciation and calcification episode was interrupted during magnetochron CM19r, prior to massive diversification of nannoconids. In the late Barremian-early Aptian interval, the nannoconid decline and crisis are paralleled by a major nannoplankton (mainly coccolith) speciation episode. Such calcification failure and coccolith diversification might reflect disruption of the thermocline, increased fertility and warming under excess CO2 levels. These evolutionary steps show rapid speciation, but differ because nannoliths became dominant in the late

  14. Patellar calcar: MRI appearance of a previously undescribed anatomical entity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Mark S.; Tiegs-Heiden, Christin A. [Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (United States); Stuart, Michael J. [Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (United States)

    2014-02-15

    The femoral calcar is a constant anatomical structure within the proximal femur representing a condensation of bone trabeculae. It is our impression that a similar structure is present within the patella. The purpose of this retrospective study was to define the prevalence, appearance, location, and configuration of the patellar calcar on MRI examinations. One hundred consecutive unenhanced knee MRIs were retrospectively reviewed by two readers who were blinded to the clinical indication. The patellar calcar was defined as a dark signaling, linear or curvilinear structure subjacent to the patellar articular surface. If present, the patellar calcar was assigned to a ''well seen,'' ''moderately well seen,'' or ''faintly seen'' category. Location of the calcar within the patella, orientation, configuration, and thickness were recorded. Confounding variables, such as marrow edema, patellar chondromalacia, bipartite patella, or postoperative changes were also recorded. The patellar calcar was visualized in 81 out of 100 (81 %) MRIs. When detected, the calcar was well seen in 20 out of 81 (25 %), moderately well seen in 35 out of 81 (43 %), and faintly seen in 26 out of 81 (32 %). The anteroposterior width of the calcar measured at its thickest segment was: < 1 mm in 43 out of 81 (53 %), 1 mm in 28 out of 81 (35 %), and >1 mm in 10 out of 81 (12 %). The patellar calcar was seen in the majority of knee MRIs and had a consistent imaging appearance. The calcar may be obscured by degenerative arthrosis of the patella and rarely may mimic patellar stress fracture or osteochondritis dissecans. Radiologists and clinicians should be familiar with this normal anatomical structure. (orig.)

  15. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandberg, M. T.; Strandberg, B.; Erneberg, M.

    The number of non-native plant species in Danish dry acidic grasslands was positively correlated with the cover of disturbance in the form of molehills, anthills, mouseholes and erosion due trampling or digging by large herbivores/livestock. Natural disturbance in acidic grassland ecosystems...... not grazed by livestock therefore is important for the occurrence of non-native species, and probably also for the occurrence of a high native floristic diversity....

  16. Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: an ecophysiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Throop, Heather L; Reichmann, Lara G; Sala, Osvaldo E; Archer, Steven R

    2012-06-01

    Increases in woody vegetation and declines in grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have occurred globally since the 1800s, but the mechanisms driving this major land-cover change remain uncertain and controversial. Working in a shrub-encroached grassland in the northern Chihuahuan Desert where grasses and shrubs typically differ in leaf-level nitrogen allocation, photosynthetic pathway, and root distribution, we asked if differences in leaf-level ecophysiology could help explain shrub proliferation. We predicted that the relative performance of grasses and shrubs would vary with soil moisture due to the different morphological and physiological characteristics of the two life-forms. In a 2-year experiment with ambient, reduced, and enhanced precipitation during the monsoon season, respectively, the encroaching C(3) shrub (honey mesquite Prosopis glandulosa) consistently and substantially outperformed the historically dominant C(4) grass (black grama Bouteloua eriopoda) in terms of photosynthetic rates while also maintaining a more favorable leaf water status. These differences persisted across a wide range of soil moisture conditions, across which mesquite photosynthesis was decoupled from leaf water status and moisture in the upper 50 cm of the soil profile. Mesquite's ability to maintain physiologically active leaves for a greater fraction of the growing season than black grama potentially amplifies and extends the importance of physiological differences. These physiological and phenological differences may help account for grass displacement by shrubs in drylands. Furthermore, the greater sensitivity of the grass to low soil moisture suggests that grasslands may be increasingly susceptible to shrub encroachment in the face of the predicted increases in drought intensity and frequency in the desert of the southwestern USA.

  17. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  18. Calcareous forest seepages acting as biodiversity hotspots and refugia for woodland snail faunas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horsák, Michal; Tajovská, Eva; Horsáková, Veronika

    2017-07-01

    Land-snail species richness has repeatedly been found to increase with the increasing site calcium content and humidity. These two factors, reported as the main drivers of land-snail assemblage diversity, are also among the main habitat characteristics of calcareous seepages. Here we explore local species richness and compositional variation of forest spring-fed patches (i.e. seepages), to test the hypothesis that these habitats might act as biodiversity hotspots and refugia of regional snail faunas. In contrast to treeless spring fens, only little is known about land snail faunas inhabiting forest seepages. Studying 25 isolated calcareous forest seepages, evenly distributed across the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area (SE Czech Republic), we found that these sites, albeit spatially very limited, can harbour up to 66% of the shelled land-snail species known to occur in this well-explored protected area (in total 83 species). By comparing land snail assemblages of the studied seepages with those occurring in the woodland surroundings of each site as well as those previously sampled in 28 preserved forest sites within the study area, we found the seepages to be among the most species rich sites. Although the numbers of species did not statistically differ among these three systems, we found highly significant differences in species composition. Seepage faunas were composed of many species significantly associated with spring sites, in contrast to the assemblages of both surrounding and preserved forest sites. Our results highly support the hypothesis that calcareous forest seepages might serve as refugia and biodiversity hotspots of regional land snail faunas. Protection of these unique habitats challenges both conservation plans and forest management guidelines as they might act as sources for the recolonization and restoration of forest snail assemblages particularly in areas impoverished by harvesting and clearcutting.

  19. Physical behaviour of Cretaceous calcareous nannofossil ooze

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buls, Toms; Anderskouv, Kresten; Friend, Patrick L.

    2017-01-01

    Geomorphic features such as drifts, sediment waves and channels have been documented in the Upper Cretaceous of north-west Europe. These features are interpreted to result from bottom currents and have been used to refine chalk depositional models and quantify palaeocirculation patterns. Chalk...... was first deposited as calcareous nannofossil ooze and geomorphic features are the result of sediment reworking after deposition. There is limited knowledge on the processes that govern nannofossil ooze mobility, thus forcing uncertainty onto numerical models based on sedimentological observations...... of deposition thresholds (τcd) from ca 0·04 to 0·13 Pa reflects the influence of variable suspended sediment concentration and τ0 on settling particle size due to the identified potential for chalk ooze aggregation and flocculation. Additionally, deposition thresholds seem to be affected by the size of eroded...

  20. Balancing forest-regeneration probabilities and maintenance costs in dry grasslands of high conservation priority

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolliger, Janine; Edwards, Thomas C.; Eggenberg, Stefan; Ismail, Sascha; Seidl, Irmi; Kienast, Felix

    2011-01-01

    Abandonment of agricultural land has resulted in forest regeneration in species-rich dry grasslands across European mountain regions and threatens conservation efforts in this vegetation type. To support national conservation strategies, we used a site-selection algorithm (MARXAN) to find optimum sets of floristic regions (reporting units) that contain grasslands of high conservation priority. We sought optimum sets that would accommodate 136 important dry-grassland species and that would minimize forest regeneration and costs of management needed to forestall predicted forest regeneration. We did not consider other conservation elements of dry grasslands, such as animal species richness, cultural heritage, and changes due to climate change. Optimal sets that included 95–100% of the dry grassland species encompassed an average of 56–59 floristic regions (standard deviation, SD 5). This is about 15% of approximately 400 floristic regions that contain dry-grassland sites and translates to 4800–5300 ha of dry grassland out of a total of approximately 23,000 ha for the entire study area. Projected costs to manage the grasslands in these optimum sets ranged from CHF (Swiss francs) 5.2 to 6.0 million/year. This is only 15–20% of the current total estimated cost of approximately CHF30–45 million/year required if all dry grasslands were to be protected. The grasslands of the optimal sets may be viewed as core sites in a national conservation strategy.

  1. The role of integrative taxonomy in the conservation management of cryptic species: the taxonomic status of endangered earless dragons (Agamidae: Tympanocryptis in the grasslands of Queensland, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Melville

    Full Text Available Molecular phylogenetics is increasingly highlighting the prevalence of cryptic species, where morphologically similar organisms have long independent evolutionary histories. When such cryptic species are known to be declining in numbers and are at risk of extinction due to a range of threatening processes, the disjunction between molecular systematics research and conservation policy becomes a significant problem. We investigate the taxonomic status of Tympanocryptis populations in Queensland, which have previously been assigned to T. tetraporophora, using three species delimitation approaches. The taxonomic uncertainties in this species-group are of particular importance in the Darling Downs Earless Dragon (T. cf. tetraporophora, which is ranked as an endangered 'species' of high priority for conservation by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. We undertook a morphological study, integrated with a comprehensive genetic study and species delimitation analyses, to investigate the species status of populations in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of two gene regions (mtDNA: ND2; nuclear: RAG1 revealed high levels of genetic divergence between populations, indicating isolation over long evolutionary time frames, and strongly supporting two independent evolutionary lineages in southeastern Queensland, from the Darling Downs, and a third in the Gulf Region of northern Queensland. Of the three species delimitation protocols used, we found integrative taxonomy the most applicable to this cryptic species complex. Our study demonstrates the utility of integrative taxonomy as a species delimitation approach in cryptic complexes of species with conservation significance, where limited numbers of specimens are available.

  2. The role of integrative taxonomy in the conservation management of cryptic species: the taxonomic status of endangered earless dragons (Agamidae: Tympanocryptis) in the grasslands of Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melville, Jane; Smith, Katie; Hobson, Rod; Hunjan, Sumitha; Shoo, Luke

    2014-01-01

    Molecular phylogenetics is increasingly highlighting the prevalence of cryptic species, where morphologically similar organisms have long independent evolutionary histories. When such cryptic species are known to be declining in numbers and are at risk of extinction due to a range of threatening processes, the disjunction between molecular systematics research and conservation policy becomes a significant problem. We investigate the taxonomic status of Tympanocryptis populations in Queensland, which have previously been assigned to T. tetraporophora, using three species delimitation approaches. The taxonomic uncertainties in this species-group are of particular importance in the Darling Downs Earless Dragon (T. cf. tetraporophora), which is ranked as an endangered 'species' of high priority for conservation by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. We undertook a morphological study, integrated with a comprehensive genetic study and species delimitation analyses, to investigate the species status of populations in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of two gene regions (mtDNA: ND2; nuclear: RAG1) revealed high levels of genetic divergence between populations, indicating isolation over long evolutionary time frames, and strongly supporting two independent evolutionary lineages in southeastern Queensland, from the Darling Downs, and a third in the Gulf Region of northern Queensland. Of the three species delimitation protocols used, we found integrative taxonomy the most applicable to this cryptic species complex. Our study demonstrates the utility of integrative taxonomy as a species delimitation approach in cryptic complexes of species with conservation significance, where limited numbers of specimens are available.

  3. Calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminiferal assemblages from the Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin): Preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guerreiro, C; Oliveira, A; Rodrigues, A; Rosa, F; Cachao, M; Fatela, F

    2009-01-01

    Submarine canyons are assumed to play an important role in oceanic/neritic circulation, marine productivity and sedimentary processes, acting as preferential conduits between the littoral and deep oceanic domain. Here we present first results of a comparative micropalaeontological study on calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera from surface sediments from the surroundings of the upper Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin) and from the shelf north of the canyon. Regardless of the difficulty to distinguish taphonomical from (palaeo)ecological effects in such a complex and still poorly known marine system, the first results suggest that the canyon's hydro-sedimentary dynamic regime act as a prolongation of the shore/inner shelf hydrodynamic conditions towards west, preventing deposition and/or preservation of the smaller and fragile species of calcareous nannoplankton (e.g. E. huxleyi and G. ericsonii) and enhancing the record of the larger and more opportunistic ones (e.g. G. oceanica); and disturbing benthic foraminiferal productivity and/or diversity, or their preservation in the fossil record. Both calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera are more abundant off the canyon's domain, suggesting that its highly energetic thalweg conditions are probably filtering the fossil record in the sediment. Still, preliminary results suggest that the occurrence of persistent physical phenomena related with the canyon's morphology and proximity to the coast (e.g. solitary internal waves) may be locally promoting favourable conditions for calcareous nannoplankton, as shown by high values of nannoliths, chlorophyll a and 19' hexanoyloxyfucoxantine (unpublished data) north of the canyon's head. It is our goal to test this hypothesis in the near future by (a) studying multicore and surficial sediments from more recent surveys, and (b) calibrating the sediment results with water column data presently in process at the Institute of Oceanography (IO).

  4. Calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminiferal assemblages from the Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin): Preliminary results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guerreiro, C; Oliveira, A; Rodrigues, A [Division of Marine Geology, Portuguese Hydrographic Institute (IH), Rua das Trinas 49, 1249-093 Lisboa (Portugal); Rosa, F [CIACOMAR, Algarve University, Av. 16 de Julho s/n 8700-311 Olhao (Portugal); Cachao, M; Fatela, F [Geology Center and Geology Department, FCUL, Bloco C6, 3o Piso, sala 6.3.57 Campo Grande 1749-016 Lisboa (Portugal)], E-mail: catarina.guerreiro@hidrografico.pt

    2009-01-01

    Submarine canyons are assumed to play an important role in oceanic/neritic circulation, marine productivity and sedimentary processes, acting as preferential conduits between the littoral and deep oceanic domain. Here we present first results of a comparative micropalaeontological study on calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera from surface sediments from the surroundings of the upper Nazare Canyon (Portuguese continental margin) and from the shelf north of the canyon. Regardless of the difficulty to distinguish taphonomical from (palaeo)ecological effects in such a complex and still poorly known marine system, the first results suggest that the canyon's hydro-sedimentary dynamic regime act as a prolongation of the shore/inner shelf hydrodynamic conditions towards west, preventing deposition and/or preservation of the smaller and fragile species of calcareous nannoplankton (e.g. E. huxleyi and G. ericsonii) and enhancing the record of the larger and more opportunistic ones (e.g. G. oceanica); and disturbing benthic foraminiferal productivity and/or diversity, or their preservation in the fossil record. Both calcareous nannoplankton and benthic foraminifera are more abundant off the canyon's domain, suggesting that its highly energetic thalweg conditions are probably filtering the fossil record in the sediment. Still, preliminary results suggest that the occurrence of persistent physical phenomena related with the canyon's morphology and proximity to the coast (e.g. solitary internal waves) may be locally promoting favourable conditions for calcareous nannoplankton, as shown by high values of nannoliths, chlorophyll a and 19' hexanoyloxyfucoxantine (unpublished data) north of the canyon's head. It is our goal to test this hypothesis in the near future by (a) studying multicore and surficial sediments from more recent surveys, and (b) calibrating the sediment results with water column data presently in process at the Institute of

  5. Geochemistry and hydrology of a calcareous fen within the Savage Fen wetlands complex, Minnesota, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komor, S.C.

    1994-01-01

    Savage Fen is a wetlands complex at the base of north-facing bluffs in the Minnesota River Valley. The complex includes 27.8 hectares of calcareous fen that host rare calciphile plants whose populations are declining in Minnesota. Water and sediment compositions in the calcareous fen were studied to gain a better understanding of the hydrologie System that sustains the rare vegetation. Groundwater in the fen is a calcium-magnesium-bicarbonate type with circumneutral pH values. The groundwater composition is the resuit of interactions among water, dissolved and gaseous carbon species, carbonates, and ion exchangers. Shallow groundwater is distinguished from deep groundwater by smaller concentrations of chloride, sulfate, magnesium, and sodium, and larger concentrations of calcium, bicarbonate, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonium. Magnesian calcite is the prevalent carbonate in unconsolidated sedimentary fill beneath the fen and is an important source and sink for dissolved calcium, magnesium, and inorganic carbon. Calcite concentrations just below the water table are small because aerobic and anaerobic oxidation of organic matter increase the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), decrease pH, and cause calcite to dissolve. Thick calcite accumulations just above the water table, in the root zone of calciphile plants, result from water table fluctuations and attendant changes in PCO2. Groundwater beneath Savage Fen recharges in lakes and ponds south of the fen and upwells to the surface within the fen. Water at the water table is a mixture of upwelling groundwater and water near the surface that flows downslope from higher elevations in the fen. Changes in oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions of shallow groundwater indicate that the proportion of upwelling groundwater in shallow groundwater decreases downgradient in the calcareous fen. Encroachment of reed grasses into the calcareous fen may reflect human-caused disturbances in the recharge area.

  6. Root biomass and carbon storage in differently managed multispecies temporary grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Jørgen; Mortensen, Tine Bloch; Søegaard, Karen

    2012-01-01

    Species-rich grasslands may potentially increase carbon (C) storage in soil, and an experiment was established to investigate C storage in highly productive temporary multi-species grasslands. Plots were established with three mixtures: (1) a herb mixture containing salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor...

  7. Biodiversity in temperate European grasslands: origin and conservation.

    OpenAIRE

    Pärtel, Meelis; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Sammul, Marek

    2005-01-01

    Northern Europe is in the forest zone, but wild megaherbivores have maintained grass-dominated vegetation here for the last 1.8 million years. Continuity of the grassland biome through glacialinterglacial cycles and connection to steppe vegetation has resulted in the evolution, immigration, and survival of a large number of grassland species. During the last millennia the effect of wild ungulates has been replaced by domestic grazers and hay making, and the persistence of grasslan...

  8. Species richness, but not phylogenetic diversity, influences community biomass production and temporal stability in a re-examination of 16 grassland biodiversity studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Venail, P.; Gross, K.; Oakley, T.H.; Narwani, A.; Allan, E.; Flombaum, P.; Isbell, F.; Joshi, J.; Reich, P.B.; Tilman, D.; Ruijven, van J.; Cardinale, B.J.

    2015-01-01

    1.Hundreds of experiments have now manipulated species richness of various groups of organisms and examined how this aspect of biological diversity influences ecosystem functioning. Ecologists have recently expanded this field to look at whether phylogenetic diversity among species, often quantified

  9. Assessing the Effects of Grassland Management on Forage Production and Environmental Quality to Identify Paths to Ecological Intensification in Mountain Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2015-11-01

    Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands.

  10. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited.This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003–2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station–Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas.To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December–February) during the winters of 2003–2008 in transects (100 meter × 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured

  11. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  12. Zanclean/Piacenzian transition on Cyprus (SE Mediterranean): calcareous nannofossil and Sea Surface Temperatures evidence of sapropel formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasiou, Maria; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Bouloubassi, Ioanna; Dimiza, Margarita; Gogou, Alexandra; Klein, Vincent; Parinos, Constantine; Theodoroyu, George

    2016-04-01

    Quantitative analyses of calcareous nannofossils in the sediments of Pissouri South section on the island of Cyprus have produced a paleoceanographic record reflecting the paleoclimatic conditions during Zanclean/Piacenzian transition. According to the performed calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy the studied section is correlated with MNN14/15 and MNN16 calcareous nannofossil biozones and is astronomically dated between 4.065 and 3.217 Ma. Intervals of increased organic carbon content along with the positive values of Florisphaera profunda, Helicosphaera sellii, Discoaster spp. and the subsequent increase of stratification S-index correspond to the sapropel deposition during periods of wetter climate and intense continental runoff especially from the river Nile. These layers are alternating with grey marly intervals, featured by the increased values of small placoliths of Reticulofenestra and Gephyrocapsa species, which are indicative of eutrophic conditions during intense surface waters mixing. Pissouri South section comprises a SSTs sequence using alkenone unsaturation index (Uk 37) providing with the first continuous record from SE Mediterranean covering the Zanclean/Piacenzian (Pliocene) transition (~ 4.1-3.2 Ma). Correlation of the total alkenone concentration to the calcareous nannofossil assemblage and especially representatives among Noelaerhabdaceae family revealed that Pseudoemiliania lacunosa probably had similar temperature sensitivity to that of Emiliania huxleyi, currently producing alkenones in present day oceans.Our data support the prevalence of a generally warm phase characterized by the absence of high-frequency climate variations in the southeastern Mediterranean during the Zanclean/Piacenzian (Early/Late Pliocene) transition.

  13. Evaluation of semiarid grassland degradation in North China from multiple perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, D.; Wang, G.; Xue, B. L.; Xu, X.

    2017-12-01

    There has been increasing interest in grassland ecosystem degradation resulting from intensive human activity and climate change, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Species composition, grassland desertification, and aboveground biomass (AGB) are used as indicators of grassland degradation in this study. We comprehensively analyzed variations in these three indicators in semiarid grassland in North China, on multiple time scales, based on MODIS products and field sampling datasets. Since 1984, species composition has become simpler and species indicative of grassland degradation, such as Potentilla acaulis and Artemisia frigida, have become dominant. These changes indicate that serious grassland degradation has occurred since 1984. Grassland degradation was also analyzed on shorter time scales. Analyses of interannual variations during 2005-2015 showed that desertification decreased and average AGB in the growth season increased over the study area, indicating that grassland was recovering. Analyses of spatial variations showed that the position of slightly desertified grassland shifted and formed a band in the west, where the lowest AGB in the growth season was recorded but tendency ratio of AGB increased from 2005 to 2015. Climatic factors had critical effects on grassland degradation, as identified by the three indicators on different time scales. The simpler species composition resulted from the increase in average temperature and decrease in average precipitation over the past 30 years. For nearly a decade, an increase in precipitation and decreases in temperature and potential evapotranspiration reduced desertification and increased AGB in the growth season overall. Consequently, there has distinct difference in grassland degradation between analysis results on above two time scales, indicating multiple perspectives should be considered to accurately assess the state and characteristics of grassland degradation.

  14. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Ribic, Christine A; McCauley, Lisa A

    2018-02-06

    Grassland birds are declining faster than any other bird guild across North America. Shrinking ranges and population declines are attributed to widespread habitat loss and increasingly fragmented landscapes of agriculture and other land uses that are misaligned with grassland bird conservation. Concurrent with habitat loss and degradation, temperate grasslands have been disproportionally affected by climate change relative to most other terrestrial biomes. Distributions of grassland birds often correlate with gradients in climate, but few researchers have explored the consequences of weather on the demography of grassland birds inhabiting a range of grassland fragments. To do so, we modeled the effects of temperature and precipitation on nesting success rates of 12 grassland bird species inhabiting a range of grassland patches across North America (21,000 nests from 81 individual studies). Higher amounts of precipitation in the preceding year were associated with higher nesting success, but wetter conditions during the active breeding season reduced nesting success. Extremely cold or hot conditions during the early breeding season were associated with lower rates of nesting success. The direct and indirect influence of temperature and precipitation on nesting success was moderated by grassland patch size. The positive effects of precipitation in the preceding year on nesting success were strongest in relatively small grassland patches and had little effect in large patches. Conversely, warm temperatures reduced nesting success in small grassland patches but increased nesting success in large patches. Mechanisms underlying these differences may be patch-size-induced variation in microclimates and predator activity. Although the exact cause is unclear, large grassland patches, the most common metric of grassland conservation, appears to moderate the effects of weather on grassland-bird demography and could be an effective component of climate-change adaptation.

  15. Abundance and potential metabolic activity of methanogens in well-aerated forest and grassland soils of an alpine region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Praeg, Nadine; Mutschlechner, Mira; Wagner, Andreas O; Illmer, Paul

    2016-02-01

    Although methanogens were recently discovered to occur in aerated soils, alpine regions have not been extensively studied for their presence so far. Here, the abundance of archaea and the methanogenic guilds Methanosarcinales, Methanococcales, Methanobacteriales, Methanomicrobiales and Methanocella spp. was studied at 16 coniferous forest and 14 grassland sites located at the montane and subalpine belts of the Northern Limestone Alps (calcareous) and the Austrian Central Alps (siliceous) using quantitative real-time PCR. Abundance of archaea, methanogens and the methanogenic potentials were significantly higher in grasslands than in forests. Furthermore, methanogenic potentials of calcareous soils were higher due to pH. Methanococcales, Methanomicrobiales and Methanocella spp. were detected in all collected samples, which indicates that they are autochthonous, while Methanobacteriales were absent from 4 out of 16 forest soils. Methanosarcinales were absent from 10 out of 16 forest soils and 2 out of 14 grassland soils. Nevertheless, together with Methanococcales they represented the majority of the 16S rRNA gene copies quantified from the grassland soils. Contrarily, forest soils were clearly dominated by Methanococcales. Our results indicate a higher diversity of methanogens in well-aerated soils than previously believed and that pH mainly influences their abundances and activities. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Activity and diversity of methane-oxidizing bacteria in glacier forefields on siliceous and calcareous bedrock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Nauer

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The global methane (CH4 cycle is largely driven by methanogenic archaea and methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB, but little is known about their activity and diversity in pioneer ecosystems. We conducted a field survey in forefields of 13 receding Swiss glaciers on both siliceous and calcareous bedrock to investigate and quantify CH4 turnover based on soil-gas CH4 concentration profiles, and to characterize the MOB community by sequencing and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP analysis of pmoA. Methane turnover was fundamentally different in the two bedrock categories. Of the 36 CH4 concentration profiles from siliceous locations, 11 showed atmospheric CH4 consumption at concentrations of ~1–2 μL L−1 with soil-atmosphere CH4 fluxes of –0.14 to –1.1 mg m−2 d−1. Another 11 profiles showed no apparent activity, while the remaining 14 exhibited slightly increased CH4 concentrations of ~2–10 μL L−1 , most likely due to microsite methanogenesis. In contrast, all profiles from calcareous sites suggested a substantial, yet unknown CH4 source below our sampling zone, with soil-gas CH4 concentrations reaching up to 1400 μL L−1. Remarkably, most soils oxidized ~90 % of the deep-soil CH4, resulting in soil-atmosphere fluxes of 0.12 to 31 mg m−2 d−1. MOB showed limited diversity in both siliceous and calcareous forefields: all identified pmoA sequences formed only 5 operational taxonomic units (OTUs at the species level and, with one exception, could be assigned to either Methylocystis or the as-yet-uncultivated Upland Soil Cluster γ (USCγ. The latter dominated T-RFLP patterns of all siliceous and most calcareous samples, while Methylocystis dominated in 4 calcareous samples. Members of Upland Soil

  17. Plant species and functional group effects on abiotic and microbial soil properties and plant-soil feedback responses in two grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Lawson, C.S.; Hedlund, K.; Edwards, A.R.; Brooks, A.J.; Igual, J.M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    1 Plant species differ in their capacity to influence soil organic matter, soil nutrient availability and the composition of soil microbial communities. Their influences on soil properties result in net positive or negative feedback effects, which influence plant performance and plant community

  18. Density-dependency and plant-soil feedback: former plant abundance influences competitive interactions between two grassland plant species through plant-soil feedbacks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xue, W.; Bezemer, T.M.; Berendse, Frank

    2018-01-01

    Backgrounds and aims Negative plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) are thought to promote species coexistence, but most evidence is derived from theoretical models and data from plant monoculture experiments. Methods We grew Anthoxanthum odoratum and Centaurea jacea in field plots in monocultures and in

  19. How too much care kills species: Grassland reserves, agri-environmental schemes and extinction of Colias myrmidone butterfly from its former stronghold

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Konvička, Martin; Beneš, Jiří; Čížek, Oldřich; Kopeček, F.; Konvička, O.; Vitaz, L.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 5 (2008), s. 519-525 ISSN 1366-638X R&D Projects: GA ČR GD206/03/H034 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : endangered species * habitat quality * landscape management Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.838, year: 2008

  20. Effects of elevated CO₂, warming and precipitation change on plant growth, photosynthesis and peroxidation in dominant species from North China grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhenzhu; Shimizu, Hideyuki; Ito, Shoko; Yagasaki, Yasumi; Zou, Chunjing; Zhou, Guangsheng; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2014-02-01

    Warming, watering and elevated atmospheric CO₂-concentration effects have been extensively studied separately; however, their combined impact on plants is not well understood. In the current research, we examined plant growth and physiological responses of three dominant species from the Eurasian Steppe with different functional traits to a combination of elevated CO₂, high temperature, and four simulated precipitation patterns. Elevated CO₂ stimulated plant growth by 10.8-41.7 % for a C₃ leguminous shrub, Caragana microphylla, and by 33.2-52.3 % for a C₃ grass, Stipa grandis, across all temperature and watering treatments. Elevated CO₂, however, did not affect plant biomass of a C₄ grass, Cleistogenes squarrosa, under normal or increased precipitation, whereas a 20.0-69.7 % stimulation of growth occurred with elevated CO₂ under drought conditions. Plant growth was enhanced in the C₃ shrub and the C₄ grass by warming under normal precipitation, but declined drastically with severe drought. The effects of elevated CO₂ on leaf traits, biomass allocation and photosynthetic potential were remarkably species-dependent. Suppression of photosynthetic activity, and enhancement of cell peroxidation by a combination of warming and severe drought, were partly alleviated by elevated CO₂. The relationships between plant functional traits and physiological activities and their responses to climate change were discussed. The present results suggested that the response to CO₂ enrichment may strongly depend on the response of specific species under varying patterns of precipitation, with or without warming, highlighting that individual species and multifactor dependencies must be considered in a projection of terrestrial ecosystem response to climatic change.

  1. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  2. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  3. Effect of phosphorus availability on the selection of species with different ploidy levels and genome sizes in a long-term grassland fertilization experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šmarda, Petr; Hejcman, Michal; Březinová, Alexandra; Horová, Lucie; Steigerová, Helena; Zedek, František; Bureš, Petr; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Schellberg, Jürgen

    2013-11-01

    Polyploidy and increased genome size are hypothesized to increase organismal nutrient demands, namely of phosphorus (P), which is an essential and abundant component of nucleic acids. Therefore, polyploids and plants with larger genomes are expected to be selectively disadvantaged in P-limited environments. However, this hypothesis has yet to be experimentally tested. We measured the somatic DNA content and ploidy level in 74 vascular plant species in a long-term fertilization experiment. The differences between the fertilizer treatments regarding the DNA content and ploidy level of the established species were tested using phylogeny-based statistics. The percentage and biomass of polyploid species clearly increased with soil P in particular fertilizer treatments, and a similar but weaker trend was observed for the DNA content. These increases were associated with the dominance of competitive life strategy (particularly advantageous in the P-treated plots) in polyploids and the enhanced competitive ability of dominant polyploid grasses at high soil P concentrations, indicating their increased P limitation. Our results verify the hypothesized effect of P availability on the selection of polyploids and plants with increased genome sizes, although the relative contribution of increased P demands vs increased competitiveness as causes of the observed pattern requires further evaluation. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Fragmentation, Fusion, and Genetic Homogeneity in a Calcareous Sponge (Porifera, Calcarea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padua, André; Leocorny, Pedro; Custódio, Márcio Reis; Klautau, Michelle

    2016-06-01

    Sessile marine invertebrates living on hard substrata usually present strategies such as size variations, longer life spans, fragmentation and fusion to occupy and compete for space. Calcareous sponges are usually small and short-lived, and some species are known to undergo frequent fragmentation and fusion events. However, whether fusion occurs only between genetically identical individuals remains unclear. We investigated the occurrence of chimaeras in the calcareous sponge Clathrina aurea by following the dynamics of fragmentation and fusion of 66 individuals in the field for up to 18 months and determined size variations and the life span of each individual. Microsatellites were used to determine whether fusion events occur among genetically different individuals. Growth and shrinkage of individuals were frequently observed, showing that size cannot be associated with age in C. aurea. The life span of the species ranged from 1 to 16 months (mean: 4.7 months). Short life spans and variable growth rates have been observed in other species of the class Calcarea. Fragmentation and fusion events were observed, but fusion events always occurred between genetically identical individuals, as has been suggested by graft experiments in adult Demospongiae and other Calcarea. These results suggest that at least C. aurea adults may have some mechanism to avoid chimaerism. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Efficacy of exclosures in conserving local shrub biodiversity in xeric sandy grassland, Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng-Rui Li; Zhi-Yu Zhou; Li-Ya Zhao; Ai-Sheng Zhang; Ling-Fen Kang

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the abundance and frequency of occurrence of all shrub species present in the standing vegetation at four sites, including a 5-year exclosure (protected grassland) and three adjacent unprotected grazing sites that had been subjected to different levels of degradation (light, moderate and severe), in xeric sandy grassland of Inner Mongolia for...

  9. Balance matters : N:P stoichiometry and plant diversity in grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Eutrophication of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) is threatening the functioning and biodiversity of grassland ecosystems. A well known effect of eutrophication on grasslands is an increase of above-ground productivity, which intensifies light competition and allows only a few competitive species to

  10. Vascular plants and a brief history of the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald L. Hazlett; Michael H. Schiebout; Paulette L. Ford

    2009-01-01

    Administered by the USDA Forest Service, the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands occupy 230,000 acres of public land extending from northeastern New Mexico into the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas. A mosaic of topographic features including canyons, plateaus, rolling grasslands and outcrops supports a diverse flora. Eight hundred twenty six (826) species of...

  11. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities differ in their species composition, and, thus, also in their functional trait composition, at different stages in the succession from arable fields to grazed grassland. We examine whether aerial hyperspectral (414–2501 nm remote sensing can be used to discriminate between grazed vegetation belonging to different grassland successional stages. Vascular plant species were recorded in 104.1 m2 plots on the island of Öland (Sweden and the functional properties of the plant species recorded in the plots were characterized in terms of the ground-cover of grasses, specific leaf area and Ellenberg indicator values. Plots were assigned to three different grassland age-classes, representing 5–15, 16–50 and >50 years of grazing management. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models were used to compare classifications based on aerial hyperspectral data with the age-class classification. The remote sensing data successfully classified the plots into age-classes: the overall classification accuracy was higher for a model based on a pre-selected set of wavebands (85%, Kappa statistic value = 0.77 than one using the full set of wavebands (77%, Kappa statistic value = 0.65. Our results show that nutrient availability and grass cover differences between grassland age-classes are detectable by spectral imaging. These techniques may potentially be used for mapping the spatial distribution of grassland habitats at different successional stages.

  12. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species’ ecological niches distances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.

  13. Sinemurian–Pliensbachian calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy and organic carbon isotope stratigraphy in the Paris Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peti, Leonie; Thibault, Nicolas Rudolph; Clemence, Marie-Emilie

    2017-01-01

    The biostratigraphy of Sinemurian to lower Toarcian calcareous nannofossils has been investigated in the Sancerre-Couy core (Paris Basin), which contains a mixed assemblage of species with affinities to the northern and southern areas of the peri-tethyan realm, thus allowing for the use and calib......The biostratigraphy of Sinemurian to lower Toarcian calcareous nannofossils has been investigated in the Sancerre-Couy core (Paris Basin), which contains a mixed assemblage of species with affinities to the northern and southern areas of the peri-tethyan realm, thus allowing for the use...... organic carbon isotope curve based on 385 data points. The main bioevents, i.e. the first occurrences of Parhabdolithus liasicus, Crepidolithus pliensbachensis, Crepidolithus crassus, Mitrolithus lenticularis, Similiscutum cruciulus sensu lato, Lotharingius hauffii, Crepidolithus cavus and Lotharingius...... between the different domains. In addition to the nine main bioevents used for the biozonation of the core, we document an additional 50 distinct bioevents, evaluate their reliability and discuss their potential significance by comparison to previous studies. A total of five significant negative organic...

  14. Effects of elevated ozone on leaf {delta}{sup 13}C and leaf conductance of plant species grown in semi-natural grassland with or without irrigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaeggi, M. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)]. E-mail: maya.jaeggi@psi.ch; Saurer, M. [Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen PSI (Switzerland); Volk, M. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland); Fuhrer, J. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)

    2005-03-01

    Stable carbon isotope ratios ({delta}{sup 13}C) and leaf conductance (g{sub s}) were measured (2002, 2003) in Holcus lanatus L., Plantago lanceolata L. Ranunculus friesianus (Jord.), and Trifolium pratense L. at two levels of ozone (O{sub 3}) with or without irrigation. In non-irrigated control plots, R. friesianus showed the least negative {delta}{sup 13}C, and the smallest response to the treatments. Irrigation caused more negative {delta}{sup 13}C, especially in H. lanatus. Irrespective of irrigation, O{sub 3} increased {delta}{sup 13}C in relationship to a decrease in g{sub s} in P. lanceolata and T. pratense. The strongest effect of O{sub 3} on {delta}{sup 13}C occurred in the absence of irrigation, suggesting that under field conditions lack of moisture in the top soil does not always lead to protection from O{sub 3} uptake. It is concluded that in species such as T. pratense plants can maintain stomatal O{sub 3} uptake during dry periods when roots can reach deeper soil layers where water is not limiting. - Under natural field conditions, lack of precipitation may not protect semi-natural vegetation from O{sub 3} effects on leaf gas exchange.

  15. Effects of elevated ozone on leaf δ13C and leaf conductance of plant species grown in semi-natural grassland with or without irrigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaeggi, M.; Saurer, M.; Volk, M.; Fuhrer, J.

    2005-01-01

    Stable carbon isotope ratios (δ 13 C) and leaf conductance (g s ) were measured (2002, 2003) in Holcus lanatus L., Plantago lanceolata L. Ranunculus friesianus (Jord.), and Trifolium pratense L. at two levels of ozone (O 3 ) with or without irrigation. In non-irrigated control plots, R. friesianus showed the least negative δ 13 C, and the smallest response to the treatments. Irrigation caused more negative δ 13 C, especially in H. lanatus. Irrespective of irrigation, O 3 increased δ 13 C in relationship to a decrease in g s in P. lanceolata and T. pratense. The strongest effect of O 3 on δ 13 C occurred in the absence of irrigation, suggesting that under field conditions lack of moisture in the top soil does not always lead to protection from O 3 uptake. It is concluded that in species such as T. pratense plants can maintain stomatal O 3 uptake during dry periods when roots can reach deeper soil layers where water is not limiting. - Under natural field conditions, lack of precipitation may not protect semi-natural vegetation from O 3 effects on leaf gas exchange

  16. Endogenous and bioaugmented sulphate reduction in calcareous gypsiferous soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alfaya, F.; Cuenca-Sanchez, M.; Garcia-Orenes, F.; Lens, P.N.L.

    2009-01-01

    Gypsiferous soils have a high agricultural value, but their utilization is limited by the presence of gypsum that can induce hardpan and vertical crusting. This paper reports on sulphate reduction in this soil type as a basis of a bioremediation technology to remove the gypsum content of calcareous

  17. Highly calcareous lacustrine soils in the Great Konya Basin, Turkey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meester, de T.

    1971-01-01

    The Great Konya Basin is in the south of the Central Anatolian Plateau in Turkey. It is a depression without outlet to the sea. The central part of the Basin is the floor of a former Pleistocene lake, the Ancient Konya Lake. This area, called the Lacustrine
    Plain, has highly calcareous

  18. EARLY TO LATE OLIGOCENE CALCAREOUS NANNOFOSSIL BIOEVENTS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (UMBRIA-MARCHE BASIN, CENTRAL ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PATRIZIA MAIORANO

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Calcareous nannofossil assemblages have been investigated by means of quantitative analyses in three Oligocene pelagic sections located in the Umbria-Marche Apennines (Central Italy. The studied sections mainly consist of marly limestones and marls belonging to the Scaglia Cinerea Formation, and include the interval between NP23 and NP25 representing a time interval of about 3.5 Ma. Biostratigraphic resolution is extremely low and only two standard bioevents are known, which are the FO of Sphenolithus ciperoensis and the LO of Sphenolithus distentus. The distribution patterns of poorly known or recently described calcareous nannofossils provided a valuable tool for improving the current biostratigraphic framework. The studied interval is characterized by significant changes in the calcareous nannofossil assemblages and by several extinction events. The last occurrence (LO and/or the last common occurrence (LCO here proposed are: the LO of Sphenolithus akropodus, the LO of Reticulofenestra circus, the LCO of Helicosphaera ethologa, the LCO of Helicosphaera compactathe LO of Discoaster tanii nodifer. The reversal in abundance between Sphenolithus predistentus and S. distentus provided an additional biostratigraphic constraint at the NP23-NP24 transition. In addition biometric criteria enabled the recognition of the first common occurrence (FCO of Cyclicargolithus abisectus > 12 mm as potential bioevent within NP24. The quantitative distribution of Sphenolithus distentus suggests to rely on the LCO of the species rather than on the LO, for the identification of NP24-NP25 boundary. The identified bioevents is a first step towards the improvement of the present Mediterranean biostratigraphic framework of the Oligocene geological record. A preliminary correlation of the bioevents to the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale is presented.

  19. Paleocene calcareous nannofossils biostratigraphy from the Sergipe Sub-basin, northeastern Brazil: Implications for this depositional environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade Oliveira, Geize Carolinne Correia; de Oliveira, Rick Souza; Monte Guerra, Rodrigo; de Lima Filho, Mario Ferreira

    2018-03-01

    This study reports on the biostratigraphy of Paleocene calcareous nannofossils and paleoenvironmental inferences based on five wells drilled on the offshore portion of the Sergipe Sub-basin. Five biostratigraphic zones were defined for the Paleocene in zones of Brazilian continental margin basins N-305, N-307, N-330, N-340 and N-350, and four hiatuses were identified based on the absence of marker species. These hiatuses were interpreted as excavations originated by turbulent to hyperpycnal flows, revealing an important application of biostratigraphy to better understand depositional environments that are often limited by little variation in lithology or low variation in the well log patterns. In Paleoecological terms, the Sergipe Sub-basin, in the Paleocene, experienced geological and environmental events similar to those of other sedimentary basins on the eastern passive continental margin of Brazil, but has a more complete biostratigraphic record of calcareous nannofossils.

  20. Effects of 10-Year Management Regimes on the Soil Seed Bank in Saline-Alkaline Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Hongyuan; Yang, Haoyu; Liang, Zhengwei; Ooi, Mark K. J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Management regimes for vegetation restoration of degraded grasslands can significantly affect the process of ecological succession. However, few studies have focused on variation in the soil seed bank during vegetation restoration under different management regimes, especially in saline-alkaline grassland habitats. Our aim was to provide insights into the ecological effects of grassland management regimes on soil seed bank composition and vegetation establishment in mown, fenced, transplanted and natural grassland sites, all dominated by the perennial rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis. Methodology We studied species composition and diversity in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation in differently managed grasslands in Northeast China. An NMDS (nonmetric multidimensional scaling) was used to evaluate the relationship between species composition, soil seed banks, aboveground vegetation and soil properties. Principal Findings Fenced and mown grassland sites had high density and species richness in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation. The Transplanted treatment exhibited the highest vegetation growth and seed production of the target species L. chinensis. Seeds of L. chinensis in the soil occurred only in transplanted and natural grassland. Based on the NMDS analysis, the number of species in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation were significantly related to soil Na+, Cl-, RSC (residual sodium carbonate), alkalinity, ESP (exchangeable sodium percentage) and AP (available phosphorus). Conclusions Soil seed bank composition and diversity in the saline-alkaline grassland were significantly affected by the management regimes implemented, and were also significantly related to the aboveground vegetation and several soil properties. Based on vegetative growth, reproductive output and maintenance of soil seed bank, the transplanting was identified as the most effective method for relatively rapid restoration of the target

  1. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that is available to agricultural producers to help protect environmentally sensitive or highly erodible land. Management disturbances of CRP grasslands generally are not allowed unless authorized to provide relief to livestock producers during severe drought or a similar natural disaster (i.e., emergency haying and grazing) or to improve the quality and performance of the CRP cover (i.e., managed haying and grazing). Although CRP grasslands may not be hayed or grazed during the primary bird-nesting season, these disturbances may have short-term (1 yr after disturbance) and long-term (≥2 yr after disturbance) effects on grassland bird populations. We assessed the effects of haying on 20 grassland bird species in 483 CRP grasslands in 9 counties of 4 states in the northern Great Plains, USA between 1993 and 2008. We compared breeding bird densities (as determined by total-area counts) in idle and hayed fields to evaluate changes 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after haying. Haying of CRP grasslands had either positive or negative effects on grassland birds, depending on the species, the county, and the number of years after the initial disturbance. Some species (e.g., horned lark [Eremophila alpestris], bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) responded positively after haying, and others (e.g., song sparrow [Melospiza melodia]) responded negatively. The responses of some species changed direction as the fields recovered from haying. For example, densities for common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis), and clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) declined the first year after haying but increased in the subsequent 3 years. Ten species showed treatment × county interactions, indicating that the effects of haying varied geographically. This long-term evaluation on the effects of haying on breeding birds provides important information on the strength and direction of changes in

  2. Pleistocene calcareous nannofossil biochronology at IODP Site U1385 (Expedition 339)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestra, B.; Flores, J.-A.; Hodell, D. A.; Hernández-Molina, F. J.; Stow, D. A. V.

    2015-12-01

    During Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 339, Site U1385 (37°34‧N, 10°7‧W, 2578 m below sea level) was drilled in the lower slope of the Portuguese margin, to provide a marine reference section of Pleistocene millennial-scale climate variability. Five holes were cored using the Advanced Piston Corer (APC) to a depth of ~ 151 m below sea floor (mbsf) recovering a continuous stratigraphic record covering the past 1.4 Ma. Here we present results of the succession of standard and unconventional calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphic events. The quantitative study of calcareous nannofossils showed well-preserved and abundant assemblages throughout the core. Most conventional Pleistocene events were recognized and the timing of bioevents were calibrated using correlation to the new oxygen isotope stratigraphy record developed for the Site U1385. The analyses provide further data on the stratigraphic distribution of selected species and genera, such as the large Emiliania huxleyi (> 4 μm), Gephyrocapsa caribbeanica, Helicosphaera inversa, Gephyrocapsa omega and Reticulofenestra asanoi (> 6 μm) and other circular-subcircular small reticulofenestrids, resulting in new insights into the environmental control of their stratigraphic patterns. Finally, the comparison between nannofossil datums and oxygen isotope stratigraphy on the same samples has resulted in an accurate revision of timing of the events, providing valuable biochronologic information.

  3. Assessing the biophysical naturalness of grassland in eastern North Dakota with hyperspectral imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Over the past two decades, non-native species within grassland communities have quickly developed due to human migration and commerce. Invasive species like Smooth Brome grass (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis), seriously threaten conservation of native grasslands. This study aims to discriminate between native grasslands and planted hayfields and conservation areas dominated by introduced grasses using hyperspectral imagery. Hyperspectral imageries from the Hyperion sensor on EO-1 were acquired in late spring and late summer on 2009 and 2010. Field spectra for widely distributed species as well as smooth brome grass and Kentucky blue grass were collected from the study sites throughout the growing season. Imagery was processed with an unmixing algorithm to estimate fractional cover of green and dry vegetation and bare soil. As the spectrum is significantly different through growing season, spectral libraries for the most common species are then built for both the early growing season and late growing season. After testing multiple methods, the Adaptive Coherence Estimator (ACE) was used for spectral matching analysis between the imagery and spectral libraries. Due in part to spectral similarity among key species, the results of spectral matching analysis were not definitive. Additional indexes, "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance", were calculated to measure the predominance of spectral signatures in any area. A Texture co-occurrence analysis was also performed on both "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" indexes to extract spatial characteristics. The results suggest that compared with disturbed area, native prairie tend to have generally lower "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" as well as lower spatial dissimilarity. A final decision tree model was created to predict presence of native or introduced grassland. The model was more effective for identification of Mixed Native Grassland than for grassland dominated by a single

  4. Long-term effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on species composition and productivity of a southern African C4 dominated grassland in the vicinity of a CO2 exhalation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stock, W.D.; Ludwig, F.; Morrow, C.; Midgley, G.F.; Wand, S.J.E.; Allsopp, N.; Bell, T.L.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the long-term effects of a CO2 exhalation, created more than 70 years ago, on a natural C4 dominated sub-tropical grassland in terms of ecosystem structure and functioning. We tested whether long-term CO2 enrichment changes the competitive balance between plants with C3 and C4

  5. Relationship between soil chemical factors and grassland diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssens, F; Peeters, A; Tallowin, JRB; Bakker, JP; Bekker, RM; Fillat, F; Oomes, MJM

    Many studies carried out during these last few years have focused on the factors influencing plant diversity in species-rich grasslands. This is due to the fact that these ecosystems, among the most diversified in temperate climates, are extremely threatened; in some areas, they have almost

  6. The effect of grassland management on enchytraeids (Oligochaeta) communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maraldo, Kristine; Schmelz, Rüdiger; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup

    2012-01-01

    Enchytraeids (small white earthworms between 3 to 35 mm) are important regulators of nitrogen turnover in grasslands, as their activities accelerate the decomposition and nutrient recycling processes. In this study, the effect of management on species composition, abundance and biomass of the enc...... biomass and density of the grazed plots are due to compaction by grazing animals....

  7. Effect of burn area on invertebrate recolonization in grasslands in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our study examined the short-term response of grassland invertebrate communities to fire in the South African Drakensberg, in relation to distance from the edge of a burn. We aimed to establish which species survive fire and the dynamics of the post-fire recolonization process, and thereby contribute to establishing the ...

  8. Pollination of two species of Vellozia (Velloziaceae from high-altitude quartzitic grasslands, Brazil Polinização de duas espécies de Vellozia (Velloziaceae de campos quartzíticos de altitude, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Maria Jacobi

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The pollinators and breeding system of two species of Vellozia (Velloziaceae from high-altitude quartzitic grasslands in SE Brazil were studied. Vellozia leptopetala is shrubby and grows solely on rocky outcrops, V. epidendroides is herbaceous and grows on stony soils. Both bear solitary, hermaphrodite flowers, and have massive, short-lasting annual blooms. We evaluated the level of self-compatibility and need for pollinators of 50 plants of each species and 20-60 flowers per treatment: hand self- and cross-pollination, spontaneous pollination, agamospermy and control. The behavior of floral visitors on flowers and within plants was recorded. Both species are mostly self-incompatible, but produce a small number of seeds by self-fertilization. The pollen-ovule ratio suggests facultative xenogamy. They were visited primarily by bees, of which the most important pollinators were two leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.. Vellozia leptopetala was also pollinated by a territorial hummingbird. Low natural seed production compared to cross-pollination seed numbers suggests that pollen limitation is the main cause of low seed set. This was attributed to the combined effect of five mechanisms: selfing prior to anthesis, enhanced geitonogamy as a result of large floral displays, low number of visits per flower for the same reason, pollen theft by many insect species, and, in V. leptopetala, delivery of mixed pollen loads on the stigma as a consequence of hummingbird promiscuity.Foram pesquisados os polinizadores e o sistema reprodutivo de duas espécies de Vellozia (Velloziaceae de campos rupestres quartzíticos do sudeste do Brasil. Vellozia leptopetala é arborescente e cresce exclusivamente sobre afloramentos rochosos, V. epidendroides é de porte herbáceo e espalha-se sobre solo pedregoso. Ambas têm flores hermafroditas e solitárias, e floradas curtas em massa. Avaliou-se o nível de auto-compatibilidade e a necessidade de polinizadores, em 50 plantas

  9. Traditional cattle grazing in a mosaic alkali landscape: effects on grassland biodiversity along a moisture gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter Török

    Full Text Available Extensively managed pastures are of crucial importance in sustaining biodiversity both in local- and landscape-level. Thus, re-introduction of traditional grazing management is a crucial issue in grassland conservation actions worldwide. Traditional grazing with robust cattle breeds in low stocking rates is considered to be especially useful to mimic natural grazing regimes, but well documented case-studies are surprisingly rare on this topic. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of traditional Hungarian Grey cattle grazing as a conservation action in a mosaic alkali landscape. We asked the following questions: (i How does cattle grazing affect species composition and diversity of the grasslands? (ii What are the effects of grazing on short-lived and perennial noxious species? (iii Are there distinct effects of grazing in dry-, mesophilous- and wet grassland types? Vegetation of fenced and grazed plots in a 200-ha sized habitat complex (secondary dry grasslands and pristine mesophilous- and wet alkali grasslands was sampled from 2006-2009 in East-Hungary. We found higher diversity scores in grazed plots compared to fenced ones in mesophilous- and wet grasslands. Higher cover of noxious species was typical in fenced plots compared to their grazed counterparts in the last year in every studied grassland type. We found an increasing effect of grazing from the dry- towards the wet grassland types. The year-to-year differences also followed similar pattern: the site-dependent effects were the lowest in the dry grassland and an increasing effect was detected along the moisture gradient. We found that extensive Hungarian Grey cattle grazing is an effective tool to suppress noxious species and to create a mosaic vegetation structure, which enables to maintain high species richness in the landscape. Hungarian Grey cattle can feed in open habitats along long moisture gradient, thus in highly mosaic landscapes this breed can be the most suitable

  10. Pollination biology in a tropical high-altitude grassland in Brazil: Interactions at the community level

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, L; Sazima, M

    2006-01-01

    Surveys of local assemblages of plants and their pollinators are among the most useful ways to evaluate specialization in pollination and to discuss the patterns of plant-pollinator interactions among ecosystems. The high-altitude grasslands from southeastern Brazil constitute diminutive island-like formations surrounded by montane rainforests. We registered the floral traits of 124 species from the Serra da Bricaina grasslands (about 60% of the animal-pollinated species of this flora), and d...

  11. Responses of soil fungal community to the sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shao-Kun; Zuo, Xiao-An; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Qiang; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Luo, Yong-Qing; Yun, Jian-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Sandy grassland restoration is a vital process including re-structure of soils, restoration of vegetation, and soil functioning in arid and semi-arid regions. Soil fungal community is a complex and critical component of soil functioning and ecological balance due to its roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling following sandy grassland restoration. In this study, soil fungal community and its relationship with environmental factors were examined along a habitat gradient of sandy grassland restoration: mobile dunes (MD), semi-fixed dunes (SFD), fixed dunes (FD), and grassland (G). It was found that species abundance, richness, and diversity of fungal community increased along with the sandy grassland restoration. The sequences analysis suggested that most of the fungal species (68.4 %) belonged to the phylum of Ascomycota. The three predominant fungal species were Pleospora herbarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Deconica Montana, accounting for more than one fourth of all the 38 species. Geranomyces variabilis was the subdominant species in MD, Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Mortierella alpine were the subdominant species in SFD, and P. destructans and Fungi incertae sedis were the dominant species in FD and G. The result from redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise regression analysis indicated that the vegetation characteristics and soil properties explain a significant proportion of the variation in the fungal community, and aboveground biomass and C:N ratio are the key factors to determine soil fungal community composition during sandy grassland restoration. It was suggested that the restoration of sandy grassland combined with vegetation and soil properties improved the soil fungal diversity. Also, the dominant species was found to be alternative following the restoration of sandy grassland ecosystems.

  12. TL studies of calcareous rocks of Danta area, North Gujarat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Limaye, M.A.; Desai, S.J.; Murthy, K.V.R.; Joshi, T.R.

    1992-01-01

    The lithounits exposed around Danta in Banaskantha district of North Gujarat belong to Ajabgarh Group, the upper division of the Delhi super group. These rocks are intruded by syn to late kinematic basic rocks and by Erinpura granites of post Delhi age. The Ajabgarh group consists of pelitic and calcareous components. Mineralogically the pelitic rocks comprise cordierite, almandine garnet, k-feldspar, sillimanite, quartz and mica in variable proportions. The calcareous rocks are seen to contain dominantly calcite, scapolite, forsterite, sphene, k-feldspar. These mineral assemblages correspond to upper Amphibolite to lower Granulite facies of regional metamorphism. The chemistry of the calcareous rocks show predominance of CaO over MgO. The glow curves obtained from virgin samples (NTL) as well as artificial beta irradiated indicate glow peaks at 140 o C, 290 o C, 310 o C and 390 o C. The TL glow peak temperatures are in general agreement with those reported by Borsi and Rinaldi and Medlin. The pronounced peak at 390 o C and 290 o C are suggestive of their high irradiation sensitivity and also probably reflect variation in the Mn content of the rocks. (author). 9 refs., 16 tabs., 2 figs

  13. Does the surrounding landscape heterogeneity affect the butterflies of insular grassland reserves? A contrast between composition and configuration

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šlancarová, Jana; Beneš, Jiří; Kristýnek, M.; Kepka, P.; Konvička, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 1 (2014), s. 1-12 ISSN 1366-638X R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/2167 Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 114/2012/P; GA JU(CZ) 144/2010/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : butterfly communities * calcareous grasslands * GIS Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.717, year: 2014 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10841-013-9607-3#

  14. Ecology, reproductive biology and conservation of Picris willkommii (Schultz Bip.) Nyman (Asteraceae): an endemic, protected species from therophytic grasslands of South-Western Iberian Peninsula; Ecologia, biologia reproductiva y conservacion de Picris willkommii (Schultz Bip.) Nyman (Asteraceae): endemismo protegido integrado en pastos terofiticos del suroeste de la Peninsula Iberica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monteagudo Sanchez-Movellan, F. J.; Butler Sierra, I.; Bastida Milian, F.

    2009-07-01

    Current knowledge of the biology of Picris willkommii and his grade of threat, seem not to be sufficient to ensure long term persistence of this plant species endemic to the South-Western Iberian Peninsula. In Spain, main populations of the species are narrowly restricted to therophytic grasslands around the town of Ayamonte, by the Guadiana river drainage. Results of the present study indicate that P. willkommii behaves as a very versatile, colonizing species in most of the habitats of their natural range, where it appears to be well suited to the cyclic disturbance dynamics imposed by local, traditional land uses, i.e. extensive rain-fed agriculture. Moreover, it is easy to grow under controlled conditions. Results could be helpful for conservation and population recovery purposes, as recent changes in land use, shifting from agricultural traditional systems to urban expansion or alternative agricultural systems, pose at risk P. willkommii populations due to habitat loss. (Author) 35 refs.

  15. Fate of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Coated onto Macronutrient Fertilizers in an Alkaline Calcareous Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Narges; Hettiarachchi, Ganga M.; Kirby, Jason K.; Beak, Douglas G.; Stacey, Samuel P.; McLaughlin, Mike J.

    2015-01-01

    Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles may provide a more soluble and plant available source of Zn in Zn fertilizers due to their greater reactivity compared to equivalent micron- or millimetre-sized (bulk) particles. However, the effect of soil on solubility, spatial distribution and speciation of ZnO nanoparticles has not yet been investigated. In this study, we examined the diffusion and solid phase speciation of Zn in an alkaline calcareous soil following application of nanoparticulate and bulk ZnO coated fertilizer products (monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and urea) using laboratory-based x-ray techniques and synchrotron-based μ-x-ray fluorescence (μ–XRF) mapping and absorption fine structure spectroscopy (μ–XAFS). Mapping of the soil-fertilizer reaction zones revealed that most of the applied Zn for all treatments remained on the coated fertilizer granule or close to the point of application after five weeks of incubation in soil. Zinc precipitated mainly as scholzite (CaZn2(PO4)2.2H2O) and zinc ammonium phosphate (Zn(NH4)PO4) species at the surface of MAP granules. These reactions reduced dissolution and diffusion of Zn from the MAP granules. Although Zn remained as zincite (ZnO) at the surface of urea granules, limited diffusion of Zn from ZnO-coated urea granules was also observed for both bulk and nanoparticulate ZnO treatments. This might be due to either the high pH of urea granules, which reduced solubility of Zn, or aggregation (due to high ionic strength) of released ZnO nanoparticles around the granule/point of application. The relative proportion of Zn(OH)2 and ZnCO3 species increased for all Zn treatments with increasing distance from coated MAP and urea granules in the calcareous soil. When coated on macronutrient fertilizers, Zn from ZnO nanoparticles (without surface modifiers) was not more mobile or diffusible compared to bulk forms of ZnO. The results also suggest that risk associated with the presence of ZnO NPs in calcareous soils would be the

  16. Distribution characteristics of Shihongtan uranium deposits calcareous sandstone and discussion on their genesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Huanqiao; Jia Heng; Xu Gaozhong; Li Zhanyou

    2007-12-01

    It is considered that the calcareous sandstone appear at layer along of a bunch of pear lens on and off, localled near up and down surface of sandbody or washed surface, has sandstone of more macro-grain and more gradation through statistics and analysis of calcareous sandstone in goal layer in Shihongtan uranium deposits. The calcareous sandstone accumulation thickness chorogram demonstrated that the calcareous sandstone centralized distribution in the ore body growth area, thus it can be seen, in the oxidation reduction intermediate belt the calcareous sandstone forms with the uranium mine has the certain origin relation. Choropleth map of summed thickness of calcareous sandstone deserves that it mainly appear in area of uranium body and related cause of formation of ore body of interlayer deacidizing--oxidation belt. (authors)

  17. Discussion on distribution characteristics of calcareous sandstone in Shihongtan uranium deposit and its genesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Huanqiao; Qiao Haiming; Jia Heng; Xu Gaozhong

    2007-01-01

    Based on the observation and statistics on the calcareous sandstone in the ore host layer in Shihongtan uranium deposit, this paper finds that the calcareous sandstone occurs on and off near the top or wash surface of the sandbody as beads-strings lens along the layer and concentrates in the area where the ore bodies are rich. In lithology, the calcareous sandstone is of coarse grain and fairly well sorted. According to the analysis on the lithogeochemical features and the carbon and oxygen isotopes of calcareous sandstones, it is realized that there some genetic relation between the formation of calcareous sandstone and uranium mineralization in the oxidation-deoxidation transitional belt, that is the precipitation and enrichment of uranium is accompanied by the deposition of carbonate and formation of calcareous sandstone. (authors)

  18. Protecting Mongolia's grassland steppes | CRDI - Centre de ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... windy grassland region is severely damaged, desertification can quickly set in. ... to marketing to the sound use of (grassland) resources," explains Ykhanbai, who ... is going to require improvement in the skills of researchers, adds Ykhanbai.

  19. CALCAREOUS NANNOFOSSIL BIOSTRATIGRAPHY OF UPPER CALLOVIAN-LOWER BERRIASIAN SUCCESSIONS FROM THE SOUTHERN ALPS, NORTH ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CRISTINA EMANUELA CASELLATO

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy was investigated in uppermost Callovian-lower Berriasian sections from Southern Alps, previously detected through magnetostratigraphy, in order to achieve an integrated stratigraphic framework valid at low latitudes. Nannofossil investigations were carried out on smear slides and ultra-thin sections, revealing generally scarce to common abundances and poor-moderate preservation of nannofloras. An exhaustive taxonomic revision was performed to unambiguously separate forms which are transitional between two species and better delineate rapidly evolving groups. Four new species have been described: Zeugrhabdotus fluxus, Nannoconus puer, Nannoconus erbae, Hexalithus geometricus. Particular attention was paid to taxonomical aspects of primitive nannoconids, appearing and evolving across the early-late Tithonian transition and the Tithonian/Berriasian boundary intervals; the revision was also verified at DSDP Site 534A from Atlantic Ocean. Fourty-eight nannofossil bioevents were detected and the results help to increase potential stratigraphic resolution in this interval. Thirty-seven nannofossil bioevents in the upper Kimmeridgian-lower Berriasian interval have been directly correlated to magnetostratigraphy (CM22-CM17 revealing a systematically older stratigraphic occurrence of these taxa than previously reported. A revised and partly new Tethyan calcareous nannofossil zonation scheme is here proposed for the uppermost Callovian-lower Berriasian interval. It consists of seven bio-zones and eight subzones based on thirty-one bioevents, thirteen of them related to dissolution resistant taxa assuring highest reproducibility even in sections with high diagenetic overprint. The proposed biostratigraphic scheme gives higher resolution than previous zonations, especially for the Callovian-Kimmeridgian interval, where no biozonation was available for the Tethyan Realm. 

  20. [Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariottini, Yanina; De Wysiecki, María Laura; Lange, Carlos Ernesto

    2013-03-01

    In Argentina, the grasslands of Pampas region comprise approximately 15% of the country. As in other grasslands of the world, grasshoppers are among the most important native herbivores. Their economic importance has been recognized in Argentina since the mid to late nineteenth century, since outbreaks of different species have become recurrent phenomena. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study their diversity and distribution in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region (Laprida county, Buenos Aires province), as one of the most affected areas. The study was conducted during five seasons (2005-10). Sampling sites were represented by the most common plant communities in this area, classified in four categories: native grasslands, disturbed grasslands, implanted pastures and halophilous grasslands. The samplings were conducted from mid-spring to early autumn, with five or six samples per season. We estimated the following population descriptors: species richness (S), eveness (E), dominance (J), and diversity index (H'). In order to evaluate the similitude of the grasshopper communities present in the different plant communities, we used qualitative and quantitative coefficients of similitude. A total of 22 species of grasshoppers were collected, of which 21 belong to the family Acrididae. The subfamily Melanoplinae was the most diverse with eight species. The largest species richness was recorded in native grasslands (18). The different communities of grasshoppers had similar indices of evenness and dominance (p>0.05). Considering all plant communities, the average value of Shannon-Wiener index was 1.58+/-0.075. There was a positive correlation between evenness index and species richness (pgrasshoppers species richness, and diversity of grasshoppers. According to the qualitative indices applied, the similitude between different grasshopper communities was higher than 60%. In general, the species that had a higher frequency of occurrence showed greater

  1. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  2. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance

  3. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M.; Alder, Peter B.; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Crawley, Michael J.; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hautier, Yann; Heckman, Robert W.; Hector, Andy; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Iribarne, Oscar; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Orrock, John L.; Pascual, Jesús; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Williams, Ryan J.; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

  4. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  5. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leaching losses of nitrogen (N) from soil and atmospheric N deposition have led to widespread changes in plant community and microbial community composition, but our knowledge of the factors that determine ecosystem N retention is limited. A common feature of extensively managed, species-rich grasslands is that they have fungal-dominated microbial communities, which might reduce soil N losses and increase ecosystem N retention, which is pivotal for pollution mitigation and sustainable food production. However, the mechanisms that underpin improved N retention in extensively managed, species-rich grasslands are unclear. We combined a landscape-scale field study and glasshouse experiment to test how grassland management affects plant and soil N retention. Specifically, we hypothesised that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands of high conservation value would have lower N loss and greater N retention than intensively managed, species-poor grasslands, and that this would be due to a greater immobilisation of N by a more fungal-dominated microbial community. In the field study, we found that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands had lower N leaching losses. Soil inorganic N availability decreased with increasing abundance of fungi relative to bacteria, although the best predictor of soil N leaching was the C/N ratio of aboveground plant biomass. In the associated glasshouse experiment we found that retention of added 15N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of 15N in the former, and that microbial immobilisation increased with increasing biomass and abundance of fungi. These findings show that grassland management affects mechanisms of N retention in soil through changes in root and microbial uptake of N. Moreover, they support the notion that microbial communities might be the key to improved N retention through tightening linkages

  6. Miocene oceanographic changes of the western equatorial Atlantic (Ceara Rise) based on calcareous dinoflagellate cysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, S.; Zonneveld, K. A. F.; Willems, H.

    2010-09-01

    The middle- and upper Miocene represent a time-interval of major changes in palaeoceanography that favoured the cooling of the climate and culminated in the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (NHG). The basis for the development of the modern deepwater circulation pattern, e.g. thermohaline circulation, was hereby established. Tectonic events played a key role in the progressing Miocene oceanography, such as the narrowing of the Panama gateway (e.g. Duque-Caro 1990) and the possible linked changes in North Atlantic Deep Water formation (Lear et al. 2003). However, the complex interaction between the closing of the Panama Gateway, the development of NADW, and thus the oceanographic progression towards our present day circulation is far from being fully understood. We want to improve the understanding of these processes by establishing a detailed palaeoceanographic reconstruction of the western equatorial Atlantic Ocean on the basis of calcareous dinoflagellate cyst (dinocyst) associations. Within this study, we investigated sediment samples from ODP Site 926A by defining the calcareous dinocyst assemblage. Site 926A is located at the southwestern flank of the Ceara Rise, an area of highest sensitivity to global deep water circulation changes. At about 12 Ma, when NADW production increased (e.g. Wright et al. 1992), we see a distinct increase in the absolute abundances of the calcareous dinocysts. This might be related to enhanced productivity or to better carbonate preservation. At 11.3 Ma, Leonella granifera, a species known to be strongly related to terrestrial input occurs. This could be a signal for the initiation of the Amazon River as a transcontinental river with the development of the Amazon fan (11.8 - 11.3 Ma; Figueiredo et al. 2009) in relation to Andean tectonism. References: Duque-Caro, H. (1990): Neogene stratigraphy, paleoceanography and palebiology in Northwest South America and the evolution of the Panama Seaway. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity and diversity influence soil organism communities. We examine the effects of grassland plant species growing alone and together up to a richness of 12 species on nematode diversity and feeding group composition, eight years

  8. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this document is to propose how ecological monitoring might be developed in the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Monitoring is defined as the maintenance of regular surveillance to test the null hypothesis of no change...

  9. Effect of phosphate fertilization on the bioavailability of iron in calcareous soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Rodríguez, A. R.; del Campillo, M. C.; Barrón, V.; Torrent, J.

    2012-04-01

    Iron (Fe) chlorosis is the most important nutritional problem in sensitive plant species cultivated in calcareous soils, its main symptoms being interveinal yellowing in the younger leaves due to lack of chlorophyll and reduced growth. Fe chlorosis has been related to the content of poorly crystalline Fe oxides in soil. The effect of other nutrients, especially phosphorus (P), is, however, a matter of debate. In this work we examined whether fertilization with P alters the availability of Fe to sensitive plants growing in two different Fe chlorosis-inducing calcareous soils. Phosphate at rates of 0 (control), 25, 50, 100 and 200 mg P kg-1 soil was applied to pots where six-months-old olive trees cv. Arbequina were grown. The experiment lasted three years and took place in a shaded house. Chlorophyll concentration in the young leaves was estimated with the SPAD value (using a Minolta apparatus) three-four times per year. Furthermore, shoot length, dry weight of annual pruning and mineral element concentration were measured at the end of each year. In one of the soils, SPAD and leaf Fe concentration decreased with increasing P dose. However in the other soil, SPAD was not correlated with the rate of applied P. In both soils, potassium and zinc concentrations in plants fertilized with P were lower than those in the control plants. This work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Projects: AGL 2005-06691-C02-01 and AGL 2008-05053-C02-02, and the European Regional Development Funds. ARSR acknowledges the finnancial support from the Spanish Ministry of Education as a fellow of the program "Training of University Teachers" (Formación del Profesorado Universitario, AP2008-04716)

  10. Effect of FYM on the recovery of applied zinc in DTPA extract under upland and submerged conditions in calcareous and non-calcareous soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deb, D.L.; Leelabhai, K.S.

    1988-01-01

    Studies undertaken to determine the effect of varying levels of FYM application on the recovery of applied zinc in DTPA extract under upland and sub merged conditions in calcareous and non-calcareous soils using 65 Zn under controlled conditions showed that the recovery of fertilizer Zn was reduced significantly with high level of applied Zn and 5 cm standing water over the soil. Application of FYM also tended to reduce the percent recovery of applied Zn. The recovery of applied Zn was found to increase after 60 days (period of contact) in all the tretments. The calcareous soils showed significantly lower recovery of fertilizer Zn than non-calcareous soils. The interactions of 5 cm standing water with all the other factors studied on the recovery of applied Zn were highly significant and negative. (author). 8 refs., 3 tabs

  11. Calcareous nannofossil events in the pre-evaporitic Messinian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Alessandra; Lozar, Francesca

    2017-04-01

    During the Messinian (7.2 to 5.3 Ma) the Mediterranean area experienced fast and deep climatic and eustatic structural changes. The stratigraphic framework for this interval is relatively well constrained and the beginning of the Messinian salinity crisis dated at 5.97 Ma determine a duration of at least 1.2 Ma for the pre-evaporitic Messinian that is object of this study. Several sites (Faneromeni, Pissouri, Polemi Fanantello borehole, Lemme, Pollenzo, Govone, Moncalvo; Wade and Bown, 2006; Kouwenhoven et al 2006, Morigi et al 2007, Lozar et al 2010, Dela Pierre et al 2011) show similar calcareous nannofossil record behavior, with several Sphenolithus spp. peaks recognised at different quotes in each of the sections. Aim of the present work is to compare the calcareous nannofossil data achieved in the above mentioned sections: interestingly, the occurrence of strongly oligotypic assemblages related to high salinity and unstable environments, appear to correlate precisely among the investigated sites and occur immediately before the onset of the Messinian salinity crisis, then offering the possibility to use them as bioevents for regional correlation. References Dela Pierre, F., Bernardi, E., Cavagna, S., Clari, P., Gennari, R., Irace, A., Lozar, F., Lugli, S., Manzi, V., Natalicchio, M., Roveri, M., Violanti, D., 2011. The record of the Messinian salinity crisis in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (NW Italy): The Alba section revisited. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 310, 238-255. Kouwenhoven, T.J., Morigi, C., Negri, A., Giunta, S., Krijgsman, W., Rouchy, J.M., 2006 Paleoenvironmental evolution of the eastern Mediterranean during the Messinian: Constraints from integrated microfossil data of the Pissouri Basin (Cyprus). Marine Micropaleontology 60, 17-44. Lozar, F., Violanti, D., Dela Pierre, F., Bernardi, E., Cavagna, S., Clari, P., Irace, A., Martinetto, E., Trenkwalder, S., 2010. Calcareous nannofossils and foraminifers herald the Messinian

  12. Evaluating the Impacts of Grassland Conversions to Experimental Forest on Groundwater Recharge in the Nebraska Sand Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adane, Zablon A.

    The Nebraska Sand Hills grasslands provide the greatest groundwater recharge rates in the High Plains Aquifer. However, the grasslands and their ecological services have become vulnerable to land use change and degradation. This study used a series of field data to investigate the effects of grassland conversions to forest on recharge rates in a century-old experimental forest in the Sand Hills. The results show that the impact of grassland conversion on recharge was dependent on the species and plantation density. Estimated recharge rates beneath the dense plantations represent reductions of 86-94% relative to the native grassland. Results of 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectral analysis suggested that the surface soil organic carbon beneath pine plantations also contain up to 3 times the ratio of hydrophobic components than the native grasslands and may alter the soil hydraulic properties. This investigation further uncovered a previously overlooked feedback between the effect of soil organic carbon chemical shift generated by the ponderosa pine needle litter decomposition; namely that the alteration may have a link to reduced groundwater recharge rates. Thus, a global optimizer algorithm was used to estimate the effective soil hydraulic parameters from monthly soil moisture contents and recharge rates were then estimated through HYDRUS 1-D numerical modeling for grassland and pine forest soils. The impact of grassland conversion to pine was an overall reduction of groundwater recharge by nearly 100%. These outcomes highlight the significance of the grasslands for recharge, in the Sand Hills and the sustainability of the High Plains Aquifer.

  13. Assessing the risk of impact of farming intensification on calcareous grasslands in Europe: a quantitative implementation of the MIRABEL framework

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petit, S.; Elbersen, B.S.

    2006-01-01

    Intensification of farming practices is still a major driver of biodiversity loss in Europe, despite the implementation of policies that aim to reverse this trend. A conceptual framework called MIRABEL was previously developed that enabled a qualitative and expert-based assessment of the impact of

  14. The first marine record of the Bartonian Nummulites and Calcareous nannofossils at the Tihoiyeh section of the Jiroft area (Central Iran)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadi, Mehdi; Parandavar, Mohammad; Kiani-Shahvandi, Madineh; Dabaghi Sadr, Fatemeh

    2016-04-01

    The studied shallow marine sediments are situated south and southwest of Jiroft town, 180 km south of Keman, from the Tihoiyeh section (near Tihoiyeh village). These deposits at the top of the section include marly limestones with index Nummulites species such as N. perforatus (De Montfort), N. lyelli (D'Archiac and Haime). According to Schaub's nummulitic time scale (1981) and shallow benthic zonation of Serra-Kiel et al. (1998), this interval referred to Bartonian age and SBZ17 zone, respectively. Also, the calcareous nannofossil study on this interval led to identification of 19 well-preserved species belonging to 11 genera of this plankton group. Based on determined index calcareous nannofossiltaxa such as Reticulofenestra bisecta, Sphenolithus obtusus, Sphenolithus intercalaris, Cribrocentrum erbae and associated species such as Sphenolithus pseudoradians, Reticulofenestra wadeae, Cribrocentrum reticulatum and Blackites spinosus this interval assigned to the CNE15 zone of Agnini et al. (2014) that corresponds to upper part of NP16 and lower part of NP17 zones of Martini (1971). It is resulted that, the detected shallow benthic foraminifera zone, corresponds to the calcareous nannofossil zones both indicating Bartonian age. Keywords: Bartonian, Calcareous nannofossil, Nummulites, Central Iran, Tihoiyeh section. References: Agnini, C., Fornaciari, E., Raffi, I, Rita Catanzariti, R., Palike, H., Backman, J. and Rio, D., 2014. Biozonation and biochronology of Paleogene calcareous nannofossils from low and middle latitudes. Newsletters on Stratigraphy, Vol. 47 (2), Pp. 131-181. Martini, E., 1971. Standard Tertiary and Quaternary calcareous nannoplankton zonation. In: Farinacci, A. (Ed.), Proceedings 2nd International Conference Planktonic Microfossils Roma: Rome (Ed. Tecnosci.), 2, Pp. 739-785. Serra-Kiel, J., Hottinger, L., Caus, E., Drobne, K., Fernandez, C., Jauhri, A.K., Less, G., Pavlovec, R., Pignatti, J., Samso, J.M., Schaub, H., Sirel, E., Strougo, A

  15. DYNAMICS OF CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN ABANDONED GRASSLANDS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Livestock activities due to the improper handling of the load capacity, suffer from low productivity in their grasslands, which are abandoned giving rise to the appearance of species considered invasive and undesirable for producers, without knowing the qualities of these as mitigating of climate change. The objective of the present study was to estimate the carbon content in tamaulipan thornscrub and three abandoned grasslands with a time of abandonment of 10, 20 and 30 years. For the estimation of the carbon content was used a systematic sampling design, in each area were established four sampling sites of 1,600 m2. The primary scrub is the system that resulted in the largest value of carbon content of 14.25 Mg ha-1, followed by the grasslands of 30, 20 and 10 years with 8.03, 7.33 and 4.13 Mg ha-1 respectively. It was concluded that recovering the initial state of the primary scrub take many years, as can be seen in the grasslands system 30 years reaching only 56% of what it had in reserves of primary scrub.

  16. The effect of elevated CO2 and N on decomposition of wheat straw and alfalfa residues in calcareous and non calcareous soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Razavi Darbar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Incorporation of plant residue in soils is considered as an important agricultural practice for maintaining soil fertility in sustainable agricultural system. CO2 levels, nitrogen fertilization and plant residues are factors which highly affect decomposition of added organic matter to soil. In this research controlled chambers were used to investigate the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (350 vs. 760 CO2 ppm under two N fertilization levels (0 vs. 500 kg N ha-1 and two replicates on decomposition of wheat and alfalfa residues in two calcareous (32.66 % CaCO3 and non calcareous soils (3.4 % CaCO3 at 6 times (0, 10, 20, 40, 60 and 90 under laboratory condition. Soil moistures were adjusted at 70% of field capacity. The results showed that elevated CO2 significantly increased decomposition of residues in both calcareous and non calcareous soils. In the samples that received N fertilizer, decomposition of wheat straw and alfalfa residues increased in both soils. From the obtained results, we concluded that in all treatments the amount of decomposition of wheat straw and alfalfa residues in calcareous soil were higher than non calcareous soils.

  17. Changes in grassland management and plant diversity in a marginal region of the Carpathian Mts. in 1999-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halada, Ľuboš; David, Stanislav; Hreško, Juraj; Klimantová, Alexandra; Bača, Andrej; Rusňák, Tomáš; Buraľ, Miroslav; Vadel, Ľuboš

    2017-12-31

    The political change from socialism to democracy in countries of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century induced broad changes in agriculture mostly due to land ownership changes and strong reduction of subsidies to agriculture. This resulted in agricultural decline, including grassland abandonment, which influenced grassland biodiversity and conservation. Between 1999 and 2015 we studied the grasslands in the area depopulated in the early 1980's in the Poloniny National Park (NE Slovakia, Carpathian Mts.). The aim of the study was to examine influence of environmental factors and grassland management driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to plant community structure and taxonomical diversity. We identified altitude and soil properties as the main environmental factors: altitude determines climate gradient and probably also management intensity gradient and soil properties express soil fertility via A-horizon depth. We identified remarkable increase of proportion of managed grasslands from only 8% in 1999 to 40% in 2012-2015; other 7% of sampled grasslands were recently restored and prepared for future management. The average species richness in grasslands managed in 2012-2015 increased from 47.5 species per record in 1999 to 54.2 species in 2012-2015, the increase was found statistically significant. In 2012-2015, we observed statistically significant difference in the average species richness between managed (54.2) and abandoned grasslands (46.3). The agricultural subsidies of the CAP drive the grassland management in the study area. Therefore, we conclude that CAP enabled grassland biodiversity maintenance in significant part of the Poloniny National Park following start of its application in 2004 and above provided figures can be considered as indicators of the CAP effectiveness in our study area. However, the conservation of mountain meadows remains a challenge because of their poor accessibility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  18. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services.

  19. [Community structure and diversity of soil arthropods in naturally restored sandy grasslands after grazing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ren-tao; Zhao, Ha-lin; Zhao, Xue-yong

    2010-11-01

    Taking the Naiman Desertification Research Station under Chinese Academy of Sciences as a base, an investigation was conducted on the community structure of soil arthropods in the naturally restored sandy grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance, with the effects of vegetation and soil on this community structure approached. In the non-grazing grassland, soil arthropods were rich in species and more in individuals, and had the highest diversity. In the restored grassland after light grazing, soil arthropods had the lowest evenness and diversity. In the restored grassland after moderate grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were lesser but the major groups were more, and the evenness and diversity were higher. In the restored grassland after heavy grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were more but the major groups were lesser, and the diversity was higher. Plant individuals' number, vegetation height and coverage, and soil alkalinity were the main factors affecting the soil arthropod community in naturally restored grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance. It was implied that after 12-year exclosure of grassland, soil arthropod community could be recovered to some degree, while grazing disturbance had long-term negative effects on the arthropod community.

  20. Research on the Mechanism of Cross Regional Grassland Ecological Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.

  1. Experimental assessment of the liquefaction resistance of calcareous biogenous sands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandoval Eimar

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available

    ABSTRACT

    Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which soils, typically sands, suddenly loose a substantial amount of their shear strength and stiffness, this often triggered by large-magnitude earthquakes. Most liquefaction research has focused on silicate-based sands and not on other sand types, such as calcareous biogenous sands Calcareous sands are usually composed of skeletal or non-skeletal remains of marine organisms, with unique characteristics in terms of their mineralogy surface roughness, particle shape, crushability, and intraparticle porosity. The unique characteristics of calcareous sands suggest that their geotechnical engineering behaviour can be substantially different compared to that of terrigenous sands, including their behaviour under seismic loading, which have not been very well studied

    This paper presents the results of an experimental programme aimed at studying the cyclic liquefaction resistance of uncemented calcareous biogenous sands retrieved from south-western Puerto Rico Evaluation of liquefaction potential involved a comprehensive set of isotropically consolidated undrained cyclic triaxial tests on reconstituted samples of this calcareous sand. The programme also included tests on Ottawa terrigenous silica sand samples prepared and tested in similar conditions for comparison purposes.

    In general, the experimental results showed that Cabo Rojo calcareous sands had higher liquefaction resistance compared to Ottawa silica sands tested under similar conditions. Important differences between calcareous and silica sands regarding pore pressure generation characteristics and axial strain accumulation were also observed


  2. Stable carbon isotope analysis of soil organic matter illustrates vegetation change at the grassland/woodland boundary in southeastern Arizona, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, G R; Boutton, T W; Midwood, A J

    1993-02-01

    In southeastern Arizona, Prosopis juliflora (Swartz) DC. and Quercus emoryi Torr. are the dominant woody species at grassland/woodland boundaries. The stability of the grassland/woodland boundary in this region has been questioned, although there is no direct evidence to confirm that woodland is encroaching into grassland or vice versa. We used stable carbon isotope analysis of soil organic matter to investigate the direction and magnitude of vegetation change along this ecotone. δ 13 C values of soil organic matter and roots along the ecotone indicated that both dominant woody species (C 3 ) are recent components of former grasslands (C 4 ), consistent with other reports of recent increases in woody plant abundance in grasslands and savannas throughout the world. Data on root biomass and soil organic matter suggest that this increase in woody plant abundance in grasslands and savannas may increase carbon storage in these ecosystems, with implications for the global carbon cycle.

  3. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  4. Vegetation in clear-cuts depends on previous land use: a century-old grassland legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonason, Dennis; Ibbe, Mathias; Milberg, Per; Tunér, Albert; Westerberg, Lars; Bergman, Karl-Olof

    2014-01-01

    Plant species richness in central and northern European seminatural grasslands is often more closely linked to past than present habitat configuration, which is indicative of an extinction debt. In this study, we investigate whether signs of historical grassland management can be found in clear-cuts after at least 80 years as coniferous production forest by comparing floras between clear-cuts with a history as meadow and as forest in the 1870s in Sweden. Study sites were selected using old land-use maps and data on present-day clear-cuts. Species traits reflecting high capacities for dispersal and persistence were used to explain any possible links between the plants and the historical land use. Clear-cuts that were formerly meadow had, on average, 36% higher species richness and 35% higher richness of grassland indicator species, as well as a larger overall seed mass and lower anemochory, compared to clear-cuts with history as forest. We suggest that the plants in former meadows never disappeared after afforestation but survived as remnant populations. Many contemporary forests in Sweden were managed as grasslands in the 1800s. As conservation of remaining grassland fragments will not be enough to reduce the existing extinction debts of the flora, these young forests offer opportunities for grassland restoration at large scales. Our study supports the concept of remnant populations and highlights the importance of considering historical land use for understanding the distribution of grassland plant species in fragmented landscapes, as well as for policy-making and conservation. PMID:25540690

  5. Calcareous nannoplankton assemblages across the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition in the southwestern Indian Ocean, IODP Site U1475

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cares, Z.; Farr, C. L.; LeVay, L.; Tangunan, D.; Brentegani, L.

    2017-12-01

    International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 361 cored six sites along the greater Agulhas Current System to track its intensity through time and to better understand its role in global oceanic circulation and climate. One of the main scientific objectives of this expedition was to determine the dynamics of the Indian-Atlantic Ocean Gateway circulation during Pliocene-Pleistocene climate changes in association with changing wind fields and migrating ocean fronts. The Indian-Atlantic Ocean Gateway contains a pronounced oceanic frontal system, the position of which has the potential to influence global climate on millennial scales. Owing to the physical differences between the frontal zones, this region has complex biogeochemistry, changes in phytoplankton distribution, and variations in primary productivity. Site U1475 was cored on the Agulhas Plateau in the Southwestern Indian Ocean and recovered a complete sequence of calcareous ooze spanning the last 7 Ma. Previous studies at this locality have shown latitudinal migrations of the frontal zones over the past 350 kyr that resulted in prominent millennial shifts in primary production, biological pump efficiency, and microfossil assemblages that coincide with Antarctic climate variability. Here we present initial results comprised of calcareous nannoplankton assemblages in order to test if similar latitudinal frontal migrations occurred during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition (PPT; 2.7 Ma). The calcareous nannoplankton assemblage shows an abundance increase of taxa associated with cooler water and higher primary production across the PPT interval. In addition to a change in species abudance, the Shannon diversity index drops notably across the transition, which is typical of nannoplankton communities in more productive regions. These data suggest that a long-term change in sea surface temperature and nutrient availability took place across the PPT, potentially linked to the northward migration of

  6. Density and success of bird nests relative to grazing on western Montana grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fondell, Thomas F.; Ball, I.J.

    2004-01-01

    Grassland birds are declining at a faster rate than any other group of North American bird species. Livestock grazing is the primary economic use of grasslands in the western United States, but the effects of this use on distribution and productivity of grassland birds are unclear. We examined nest density and success of ground-nesting birds on grazed and ungrazed grasslands in western Montana. In comparison to grazed plots, ungrazed plots had reduced forb cover, increased litter cover, increased litter depth, and increased visual obstruction readings (VOR) of vegetation. Nest density among 10 of 11 common bird species was most strongly correlated with VOR of plots, and greatest nest density for each species occurred where mean VOR of the plot was similar to mean VOR at nests. Additionally, all bird species were relatively consistent in their choice of VOR at nests despite substantial differences in VOR among plots. We suggest that birds selected plots based in part on availability of suitable nest sites and that variation in nest density relative to grazing reflected the effect of grazing on availability of nest sites. Nest success was similar between grazed plots and ungrazed plots for two species but was lower for nests on grazed plots than on ungrazed plots for two other species because of increased rates of predation, trampling, or parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Other species nested almost exclusively on ungrazed plots (six species) or grazed plots (one species), precluding evaluation of the effects of grazing on nest success. We demonstrate that each species in a diverse suite of ground-nesting birds preferentially used certain habitats for nesting and that grazing altered availability of preferred nesting habitats through changes in vegetation structure and plant species composition. We also show that grazing directly or indirectly predisposed some bird species to increased nesting mortality. Management alternatives that avoid

  7. Production of Calcareous Nannofossil Ooze for Sedimentological Experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buls, Toms; Anderskouv, Kresten; Fabricius, Ida Lykke

    2015-01-01

    by an abundance of sedimentary structures, such as drifts, moats, sediment waves, and channels documented in the Upper Cretaceous Chalk Group of NW Europe. Despite chalk being a major hydrocarbon reservoir rock of the North Sea, surprisingly little is known about the physical behavior of the pelagic carbonate......The notion of fine-grained pelagic carbonates as uniform, monotonous sequences of sediments settled in a quiescent environment has been challenged over the past few decades. Fine-grained pelagic carbonates can undergo substantial reworking after their first deposition, as illustrated...... sediment from which the chalk formed-calcareous nannofossil ooze. This poses a serious challenge to the understanding of the depositional system and the properties of facies distribution. Experimental tests, such as those performed in laboratory flumes, are necessary to provide empirical data...

  8. Medial Calcar Support and Radiographic Outcomes of Plate Fixation for Proximal Humeral Fractures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shih-Jie Lin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Plate fixation remains one of the most popular surgical procedures for treating proximal humeral fractures (PHFx; however, substantial rates of complications have been reported in the literature. The objectives of the study were to examine how medial calcar support (MCS affects the radiographic outcomes and to determine the prognostic factors predicting treatment failure. We performed a retrospective cohort study of 89 adult patients who had PHFx and were treated with plate fixation at our institution in 2007–2011. The enrolled patients were separated into two groups according to disruption of medial calcar. Our results revealed an increased rate of poor radiographic outcomes in patients with disrupted medial calcar. Osteonecrosis of the humeral head and redisplacement were the two radiographic outcomes which had a positive causality with disruption of medial calcar (P=0.008 and 0.050, resp.. Deficient medial calcar, inadequate reduction, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and chronic liver disease were all significant predictors for the development of osteonecrosis in patients after PHFx surgery. Inadequate reduction was also a predictor for redisplacement. We confirmed that the restoration of medial calcar as well as comorbid conditions plays key roles in treatment of patients having PHFx with disrupted medial calcar.

  9. Relationships between botanical and chemical composition of forages: a multivariate approach to grasslands in the Western Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravetto Enri, Simone; Renna, Manuela; Probo, Massimiliano; Lussiana, Carola; Battaglini, Luca M; Lonati, Michele; Lombardi, Giampiero

    2017-03-01

    Plant composition of species-rich mountain grasslands can affect the sensorial and chemical attributes of dairy and meat products, with implications for human health. A multivariate approach was used to analyse the complex relationships between vegetation characteristics (botanical composition and plant community variables) and chemical composition (proximate constituents and fatty acid profile) in mesophilic and dry vegetation ecological groups, comprising six different semi-natural grassland types in the Western Italian Alps. Mesophilic and dry grasslands were comparable in terms of phenology, biodiversity indices and proportion of botanical families. The content of total fatty acids and that of the most abundant fatty acids (alpha-linolenic, linoleic and palmitic acids) were mainly associated to nutrient-rich plant species, belonging to the mesophilic grassland ecological group. Mesophilic grasslands showed also higher values of crude protein, lower values of fibre content and they were related to higher pastoral values of vegetation compared to dry grasslands. The proximate composition and fatty acid profile appeared mainly single species dependent rather than botanical family dependent. These findings highlight that forage from mesophilic grasslands can provide higher nutritive value for ruminants and may be associated to ruminant-derived food products with a healthier fatty acid profile. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  10. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, Bingzhen; Zhen, Lin; Yan, Huimin; Groot, de Dolf

    2016-01-01

    Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998) a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of

  11. Direct effects of cattle on grassland birds in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleho, Barbara I; Koper, Nicola; Machtans, Craig S

    2014-06-01

    Effects of grazing on grassland birds are generally thought to be indirect, through alteration of vegetation structure; however, livestock can also affect nest survival directly through trampling and other disturbances (e.g., livestock-induced abandonment). We extracted data on nest fates from 18 grazing studies conducted in Canada. We used these data to assess rates of nest destruction by cattle among 9 ecoregions and between seasonal and rotational grazing systems. Overall, few nests were destroyed by cattle (average 1.5% of 9132 nests). Nest destruction was positively correlated with grazing pressure (i.e., stocking rate or grazing intensity), but nest survival was higher in more heavily grazed areas for some species. Because rates of destruction of grassland bird nests by cattle are low in Canada, management efforts to reduce such destruction may not be of ecological or economic value in Canada. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Evidence of compositional and ultrastructural shifts during the development of calcareous tubes in the biofouling tubeworm, Hydroides elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Vera Bin San; Vinn, Olev; Li, Chaoyi; Lu, Xingwen; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B; Schopf, J William; Shih, Kaimin; Zhang, Tong; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen

    2015-03-01

    The serpulid tubeworm, Hydroides elegans, is an ecologically and economically important species whose biology has been fairly well studied, especially in the context of larval development and settlement on man-made objects (biofouling). Nevertheless, ontogenetic changes associated with calcareous tube composition and structures have not yet been studied. Here, the ultrastructure and composition of the calcareous tubes built by H. elegans was examined in the three early calcifying juvenile stages and in the adult using XRD, FTIR, ICP-OES, SEM and Raman spectroscopy. Ontogenetic shifts in carbonate mineralogy were observed, for example, juvenile tubes contained more amorphous calcium carbonate and were predominantly aragonitic whereas adult tubes were bimineralic with considerably more calcite. The mineral composition gradually shifted during the tube development as shown by a decrease in Sr/Ca and an increase of Mg/Ca ratios with the tubeworm's age. The inner tube layer contained calcite, whereas the outer layer contained aragonite. Similarly, the tube complexity in terms of ultrastructure was associated with development. The sequential appearance of unoriented ultrastructures followed by oriented ultrastructures may reflect the evolutionary history of serpulid tube biominerals. As aragonitic structures are more susceptible to dissolution under ocean acidification (OA) conditions but are more difficult to be removed by anti-fouling treatments, the early developmental stages of the tubeworms may be vulnerable to OA but act as the important target for biofouling control. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Consolidation and strength properties of calcareous sediments from Kaneohe and Kailua Bays, Hawaii

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Brandes, H.G.; Khadge, N.H.; Nakayama, D.D.

    behavior of marine calcareous sediments of biogenic origin. Consolidation and drained triaxial tests indicate that mixed sediments have higher compressibilities and lower strengths compared to high-carbonate sediments. Differences in gradation among high...

  15. Biosuper as a phosphate fertilizer in a calcareous soil with low ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2007-06-04

    Jun 4, 2007 ... Key words: Zea mays, phosphorus uptake, phosphorus fertilization, corn, Thiobacillus, rock phosphate. ... improve plant nutrients availability in calcareous soils and .... lus elicits the reaction of sulphur with water and oxygen, ...

  16. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

    The productivity of grassland may change greatly with ageing. Frequently, a productive ley period, occurring in the first time after (re)seeding, is followed by a period in which productivity decreases. Under conditions favourable to grassland this may be temporary. A production level

  17. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

  18. Association of wintering raptors with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program grasslands in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A.; Brittingham, M.; Grove, G.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation grasslands can provide valuable habitat resource for breeding songbirds, but their value for wintering raptors has received little attention. We hypothesized that increased availability of grassland habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has resulted in an increase or redistribution in numbers of four species of raptors in Pennsylvania since 2001. We tested this by analyzing winter raptor counts from volunteer surveys, conducted from 2001 to 2008, for Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). During that period, numbers of wintering Northern Harriers increased by more than 20% per year. Log-linear Poisson regression models show that all four species increased in the region of Pennsylvania that had the most and longest-established conservation grasslands. At the county scale (N= 67), Bayesian spatial models showed that spatial and temporal population trends of all four species were positively correlated with the amount of conservation grassland. This relationship was particularly strong for Northern Harriers, with numbers predicted to increase by 35.7% per year for each additional 1% of farmland enrolled in CREP. Our results suggest that conservation grasslands are likely the primary cause of the increase in numbers of wintering Northern Harriers in Pennsylvania since 2001. ?? 2010 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  19. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Grassland abandonment followed by forest succession is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. We studied the impact of current forest expansion on mountain grassland on changes in physical soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions along a land-use and management gradient......, focusing on changes in aggregate stability and particulate organic matter (POM). Methods. Four successional stages were investigated: managed grassland, two transitional phases in which grassland abandonment led to colonization by Picea abies (L.) Karst., and old mixed forest dominated by Fagus sylvatica L....... Results. The dimension of aggregates assessed by aggregate size fractionation tended to increase, whereas SOC allocation to stable aggregates assessed by sizedensity fractionation decreased following conversion of grassland to forest (e.g. from 81 to 59 % in the 0–5 cm layer). The amount of SOC stored...

  20. Calcar femorale grafting in the hemiarthroplasty of the hip for unstable inter trochanteric fractures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakkar, Chandrashekar J; Thakkar, Savyasachi; Kathalgere, Rajshekhar T; Kumar, Malhar N

    2015-01-01

    The sliding screw-plate devices and cephalo-medullary nail devices have performed well in stable inter-trochanteric fractures in patients with reasonably good quality of bone. However, their suboptimal performance in comminuted fractures in the presence of osteoporotic bone has prompted many surgeons to consider bipolar hemiarthroplasty as the primary modality of management of comminuted inter-trochanteric fractures in elderly patients. However, long term stability of the hemiarthroplasty implant also may be compromised due to the presence of postero-medial bone loss at the area of the calcar. We have presented a simple and effective technique of calcar grafting by harvesting cortical bone strut from the neck of the fractured femur. A total of 34 patients with inter-trochanteric fractures of the femur were treated with calcar grafting. The mean age was 79.2 years. The graft was harvested from the calcar region of the head and neck fragment of the femur and wedged between the medial femoral cortex and medial edge of the prosthesis. The mean followup period was 54.5 months. In 32 of 34 (94%) patients in our series, the calcar graft healed well without dislodgement. There was graft resorption in two patients associated with subsidence of the implant and loosening. Calcar grafting using this technique provides stability to the implant in the presence of comminution and incorporates well in the majority of patients. Donor site morbidity of graft harvesting is also avoided.

  1. Influence of Cements Containing Calcareous Fly Ash as a Main Component Properties of Fresh Cement Mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gołaszewski, Jacek; Kostrzanowska-Siedlarz, Aleksandra; Ponikiewski, Tomasz; Miera, Patrycja

    2017-10-01

    The main goal of presented research was to examine usability of cements containing calcareous fly ash (W) from technological point of view. In the paper the results of tests concerning the influence of CEM II and CEM IV cements containing fly ash (W) on rheological properties, air content, setting times and plastic shrinkage of mortars are presented and discussed. Moreover, compatibility of plasticizers with cements containing fly ash (W) was also studied. Additionally, setting time and hydration heat of cements containing calcareous fly ash (W) were determined. In a broader aspect, the research contributes to promulgation of the possibility of using calcareous fly ash (W) in cement and concrete technology, what greatly benefits the environment protection (utilization of waste fly ash). Calcareous fly ash can be used successfully as the main component of cement. Cements produced by blending with processed fly ash or cements produced by interginding are characterized by acceptable technological properties. In respect to CEM I cements, cements containing calcareous fly ash worsen workability, decrease air content, delay setting time of mixtures. Cements with calcareous fly ash show good compatibility with plasticizers.

  2. Influence of calcareous deposit on corrosion behavior of Q235 carbon steel with sulfate-reducing bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jie; Li, Xiaolong; Wang, Jiangwei; Xu, Weichen; Duan, Jizhou; Chen, Shougang; Hou, Baorong

    2017-12-01

    Cathodic protection is a very effective method to protect metals, which can form calcareous deposits on metal surface. Research on the interrelationship between fouling organism and calcareous deposits is very important but very limited, especially sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). SRB is a kind of very important fouling organism that causes microbial corrosion of metals. A study of the influence of calcareous deposit on corrosion behavior of Q235 carbon steel in SRB-containing culture medium was carried out using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and surface spectroscopy (EDS). The calcareous deposit was formed with good crystallinity and smooth surface under the gradient current density of -30 μA cm-2 in natural seawater for 72 h. Our results can help elucidate the formation of calcareous deposits and reveal the interrelationship between SRB and calcareous deposits under cathodic protection. The results indicate that the corrosion tendency of carbon steel was obviously affected by Sulfate-reducing Bacteria (SRB) metabolic activity and the calcareous deposit formed on the surface of carbon steel under cathodic protection was favourable to reduce the corrosion rate. Calcareous deposits can promote bacterial adhesion before biofilm formation. The results revealed the interaction between biofouling and calcareous deposits, and the anti-corrosion ability was enhanced by a kind of inorganic and organic composite membranes formed by biofilm and calcareous deposits.

  3. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  4. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Stevens, Carly J.; Dise, Nancy B.; Gowing, David J.; Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Emmett, Bridget A.; Ashmore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: → Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. → Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. → Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. → Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  5. Oxygen and carbon isotopes of Recent calcareous nannofossils as paleoceanographic indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goodney, D.E.; Margolis, S.V.; Dudley, W.C.; Kroopnick, P.; Williams, D.F.

    1980-01-01

    Delta 18 O and delta 13 C values for several species of planktonic foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils from Recent deep-sea sediments have been studied in order to evaluate their paleoceanographic and paleotemperature potential. Nannofossils from Indian Ocean core-tops reflect isotopic temperatures as warm as, or warmer than, the temperatures reported for shallow-dwelling planktonic forminifera from the same samples. In general, deep-sea sediment samples from the world's major oceans indicate that nannofossil delta 18 O values are from 0.5 to 1 per thousand heavier than shallow-dwelling planktonic foraminifera. Although nannofossil delta 18 O values depart from thermodynamic equilibrium with oceanic surface water temperatures, the delta 18 O temperature trend parallels that of surface-dwelling planktonic foraminifera. Nannofossil delta 13 C values also depart equilibrium with surface water delta 13 C-ΣCO 2 values. A comparison of nannofossil delta 13 C data with that from planktonic foraminifera suggests that the rate of primary productivity in different water masses may be influencing the delta 13 C carbonate-secreting phytoplankton and zooplankton. (Auth.)

  6. Calcareous microfossil-based orbital cyclostratigraphy in the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzen, Rachel; DeNinno, Lauren H.; Cronin, Thomas M.

    2016-01-01

    Microfaunal and geochemical proxies from marine sediment records from central Arctic Ocean (CAO) submarine ridges suggest a close relationship over the last 550 thousand years (kyr) between orbital-scale climatic oscillations, sea-ice cover, marine biological productivity and other parameters. Multiple paleoclimate proxies record glacial to interglacial cycles. To understand the climate-cryosphere-productivity relationship, we examined the cyclostratigraphy of calcareous microfossils and constructed a composite Arctic Paleoclimate Index (API) "stack" from benthic foraminiferal and ostracode density from 14 sediment cores. Following the hypothesis that API is driven mainly by changes in sea-ice related productivity, the API stack shows the Arctic experienced a series of highly productive interglacials and interstadials every ∼20 kyr. These periods signify minimal ice shelf and sea-ice cover and maximum marine productivity. Rapid transitions in productivity are seen during shifts from interglacial to glacial climate states. Discrepancies between the Arctic API curves and various global climatic, sea-level and ice-volume curves suggest abrupt growth and decay of Arctic ice shelves related to climatic and sea level oscillations.

  7. Soil degradation effect on biological activity in Mediterranean calcareous soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca-Pérez, L.; Alcover-Sáez, S.; Mormeneo, S.; Boluda, R.

    2009-04-01

    Soil degradation processes include erosion, organic matter decline, compaction, salinization, landslides, contamination, sealing and biodiversity decline. In the Mediterranean region the climatological and lithological conditions, together with relief on the landscape and anthropological activity are responsible for increasing desertification process. It is therefore considered to be extreme importance to be able to measure soil degradation quantitatively. We studied soil characteristics, microbiological and biochemical parameters in different calcareous soil sequences from Valencia Community (Easter Spain), in an attempt to assess the suitability of the parameters measured to reflect the state of soil degradation and the possibility of using the parameters to assess microbiological decline and soil quality. For this purpose, forest, scrubland and agricultural soil in three soil sequences were sampled in different areas. Several sensors of the soil biochemistry and microbiology related with total organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon, soil respiration, microorganism number and enzyme activities were determined. The results show that, except microorganism number, these parameters are good indicators of a soil biological activity and soil quality. The best enzymatic activities to use like indicators were phosphatases, esterases, amino-peptidases. Thus, the enzymes test can be used as indicators of soil degradation when this degradation is related with organic matter losses. There was a statistically significant difference in cumulative O2 uptake and extracellular enzymes among the soils with different degree of degradation. We would like to thank Spanish government-MICINN for funding and support (MICINN, project CGL2006-09776).

  8. Fractionation of applied 32P labeled TSP in calcareous soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asfary, A.F.; Al-Merey, R.; Al-Hameish, M.

    2005-01-01

    Calcareous dark brown red soil (calcixerollic xerochrept) from northern Syria was used in a pot experiment to study the fate of triple super phosphate fertilizer (TSP) with and without a crop (Local durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. group durum (Desf)) c v. Bohouth). The soil received 17μg P/g soil of 32 P labeled TSP, and samples were collected from soils and plants at successive dates. Soil inorganic P was ≅94% of total soil P, with only 50-80% being soluble. Calcium phosphate compounds were the dominant fraction (≤68%) of the soluble inorganic soil P followed by occluded iron phosphate (≤48%) and all other fractions were ≤9%. Isotopic measurements showed that ≅ 50% of fertilizer P was nonexchangeable within 2 days, and TSP values in each fraction of soil inorganic P fluctuated in relatively similar proportions to the concentrations of fractions in soil. Available P (soil and TSP) in cropped soil was more than that in the uncropped soil, and plants had no effect on the distribution of P from fertilizer amongst the different P fractions. (author)

  9. The Effects of Timing of Grazing on Plant and Arthropod Communities in High-Elevation Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stacy C.; Burkle, Laura A.; Cross, Wyatt F.; Cutting, Kyle A.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock grazing can be used as a key management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of using grazing to modify habitat for species of conservation concern depends on how the grazing regime is implemented. Timing of grazing is one grazing regime component that is less understood than grazing intensity and grazer identity, but is predicted to have important implications for plant and higher trophic level responses. We experimentally assessed how timing of cattle grazing affected plant and arthropod communities in high-elevation grasslands of southwest Montana to better evaluate its use as a tool for multi-trophic level management. We manipulated timing of grazing, with one grazing treatment beginning in mid-June and the other in mid-July, in two experiments conducted in different grassland habitat types (i.e., wet meadow and upland) in 2011 and 2012. In the upland grassland experiment, we found that both early and late grazing treatments reduced forb biomass, whereas graminoid biomass was only reduced with late grazing. Grazing earlier in the growing season versus later did not result in greater recovery of graminoid or forb biomass as expected. In addition, the density of the most ubiquitous grassland arthropod order (Hemiptera) was reduced by both grazing treatments in upland grasslands. A comparison of end-of-season plant responses to grazing in upland versus wet meadow grasslands revealed that grazing reduced graminoid biomass in the wet meadow and forb biomass in the upland, irrespective of timing of grazing. Both grazing treatments also reduced end-of-season total arthropod and Hemiptera densities and Hemiptera biomass in both grassland habitat types. Our results indicate that both early and late season herbivory affect many plant and arthropod characteristics in a similar manner, but grazing earlier may negatively impact species of conservation concern requiring forage earlier in the growing season. PMID:25338008

  10. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, C.M.J.; Jacobs, A.F.G.; Bosveld, F.C.; Hendriks, D.M.D.; Hensen, A.; Kroon, P.; Moors, E.J.; Nol, L.; Schrier-Uijl, A.P.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites: four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site,

  11. BETA DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY DIFFERENTIATION IN DRY PERENNIAL SAND GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. KOVACS-LANG

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial variability of species composition was studied in perennial sand grasslands in Hungary at multiple scales. Three sites were compared along an aridity gradient. Existing differences in climate along this ca. 200 km gradient correspond to regional climate changes predicted for the next 20-30 years. Six stands of Festucetum vaginatae grasslands were selected at each site within 400 x 1200 m areas for representing the coarse-scale within-site heterogeneity. Fine-scale compositional heterogeneity of vegetation within stands was sampled by recording the presence of species along 52 m long circular belt transects of 1040 units of 5 cm x 5 cm contiguous microquadrats. This sampling design enabled us to study the patterns of species combinations at a wide range of scales. The highest variability of plant species combinations appeared at very fine scales, between 10 cm and 25 cm. Differences in beta diversity along the gradient were scale-dependent. We found a decreasing trend of beta diversity with increasing aridity at fine scale, and on the contrary, an increasing trend at landscape scale. We conclude that the major trend of the vegetation differentiation due to aridity is the decrease of compositional variability at fine-scale accompanied by a coarse-scale diversification.

  12. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K.; Siegmund, R.; Wagner, M.; Hartmann, S.

    2015-04-01

    Cutting date and frequency are important parameters determining grassland yields in addition to the effects of weather, soil conditions, plant composition and fertilisation. Because accurate and area-wide data of grassland yields are currently not available, cutting frequency can be used to estimate yields. In this project, a method to detect cutting dates via surface changes in radar images is developed. The combination of this method with a grassland yield model will result in more reliable and regional-wide numbers of grassland yields. For the test-phase of the monitoring project, a study area situated southeast of Munich, Germany, was chosen due to its high density of managed grassland. For determining grassland cutting robust amplitude change detection techniques are used evaluating radar amplitude or backscatter statistics before and after the cutting event. CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A data were analysed. All detected cuts were verified according to in-situ measurements recorded in a GIS database. Although the SAR systems had various acquisition geometries, the amount of detected grassland cut was quite similar. Of 154 tested grassland plots, covering in total 436 ha, 116 and 111 cuts were detected using CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A radar data, respectively. Further improvement of radar data processes as well as additional analyses with higher sample number and wider land surface coverage will follow for optimisation of the method and for validation and generalisation of the results of this feasibility study. The automation of this method will than allow for an area-wide and cost efficient cutting date detection service improving grassland yield models.

  13. Sodium hypochlorite oxidation of petroleum aliphatic contaminants in calcareous soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, François; Chaouki, Jamal

    2016-02-01

    This research project investigated the sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) oxidation of aliphatic petroleum contaminants (C10-C50) in a calcareous soil (average 5473 ppm C10-C50, 15 wt% Ca), which had been excavated from a contaminated industrial site. The decontamination objective was to lower the C10-C50 concentration to 700 ppm. CO2 acidity was used in the project to boost the NaClO oxidation yield and seems to have played a role in desorbing the natural organic matter. The experimental conditions were a 2- to 16-h reaction time, at room temperature, with a 1 to 12.5 wt% NaClO oxidative solution and a fixed 2:1 solution-to-soil ratio. With a 3 wt% NaClO solution and with a CO2 overhead, the NaClO dosage requirement was maintained below 60 g NaClO/g of oxidized C10-C50 over the entire decontamination range. The strong chlorine smell remaining after the reaction was completed suggests that part of the NaClO requirement can be recycled. Except traces of chloroform, there were no regulation-listed organochloride contaminants detected on either the treated soil samples or leachates and the total count of chlorinated compounds in treated soil samples was below the detection limit of 250 mg/kg. The NaClO oxidation mechanism on aliphatic substrates might be triggered by transition metals, such as manganese, but no attempt has been made to investigate the oxidation mechanism. Further investigations would include a constant-fed NaClO system and other techniques to lower the required NaClO dosage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Firing transformations of an argentinean calcareous commercial clay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. F. Serra

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Mineralogical transformations caused by firing are usually studied by XRD methods only semi-quantitatively. In this work the original mineral disappearance and the neo-mineralization were evaluated quantitatively. Furthermore an indirect non crystalline phase quantification was performed under 1100 ºC was also carried out using the quartz content as internal standard. This study specifically discusses the behavior of an Argentinean white calcareous earthenware commercial when subjected to traditional ceramic firing, besides the technological importance of this particular material, it acts as a model for other clay based ceramic materials. Materials were subjected to thermal treatments between 700 ºC and 1100 ºC. A preliminary sintering characterization was carried out by contraction and porosity evolution. Simultaneous thermogravimetric and differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA was carried out to elucidate the actual temperature at which the chemical changes occur. Finally, a quantitative analysis based on the Rietveld refinement of the X-ray diffraction patterns was performed to characterize the crystalline phases present in both the clay and in the materials obtained after different thermal treatments. The actual chemical reactions are proposed. The phases identified after firing at traditional working temperature (1040 ºC are quartz, plagioclase, and the Spinel type alumino-silicate, accompanied by the non-diffracting un-reacted metakaolin and some amount of amorphous glassy phase. At intermediate temperatures (900 ºC the presence of gehlenite was also detected. The carbonates (calcite and dolomite presence and decomposition were also evaluated and demonstrated to determine the sintering characteristics of this material.

  15. Identification of Nutrient Deficiencies at Calcareous Soils for Maize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dedi Nursyamsi

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available A pot experiment was conducted to identify nutrient deficiencies at calcareous soils for maize (Zea mays, L. in green house of Indonesian Soil Research Institute using top soil (0-20 cm samples taken from Bogor (Typic Hapludalfs and Blora (Typic Haplustalfs. The experiment used Randomized Completely Block Design, minus one test with 12 treatments and three replications, as well as maize of P21 variety as plant indicator. The results showed that use of N, P, K, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn fertilizers increased soil macro nutrients, i.e.: soil total-N, Olsen-P, HCl-P, and HCl-K, as well as soil micro nutrients, i.e.: soil DTPA-Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn at both tested soils. Use of maize straw compost increased soil organic-C, total-N, HCl-K, and exchangeable Ca at Typic Hapludalfs and increased only soil organic-C and total-N at Typic Haplustalfs. Use of animal manure compost increased soil organic-C, exchangeable Ca and Mg, and CEC. Use of N, P, K, S, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn fertilizers increased each plant nutrients uptake at the soils. Use of both organic matters increased plant N, P, K, and Fe uptake at Typic Hapludalfs as well as increased only plant N, P, and K uptake at Typic Haplustalfs. Identification result showed that maize growth suffered from N, P, and K deficiencies at Typic Hapludalfs as well as N and P deficiencies at Typic Haplustalfs. Beside the nutrients, soil organic matter was also found out as limiting factor for maize growth in the soils.

  16. Enhanced phytoextraction: II. Effect of EDTA and citric acid on heavy metal uptake by Helianthus annuus from a calcareous soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesage, E; Meers, E; Vervaeke, P; Lamsal, S; Hopgood, M; Tack, F M G; Verloo, M G

    2005-01-01

    High biomass producing plant species, such as Helianthus annuus, have potential for removing large amounts of trace metals by harvesting the aboveground biomass if sufficient metal concentrations in their biomass can be achieved However, the low bioavailability of heavy metals in soils and the limited translocation of heavy metals to the shoots by most high biomass producing plant species limit the efficiency of the phytoextraction process. Amendment of a contaminated soil with ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) or citric acid increases soluble heavy metal concentrations, potentially rendering them more available for plant uptake. This article discusses the effects of EDTA and citric acid on the uptake of heavy metals and translocation to aboveground harvestable plant parts in Helianthus annuus. EDTA was included in the research for comparison purposes in our quest for less persistent alternatives, suitable for enhanced phytoextraction. Plants were grown in a calcareous soil moderately contaminated with Cu, Pb, Zn, and Cd and treated with increasing concentrations of EDTA (0.1, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 mmol kg(-1) soil) or citric acid (0.01, 0.05, 0.25, 0.442, and 0.5 mol kg(-1) soil). Heavy metal concentrations in harvested shoots increased with EDTA concentration but the actual amount of phytoextracted heavy metals decreased at high EDTA concentrations, due to severe growth depression. Helianthus annuus suffered heavy metal stress due to the significantly increased bioavailable metal fraction in the soil. The rapid mineralization of citric acid and the high buffering capacity of the soil made citric acid inefficient in increasing the phytoextracted amounts of heavy metals. Treatments that did not exceed the buffering capacity of the soil (heavy metal concentrations. Treatments with high concentrations resulted in a dissolution of the carbonates and compaction of the soil. These physicochemical changes caused growth depression of Helianthus annuus. EDTA and citric

  17. Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gossner, Martin M; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Kahl, Tiemo; Grassein, Fabrice; Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Birkhofer, Klaus; Renner, Swen C; Sikorski, Johannes; Wubet, Tesfaye; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Jorge, Leonardo Ré; Jung, Kirsten; Keyel, Alexander C; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Penone, Caterina; Perović, David J; Purschke, Oliver; Schall, Peter; Socher, Stephanie A; Sonnemann, Ilja; Tschapka, Marco; Tscharntke, Teja; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul Christiaan; Weiner, Christiane N; Werner, Michael; Wolters, Volkmar; Wurst, Susanne; Westphal, Catrin; Fischer, Markus; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Allan, Eric

    2016-12-08

    Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification homogenizes communities at different trophic levels, above- and belowground. Here we show that even moderate increases in local land-use intensity (LUI) cause biotic homogenization across microbial, plant and animal groups, both above- and belowground, and that this is largely independent of changes in α-diversity. We analysed a unique grassland biodiversity dataset, with abundances of more than 4,000 species belonging to 12 trophic groups. LUI, and, in particular, high mowing intensity, had consistent effects on β-diversity across groups, causing a homogenization of soil microbial, fungal pathogen, plant and arthropod communities. These effects were nonlinear and the strongest declines in β-diversity occurred in the transition from extensively managed to intermediate intensity grassland. LUI tended to reduce local α-diversity in aboveground groups, whereas the α-diversity increased in belowground groups. Correlations between the β-diversity of different groups, particularly between plants and their consumers, became weaker at high LUI. This suggests a loss of specialist species and is further evidence for biotic homogenization. The consistently negative effects of LUI on landscape-scale biodiversity underscore the high value of extensively managed grasslands for conserving multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Indeed, biotic homogenization rather than local diversity

  18. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates

  19. Molecular phylogenetic evaluation of classification and scenarios of character evolution in calcareous sponges (Porifera, Class Calcarea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Voigt

    Full Text Available Calcareous sponges (Phylum Porifera, Class Calcarea are known to be taxonomically difficult. Previous molecular studies have revealed many discrepancies between classically recognized taxa and the observed relationships at the order, family and genus levels; these inconsistencies question underlying hypotheses regarding the evolution of certain morphological characters. Therefore, we extended the available taxa and character set by sequencing the complete small subunit (SSU rDNA and the almost complete large subunit (LSU rDNA of additional key species and complemented this dataset by substantially increasing the length of available LSU sequences. Phylogenetic analyses provided new hypotheses about the relationships of Calcarea and about the evolution of certain morphological characters. We tested our phylogeny against competing phylogenetic hypotheses presented by previous classification systems. Our data reject the current order-level classification by again finding non-monophyletic Leucosolenida, Clathrinida and Murrayonida. In the subclass Calcinea, we recovered a clade that includes all species with a cortex, which is largely consistent with the previously proposed order Leucettida. Other orders that had been rejected in the current system were not found, but could not be rejected in our tests either. We found several additional families and genera polyphyletic: the families Leucascidae and Leucaltidae and the genus Leucetta in Calcinea, and in Calcaronea the family Amphoriscidae and the genus Ute. Our phylogeny also provided support for the vaguely suspected close relationship of several members of Grantiidae with giantortical diactines to members of Heteropiidae. Similarly, our analyses revealed several unexpected affinities, such as a sister group relationship between Leucettusa (Leucaltidae and Leucettidae and between Leucascandra (Jenkinidae and Sycon carteri (Sycettidae. According to our results, the taxonomy of Calcarea is in

  20. LEAF AREA DYNAMICS AND ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF SPECIFIC VEGETATION TYPES OF A SEMI-ARID GRASSLAND IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bosco Kidake Kisambo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI dynamics and aboveground biomass of a semi-arid grassland region in Southern Ethiopia were determined over a long rain season. The vegetation was categorized into four distinct vegetation types namely Grassland (G, Tree-Grassland (TG, Bushed-Grassland (BG and Bush-Tree grassland (BT. LAI was measured using a Plant Canopy Analyzer (LAI2000. Biomass dynamics of litter and herbaceous components were determined through clipping while the above ground biomass of trees and shrubs were estimated using species-specific allometric equations from literature. LAI showed a seasonal increase over the season with the maximum recorded in the BG vegetation (2.52. Total aboveground biomass for the different vegetation types ranged from 0.61 ton C/ha in areas where trees were non-existent to 8.80 ± 3.81ton C/ha in the Tree-Grassland vegetation in the study site. A correlation of LAI and AGB yielded a positive relationship with an R2 value of 0.55. The results demonstrate the importance of tropical semi-arid grasslands as carbon sinks hence their potential in mitigation of climate change.

  1. The relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services and the effects of grazing cessation in semi-natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wehn

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Land use change can affect biodiversity, and this has an impact on ecosystem services (ESs, but the relationships between biodiversity and ESs are complex and poorly understood. Biodiversity is declining due to the abandonment of extensively grazed semi-natural grasslands.We therefore aim to explore relationships between biodiversity and ESs provided by extensively managed semi-natural grasslands. Focusing on vascular plant species richness, as well as the ESs fodder quantity, quality, and stability, allergy control, climate regulation, nutrient cycling, pollination, and aesthetic appreciation, we carried out botanical field surveys of 28 paired extensively grazed and abandoned semi-natural grassland plots, with four subplots of 4 m2 in each plot. The management of the semi-natural grasslands is and has been at low intensity. We calculated the influence of abandonment on the ES indicators, measured the correlation between the biodiversity measure of vascular plant species richness and ES indicators, and finally determined how the relationships between plant species richness and the ES indicators were affected by the cessation of the extensive management.ES indicators are often, but not always, positively correlated with species richness. Cessation of extensive grazing has both negative and positive effects on ES indicators but the relationships between species richness and ES indicators are often different in extensively managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands. The relationships between species richness and ES indicators are less pronounced in the extensively managed semi-natural grassland than for the abandoned. One possible reason for this outcome is high functional redundancy in the extensively managed semi-natural grasslands.

  2. Seasonal calcareous nannoplankton and other biogenic particle fluxes for 1990-2009: twenty-year long records from the central subarctic Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Kozo; Tsutsui, Hideto

    2017-04-01

    and NOAA, it appears likely that siliceous phytoplankton such as diatoms and silicoflagellates is more dependent on high nutrient conditions than calcareous nannoplankton requires. Calcareous nannoplankton, on the other hand, appears to require rather narrow own species range of temperatures while nutrient requirement may not be as strict as those by siliceous microplankton. Within the two calcareous nannoplankton taxa, it is clear that C. pelagicus has higher nutrient dependency than E. huxleyi. Essentially, calcareous nannoplankton can still produce in November [actual production in surface water in October] when solar intensity decreases significantly, as long as temperatures are still appropriate. By this time of the year most siliceous phytoplankton had more or less completed bulk of their annual production. Exceptions for this are rather limited characteristic species that are adapted in dim light but high nutrients such as Coscinodiscus marginatus (diatom) and Dictyocha mandarai (silicoflagellate) in the subarctic Pacific (Takahashi et al., 1989).

  3. Impact of weather on dynamics of plant functional groups in an abandoned limestone grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zbigniew Dzwonko

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined to what extend the rate and direction of changes in unmanaged grassland depend on fluctuations in climatic conditions. Vegetation data from permanent plots in a semi-natural grassland in southern Poland collected over 12 years were used. Relations between weather variables, time, and the cover of 41 more frequent species and 14 plant functional groups were analysed. The greatest effect on the dynamics of species and functional groups had precipitation in spring and/or early summer, particularly in the current year. The majority of plant groups were significantly affected also by the temperature in spring and early summer in one of the three previous years. During 12 years, the cover of annuals and biennials, short plants, and plants with small leaves decreased, while the cover of taller plants, plants with larger leaves, and with vegetative spread increased. The analyses suggest that these successional changes were not directly associated with climatic conditions but were affected by them indirectly through interspecific competition. The fluctuations in climatic conditions, chiefly precipitation, had a significant effect on both the composition and the rate of changes in abandoned grassland. The increase in the cover of tall perennial species with broad leaves hindered succession towards woodland despite of the presence of woods in the closed vicinity. It can be expected that during drier periods colonisation of grassland by later successional species could be easier.

  4. Lizard community structure across a grassland - creosote bush ecotone in the Chihuahuan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Menke, Sean B

    2003-01-01

    I investigated the distribution and abundance of lizard species (Aspidoscelis inornatus, Aspidoscelis tesselatus, Aspidoscelis tigris, Aspidoscelis uniparens, Cophosaurus texanus, Crotaphytus collaris, Eumeces obsoletus, Gambelia wislizenii, Holbrookia maculata, Phrynosoma cornutum, Sceloporus magister, and Uta stansburiana) across a desert grassland - creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) ecotone in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The ecotonal area in the Jomada del Muerto basin has increased drama...

  5. Dependence of the conservation status of acid grasslands at the Pohorje and Kozjak on socioeconomic parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karmen KETIŠ

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland habitats were studied on twenty farms on the area of the Radlje ob Dravi administration unit, in the transect from Kozjak to Pohorje at different altitudes. The aim of the study was to investigate how environmental and  socio-economic parameters influence the diversity of plant species and, consequently, the conservation of grassland on acid soils, which are rare in Slovenia and are therefore more protected. The socioeconomic structure of farms was studied on the basis of an inquiry carried out on farms. Part-time farms prevail; the average age of farmers is 56.5 years, and 30% of farmers has no education or just elementary school. The relationship among the environmental, socio-economic parameters and floristic structures of grasslands was studied using canonic-correspondence analysis. The impact of 16 parameters was analysed, of which six were determined not to be statistically significant. The occurrence of chosen plant species was analysed in relation to environmental and socioeconomic parameters. The efficiency of agro-environmental subsidies in relation to plant species diversity was evaluated. It was determined that the education and age of farmers influence the intensity of farming and consequently have an impact on the diversity of plants species and the conservation status of grasslands.

  6. A functional method for classifying European grasslands for use in joint ecological and economic studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hodgson, JG; Montserrat-Marti, G; Cerabolini, B; Ceriani, RM; Maestro-Martinez, M; Peco, B; Wilson, PJ; Thompson, K; Grime, JP; Band, SR; Bogard, A; Castro-Diez, P; Charles, M; Jones, G; Perez-Rontome, MC; Caccianiga, M; Alard, D; Bakker, JP; Cornelissen, JHC; Dutoit, T; Grootjans, AP; Guerrero-Campo, J; Gupta, PL; Hynd, A; Kahmen, S; Poschlod, P; Romo-Diez, A; Rorison, IH; Rosen, E; Schreiber, KF; Tallowin, J; Espuny, LD; Villar-Salvador, P

    2005-01-01

    A simple protocol is presented for a functional classification of European grassland species using attributes that can be quickly and easily measured. These attributes relate to habitat fertility, intensity of grazing and disturbance. As a surrogate for habitat fertility we use leaf nitrogen

  7. Edge effects at an induced forest-grassland boundary: forest birds in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bird species diversity and guild composition between the edge (5-10 m from the margin) of primary forest abutting grassland and the deep interior (> 500 m from the margin) in the Dngoye Forest Reserve were compared. Edge and interior sites were chosen that were homogeneous with respect to habitat physiognomy i.e. ...

  8. High potential of sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands for sheep epizoochory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a general decline of grasslands across Europe due to habitat loss and degradation. Ensuring plant dispersal thus becomes a key process for preserving grassland patches in all scales. We examined diaspore dispersal by sheep epizoochory in the pastures of the North Adriatic Karst (NW Slovenia and determined the qualitative and quantitative features of diaspores in fur. We recorded 25,650 diaspores of 141 plant taxa (with 107 taxa and 23,350 diaspores determined to species level, using three different methods: (i the “whole-coat method”, (ii the “part-of-thecoat method” and (iii a “seedling emergence method”. A comparison of these techniques revealed that the “wholecoat method” provided the highest number of diaspores and plant species. All diaspores were clustered into five emergent groups based on seven functional traits (diaspore weight, length, width, height, volume, specific weight and the diaspore surface structure. Our research revealed that sheep represent an important dispersal vector, since about half of the plant species recorded in the pastures were found as diaspores in fur. This study contributes to knowledge about the modes of seed dispersal in seminatural grasslands. Taking into account that livestock play a key role in vegetation dynamics, understanding their effects on seed dispersal is essential for conservation and restoration of these species-rich grassland communities.

  9. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives, organization and research programme of the Grassland Biome Project are described against a background of the biome's ecological characteristics and environmental problems. Four principal research topics wil 1 be focused upon: (i...

  10. Dynamic shear stiffness and damping ratio of marine calcareous and siliceous sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javdanian, Hamed; Jafarian, Yaser

    2018-03-01

    Shear stiffness and damping ratio of two marine calcareous and siliceous sands were evaluated through an experimental program. Resonant column and cyclic triaxial experiments were conducted to measure the dynamic properties of the sands in small and large shear strain amplitudes. The tests were conducted under various initial stress-density conditions. The influence of effective confining pressure on the dynamic properties of the sands was assessed and compared in a preceding paper. It was shown that the calcareous sand has higher shear stiffness and lower damping ratio in comparison to the siliceous sand. In this note, the results are presented in more details and the dynamic behavior curves of the studied sands are compared with some available models, mostly developed based on the laboratory data of siliceous sands. This comparative study reveals that the previous models predict the dynamic properties of the calcareous sand in less precision than those of the siliceous sand.

  11. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

    Full Text Available Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp. have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands.

  12. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. CUTINI

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  13. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. SPADA

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  14. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bassin, S. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)]. E-mail: seraina.bassin@fal.admin.ch; Volk, M. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland); Fuhrer, J. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)

    2007-04-15

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles.

  15. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassin, S.; Volk, M.; Fuhrer, J.

    2007-01-01

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles

  16. DIVERSITY OF PLANT COMMUNITIES IN SECONDARY SUCCESSION OF IMPERATA GRASSLANDS IN SAMBOJA LESTARI, EAST KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Yassir

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Regeneration of  Imperata grassland areas is becoming increasingly important, both to create new secondary forest and to recover the original biodiversity. The diversity of  plant communities in secondary succession of  Imperata grasslands was studied using 45 subplots of  9 linear transects (10 m x 100 m. Data was collected and all stems over 10 cm dbh were identified, the Importance Values Index (IVI for all trees were calculated, saplings and seedlings were counted  and analysed, and soil samples were taken and analysed. Results showed that  after more than 10 years of  regeneration, 65 families were encountered consisting of  164 species, which were dominated by Vernonia arborea Buch.-Ham, Vitex pinnata L., Macaranga gigantea (Reichb.f. & Zoll. Muell.Arg., Symplocos crassipes C.B. Clarke, Artocarpus odoratissimus Miq., and Bridelia glauca Blume. The effects of  regeneration, from Imperata grassland to secondary forest, on soil were the strongest in the A-horizon where an increase in carbon, N content, and pH were observed. Our result shows that Imperata grasslands appear to be permanent because of  frequent fires and human interferences and so far few efforts have been made to promote sustainable rehabilitation. If  protected from fire and other disturbances, such as shifting cultivation, Imperata grassland will grow and develop into secondary forest.

  17. Grassland communities of traditional orchards in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert Zarnovican

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditional orchards are a valuable feature of the rural landscape and they are specific for regions with scattered settlement such as the Myjava hilly land and White Carpathians. Here, the permanent species-rich grasslands beneath trees were regularly managed in the traditional manner until some were replaced in the 1970’s and 80’s by intensively managed orchards, some of which were abandoned in the early 1990’s. Our 2011–2015 phytosociological research followed the standard Braun-Blanquet approach. We classified 178 phytosociological relevés recorded in orchard meadows (156 relevés, former intensively managed orchards (16 relevés, and two relevés from a semi-intensively grazed orchard. Traditionally managed orchard meadows were classified in the following five units: (i Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – thermophilous variant, (ii Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – transitional variant to Alchemillo-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iii Ranunculo bulbosi-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iv Onobrychido viciifoliae-Brometum erecti, and (v Brachypodio pinnati-Molinietum arundinaceae. Formerly intensively managed large-scale orchards were classified as Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris association and the semi-intensively grazed orchard as Lolio perennis-Cynosuretum cristati association. The species composition varies considerably due to tree-shading and different management treatments applied in the orchards, so the relevés of the delimited syntaxonomic units are not typical and have transitional character. Moisture, soil nutrients, and soil reaction were identified as the main environmental gradients influencing species composition. We tested four management treatments in direct gradient analysis and found that abandonment has the strongest effect on species composition. Comparison of grassland vegetation in the studied traditional orchards with that described in Germany reveals differences in species

  18. A neogene seawater sulfur isotope age curve from calcareous pelagic microfossils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burdett, J.W.; Arthur, M.A.; Richardson, M.

    1989-01-01

    Until now, our knowledge of the sulfur isotopic composition of seawater through geologic time has depended on stable isotopic analysis of sulfate from evaporites. Owing to the sporadic occurrence of evaporites through time, the secular sulfur isotope age curve contains many gaps with little or no data. In order to fill in some of these gaps, particularly the Neogene, we have analyzed the sulfur isotopic composition of carbonate-associated sulfate in carbonate tests of planktonic foraminifera. Other investigators have shown that sulfate may occur in biogenic calcites either lattice-bound, as micro-fluid inclusions, in adsorbed phases, or as protein polysaccharides. Whatever the origin, the sulfur isotopic composition of this sulfate appears to be representative of that of the water in which the organism lived, as shown by results on recent calcareous foraminifera and macrofossils. Using this approach for study of Miocene to Recent pelagic marine sediments supplemented by new data for Miocene marine evaporites from the Gulf of Suez, we have found that the δ 34 S of seawater has decreased about 2.5per mille over the past 25 m.y. and that most of the decrease has occurred over the past 5 m.y., paralleling a decrease in the δ 13 C of dissolved oceanic bicarbonate from the same interval. Sedimentary redox models based on isotope records suggest that organic carbon and sulfide burial have both decreased over the past 5 m.y. Alternatively, an increase in weathering rates over the past 5 m.y. would not require a decrease in organic carbon or sulfide burial as long as the isotopic effect of the increased river input exceeds the isotopic effect of the burial of the reduced species. In either case, the net result would be a decrease in atmospheric p O2 . (orig.)

  19. Effluent and gamma-irradiated digested sludge additions on calcareous soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee-Rodriguez, V.

    1978-01-01

    The long-term use of sewage effluent and the use of gamma-irradiated treated digested sewage sludge (RDSS) were studied under field and greenhouse conditions, respectively. The purpose of this investigation was to: (1) study the effect of long and short-term application of secondary sewage effluent and RDSS, respectively, on the buildup of iron and phytotoxicity problems on calcareous soils; (2) study the potential phytotoxicity of RDSS and observe the micronutrient fertilizer value of RDSS through three successive plantings on calcareous soil; (3) evaluate RDSS as a source of iron in a soil known to be severely iron-deficient

  20. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dasselaar, A. [Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands); Oenema, O. [NMI, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    Net methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions from managed grassland on peat soils in the Netherlands have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers in the period January - June 1994. Net CH{sub 4} emissions from two intensively managed grasslands were low, in general less than 0.1 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. On these sites, the effect of management was negligibly small. CH{sub 4} emission from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve ranged from 0 to 185 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. The results presented here indicate that CH{sub 4} emissions are 2-3 orders of magnitude higher on extensively managed grasslands than on intensively managed grasslands. 2 figs., 6 refs.

  1. Biostratigraphy of the Lower Cretaceous Schrambach Formation on the classical locality of Schrambachgraben (Northern Calcareous Alps, Salzburg Area)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Boorová, D.; Skupien, P.; Vašíček, Zdeněk

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 90, č. 1 (2014), s. 89-131 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : biostratigraphy * Schrambach and Rossfeld formations * Berriasian, Valanginian * calcareous and non-calcareous dinoflagellata * ammonites Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.515, year: 2014 http://www.geology.cz/bulletin/fulltext/1479_Boorova_in_press.pdf

  2. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes

  3. Life-history strategies as a tool to identify conservation constraints: A case-study on ants in chalk grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordwijk, C.G.E.; Boer, P.; Mabelis, A.A.; Verberk, W.C.E.P.; Siepel, H.

    2012-01-01

    Species’ life-history traits underlie species–environment relationships. Therefore, analysis of species traits, combined into life-history strategies, can be used to identify key factors shaping the local species composition. This is demonstrated in a case-study on ants in chalk grasslands. We

  4. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

  5. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  6. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  7. Estimating N2O processes during grassland renewal and grassland conversion to maize cropping using N2O isotopocules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchen, Caroline; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Fuß, Roland; Helfrich, Mirjam; Lewicka-Szczebak, Dominika

    2017-04-01

    Grassland break-up due to grassland renewal and grassland conversion to cropland can lead to a flush of mineral nitrogen from decomposition of the old grass sward and the decomposition of soil organic matter. Moreover, increased carbon and nitrogen mineralisation can result in enhanced nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. As N2O is known to be an important greenhouse gas and a major precursor for ozone depletion, its emissions need to be mitigated by adjusting agricultural management practices. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the N2O processes involved, as well as the contribution of N2O reduction to N2. Apart from the widely used 15N gas flux method, natural abundance isotopic analysis of the four most abundant isotopocules of N2O species is a promising alternative to assess N2O production pathways. We used stable isotope analyses of soil-emitted N2O (δ18ON2O, δ15NN2Obulk and δ15NN2OSP= intramolecular distribution of 15N within the linear N2O molecule) with an isotopocule mapping approach to simultaneously estimate the magnitude of N2O reduction to N2 and the fraction of N2O originating from the bacterial denitrification pathway or fungal denitrification and/or nitrification. This approach is based on endmember areas of isotopic values for the N2O produced from different sources reported in the literature. For this purpose, we calculated two main scenarios with different assumptions for N2O produced: N2O is reduced to N2 before residual N2O is mixed with N2O of various sources (Scenario a) and vice versa (Scenario b). Based on this, we applied seven different scenario variations, where we evaluated the range of possible values for the potential N2O production pathways (heterotrophic bacterial denitrification and/or nitrifier denitrification and fungal denitrification and/or nitrification). This was done by using a range of isotopic endmember values and assuming different fractionation factors of N2O reduction in order to find the most reliable scenario

  8. The Cumulative Effect of Manure on a Festuca Rubra Grasslands for 15 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioana VAIDA

    2017-11-01

    In this paper it was shown on which species the productivity of the grassland increased from the control variant to the fertilized variant with the maximum dose. Regarding the analysis of the phytodiversity, this tells us if the number of species is reduced in all the treatments, 10 t/ha of manure leads to an increase in phytocoenosis equivalence and implicitly to the Shannon index.

  9. Mapping Plant Functional Groups in Subalpine Grassland of the Greater Caucasus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Magiera

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant functional groups—in our case grass, herbs, and legumes—and their spatial distribution can provide information on key ecosystem functions such as species richness, nitrogen fixation, and erosion control. Knowledge about the spatial distribution of plant functional groups provides valuable information for grassland management. This study described and mapped the distribution of grass, herb, and legume coverage of the subalpine grassland in the high-mountain Kazbegi region, Greater Caucasus, Georgia. To test the applicability of new sensors, we compared the predictive power of simulated hyperspectral canopy reflectance, simulated multispectral reflectance, simulated vegetation indices, and topographic variables for modeling plant functional groups. The tested grassland showed characteristic differences in species richness; in grass, herb, and legume coverage; and in connected structural properties such as yield. Grass (Hordeum brevisubulatum was dominant in biomass-rich hay meadows. Herb-rich grassland featured the highest species richness and evenness, whereas legume-rich grassland was accompanied by a high coverage of open soil and showed dominance of a single species, Astragalus captiosus. The best model fits were achieved with a combination of reflectance, vegetation indices, and topographic variables as predictors. Random forest models for grass, herb, and legume coverage explained 36%, 25%, and 37% of the respective variance, and their root mean square errors varied between 12–15%. Hyperspectral and multispectral reflectance as predictors resulted in similar models. Because multispectral data are more easily available and often have a higher spatial resolution, we suggest using multispectral parameters enhanced by vegetation indices and topographic parameters for modeling grass, herb, and legume coverage. However, overall model fits were merely moderate, and further testing, including stronger gradients and the addition of

  10. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  11. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

    The connotation, progress, research frontiers and developmental trend of grassland agroecology are discussed in this paper. The interface theory, structure and function, coupling and discordance, and health assessment of grassland agroecosystems were recognized as the four research frontiers of the discipline. There exist three primary interfaces in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., vegetation-site, grassland-animal and production-management. Research into a series of the ecological processes that occurred at these interfaces is the key to revealing the features of the system behavior. There are four sections in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., pre-plant, plant, animal and post-biotic sections. System coupling and discordance are the two important concepts to describe interactions among the production sections. System coupling among the sections can lead to system improvement by exerting the potential of system capacity. Health of an ecosystem is a reflection of its structure and function, and health assessment is a measurement of its orderliness and service value.

  12. Machine Learning to Assess Grassland Productivity in Southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce-Campos, G. E.; Heilman, P.; Armendariz, G.; Moser, E.; Archer, V.; Vaughan, R.

    2015-12-01

    We present preliminary results of machine learning (ML) techniques modeling the combined effects of climate, management, and inherent potential on productivity of grazed semi-arid grasslands in southeastern Arizona. Our goal is to support public land managers determine if agency management policies are meeting objectives and where to focus attention. Monitoring in the field is becoming more and more limited in space and time. Remotely sensed data cover the entire allotments and go back in time, but do not consider the key issue of species composition. By estimating expected vegetative production as a function of site potential and climatic inputs, management skill can be assessed through time, across individual allotments, and between allotments. Here we present the use of Random Forest (RF) as the main ML technique, in this case for the purpose of regression. Our response variable is the maximum annual NDVI, a surrogate for grassland productivity, as generated by the Google Earth Engine cloud computing platform based on Landsat 5, 7, and 8 datasets. PRISM 33-year normal precipitation (1980-2013) was resampled to the Landsat scale. In addition, the GRIDMET climate dataset was the source for the calculation of the annual SPEI (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index), a drought index. We also included information about landscape position, aspect, streams, ponds, roads and fire disturbances as part of the modeling process. Our results show that in terms of variable importance, the 33-year normal precipitation, along with SPEI, are the most important features affecting grasslands productivity within the study area. The RF approach was compared to a linear regression model with the same variables. The linear model resulted in an r2 = 0.41, whereas RF showed a significant improvement with an r2 = 0.79. We continue refining the model by comparison with aerial photography and to include grazing intensity and infrastructure from units/allotments to assess the

  13. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    This study was concerned with plutonium contamination of grassland at the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geogrphical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for plutonium analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99% of the total plutonium was contained in the soil. The concentrations of plutonium in soil were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes. A mechanism of agglomerated submicron plutonium oxide particles and larger (1-500 μm) host soil particles was proposed. Concentrations of Pu in litter and vegetation were inversely correlated to distance from the source and directly correlated to soil concentrations at the same location. Comparatively high concentration ratios of vegetation to soil suggested wind resuspension of contamination as an important transport mechanism. Arthropod and small mammal samples were highly skewed, kurtotic, and quite variable, having coefficients of variation (standard deviation/mean) as high as 600%. Bone Pu concentrations were lower than other tissues. Hide, GI, and lung were generally not higher in Pu than kidney, liver and muscle

  14. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

  15. Sunlight-enhanced calcareous deposition on cathodic stainless steel in natural seawater

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Eashwar, M.; SathishKumar, P.; Ravishankar, R.; Subramanian, G.

    In replicate series of experiments in natural seawater, one in full darkness and the other in a 1:1 diurnal cycle with as little as 5 percent of natural solar illumination, sunlight promoted calcareous deposition on cathodic stainless steel surfaces...

  16. The potential of willow for remediation of heavy metal polluted calcareous urban soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, J K; Holm, P E; Nejrup, J

    2009-01-01

    Growth performance and heavy metal uptake by willow (Salix viminalis) from strongly and moderately polluted calcareous soils were investigated in field and growth chamber trials to assess the suitability of willow for phytoremediation. Field uptakes were 2-10 times higher than growth chamber...

  17. Geochemistry of calcareous sediments from the SW Carlsberg Ridge: Evidence for deeper carbonate compensation depth

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Valsangkar, A.B.; Ambre, N.V.

    Concentration of Mn, Fe, Ni, Co, Zn, Ca, Mg, K, Al, Si, Ti, P and CaCO sub(3) show wide range for the calcareous sediments from SW Carlsberg Ridge (CR). Compared with the average pelagic clays, the CR sediments are enriched by Mg, Ni, Co, and Zn...

  18. Coniacian-maastrichtian calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy and carbon-isotope stratigraphy in the Zagros Basin (Iran)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Razmjooei, Mohammad Javad; Thibault, Nicolas; Kani, Anoshiravan

    2014-01-01

    , White Fall, Kingsdown, Michel Dean, Haven Brow, Horseshoe Bay, Buckle, Hawks Brow, Santonian/Campanian boundary (SCBE) and Campanian/Maastrichtian boundary (CMBE) events. Correlation to a recently proposed global δ13C stack for the Late Cretaceous points to a major mismatch of this compilation...... and calcareous nannofossil bio-horizons, and (2) their correlation between the Tethyan and Boreal realms....

  19. Calcareous nannofossils from the Boreal upper Campanian-Maastrichtian Chalk of Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thibault, Nicolas Rudolph

    2010-01-01

    Boreal calcareous nannofossil assemblages have been documented from three sections in Denmark. from the Upper Campanian to Upper Maastrichtian (nannofossil zones UC16a(BP) to UC20d(BP)): the Stevns-1 borehole, next to the Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary section of Stevns Klint, eastern Sjaelland...

  20. Laboratory Experiment Investigating the Impact of Ocean Acidification on Calcareous Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Alokya P.; Bopegedera, A. M. R. P.

    2014-01-01

    The increase in ocean acidity since preindustrial times may have deleterious consequences for marine organisms, particularly those with calcareous structures. We present a laboratory experiment to investigate this impact with general, introductory, environmental, and nonmajors chemistry students. For simplicity and homogeneity, calcite was…

  1. Endolithic fungi from deep sea calcareous substrata: isolation and laboratory studies

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Raghukumar, S.; Sharma, S.; Chandramohan, D.

    substrata at 100 atm. in 25 days. This fungus was not capable of acid production on nutrient media in the presence of various carbon sources, nor did it produce proteases. The role of fungi in calcareous substrata in the sea is discussed with reference...

  2. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...

  3. Soil acidification and liming in grassland production and grassland soil fertility in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure ČOP

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the evidences on grassland soil acidity and liming in relation to soil processes and herbage production. There is also an outline of the present state of soil acidity and acidity-related traits – contents of organic matter (OM, phosphorus (P and potassium (K in Slovene grassland. In grassland, soil acidification is an ongoing process under humid climate conditions. It is mainly driven by leaching of nutrients, net loss of cations due to retention in livestock products, use of physiologically acid fertilizers, acid rain and N2 fixation. This process is reduced by strong pH buffering capacity of the soil and by physiologically basic fertilizers. Acid grassland soils in Slovenia are widely distributed in spite of the fact that 44% of the total land has developed from a carbonate parent material. Of the 1713 grassland soil samples analysed during 2005-2007 45% were regarded as acid ones (pH < 5.5; in KCl, 57% as soils with very low P status (˂ 6 mg P2O5/100 g soil and 22% as soils with very low K status (˂ 10 mg K2O/100 soil. Increased content of soil organic matter was identified for alpine pastures (˃ 10 % OM in 44% of samples, mainly as a result of low decomposition rate. Liming of acid grassland soils did not always reflect in a higher herbage yield. The cause for this inefficiency is plant composition of grassland. Thus, many grassland plants with relatively high production potential have adapted to acid soil conditions. To illustrate the inconsistent liming effect three researches are reviewed. In the first two researches liming along with fertilizer application did not increase the yield comparing to the fertilized control while in the third research the increase amounted 26 %. Liming improves considerably botanical composition of the acid grassland (e.g. sward where Common Bent – Agrostis tenuis Sibth. – prevails and thus indirectly affects palatability and nutritive value of herbage. Grassland liming has a weak

  4. Grassland ecology and diversity (Ecologia y diversidad de pastizales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert region are ecologically and economically important. These grasslands are valued for their rangeland, wildlife, watershed, and recreation resources. Biological diversity also raises the value of grassland communities. The potential for multiple uses within the region increases as the diversity of the resource base increases. In order...

  5. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hennessy, D.; Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.

    2014-01-01

    The European project MultiSward studied the appreciation of different functions of grasslands by European stakeholders. This paper describes the importance of grasslands for stakeholders in Ireland. Ireland currently has approximately 4.6 million ha of grassland, which is 90% of the total utilized

  6. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  7. Use of calcareous algae and monensin in Nellore cattle subjected to an abrupt change in diet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Ferreira Carvalho

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Additives are used in high concentrate diets to prevent metabolic disorders in cattle. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of calcium sources and monensin on the control of ruminal acidosis in Nellore cattle that were abruptly shifted to a high (92.3% concentrate diet. Eight cannulated steers were randomly assigned to two contemporary 4x4 Latin square. Treatments involved the addition of a calcium source, either limestone (LI or a product derived from calcareous algae (CA, to the basic diet with or without the presence of monensin. Calcareous alga (Lithothamnium calcareum is a natural and renewable product and a source of calcium carbonate. The quantity of added limestone, calcareous algae and monensin was 7.1g kg-1, 7.4g kg-1 and 30mg kg-1 DM, respectively. There was no effect of calcium source (P=0.607 or monensin (P=0.294 on feed intake or on the concentration of short chain fatty acids. Treatments with calcareous algae resulted in a higher mean ruminal pH (P=0.039, a shorter amount of time with the ruminal pH under 5.2 (P<0.001 and a better control of blood pH (P=0.006. Treatments with monensin also resulted in a shorter amount of time with the ruminal pH below 5.2 (P=0.023. Calcareous algae were shown to be effective in controlling adverse changes in the rumen and in blood variables for Nellore cattle that were subjected to an abrupt change to a high concentrate diet.

  8. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  9. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifa Debouk

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland. The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short

  10. Seeding method influences warm-season grass abundance and distribution but not local diversity in grassland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurkonis, Kathryn A.; Wilsey, Brian J.; Moloney, Kirk A.; Drobney, Pauline; Larson, Diane L.

    2010-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that the arrangement of seedlings in newly restored communities may influence future species diversity and composition. We test the prediction that smaller distances between neighboring seeds in drill seeded grassland plantings would result in lower species diversity, greater weed abundance, and larger conspecific patch sizes than otherwise similar broadcast seeded plantings. A diverse grassland seed mix was either drill seeded, which places seeds in equally spaced rows, or broadcast seeded, which spreads seeds across the ground surface, into 24 plots in each of three sites in 2005. In summer 2007, we measured species abundance in a 1 m2 quadrat in each plot and mapped common species within the quadrat by recording the most abundant species in each of 64 cells. Quadrat-scale diversity and weed abundance were similar between drilled and broadcast plots, suggesting that processes that limited establishment and controlled invasion were not affected by such fine-scale seed distribution. However, native warm-season (C4) grasses were more abundant and occurred in less compact patches in drilled plots. This difference in C4 grass abundance and distribution may result from increased germination or vegetative propagation of C4 grasses in drilled plots. Our findings suggest that local plant density may control fine-scale heterogeneity and species composition in restored grasslands, processes that need to be further investigated to determine whether seed distributions can be manipulated to increase diversity in restored grasslands.

  11. Soil invertebrate fauna enhances grassland succession and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Raaijmakers, Ciska E; Zoomer, H Rik; Berg, Matty P; de Ruiter, Peter C; Verhoef, Herman A; Bezemer, T Martijn; van der Putten, Wim H

    2003-04-17

    One of the most important areas in ecology is to elucidate the factors that drive succession in ecosystems and thus influence the diversity of species in natural vegetation. Significant mechanisms in this process are known to be resource limitation and the effects of aboveground vertebrate herbivores. More recently, symbiotic and pathogenic soil microbes have been shown to exert a profound effect on the composition of vegetation and changes therein. However, the influence of invertebrate soil fauna on succession has so far received little attention. Here we report that invertebrate soil fauna might enhance both secondary succession and local plant species diversity. Soil fauna from a series of secondary grassland succession stages selectively suppress early successional dominant plant species, thereby enhancing the relative abundance of subordinate species and also that of species from later succession stages. Soil fauna from the mid-succession stage had the strongest effect. Our results clearly show that soil fauna strongly affects the composition of natural vegetation and we suggest that this knowledge might improve the restoration and conservation of plant species diversity.

  12. An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Many studies that evaluate rehabilitation make use of invertebrate bioindicators. Invertebrates, especially ants, make useful indicators as they are sensitive to environmental change. We compared ant assemblages in rehabilitated and control sites in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, a protected area important for grassland conservation in South Africa. Pitfall traps were used to sample ant assemblages at six control sites and six rehabilitated sites. In addition, environmental and vegetation surveys were conducted at each site. We found that the ant assemblages differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites, although there was considerable overlap; the control sites supported a greater species density and higher abundance of ants than the rehabilitated sites. In total, 36 ant species were collected (control sites: 34 species; rehabilitated sites: 26 species. The environmental survey revealed that percentages of bare ground and coarse sand, as well as soil pH, differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites. The control and rehabilitated sites also supported significantly different plant assemblages. Three indicator ant species were identified for the control sites: Crematogaster rectinota, Crematogaster amita and Monomorium fastidium. No indicator species were identified for the rehabilitated sites. These results suggest that recovery from the previous agricultural use of the area is still incomplete and highlights the lack of research examining the success of rehabilitation in the grassland biome. Conservation implications: The present study illustrates the need for further research on rehabilitation techniques utilised in the grassland biome. This is of value as the remainder of South African grasslands are considered critically endangered.

  13. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Besson, Benoit

    2009-01-01

    The project 'SENSIB' of the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) aims at characterizing and classifying parameters with significant impact on the transfer of radioactive contaminants in the environment. This thesis is focused on permanent grassland areas. Its objectives are the analysis of the activity variations of two artificial radionuclides ( 137 Cs and 90 Sr) in the chain from soil to dairy products as well as the categorization of ecological and anthropogenic parameters, which determine the sensitivity of the studied area. For this study, in situ sampling is carried out in 15 farms in 3 different French regions (Charente, Puy-de-Dome and Jura). The sampling sites are chosen according to their natural variations (geology, altitude and climate) and the soil types. Additionally to the radiologic measurements, geographic, soil and vegetation data as well as data concerning cattle-rearing and cheese manufacturing processes are gathered. From the soil to the grass vegetation, 137 Cs transfer factors vary between 3 x 10-3 and 148 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (dry weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 73). Theses transfer factors are significantly higher in the Puy-de-Dome region than in the Jura region. The 137 Cs transfer factor from cattle feed to milk varies from 5.9 x 10-3 to 258 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (fresh weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 28). Statistically, it is higher in the Charente region. Finally, the 90 Sr transfer factor from milk to cheese ranges from 3.9 to 12.1. The studied site with the highest factor is the Jura (N = 25). The link between milk and dairy products is the stage with the most 137 Cs and 90 Sr transfers. A nonlinear approach based on a discretization method of the transfer factor with multiple comparison tests admits a classification of the sensitivity factors from soil to grass vegetation. We can determine 20 factors interfering in the 137 Cs transfer into the vegetation, for instance, the clay rate of the soils or a marker

  14. Landscape and Local Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Conservation Grasslands: Implications for the Conservation of Ecosystem Service Providers in Agricultural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  15. Estratégias anatômicas foliares de treze espécies de Orchidaceae ocorrentes em um campo de altitude no Parque Estadual da Serra do Brigadeiro (PESB: MG, Brasil Strategies anatomy from thirteen Orchidaceae species occurring in a "high altitude grasslands" in the State Park of Serra do Brigadeiro (PESB: Minas Gerais State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivone Vieira da Silva

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available O estudo objetivou caracterizar, anatomicamente, as folhas de Orchidaceae ocorrentes em um campo de altitude (PESB, identificando caracteres anatômicos úteis na interpretação das estratégias adaptativas. As treze espécies estudadas vivem em condições ambientais extremas tendo sido estudados apenas indivíduos terrestres, exceto Pleurothallis teres Lindl. espécie exclusivamente rupícola. Avaliando os caracteres anatômicos adaptativos, dois grupos podem ser distinguidos, os das espécies perenes (Epidendrum secundum Jacq., Epidendrum xanthinum Lindl., Oncidium barbaceniae Lindl., Oncidium blancheti Rchb. F., Pleurothallis prolifera Lindl., Pleurothallis teres Lindl., Zygopetalum brackypetalum Lindl. e Zygopetalum mackaii Hook. e os das espécies com redução das partes aéreas no período seco (Cleistes gracilis Schdl., Habenaria hydrophila Barb. Rodr., Habenaria janeirensis Kraenzl, Habenaria macronectar Hoehne e Prescottia montana Barb. Rodr.. As espécies perenes apresentam caracteres xeromórficos: folhas coriáceas ou coriáceas suculentas, cutícula espessa e estriada, hipoderme, grupos de fibras esparsas no mesofilo homogêneo, parênquima aqüífero com espessamento em barras ou espiralados nas paredes, idioblastos de ráfides e feixes vasculares colaterais circundados e com calotas de fibras. Nas espécies com redução das partes aéreas ocorrem investimentos diferenciados e os caracteres xeromórficos não são acentuados. As folhas são delgadas, com células epidérmicas adaxiais altas sendo a cutícula delgada geralmente desprovida de estriamentos e a presença de idioblastos de ráfides freqüentes no mesofilo. Não ocorre hipoderme e os feixes vasculares são reduzidos e sem associações com fibras.The purpose of this work was to characterize the leaf anatomy of thirteen Orchidaceae species in a "high altitude grasslands", located at State Park of Serra do Brigadeiro, and identify anatomical characteristics helpful to

  16. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  17. Positive effects of plant species diversity on productivity in the absence of legumes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the effect of species richness on productivity in randomly assembled grassland communities without legumes. Aboveground biomass increased with increasing species richness and different measures of complementarity showed strong increases with plant species richness. Increasing

  18. Grasslands feeling the heat: The effects of elevated temperatures on a subtropical grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan D. Buhrmann

    2016-12-01

    Conclusions: OTCs can simulate realistic increases of air temperature in subtropical grasslands. Graminoids and shrubs appear to benefit from elevated temperatures whilst forbs decrease in abundance, possibly through competition and/or direct physiological effects.

  19. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    increasing grassland quantity and connectivity throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, offsetting loss of grassland since the 1950s, abundance and occupied range of lesser prairie-chickens has declined since the 1980s, suggesting that habitat quality is the principal factor influencing population demography of the species. Although the CRP is contributing to conservation actions for lesser prairie-chickens, efforts to improve habitat quality throughout the range of the lesser prairie-chicken are likely necessary to meet management goals. Continuation of the CRP faces an uncertain future in the face of rising commodity prices, energy development, and reduction in program scope, leaving open the possibility that these areas that have created habitat for lesser prairie-chickens could be lost.

  20. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    in increasing grassland quantity and connectivity throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, offsetting loss of grassland since the 1950s, abundance and occupied range of lesser prairie-chickens has declined since the 1980s, suggesting that habitat quality is the principal factor influencing population demography of the species. Although the CRP is contributing to conservation actions for lesser prairie-chickens, efforts to improve habitat quality throughout the range of the lesser prairie-chicken are likely necessary to meet management goals. Continuation of the CRP faces an uncertain future in the face of rising commodity prices, energy development, and reduction in program scope, leaving open the possibility that these areas that have created habitat for lesser prairie-chickens could be lost.

  1. Do large scale restoration projects reduce within-species traits variability? - Présentées à 2 congrès

    OpenAIRE

    Harzé, Mélanie; Monty, Arnaud; Mahy, Grégory

    2015-01-01

    Dry calcareous grasslands represent local biodiversity hotspots of European temperate regions. They have suffered intensive fragmentations due to due to the abandonment of traditional agropastoral systems and the resulting encroachment, reforestation, urbanization or transformation into arable lands. In order to preserve and enhance their ecological value, a series of ecological restoration projects have been implemented throughout Europe (LIFE+). As habitats restoration costs can be prohibit...

  2. Greenhouse gas exchange in grasslands: impacts of climate, intensity of management and other factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, K. A.

    2003-04-01

    Grasslands occupy some 40% of the terrestrial land surface. They are generally categorised as natural (occurring mainly in those regions where the rainfall is too low to support forest ecosystems), semi-natural (where management, mainly by grazing, has changed the vegetation composition), and artificial (where forests have been cleared to create new pasture land). The soils of the natural and semi-natural grasslands constitute a large reservoir of carbon, and make a substantial contribution to the soil sink for atmospheric CH_4. The conversion of much of the natural temperate grassland to arable agriculture, e.g. in North America and Europe, resulted in a considerable decrease in soil organic carbon, and its release to the atmosphere as CO_2 has made a substantial contribution to the total atmospheric concentration of this gas. The associated increase in cycling of soil N (released from the organic matter) will have contributed to N_2O emissions, and land disturbance and fertilisation has resulted in a depletion of the soil CH_4 sink. Conversion of tropical forests to pastures has also been a major source of CO_2, and these pastures show elevated emissions of N_2O for some years after conversion. Seasonally flooded tropical grasslands are a significant source of CH_4 emissions. Consideration of grassland ecosystems in their entirety, in relation to GHG exchange, necessitates the inclusion of CH_4 production by fauna - domesticated livestock and wild herbivores, as well as some species of termites - in the overall assessment. Stocking rates on pasture land have increased, and the total CH_4 emissions likewise. The relationship between animal production and CH_4 emissions is dependent on the nutritional quality of the vegetation, as well as on animal numbers. In both temperate and tropical regions, increased N inputs as synthetic fertilisers and manures (and increased N deposition) are producing possibly a more-than-linear response in terms of emissions of N_2O. In

  3. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    During the past few decades numbers of some species of upland-nesting birds in North America have declined. Duck species such as mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), northern pintail (A. acuta) and blue-winged teal (A. discors) have declined since the early 1970s and have remained low since 1985 (Caithamer et al. 1993). Some grassland-dependent nonwaterfowl species also have declined since 1966, as indicated by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Robbins et al. 1986). For prairie-nesting ducks, population declines can be attributed mostly to low recruitment, partially as a result of low nest success. Klett et al. (1988) concluded that nest success (probability of ≥1 egg of clutch hatches) in much of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region was inadequate to maintain populations of the five most common upland-nesting duck species studied, and that predators were the most important cause of nest failure. Over the years, as grassland areas have been converted to cropland, ducks have concentrated their nesting in the remaining areas of available habitat, where predators such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and badger (Taxidea taxus) forage (Cowardin et al. 1983). The reasons for declining populations of grassland nonwaterfowl birds are not clear but the loss of suitable grassland-nesting habitat probably is an important factor. Currently, approximately 95 percent of the land in North Dakota is used for agricultural purposes, of which over 60 percent is used for annual crop production (Haugse 1990). Of the grassland that remains, 95 percent is used for livestock production. This probably had a severe impact on grassland bird species that seek idle grass cover for nesting. The 1985 and 1990 U.S. Farm Bills include provisions under the Food Security Act to fund a cropland-idling program called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Over 36 million acres have been enrolled nationwide in the CRP since 1985 (Osborn 1993), and up to 25 percent of

  4. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage

  5. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Cathy W. Dahms

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of an ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States, and it is one of a series of planned publications addressing major ecosystems of the Southwest. The first assessment, General Technical Report RM-GTR- 295, An Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in the Southwest (by Dahms and Geils, technical editors,...

  6. [Spatiotemporal characteristics of MODIS NDVI in Hulunber Grassland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Bin; Yang, Gui-Xia; Wu, Wen-Bin; Li, Gang; Chen, Bao-Rui; Xin, Xiao-Ping

    2009-11-01

    Time-series MODIS NDVI datasets from 2000 to 2008 were used to study the spatial change trend, fluctuation degree, and occurrence time of the annual NDVImax of four typical grassland types, i.e., lowland meadow, temperate steppe, temperate meadow steppe, and upland meadow, in Hulunber Grassland. In 2000-2008, the vegetation in Hulunber Grassland presented an obvious deterioration trend. The mean annual NDVImax of the four grassland types had a great fluctuation, especially in temperate steppe where the maximum change in the mean value of annual NDVImax approximated to 50%. As for the area change of different grade grasslands, the areas with NDVImax between 0.4 and 1 accounted for about 91% of the total grassland area, which suggested the good vegetation coverage in the Grassland. However, though the areas with NDVImax values in (0.4, 0.8) showed an increasing trend, the areas with NDVImax values in (0.2, 0.4) and (0.8, 1) decreased greatly in the study period. Overall, the deteriorating grassland took up about 66.25% of the total area, and the restoring grassland took the rest. There was about 62.85% of the grassland whose NDVImax occurred between the 193rd day and the 225th day in each year, indicating that this period was the most important vegetation growth season in Hulunber Grassland.

  7. Ornamental Eudicotyledons from grasslands of Pampa biome in Rio Grande do Sul

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana De Araújo Carrion

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The present study aims at investigating the group of Eudicotyledons native plants with ornamental potential of grasslands from the Pampa biome in the south of Brazil. The Pampa presents a high level of biodiversity; however, it requires studies related to the richness of vascular plants and its biological and ecological knowledge. The purpose of this work is to elaborate a preliminary inventory of this group of plants, analyzing the ornamental potential of each specie and indicating those that could be considered as being priorities for the purpose of sustainable use with this objective. Some grassland species were selected through the search for information in herbarium registers, national and international works about decorative plants, floristic surveys, besides the authors´ practical knowledge. Some parameters and values were associated, aiming at reducing the subjectivity of the choice. The survey resulted in a list of 177 species distributed in 36 families and 101 genera. Among these species, ten presented high ornamental potential. These data show that the richness of the grassland native ornamental flora is high, even though its use is poorly known. The use of these plants, if in a sustainable manner, can produce economic and ecological benefits.

  8. Physical and microbiological properties of alluvial calcareous Çumra province soils (Central Anatolia, Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet Sami Erol

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Alluvial calcareous soils in Central Anatolia (Konya province, Çumra district has a heavy granulometric composition (average clay, low organic carbon content (less than 1%, but stable pore space structure and favorable agrophysical properties. Studies of the water regime in drip irrigation confirm favorable hydrological properties of these soils. It is assumed that the favorable structure of the pore space due to vigorous activity a large and diverse soil biota. Four phyla dominate in soil biota, among which predominate Actinobacteria. The higher (Streptomyces, and lower (three species Rhodococcus actinobacteria are predominant in large amounts as a part of this phyla. Large biodiversity at a sufficiently high bacteria richness formed the structure of the microbial community that contribute to the balanced production of specific metabolites, including gases (CO2, N2, which allows the soil to function actively, preventing compaction of the pore space and maintaining optimal density, porosity, hydrologic properties of the studied silty clay soils. m the uppermost soil horizons. Analyses of heavy mineral fraction show presence of metamorphic and igneous minerals which indicate participation of weathering products from other rock types in the nearby area. The types of heavy minerals in soils depend more on composition of parent rocks and geomorphic position than on climate type. Soils from Nova Lovcha show similar composition, but the quantity of goethite and hematite significantly increase in soil from plain. Typical high-metamorphic minerals as andalusite, kyanite and sillimanite present only in Nova Lovcha, while garnet dominates in Petrovo and opaque minerals - in Dobrostan. Red soils, formed on slopes, where erosion prevails over accumulation, contain more illite, smectite and vermiculite-smectite, and very few or no kaolinite, whereas the kaolinite is dominant in soils formed on plain. The mineralogical composition of clays in different

  9. Potential for carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change by irrigation of grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsson, Alexander; Campana, Pietro Elia; Lind, Mårten; Yan, Jinyue

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • A generic method for climate change mitigation feasibility of PVWPS is developed. • Restoration of degraded lands in China has large climate change mitigation potential. • PV produces excess electricity included in the mitigation potential of the system. • The benefit is higher than if the PV were to produce electricity for the grid only. - Abstract: The climate change mitigation potential of irrigation powered by a photovoltaic water pumping system (PVWPS) to restore degraded grasslands has been investigated using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. The purpose of this study is to develop a generic and simple method to estimate the climate change mitigation benefit of a PVWPS. The possibility to develop carbon credits for the carbon offset markets has also been studied comparing carbon sequestration in grasslands to other carbon sequestration projects. The soil carbon sequestration following irrigation of the grassland is calculated as an annual increase in the soil organic carbon pool. The PVWPS can also generate an excess of electricity when irrigation is not needed and the emissions reductions due to substitution of grid electricity give additional climate change mitigation potential. The results from this study show that the carbon sequestration and emissions reductions benefits per land area using a PVWPS for irrigating grasslands are comparable to other carbon sequestration options such as switching to no-till practice. Soil carbon in irrigated grasslands is increased with over 60% relative to severely degraded grasslands and if nitrogen fixing species are introduced the increase in soil organic carbon can be almost 80%. Renewable electricity generation by the PVWPS will further increase the mitigation benefit of the system with 70–90%. When applying the methodology developed in this paper to a case in Qinghai, China

  10. Agricultural Set-aside Programs and Grassland Birds: Insights from Broad-scale Population Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Riffell

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

  11. Medial calcar of proximal humeral fracture as landmark in restoration of humeral length in case of hemiarthroplasty

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hromádka, R.; Kuběna, Aleš Antonín; Šmíd, Martin; Popelka, S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 35, č. 5 (2014), s. 473-479 ISSN 0930-1038 Institutional support: RVO:67985556 Keywords : Fracture of proximal humerus * Calcar of humeral fracture * Reconstruction of proximal humerus * Reconstruction of humeral length * Shoulder arthroplasty * Shoulder hemiarthroplasty Subject RIV: FJ - Surgery incl. Transplants Impact factor: 1.047, year: 2014 http://library.utia.cas.cz/separaty/2013/E/smid-medial calcar of proximal humeral fracture as landmark in restoration of humeral length in case of hemiarthroplasty.pdf

  12. Experimental control of Spanish broom (Spartium junceum invading natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sanhueza

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A group of legumes generically known as brooms are among the most successful shrubs invading grasslands in South America and otherregions. These species share a set of biological features that enhance their invasiveness, such as abundant and long-lasting seed banks,aggressive root systems and rapid growth, combined with their ability for re-sprouting after cutting or burning and for avoiding herbivores.They grow in dense stands that exclude native vegetation and are able to change ecological processes, increasing fire frequency and intensity,and fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The Spanish broom (Spartium junceum is a shrub native form the Mediterranean that was introduced intothe Argentine Pampas grasslands where it spreads over remnants of pristine ecosystems, threatening their biodiversity. This paper reports theresults obtained after an adaptive management strategy aimed at controlling this species in a nature reserve, and compares the efficiency ofdifferent mechanical and chemical control techniques in terms of the number of plants killed and the effects on surrounding vegetation andon the recruitment of broom seedlings. Control was implemented in two phases, the first included three treatments: i cut at the base of theplant, ii cut followed by the immediate application of Togar (Picloram 3% + Triclopyr 6%, at a 5% dilution in diesel oil on top of the cut stump, and iii foliar spraying with Togar. The follow-up treatments, implemented one year later, consisted of spraying the re-sprouts with Togar (5% in diesel oil or Glyphosate 36% (2% in water. The best option in terms of controlling Spanish broom was spraying the resprouts with Togar which gave 100% mortality of the treated plants, compared with values of 40% - 100% re-sprouting for the other optionstested. None of the methods was associated with an increase in seedling recruitment, nor with significant changes in the vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the controlled brooms.

  13. Germination patterns of a suite of semiarid grassland forbs from central New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosemary L. Pendleton; Burton K. Pendleton

    2014-01-01

    We examined the germination response of 21 forb species collected from semiarid grasslands of central New Mexico. After-ripened seeds were subjected to 1 of 3 treatments: 1) no treatment; 2) a 3-wk stratification at 5 °C (cold-moist treatment); or 3) a 3-wk warm-moist treatment at 30 °C. All seeds were incubated under an alternating 10/20 °C temperature regime for 6 wk...

  14. Greenhouse gas balance of an establishing Sphagnum culture on a former bog grassland in Germany

    OpenAIRE

    A. Günther; G. Jurasinski; K. Albrecht; G. Gaudig; M. Krebs; S. Glatzel

    2017-01-01

    The cultivation of Sphagnum mosses on re-wetted peat bogs for use in horticulture is a new land use strategy. We provide the first greenhouse gas balances for a field-scale Sphagnum farming experiment on former bog grassland, in its establishment phase. Over two years we used closed chambers to make measurements of GHG exchange on production strips of Sphagnum palustre L. and Sphagnum papillosum Lindb. and on irrigation ditches. Methane fluxes of both Sphagnum species showed a significant dec...

  15. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Woods

    Full Text Available Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹. Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹ than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹, but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively. Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.

  16. Comment on "No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    A recent article published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications by Hale et al. (2014) is entitled, “No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds.” The conclusion stated in that title, unfortunately, is based on inappropriate statistical analysis of data collected by the authors. In fact, their data provide evidence of potential displacement by wind turbines in 2 of the 3 species considered.

  17. Migratory geese foraging on grassland:Case study in the region of Flanders (Belgium)

    OpenAIRE

    Van Gils, Bert; De Vliegher, Alex; Huysentruyt, Frank; Casaer, Jim; Devos, Koen

    2012-01-01

    Every winter nearly 100 000 migratory geese visit Northwestern Flanders (Belgium), including several protected species such as the pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus). The geese mainly forage on agricultural grassland, where they remove all the green parts and leave substantial amounts of droppings. In 2009 several farmers’ concerns about this phenomenon were thoroughly investigated. The main findings revealed that grass production on grazed parcels is reduced by 450 kg DM/ha on average ...

  18. Supporting biodiversity by prescribed burning in grasslands - A multi-taxa approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkó, Orsolya; Deák, Balázs; Magura, Tibor; Török, Péter; Kelemen, András; Tóth, Katalin; Horváth, Roland; Nagy, Dávid D; Debnár, Zsuzsanna; Zsigrai, György; Kapocsi, István; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2016-12-01

    There are contrasting opinions on the use of prescribed burning management in European grasslands. On the one hand, prescribed burning can be effectively used for the management of open landscapes, controlling dominant species, reducing accumulated litter or decreasing wildfire risk. On the other hand burning can have a detrimental impact on grassland biodiversity by supporting competitor grasses and by threatening several rare and endangered species, especially arthropods. We studied the effects of prescribed burning in alkaline grasslands of high conservation interest. Our aim was to test whether dormant-season prescribed burning can be an alternative conservation measure in these grasslands. We selected six sites in East-Hungary: in three sites, a prescribed fire was applied in November 2011, while three sites remained unburnt. We studied the effects of burning on soil characteristics, plant biomass and on the composition of vegetation and arthropod assemblages (isopods, spiders, ground beetles and rove beetles). Soil pH, organic matter, potassium and phosphorous did not change, but soluble salt content increased significantly in the burnt sites. Prescribed burning had several positive effects from the nature conservation viewpoint. Shannon diversity and the number of flowering shoots were higher, and the cover of the dominant grass Festuca pseudovina was lower in the burnt sites. Graminoid biomass was lower, while total, green and forb biomass were higher in the burnt plots compared to the control. The key finding of our study was that prescribed burning did not decrease the abundance and diversity of arthropod taxa. Species-level analyses showed that out of the most abundant invertebrate species, 10 were not affected, 1 was negatively and 1 was positively affected by burning. Moreover, our results suggest that prescribed burning leaving unburnt patches can be a viable management tool in open landscapes, because it supports plant diversity and does not threaten

  19. Dried gamma-irradiated sewage solids use on calcareous soils: crop yields and heavy metals uptake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCaslin, B.D.; Sivinski, J.S.

    1980-01-01

    The fertilizer values of gamma-irradiated digested sewage solids (RDSS) and gamma-irradiated undigested sewage solids (RUSS) have been examined on calcareous soils. Previously published data from Sandia Laboratories have shown that approximately 1 mega-rad of gamma-irradiation effectively destroys pathogenic bacteria, parasites and plant seeds in dried sewage solids. Greenhouse experiments directly comparing gamma-irradiated and non-irradiated undigested and digested dried sewage solids as fertilizers indicate little or no effect of 1 mega-rad gamma radiation treatment on plant yield or plant-nutrient uptake and demonstrated considerable benefit from using sewage solids on calcareous soils. Plant response to undigested sewage solids was considerably greater than to digested sewage solids when applied at levels that were isonitrogenous. The calcareous soils in New Mexico typically range in pH from 7.5 to 9.0, limiting the plant-availability of many elements, especially heavy metals. Soils irrigated with sewage-effluent for 40 years demonstrated beneficial use of supplied plant-nutrients with no apparent increase in plant-uptake of heavy metals. RDSS applied to a calcareous soil low in plant-available iron increased plant growth in the greenhouse considerably more than treatments with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and iron applied as common fertilizer materials. Plant tissue concentrations of Fe, Zn, Mn and Cu showed that RDSS was a good source of these nutrients. Results also indicated that the total soluble salt concentration of the RDSS was the factor most limiting plant growth. Chromium, Cd, Ni and Pd plant-tissue concentrations were apparently not increased by RDSS treatments. (Auth.)

  20. Moessbauer study of the transformations occurring in egyptian alluvial and calcareous clays during firing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sallam, H.A.; Gomma, N.S.; El Meligy, W.M.; Eissa, N.A.

    1994-01-01

    Egyptian alluvial and calcareous clay samples, which are used in pottery production, were heated at different temperatures in air up to 1100 degree C. The physicochemical transformations were followed up and could be separated in two main stages; i) the dehydroxilation, of the clay mineral, stage for firing up to 700 degree C, ii) the second stage for firing at 900 degree C and higher. In the later stage the effect of calcium content was very pronounced. 2 figs

  1. A Study of Calcareous Deposits on Cathodically Protected Mild Steel in Artificial Seawater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanfeng Yang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Calcareous deposits were formed on steel under conditions of cathodic protection in artificial seawater at applied constant current densities ranging from 50 to 400 mA·m−2. The calcareous layers were characterized using a Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope (FEG SEM in conjunction with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX, and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS. At cathodic current densities of 50–100 mA·m−2 where corrosion was still occurring, a clear correlation existed between the iron containing corrosion product and the overlying magnesium hydroxide layer. This revealed that the mapping of magnesium rich areas on a steel surface can be used in the identification of local corrosion sites. At current densities of 150–200 mA·m−2, a layered deposit was shown to occur consisting of an inner magnesium-containing layer and an outer calcium-containing layer. At current densities of 300–400 mA·m−2, intense hydrogen bubbling through macroscopic pores in the deposits gave rise to cracking of the deposited film. Under such conditions deposits do not have a well-defined double layer structure. There is also preferential formation of magnesium-rich compounds near the steel surface at the early stages of polarisation and within the developing pores and cracks of calcareous deposits later on. Based on SEM/EDX investigation of calcareous depositions the impedance model was proposed and used to monitor in situ variations in steel corrosion resistance, and to calculate the thickness of formed deposits using the length of oxygen diffusion paths.

  2. Adsorption and desorption of Am(III) on calcareous soil and its parent material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Weijuan; Zhang Fuming; Tao Zuyi

    2005-01-01

    The adsorption and desorption of Am(III) on a calcareous soil (sierozem) and its parent material (loess) were studied by batch technique. The molarities of the Am(III) aqueous solutions were less than 5 x 10 -9 mol/l. High adsorbability was found of Am(III) on the calcareous soil and its parent material. In order to decrease the adsorption and, hence, to investigate the adsorption characteristics properly, stable Eu 3+ as hold back carrier and analogue was added to the aqueous solution. The relative contributions of CaCO 3 , organic matter (OM) to the Am(III) adsorption on calcareous soil and its parent material were investigated. The adsorption and desorption isotherms of Am(III) on untreated soil and loess and the three kinds of treated soils and three kinds of treated loesses to remove CaCO 3 , OM and both CaCO 3 and OM were determined, respectively. It was found that all isotherms were linear, the average distribution coefficients (K d ) for the untreated soil and for the untreated loess were almost equal, while there was an obvious difference between the values of the average distribution coefficients (K d ) for the treated soil and the treated loess to remove CaCO 3 or OM. The adsorption-desorption hysteresis on the untreated and treated soils and loesses actually occurred and there was an obvious difference between the hysteresis coefficients on both the corresponding treated soil and loess. It can be concluded that the adsorbability of Am(III) on calcareous soil is similar to that on its parent material, and that the contributions of CaCO 3 and OM to the Am(III) adsorption by the untreated soil are different from those by the untreated parent material. (author)

  3. The potential of residues of furfural and biogas as calcareous soil amendments for corn seed production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yunchen; Yan, Zhibin; Qin, Jiahai; Ma, Zhijun; Zhang, Youfu; Zhang, Li

    2016-04-01

    Intensive corn seed production in Northwest of China produced large amounts of furfural residues, which represents higher treatment cost and environmental issue. The broad calcareous soils in the Northwest of China exhibit low organic matter content and high pH, which led to lower fertility and lower productivity. Recycling furfural residues as soil organic and nutrient amendment might be a promising agricultural practice to calcareous soils. A 3-year field study was conducted to evaluate the effects of furfural as a soil amendment on corn seed production on calcareous soil with compared to biogas residues. Soil physical-chemical properties, soil enzyme activities, and soil heavy metal concentrations were assessed in the last year after the last application. Corn yield was determined in each year. Furfural residue amendments significantly decreased soil pH and soil bulk density. Furfural residues combined with commercial fertilizers resulted in the greater cumulative on soil organic matter, total phosphorus, available phosphorus, available potassium, and cation exchange capacity than that of biogas residue. Simultaneously, urease, invertase, catalase, and alkaline phosphatase increased even at the higher furfural application rates. Maize seed yield increased even with lower furfural residue application rates. Furfural residues resulted in lower Zn concentration and higher Cd concentration than that of biogas residues. Amendment of furfural residues led to higher soil electrical conductivity (EC) than that of biogas residues. The addition of furfural residues to maize seed production may be considered to be a good strategy for recycling the waste, converting it into a potential resource as organic amendment in arid and semi-arid calcareous soils, and may help to reduce the use of mineral chemical fertilizers in these soils. However, the impact of its application on soil health needs to be established in long-term basis.

  4. Relationships between nutrient composition of flowers and fruit quality in orange trees grown in calcareous soil

    OpenAIRE

    Pestana, M.; Beja, P.; Correia, P. J.; Varennes, Amarilis de; Faria, E. A.

    2005-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted in a commercial orange orchard (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb. cv. ‘Valencia late’ grafted on Citrange Troyer) established on a calcareous soil in the south of Portugal, to investigate if flower analysis could be used to predict fruit quality. In April 1996, during full bloom, flowers were collected from 20 trees. In March 1997 the fruits were harvested and their quality evaluated. This procedure was repeated every year during three years. Principal Compon...

  5. Nest Success and Cause-Specific Nest Failure of Grassland Passerines Breeding in Prairie Grazed by Livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    This manuscript describes two years of field research on ground-nesting songbird species at Zumwalt Prairie Reserve, northeastern Oregon, USA. Cattle-grazing has long been suspected in declines of ground-nesting songbirds in grazed grassland, primarily due to increased trampling...

  6. Changes in nitrogen mineralization, tissue nutrient concentrations and biomass compartmentation after cessation of fertiliser application to mown grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Berendse, F.; Visser, de W.

    1994-01-01

    1 Nitrogen mineralization was studied in four grasslands (fields A-D), which had not been fertilized for 2, 6, 19 and 45 years, respectively, thereby forming a chrono-sequence. Fertilizer application was stopped in these fields in order to restore former species-rich communities characteristic of

  7. Studying long-term, large-scale grassland restoration outcomes to improve seeding methods and reveal knowledge gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    1) Considerable research is currently focused on restoring the World’s degraded grasslands by introducing species from seed. The research is continually providing valuable new insights into early seeded plant establishment, but more emphasis on longer, larger studies is needed to better quantify s...

  8. The potential of willow for remediation of heavy metal polluted calcareous urban soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jensen, Julie K.; Holm, Peter E.; Nejrup, Jens; Larsen, Morten B.; Borggaard, Ole K.

    2009-01-01

    Growth performance and heavy metal uptake by willow (Salix viminalis) from strongly and moderately polluted calcareous soils were investigated in field and growth chamber trials to assess the suitability of willow for phytoremediation. Field uptakes were 2-10 times higher than growth chamber uptakes. Despite high concentrations of cadmium (≥80 mg/kg) and zinc (≥3000 mg/kg) in leaves of willow grown on strongly polluted soil with up to 18 mg Cd/kg, 1400 mg Cu/kg, 500 mg Pb/kg and 3300 mg Zn/kg, it is unsuited on strongly polluted soils because of poor growth. However, willow proved promising on moderately polluted soils (2.5 mg Cd/kg and 400 mg Zn/kg), where it extracted 0.13% of total Cd and 0.29% of the total Zn per year probably representing the most mobile fraction. Cu and Pb are strongly fixed in calcareous soils. - Willow is suited for remediation of moderately heavy metal polluted calcareous soils

  9. Fate and Distribution of Heavy Metals in Wastewater Irrigated Calcareous Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stietiya, Mohammed Hashem; Duqqah, Mohammad; Udeigwe, Theophilus; Zubi, Ruba; Ammari, Tarek

    2014-01-01

    Accumulation of heavy metals in Jordanian soils irrigated with treated wastewater threatens agricultural sustainability. This study was carried out to investigate the environmental fate of Zn, Ni, and Cd in calcareous soils irrigated with treated wastewater and to elucidate the impact of hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) amendment on metal redistribution among soil fractions. Results showed that sorption capacity for Zarqa River (ZR1) soil was higher than Wadi Dhuleil (WD1) soil for all metals. The order of sorption affinity for WD1 was in the decreasing order of Ni > Zn > Cd, consistent with electrostatic attraction and indication of weak association with soil constituents. Following metal addition, Zn and Ni were distributed among the carbonate and Fe/Mn oxide fractions, while Cd was distributed among the exchangeable and carbonate fractions in both soils. Amending soils with 3% HFO did not increase the concentration of metals associated with the Fe/Mn oxide fraction or impact metal redistribution. The study suggests that carbonates control the mobility and bioavailability of Zn, Ni, and Cd in these calcareous soils, even in presence of a strong adsorbent such as HFO. Thus, it can be inferred that in situ heavy metal remediation of these highly calcareous soils using iron oxide compounds could be ineffective. PMID:24723833

  10. Cathodic behaviour of stainless steel in coastal Indian seawater: calcareous deposits overwhelm biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eashwar, M; Subramanian, G; Palanichamy, S; Rajagopal, G; Madhu, S; Kamaraj, P

    2009-01-01

    Type-316 stainless steel (SS) was investigated as the cathode in galvanic couples in full-strength seawater from the Gulf of Mannar on the southeast coast of India. Tests were devised to examine the impact of SS cathodes on anode materials with or without the accrual of marine biofilms. Biofilmed SS cathodes significantly enhanced the rate of corrosion of nickel, causing noble shifts in the couple potentials. With mild steel and zinc as the anodes, calcareous deposits developed quite rapidly on the SS cathodes and led to a significant reduction of bacterial numbers. The calcareous deposits also caused substantial reduction of galvanic corrosion rates for mild steel, whereas there was no difference for zinc. The deposits were identified by XRD as essentially carbonates, oxides and hydroxides of calcium and magnesium. Potentiodynamic polarization performed on the actual couples after disconnection and equilibration provided reasonable interpretations of the galvanic corrosion trends. Data from this work suggest that a potential of about -0.70 V vs. saturated calomel electrode (SCE) should provide optimum protection of SS in warmer, full-strength seawater that supports the precipitation of calcareous deposits. The criterion commonly recommended for temperate conditions of lower water temperature and estuarine waters of lower alkalinity is -1.0 V (SCE).

  11. INFLUENCE OF SILICEOUS AND CALCAREOUS FLY-ASHES ON PROPERTIES OF CEMENT MORTARS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Monika Rutkowska

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Care of the environment in accordance with the principles of sustainable development introduces the possibility and need for waste recycling. Construction and building industries have the greatest potential for reuse of waste. The article presents the results of investigations of cement mortars – tests of compressive and tensile strength after 28 and 56 days of curing – for normative mortars and mortars containing fly ashes – calcareous and siliceous ash – in their composition. To make the samples, the Portland cement CEM I 32,5 R, 42,5R and natural aggregate with graining of 0–2 mm were used. Concrete with siliceous and calcareous admixtures was made in six lots where the ash was added in the quantity of 2%, 5%, 10% of the cement mass or the 2%, 5%, 10% of cement was replaced by ashes. After the tests, it was stated that the siliceous fly-ash admixture increases the compressive and bending strength in comparison to the mortars with the calcareous ash admixtures.

  12. Fate and Distribution of Heavy Metals in Wastewater Irrigated Calcareous Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Hashem Stietiya

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of heavy metals in Jordanian soils irrigated with treated wastewater threatens agricultural sustainability. This study was carried out to investigate the environmental fate of Zn, Ni, and Cd in calcareous soils irrigated with treated wastewater and to elucidate the impact of hydrous ferric oxide (HFO amendment on metal redistribution among soil fractions. Results showed that sorption capacity for Zarqa River (ZR1 soil was higher than Wadi Dhuleil (WD1 soil for all metals. The order of sorption affinity for WD1 was in the decreasing order of Ni > Zn > Cd, consistent with electrostatic attraction and indication of weak association with soil constituents. Following metal addition, Zn and Ni were distributed among the carbonate and Fe/Mn oxide fractions, while Cd was distributed among the exchangeable and carbonate fractions in both soils. Amending soils with 3% HFO did not increase the concentration of metals associated with the Fe/Mn oxide fraction or impact metal redistribution. The study suggests that carbonates control the mobility and bioavailability of Zn, Ni, and Cd in these calcareous soils, even in presence of a strong adsorbent such as HFO. Thus, it can be inferred that in situ heavy metal remediation of these highly calcareous soils using iron oxide compounds could be ineffective.

  13. Spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on a military training base in Northwest Germany (Münster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buchholz, Sascha

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on the military training area of Dorbaum near Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia was investigated. From 2002 to 2003 a total of 11,194 mature spiders from 141 species and 20 families was caught by pitfall trapping and hand sampling. Among them are 18 species listed in the Red Data Book of North Rhine-Westphalia, four species are rare or previously rarely recorded. Most of the spiders are habitat generalists that extend their occurrence into all types of habitats, while the number of species which are stenotopic to sand habitats is noticeably low (n = 13. The spider data were analysed with Principal Component Analysis (PCA. It is possible to distinguish spider communities of neighbouring forested habitats from species groups of open habitats, but there is no uniform spider community which is characteristic for semi-dry grassland.

  14. Maximizing conservation benefit for grassland species with contrasting management requirements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teeffelen, van A.J.A.; Cabeza, M.; Poyry, J.; Raatikainen, K.; Kuussaari, M.

    2008-01-01

    Conservation management often encompasses multiple, alternative management actions on a given site, involving habitat restoration and maintenance for example. Which actions are preferable depends on the conservation goals, the expected outcomes of actions, and their associated costs. When actions

  15. Grassland degradation caused by tourism activities in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le, C; Ikazaki, K; Siriguleng; Kosaki, T; Kadono, A

    2014-01-01

    The recent increase in the number of tourists has raised serious concerns about grassland degradation by tourism activities in Inner Mongolia. Thus, we evaluated the effects of tourism activities on the vegetation and soil in Hulunbuir grassland. We identified all the plant species, measured the number and height of plant and plant coverage rate, and calculated species diversity, estimated above-ground biomass in use plot and non-use plot. We also measured soil hardness, and collected soil samples for physical and chemical analysis in both plots. The obtained results were as follows: a) the height of the dominant plants, plant coverage rate, species diversity, and above-ground biomass were significantly lower in use plot than in non-use plot, b) Carex duriuscula C.A.Mey., indicator plant for soil degradation, was dominant in use plot, c) soil hardness was significantly higher in use plot than in non-use plot, and spatial dependence of soil hardness was only found in the use plot, d) CEC, TC, TN and pH in the topsoil were significantly lower in use plot than non-use plot. On the basis of the results, we concluded that the tourism activities can be another major cause of the grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia

  16. Grassland degradation caused by tourism activities in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, C.; Ikazaki, K.; Siriguleng; Kadono, A.; Kosaki, T.

    2014-02-01

    The recent increase in the number of tourists has raised serious concerns about grassland degradation by tourism activities in Inner Mongolia. Thus, we evaluated the effects of tourism activities on the vegetation and soil in Hulunbuir grassland. We identified all the plant species, measured the number and height of plant and plant coverage rate, and calculated species diversity, estimated above-ground biomass in use plot and non-use plot. We also measured soil hardness, and collected soil samples for physical and chemical analysis in both plots. The obtained results were as follows: a) the height of the dominant plants, plant coverage rate, species diversity, and above-ground biomass were significantly lower in use plot than in non-use plot, b) Carex duriuscula C.A.Mey., indicator plant for soil degradation, was dominant in use plot, c) soil hardness was significantly higher in use plot than in non-use plot, and spatial dependence of soil hardness was only found in the use plot, d) CEC, TC, TN and pH in the topsoil were significantly lower in use plot than non-use plot. On the basis of the results, we concluded that the tourism activities can be another major cause of the grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia.

  17. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. TAXONOMY OF VISEAN MARINE CALCAREOUS ALGAE, FERNIE, BRITISH COLUMBIA (CANADA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BERNARD MAMET

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Reports a diverse microflora from the Late Viséan Opal Member, Fernie, Rocky Mountains, Canada.  A shallow-water limestone level yields forty identifiable taxa of green and red algae associated with  microproblematica.  Four  species are new :  Cabrieropora opalae, Cribrokamaena ferniensis, Koninckopora pachytheca and Moravammina ? enigmatica.  Inferred sedimentation is open marine, in normal salinity, from the middle part of the euphotic zone, within the fair-weather wave zone.  A semi-restricted lagoon located nearby provides floated calcispheres.  The high diversity is due to the excellent preservation of the thalli which were protected by a thin early coating of bacterial micrite. 

  19. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Knappová

    Full Text Available The importance of soil biota in the composition of mature plant communities is commonly acknowledged. In contrast, the role of soil biota in the early establishment of new plant communities and their relative importance for soil abiotic conditions are still poorly understood.The aim of this study was to understand the effects of soil origin and soil fungal communities on the composition of a newly established dry grassland plant community. We used soil from two different origins (dry grassland and abandoned field with different pH and nutrient and mineral content. Grassland microcosms were established by sowing seeds of 54 species of dry grassland plants into the studied soils. To suppress soil fungi, half of the pots were regularly treated with fungicide. In this way, we studied the independent and combined effects of soil origin and soil community on the establishment of dry grassland communities.The effect of suppressing the soil fungal community on the richness and composition of the plant communities was much stronger than the effect of soil origin. Contrary to our expectations, the effects of these two factors were largely additive, indicating the same degree of importance of soil fungal communities in the establishment of species-rich plant communities in the soils from both origins. The negative effect of suppressing soil fungi on species richness, however, occurred later in the soil from the abandoned field than in the soil from the grassland. This result likely occurred because the negative effects of the suppression of fungi in the field soil were caused mainly by changes in plant community composition and increased competition. In contrast, in the grassland soil, the absence of soil fungi was limiting for plants already at the early stages of their establishment, i.e., in the phases of germination and early recruitment. While fungicide affects not only arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but also other biota, our data indicate that changes

  20. An African grassland responds similarly to long-term fertilization to the Park Grass experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ward

    Full Text Available We compared the results of a long-term (65 years experiment in a South African grassland with the world's longest-running ecological experiment, the Park Grass study at Rothamsted, U.K. The climate is warm and humid in South Africa and cool and temperate in England. The African grassland has been fertilized with two forms of nitrogen applied at four levels, phosphorus and lime in a crossed design in 96 plots. In 1951, about 84% of plant cover consisted of Themeda triandra, Tristachya leucothrix and Setaria nigrirostris. Currently, the dominant species are Panicum maximum, Setaria sphacelata and Eragrostis curvula, making up 71% of total biomass. As in the Park Grass experiment, we found a significant (additive interaction effect on ANPP of nitrogen and phosphorus, and a (marginally significant negative correlation between ANPP and species richness. Unlike the Park Grass experiment, there was no correlation between ANPP and species richness when pH was included as a covariate. There was also a significant negative effect of nitrogen amount and nitrogen form and a positive effect of lime on species richness and species diversity. Soil pH had an important effect on species richness. Liming was insufficient to balance the negative effects on species richness of nitrogen fertilization. There was a significant effect of pH on biomass of three abundant species. There were also significant effects of light on the biomass of four species, with only Panicum maximum having a negative response to light. In all of the abundant species, adding total species richness and ANPP to the model increased the amount of variance explained. The biomass of Eragrostis curvula and P. maximum were negatively correlated with species richness while three other abundant species increased with species richness, suggesting that competition and facilitation were active. Consistent with the results from the Park Grass and other long-term fertilization experiments of grasslands

  1. Entomopathogenic fungi-based mechanisms for improved Fe nutrition in sorghum plants grown on calcareous substrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Raya-Díaz

    Full Text Available Although entomopathogenic fungi (EPF are best known for their ability to protect crops against insect pests, they may have other beneficial effects on their host plants. These effects, which include promoting plant growth and conferring resistance against abiotic stresses, have been examined in recent years to acquire a better understanding of them. The primary purposes of the present study were (i to ascertain in vitro whether three different strains of EPF (viz., Metarhizium, Beauveria and Isaria would increase the Fe bioavailability in calcareous or non-calcareous media containing various Fe sources (ferrihydrite, hematite and goethite and (ii to assess the influence of the EPF inoculation method (seed dressing, soil treatment or leaf spraying on the extent of the endophytic colonization of sorghum and the improvement in the Fe nutrition of pot-grown sorghum plants on an artificial calcareous substrate. All the EPFs studied were found to increase the Fe availability during the in vitro assay. The most efficient EPF was M. brunneum EAMa 01/58-Su, which lowered the pH of the calcareous medium, suggesting that it used a different strategy (organic acid release than the other two fungi that raised the pH of the non-calcareous medium. The three methods used to inoculate sorghum plants with B. bassiana and M. brunneum in the pot experiment led to differences in re-isolation from plant tissues and in the plant height. These three inoculation methods increased the leaf chlorophyll content of young leaves when the Fe deficiency symptoms were most apparent in the control plants (without fungal inoculation as well as the Fe content of the above-ground biomass in the plants at the end of the experiment. The total root lengths and fine roots were also increased in response to fungal applications with the three inoculation methods. However, the soil treatment was the most efficient method; thus, its effect on the leaf chlorophyll content was the most

  2. Trajectories of grassland ecosystem change in response to experimental manipulations of precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Alan; Smith, Melinda; Collins, Scott; Blair, John; Briggs, John

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and predicting the dynamics of ecological systems has always been central to Ecology. Today, ecologists recognize that in addition to natural and human-caused disturbances, a fundamentally different type of ecosystem change is being driven by the combined and cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities affecting earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. This type of change is historically unprecedented in magnitude, and as a consequence, such alterations are leading to trajectories of change in ecological responses that differ radically from those observed in the past. Through both short- and long-term experiments, we have been trying to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of ecological change in grassland ecosystems likely to result from changes in precipitation regimes. We have manipulated a key resource for most grasslands (water) and modulators of water availability (temperature) in field experiments that vary from 1-17 years in duration, and used even longer-term monitoring data from the Konza Prairie LTER program to assess how grassland communities and ecosystems will respond to changes in water availability. Trajectories of change in aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in sites subjected to 17 years of soil water augmentation were strongly non-linear with a marked increase in the stimulation of ANPP after year 8 (from 25% to 65%). Lags in alterations in grassland community composition are posited to be responsible for the form of this trajectory of change. In contrast, responses in ANPP to chronic increases in soil moisture variability appear to have decreased over a 10-yr period of manipulation, although the net effects of more variable precipitation inputs were to reduce ANPP, alter the genetic structure of the dominant grass species, increase soil nitrogen availability and reduce soil respiration. The loss of sensitivity to increased resource variability was not reflected in adjacent plots where precipitation was

  3. Improved parameterization of managed grassland in a global process-based vegetation model using Bayesian statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolinski, S.; Müller, C.; Lotze-Campen, H.; Bondeau, A.

    2010-12-01

    More than a quarter of the Earth’s land surface is covered by grassland, which is also the major part (~ 70 %) of the agricultural area. Most of this area is used for livestock production in different degrees of intensity. The dynamic global vegetation model LPJmL (Sitch et al., Global Change Biology, 2003; Bondeau et al., Global Change Biology, 2007) is one of few process-based model that simulates biomass production on managed grasslands at the global scale. The implementation of managed grasslands and its evaluation has received little attention so far, as reference data on grassland productivity are scarce and the definition of grassland extent and usage are highly uncertain. However, grassland productivity is related to large areas, and strongly influences global estimates of carbon and water budgets and should thus be improved. Plants are implemented in LPJmL in an aggregated form as plant functional types assuming that processes concerning carbon and water fluxes are quite similar between species of the same type. Therefore, the parameterization of a functional type is possible with parameters in a physiologically meaningful range of values. The actual choice of the parameter values from the possible and reasonable phase space should satisfy the condition of the best fit of model results and measured data. In order to improve the parameterization of managed grass we follow a combined procedure using model output and measured data of carbon and water fluxes. By comparing carbon and water fluxes simultaneously, we expect well-balanced refinements and avoid over-tuning of the model in only one direction. The comparison of annual biomass from grassland to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) per country provide an overview about the order of magnitude and the identification of deviations. The comparison of daily net primary productivity, soil respiration and water fluxes at specific sites (FluxNet Data) provides

  4. Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Limited information exists regarding summer resource selection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in grassland regions of the Northern Great Plains. During summers 2005-2006, we analyzed habitat selection of adult female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. We collected 1905 summer locations and used 21 and 30 home ranges during 2005 and 2006, respectively, to estimate habitat selection. Results indicated that selection occurred at the population (P rural development areas containing permanent water sources during extreme drought conditions during 2006. Deer likely selected for fields of CRP grasslands during early summer for cover and natural forages, such as clover (Trifolium sp.), prior to the period when agricultural crops become available. Drought conditions occurring in semiarid prairie grassland regions may reduce food and water availability and contribute to subsequent changes in deer habitat selection across the range of the species.

  5. Interference between perennial grassland and Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata seedlings: a case of spatial segregation cause by competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Ana M.; Peco, Begoña

    2004-07-01

    This paper analyses the relationship between Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata, a common Mediterranean scrub species in central Iberia, and perennial grasslands. While Lavandula gives rise to almost monospecific formations in intermediate and upper hill zones, perennial grasses occupy the low areas. The proposed explanatory hypothesis for this spatial distribution is that the scrub is unable to establish itself in grasslands with heavy spatial occupation. We designed two experiments to test this hypothesis, one which analysed the effect of perennial grass cover on Lavandula establishment, and another which focused on its influence on previously implanted seedling survival and growth, distinguishing the effect of shoot and root interference. The results show negative interference during establishment and later in the use of light and nutrients. This results in a very low overall survival probability, with only 1.4% of seedlings surviving the first growth period. This low success rate explains the existence of a clear spatial segregation between scrub patches and perennial-dominated grasslands.

  6. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Ržonca

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003 and 2004 was carried out the energy analysis of the different types of permanent grassland utilization on the Hrubý Jeseník locality. There were estimated values of the particular entrances of additional energy. Energy entrances moved according to the pratotechnologies from 2.17 GJ. ha–1 to 22.70 GJ.ha–1. The biggest share on energy entrances had fertilizers. It was 84.93% by the nitrogen fertilisation. The most energy benefit of brutto and nettoenergy was marked by the low intensive utilisation (33.40 GJ.ha–1 NEL and 32.40 GJ.ha–1 NEV on average. The highest value of energy efficiency (13.23% was marked by the low intensive utilization of permanent grassland. By using of higher doses of industrial fertilizers has energy efficiency decreased. From view of energy benefit and intensiveness on energy entrances it appears the most available utilisation of permanent grassland with three cuts per year (first cut on May 31st at the latest, every next after 60 days or two cuts per year (first cut on July 15th, next cuts after 90 days.

  7. Sudden changes in environmental conditions do not increase invasion risk in grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruprecht, Eszter; Fenesi, Annamária; Nijs, Ivan

    2013-02-01

    After direct habitat transformation, biological invasions are considered to be the second most important threat to biodiversity. A better understanding of the factors affecting invasion success in new areas is crucial, and may provide insight into potential control actions. We hypothesized that invasion risk increases in habitats undergoing a sudden change in the disturbance regime or environmental conditions. For testing this assumption we initiated a seed sowing experiment while introducing two novel treatments, mowing twice and fertilizer application, in two grassland sites (one dryer and one mesic) in Romania. The seeds of two invasive species, Solidago canadensis and Rudbeckia laciniata, and two resident natives of similar seed sizes, life-forms and strategies were sowed in treated and control plots, and seed germination, seedling establishment and growth were followed during four months. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in the treatment effects on seed germination and seedling establishment between species, while there was on seedling vigour of the larger seeded species in the dryer grassland site, where the native had a higher performance especially in increased nutrient conditions. Indifferently from applied treatments, invasive species had greater cumulative germination in the mesic site, while natives were far more successful in seedling establishment in the drier site. At the same time, seed size was found to be a very important factor explaining germination and establishment success, with large seeded species outperforming small seeded species in any circumstances. Our results call the attention upon management interventions in mesic, productive grassland sites opening colonization windows for the recruitment of those invasive species of which ecological requirements correspond to local environmental conditions.

  8. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is critical for the maintenance of plant populations and community diversity, but sexual regeneration is considered to be infrequent in climatically harsh habitats such as sub alpine grasslands. For this reasons it is very important to improve the grassland. In this paper we study the interaction among milk production, fertilizations and flower composition in sub alpine grasslands. The agrochemical indicators are important because they influence the pasture value and at the final the milk production.

  9. Pleistocene to Miocene Calcareous Nannofossil Biostratigraphy from IODP Expedition 334 Hole U1381A and Expedition 352 Hole U1439A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, M.; Scientists, I. E.; Avery, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    Samples for this study were collected from drill cores taken during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expeditions 334 and 352 at Sites U1381 and U1439, respectively. Both of these expeditions were focused around subduction zones and, therefore, had priorities to determine time frames for the initiation of subduction. There are two main objectives for this study, the first being to age-date Pleistocene to Miocene sediments from the western offshore continental margin of Costa Rica (IODP Expedition 334) via calcareous nannofossils. The second objective is to age-date the Miocene sediments from the fore-arc of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana system, east of Japan (IODP Expedition 352), using calcareous nannofossils. Shore-based analysis allows for high-resolution study to determine exact biostratigraphic zonations. These zonations reflect specific time frames based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain nannofossil species. Once these zonations are determined, scientists can use the data to identify the initiation of seismic processes that often occur in these regions. Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy has now provided zonations for the samples taken from IODP Expedition 334 cores. Samples from core 6R are assigned to the Pleistocene nannofossil Zone NN19 due to the presence ofPseudoemiliania lacunosa and the absence of Emiliania huxleyi. Using the zonal scheme by de Kaenel (1999), this can further be broken down into Event 18 due to the presence of Gephyrocapsa oceanica larger than 4 μm but less than 5 μm, the presence of Calcidiscus macintyrei smaller than 11 μm, and the absence ofGephyrocapsa caribbeanica larger than 4 μm. De Kaenel (1999) has assigned this event datum an age of 1.718 Ma using orbital time scales and oxygen isotope data. Below these samples, an extensive hiatus ranges from the Pleistocene to the early Miocene. Samples from cores 7R through 10R are assigned to nannofossil zone NN5; however, it is impossible to constrain the top of

  10. The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevens, Carly J.; Dupre, Cecilia; Dorland, Edu; Gaudnik, Cassandre; Gowing, David J.G.; Bleeker, Albert; Diekmann, Martin; Alard, Didier; Bobbink, Roland; Fowler, David; Corcket, Emmanuel; Mountford, J. Owen; Vandvik, Vigdis

    2011-01-01

    A survey of 153 acid grasslands from the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is changing plant species composition and soil and plant-tissue chemistry. Across the deposition gradient (2-44 kg N ha -1 yr -1 ) grass richness as a proportion of total species richness increased whereas forb richness decreased. Soil C:N ratio increased, but soil extractable nitrate and ammonium concentrations did not show any relationship with nitrogen deposition. The above-ground tissue nitrogen contents of three plant species were examined: Agrostis capillaris (grass), Galium saxatile (forb) and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (bryophyte). The tissue nitrogen content of neither vascular plant species showed any relationship with nitrogen deposition, but there was a weak positive relationship between R. squarrosus nitrogen content and nitrogen deposition. None of the species showed strong relationships between above-ground tissue N:P or C:N and nitrogen deposition, indicating that they are not good indicators of deposition rate. - Highlights: → N deposition is negatively correlated with forb richness as a proportion of species richness. → Soil C:N ratio increased with increasing N deposition. → Soil extractable nitrate and ammonium were not related to nitrogen deposition. → Plant-tissue N content was not a good indicator of N deposition. - Atmospheric nitrogen deposition affects soils, plant-tissue chemistry and plant species composition in acid grasslands in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe.

  11. The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of Europe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevens, Carly J., E-mail: c.j.stevens@open.ac.uk [Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dupre, Cecilia [Institute of Ecology, FB 2, University of Bremen, Leobener Str., DE-28359 Bremen (Germany); Dorland, Edu [Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Department of Biology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.058, 3508 TB Utrecht (Netherlands); Gaudnik, Cassandre [University of Bordeaux 1, UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Gowing, David J.G. [Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bleeker, Albert [Department of Air Quality and Climate Change, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, PO Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Diekmann, Martin [Institute of Ecology, FB 2, University of Bremen, Leobener Str., DE-28359 Bremen (Germany); Alard, Didier [University of Bordeaux 1, UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Bobbink, Roland [B-WARE Research Centre, Radboud University, PO Box 9010, 6525 ED Nijmegen (Netherlands); Fowler, David [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Corcket, Emmanuel [University of Bordeaux 1, UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Mountford, J. Owen [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, MacLean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB (United Kingdom); Vandvik, Vigdis [Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Box 7800, N-5020 Bergen (Norway)

    2011-10-15

    A survey of 153 acid grasslands from the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is changing plant species composition and soil and plant-tissue chemistry. Across the deposition gradient (2-44 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}) grass richness as a proportion of total species richness increased whereas forb richness decreased. Soil C:N ratio increased, but soil extractable nitrate and ammonium concentrations did not show any relationship with nitrogen deposition. The above-ground tissue nitrogen contents of three plant species were examined: Agrostis capillaris (grass), Galium saxatile (forb) and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (bryophyte). The tissue nitrogen content of neither vascular plant species showed any relationship with nitrogen deposition, but there was a weak positive relationship between R. squarrosus nitrogen content and nitrogen deposition. None of the species showed strong relationships between above-ground tissue N:P or C:N and nitrogen deposition, indicating that they are not good indicators of deposition rate. - Highlights: > N deposition is negatively correlated with forb richness as a proportion of species richness. > Soil C:N ratio increased with increasing N deposition. > Soil extractable nitrate and ammonium were not related to nitrogen deposition. > Plant-tissue N content was not a good indicator of N deposition. - Atmospheric nitrogen deposition affects soils, plant-tissue chemistry and plant species composition in acid grasslands in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O. [Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The aim of the project on the title subject is to provide insight into the major controlling factors that contribute to the net exchange rates of methane (CH4) between grassland and atmosphere, and to provide quantitative net CH4 emission rates. Net CH4 emissions have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers on both intensively managed grasslands and grasslands in a nature preserve on peat soil in the Netherlands. Net CH4 emissions from intensively managed grasslands (Zegveld, Netherlands) were low in the period January-December 1994, in general in the range of -0.2 to 0.2 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1}. Only in the relatively warm summer of 1994, consumption of atmospheric CH4 of about 0.4 mg m{sup -2} d{sup -1} was measured. Effects of ground water level in the range of 30-60 cm below surface were very small. There were also no clear effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing versus mowing on CH4 emission from the soil. Net CH4 emissions from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve (Nieuwkoopse Plassen area in the Netherlands) ranged from 0-215 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1} in the period January 1994-June 1995. Differences between the three sites were quite large, as were the spatial variations at each of the sites. The results presented here indicate that a shift of intensively managed peat grasslands into more natural ecosystems will significantly increase the contribution of Dutch peat soils to the total CH4 emission. refs.

  14. Enhancing the diversity of breeding invertebrates within field margins of intensively managed grassland: Effects of alternative management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritch, Rochelle A; Sheridan, Helen; Finn, John A; McCormack, Stephen; Ó hUallacháin, Daire

    2017-11-01

    Severe declines in biodiversity have been well documented for many taxonomic groups due to intensification of agricultural practices. Establishment and appropriate management of arable field margins can improve the diversity and abundance of invertebrate groups; however, there is much less research on field margins within grassland systems. Three grassland field margin treatments (fencing off the existing vegetation "fenced"; fencing with rotavation and natural regeneration "rotavated" and; fencing with rotavation and seeding "seeded") were compared to a grazed control in the adjacent intensively managed pasture. Invertebrates were sampled using emergence traps to investigate species breeding and overwintering within the margins. Using a manipulation experiment, we tested whether the removal of grazing pressure and nutrient inputs would increase the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates within grassland field margins. We also tested whether field margin establishment treatments, with their different vegetation communities, would change the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates in the field margins. Exclusion of grazing and nutrient inputs led to increased abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups that we sampled. However, there were more complex effects of field margin establishment treatment on the abundance and richness of invertebrate taxa. Each of the three establishment treatments supported a distinct invertebrate community. The removal of grazing from grassland field margins provided a greater range of overwintering/breeding habitat for invertebrates. We demonstrate the capacity of field margin establishment to increase the abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups in study plots that were located on previously more depauperate areas of intensively managed grassland. These results from grassland field margins provide evidence to support practical actions that can inform Greening (Pillar 1) and agri

  15. Layered Growth and Crystallization in Calcareous Biominerals: Impact of Structural and Chemical Evidence on Two Major Concepts in Invertebrate Biomineralization Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre Cuif

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available In several recent models of invertebrate skeletogenesis, Ca-carbonate crystallization occurs within a liquid-filled chamber. No explanation is given neither for the simultaneous occurrence of distinct polymorphs of Ca-carbonate within these liquid volumes, nor for the spatial arrangement of the mineral units which are always organized in species-specific structural sequences. Results of a series of physical characterizations applied to reference skeletal materials reveal the inadequacy of this liquid-filled chamber model to account for structural and chemical properties of the shell building units. Simultaneously, these data provide convergent pieces of evidence for a specific mode of crystallization developed throughout various invertebrate phyla, supporting the hypothesized “common strategy” based on a multi-scaled control exerted on formation of their calcareous hard parts.

  16. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modernel, P.; Rossing, W. A. H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-11-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of external inputs. We synthesised 242 references from peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1945 and mid-2015 and analysed secondary data to examine the evidence on the ecosystem services provided by this grassland biodiversity hotspot and the way they are affected by land use changes and their drivers. The analysis followed the requirements of systematic review from the PRISMA statement (Moher et al 2009 Acad. Clin. Ann. Intern. Med. 151 264-9). The Pampas and Campos provide feed for 43 million heads of cattle and 14 million sheep. The biome is habitat of 4000 native plant species, 300 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 49 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The soils of the region stock 5% of the soil organic carbon of Latin America on 3% of its area. Driven by high prices of soybean, the soybean area increased by 210% between 2000 and 2010, at the expense of 2 million ha (5%) of native grassland, mostly in the Pampas. Intensification of livestock production was apparent in two spatially distinct forms. In subregions where cropping increased, intensification of livestock production was reflected in an increased use of grains for feed as part of feedlots. In subregions dominated by native grasslands, stocking rates increased. The review showed that land use change and grazing regimes with low forage allowances were predominantly associated with negative effects on ecosystem service provision by reducing soil organic carbon stocks and the diversity of plants, birds and mammals, and by increasing soil erosion. We found little quantitative information on changes in the ecosystem services water provision, nutrient cycling and erosion control

  17. Elevated CO2 and water addition enhance nitrogen turnover in grassland plants with implications for temporal stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Feike A; Carrillo, Yolima; Blumenthal, Dana M; Mueller, Kevin E; LeCain, Dan R; Morgan, Jack A; Zelikova, Tamara J; Williams, David G; Follett, Ronald F; Pendall, Elise

    2018-05-01

    Temporal variation in soil nitrogen (N) availability affects growth of grassland communities that differ in their use and reuse of N. In a 7-year-long climate change experiment in a semi-arid grassland, the temporal stability of plant biomass production varied with plant N turnover (reliance on externally acquired N relative to internally recycled N). Species with high N turnover were less stable in time compared to species with low N turnover. In contrast, N turnover at the community level was positively associated with asynchrony in biomass production, which in turn increased community temporal stability. Elevated CO 2 and summer irrigation, but not warming, enhanced community N turnover and stability, possibly because treatments promoted greater abundance of species with high N turnover. Our study highlights the importance of plant N turnover for determining the temporal stability of individual species and plant communities affected by climate change. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  18. Environmental filtering is the main assembly rule of ground beetles in the forest and its edge but not in the adjacent grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magura, Tibor; Lövei, Gábor L

    2017-07-04

    In a fragmented landscape, transitional zones between neighboring habitats are common, and our understanding of community organizational forces across such habitats is important. Edge studies are numerous, but the majority of them utilize information on species richness and abundance. Abundance and taxonomic diversity, however, provide little information on the functioning and phylogeny of the co-existing species. Combining the evaluation of their functional and phylogenetic relationships, we aimed to assess whether ground beetle assemblages are deterministically or stochastically structured along grassland-forest gradients. Our results showed different community assembly rules on opposite sides of the forest edge. In the grassland, co-occurring species were functionally and phylogenetically not different from the random null model, indicating a random assembly process. Contrary to this, at the forest edge and the interior, co-occurring species showed functional and phylogenetic clustering, thus environmental filtering was the likely process structuring carabid assemblages. Community assembly in the grassland was considerably affected by asymmetrical species flows (spillover) across the forest edge: more forest species penetrated into the grassland than open-habitat and generalist species entered into the forest. This asymmetrical species flow underlines the importance of the filter function of forest edges. As unfavorable, human-induced changes to the structure, composition and characteristics of forest edges may alter their filter function, edges have to be specifically considered during conservation management. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. More than a century of Grain for Green Program is expected to restore soil carbon stock on alpine grassland revealed by field {sup 13}C pulse labeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Qi; Chen, Dongdong; Zhao, Liang [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Yang, Xue [Department of Education of Qinghai Province, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Xu, Shixiao [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Zhao, Xinquan, E-mail: xqzhao@nwipb.cas.cn [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 10041, Sichuan (China)

    2016-04-15

    Anthropogenic changes in land use/cover have altered the vegetation, soil, and carbon (C) cycling on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) over the last ~ 50 years. As a result, the Grain for Green Program (GfGP) has been widely implemented over the last 10 years to mitigate the impacts of cultivation. To quantify the effects of the GfGP on C partitioning and turnover rates at the ecosystem scale, an in situ {sup 13}C pulse labeling experiment was conducted on natural and GfGP grasslands in an agro-pastoral ecotone in the Lake Qinghai region on the QTP. We found that there were significant differences in the C stocks of all the considered pools in both the natural and GfGP grasslands, with higher CO{sub 2} uptake rates in the GfGP grassland than that in the natural grassland. Partitioning of photoassimilate (% of recovered {sup 13}C) in C pools of both grasslands was similar 25 days after labeling, except in the roots of the 0–15 and 5–15 cm soil layer. Soil organic C (SOC) sequestration rate in the GfGP grassland was 11.59 ± 1.89 g C m{sup −2} yr{sup −1} significantly greater than that in the natural grassland. The results confirmed that the GfGP is an efficient approach for grassland restoration and C sequestration. However, it will take more than a century (119.19 ± 20.26 yr) to restore the SOC stock from the current cropland baseline level to the approximate level of natural grassland. We suggest that additional measures are needed in the selection of suitable plant species for vegetation restoration, and in reasonable grazing management. - Highlights: • Grain for Green Project initiated in 1999 converts cropland to grassland/shrubland. • Impact of Grain for Green on carbon cycling on Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is unknown. • Effects on carbon partitioning and turnover were accessed by {sup 13}CO{sub 2} pulse labeling. • Different mass of {sup 13}C in excess, similar {sup 13}C partitioning are shown in grasslands. • Soil organic carbon of

  20. More than a century of Grain for Green Program is expected to restore soil carbon stock on alpine grassland revealed by field "1"3C pulse labeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Qi; Chen, Dongdong; Zhao, Liang; Yang, Xue; Xu, Shixiao; Zhao, Xinquan

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in land use/cover have altered the vegetation, soil, and carbon (C) cycling on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) over the last ~ 50 years. As a result, the Grain for Green Program (GfGP) has been widely implemented over the last 10 years to mitigate the impacts of cultivation. To quantify the effects of the GfGP on C partitioning and turnover rates at the ecosystem scale, an in situ "1"3C pulse labeling experiment was conducted on natural and GfGP grasslands in an agro-pastoral ecotone in the Lake Qinghai region on the QTP. We found that there were significant differences in the C stocks of all the considered pools in both the natural and GfGP grasslands, with higher CO_2 uptake rates in the GfGP grassland than that in the natural grassland. Partitioning of photoassimilate (% of recovered "1"3C) in C pools of both grasslands was similar 25 days after labeling, except in the roots of the 0–15 and 5–15 cm soil layer. Soil organic C (SOC) sequestration rate in the GfGP grassland was 11.59 ± 1.89 g C m"−"2 yr"−"1 significantly greater than that in the natural grassland. The results confirmed that the GfGP is an efficient approach for grassland restoration and C sequestration. However, it will take more than a century (119.19 ± 20.26 yr) to restore the SOC stock from the current cropland baseline level to the approximate level of natural grassland. We suggest that additional measures are needed in the selection of suitable plant species for vegetation restoration, and in reasonable grazing management. - Highlights: • Grain for Green Project initiated in 1999 converts cropland to grassland/shrubland. • Impact of Grain for Green on carbon cycling on Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is unknown. • Effects on carbon partitioning and turnover were accessed by "1"3CO_2 pulse labeling. • Different mass of "1"3C in excess, similar "1"3C partitioning are shown in grasslands. • Soil organic carbon of cropland will be restored to natural

  1. Silicon induced Fe deficiency affects Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn distribution in rice (Oryza sativa L.) growth in calcareous conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco-Gil, Sandra; Rodríguez-Menéndez, Sara; Fernández, Beatriz; Pereiro, Rosario; de la Fuente, Vicenta; Hernandez-Apaolaza, Lourdes

    2018-04-01

    A protective effect by silicon in the amelioration of iron chlorosis has recently been proved for Strategy 1 species, at acidic pH. However in calcareous conditions, the Si effect on Fe acquisition and distribution is still unknown. In this work, the effect of Si on Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn distribution was studied in rice (Strategy 2 species) under Fe sufficiency and deficiency. Plants (+Si or-Si) were grown initially with Fe, and then Fe was removed from the nutrient solution. The plants were then analysed using a combined approach including LA-ICP-MS images for each element of interest, the analysis of the Fe and Si concentration at different cell layers of root and leaf cross sections by SEM-EDX, and determining the apoplastic Fe, total micronutrient concentration and oxidative stress indexes. A different Si effect was observed depending on plant Fe status. Under Fe sufficiency, Si supply increased Fe root plaque formation, decreasing Fe concentration inside the root and increasing the oxidative stress in the plants. Therefore, Fe acquisition strategies were activated, and Fe translocation rate to the aerial parts was increased, even under an optimal Fe supply. Under Fe deficiency, +Si plants absorbed Fe from the plaque more rapidly than -Si plants, due to the previous activation of Fe deficiency strategies during the growing period (+Fe + Si). Higher Fe plaque formation due to Si supply during the growing period reduced Fe uptake and could activate Fe deficiency strategies in rice, making it more efficient against Fe chlorosis alterations. Silicon influenced Mn and Cu distribution in root. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. The Evaluation of Disturbed Grassland After the Ecological Restoration and Phytoremediation in the Low Tatras National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ján Novák

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available At present the grasslands in the conservation areas are often degraded folowing the abandonment of the pasture and it is necessary to restore them. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the grasslands after the ecological restoration and phytoremediation by different methods. In 2004 the experiment was established on degraded sites at locality Low Tatras National Park (1 126 m a.s.l. with three treatments (U – unmanaged control, C – managed by cutting, CS – managed by seeding and cutting. In 2013 on C treatment we noticed the increase of the number of species (threefold, the increase of the coverage of plants (twofold and also the significant increase of the species diversity in comparison with the year 2004. On CS treatment the species diversity has decreased slightly but the forage value has increased more than twofold since 2004. U treatment has remained without changes. The results show the method of seeding the autochthonous species is highly appropriate to increase the forage value of grassland. Spearman correlations between environmental factors (p ≤ 0.05 prove the effect of treatment on the amount of P-soil, P-fyt, K-soil and K-fyt, which show strong negative correlation with the time. On the other hand number of species and EGQ (The evaluation of the grassland qualitycorrelate with time positively (p ≤ 0.05. The restoration by the mowing is recommended on sites, where the increase of diversity is important. Legumes, C, grasses, K-soil, EGQ, number of species, P-soil, time, dry matter hit the variability of the species significantly (to 96.80% of the total variability. The strongest effect on the overall variability of species had legumes, which is 61% of the total variability. Cutting explain 26% of the variability. The soil in the Low Tatras National Park was recovered to the original state through the reduction of soil nutrient – phytoremediation.

  3. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  4. Not seeing the grass for the trees: Timber plantations and agriculture shrink tropical montane grassland by two-thirds over four decades in the Palani Hills, a Western Ghats Sky Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arasumani, M; Khan, Danish; Das, Arundhati; Lockwood, Ian; Stewart, Robert; Kiran, Ravi A; Muthukumar, M; Bunyan, Milind; Robin, V V

    2018-01-01

    Tropical montane habitats, grasslands, in particular, merit urgent conservation attention owing to the disproportionate levels of endemic biodiversity they harbour, the ecosystem services they provide, and the fact that they are among the most threatened habitats globally. The Shola Sky Islands in the Western Ghats host a matrix of native forest-grassland matrix that has been planted over the last century, with exotic timber plantations. The popular discourse on the landscape change is that mainly forests have been lost to the timber plantations and recent court directives are to restore Shola forest trees. In this study, we examine spatiotemporal patterns of landscape change over the last 40 years in the Palani Hills, a significant part of the montane habitat in the Western Ghats. Using satellite imagery and field surveys, we find that 66% of native grasslands and 31% of native forests have been lost over the last 40 years. Grasslands have gone from being the dominant, most contiguous land cover to one of the rarest and most fragmented. They have been replaced by timber plantations and, to a lesser extent, expanding agriculture. We find that the spatial pattern of grassland loss to plantations differs from the loss to agriculture, likely driven by the invasion of plantation species into grasslands. We identify remnant grasslands that should be prioritised for conservation and make specific recommendations for conservation and restoration of grasslands in light of current management policy in the Palani Hills, which favours large-scale removal of plantations and emphasises the restoration of native forests.

  5. Analysis of vegetation in an Imperata grassland of Barak valley, Assam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astapati, Ashim Das; Das, Ashesh Kumar

    2012-09-01

    Imperata grassland at Dorgakona, Barak valley, North Eastern India was analyzed for species composition and diversity pattern in relation to traditional management practices. 19 families were in the burnt and unburnt plots of the study site with Poaceae as the most dominant one. 29 species occurred in the burnt plot and 28 in the unburnt plot. Most of the species were common in both the plots. The pattern of frequency diagrams indicated that the vegetation was homogeneous. Imperata cylindrica, a rhizomatous grass was the dominant species based on density (318.75 and 304.18 nos. m(-2)), basal cover (158.22 and 148.34 cm2 m(-2)) and Importance value index (IVI) (132.64 and 138.74) for the burnt and unburnt plots respectively. Borreria pusilla was the co-dominant species constituting Imperata-Borreria assemblage of the studied grassland. It was observed that B. pusilla (162.25 nos. m(-2) and 50.37 nos. m(-2), I. cylindrica (318.75 nos. m(-2) and 304.18 nos. m(-2)) and Setaria glauca (24.70 nos. m(-2) and 16.46 nos. m(-2) were benefited from burning as shown by the values sequentially placed for burnt and unburnt plots. Certain grasses like Chrysopogon aciculatus and Sacciolepis indica were restricted to burnt plot while Oxalis corniculata showed its presence to unburnt plot. Grasses dominated the grassland as revealed by their contribution to the mean percentage cover of 72% in burnt plot and 76% in umburnt plot. The dominance-diversity curves in the study site approaches a log normal series distribution suggesting that the resources are shared by the constituent species. Seasonal pattern in diversity index suggested definite influence of climatic seasonality on species diversity; rainy season was conducive for maximum diversity (1.40 and 1.38 in the burnt and unburnt plots, respectively). Dominance increased with concentration of fewer species (0.0021 in burnt plot and 0.0055 in unbumt plot) in summer and behaves inversely to index of diversity. This study showed

  6. Responses of nocturnal rodents to shrub encroachment in Banni grasslands, Gujarat, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayadevan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Shrub encroachment is one of the greatest threats to grasslands globally. These woodlands can strongly influence the behaviour of small mammals adapted to more open habitats, which rely on high visibility for early detection of predators. In semi-arid grasslands, rodents are considered keystone species. Although shrub encroachment is known to negatively affect rodent assemblages, its impact on the foraging behaviour of rodents, which is known to vary in response to risky situations, is unknown. Understanding whether shrub encroachment alters such antipredator behaviour is important as antipredator behaviour can alter the distribution, abundance and ultimately, survival of prey species. In this study, I explored the effects of shrub encroachment on the foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodent communities in the Banni grasslands, India. I examined foraging behaviour, quantified using the giving-up density (GUD) framework and the number of rodent crossings around food patches, in two habitats that differed in the extent of shrub encroachment. Under the GUD framework, the amount of food left behind by a forager in a food patch reflects the costs of feeding at the patch. Higher GUDs imply higher foraging costs. I also investigated how removal of an invasive woody plant, Prosopis juliflora would affect foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodents. High shrub encroachment was associated with higher foraging costs (higher GUDs) and lower activity than the sparsely wooded habitat, likely due to low visibility in the densely wooded habitat. The dense habitat also supported a higher richness and relative abundance of generalist rodents than the sparse habitat, likely due to the increased heterogeneity of the habitat. The tree removal experiment revealed that rodents had lower GUDs (i.e., low foraging costs) after the event of tree cutting. This may be due to the reduction of cover in the habitat, leading to higher visibility and lower predation risk. My results suggest that shrub

  7. An Innovative Approach to Effective Climate Science Application through Stakeholder Participation in Great Plains Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athearn, N.; Broska, J.

    2015-12-01

    For natural resource managers and other Great Plains stakeholders, climate uncertainties further confound decision-making on a highly altered landscape. Partner organizations comprising the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) acknowledge climate change as a high-priority threat to grasslands and associated habitats, affecting water availability, species composition, and other factors. Despite its importance, incorporation of climate change impacts into planning is hindered by high uncertainty and lack of translation to a tangible outcome: effects on species and their habitats. In 2014, the GPLCC initiated a Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) process to ultimately improve the size and connectivity of grasslands - informing land managers of the landscape-scale impacts of local decisions about where to restore, enhance, protect, and develop lands. Defining this goal helped stakeholders envision a tangible product. High resolution land cover data recently completed for Texas and Oklahoma represent current grassland locations. By focusing climate change models to project changes in these land cover datasets, resulting land cover projections can be directly incorporated into LCD-based models to focus restoration where future climates will support grasslands. Broad organizational cooperation has been critical for this USGS-led project, which uses downscaled climate data and other support from the South Central Climate Science Center Consortium and builds on existing work including LCD efforts of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture and the Bureau of Land Management's Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecological Assessment. Ongoing stakeholder guidance through an advisory team ensures effective application of a product that will be both relevant to and understood by decision makers, for whom the primary role of research is to reduce uncertainties and clear the path for more efficient decision-making in the face of climatic uncertainty.

  8. Effect of fertilizer application on Urtica dioica and its element concentrations in a cut grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müllerová, Vladimíra; Hejcman, Michal; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Pavlů, Vilém

    2014-08-01

    Little is known about the effects of nutrient availability in cut grasslands on growth characteristics of Urtica dioica and its aboveground chemical composition (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn). The effects of N, P and K application on the growth of U. dioica were studied over five years in a Dactylis glomerata grassland cut twice per year under unfertilized control, P, N, NP and NPK treatments (300, 80 and 200 kg of N, P and K ha-1 per year). Nitrogen application in the form of NH4NO3 over five years decreased the soil pH, while P and K application increased P and K availability in the soil. Over five years, cover of U. dioica increased from 1% initially to 7, 9, 58, 83 and 99% in the control, P, N, NP and NPK treatments, respectively. Concentrations of N, P and Ca in the aboveground biomass of U. dioica were very high in comparison to other species and concentrations of Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn were comparable with other grassland species. N and P limitation of U. dioica growth was expected if concentrations of N and P in the aboveground biomass were lower than 25 g N kg-1 and 4 g P kg-1 in the phenological stage of flowering. We concluded that two cuts per year are not sufficient to suppress expansion of U. dioica under high N, P and K availability. This probably explains why U. dioica survive also in frequently cut intensive grasslands under adequately high nutrient supply.

  9. Floristic and vegetation structure of a grassland plant community on shallow basalt in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fett Pinto

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have adequately described the floristic and structural features of natural grasslands associated with shallow basalt soils in southern Brazil. This study was carried out on natural grazing land used for livestock production in the municipality of Santana do Livramento, in the Campanha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The aim of the study was to describe the floristic and structural diversity of the area. The floristic list obtained comprises 229 plant taxa from 40 botanical families, with a predominance of the families Poaceae (62, Asteraceae (28, Fabaceae (16 and Cyperaceae (12. The estimated diversity and evenness in the community were 3.00 and 0.874, respectively. Bare soil and rock outcrops accounted for 19.3% of the area, resulting in limited forage availability. Multivariate analysis revealed two well-defined groups among the sampling units. One group showed a high degree of internal aggregation, associated with deep soils, and was characterized by the presence of tussocks, whereas the other was less aggregate and was characterized by prostrate species growing on shallow soil. Ordination analysis indicated a gradient of moisture and of soil depth in the study area, resulting in different vegetation patterns. These patterns were analogous to the vegetation physiognomies described for Uruguayan grasslands. Overall, the grassland community studied is similar to others found throughout southern Brazil, although it harbors more winter forage species. In addition, the rare grass Paspalum indecorum Mez is locally dominant in some patches, behaving similarly to P. notatum Fl., a widespread grass that dominates extensive grassland areas in southern Brazil.

  10. Isolation and identification of ferric reducing bacteria and evaluation of their roles in iron availability in two calcareous soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghorbanzadeh, N.; Lakzian, A.; Haghnia, G. H.; Karimi, A. R.

    2014-12-01

    Iron is an essential element for all organisms which plays a crucial role in important biochemical processes such as respiration and photosynthesis. Iron deficiency seems to be an important problem in many calcareous soils. Biological dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction increases iron availability through reduction of Fe(III) to Fe(II). The aim of this study was to isolate, identify and evaluate some bacterial isolates for their abilities to reduce Fe(III) in two calcareous soils. Three bacterial isolates were selected and identified from paddy soils by using 16S rRNA amplification and then inoculated to sterilized and non-sterilized calcareous soils in the presence and absence of glucose. The results showed that all isolates belonged to Bacillus genus and were capable of reducing Fe(III) to Fe(II) in vitro condition. The amount of Fe(III) reduction in sterilized calcareous soils was significantly higher when inoculated with PS23 isolate and Shewanella putrefaciens ( S. putrefaciens) (as positive control) compared to PS16 and PS11 isolates. No significant difference was observed between PS11 and PS16 isolates in the presence of indigenous microbial community. The results also revealed that glucose had a significant effect on Fe(III) reduction in the examined calcareous soil samples. The amount of Fe(III) reduction increased two-fold when soil samples were treated with glucose and inoculated by S. putrefaciens and PS23 in non-sterilized soils.

  11. Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Jill A.; Buhl, Deb

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003–2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2–5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios.

  12. Reducing As availability in calcareous soils using nanoscale zero valent iron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azari, Prisa; Bostani, Abdol Amir

    2017-09-01

    Different methods, including the use of nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI), have been used to treat arsenic (As)-contaminated environments, with much less data on the use of NZVI in arsenic-calcareous-polluted soils. Accordingly, two different experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of NZVI on the removal of As from three different calcareous-polluted soils. In the first experiment, the effects of soil type (differing in the rate of clay particles and organic carbon including S1 (8.0 and 0.05%), S2 (20 and 0.2%), and S3 (20.5 and 0.8%)) and NZVI concentration (0, 50, and 100 g kg -1 of dry soil) on the removal of As extractable with distilled water were evaluated using a factorial design with three replicates. In the second experiment, the NZVI concentrations were reduced to 0, 2.5, 5.0, and 25 g kg -1 , and the NZVI contact time (0.5, 48, 96, 192, 384, and 768 h) was also tested. The analysis of variance in both experiments indicated the significant effects (P soils, with increasing NZVI concentration and contact time, the concentration of available As in the solution phase significantly decreased (P = 0.01). S3, due to a higher rate of organic matter, was less responsive to the NZVI treatments than the other soils. The effectiveness of the nanoremediation method, tested in this research work, on the stabilization of As in calcareous soils, is verified.

  13. Potential use of calcareous mudstones in low hydraulic conductivity earthen barriers for environmental applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musso, T B; Francisca, F M; Musso, T B; Musso, T B

    2013-01-01

    Earthen layers play a significant role in isolating contaminants in the subsurface, controlling the migration of contaminant plumes, and as landfill liners and covers. The physical, chemical and mineralogical properties of three calcareous mudstones from the Jagüel and Roca formations in North Patagonia, Argentina, are evaluated to determine their potential for the construction of liners. These mudstones were deposited in a marine environment in the Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene. The tested specimens mainly comprise silt and clay-sized particles, and their mineralogy is dominated by a smectite/illite mixed layer (70-90% Sm) and calcite in smaller proportion. Powdered mudstone samples have little viscosity and swelling potential when suspended in water. The hydraulic conductivity of compacted mudstones and sand-mudstone mixtures is very low (around 1-3 x 10(-10) m/s) and in good agreement with the expected hydraulic behaviour of compacted earthen layers. This behaviour can be attributed to the large amount of fine particles, high specific surface and the close packing of particles as confirmed by scanning electron microscope analysis. The tested materials also show a high cation exchange capacity (50-70 cmol/kg), indicating a high contaminant retardation capability. The calcareous mudstones show satisfactory mineralogical and chemical properties as well as an adequate hydraulic behaviour, demonstrating the potential use of these materials for the construction of compacted liners for the containment of leachate or as covers in landfills. These findings confirm the potential usage of marine calcareous mudstones as a low-cost geomaterial in environmental engineering projects.

  14. Two look-alike dasycladalean algae: Clypeina isabellae masse, Bucur, Virgone & Delmasso, 1999 from the Berriasian of Sardinia (Italy and Clypeina loferensis sp. N. from the upper Jurassic of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schlagintweit Felix

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available New material from the Berriasian of eastern Sardinia, Italy, and from the NW of Sardinia published by PECORINI in 1972 as 'Clypeina sp. A', allows a better characterization and an emended diagnosis of Clypeina isabellae MASSE et al., 1999 from the Berriasian of SW France. Another morphologically somehow similar Clypeina species from the Upper Jurassic of the Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria is described as Clypeina loferensis n. sp. Remarks on the genera Clypeina MICHELIN and Hamulusella ELLIOTT, a Clypeina-type dasycladalean alga with proximal bulged laterals, and Clypeina jurassica-sulcata are also provided.

  15. Relationships of 137Cs inventory with magnetic measures of calcareous soils of hilly region in Iran

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ayoubi, Shamsollah; Ahmadi, Mohamamd; Abdi, Mohammad Reza; Abbaszadeh Afshar, Farideh

    2012-01-01

    Erosion is a natural process, but it has been dramatically increased by human activities; and this adversely influences soil productivity and environmental quality. For quantification of soil erosion, several techniques including the use of Cs-137 have been employed. This study was conducted to explore the relationships of Cs-137 inventory with magnetic properties in calcareous soils in western Iran. Ten transects were selected in the hilly region in Chelgerd district of Iran. Soil samples from 0 to 30 and 30–50 cm depths were collected from fifty points to determine Cs-137 inventory, magnetic measures and selected physico-chemical properties (in total there were 100 soil samples). The results showed that simple mass balance model (SMBM) estimated a gross erosion rate of 29.6 t ha −1 yr −1 and a net soil deposition of 21.8 t ha −1 yr −1 ; hence, a net soil loss of 9.6 t ha −1 yr −1 and a sediment delivery ratio of 31.4%. Simple linear regression and non-linear regression analysis showed that mass magnetic susceptibility (χ lf ) explained only 33.64% and 45% of variability in Cs-137 in the transects studied. The results of multiple linear regression analysis of 137 Cs with magnetic parameters and physico-chemical properties indicated that extractable potassium and χ lf explained approximately 61% of the total variability in 137 Cs in the area studied. Overall, the results suggest that further research is needed for the use of magnetic characteristics as an alternative technique in place Cs-137 methodology for calcareous soils. - Highlights: ► Simple linear regression mass magnetic susceptibility (χ L ) explained only 33.64 % of Cs-137 variability. ► Non-linear regression model explained 45% of variability in Cs-137 in the transects studied. ► Magnetic Susceptibility measures could not directly be used in calcareous soils to evaluate soil redistribution. ► Magnetic characteristics as an alternative technique instead of Cs-137 in calcareous

  16. Palaeoenvironmental changes in the Late Triassic (Rhaetian) of the Northern Calcareous Alps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mette, Wolfgang; Elsler, Armin; Korte, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    in the Kössen Formation and determine their significance for environmental and climatic conditions in the Rhaetian sea of the Eiberg Basin (Northern Calcareous Alps). For this purpose 60 δ 18O measurements on 43 articulate brachiopods samples from 8 different horizons were carried out. The results indicate...... to the lowest unit 3 of the Eiberg Member that parallels oxygen isotopes. This positive δ 13C trend is interrupted by a sudden ~1.5‰ negative excursion in the late Rhaetian (Late Rhaetian Event), a time span when the oxygen isotopes remain heavy....

  17. Mining and geologic characterization of calcareous resources for the cement industry in Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Santana, H.; Veroslavsky, G.; Sanchez, L.; Rossini, C.; Aubet, N.; Loureiro, J.; Gutierrez, L.

    2000-01-01

    The main objective of this work was the study of geological and mining potential that Uruguay has on limestone rocks rich in calcium and poor in magnesium and silica, which are considered primary requirements suitable for the manufacture of cement. The results obtained allow defining four major regions of the country that although do not include all occurrences of calcareous rocks, they do not constitute the most important areas concerning: rock quality, higher volumes and improved extraction possibilities. The areas are: Queguay, Minas, Carape and Treinta y tres

  18. Biot's coefficient as an indicator of strength and porosity reduction: Calcareous sediments from Kerguelen Plateau

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alam, Mohammad Monzurul; Borre, Mai Kirstine; Fabricius, Ida Lykke

    2010-01-01

    β to fall, even when porosity remains constant. Biot's coefficient correlates with strength-indicating properties: compressional and shear modulus, oedometer modulus, yield strength, strain from direct loading and creep strain. Our data indicate that β may be used for predicting the diagenetic...... Biot's coefficient, β. In calcareous ooze, β is one. Mechanical compaction reduces porosity, but only leads to a minor decrease in β. Recrystallization renders particles smoother, but does not lead to reduction in β unless it gives rise to pore stiffening cementation. Pore stiffening cementation causes...

  19. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.

  20. Cattle slurry on grassland - application methods and nitrogen use efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

    Cattle slurry represents a significant resource on grassland-based farming systems. The objective of this thesis was to investigate and devise cattle slurry application methods and strategies that can be implemented on grassland farms to improve the efficiency with which nitrogen (N) in

  1. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  2. Influence of density on the seasonal utilization of broad grassland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We monitored seasonal use of grassland types by white rhinos at two sites within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). Thirty-two rhinos were removed from one site to reduce rhino density. Seasonal use of grassland types was similar at both sites, but differed to what a previous study reported. This was likely due to higher food ...

  3. Convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrestel, Elisabeth J; Donoghue, Michael J; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-08-01

    The importance of fire in the creation and maintenance of mesic grassland communities is well recognized. Improved understanding of how grasses--the dominant clade in these important ecosystems--will respond to alterations in fire regimes is needed in the face of anthropogenically driven climate and land-use change. Here, we examined how grass communities shift in response to experimentally manipulated fire regimes at multiple levels of community diversity--taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional--in C4-dominanted mesic savanna grassland sites with similar structure and physiognomy, yet disparate biogeographic histories. We found that the grass communities were similar in their phylogenetic response and aspects of their functional response to high fire frequency. Both sites exhibited phylogenetic clustering of highly abundant species in annually burned plots, driven by species of the Andropogoneae, and a narrow range of functional strategies associated with rapid post-fire regeneration in a high-light, nitrogen-limited environment. By examining multiple facets of diversity in a comparative context, we identified convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in two mesic savanna grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of a common filtering process associated with fire that is consistent across grasslands of disparate biogeographic histories and taxonomic representation. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Effects of Erosion from Mounds of Different Termite Genera on Distinct Functional Grassland Types in an African Savannah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosling, Cleo M; Cromsigt, Joris P G M; Mpanza, Nokukhanya; Olff, Han

    A key aspect of savannah vegetation heterogeneity is mosaics formed by two functional grassland types, bunch grasslands, and grazing lawns. We investigated the role of termites, important ecosystem engineers, in creating high-nutrient patches in the form of grazing lawns. Some of the ways termites can contribute to grazing lawn development is through erosion of soil from aboveground mounds to the surrounding soil surface. This may alter the nutrient status of the surrounding soils. We hypothesize that the importance of this erosion varies with termite genera, depending on feeding strategy and mound type. To test this, we simulated erosion by applying mound soil from three termite genera ( Macrotermes , Odontotermes , and Trinervitermes ) in both a field experiment and a greenhouse experiment. In the greenhouse experiment, we found soils with the highest macro nutrient levels (formed by Trinervitermes ) promoted the quality and biomass of both a lawn ( Digitaria longiflora ) and a bunch ( Sporobolus pyramidalis ) grass species. In the field we found that soils with the highest micro nutrient levels (formed by Macrotermes ) showed the largest increase in cover of grazing lawn species. By linking the different nutrient availability of the mounds to the development of different grassland states, we conclude that the presence of termite mounds influences grassland mosaics, but that the type of mound plays a crucial role in determining the nature of the effects.

  5. The nutritive value of Valjevac grassland - Zasavica reservation

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    Grdović Svetlana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Valjevac pasture of Zasavica reservation with its area of 300 ha presents a significant area for grazing cattle. In order to evaluate its potential for livestock production, the botanical and chemical composition of hay in three different time periods was observed (spring, summer and autumn. The determined plants species confirmed the richness of Zasavica grasslands, as well as the presence of dry, moist and forest habitat plants. The analyzed plants mostly belong to the Poaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Plantaginaceae families. Chemical analysis determined that the protein content decreased (P<0.01 from April (17.22±0.40 % to October (10.30±0.16 %, and cellulose content increased (P<0.01 (from 19.07±0.38 % in April to 21.65±0.41 % in October. The calculated energy density of hay samples ranged from 0.425 Starch Units (SU in October, 0.443 SU in April to 0.448 SU in June. The Valjevac pasture with its numerous plant species is of great importance in upkeeping biodiversity and also presents a solid base for livestock production. The determined levels of manganese and copper point out to the need of copper supplementation especially during the late summer and autumn periods. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III46002

  6. Improvement of native grassland by legumes introduction and tillage techniques

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    Syamsu Bahar

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available A factorial design using three species of legumes (Siratro, Centro and Stylo and three different of tillage techniques (no-tillage, minimum tillage and total tillage was applied in this experiment. The results showed that there was no interaction between species and tillage techniques. There was significant reductions on bulk density from 1.23±0.03 g/cm3 (no-tillage to 1.07±0.02 g/cm3 (minimum tillage and 1.05±0.03 g/cm3 (total tillage. Also reductions on penetration resistance from 17.47±3.84 kg/cm2 (no-tillage to 3.31±0.43 kg/cm2 (minimum tillage and 3.19±0.45 kg/cm2 (total tillage. Otherwise significant increasing on aeration porosity from 12.80±0.80% vol. (no-tillage to 21.70±0.95% vol. (minimum tillage and 20.70±0.35% vol. (total tillage. Total tillage gives increased dry matter yield. Also both total tillage and minimum tillage give yields with a higher percentage of legumes compared with no-tillage. It was concluded that total tillage and minimum tillage could be used for improving native grassland.

  7. Organic vs. conventional grassland management: do (15)N and (13)C isotopic signatures of hay and soil samples differ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Valentin H; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2013-01-01

    Distinguishing organic and conventional products is a major issue of food security and authenticity. Previous studies successfully used stable isotopes to separate organic and conventional products, but up to now, this approach was not tested for organic grassland hay and soil. Moreover, isotopic abundances could be a powerful tool to elucidate differences in ecosystem functioning and driving mechanisms of element cycling in organic and conventional management systems. Here, we studied the δ(15)N and δ(13)C isotopic composition of soil and hay samples of 21 organic and 34 conventional grasslands in two German regions. We also used Δδ(15)N (δ(15)N plant - δ(15)N soil) to characterize nitrogen dynamics. In order to detect temporal trends, isotopic abundances in organic grasslands were related to the time since certification. Furthermore, discriminant analysis was used to test whether the respective management type can be deduced from observed isotopic abundances. Isotopic analyses revealed no significant differences in δ(13)C in hay and δ(15)N in both soil and hay between management types, but showed that δ(13)C abundances were significantly lower in soil of organic compared to conventional grasslands. Δδ(15)N values implied that management types did not substantially differ in nitrogen cycling. Only δ(13)C in soil and hay showed significant negative relationships with the time since certification. Thus, our result suggest that organic grasslands suffered less from drought stress compared to conventional grasslands most likely due to a benefit of higher plant species richness, as previously shown by manipulative biodiversity experiments. Finally, it was possible to correctly classify about two third of the samples according to their management using isotopic abundances in soil and hay. However, as more than half of the organic samples were incorrectly classified, we infer that more research is needed to improve this approach before it can be efficiently

  8. Organic vs. Conventional Grassland Management: Do 15N and 13C Isotopic Signatures of Hay and Soil Samples Differ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Valentin H.; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2013-01-01

    Distinguishing organic and conventional products is a major issue of food security and authenticity. Previous studies successfully used stable isotopes to separate organic and conventional products, but up to now, this approach was not tested for organic grassland hay and soil. Moreover, isotopic abundances could be a powerful tool to elucidate differences in ecosystem functioning and driving mechanisms of element cycling in organic and conventional management systems. Here, we studied the δ15N and δ13C isotopic composition of soil and hay samples of 21 organic and 34 conventional grasslands in two German regions. We also used Δδ15N (δ15N plant - δ15N soil) to characterize nitrogen dynamics. In order to detect temporal trends, isotopic abundances in organic grasslands were related to the time since certification. Furthermore, discriminant analysis was used to test whether the respective management type can be deduced from observed isotopic abundances. Isotopic analyses revealed no significant differences in δ13C in hay and δ15N in both soil and hay between management types, but showed that δ13C abundances were significantly lower in soil of organic compared to conventional grasslands. Δδ15N values implied that management types did not substantially differ in nitrogen cycling. Only δ13C in soil and hay showed significant negative relationships with the time since certification. Thus, our result suggest that organic grasslands suffered less from drought stress compared to conventional grasslands most likely due to a benefit of higher plant species richness, as previously shown by manipulative biodiversity experiments. Finally, it was possible to correctly classify about two third of the samples according to their management using isotopic abundances in soil and hay. However, as more than half of the organic samples were incorrectly classified, we infer that more research is needed to improve this approach before it can be efficiently used in practice

  9. Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy of Sarcheshmeh and Sanganeh formations at Qaleh Jegh and Yazdan Abad sections (West of Kopet-Dagh Basin

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    Azam Gholami Fard

    2017-03-01

    calcareous marl, marl and argillaceous limestone in upper part. A fossiliferous limestone separates Sarcheshmeh and Sanganeh formations. Sanganeh Formation is 485 m thick comprising siltstones with sandstone, marl (with argillaceous limestone or limestone intercalation. A total of 1286 samples (1006 from Qaleh Jegh section and 280 from the Yazdan Abad section were collected at about 4 m intervals. For the purpose of biostratigraphic investigations, all of the samples were processed using the gravity settling technique (Bown and Young, 1998 and the prepared slides were observed under a Leica DMLP Pol light microscope at ×1000 magnification.   3-    Discussion of Results & Conclusions Nannofossil bioevents have been utilized to biostratigraphically classify the exposed sedimentary succession based on schemes of Roth (1978; modified by Bralower et al., 1993 and Sissingh (1977; modified by Perch-Nielsen, 1985. Overall, 56 species from 28 genera of 14 families in Qaleh Jegh section, and 45 species from 26 genera of 13 families in Yazdan Abad section have been identified and their distribution recorded. Based on the index calcareous nannofossil taxa, the upper part of NC6, NC7A, NC7 (B&C and lower part of NC8 nannofossil zones are delineated in Ghaleh Jegh and the upper part of NC5, NC6, NC7B and lower part of NC7A are recorded in Yazdan Abad. The distributions point to Early to Late Aptian time of deposition for the rocks of Sarcheshmeh Formation and Late Aptian to Early Albian for those of Sanganeh Formation in Ghaleh Jegh, while At Yazdan Abad, Sarcheshmeh Formation ranges from Late Barremian to Early Aptian and Sanganeh Formation dates Early to Late Aptian.

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

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    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

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

  11. Temporal and spatial variations of canopy temperature over a C3C4 mixture grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimoda, S.; Oikawa, T.

    2006-10-01

    This study discusses the photosynthetic pathway types involved in canopy temperature measurements on a mixed grassland consisting of C3 and C4 plants (dominant species in biomass were Solidago altissima (C3), Miscanthus sinensis (C4), and Imperata cylindrica (C4)). In the wet conditions immediately after the rainy season, the mean canopy temperature for S. altissima was the lowest among the dominant species, mainly due to its leaf conductance being twice as large as the other two species. Despite using the same C4 photosynthetic pathway, M. sinensis had a lower apparent canopy temperature than I. cylindrica due to a smaller proportion of sunlit elements in the field of view. In the dry conditions during late July, the mean canopy temperatures of the three dominant species were within 0.3 °C of one another. These results can be explained by poor water conditions for C3 species (S. altissima). The simultaneous survey of vegetation and thermal imaging can help clarify characteristics of C3 and C4 canopy temperature over complicated grassland.

  12. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

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    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998 a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of grasslands. To ease the impact on the residents’ livelihoods, the national and regional governments have offered a series of top-down arrangements to stimulate sustainable use of the grasslands. Simultaneously, local households spontaneously developed bottom-up countermeasures. To determine the effects of these processes, we interviewed members of 135 households using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We analyzed the effects on household dependence on local grasslands and on perceptions of the future of grassland use. Our findings show that the implementation of the grassland conservation policies significantly affected household livelihoods, which in turn affected household use of natural assets (primarily the land, their agricultural assets (farming and grazing activities and their financial assets (income and consumption, resulting in fundamental transformation of their lifestyles. The households developed adaptation measures to account for the dependence of their livelihood on local ecosystems by initializing strategies, such as seeking off-farm work, leasing pasture land, increasing purchases of fodder for stall-fed animals and altering their diet and fuel consumption to compensate for their changing livelihoods.

  13. Biocalcite, a multifunctional inorganic polymer: Building block for calcareous sponge spicules and bioseed for the synthesis of calcium phosphate-based bone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohong Wang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Calcium carbonate is the material that builds up the spicules of the calcareous sponges. Recent results revealed that the calcium carbonate/biocalcite-based spicular skeleton of these animals is formed through an enzymatic mechanism, such as the skeleton of the siliceous sponges, evolutionarily the oldest animals that consist of biosilica. The enzyme that mediates the calcium carbonate deposition has been identified as a carbonic anhydrase (CA and has been cloned from the calcareous sponge species Sycon raphanus. Calcium carbonate deposits are also found in vertebrate bones besides the main constituent, calcium phosphate/hydroxyapatite (HA. Evidence has been presented that during the initial phase of HA synthesis poorly crystalline carbonated apatite is deposited. Recent data summarized here indicate that during early bone formation calcium carbonate deposits enzymatically formed by CA, act as potential bioseeds for the precipitation of calcium phosphate mineral onto bone-forming osteoblasts. Two different calcium carbonate phases have been found during CA-driven enzymatic calcium carbonate deposition in in vitro assays: calcite crystals and round-shaped vaterite deposits. The CA provides a new target of potential anabolic agents for treatment of bone diseases; a first CA activator stimulating the CA-driven calcium carbonate deposition has been identified. In addition, the CA-driven calcium carbonate crystal formation can be frozen at the vaterite state in the presence of silintaphin-2, an aspartic acid/glutamic acid-rich sponge-specific protein. The discovery that calcium carbonate crystals act as bioseeds in human bone formation may allow the development of novel biomimetic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Na-alginate hydrogels, enriched with biosilica, have recently been demonstrated as a suitable matrix to embed bone forming cells for rapid prototyping bioprinting/3D cell printing applications.

  14. Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy and geochronology of Neogene trench-slope cover sediments in the south Boso Peninsula, central Japan: Implications for the development of a shallow accretionary complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiyonobu, Shun; Yamamoto, Yuzuru; Saito, Saneatsu

    2017-07-01

    The geological structure and calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy of the Middle to Late Miocene trench-slope succession in the southern Boso Peninsula, central Japan, were examined to obtain chronological constraints on the accretion and formation of the trench-slope architecture. As a result, trench-slope cover sediments (Kinone and Amatsu Formations) are clearly distinguishable from the Early Miocene Hota accretionary complex (Hota Group). The Hota accretionary complex was deposited below the carbonate compensation depth (CCD) and was affected by intense shearing, forming an east-west trending and south-verging fold and thrust belt. In contrast, the trench-slope cover sediments basically have a homoclinal dip, except at the northern rim where they are bounded by fault contact. They contain many species of calcareous nannofossils and foraminifers, which are indicative of their depositional environment above the CCD, and they show shallowing-upward sedimentary structures. Biostratigraphy revealed that the depositional age of the trench-slope sediments is ca. 15-5.5 Ma, suggesting that there is an approximately 2 myr hiatus beween the Miura Group and the underlying accretionary prism. Based on these results, the age of accretion of the Hota Group is inferred to be between ca. 17-15 Ma, and the group is covered by trench-slope sediments overlain on it after ca. 15 Ma. The timing of accretion and the age of the trench-slope basin tend to be younger southward of the Boso Peninsula. The accretionary system of the Boso Peninsula apparently developed in two stages, in the Middle Miocene and in the Late Miocene to Pliocene.

  15. Burkholderia megalochromosomata sp. nov., isolated from grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Inwoo; Seo, Boram; Lee, Imchang; Lee, Kihyun; Park, Sang-Cheol; Yi, Hana; Chun, Jongsik

    2015-03-01

    A Gram-stain negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming, obligate aerobic bacterial strain, JC2949(T), was isolated from grassland soil in Gwanak Mountain, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Phylogenetic analysis, based on 16S rRNA sequences, indicated that strain JC2949(T) belongs to the genus Burkholderia, showing highest sequence similarities with Burkholderia grimmiae R27(T) (98.8 %), Burkholderia cordobensis LMG 27620(T) (98.6 %), Burkholderia jiangsuensis MP-1T(T) (98.6 %), Burkholderia zhejiangensis OP-1(T) (98.5 %), Burkholderia humi LMG 22934(T) (97.5 %), Burkholderia terrestris LMG 22937(T) (97.3 %), Burkholderia telluris LMG 22936(T) (97.2 %) and Burkholderia glathei ATCC 29195(T) (97.0 %). The major fatty acids of strain JC2949(T) were C18 : 1ω7c, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c) and C16 : 0. Its predominant polar lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol and an unknown amino phospholipid. The dominant isoprenoid quinone was ubiquinone Q-8. The pairwise average nucleotide identity values between strain JC2949(T) and the genomes of 30 other species of the genus Burkholderia ranged from 73.4-90.4 %, indicating that the isolate is a novel genomic species within this genus. Based on phenotypic and chemotaxonomic comparisons, it is clear that strain JC2949(T) represents a novel species of the genus Burkholderia. We propose the name for this novel species to be Burkholderia megalochromosomata sp. nov. The type strain is JC2949(T) ( = KACC 17925(T) = JCM 19905(T)). © 2015 IUMS.

  16. Ground cover and tree growth on calcareous minesoils: Greater influence of soil surface than nitrogen rate or seed mix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kost, D.A.; Vimmerstedt, J.P.

    1994-01-01

    Growth of ground cover and trees was evaluated for five growing seasons on calcareous coal minesoil surfaces (standard graded topsoil, graded and ripped topsoil, graded gray cast overburden) in southeastern Ohio. Soil surface plots were seeded in September 1987 with either a standard herbaceous seed mix [orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), timothy (Phleum pratense L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), Ranger alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), Mammoth red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), Empire birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)], or a modified mix using no alfalfa and half the rate of orchardgrass. Nitrogen (45, 90, or 135 kg ha/N) was applied as ammonium nitrate in September 1987 and April 1989. White ash (Fraxinus americana L.), silver maple (Acer saccharinum L.), northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) were planted in spring 1989 into 0.8 m-wide strips sprayed with glyphosate herbicide at 2.24 kg/ha in October 1988. Total cover and total biomass were highest in July 1989, following the last application of nitrogen fertilizer in April 1989. Total cover ranged from 44% to 56%, and total biomass ranged from 102 to 162 g/0.5 m 2 from 1990 to 1993. Total cover and total biomass were lower at the lowest nitrogen rate in 1989 only. Type of herbaceous seed mix did not affect growth of ground cover or trees. Overall tree survival was 82.0% the first year but declined to 40.6% after 5 yr. Survival varied significantly among all tree species (3.5% for pine, 22.2% for oak, 38.5% for maple, 98.1% for ash)

  17. Dried gamma-irradiated sewage solids use on calcareous soils: crop yeilds and heavy metals uptake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCaslin, B.D.; Sivinski, J.S.

    1979-01-01

    Experiments designed to examine gamma-radiation effects on extractable and plant-available sludge elements and to examine the response of crops to sludge applications on two typical, calcareous soils in New Mexico are summarized. Information has been given indicating that the radiation process of reducing pathogens in sewage products being developed by Sandia Laboratories, does not significantly increase the chemical extractability and plant uptake of a broad range of nutrients and heavy metals. However, radiation treatment greatly facilitates handling sewage for experimentation, because pathogen contamination precautions are eliminated and weed seeds killed. Studies on the effects of sludge irradiation on plant nutrient uptake revealed no concentration increases, agreeing with results presented herein. Sewage products may have special potential for use on calcareous soils, such as in New Mexico. For instance, in New Mexico the lack of potassium in sewage products is not a problem and the naturally high pH of New Mexico soil greatly reduces plant availability of many problem heavy metals. Dramatic increases in yield are typified by the greenhouse and field results presented herein, especially for the known micronutrient deficient soils of New Mexico. Results indicate that sewage sludge is an excellent Zn and Fe fertilizer. More research needs to be done before the economics of sludge application can be calculated and more field information is needed before irradiated sewage products are used indiscriminately

  18. Characterization of commercial iron chelates and their behavior in an alkaline and calcareous soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantera, Rodrigo G; Zamarreño, Angel M; García-Mina, José M

    2002-12-18

    Iron deficiency is a common problem for many plants grown in alkaline and calcareous soils. To correct this problem, iron is supplied to plants as chelates. Several iron chelates are sold under diverse trademarks with different characteristics. This work evaluated 18 commercial products containing the most representative chelated iron sources used in agricultural practice in Spain when the study was done, namely the ferric chelates of EDDHA, EDDHMA, EDDCHA, EDDHSA, EDTA, and DTPA. The chelates were comprehensively characterized and quantitated by several techniques, including several chromatographic methods. Iron and chelate dynamics in soil were also studied in a model alkaline and calcareous soil. Results indicate that, in this model soil, among the different iron compounds studied only FeEDDHA and analogues have the capacity to maintain soluble iron in soil solution over time. These results are in agreement with general experience under field conditions. Furthermore, among the different ortho-ortho isomers of FeEDDHA's, FeEDDHSA and FeEDDCHA showed greater capacity than FeEDDHA and FeEDDHMA to maintain the chelated iron in soil solution over time.

  19. LEAF MINERAL CONCENTRATION OF FIVE OLIVE CULTIVARS GROWN ON CALCAREOUS SOIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Pasković

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available There are limited numbers of scientific publication regarding genotypic differences which exist among olive cultivars concerning nutrient uptake and translocation. For that purpose, the object of our study was to determine possible differences between leaf mineral content of five selected olive cultivars since leaf nutrient analysis is consider being the best method for diagnosing olive tree nutritional status. Plant material was obtained from an olive collection, grown on calcareous soil maintained at Institute of Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation, Split, Croatia. The study was conducted with two Croatian autochthonous olive cultivars (“Istarska bjelica”, “Lastovka”, two Italian cultivars (“Pendolino”, “Leccino” and one Spanish cultivar (“Hojiblanca”. Completely randomized design was applied. This study has shown questionably low Mg concentration in all olive cultivars with exception for “Hojiblanca” cultivar. Also, only Croatian cultivars “Istarska bjelica” and “Lastovka” as well as Spanish cultivar “Hojiblanca” recorded sufficient levels of iron leaf mineral content. Regarding other elements studied (P, K, Ca, Zn, Mn, Cu all cultivars were above literature cited thresholds for possible deficiencies. Selected olive cultivars in our experiment demonstrated different nutrient leaf concentration, which is of particular importance for fertilization requirements and fertilization practice in Croatian orchards grown on calcareous soil.

  20. Histochemical and ultrastructural studies on the calcareous corpuscles and eggs of Taenia taeniaeformis and Dipylidium caninum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalifa, Refaat M A; Mazen, Nawal A M; Marawan, Aziza M A; Thabit, Hasnaa T M

    2011-08-01

    Calcareous corpuscles were noticed by several previous workers to be present in larval and adult cestodes without knowing their function. However, nothing was mentioned in the available literature about distribution of these corpuscles and their density, structure and composition in different parts of the body of different cestodes. Hence, in the present work, a comparative study of their distribution, density, histochemical and ultrastructural characters in different parts of the body was performed in Taenia taeniaeformis and Dipylidium caninum. Due to the presence of the eggs in their gravid segments, their histochemical and ultrastructural characteristics were also studied. It was found that the size, location and density of the calcareous bodies were different in different body parts of the same and the other cestode. Histochemically, the main component of these corpuscles was calcium; while other constituents as polysaccharides, lipids, protrins and mucopolysaccharides were found in their outer rim. Ultrastructurally, they were quite similar in the two studied cestodes and different stages of their development were exhibited. Histochemically, the eggs of both cestodes were similar in their contents. However, some ultrastructural differences have been demonstrated particularly in relation to the size and shape of the rods in the embryophore and the structures in between the embryophore and onchosphere.

  1. Adsorption and co-adsorption of diclofenac and Cu(II) on calcareous soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graouer-Bacart, Mareen; Sayen, Stéphanie; Guillon, Emmanuel

    2016-02-01

    Pharmaceuticals are emerging contaminants and their presence in different compartments of the environment has been detected in many countries. In this study, laboratory batch experiments were conducted to characterize the adsorption of diclofenac, a widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, on six calcareous soils. The adsorption of diclofenac was relatively low, which may lead to a risk of groundwater contamination and plant uptake. A correlation between the soil-water distribution coefficient Kd and soil characteristics has been highlighted. Indeed, diclofenac adsorption as a function of soil organic matter content (% OM) and Rt=% CaCO3/% OM was successfully described through a simple empirical model, indicating the importance of considering the inhibiting effect of CaCO3 on OM retention properties for a better assessment of diclofenac fate in the specific case of calcareous soils. The simultaneous co-adsorption of diclofenac and copper - a ubiquitous pollutant in the environment - at the water/soil interface, was also investigated. It appeared quite unexpectedly that copper did not have a significant influence on diclofenac retention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The siliceous-calcareous-argillaceous rock type uranium deposit in south subzone of Western Qinling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qian Farong; Zhou Dean; Ji Hongfang

    1995-11-01

    The siliceous-calcareous-argillaceous rock type uranium deposit in south subzone of western Qinling is an inland found type deposit with specific mineralization and good potentiality. The mineralization distributes along definite horizons and occurs in siliceous layer and lenses of siliceous-calcareous rocks. Orebody presents in forms of stratoid, lenticular and irregular veins and controlled by factorial structures. Ore is identified as massive and sandy and each characterized by various mineral compositions and element associations. The study shows that the mineralizing materials are mainly derived from ore-bearing strata. The metallogenic environment has characteristics of middle-low temperature and supergene The metallogenesis underwent three stages: (1) Sedimentation-diagenesis of the ore-bearing strata led to preliminary concentration of uranium; (2) Polytectonic activities accompanied by underground hydrothermal process resulted in the industrial concentration of uranium; and (3) Orebody reworked by oxidation-denudation and leaching, locally has taken place secondary concentration. The deposit in origin attributes to polygenesis dominated by underground hydrothermal metallogenesis. Main metallogenic epoch happens during the periods of Late Yanshan and Himalayan. According to the geological-tectonic conditions the further prospecting direction in study area is proposed. (3 refs., 5 figs., 9 tabs.)

  3. Physiological Responses of Some Iranian Grape Cultivars to Iron Chelate Application in Calcareous Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Doulati Baneh

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Iron chlorosis is considered to be one of the most important nutritional disorders in grapevines, particularly in calcareous soils that under these conditions fruit yield and quality is depressed in the current year and fruit buds poorly develop for following year. Symptoms of iron chlorosis in orchards and vineyards are usually more frequent in spring when shoot growth is rapid and bicarbonate concentration in the soil solution buffers soil pH in the rhizosphere and root apoplast. Several native grapevine (Vitis vinifera L. genotypes, highly appreciated for their organoleptic characteristics and commercial potential, are widely cultivated in Iran. Cultivated plants differ as to their susceptibility to Fe deficiency in calcareous soils, some being poorly affected while others showing severe leaf chlorotic symptoms. Selection and the use of Fe-efficient genotypes is one of the important approaches to prevent this nutritional problem. In this research the response of three local grapevine cultivars was evaluated to iron chelate consumption in a calcareous soil (26% T.N.V. Materials and Methods: Well rooted woody cuttings of three autochthonous varieties (Rasha, Qezel uzum, Keshmeshi Qermez were cultivated in pots filled with a calcareous soil with iron chelate consumption at three rates (0, 7.5 and 15 mg Fe/ Kg soil. The study was conducted with two factors (cultivar and iron chelate and 3 replicates in a factorial arrangement based on randomized complete block design. Plant parameters including vegetative growth, chlorophyll index and leaf area were monitored during the growth period. At the end of the treatment, fresh and dry weight of shoots and roots were determined. The concentrations of macro and micro elements in the leaves were assayed using an atomic absorption and spectrophotometer. One-way-ANOVA was applied comparing the behavior of the cultivars growing. Results and Discussion: Analysis of variance showed that chlorophyll

  4. Phosphorus reduces the zinc concentration in cereals pot-grown on calcareous Vertisols from southern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Rodríguez, Antonio Rafael; Del Campillo, María Carmen; Torrent, José

    2017-08-01

    Zinc deficiency, a major problem in crops grown on soils low in available Zn, is even more important in phosphorus-rich soils. This work aimed to elucidate the effects of soil P and Zn levels, and of fertilizer application, on yield and Zn concentration in cereal grains. Wheat and barley were successively pot-grown on 20 calcareous Vertisols low in available Zn and ranging widely in available P. Grain yield in the plants grown on the native soils was positively correlated with Olsen P but not with diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable Zn except for wheat on P-rich soils. Grain Zn concentration was negatively correlated with Olsen P. Grain Zn uptake differed little among soils. Application of P to the soils increased grain yield insignificantly and P concentration significantly; however, it reduced grain Zn concentration (particularly at low Olsen P values). Applying Zn alone only increased grain Zn concentration, whereas applying P and Zn in combination increased yield and grain Zn concentration at low and high Olsen P values, respectively. Applying P alone to plants grown on calcareous Vertisols low in available P and Zn may in practice reduce grain Zn concentrations while not increasing grain yield significantly. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  5. Dried gamma-irradiated sewage solids use on calcareous soils: crop yeilds and heavy metals uptake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCaslin, B.D.; Sivinski, J.S.

    1979-01-01

    Experiments designed to examine gamma-radiation effects on extractable and plant-available sludge elements and to examine the response of crops to sludge applications on two typical, calcareous soils in New Mexico are summarized. Information has been given indicating that the radiation process of reducing pathogens in sewage products being developed by Sandia Laboratories, does not significantly increase the chemical extractability and plant uptake of a broad range of nutrients and heavy metals. However, radiation treatment greatly facilitates handling sewage for experimentation, because pathogen contamination precautions are eliminated and weed seeds killed. Studies on the effects of sludge irradiation on plant nutrient uptake revealed no concentration increases, agreeing with results presented herein. Sewage products may have special potential for use on calcareous soils, such as in New Mexico. For instance, in New Mexico the lack of potassium in sewage products is not a problem and the naturally high pH of New Mexico soil greatly reduces plant availability of many problem heavy metals. Dramatic increases in yield are typified by the greenhouse and field results presented herein, especially for the known micronutrient deficient soils of New Mexico. Results indicate that sewage sludge is an excellent Zn and Fe fertilizer. More research needs to be done before the economics of sludge application can be calculated and more field information is needed before irradiated sewage products are used indiscriminately. (ERB)

  6. Weed suppression greatly increased by plant diversity in intensively managed grasslands: A continental-scale experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, John; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa; Kirwan, Laura; Finn, John Anthony; Llurba, Rosa; Suter, Matthias; Collins, Rosemary P; Porqueddu, Claudio; Helgadóttir, Áslaug; Baadshaug, Ole H; Bélanger, Gilles; Black, Alistair; Brophy, Caroline; Čop, Jure; Dalmannsdóttir, Sigridur; Delgado, Ignacio; Elgersma, Anjo; Fothergill, Michael; Frankow-Lindberg, Bodil E; Ghesquiere, An; Golinski, Piotr; Grieu, Philippe; Gustavsson, Anne-Maj; Höglind, Mats; Huguenin-Elie, Olivier; Jørgensen, Marit; Kadziuliene, Zydre; Lunnan, Tor; Nykanen-Kurki, Paivi; Ribas, Angela; Taube, Friedhelm; Thumm, Ulrich; De Vliegher, Alex; Lüscher, Andreas

    2018-03-01

    Grassland diversity can support sustainable intensification of grassland production through increased yields, reduced inputs and limited weed invasion. We report the effects of diversity on weed suppression from 3 years of a 31-site continental-scale field experiment.At each site, 15 grassland communities comprising four monocultures and 11 four-species mixtures based on a wide range of species' proportions were sown at two densities and managed by cutting. Forage species were selected according to two crossed functional traits, "method of nitrogen acquisition" and "pattern of temporal development".Across sites, years and sown densities, annual weed biomass in mixtures and monocultures was 0.5 and 2.0 t  DM ha -1 (7% and 33% of total biomass respectively). Over 95% of mixtures had weed biomass lower than the average of monocultures, and in two-thirds of cases, lower than in the most suppressive monoculture (transgressive suppression). Suppression was significantly transgressive for 58% of site-years. Transgressive suppression by mixtures was maintained across years, independent of site productivity.Based on models, average weed biomass in mixture over the whole experiment was 52% less (95% confidence interval: 30%-75%) than in the most suppressive monoculture. Transgressive suppression of weed biomass was significant at each year across all mixtures and for each mixture.Weed biomass was consistently low across all mixtures and years and was in some cases significantly but not largely different from that in the equiproportional mixture. The average variability (standard deviation) of annual weed biomass within a site was much lower for mixtures (0.42) than for monocultures (1.77). Synthesis and applications . Weed invasion can be diminished through a combination of forage species selected for complementarity and persistence traits in systems designed to reduce reliance on fertiliser nitrogen. In this study, effects of diversity on weed suppression were

  7. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  8. Targeted grazing for the restoration of sub-alpine shrub-encroached grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimiliano Probo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The decline of agro-pastoral activities has led to a widespread tree and shrub-encroachment of former semi-natural meso-eutrophic grasslands in many European mountain regions. Temporary night camp areas (TNCA and mineral mix supplements for targeted cattle were arranged over shrub-encroached areas to restore grassland vegetation within the Val Troncea Natural Park (Italy. From 2011 to 2015, their effects on vegetation structure and pastoral value of forage were assessed along permanent transects. Four years after treatments, both practices were effective in reducing the shrub cover and increasing the cover and average height of the herbaceous layer, but changes were more remarkable within TNCA. Moreover, the arrangement of TNCA decreased the cover of nanophanerophytes and increased the cover of graminoids and high quality species, as well as the overall forage pastoral value. In conclusion, TNCA were the most effective pastoral practice to contrast shrub-encroachment and increase herbage mass and forage quality of sub-alpine grasslands.

  9. Mapping Land Cover and Estimating the Grassland Structure in a Priority Area of the Chihuahuan Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Maturino

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A field characterization of the grassland vegetation structure, represented by the coverage of grass canopy (CGC and the grass height, was carried out during three years (2009–2011 in a priority area for the conservation of grasslands of North America. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM5 images were selected and the information of reflectance was obtained based on the geographical location of each field-sampling site. Linear models, constructed with field and satellite data, with high coefficients of determination for CGC (R2 = 0.81, R2 = 0.81 and R2 = 0.72 and grass height (R2 = 0.82, R2 = 0.79 and R2 = 0.73 were obtained. The maps showed a good level of CGC (>25% and grass height (>25 cm, except for the year 2009, which presented the lowest values of grass height in the area. According to the Kappa Index, a moderate concordance among the three CGC maps was presented (0.49–0.59. Conversely, weak and moderate concordances were found among the grass height maps (0.36–0.59. It was observed that areas with a high CGC do not necessarily correspond to areas with greater grass height values. Based on the data analyzed in this study, the grassland areas are highly dynamic, structurally heterogeneous and the spatial distribution of the variables does not show a definite pattern. From the information generated, it is possible to determine those areas that are the most important for monitoring to then establish effective strategies for the conservation of these grasslands and the protection of threatened migratory bird species.

  10. Consequences of artichoke thistle invasion and removal on carbon and water cycling in a Mediterranean grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, D. L.; Harpole, W. S.; Suding, K. N.; Goulden, M. L.

    2006-12-01

    Changes in vegetation structure and composition may interact with management activities to influence biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of mass and energy in unforeseen ways. Increases in the distribution and density of artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus), a perennial, non-native forb in Californian coastal grasslands, may alter seasonal dynamics of ecosystem C-assimilation and evapotranspiration (ET). During spring and summer 2006, we compared midday net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ET among adjacent grassland plots where thistle was present and where it was absent. Estimates of NEE supported the prediction that deeply-rooted thistles increase ecosystem C-assimilation. Measurements of midday ecosystem respiration demonstrated that increases in ecosystem C-assimilation were associated with increased ecosystem photosynthesis rather than declines in respiration. Furthermore, the presence of C. cardunculus increased midday ET but did not influence shallow soil moisture or ecosystem water use efficiency. Following the initial sampling in late April, we removed C. cardunculus from half the thistle- containing plots with spot applications of herbicide. Three weeks later, fluxes in thistle-removal plots were indistinguishable from those in plots where thistles were never present, suggesting additive rather than interactive effects of thistles on grassland CO2 exchange and ET. Similar to woody-encroachment in some semi-arid ecosystems, C. cardunculus invasion in Californian grasslands increases ecosystem CO2 assimilation. Moreover, our results suggest that herbicide removal of C. cardunculus may be accompanied by few legacy effects. Future research should focus on the effects of C. cardunculus on early-growing season fluxes and belowground C-storage, and the interaction between the spread of non-native species and climate variability on biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and water.

  11. Interactions between the flooding regime and floodplain grasslands in the Tana River Delta, in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leauthaud, Crystele; Musila, Winfred; Duvail, Stéphanie; Kergoat, Laurent; Hiernaux, Pierre; Grippa, Manuela; Albergel, Jean

    2017-04-01

    The floodplain grasslands of the Tana River Delta, located on the East African coast in Kenya, form part of an intertwined socio-ecological deltaic system of high biodiversity value that delivers numerous goods and services. Mainly composed of Echinochloa stagnina (Retz) P. Beauv., a high-value forage species, this ecosystem is the major dry-season grazing grounds of the local pastoralist communities. The construction of hydroelectric infrastructure has led to a modification of the flooding regime. The impacts of the resulting reduction of floods in the deltaic zone on ecosystem properties and services still need to be assessed. In such a perspective, this study characterizes the link between the flooding regime of the Tana River and the growth pattern of its floodplain grassland. Aboveground dry phytomass was sampled for 15 months under a wide variety of naturally flooded and non-flooded conditions and controlled irrigation and cutting frequency treatments. Annual aboveground dry phytomass attained high values between 11 T.ha-1 and 32 T.ha-1 and annual net primary production of the grasslands reached 35 T.ha-1.year-1. Growth rates clearly depended on the flooding regime, management and climate conditions and were on average more than twice as fast during, and 50% faster after the floods, relative to pre-flood conditions. A plant growth model allowed testing the effect of different flooding regimes on plant productivity, confirming very low productivity in the absence of floods. These results suggest that rangeland and water management for the Tana River deltaic wetlands are tightly linked. The projected construction of another dam could lead to a reduction of flood extent and period and a decrease of grassland productivity and growth duration. Mitigation of this type of negative impacts, which will have direct and adverse consequences for the pastoralist communities as well as on the delivery of other goods and services, needs to be undertaken.

  12. Modelling stomatal ozone flux and deposition to grassland communities