WorldWideScience

Sample records for ecosystems ecological structures

  1. Combining ecosystem services assessment with structured decision making to support ecological restoration planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, David M; Mazzotta, Marisa; Bousquin, Justin

    2018-04-10

    Accounting for ecosystem services in environmental decision making is an emerging research topic. Modern frameworks for ecosystem services assessment emphasize evaluating the social benefits of ecosystems, in terms of who benefits and by how much, to aid in comparing multiple courses of action. Structured methods that use decision analytic-approaches are emerging for the practice of ecological restoration. In this article, we combine ecosystem services assessment with structured decision making to estimate and evaluate measures of the potential benefits of ecological restoration with a case study in the Woonasquatucket River watershed, Rhode Island, USA. We partnered with a local watershed management organization to analyze dozens of candidate wetland restoration sites for their abilities to supply five ecosystem services-flood water retention, scenic landscapes, learning opportunities, recreational opportunities, and birds. We developed 22 benefit indicators related to the ecosystem services as well as indicators for social equity and reliability that benefits will sustain in the future. We applied conceptual modeling and spatial analysis to estimate indicator values for each candidate restoration site. Lastly, we developed a decision support tool to score and aggregate the values for the organization to screen the restoration sites. Results show that restoration sites in urban areas can provide greater social benefits than sites in less urban areas. Our research approach is general and can be used to investigate other restoration planning studies that perform ecosystem services assessment and fit into a decision-making process.

  2. Microconchids from microbialite ecosystem immediately after end-Permian mass extinction: ecologic selectivity and implications for microbialite ecosystem structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, H.; Chen, Z.; Wang, Y. B.; Ou, W.; Liao, W.; Mei, X.

    2013-12-01

    The Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) carbonate successions are often characterized by the presence of microbialite buildups worldwide. The widespread microbialites are believed as indication of microbial proliferation immediately after the P-Tr mass extinction. The death of animals representing the primary consumer trophic structure of marine ecosystem in the P-Tr crisis allows the bloom of microbes as an important primary producer in marine trophic food web structure. Thus, the PTB microbialite builders have been regarded as disaster taxa of the P-Tr ecologic crisis. Microbialite ecosystems were suitable for most organisms to inhabit. However, increasing evidence show that microbialite dwellers are also considerably abundant and diverse, including mainly foraminifers Earlandia sp. and Rectocornuspira sp., lingulid brachiopods, ostrocods, gastropods, and microconchids. In particular, ostracods are extremely abundant in this special ecosystem. Microconchid-like calcareous tubes are also considerably abundant. Here, we have sampled systematically a PTB microbialite deposit from the Dajiang section, southern Guizhou Province, southwest China and have extracted abundant isolated specimens of calcareous worm tubes. Quantitative analysis enables to investigate stratigraphic and facies preferences of microconchids in the PTB microbialites. Our preliminary result indicates that three microconchid species Microconchus sp., Helicoconchus elongates and Microconchus aberrans inhabited in microbialite ecosystem. Most microconchilds occurred in the upper part of the microbialite buildup and the grainstone-packstone microfacies. Very few microconchilds were found in the rocks bearing well-developed microbialite structures. Their stratigraphic and environmental preferences indicate proliferation of those metazoan organisms is coupled with ebb of the microbialite development. They also proliferated in some local niches in which microbial activities were not very active even if those

  3. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P.; Eriksson, B. Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-01-01

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator–prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs, however, will always operate simultaneously with networks based on other types of ecological interaction, such as through the activities of ecosystem engineers or mutualistic interactions. Little is known about how to classify, organize and quantify these other ecological networks and their mutual interplay. The aim of this paper is to provide new and testable ideas on how to understand and model ecosystems in which many different types of ecological interaction operate simultaneously. We approach this problem by first identifying six main types of interaction that operate within ecosystems, of which food web interactions are one. Then, we propose that food webs are structured among two main axes of organization: a vertical (classic) axis representing trophic position and a new horizontal ‘ecological stoichiometry’ axis representing decreasing palatability of plant parts and detritus for herbivores and detrivores and slower turnover times. The usefulness of these new ideas is then explored with three very different ecosystems as test cases: temperate intertidal mudflats; temperate short grass prairie; and tropical savannah. PMID:19451126

  4. Proceedings of the first international congress of ecology: structure, functioning, and management of ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1974-01-01

    Ninety-six papers were presented; one paper, dealing with ecosystems stability, was abstracted and indexed separately for Energy Research Abstracts. Other subjects included are of interest to limnologists, biologists, botanists, zoologists, microbiologists, and agriculturists. An interdiscipline approach discussed subjects such as energy flow, productivity, diversity, stability and maturity from their different points of view. Special reports are included on systems analysis, remote sensing and methods of experimentation with ecosystems. Biological control, parasitic system, aerobiology and human ecology are also treated in relation to general ecology. Tropical forests are treated with ecological consequences of deforestation for vegetation, soil and aquatic systems in the tropics. In these proceedings, contributions to the plenary sessions are represented only in the form of abstracts. Full texts and summaries of the discussions will be published in a separate book: Unifying Concepts of Ecology. (PCS)

  5. DEPENDENCE OF GRASS COVER TAXONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL STRUCTURE ON THE ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACT IN FOREST ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. V. Miroshnik

    2016-01-01

    revealed the domination of plant species that are tolerant to transformed forest conditions due to drastic anthropogenic changes of ecological regimes in Chygyryn's Bor. Key words: grass cover, Chigirin's Bor, anthropogenic impact, forest ecosystem, industrial transformation and degradation of grass cover.

  6. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P.; Eriksson, B. Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-01-01

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator-prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs,

  7. Ecological Values of Mangrove Forest Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Kusmana, Cecep

    1996-01-01

    Research on quantification of ecological values of mangrove forest ecosystem are urgently needed, due to its importance as the basics for utilization and management of resources. From the ecological point of vlew, the main prohlem of mangrove ecosystem is rarity and inconsistency of data and limited accurate methods inquantifying ecological values of that ecosystem. Results show that mangrove has the significant ecological values on coastal ecosystem. However, there must be further research t...

  8. Towards a network ecology of software ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Klaus Marius; Manikas, Konstantinos

    2013-01-01

    of the "network ecology'' approach to the analysis of natural ecosystems. In doing so, we mine the Maven central Java repository and analyze two OSGi ecosystems: Apache Felix and Eclipse Equinox. In particular, we define the concept of an ecosystem ``neighborhood'', apply network ecology metrics...

  9. Law for Country: the Structure of Warlpiri Ecological Knowledge and Its Application to Natural Resource Management and Ecosystem Stewardship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miles C. C. Holmes

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK is deeply encoded in social processes. Our research shows that from an Indigenous perspective, IEK is a way of living whose core aim is to sustain the healthy functioning of people and country through relationships of reciprocity. However, IEK is often portrayed more prosaically as a body of knowledge about the environment. We introduce a framework, called ngurra-kurlu, that enables appreciation of indigenous perspectives on IEK. The framework was identified from the collaborative work of the authors with Warlpiri aboriginal elders in the Tanami Desert region of central Australia. Ngurra-kurlu facilitates cross-cultural understanding by distilling, from a complex cultural system, the five distinct conceptual categories that comprise IEK: law, skin, ceremony, language, and country. The framework enables engagement with nuanced environmental knowledge because it synthesizes, for cross-cultural audiences, all the key areas of knowledge and practice in which IEK is located. In particular, the framework highlights how social systems mediate the transmission, deployment, and regulation of environmental knowledge in on-ground situations, including collaborative natural resource management. Although the framework was generated in relation to one indigenous group, the epistemological structure of Warlpiri IEK is relevant throughout Australia, and the framework can be applied internationally to the emerging interest in fostering ecosystem stewardship in which the cultural connections between people and place are an integral part of ecosystems management.

  10. Integrative ecology: from molecules to ecosystems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Woodward, G

    2010-01-01

    .... As such, none of these chapters are typical representatives of any single traditional field in ecology, as between them they attempt to forge new links from molecular biology to ecosystems ecology...

  11. Ecology in Small Aquatic Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel René

    Small ecosystems are many-fold more abundant than their larger counterparts. Both on regional and global scale small lakes outnumber medium and large lakes and account for a much larger surface area. Small streams are also far more common than rivers. Despite their abundance small ecosystems are ...

  12. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munns, Wayne R; Rea, Anne W; Suter, Glenn W; Martin, Lawrence; Blake-Hedges, Lynne; Crk, Tanja; Davis, Christine; Ferreira, Gina; Jordan, Steve; Mahoney, Michele; Barron, Mace G

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem services are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future. Those outputs include food and drinking water, clean air and water, and pollinated crops. The need to protect the services provided by natural systems has been recognized previously, but ecosystem services have not been formally incorporated into ecological risk assessment practice in a general way in the United States. Endpoints used conventionally in ecological risk assessment, derived directly from the state of the ecosystem (e.g., biophysical structure and processes), and endpoints based on ecosystem services serve different purposes. Conventional endpoints are ecologically important and susceptible entities and attributes that are protected under US laws and regulations. Ecosystem service endpoints are a conceptual and analytical step beyond conventional endpoints and are intended to complement conventional endpoints by linking and extending endpoints to goods and services with more obvious benefit to humans. Conventional endpoints can be related to ecosystem services even when the latter are not considered explicitly during problem formulation. To advance the use of ecosystem service endpoints in ecological risk assessment, the US Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Assessment Forum has added generic endpoints based on ecosystem services (ES-GEAE) to the original 2003 set of generic ecological assessment endpoints (GEAEs). Like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are defined by an entity and an attribute. Also like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are broadly described and will need to be made specific when applied to individual assessments. Adoption of ecosystem services as a type of assessment endpoint is intended to improve the value of risk assessment to environmental decision making, linking ecological risk to human well-being, and providing an improved means of communicating those risks. Integr Environ Assess Manag

  13. Ecological resilience indicators for mangrove ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Richard H.; Allen, Scott T.; Brenner, Jorge; Goodin, Kathleen; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Ames, Katherine Wirt

    2018-01-01

    Mangrove ecosystems are coastal wetland ecosystems dominated by mangrove species that are typically found in the intertidal zone, characterized by frequently flooded saline soil conditions. The majority of the approximately 500,000 acres of mangrove ecosystem in the United States occurs in the NGoM, and almost all of that is in Florida, with over 90 percent in the four southern counties of Lee, Collier, Miami-Dade, and Monroe. Scattered stands and individuals occur north and westward into Louisiana and Texas (Osland et al., 2016). The three common mangrove species are: black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), and red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). The mangrove system described in this project includes Tidal Mangrove Shrubland and Tidal Mangrove Forest as classified in CMECS (FGDC, 2012). It is classified as Caribbean Fringe Mangrove (G004) in the USNVC (2016), with a variety of distinct associations, based on species dominance and ecological setting.

  14. Book Reviews Concepts of Ecosystem Ecology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and emergent properties), and scientific method in ecology. ... this science: particularly the interface of habitat dynamics ... characteristic trophic structure and material cycles, six separate .... tion in using parts of it for extra readings in my senior.

  15. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  16. [Ecological regulation services of Hainan Island ecosystem and their valuation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhao, Tongqian; Zhao, Jingzhu; Xiao, Han; Wang, Xiaoke

    2004-08-01

    Ecosystem services imply the natural environmental conditions on which human life relies for existence, and their effectiveness formed and sustained by ecosystem and its ecological processes. In newly research reports, they were divided into four groups, i. e., provisioning services, regulation services, cultural services, and supporting services. To assess and valuate ecosystem services is the foundation of regional environmental reserve and development. Taking Hainan Island as an example and based on the structure and processes of natural ecosystem, this paper discussed the proper methods for regulation services assessment. The ecosystems were classified into 13 types including valley rain forest, mountainous rain forest, tropical monsoon forest, mountainous coppice forest, mountainous evergreen forest, tropical coniferous forest, shrubs, plantation, timber forest, windbreak forest, mangrove, savanna, and cropland, and then, the regulation services and their economic values of Hainan Island ecosystem were assessed and evaluated by terms of water-holding, soil conservancy, nutrient cycle, C fixation, and windbreak function. The economic value of the regulation services of Hainan Island ecosystem was estimated as 2035.88 x 10(8)-2153.39 x 10(8) RMB yuan, 8 times higher to its provisioning services (wood and agricultural products) which were estimated as only 254.06 x 10(8) RMB yuan. The result implied that ecosystem regulation services played an even more important role in the sustainable development of society and economy in Hainan Island.

  17. eEcoLiDAR, eScience infrastructure for ecological applications of LiDAR point clouds : reconstructing the 3D ecosystem structure for animals at regional to continental scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Bouten, W.

    2017-01-01

    The lack of high-resolution measurements of 3D ecosystem structure across broad spatial extents impedes major advancements in animal ecology and biodiversity science. We aim to fill this gap by using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to characterize the vertical and horizontal

  18. Parasites, ecosystems and sustainability: an ecological and complex systems perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwitz, Pierre; Wilcox, Bruce A

    2005-06-01

    Host-parasite relationships can be conceptualised either narrowly, where the parasite is metabolically dependent on the host, or more broadly, as suggested by an ecological-evolutionary and complex systems perspective. In this view Host-parasite relationships are part of a larger set of ecological and co-evolutionary interdependencies and a complex adaptive system. These interdependencies affect not just the hosts, vectors, parasites, the immediate agents, but also those indirectly or consequentially affected by the relationship. Host-parasite relationships also can be viewed as systems embedded within larger systems represented by ecological communities and ecosystems. So defined, it can be argued that Host-parasite relationships may often benefit their hosts and contribute significantly to the structuring of ecological communities. The broader, complex adaptive system view also contributes to understanding the phenomenon of disease emergence, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms involved, and the role of parasitology in research and management of ecosystems in light of the apparently growing problem of emerging infectious diseases in wildlife and humans. An expanded set of principles for integrated parasite management is suggested by this perspective.

  19. The Ecology and Evolution of Constructed Ecosystems as Green Infrastructure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy eLundholm

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Green infrastructure consists of ecosystems that provide valuable services to urban areas. Constructed ecosystems, including green roofs, bioretention systems, constructed wetlands and bioreactors are artificial, custom-built components of green infrastructure that are becoming more common in cities. Small size, strong spatial boundaries, ecological novelty and the role of human design characterize all constructed ecosystems, influencing their functions and interactions with other urban ecosystems. Here I outline the relevance of ecology and evolution in understanding the functioning of constructed ecosystems. In turn, a research focus on the distinctive aspects of constructed ecosystems can contribute to fundamental science.

  20. A tool for assessing ecological status of forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman Kassim, Abd; Afizzul Misman, Muhammad; Azahari Faidi, Mohd; Omar, Hamdan

    2016-06-01

    Managers and policy makers are beginning to appreciate the value of ecological monitoring of artificially regenerated forest especially in urban areas. With the advent of more advance technology in precision forestry, high resolution remotely sensed data e.g. hyperspectral and LiDAR are becoming available for rapid and precise assessment of the forest condition. An assessment of ecological status of forest ecosystem was developed and tested using FRIM campus forest stand. The forest consisted of three major blocks; the old growth artificially regenerated native species forests, naturally regenerated forest and recent planted forest for commercial timber and other forest products. Our aim is to assess the ecological status and its proximity to the mature old growth artificially regenerated stand. We used airborne LiDAR, orthophoto and thirty field sampling quadrats of 20x20m for ground verification. The parameter assessments were grouped into four broad categories: a. forest community level-composition, structures, function; landscape structures-road network and forest edges. A metric of parameters and rating criteria was introduced as indicators of the forest ecological status. We applied multi-criteria assessment to categorize the ecological status of the forest stand. The paper demonstrates the application of the assessment approach using FRIM campus forest as its first case study. Its potential application to both artificially and naturally regenerated forest in the variety of Malaysian landscape is discussed

  1. Ecological perspective: Linking ecology, GIS, and remote sensing to ecosystem management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig D.; Sample, V. Alaric

    1994-01-01

    Awareness of significant human impacts on the ecology of Earth's landscapes is not new (Thomas 1956). Over the past decade (Forman and Godron 1986, Urban et a1. 1987) applications of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies have supported a rapid rise in landscape.stale research. The heightened recognition within the research community of the ecological linkages between local sites and larger spatial scales has spawned increasing calls for more holistic management of landscapes (Noss 1983, Harris 1984, Risser 1985, Norse et al. 1986, Agee and Johnson 1988, Franklin 1989, Brooks and Grant 1992, Endangered Species Update-Special Issue 1993, Crow 1994, Grumbine 1994). As a result agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service are now converging on "ecosystem management" as a new paradigm to sustainably manage wildlands and maintain biodiversity. However, as this transition occurs, several impediments to implementation of this new paradigm persist, including(1) significant uncenainty among many land managers about the definition and goals of ecosystem management,(2) inadequate ecological information on the past and present processes and structural conditions of target ecosystems,(3) insufficient experience on the part of land managers with the rapidly diversifying array of GIS and remote sensing tools to effectively use them to support ecology-based land management, and(4) a paucity of intimate, long-term relationships between people (including land managers) and the particular landscape communities to which they belong.This chapter provides an ecological perspective on these issues as applied to ecosystem management in a southwestern U.S. landscape.

  2. Ecological restoration of southwestern ponderosa pine ecosystems: A broad perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig D.; Savage, Melissa; Falk, Donald A.; Suckling, Kieran F.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Schulke, Todd; Stacey, Peter B.; Morgan, Penelope; Hoffman, Martos; Klingel, Jon T.

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to promote a broad and flexible perspective on ecological restoration of Southwestern (U.S.) ponderosa pine forests. Ponderosa pine forests in the region have been radically altered by Euro-American land uses, including livestock grazing, fire suppression, and logging. Dense thickets of young trees now abound, old-growth and biodiversity have declined, and human and ecological communities are increasingly vulnerable to destructive crown fires. A consensus has emerged that it is urgent to restore more natural conditions to these forests. Efforts to restore Southwestern forests will require extensive projects employing varying combinations of young-tree thinning and reintroduction of low-intensity fires. Treatments must be flexible enough to recognize and accommodate: high levels of natural heterogeneity; dynamic ecosystems; wildlife and other biodiversity considerations; scientific uncertainty; and the challenges of on-the-ground implementation. Ecological restoration should reset ecosystem trends toward an envelope of “natural variability,” including the reestablishment of natural processes. Reconstructed historic reference conditions are best used as general guides rather than rigid restoration prescriptions. In the long term, the best way to align forest conditions to track ongoing climate changes is to restore fire, which naturally correlates with current climate. Some stands need substantial structural manipulation (thinning) before fire can safely be reintroduced. In other areas, such as large wilderness and roadless areas, fire alone may suffice as the main tool of ecological restoration, recreating the natural interaction of structure and process. Impatience, overreaction to crown fire risks, extractive economics, or hubris could lead to widespread application of highly intrusive treatments that may further damage forest ecosystems. Investments in research and monitoring of restoration treatments are essential to refine

  3. Spatial transferring of ecosystem services and property rights allocation of ecological compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Wujun; Xu, Geng; Wang, Xingjie

    2011-09-01

    Ecological compensation is an important means to maintain the sustainability and stability of ecosystem services. The property rights analysis of ecosystem services is indispensable when we implement ecological compensation. In this paper, ecosystem services are evaluated via spatial transferring and property rights analysis. Take the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) as an example, we attempt to classify the spatial structure of 31 categories of ecosystem services into four dimensions, i.e., local, regional, national and global ones, and divide the property rights structure into three types, i.e., private property rights, common property rights and state-owned property rights. Through the case study of forestry, farming industry, drainage area, development of mineral resources, nature reserves, functional areas, agricultural land expropriation, and international cooperation on ecological compensation, the feasible ecological compensation mechanism is illustrated under the spatial structure and property rights structure of the concerned ecosystem services. For private property rights, the ecological compensation mode mainly depends on the market mechanism. If the initial common property rights are "hidden," the implementation of ecological compensation mainly relies on the quota market transactions and the state investment under the state-owned property rights, and the fairness of property rights is thereby guaranteed through central administration.

  4. Ecological risks of pesticides in freshwater ecosystems; Part 1: herbicides

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brock, T.C.M.; Lahr, J.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2000-01-01

    A literature review of freshwater model ecosystem studies with herbicides was performed to assess the NOEC[sub]ecosystem for individual compounds, to compare these threshold levels with water quality standards, and to evaluate the ecological consequences of exceeding these standards. Studies were

  5. Bioassessment of the ecological integrity of river ecosystems using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bioassessment of the ecological integrity of river ecosystems using aquatic macroinvertebrates: an overview with a focus on South Africa. ... In conclusion, a number of potential avenues for further research regarding the use of macroinvertebrates in the bioassessment of river ecosystems are identified. Keywords: benthic ...

  6. [Calculation on ecological security baseline based on the ecosystem services value and the food security].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ling; Jia, Qi-jian; Li, Chao; Xu, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The rapid development of coastal economy in Hebei Province caused rapid transition of coastal land use structure, which has threatened land ecological security. Therefore, calculating ecosystem service value of land use and exploring ecological security baseline can provide the basis for regional ecological protection and rehabilitation. Taking Huanghua, a city in the southeast of Hebei Province, as an example, this study explored the joint point, joint path and joint method between ecological security and food security, and then calculated the ecological security baseline of Huanghua City based on the ecosystem service value and the food safety standard. The results showed that ecosystem service value of per unit area from maximum to minimum were in this order: wetland, water, garden, cultivated land, meadow, other land, salt pans, saline and alkaline land, constructive land. The order of contribution rates of each ecological function value from high to low was nutrient recycling, water conservation, entertainment and culture, material production, biodiversity maintenance, gas regulation, climate regulation and environmental purification. The security baseline of grain production was 0.21 kg · m⁻², the security baseline of grain output value was 0.41 yuan · m⁻², the baseline of ecosystem service value was 21.58 yuan · m⁻², and the total of ecosystem service value in the research area was 4.244 billion yuan. In 2081 the ecological security will reach the bottom line and the ecological system, in which human is the subject, will be on the verge of collapse. According to the ecological security status, Huanghua can be divided into 4 zones, i.e., ecological core protection zone, ecological buffer zone, ecological restoration zone and human activity core zone.

  7. Reconnecting Social and Ecological Resilience in Salmon Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel L. Bottom

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Fishery management programs designed to control Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp. for optimum production have failed to prevent widespread fish population decline and have caused greater uncertainty for salmon, their ecosystems, and the people who depend upon them. In this special feature introduction, we explore several key attributes of ecosystem resilience that have been overlooked by traditional salmon management approaches. The dynamics of salmon ecosystems involve social-ecological interactions across multiple scales that create difficult mismatches with the many jurisdictions that manage fisheries and other natural resources. Of particular importance to ecosystem resilience are large-scale shifts in oceanic and climatic regimes or in global economic conditions that unpredictably alter social and ecological systems. Past management actions that did not account for such changes have undermined salmon population resilience and increased the risk of irreversible regime shifts in salmon ecosystems. Because salmon convey important provisioning, cultural, and supporting services to their local watersheds, widespread population decline has undermined both human well-being and ecosystem resilience. Strengthening resilience will require expanding habitat opportunities for salmon populations to express their maximum life-history variation. Such actions also may benefit the "response diversity" of local communities by expanding the opportunities for people to express diverse social and economic values. Reestablishing social-ecological connections in salmon ecosystems will provide important ecosystem services, including those that depend on clean water, ample stream flows, functional wetlands and floodplains, intact riparian systems, and abundant fish populations.

  8. Making research relevant? Ecological methods and the ecosystem services framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root-Bernstein, Meredith; Jaksic, Fabián. M.

    2017-07-01

    We examine some unexpected epistemological conflicts that arise at the interfaces between ecological science, the ecosystem services framework, policy, and industry. We use an example from our own research to motivate and illustrate our main arguments, while also reviewing standard approaches to ecological science using the ecosystem services framework. While we agree that the ecosystem services framework has benefits in its industrial applications because it may force economic decision makers to consider a broader range of costs and benefits than they would do otherwise, we find that many alignments of ecology with the ecosystem services framework are asking questions that are irrelevant to real-world applications, and generating data that does not serve real-world applications. We attempt to clarify why these problems arise and how to avoid them. We urge fellow ecologists to reflect on the kind of research that can lead to both scientific advances and applied relevance to society. In our view, traditional empirical approaches at landscape scales or with place-based emphases are necessary to provide applied knowledge for problem solving, which is needed once decision makers identify risks to ecosystem services. We conclude that the ecosystem services framework is a good policy tool when applied to decision-making contexts, but not a good theory either of social valuation or ecological interactions, and should not be treated as one.

  9. Ecosystem regime shifts disrupt trophic structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempson, Tessa N; Graham, Nicholas A J; MacNeil, M Aaron; Hoey, Andrew S; Wilson, Shaun K

    2018-01-01

    Regime shifts between alternative stable ecosystem states are becoming commonplace due to the combined effects of local stressors and global climate change. Alternative states are characterized as substantially different in form and function from pre-disturbance states, disrupting the delivery of ecosystem services and functions. On coral reefs, regime shifts are typically characterized by a change in the benthic composition from coral to macroalgal dominance. Such fundamental shifts in the benthos are anticipated to impact associated fish communities that are reliant on the reef for food and shelter, yet there is limited understanding of how regime shifts propagate through the fish community over time, relative to initial or recovery conditions. This study addresses this knowledge gap using long-term data of coral reef regime shifts and recovery on Seychelles reefs following the 1998 mass bleaching event. It shows how trophic structure of the reef fish community becomes increasingly dissimilar between alternative reef ecosystem states (regime-shifted vs. recovering) with time since disturbance. Regime-shifted reefs developed a concave trophic structure, with increased biomass in base trophic levels as herbivorous species benefitted from increased algal resources. Mid trophic level species, including specialists such as corallivores, declined with loss of coral habitat, while biomass was retained in upper trophic levels by large-bodied, generalist invertivores. Recovering reefs also experienced an initial decline in mid trophic level biomass, but moved toward a bottom-heavy pyramid shape, with a wide range of feeding groups (e.g., planktivores, corallivores, omnivores) represented at mid trophic levels. Given the importance of coral reef fishes in maintaining the ecological function of coral reef ecosystems and their associated fisheries, understanding the effects of regime shifts on these communities is essential to inform decisions that enhance ecological

  10. Applications of C and N stable isotopes to ecological and environmental studies in seagrass ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lepoint, Gilles [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)]. E-mail: g.lepoint@ulg.ac.be; Dauby, Patrick [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, rue Vautier, B1000 Brussels (Belgium); Gobert, Sylvie [Centre MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Institut de Chimie, B6, Universite de Liege, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2004-12-01

    Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen are increasingly used in marine ecosystems, for ecological and environmental studies. Here, we examine some applications of stable isotopes as ecological integrators or tracers in seagrass ecosystem studies. We focus on both the use of natural isotope abundance as food web integrators or environmental tracers and on the use of stable isotopes as experimental tools. As ecosystem integrators, stable isotopes have helped to elucidate the general structure of trophic webs in temperate, Mediterranean and tropical seagrass ecosystems. As environmental tracers, stable isotopes have proven their utility in sewage impact measuring and mapping. However, to make such environmental studies more comprehensible, future works on understanding of basic reasons for variations of N and C stable isotopes in seagrasses should be encouraged. At least, as experimental tracers, stable isotopes allow the study of many aspects of N and C cycles at the scale of a plant or at the scale of the seagrass ecosystem.

  11. The relationship between ecological restoration and the ecosystem services concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasha Alexander

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration and the mainstreaming of the concept of ecosystem services will be critical if global society is to move toward sustainability. Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and COP12 of the Convention on Biological Diversity should help foster support for vastly increased investment in the better management and restoration of natural capital. Large-scale restoration demonstrably improves ecological functioning to sustain both biodiversity and human well-being. However, much progress is needed to improve the effectiveness and cost efficiency of any restoration. The ecosystem services concept provides a framework for identifying the types of restorative interventions needed to target different forms and degrees of degradation, and achieve goals related to both ecosystem health and delivery of services to people. Moreover, it can strengthen the argument for, and planning of, large-scale restoration and conservation of natural capital. We use case studies from four continents to help demonstrate how the interconnection between ecological restoration and the ecosystem services concept is being utilized in land-use planning and enlightened ecosystem management. We offer ways in which this relationship can be better understood and communicated to support the scaling up of restoration activities to the landscape and regional scales across the full spectrum of land uses and ecosystem types.

  12. The role of ecological models in linking ecological risk assessment to ecosystem services in agroecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galic, N.G.; Schmolke, A.; Forbes, V.; Baveco, J.M.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural practices are essential for sustaining the human population, but at the same time they can directly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecological risk assessment (ERA) aims to estimate possible adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems and their parts. Current ERA practices,

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haas, T. C.

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Toward a social-ecological theory of forest macrosystems for improved ecosystem management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleindl, William J.; Stoy, Paul C.; Binford, Michael W.; Desai, Ankur R.; Dietze, Michael C.; Schultz, Courtney A.; Starr, Gregory; Staudhammer, Christina; Wood, David J. A.

    2018-01-01

    The implications of cumulative land-use decisions and shifting climate on forests, require us to integrate our understanding of ecosystems, markets, policy, and resource management into a social-ecological system. Humans play a central role in macrosystem dynamics, which complicates ecological theories that do not explicitly include human interactions. These dynamics also impact ecological services and related markets, which challenges economic theory. Here, we use two forest macroscale management initiatives to develop a theoretical understanding of how management interacts with ecological functions and services at these scales and how the multiple large-scale management goals work either in consort or conflict with other forest functions and services. We suggest that calling upon theories developed for organismal ecology, ecosystem ecology, and ecological economics adds to our understanding of social-ecological macrosystems. To initiate progress, we propose future research questions to add rigor to macrosystem-scale studies: (1) What are the ecosystem functions that operate at macroscales, their necessary structural components, and how do we observe them? (2) How do systems at one scale respond if altered at another scale? (3) How do we both effectively measure these components and interactions, and communicate that information in a meaningful manner for policy and management across different scales?

  15. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future, and include the production of food and drinking water, purification of air and water, pollination, and nutrient cycling. The n...

  16. Microbial ecology and nematode control in natural ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costa, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Kerry, B.R.

    2011-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes have traditionally been studied in agricultural systems, where they can be pests of importance on a wide range of crops. Nevertheless, nematode ecology in natural ecosystems is receiving increasing interest because of the role of nematodes in soil food webs, nutrient

  17. Economics, socio-ecological resilience and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farley, J.; Voinov, A.

    2016-01-01

    The economic process transforms raw materials and energy into economic products and waste. On a finite planet, continued economic growth threatens to surpass critical socio-ecological thresholds and undermine ecosystem services upon which humans and all other species depend. For most systems,

  18. Attempts for an integrative (ecological) assessment of groundwater ecosystems status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griebler, Christian; Kellermann, Claudia; Jürgen Hahn, Hans; Stein, Heide; Brielmann, Heike; Berkhoff, Sven; Fuchs, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Today the assessment of the ecological status of surface waters is routine and made its way into national and international (e.g. European Water Framework Directive) regulations. For groundwater and aquifers a comparable approach, considering ecological aspects, is still missing. In contrast, groundwater monitoring and management schemes follow exclusively physical-chemical and quantitative criteria. However, groundwater systems are, although persistently neglected, ecosystems harboring diverse communities of microorganisms and invertebrates. Directly linked to the biological components, groundwater systems provide various ecosystem services of societal relevance (natural production of clean drinking water). In the recent past, we developed a first concept of an ecologically sound assessment scheme for groundwater systems. Work included (1) the selection of appropriate biological/ecological criteria, (2) set-up of a groundwater ecosystem typology, (3) deduction of natural biological groundwater background values and definition of reference conditions for selected sites, and (4) a first evaluation model. Groundwater has been analyzed repeatedly of more than 100 wells distributed over five investigation areas spread all over Germany. The investigated sites could be assigned to different natural regions, geological regions, hydrogeological units, and aquifer types. The mismatch of groundwater faunal communities with the established classification schemes led to the proposal of 'stygoregions' for Germany. The presentation introduces a number of microbial and faunistic assessment criteria, which have been tested and natural background values which have been deduced. Finally, a tiered framework for assessing groundwater ecosystem status which allows an easy and fast evaluation is introduced.

  19. Ecological state of the Romanian Black Sea littoral lacustrine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomoiu, M.-T.

    2009-04-01

    The author uses the results of his own researches as well as data from specialty literature to assess the ecological state of some typical lacustrine ecosystems considered, about 50 years ago, of major importance by their functions, services and researches, for the human populations in the settlements nearby. Based on this assessment the author recommends a few criteria which can be taken into account when programs of integrated management of these coastal ecosystems are initiated. The paper focuses on the study cases regarding the following major ecosystems: 1. Razelm-Sinoie Lagoon Complex - tightly linked to the Danube River and Delta systems, 2. Taşaul Lake - interfered in the last two decades by a branch of the DanubeRiver - Black Sea Canal and 3. Techirghiol Lake - for a long time under the sea level, a hyperhaline lake with therapeutic, sapropelic mud, disturbed by huge quantities of freshwaters infiltrated from the irrigation system. At present, the state of the lacustrine ecosystems at the Romanian Black Sea Coast can be characterized, mainly, by the following aspects: · Increase in the quantities of nutrients and chemical toxicants; · Rise in the level and frequency of eutrophication and pollution phenomena; · Drastic reduction of specific diversity; · Simplification of communities' structure - biocoenosis homogeneity; · Decrease in numerical abundance and biomass of benthic populations and consequently, low biofilter power by the decrease of the filter-feeder populations; · Worsening of the qualitative and the quantitative state of the biological benthic resources; · Thriving opportunistic forms (e.g. the worms causing sediment bioturbation); · Invasion by some exotic species, with harmful, unexpected consequences; · All populations undergo quantitative fluctuations; · Decrease in the fish population and in the use values of lacustrine assets, with strong impact on the welfare of the human society. Almost all pressure forms associated with the

  20. The Rise of the Anthroposphere since 50,000 Years: An Ecological Replacement of Megaherbivores by Humans in Terrestrial Ecosystems?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hervé Bocherens

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Megaherbivores fulfilled a number of important ecological functions in terrestrial ecosystems and behaved as ecological engineers since 300 million years until around 12,000 years ago. These essential ecological functions include opening vegetation cover, selective seed dispersal and nutrient recycling and spreading. Thanks to these effects, megaherbivores change the vegetation structure where they live, with cascading effects on smaller herbivores and also on climate. The late Pleistocene extinction strongly impacted the megaherbivores almost all over the world and led to the loss of these important ecological functions in terrestrial ecosystems. These functions were partially restored by agriculturist humans through an ecological replacement that occurred through an ecological shift within the species Homo sapiens. A better understanding of the differences and similarities between the ecological impacts of megaherbivores and those of agricultural humans should help to predict the future of terrestrial ecosystems.

  1. Microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems: biodiversity, ecological connections and implications of a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Hood, Eran; Hamilton, Trinity L

    2017-08-01

    Glacier ecosystems are teeming with life on, beneath, and to a lesser degree, within their icy masses. This conclusion largely stems from polar research, with less attention paid to mountain glaciers that overlap environmentally and ecologically with their polar counterparts in some ways, but diverge in others. One difference lies in the susceptibility of mountain glaciers to the near-term threat of climate change, as they tend to be much smaller in both area and volume. Moreover, mountain glaciers are typically steeper, more dependent upon basal sliding for movement, and experience higher seasonal precipitation. Here, we provide a modern synthesis of the microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems, and particularly those at low- to mid-latitudes. We focus on five ecological zones: the supraglacial surface, englacial interior, subglacial bedrock-ice interface, proglacial streams and glacier forefields. For each, we discuss the role of microbiota in biogeochemical cycling and outline ecological and hydrological connections among zones, underscoring the interconnected nature of these ecosystems. Collectively, we highlight the need to: better document the biodiversity and functional roles of mountain glacier microbiota; describe the ecological implications of rapid glacial retreat under climate change and resolve the relative contributions of ecological zones to broader ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Ecological restoration, ecosystem services, and land use: a European perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Tolvanen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This special feature provides an overview on how the ecosystem service concept has been and can be incorporated into the science, practice, and policies of ecological restoration (ER and evidence-based land-use. It includes an edited selection of eleven invited and peer-reviewed papers based on presentations given during the 9th European Conference on Ecological Restoration in 2014. The focus is on Europe, but many contributors also make appraisals and recommendations at the global scale. Based on the contributors' papers, and our own overview of the promise of ecological restoration in the existing international treaties, coalitions, and conventions, we propose that the following actions could contribute to the positive impacts of ER on biodiversity maintenance, ecosystem functioning, progressive mainstreaming the concepts of both ER and ecosystem services, significant mitigation and offsetting of anthropogenic climate change, and lasting enhancement of both ecosystem and human health: •\tER should be incorporated into land use planning, wherever needed, and the synergies and trade-offs of different land use scenarios should be assessed in terms of their impacts on ecosystem services. •\tThe discourse of ER should be enlarged, wherever it is needed, to include multifunctional land use that simultaneously supports sustainable production systems, built environments, and the quality and quantity of diverse ecosystem services. This approach will generate ecological, social, and economic benefits in the long run. •\tMonitoring and evaluation of ER projects should be a continuous process involving careful selection of indicators chosen with the full range of stakeholders in mind, and a sufficiently long-term perspective to catch the progress of long-term or highly dynamic ecosystem processes. •\tScientists should actively participate in policy and land management discussions in order to give their views on the potential outcomes of decisions.

  3. Ecosystem services classification: A systems ecology perspective of the cascade framework

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    La Notte, A

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available and the environment. We present a refreshed conceptualization of ecosystem services which can support ecosystem service assessment techniques and measurement. We combine the notions of biomass, information and interaction from system ecology, with the ecosystem...

  4. eEcoLiDAR, eScience infrastructure for ecological applications of LiDAR point clouds: reconstructing the 3D ecosystem structure for animals at regional to continental scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Daniel Kissling

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The lack of high-resolution measurements of 3D ecosystem structure across broad spatial extents impedes major advancements in animal ecology and biodiversity science. We aim to fill this gap by using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR technology to characterize the vertical and horizontal complexity of vegetation and landscapes at high resolution across regional to continental scales. The newly LiDAR-derived 3D ecosystem structures will be applied in species distribution models for breeding birds in forests and marshlands, for insect pollinators in agricultural landscapes, and songbirds at stopover sites during migration. This will allow novel insights into the hierarchical structure of animal-habitat associations, into why animal populations decline, and how they respond to habitat fragmentation and ongoing land use change. The processing of these massive amounts of LiDAR point cloud data will be achieved by developing a generic interactive eScience environment with multi-scale object-based image analysis (OBIA and interpretation of LiDAR point clouds, including data storage, scalable computing, tools for machine learning and visualisation (feature selection, annotation/segmentation, object classification, and evaluation, and a PostGIS spatial database. The classified objects will include trees, forests, vegetation strata, edges, bushes, hedges, reedbeds etc. with their related metrics, attributes and summary statistics (e.g. vegetation openness, height, density, vertical biomass distribution etc.. The newly developed eScience tools and data will be available to other disciplines and applications in ecology and the Earth sciences, thereby achieving high impact. The project will foster new multi-disciplinary collaborations between ecologists and eScientists and contribute to training a new generation of geo-ecologists.

  5. Terrestrial ecosystems: an ecological content for radionuclide research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heal, O.W.; Horrill, A.D.

    1983-01-01

    The distribution and retention of radionuclides within terrestrial ecosystems varies greatly with both the radionuclide and the environmental conditions. Physico-chemical conditions, particularly those of the soil, strongly influence element retention but superimposed and interacting with these conditions are the biological processes which control the dynamics of the labile fraction of most elements. Net ecosystem production expresses the complementary biological processes of primary production and decomposition which control the internal element dynamics and the balance of inputs to and outputs from terrestrial ecosystems. Analysis of ecosystem structure and function has shown that although research often concentrates on relatively stable stages of ecosystem development, element retention is high during the early stages of ecosystem succession through the accumulation of plant biomass and dead organic matter. Element output tends to increase with time reaching a balance with inputs in mature ecosystems. Following disturbance, plant uptake tends to be reduced and decomposition stimulated, resulting in increased output until secondary succession and accumulation is re-established. Research on element dynamics in ecosystems indicates that major factors influencing the mobility of radionuclides in terrestrial systems will be the successional state of the ecosystem and intensity of disturbance. (author)

  6. Linking microbial and ecosystem ecology using ecological stoichiometry: a synthesis of conceptual and empirical approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.

  7. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Balkanized research in ecological engineering revealed by a bibliometric analysis of earthworms and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blouin, Manuel; Sery, Nicolas; Cluzeau, Daniel; Brun, Jean-Jacques; Bédécarrats, Alain

    2013-08-01

    Energy crisis, climate changes, and biodiversity losses have reinforced the drive for more ecologically-based approaches for environmental management. Such approaches are characterized by the use of organisms rather than energy-consuming technologies. Although earthworms are believed to be potentially useful organisms for managing ecosystem services, there is actually no quantification of such a trend in literature. This bibliometric analysis aimed to measure the evolution of the association of "earthworms" and other terms such as ecosystem services (primary production, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, soil structure, and pollution remediation), "ecological engineering" or "biodiversity," to assess their convergence or divergence through time. In this aim, we calculated the similarity index, an indicator of the paradigmatic proximity defined in applied epistemology, for each year between 1900 and 2009. We documented the scientific fields and the geographical origins of the studies, as well as the land uses, and compare these characteristics with a 25 years old review on earthworm management. The association of earthworm related keywords with ecosystem services related keywords was increasing with time, reflecting the growing interest in earthworm use in biodiversity and ecosystem services management. Conversely, no significant increase in the association between earthworms and disciplines such as ecological engineering or restoration ecology was observed. This demonstrated that general ecologically-based approaches have yet to emerge and that there is little exchange of knowledge, methods or concepts among balkanized application realms. Nevertheless, there is a strong need for crossing the frontiers between fields of application and for developing an umbrella discipline to provide a framework for the use of organisms to manage ecosystem services.

  9. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  10. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M

    2014-05-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.

  11. Economics, socio-ecological resilience and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Joshua; Voinov, Alexey

    2016-12-01

    The economic process transforms raw materials and energy into economic products and waste. On a finite planet, continued economic growth threatens to surpass critical socio-ecological thresholds and undermine ecosystem services upon which humans and all other species depend. For most systems, whether such thresholds exist, where they lie and whether they are reversible cannot be known with certainty until they are crossed. We argue that our central economic challenge is to maintain the resilience of the current socio-ecological regime. We must reduce net impacts of economic activity to avoid critical ecological thresholds while ensuring economic necessities. Conventional economists pursue continuous growth as the central goal of economic activity, and assume that the price mechanism and technological breakthroughs ensure system resilience. Unfortunately, the price mechanism fails to address ecological thresholds because it ignores unowned ecosystem services, and fails to address economic thresholds because it ignores the needs of the poorest individuals, who live on the edge of them. Panarchy theory suggests that systems go through a cycle of growth, conservation, release and renewal. Managing a subsystem too long for growth or conservation-which many consider to be the goal of sustainability-actually threatens to collapse the higher-level system upon which that subsystem depends. Black Swan theory suggests we should seek to reduce the risk of catastrophic thresholds and promote the likelihood of technological breakthroughs. Economic degrowth, or planned release, is required to avoid catastrophic collapse. At the same time, publicly funded, open source information can help stimulate the technological breakthroughs economists count on to ensure resilience. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Evaluation of the ecological integrity and ecosystem health of three benthic networks influenced by coastal upwelling in the northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ecological health of ecosystems relates to the maintenance or restoration of optimal system function when confronted with a disturbance. A healthy ecosystem is a prerequisite for ecological sustainability. Ecological integrity has been defined as an emergent property of ecosy...

  13. Ecological processes in the cycling of radionuclides within arctic ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    Worldwide fallout radionuclides in arctic ecosystems was investigated ecologically by circumpolar nations during 1959-80. Several of the radionuclides are isotopes of elements which currently contribute to arctic haze; they thus serve as effective tracers of biogeochemical processes. Investigations demonstrated the effective concentration of several radionuclides, particularly strontium-90 (an alkaline earth metal) and cesium-137 (a light alkali metal) which are chemical analogs of calcium and potassium, two very important stable elements in biotic systems. Transfer of 137 Cs through the lichen-cariboureindeer-man food chain characteristic of circumpolar nations, resulted in body burdens in Inuit that were 20 to 200 times greater than those in human populations of temperature latitudes. Radiation exposures from 90 Sr, 137 Cs and other natural and worldwide fallout radionuclides, were two to three times greater than for most other world populations. These results demonstrate the concentration capabilities of arctic ecosystems for several groups of chemical elements that have counterparts in arctic haze. These elements, therefore, provide the basis for considering the ecological implications of current situations

  14. Making the ecosystem approach operational-Can regime shifts in ecological- and governance systems facilitate the transition?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Österblom, H.; Gårdmark, A.; Bergström, L.

    2010-01-01

    Effectively reducing cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems requires co-evolution between science, policy and practice. Here, long-term social–ecological changes in the Baltic Sea are described, illustrating how the process of making the ecosystem approach operational in a large marine ecosystem...... stimulating innovations and re-organizing governance structures at drainage basin level to the Baltic Sea catchment as a whole. Experimentation and innovation at local to the regional levels is critical for a transition to ecosystem-based management. Establishing science-based learning platforms at sub...

  15. Advances in animal ecology from 3D ecosystem mapping with LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, A.; Asner, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    The advent and recent advances of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) have enabled accurate measurement of 3D ecosystem structure. Although the use of LiDAR data is widespread in vegetation science, it has only recently (3D ecosystem structure for animals. We reviewed the studies to date that have used LiDAR in animal ecology, synthesising the insights gained. Structural heterogeneity is most conducive to increased animal richness and abundance, and increased complexity of vertical vegetation structure is more positively influential than traditionally measured canopy cover, which produces mixed results. However, different taxonomic groups interact with a variety of 3D canopy traits and some groups with 3D topography. LiDAR technology can be applied to animal ecology studies in a wide variety of environments to answer an impressive array of questions. Drawing on case studies from vastly different groups, termites and lions, we further demonstrate the applicability of LiDAR and highlight new understanding, ranging from habitat preference to predator-prey interactions, that would not have been possible from studies restricted to field based methods. We conclude with discussion of how future studies will benefit by using LiDAR to consider 3D habitat effects in a wider variety of ecosystems and with more taxa to develop a better understanding of animal dynamics.

  16. West Nile virus ecology in a tropical ecosystem in Guatemala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Betoulle, Maria E; Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A; Alvarez, Danilo; López, María R; Betoulle, Jean-Luc; Sosa, Silvia M; Müller, María L; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Lanciotti, Robert S; Johnson, Barbara W; Powers, Ann M; Cordón-Rosales, Celia

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus ecology has yet to be rigorously investigated in the Caribbean Basin. We identified a transmission focus in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and established systematic monitoring of avian abundance and infection, seroconversions in domestic poultry, and viral infections in mosquitoes. West Nile virus transmission was detected annually between May and October from 2005 to 2008. High temperature and low rainfall enhanced the probability of chicken seroconversions, which occurred in both urban and rural sites. West Nile virus was isolated from Culex quinquefasciatus and to a lesser extent, from Culex mollis/Culex inflictus, but not from the most abundant Culex mosquito, Culex nigripalpus. A calculation that combined avian abundance, seroprevalence, and vertebrate reservoir competence suggested that great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is the major amplifying host in this ecosystem. West Nile virus transmission reached moderate levels in sentinel chickens during 2007, but less than that observed during outbreaks of human disease attributed to West Nile virus in the United States.

  17. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Moreno-Mateos

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Transitions in Arctic ecosystems: Ecological implications of a changing hydrological regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrona, Frederick J.; Johansson, Margareta; Culp, Joseph M.; Jenkins, Alan; Mârd, Johanna; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Prowse, Terry D.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Wookey, Philip A.

    2016-03-01

    Numerous international scientific assessments and related articles have, during the last decade, described the observed and potential impacts of climate change as well as other related environmental stressors on Arctic ecosystems. There is increasing recognition that observed and projected changes in freshwater sources, fluxes, and storage will have profound implications for the physical, biogeochemical, biological, and ecological processes and properties of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. However, a significant level of uncertainty remains in relation to forecasting the impacts of an intensified hydrological regime and related cryospheric change on ecosystem structure and function. As the terrestrial and freshwater ecology component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review these uncertainties and recommend enhanced coordinated circumpolar research and monitoring efforts to improve quantification and prediction of how an altered hydrological regime influences local, regional, and circumpolar-level responses in terrestrial and freshwater systems. Specifically, we evaluate (i) changes in ecosystem productivity; (ii) alterations in ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycling and chemical transport; (iii) altered landscapes, successional trajectories, and creation of new habitats; (iv) altered seasonality and phenological mismatches; and (v) gains or losses of species and associated trophic interactions. We emphasize the need for developing a process-based understanding of interecosystem interactions, along with improved predictive models. We recommend enhanced use of the catchment scale as an integrated unit of study, thereby more explicitly considering the physical, chemical, and ecological processes and fluxes across a full freshwater continuum in a geographic region and spatial range of hydroecological units (e.g., stream-pond-lake-river-near shore marine environments).

  19. Ecosystem Services as a Boundary Concept: Arguments from Social Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schleyer

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem services (ES are defined as the interdependencies between society and nature. Despite several years of conceptual discussions, some challenges of the ES concept are far from being resolved. In particular, the usefulness of the concept for nature protection is questioned, and a strong critique is expressed concerning its contribution towards the neoliberal commodification of nature. This paper argues that these challenges can be addressed by dealing more carefully with ES as a boundary concept between different disciplines and between science and society. ES are neither about nature nor about human wellbeing, but about the mutual dependencies between nature and human wellbeing. These mutual interdependencies, however, create tensions and contradictions that manifest themselves in the boundary negotiations between different scientific disciplines and between science and society. This paper shows that approaches from Social Ecology can address these boundary negotiations and the power relations involved more explicitly. Finally, this implies the urgent need for more inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration in ES research. We conclude (1 that the social–ecological nature of ES must be elaborated more carefully while explicitly focussing on the interdependencies between nature and society; (2 to better implement inter- and transdisciplinary methods into ES research; and (3 that such ES research can—and to some extent already does—substantially enhance international research programmes such as Future Earth.

  20. [Measuring water ecological carrying capacity with the ecosystem-service-based ecological footprint (ESEF) method: Theory, models and application].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Wen-jun; Min, Qing-wen; Li, Wen-hua; Fuller, Anthony M

    2015-04-01

    Integrated watershed management based on aquatic ecosystems has been increasingly acknowledged. Such a change in the philosophy of water environment management requires recognizing the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems for human society from a more general perspective. The concept of the water ecological carrying capacity is therefore put forward, which considers both water resources and water environment, connects socio-economic development to aquatic ecosystems and provides strong support for integrated watershed management. In this paper, the authors proposed an ESEF-based measure of water ecological carrying capacity and constructed ESEF-based models of water ecological footprint and capacity, aiming to evaluate water ecological carrying capacity with footprint methods. A regional model of Taihu Lake Basin was constructed and applied to evaluate the water ecological carrying capacity in Changzhou City which located in the upper reaches of the basin. Results showed that human demand for water ecosystem services in this city had exceeded the supply capacity of local aquatic ecosystems and the significant gap between demand and supply had jeopardized the sustainability of local aquatic ecosystems. Considering aqua-product provision, water supply and pollutant absorption in an integrated way, the scale of population and economy aquatic ecosystems in Changzhou could bear only 54% of the current status.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. Ecological Production Functions Linking Multiple Stressors to Ecosystem Services – A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ecosystem services concept is being used to frame environmental protection goals that guide management of the risks of chemicals. Ecosystem services link changes in ecological systems to the benefits received by people. The use of ecosystem services in risk assessments and th...

  3. Ecosystem heterogeneity determines the ecological resilience of the Amazon to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Naomi M; Zhang, Ke; Longo, Marcos; Baccini, Alessandro; Phillips, Oliver L; Lewis, Simon L; Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Segalin de Andrade, Ana Cristina; Brienen, Roel J W; Erwin, Terry L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel Lorenzo; Nuñez Vargas, Percy; Prieto, Adriana; Silva-Espejo, Javier Eduardo; Malhi, Yadvinder; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2016-01-19

    Amazon forests, which store ∼ 50% of tropical forest carbon and play a vital role in global water, energy, and carbon cycling, are predicted to experience both longer and more intense dry seasons by the end of the 21st century. However, the climate sensitivity of this ecosystem remains uncertain: several studies have predicted large-scale die-back of the Amazon, whereas several more recent studies predict that the biome will remain largely intact. Combining remote-sensing and ground-based observations with a size- and age-structured terrestrial ecosystem model, we explore the sensitivity and ecological resilience of these forests to changes in climate. We demonstrate that water stress operating at the scale of individual plants, combined with spatial variation in soil texture, explains observed patterns of variation in ecosystem biomass, composition, and dynamics across the region, and strongly influences the ecosystem's resilience to changes in dry season length. Specifically, our analysis suggests that in contrast to existing predictions of either stability or catastrophic biomass loss, the Amazon forest's response to a drying regional climate is likely to be an immediate, graded, heterogeneous transition from high-biomass moist forests to transitional dry forests and woody savannah-like states. Fire, logging, and other anthropogenic disturbances may, however, exacerbate these climate change-induced ecosystem transitions.

  4. Beyond urban legends: an emerging framework of urban ecology, as illustrated by the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steward T.A. Pickett; Mary L. Cadenasso; J. Morgan Grove; Peter M. Groffman; Lawrence E. Band; Christopher G. Boone; William R., Jr. Burch; Susan B. Grimmond; John Hom; Jennifer C. Jenkins; Neely L. Law; Charles H. Nilon; Richard V. Pouyat; Katalin Szlavecz; Paige S. Warren; Matthew A. Wilson

    2008-01-01

    The emerging discipline of urban ecology is shifting focus from ecological processes embedded within cities to integrative studies of large urban areas as biophysical-social complexes. Yet this discipline lacks a theory. Results from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, part of the Long Term Ecological Research Network, expose new assumptions and test existing assumptions...

  5. Social-ecological enabling conditions for payments for ecosystem services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi R. Huber-Stearns

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The concept of "enabling conditions" centers on conditions that facilitate approaches to addressing social and ecological challenges. Although multiple fields have independently addressed the concept of enabling conditions, the literature lacks a shared understanding or integration of concepts. We propose a more synthesized understanding of enabling conditions beyond disciplinary boundaries by focusing on the enabling conditions that influence the implementation of a range of environmental policies termed payments for ecosystem services (PES. Through an analysis of key literature from different disciplinary perspectives, we examined how researchers and practitioners refer to and identify enabling conditions within the context of PES. Through our synthesis, we identified 24 distinct enabling conditions organized within 4 broad themes: biophysical, economic, governance, and social-cultural conditions. We found that the literature coalesces around certain enabling conditions, such as strong ecosystem science and existing institutions, regardless of disciplinary background or journal audience. We also observed key differences in how authors perceive the direction of influence for property type, program objectives, and number of actors. Additionally, we noted an emphasis on the importance of the contextual nature of many enabling conditions that may cause certain conditions to have a disproportionate impact on successful implementation in some circumstances. Unraveling the relative importance of specific enabling conditions in diverse contexts remains a research frontier. Ultimately, no single disciplinary perspective is likely to provide all necessary insights for PES creation, and given the intertwined nature of enabling conditions, practitioners need to consider insights from multiple dimensions. Our work suggests opportunities to better connect diverse conversations through integration of concepts, a common vocabulary, and a synthetic framework.

  6. Modelling the ecological vulnerability to forest fires in mediterranean ecosystems using geographic information technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duguy, Beatriz; Alloza, José Antonio; Baeza, M Jaime; De la Riva, Juan; Echeverría, Maite; Ibarra, Paloma; Llovet, Juan; Cabello, Fernando Pérez; Rovira, Pere; Vallejo, Ramon V

    2012-12-01

    Forest fires represent a major driver of change at the ecosystem and landscape levels in the Mediterranean region. Environmental features and vegetation are key factors to estimate the ecological vulnerability to fire; defined as the degree to which an ecosystem is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of fire (provided a fire occurs). Given the predicted climatic changes for the region, it is urgent to validate spatially explicit tools for assessing this vulnerability in order to support the design of new fire prevention and restoration strategies. This work presents an innovative GIS-based modelling approach to evaluate the ecological vulnerability to fire of an ecosystem, considering its main components (soil and vegetation) and different time scales. The evaluation was structured in three stages: short-term (focussed on soil degradation risk), medium-term (focussed on changes in vegetation), and coupling of the short- and medium-term vulnerabilities. The model was implemented in two regions: Aragón (inland North-eastern Spain) and Valencia (eastern Spain). Maps of the ecological vulnerability to fire were produced at a regional scale. We partially validated the model in a study site combining two complementary approaches that focused on testing the adequacy of model's predictions in three ecosystems, all very common in fire-prone landscapes of eastern Spain: two shrublands and a pine forest. Both approaches were based on the comparison of model's predictions with values of NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), which is considered a good proxy for green biomass. Both methods showed that the model's performance is satisfactory when applied to the three selected vegetation types.

  7. Valuing Ecosystem Services in Terms of Ecological Risks and Returns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abson, Dave; Termansen, Mette

    2011-01-01

    Abstract: The economic valuation of ecosystem services is a key policy tool in stemming losses of biological diversity. It is proposed that the loss of ecosystem function and the biological resources within ecosystems is due in part to the failure of markets to recognize the benefits humans derive...... from ecosystems. Placing monetary values on ecosystem services is often suggested as a necessary step in correcting such market failures. We consider the effects of valuing different types of ecosystem services within an economic framework. We argue that provisioning and regulating ecosystem services...

  8. Introduction. Antarctic ecology: from genes to ecosystems. Part 2. Evolution, diversity and functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Alex D; Murphy, Eugene J; Johnston, Nadine M; Clarke, Andrew

    2007-12-29

    The Antarctic biota has evolved over the last 100 million years in increasingly isolated and cold conditions. As a result, Antarctic species, from micro-organisms to vertebrates, have adapted to life at extremely low temperatures, including changes in the genome, physiology and ecological traits such as life history. Coupled with cycles of glaciation that have promoted speciation in the Antarctic, this has led to a unique biota in terms of biogeography, patterns of species distribution and endemism. Specialization in the Antarctic biota has led to trade-offs in many ecologically important functions and Antarctic species may have a limited capacity to adapt to present climate change. These include the direct effects of changes in environmental parameters and indirect effects of increased competition and predation resulting from altered life histories of Antarctic species and the impacts of invasive species. Ultimately, climate change may alter the responses of Antarctic ecosystems to harvesting from humans. The unique adaptations of Antarctic species mean that they provide unique models of molecular evolution in natural populations. The simplicity of Antarctic communities, especially from terrestrial systems, makes them ideal to investigate the ecological implications of climate change, which are difficult to identify in more complex systems.

  9. Linking the benefits of ecosystem services to sustainable spatial planning of ecological conservation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Xu, Xinliang; Fan, Jiangwen; Wang, Junbang

    2018-09-15

    The maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau are critical for national ecological security in China and are core objectives of ecological conservation in this region. In this paper, ecosystem service benefits of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project were comprehensively assessed by estimating and mapping the spatiotemporal variation patterns of critical ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau from 2000 to 2015. Furthermore, we linked the benefit assessment to the sustainable spatial planning of future ecological conservation strategies. Comparing the 8 years before and after the project, the water retention and carbon sink services of the forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems were slightly increased after the project, and the ecosystem sand fixation service has been steadily enhanced. The increasing forage supply service of grassland significantly reduced the grassland carrying pressure and eased the conflict between grassland and livestock. However, enhanced rainfall erosivity occurred due to increased rainfall, and root-layer soils could not recover in a short period of time, both factors have led to a decline in soil conservation service. The warm and humid climate is beneficial for the restoration of ecosystems on the Tibet Plateau, and the implementation of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project has had a positive effect on the local improvement of ecosystem services. A new spatial planning strategy for ecological conservation was introduced and aims to establish a comprehensive, nationwide system to protect important natural ecosystems and wildlife, and to promote the sustainable use of natural resources. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Ecological and evolutionary effects of stickleback on community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Des Roches

    Full Text Available Species' ecology and evolution can have strong effects on communities. Both may change concurrently when species colonize a new ecosystem. We know little, however, about the combined effects of ecological and evolutionary change on community structure. We simultaneously examined the effects of top-predator ecology and evolution on freshwater community parameters using recently evolved generalist and specialist ecotypes of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. We used a mesocosm experiment to directly examine the effects of ecological (fish presence and density and evolutionary (phenotypic diversity and specialization factors on community structure at lower trophic levels. We evaluated zooplankton biomass and composition, periphyton and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentration, and net primary production among treatments containing different densities and diversities of stickleback. Our results showed that both ecological and evolutionary differences in the top-predator affect different aspects of community structure and composition. Community structure, specifically the abundance of organisms at each trophic level, was affected by stickleback presence and density, whereas composition of zooplankton was influenced by stickleback diversity and specialization. Primary productivity, in terms of chlorophyll-a concentration and net primary production was affected by ecological but not evolutionary factors. Our results stress the importance of concurrently evaluating both changes in density and phenotypic diversity on the structure and composition of communities.

  11. From bacteria to elephants: Effects of land-use legacies on biodiversity and ecosystem structure in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem: Chapter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verchot, Louis V.; Ward, Naomi L.; Belnap, Jayne; Bossio, Deborah; Coughenour, Michael; Gibson, John; Hanotte, Olivier; Muchiru, Andrew N.; Phillips, Susan L.; Steven, Blaire; Wall, Diana H.; Reid, Robin S.

    2015-01-01

    Generally, ecological research has considered the aboveground and belowground components of ecosystems separately. Consequently, frameworks for integrating the two components are not well developed. Integrating the microbial components into ecosystem ecology requires different approaches from those offered by plant ecology, partly because of the scales at which microbial processes operate and partly because of measurement constraints. Studies have begun to relate microbial community structure to ecosystem function. results suggest that excluding people and livestock from the MMNR, or preventing heavier livestock from grazing around settlements, may not change the general structure of the ecosystem (soils, plant structure), but can change the numbers and diversity of wildlife, nematodes and microbes in this ecosystem in subtle ways.

  12. Ecological and Social Dimensions of Ecosystem Restoration in the Nordic Countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dagmar Hagen

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available An international overview of the extent and type of ecological restoration can offer new perspectives for understanding, planning, and implementation. The Nordic countries, with a great range of natural conditions but historically similar social and political structures, provide an opportunity to compare restoration approaches and efforts across borders. The aim of this study was to explore variation in ecological restoration using the Nordic countries as an example. We used recent national assessments and expert evaluations of ecological restoration. Restoration efforts differed among countries: forest and peatland restoration was most common in Finland, freshwater restoration was most common in Sweden, restoration of natural heathlands and grasslands was most common in Iceland, restoration of natural and semi-cultural heathlands was most common in Norway, and restoration of cultural ecosystems, mainly abandoned agricultural land, was most common in Denmark. Ecological restoration currently does not occur on the Faroe Islands. Economic incentives influence ecological restoration and depend on laws and policies in each country. Our analyses suggest that habitat types determine the methods of ecological restoration, whereas socio-economic drivers are more important for the decisions concerning the timing and location of restoration. To improve the understanding, planning, and implementation of ecological restoration, we advocate increased cooperation and knowledge sharing across disciplines and among countries, both in the Nordic countries and internationally. An obvious advantage of such cooperation is that a wider range of experiences from different habitats and different socio-economic conditions becomes available and thus provides a more solid basis for developing practical solutions for restoration methods and policies.

  13. Ecological and resource economics as ecosystem management tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen Farber; Dennis. Bradley

    1999-01-01

    Economic pressures on ecosystems will only intensify in the future. Increased population levels, settlement patterns, and increased incomes will raise the demands for ecosystem resources and their services. The pressure to transform ecosystem natural assets into marketable commodities, whether by harvesting and mining resources or altering landscapes through...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

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

  15. The estimation ecological risk for ground ecosystems in case of nuclear power plant failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kremlenkov, D.Yu.; Kremlenkov, M.Yu.

    2004-01-01

    The results of probabilistic estimation of the damage for forest and agricultural ecosystems connected with cesium-137 and strontium-90 release during hypothetical accidents at NPPs are analyzed. The concept of radioecological risk including application of the models for radioactivity transport in atmosphere and calculation of of absorbed doses in ecosystem critical groups is used for the analysis. It is proved that the probable ecological damage expressed in terms of ecosystem destruction area depends on the scale of accidental radioisotope releases, meteorological conditions and radiation resistance of critical groups in plant associations. The conclusion is made that ecological risks expressed in the form of probable area of ecosystem destruction in the zone where dose loads lay in the range from minimal ecologically significant limit up to ecologically significant limit amount to 4-9% for conifers contaminated with cesium-137 and to 2-4% for agricultural crops contaminated with strontium-90 [ru

  16. How can we identify and communicate the ecological value of deep-sea ecosystem services?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels Jobstvogt

    Full Text Available Submarine canyons are considered biodiversity hotspots which have been identified for their important roles in connecting the deep sea with shallower waters. To date, a huge gap exists between the high importance that scientists associate with deep-sea ecosystem services and the communication of this knowledge to decision makers and to the wider public, who remain largely ignorant of the importance of these services. The connectivity and complexity of marine ecosystems makes knowledge transfer very challenging, and new communication tools are necessary to increase understanding of ecological values beyond the science community. We show how the Ecosystem Principles Approach, a method that explains the importance of ocean processes via easily understandable ecological principles, might overcome this challenge for deep-sea ecosystem services. Scientists were asked to help develop a list of clear and concise ecosystem principles for the functioning of submarine canyons through a Delphi process to facilitate future transfers of ecological knowledge. These ecosystem principles describe ecosystem processes, link such processes to ecosystem services, and provide spatial and temporal information on the connectivity between deep and shallow waters. They also elucidate unique characteristics of submarine canyons. Our Ecosystem Principles Approach was successful in integrating ecological information into the ecosystem services assessment process. It therefore has a high potential to be the next step towards a wider implementation of ecological values in marine planning. We believe that successful communication of ecological knowledge is the key to a wider public support for ocean conservation, and that this endeavour has to be driven by scientists in their own interest as major deep-sea stakeholders.

  17. How can we identify and communicate the ecological value of deep-sea ecosystem services?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobstvogt, Niels; Townsend, Michael; Witte, Ursula; Hanley, Nick

    2014-01-01

    Submarine canyons are considered biodiversity hotspots which have been identified for their important roles in connecting the deep sea with shallower waters. To date, a huge gap exists between the high importance that scientists associate with deep-sea ecosystem services and the communication of this knowledge to decision makers and to the wider public, who remain largely ignorant of the importance of these services. The connectivity and complexity of marine ecosystems makes knowledge transfer very challenging, and new communication tools are necessary to increase understanding of ecological values beyond the science community. We show how the Ecosystem Principles Approach, a method that explains the importance of ocean processes via easily understandable ecological principles, might overcome this challenge for deep-sea ecosystem services. Scientists were asked to help develop a list of clear and concise ecosystem principles for the functioning of submarine canyons through a Delphi process to facilitate future transfers of ecological knowledge. These ecosystem principles describe ecosystem processes, link such processes to ecosystem services, and provide spatial and temporal information on the connectivity between deep and shallow waters. They also elucidate unique characteristics of submarine canyons. Our Ecosystem Principles Approach was successful in integrating ecological information into the ecosystem services assessment process. It therefore has a high potential to be the next step towards a wider implementation of ecological values in marine planning. We believe that successful communication of ecological knowledge is the key to a wider public support for ocean conservation, and that this endeavour has to be driven by scientists in their own interest as major deep-sea stakeholders.

  18. Two prototype tools for assessing good environmental/ecological status (GES) in aquatic ecosystems – DEVOTES and WATERS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murray, Ciarán; Carstensen, Jacob; Andersen, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    -based tools, which classify ecological/environmental status in two classes (good or not good) and five classes (High, Good, Moderate, Poor or Bad) by comparing observed indicator values with specified status classification boundaries. Assessments are made for geographical entities (“sectors” in DEVOTES......We present two prototype tools for assessment of GES (good ecological status and good environmental status) in aquatic ecosystems: the DEVOTES biodiversity assessment tool (for the MSFD) and the WATERS ecological status assessment tool (for the WFD). Both tools are multi-metric indicator...... for sub-division of sectors and habitat types into hierarchical structures. The DEVOTES tool weights indicator results from different sectors according to their geographical extent and/or assigned quantitative value scores. The DEVOTES tool allows the assessment to be targeted to a particular ecosystem...

  19. 'Ecological value added' in an integrated ecosystem-economy model. An indicator for sustainability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kratena, Kurt

    2004-01-01

    This paper sets up an input-output system of the relevant ecosystem flows that determine the carbon cycle in the global ecosystem. Introducing energy as the value added component in the ecosystem allows to calculate ecosystem prices expressed in 'energy values'. Linking the ecosystem with the economy in an integrated input-output model then allows to calculate prices of economic activities and of ecosystem activities. In analogy to the 'Ecological Footprint', where productive land is needed to absorb anthropogenic emissions, in this integrated input-output model additional carbon sinks are introduced for emission absorption. These carbon sinks need solar energy input, i.e. 'ecological value added'. Emission absorption as well as GDP therefore become activities valued in the numeraire of the integrated system, i.e.'energy values'. From that sustainability indicators can be derived

  20. Social-Ecological System in Seagrass Ecosystem Management at Kotania Bay Waters, Western Seram, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wawo, Mintje

    2017-10-01

    The concept of the Social-Ecological System (SES) of the coastal region, can be found in the seagrass ecosystem in the Kotania Bay Waters. Seagrass ecosystem as one of the productive ecosystem is part of an ecological system that can influence and influenced social system, in this case by people living around the seagrass ecosystem. This aim to estimating the socio-ecological vulnerability system of the seagrass ecosystem in the Kotania Bay Waters, the Linkage Matrix is used (de Chazal et al., 2008). This linkage matrix was created to determine the perception and understanding of the community on the ecosystem services provided by the seagrass ecosystem through the appraisal of various stakeholders. The results show that social values are rooted in the public perception of ecosystem goods and services, which are rarely considered. The ecological and economic value of natural resources is increasingly being used to determine the priority areas in the planning and management of coastal areas. The social value that exists in natural resources is highly recognized in conservation.

  1. Integral statistical eco-indices - effective complementary tool for assessment of ecological state of and ecological risks for water ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bashamkova, I

    2010-01-01

    Eco-indices are successfully used for assessment of the ecological state and risks of water reservoirs. They allow, already at early stages, to detect negative effects on water ecosystems caused by progressive anthropogenic impacts and widening of the spectrum of pollutants, and to quantitatively evaluate ecological risks and damage for water reservoirs. Implementing these modern tools to water quality assessment is one of the lines to make decisions concerning challenging environmental problems.

  2. Mapping ecosystem types by means of ecological species groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, J.P.M.; Meijden, van der R.

    2000-01-01

    A method is presented to deduce nation-wide maps of ecosystem types from FLORBASE. This national database contains data, per km2, on the presence of indigenous plant species that grow in the wild. The ecosystem types on the maps are defined on the basis of abiotic factors that determine the plant

  3. An automated platform for phytoplankton ecology and aquatic ecosystem monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pomati, F.; Jokela, J.; Simona, M.; Veronesi, M.; Ibelings, B.W.

    2011-01-01

    High quality monitoring data are vital for tracking and understanding the causes of ecosystem change. We present a potentially powerful approach for phytoplankton and aquatic ecosystem monitoring, based on integration of scanning flow-cytometry for the characterization and counting of algal cells

  4. Ecological and Social Dynamics in Simple Models of Ecosystem Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Carpenter

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Simulation models were developed to explore and illustrate dynamics of socioecological systems. The ecosystem is a lake subject to phosphorus pollution. Phosphorus flows from agriculture to upland soils, to surface waters, where it cycles between water and sediments. The ecosystem is multistable, and moves among domains of attraction depending on the history of pollutant inputs. The alternative states yield different economic benefits. Agents form expectations about ecosystem dynamics, markets, and/or the actions of managers, and choose levels of pollutant inputs accordingly. Agents have heterogeneous beliefs and/or access to information. Their aggregate behavior determines the total rate of pollutant input. As the ecosystem changes, agents update their beliefs and expectations about the world they co-create, and modify their actions accordingly. For a wide range of scenarios, we observe irregular oscillations among ecosystem states and patterns of agent behavior. These oscillations resemble some features of the adaptive cycle of panarchy theory.

  5. [Connotation characterization and evaluation of ecological well-being based on ecosystem service theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zang, Zheng; Zou, Xin- Qing

    2016-04-22

    China is advocating ecological civilization construction nowadays. Further researches on the relation between ecosystem service and humanity well-being are full of theoretical and practical significance. Combining related researches, this paper defined the concept and connotation of ecological well-being based on ecosystem service theory. Referencing theory of national economic accounting and relative researches, the evaluation indicators of ecological well-being supply and consumption were established. The quantitative characterization and evaluation method of red line of regional ecological well-being was proposed on the basis of location quotient. Then the evaluation of ecological well-being in mainland China in 2012 was set as an example for empirical research. The results showed that the net product values of 6 ecosystems, includingcultivated land, forest land, grassland, wetland, water area and unused land, were respectively 1481.925, 8194.806, 4176.277, 4245.760, 3177.084 and 133.762 billion CNY. Spatial heterogeneity of ecosystem net product in different provinces was distinct. Ecological well-being per capita of forest land, grassland, wetland, cultivated land and unused land in eastern and middle provinces were under the red line and less than the national average. The spatial distribution of 9 kinds of ecological well-being per capita split at Hu's line with high value in northwest and low value in southeast, and was aggravated by differences in density of population and land resources gift.

  6. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

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

  7. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Ecological and Economic Foundations.

    OpenAIRE

    John M. Gowdy; Richard Howarth; Clem Tisdell

    2010-01-01

    This chapter presents the economic logic behind the concept of discounting the future and discusses how it applies to biodiversity conservation. How should economists account for the effects of biodiversity and ecosystem losses in the immediate and distant future? We discuss how to integrate traditional cost-benefit analysis with other approaches to understand and measure, where possible, environmental values. We conclude that losses of biodiversity and ecosystems have properties that make it...

  8. Ecosystem-based fishery management: a critical review of concepts and ecological economic models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nguyen, Thanh Viet

      An ecosystem approach means different things to different people. As a result the concept of ecosystem-based fishery management is evolving and it has no universal definition or consistent application. As regards ecosystem modeling, most economic models of fishery ignore the linkages to lower...... trophic levels. In particular, environmental data and other bottom-up information is widely disregarded. The objective of this paper is to provide a critical review of concepts and ecological economic models relating to ecosystem-based fishery management....

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Preserving and maintaining vital Ecosystem Services: the importance of linking knowledge from Geosciences and social-ecological System analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finger, David; Petursdottir, Thorunn

    2013-04-01

    Human kind has always been curios and motivated to understand and quantify environmental processes in order to predict and anticipate the evolution of vital ecosystem services. Even the very first civilizations used empirical correlations to predict outcomes of rains and subsequent harvest efficiencies. Along with the insights into the functioning of ecosystems, humans also became aware that their anthropogenic activities can have positive and negative impact on ecosystem services. In recent years, geosciences have brought forward new sophisticated observations and modeling tools, with the aim to improve predictions of ecological developments. At the same time, the added value of linking ecological factors to the surrounding social structure has received a growing acceptance among scientists. A social-ecological system approach brings in a holistic understanding of how these systems are inevitably interlinked and how their sustainability can be better maintained. We claim that the biggest challenge for geoscience in the coming decades will be to link these two disciplines in order to establish adequate strategies to preserve natural ecosystems and their services, parallel to their utilization. We will present various case studies from more than a decade of research, ranging from water quality in mountain lakes, climate change impacts on water availability and declining fishing yields in freshwaters and discuss how the studies outcomes could be given added value by interpreting them via social-ecological system analysis. For instance, sophisticated field investigations revealed that deep water mixing in lake Issyk-Kul, Kirgizstan, is intensively distributing pollutants in the entire lake. Although fishery is an important sector in the region, the local awareness of the importance of water quality is low. In Switzerland, strict water protection laws led to ologotrophication of alpine lakes, reducing fishing yields. While local fishermen argued that local fishery is

  11. An assessment of adherence to basic ecological principles by payments for ecosystem service projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, C M; Varga, A; Olmsted, P; Ingram, J C; Cattau, M; Freund, C; Wynn-Grant, R; Naeem, S

    2016-08-01

    Programs and projects employing payments for ecosystem service (PES) interventions achieve their objectives by linking buyers and sellers of ecosystem services. Although PES projects are popular conservation and development interventions, little is known about their adherence to basic ecological principles. We conducted a quantitative assessment of the degree to which a global set of PES projects adhered to four ecological principles that are basic scientific considerations for any project focused on ecosystem management: collection of baseline data, identification of threats to an ecosystem service, monitoring, and attention to ecosystem dynamics or the formation of an adaptive management plan. We evaluated 118 PES projects in three markets-biodiversity, carbon, and water-compiled using websites of major conservation organizations; ecology, economic, and climate-change databases; and three scholarly databases (ISI Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, and Google Scholar). To assess adherence to ecological principles, we constructed two scientific indices (one additive [ASI] and one multiplicative [MSI]) based on our four ecological criteria and analyzed index scores by relevant project characteristics (e.g., sector, buyer, seller). Carbon-sector projects had higher ASI values (P < 0.05) than water-sector projects and marginally higher ASI scores (P < 0.1) than biodiversity-sector projects, demonstrating their greater adherence to ecological principles. Projects financed by public-private partnerships had significantly higher ASI values than projects financed by governments (P < 0.05) and marginally higher ASI values than those funded by private entities (P < 0.1). We did not detect differences in adherence to ecological principles based on the inclusion of cobenefits, the spatial extent of a project, or the size of a project's budget. These findings suggest, at this critical phase in the rapid growth of PES projects, that fundamental ecological principles should be

  12. Bridging the gap between theoretical ecology and real ecosystems: modeling invertebrate community composition in streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuwirth, Nele; Reichert, Peter

    2013-02-01

    For the first time, we combine concepts of theoretical food web modeling, the metabolic theory of ecology, and ecological stoichiometry with the use of functional trait databases to predict the coexistence of invertebrate taxa in streams. We developed a mechanistic model that describes growth, death, and respiration of different taxa dependent on various environmental influence factors to estimate survival or extinction. Parameter and input uncertainty is propagated to model results. Such a model is needed to test our current quantitative understanding of ecosystem structure and function and to predict effects of anthropogenic impacts and restoration efforts. The model was tested using macroinvertebrate monitoring data from a catchment of the Swiss Plateau. Even without fitting model parameters, the model is able to represent key patterns of the coexistence structure of invertebrates at sites varying in external conditions (litter input, shading, water quality). This confirms the suitability of the model concept. More comprehensive testing and resulting model adaptations will further increase the predictive accuracy of the model.

  13. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-02-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems.

  14. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-01-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems

  15. Soil ecology of a rock outcrop ecosystem: Abiotic stresses, soil respiration, and microbial community profiles in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Advised by Dzantor, E. Kudjo

    2015-01-01

    Limestone cedar glades are a type of rock outcrop ecosystem characterized by shallow soil and extreme hydrologic conditions—seasonally ranging from xeric to saturated—that support a number of plant species of conservation concern. Although a rich botanical literature exists on cedar glades, soil biochemical processes and the ecology of soil microbial communities in limestone cedar glades have largely been ignored. This investigation documents the abiotic stress regime of this ecosystem (shallow soil, extreme hydrologic fluctuations and seasonally high soil surface temperatures) as well as soil physical and chemical characteristics, and relates both types of information to ecological structures and functions including vegetation, soil respiration, and soil microbial community metabolic profiles and diversity. Methods used in this investigation include field observations and measurements of soil physical and chemical properties and processes, laboratory analyses, and microbiological assays of soil samples.

  16. Imaging spectroscopy for ecological analysis in forest and grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Homolova, L.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial vegetation is an important component of the Earth’s biosphere and therefore playing an essential role in climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and it provides large variety of services to humans. For a sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems it is essential to understand

  17. Bridging food webs, ecosystem metabolism, and biogeochemistry using ecological stoichiometry theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Welti, Nina; Striebel, Maren; Ulseth, Amber J.

    2017-01-01

    process rates). ES theory holds the promise to be a unifying concept to link across hierarchical scales of patterns and processes in ecology, but this has not been fully achieved. Therefore, we propose connecting the expertise of aquatic ecologists and biogeochemists with ES theory as a common currency......, we propose that using ES to link nutrient cycling, trophic dynamics, and ecosystem metabolism would allow for a more holistic understanding of ecosystem functions in a changing environment....

  18. Radioactive cesium in a boreal forest ecosystem. Ecological concepts in radioecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palo, R.T.

    1991-01-01

    Radioecology is traditionally viewing ecosystems as process functional units while modern ecology focus more on interactions among populations and communities. Taken separately they may lead to incomplete conclusion about radionuclide behaviour and give a too simplified view of the system. I adopt an hierarchical approach by focusing on the forest ecosystem, populations and individuals. I present a theoretical framework commonly used in analysis of herbivore- plant interactions and give an example on how individual behaviour perturbate to higher levels of ecological organizations. (au) (20 refs.)

  19. Does ecosystem variability explain phytoplankton diversity? Solving an ecological puzzle with long-term data sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarker, Subrata; Lemke, Peter; Wiltshire, Karen H.

    2018-05-01

    Explaining species diversity as a function of ecosystem variability is a long-term discussion in community-ecology research. Here, we aimed to establish a causal relationship between ecosystem variability and phytoplankton diversity in a shallow-sea ecosystem. We used long-term data on biotic and abiotic factors from Helgoland Roads, along with climate data to assess the effect of ecosystem variability on phytoplankton diversity. A point cumulative semi-variogram method was used to estimate the long-term ecosystem variability. A Markov chain model was used to estimate dynamical processes of species i.e. occurrence, absence and outcompete probability. We identified that the 1980s was a period of high ecosystem variability while the last two decades were comparatively less variable. Ecosystem variability was found as an important predictor of phytoplankton diversity at Helgoland Roads. High diversity was related to low ecosystem variability due to non-significant relationship between probability of a species occurrence and absence, significant negative relationship between probability of a species occurrence and probability of a species to be outcompeted by others, and high species occurrence at low ecosystem variability. Using an exceptional marine long-term data set, this study established a causal relationship between ecosystem variability and phytoplankton diversity.

  20. An ecosystem services approach to the ecological effects of salvage logging: valuation of seed dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leverkus, Alexandro B; Castro, Jorge

    2017-06-01

    Forest disturbances diminish ecosystem services and boost disservices. Because post-disturbance management intends to recover the greatest possible value, selling timber often prevails over other considerations. Ecological research has shown diverse effects of salvage logging, yet such research has focused on the biophysical component of post-disturbance ecosystems and lacks the link with human well-being. Here we bridge that gap under the ecosystem services framework by assessing the impact of post-fire management on a non-timber value. By employing the replacement cost method, we calculated the value of the post-fire natural regeneration of Holm oaks in southern Spain under three post-fire management options by considering the cost of planting instead. The value of this ecosystem service in non-intervention areas doubled that of salvage-logged stands due to the preference for standing dead trees by the main seed disperser. Still, most of the value resulted from the resprouting capacity of oaks. The value of this and other ecosystem services should be added to traditional cost/benefit analyses of post-disturbance management. We thus call for a more holistic approach to salvage logging research, one that explicitly links ecological processes with human well-being through ecosystem services, to better inform decision-makers on the outcomes of post-disturbance management. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Benthic macroinvertebrates as ecological indicators for estuarine and coastal ecosystems : assessment and intercalibration

    OpenAIRE

    Teixeira, Heliana Lilita Gonçalves

    2010-01-01

    Tese de doutoramento em Biologia (Ecologia) apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra The aim of the research work presented in this thesis is to be a contribution to the field of ecological assessment in coastal and transitional ecosystems. The main goals were: a) to present a method for the assessment of the ecological status of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in Portuguese transitional waters that would meet the requirements of the Eur...

  2. Biogeochemistry and ecology of terrestrial ecosystems of Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Davidson, Eric A.

    The last decade of research associated with the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) has led to substantial advances in our understanding of the biogeochemistry and ecology of Amazonian forests and savannas, in particular in relation to the carbon cycle of Amazonia. In this chapter, we present a synthesis of results and ideas that are presented in more detail in subsequent chapters, drawing together evidence from studies of forest ecology, ecophysiology, trace gas fluxes and atmospheric flux towers, large-scale rainfall manipulation experiments and soil surveys, satellite remote sensing, and quantification of carbon and nutrient stocks and flows. The studies have demonstrated the variability of the functioning and biogeochemistry of Amazonian forests at a range of spatial and temporal scales, and they provide clues as to how Amazonia will respond to ongoing direct pressure and global atmospheric change. We conclude by highlighting key questions for the next decade of research to address.

  3. Social-ecological enabling conditions for payments for ecosystem services

    OpenAIRE

    Heidi R. Huber-Stearns; Drew E. Bennett; Stephen Posner; Ryan C. Richards; Jenn Hoyle. Fair; Stella J. M. Cousins; Chelsie L. Romulo

    2017-01-01

    The concept of "enabling conditions" centers on conditions that facilitate approaches to addressing social and ecological challenges. Although multiple fields have independently addressed the concept of enabling conditions, the literature lacks a shared understanding or integration of concepts. We propose a more synthesized understanding of enabling conditions beyond disciplinary boundaries by focusing on the enabling conditions that influence the implementation of a range of environmental p...

  4. The Ecology of Seamounts: Structure, Function, and Human Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Malcolm R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Schlacher, Thomas; Williams, Alan; Consalvey, Mireille; Stocks, Karen I.; Rogers, Alex D.; O'Hara, Timothy D.; White, Martin; Shank, Timothy M.; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological productivity, and whether they have unique trophic architecture. We discuss how vulnerable seamount communities are to fishing and mining, and how we can balance exploitation of resources and conservation of habitat. Despite considerable advances in recent years, there remain many questions about seamount ecosystems that need closer integration of molecular, oceanographic, and ecological research.

  5. Effect of environmental variables and stand structure on ecosystem respiration components in a Mediterranean beech forest

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Guidolotti, G.; Rey, A.; D'Andrea, E.; Matteucci, G.; De Angelis, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 33, č. 9 (2013), s. 960-972 ISSN 0829-318X Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : ecosystem respiration * Fagus sylvatica * leaf respiration * soil CO2 efflux * stem CO2 efflux * total non-structural carbohydrates Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.405, year: 2013

  6. Ontogenetic functional diversity: size structure of a keystone predator drives functioning of a complex ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolf, Volker H W; Rasmussen, Nick L

    2013-05-01

    A central challenge in community ecology is to understand the connection between biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. While traditional approaches have largely focused on species-level diversity, increasing evidence indicates that there exists substantial ecological diversity among individuals within species. By far, the largest source of this intraspecific diversity stems from variation among individuals in ontogenetic stage and size. Although such ontogenetic shifts are ubiquitous in natural communities, whether and how they scale up to influence the structure and functioning of complex ecosystems is largely unknown. Here we take an experimental approach to examine the consequences of ontogenetic niche shifts for the structure of communities and ecosystem processes. In particular we experimentally manipulated the stage structure in a keystone predator, larvae of the dragonfly Anax junius, in complex experimental pond communities to test whether changes in the population stage or size structure of a keystone species scale up to alter community structure and ecosystem processes, and how functional differences scale with relative differences in size among stages. We found that the functional role of A. junius was stage-specific. Altering what stages were present in a pond led to concurrent changes in community structure, primary producer biomass (periphyton and phytoplankton), and ultimately altered ecosystem processes (respiration and net primary productivity), indicating a strong, but stage-specific, trophic cascade. Interestingly, the stage-specific effects did not simply scale with size or biomass of the predator, but instead indicated clear ontogenetic niche shifts in ecological interactions. Thus, functional differences among stages within a keystone species scaled up to alter the functioning of entire ecosystems. Therefore, our results indicate that the classical approach of assuming an average functional role of a species can be misleading because

  7. The estimate of ecological risk for ground ecosystems in case of nuclear power plant failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kremlenkov, D.Y.; Kremlenkov, M.Y.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: The stochastic nature of radiation damage generates a need of forecasting information about possible consequences for environment and people. In this article it is given the estimate of probable damage to forest-and agricultural ecosystems from radionuclide emergency pollution in case of nuclear plant failures (for early emergency period). This estimate is based on radio-ecological risk conception which provide with the application of radioactive substances distribution models in atmosphere, as were calculation of absorbent radiation dose in critical ecosystem groups-calculation of probable area of lost ecosystems has been done by using the program written in Pascal. The quantitative estimate of environmental loss has been conducted for diverse classes of atmospheric stability. The value of ecological dose range (ELD) to coniferous forest is 30 Gy, deciduous forest - 300 Gy, agricultural crop - 60 Gy. The value of minimum ecological dose range (MELD) for all ecosystems is 10 Gy. In dose spread from MELD to ELD the ecological damage is proportional to absorbed dose. The ecological damage to ground ecosystems caused by cesium-137 and strontium-90 emergency pollution is primarily depended on the scale of radionuclide emergency pollution as well as weather conditions and radio-stability of critical vegetal ecosystem groups. On the assumption of a dose spread from MELD to ELD, ecological risk defined in probable ecosystem's destruction area is estimated: for cesium-137 pollution about 2 % of coniferous forest and from 4 to 9 % of deciduous forest; for strontium-90 pollution from 2 to 4 % of agricultural crop. As the scale of cesium-137 emergency pollution rise from 10 4 to 10 5 Cu the probable damage determined in ecosystem's destruction area increase 12-19 times to coniferous forest ecosystem and 15-36 times to deciduous forest according to weather conditions. The probable damage to coniferous and deciduous forest rise 11-17 times in proportion as the scale

  8. Economic value of ecological information in ecosystem-based natural resource management depends on exploitation history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essington, Timothy E; Sanchirico, James N; Baskett, Marissa L

    2018-02-13

    Ecosystem approaches to natural resource management are seen as a way to provide better outcomes for ecosystems and for people, yet the nature and strength of interactions among ecosystem components is usually unknown. Here we characterize the economic benefits of ecological knowledge through a simple model of fisheries that target a predator (piscivore) and its prey. We solve for the management (harvest) trajectory that maximizes net present value (NPV) for different ecological interactions and initial conditions that represent different levels of exploitation history. Optimal management trajectories generally approached similar harvest levels, but the pathways toward those levels varied considerably by ecological scenario. Application of the wrong harvest trajectory, which would happen if one type of ecological interaction were assumed but in fact another were occurring, generally led to only modest reductions in NPV. However, the risks were not equal across fleets: risks of incurring large losses of NPV and missing management targets were much higher in the fishery targeting piscivores, especially when piscivores were heavily depleted. Our findings suggest that the ecosystem approach might provide the greatest benefits when used to identify system states where management performs poorly with imperfect knowledge of system linkages so that management strategies can be adopted to avoid those states. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  9. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

  10. Program on ecosystem change and society: An international research strategy for integrated social-ecological systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carpenter, S.R.; Folke, C.; Norström, A.V.; Olsson, O.; Schultz, L.; Agarwal, B.; Balvanera, P.; Campbell, B.; Castilla, J.C.; Cramer, W.; DeFries, R.; Eyzaguirre, P.; Hughes, T.P.; Polasky, S.; Sanusi, Z.A.; Scholes, R.J.; Spierenburg, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    The Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), a new initiative within the ICSU global change programs, aims to integrate research on the stewardship of social-ecological systems, the services they generate, and the relationships among natural capital, human wellbeing, livelihoods, inequality

  11. Program on ecosystem change and society: an international research strategy for integrated social–ecological systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carpenter, S.R; Folke, C.; Nordström, A.; Olsson, O.; Schultz, L.; Agarwal, B.; Balvanera, P.; Campbell, B.; Castilla, J.C.; Cramer, W.; DeFries, R.; Eyzaguirre, P.; Hughes, T.P.; Polasky, S.; Sanusi, Z.; Spierenburg, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    The Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), a new initiative within the ICSU global change programs, aims to integrate research on the stewardship of social-ecological systems, the services they generate, and the relationships among natural capital, human wellbeing, livelihoods, inequality

  12. Ecological economic simulation model of mountain fynbos ecosystems - dynamics, valuation and management

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Higgins, SI

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available Mountain fynbos ecosystems in South Africa are threatened by alien plant invasions and by a lack of funding for effective management of these invasions. This paper develops an ecological-economic argument for the effective management of plant...

  13. Nitrogen deposition effects on Mediterranean-type ecosystems: An ecological assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Ochoa-Hueso; E.B. Allen; C. Branquinho; C. Cruz; T. Dias; Mark Fenn; E. Manrique; M.E. Pérez-Corona; L.J. Sheppard; W.D. Stock

    2011-01-01

    We review the ecological consequences of N deposition on the five Mediterranean regions of the world. Seasonality of precipitation and fires regulate the N cycle in these water-limited ecosystems, where dry N deposition dominates. Nitrogen accumulation in soils and on plant surfaces results in peaks of availability with the first winter rains. Decoupling between N...

  14. Ecological community traits and traditional knowledge shape palm ecosystem services in northwestern South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cámara-Leret, Rodrigo; Paniagua-Zambrana, Narel; Balslev, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    Tropical rainforest ecosystems support the maximum expression of biocultural diversity on Earth and preserving them requires understanding and working with the needs of their inhabitants. Here, we com- bine traditional knowledge with ecological data to quantify cross-scale variation in the ecosys...

  15. Climate-driven changes in the ecological stoichiometry of aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Waal, D.B.; Verschoor, A.M.; Verspagen, J.M.H.; van Donk, E.; Huisman, J.

    2010-01-01

    Advances in ecological stoichiometry, a rapidly expanding research field investigating the elemental composition of organisms and their environment, have shed new light on the impacts of climate change on freshwater and marine ecosystems. Current changes in the Earth's climate alter the availability

  16. Learning Ecosystem Complexity: A Study on Small-Scale Fishers' Ecological Knowledge Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garavito-Bermúdez, Diana

    2018-01-01

    Small-scale fisheries are learning contexts of importance for generating, transferring and updating ecological knowledge of natural environments through everyday work practices. The rich knowledge fishers have of local ecosystems is the result of the intimate relationship fishing communities have had with their natural environments across…

  17. Optimising the management of complex dynamic ecosystems. An ecological-economic modelling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hein, L.G.

    2005-01-01

    Keywords: ecological-economic modelling; ecosystem services; resource use; efficient; sustainability; wetlands, rangelands.

  18. Mimicking natural ecosystems to develop sustainable supply chains : A theory of socio-ecological intergradation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gruner, Richard L.; Power, Damien

    2017-01-01

    For most firms, the development of sustainable supply chain practices remains challenging. Using a theory-building approach, we develop a theory of socio-ecological intergradation to provide managers with guidance in mimicking natural ecosystems to develop more local and thus sustainable supply

  19. Integrating plant ecological responses to climate extremes from individual to ecosystem levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Andrew J; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-06-19

    Climate extremes will elicit responses from the individual to the ecosystem level. However, only recently have ecologists begun to synthetically assess responses to climate extremes across multiple levels of ecological organization. We review the literature to examine how plant responses vary and interact across levels of organization, focusing on how individual, population and community responses may inform ecosystem-level responses in herbaceous and forest plant communities. We report a high degree of variability at the individual level, and a consequential inconsistency in the translation of individual or population responses to directional changes in community- or ecosystem-level processes. The scaling of individual or population responses to community or ecosystem responses is often predicated upon the functional identity of the species in the community, in particular, the dominant species. Furthermore, the reported stability in plant community composition and functioning with respect to extremes is often driven by processes that operate at the community level, such as species niche partitioning and compensatory responses during or after the event. Future research efforts would benefit from assessing ecological responses across multiple levels of organization, as this will provide both a holistic and mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to increasing climatic variability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. How the Second Law of Thermodynamics Has Informed Ecosystem Ecology through Its History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, E. J.; Childers, D. L.; Vallino, J. J.

    2014-12-01

    Throughout the history of ecosystem ecology many attempts have been made to develop a general principle governing how systems develop and organize. We reviewed the historical developments that led to conceptualization of several goal-oriented principles in ecosystem ecology and the relationships among them. We focused our review on two prominent principles—the Maximum Power Principle and the Maximum Entropy Production Principle—and the literature that applies to both. While these principles have considerable conceptual overlap and both use concepts in physics (power and entropy), we found considerable differences in their historical development, the disciplines that apply these principles, and their adoption in the literature. We reviewed the literature using Web of Science keyword searches for the MPP, the MEPP, as well as for papers that cited pioneers in the MPP and the MEPP development. From the 6000 papers that our keyword searches returned, we limited our further meta-analysis to 32 papers by focusing on studies with a foundation in ecosystems research. Despite these seemingly disparate pasts, we concluded that the conceptual approaches of these two principles were more similar than dissimilar and that maximization of power in ecosystems occurs with maximum entropy production. We also found that these two principles have great potential to explain how systems develop, organize, and function, but there are no widely agreed upon theoretical derivations for the MEPP or the MPP, possibly hindering their broader use in ecological research. We end with recommendations for how ecosystems-level studies may better use these principles.

  1. Ecological effects of ionizing radiation on population and ecosystem: a computational model ecosystem study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, Masahiro; Fuma, Shoichi; Ishii, Nobuyuki; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Miyamoto, Kiriko; Takeda, Hiroshi; Kawabata, Zenichiro

    2003-01-01

    Ecosystem is a self-sustaining system of complexity, and their responses to the impacts are synergistic and subjected to the demographic stochasticity of the species, environmental stochasticity and randomness. Environmental fate and effects of radiation has ranged from observable DNA damage of the cell to the fare on tissues, individual, population, community and ecosystems. The quantitative, systematic individual-based model, SIM-COSM was developed to simulate impacts of radiation exposure and other toxicants on an aquatic microbial ecosystem (microcosm). The microcosm consists of heterotroph ciliate protozoa (Tetrahymena thermophila B) as a consumer, autotroph flagellate algae (Euglena gracilis Z) as a producer and saprotroph bacteria (Escherichia coli DH5) as a decomposer. The symbiosis among microbes is self-organized by realizing material cycle and sustained for more than 2 years after inoculation. The system can not afford to lose any one of the microbes to maintain its sustainability. Experimental ecotoxicological tests for (a) gamma radiation, (b) Manganese ions and (c) Gadolinium are summarized. Population dynamics of microbes in Microcosm and its computer simulations by SIM-COSM are shown together in a figure. Population dynamics in Microcosm and SIM-COSM exposed to 500 Gy of gamma-radiation at 50 days after inoculation are shown also in a figure. To take the effects on the interactions between species and environment into account, one option is to put the ecotoxicity tests as experimental micro ecosystem study and theoretical model ecosystem analysis. (M. Suetake)

  2. Uranium bioaccumulation in a freshwater ecosystem: Impact of feeding ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kraemer, Lisa D., E-mail: lisakraemer@trentu.ca [Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8 (Canada); Evans, Douglas [Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8 (Canada)

    2012-11-15

    Uranium bioaccumulation in a lake that had been historically affected by a U mine and (2) to use a combined approach of gut content examination and stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis to determine if U bioaccumulation in fish was linked to foodweb ecology. We collected three species of fish: smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), in addition to several invertebrate species including freshwater bivalves (family: Sphaeriidae), dragonfly nymphs (order: Odonata), snails (class: Gastropoda) and zooplankton (family: Daphniidae). Results showed significant U bioaccumulation in the lake impacted by historical mining activities. Uranium accumulation was 2-3 orders of magnitude higher in invertebrates than in the fish species. Within fish, U was measured in operculum (bone), liver and muscle tissue and accumulation followed the order: operculum > liver > muscle. There was a negative relationship between stable nitrogen ratios ({sup 15}N/{sup 14}N) and U bioaccumulation, suggesting U biodilution in the foodweb. Uranium bioaccumulation in all three tissues (bone, liver, muscle) varied among fish species in a consistent manner and followed the order: bluegill > yellow perch > smallmouth bass. Collectively, gut content and stable isotope analysis suggests that invertebrate-consuming fish species (i.e. bluegill) have the highest U levels, while fish species that were mainly piscivores (i.e. smallmouth bass) have the lowest U levels. Our study highlights the importance of understanding the feeding ecology of fish when trying to predict U accumulation.

  3. Integration of research infrastructures and ecosystem models toward development of predictive ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Y.; Huang, Y.; Jiang, J.; MA, S.; Saruta, V.; Liang, G.; Hanson, P. J.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Milcu, A.; Roy, J.

    2017-12-01

    The past two decades have witnessed rapid development in sensor technology. Built upon the sensor development, large research infrastructure facilities, such as National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and FLUXNET, have been established. Through networking different kinds of sensors and other data collections at many locations all over the world, those facilities generate large volumes of ecological data every day. The big data from those facilities offer an unprecedented opportunity for advancing our understanding of ecological processes, educating teachers and students, supporting decision-making, and testing ecological theory. The big data from the major research infrastructure facilities also provides foundation for developing predictive ecology. Indeed, the capability to predict future changes in our living environment and natural resources is critical to decision making in a world where the past is no longer a clear guide to the future. We are living in a period marked by rapid climate change, profound alteration of biogeochemical cycles, unsustainable depletion of natural resources, and deterioration of air and water quality. Projecting changes in future ecosystem services to the society becomes essential not only for science but also for policy making. We will use this panel format to outline major opportunities and challenges in integrating research infrastructure and ecosystem models toward developing predictive ecology. Meanwhile, we will also show results from an interactive model-experiment System - Ecological Platform for Assimilating Data into models (EcoPAD) - that have been implemented at the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental change (SPRUCE) experiment in Northern Minnesota and Montpellier Ecotron, France. EcoPAD is developed by integrating web technology, eco-informatics, data assimilation techniques, and ecosystem modeling. EcoPAD is designed to streamline data transfer seamlessly from research infrastructure

  4. Ecological conversion efficiency and its influencers in twelve species of fish in the Yellow Sea Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Qisheng; Guo, Xuewu; Sun, Yao; Zhang, Bo

    2007-09-01

    The ecological conversion efficiencies in twelve species of fish in the Yellow Sea Ecosystem, i.e., anchovy ( Engraulis japonicus), rednose anchovy ( Thrissa kammalensis), chub mackerel ( Scomber japonicus), halfbeak ( Hyporhamphus sajori), gizzard shad ( Konosirus punctatus), sand lance ( Ammodytes personatus), red seabream ( Pagrus major), black porgy ( Acanthopagrus schlegeli), black rockfish ( Sebastes schlegeli), finespot goby ( Chaeturichthys stigmatias), tiger puffer ( Takifugu rubripes), and fat greenling ( Hexagrammos otakii), were estimated through experiments conducted either in situ or in a laboratory. The ecological conversion efficiencies were significantly different among these species. As indicated, the food conversion efficiencies and the energy conversion efficiencies varied from 12.9% to 42.1% and from 12.7% to 43.0%, respectively. Water temperature and ration level are the main factors influencing the ecological conversion efficiencies of marine fish. The higher conversion efficiency of a given species in a natural ecosystem is acquired only under the moderate environment conditions. A negative relationship between ecological conversion efficiency and trophic level among ten species was observed. Such a relationship indicates that the ecological efficiency in the upper trophic levels would increase after fishing down marine food web in the Yellow Sea ecosystem.

  5. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) as a model system in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David; Belnap, Jayne; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea; Escolar, Cristina; Soliveres, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Model systems have had a profound influence on the development of ecological theory and general principles. Compared to alternatives, the most effective models share some combination of the following characteristics: simpler, smaller, faster, general, idiosyncratic or manipulable. We argue that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have unique combinations of these features that should be more widely exploited in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology. In community ecology, biocrusts are elucidating the importance of biodiversity and spatial pattern for maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality due to their manipulability in experiments. Due to idiosyncrasies in their modes of facilitation and competition, biocrusts have led to new models on the interplay between environmental stress and biotic interactions and on the maintenance of biodiversity by competitive processes. Biocrusts are perhaps one of the best examples of micro-landscapes—real landscapes that are small in size. Although they exhibit varying patch heterogeneity, aggregation, connectivity and fragmentation, like macro-landscapes, they are also compatible with well-replicated experiments (unlike macro-landscapes). In ecosystem ecology, a number of studies are imposing small-scale, low cost manipulations of global change or state factors in biocrust micro-landscapes. The versatility of biocrusts to inform such disparate lines of inquiry suggests that they are an especially useful model system that can enable researchers to see ecological principles more clearly and quickly.

  6. Modelling benthic biophysical drivers of ecosystem structure and biogeochemical response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Nicholas; Bruggeman, Jorn; Lessin, Gennadi; Allen, Icarus

    2016-04-01

    The fate of carbon deposited at the sea floor is ultimately decided by biophysical drivers that control the efficiency of remineralisation and timescale of carbon burial in sediments. Specifically, these drivers include bioturbation through ingestion and movement, burrow-flushing and sediment reworking, which enhance vertical particulate transport and solute diffusion. Unfortunately, these processes are rarely satisfactorily resolved in models. To address this, a benthic model that explicitly describes the vertical position of biology (e.g., habitats) and biogeochemical processes is presented that includes biological functionality and biogeochemical response capturing changes in ecosystem structure, benthic-pelagic fluxes and biodiversity on inter-annual timescales. This is demonstrated by the model's ability to reproduce temporal variability in benthic infauna, vertical pore water nutrients and pelagic-benthic solute fluxes compared to in-situ data. A key advance is the replacement of bulk parameterisation of bioturbation by explicit description of the bio-physical processes responsible. This permits direct comparison with observations and determination of key parameters in experiments. Crucially, the model resolves the two-way interaction between sediment biogeochemistry and ecology, allowing exploration of the benthic response to changing environmental conditions, the importance of infaunal functional traits in shaping benthic ecological structure and the feedback the resulting bio-physical processes exert on pore water nutrient profiles. The model is actively being used to understand shelf sea carbon cycling, the response of the benthos to climatic change, food provision and other societal benefits.

  7. Morphological and ecological complexity in early eukaryotic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javaux, E J; Knoll, A H; Walter, M R

    2001-07-05

    Molecular phylogeny and biogeochemistry indicate that eukaryotes differentiated early in Earth history. Sequence comparisons of small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes suggest a deep evolutionary divergence of Eukarya and Archaea; C27-C29 steranes (derived from sterols synthesized by eukaryotes) and strong depletion of 13C (a biogeochemical signature of methanogenic Archaea) in 2,700 Myr old kerogens independently place a minimum age on this split. Steranes, large spheroidal microfossils, and rare macrofossils of possible eukaryotic origin occur in Palaeoproterozoic rocks. Until now, however, evidence for morphological and taxonomic diversification within the domain has generally been restricted to very late Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic successions. Here we show that the cytoskeletal and ecological prerequisites for eukaryotic diversification were already established in eukaryotic microorganisms fossilized nearly 1,500 Myr ago in shales of the early Mesoproterozoic Roper Group in northern Australia.

  8. Fragmentation alters stream fish community structure in dendritic ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B

    2012-12-01

    Effects of fragmentation on the ecology of organisms occupying dendritic ecological networks (DENs) have recently been described through both conceptual and mathematical models, but few hypotheses have been tested in complex, real-world ecosystems. Stream fishes provide a model system for assessing effects of fragmentation on the structure of communities occurring within DENs, including how fragmentation alters metacommunity dynamics and biodiversity. A recently developed habitat-availability measure, the "dendritic connectivity index" (DCI), allows for assigning quantitative measures of connectivity in DENs regardless of network extent or complexity, and might be used to predict fish community response to fragmentation. We characterized stream fish community structure in 12 DENs in the Great Plains, USA, during periods of dynamic (summer) and muted (fall) discharge regimes to test the DCI as a predictive model of fish community response to fragmentation imposed by road crossings. Results indicated that fish communities in stream segments isolated by road crossings had reduced species richness (alpha diversity) relative to communities that maintained connectivity with the surrounding DEN during summer and fall. Furthermore, isolated communities had greater dissimilarity (beta diversity) to downstream sites notisolated by road crossings during summer and fall. Finally, dissimilarity among communities within DENs decreased as a function of increased habitat connectivity (measured using the DCI) for summer and fall, suggesting that communities within highly connected DENs tend to be more homogeneous. Our results indicate that the DCI is sensitive to community effects of fragmentation in riverscapes and might be used by managers to predict ecological responses to changes in habitat connectivity. Moreover, our findings illustrate that relating structural connectivity of riverscapes to functional connectivity among communities might aid in maintaining metacommunity

  9. An assessment of long term ecosystem research activities across European socio-ecological gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, M J; Bunce, R G H; van Eupen, M; Mirtl, M

    2010-06-01

    Integration of European long term ecosystem research (LTER) would provide important support for the management of the pan-European environment and ecosystems, as well as international policy commitments. This does require appropriate coverage of Europe and standardised frameworks and research methods between countries. Emerging interest in socio-ecological systems prompted the present assessment of the distribution of LTER activities across European socio-ecological gradients. This paper presents a European stratification with a 1 km(2) resolution, delineating 48 broad socio-ecological regions. The dataset is based on an existing biogeophysical stratification constructed using multivariate clustering of mainly climatic variables and a newly developed socio-economic stratification based on an economic density indicator. The coverage of European LTER facilities across the socio-ecological gradients is tested using this dataset. The analysis shows two strong biases in the present LTER effort. Firstly, urban and disturbed regions are consistently under-represented, illustrating a bias for traditional ecological research away from human activity. Secondly, the Mediterranean, for which some of the most extreme global change impacts are projected, is receiving comparatively little attention. Both findings can help guide future investment in the European LTER network - and especially in a Long Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) component- to provide a more balanced coverage. This will provide better scientific understanding of pan-European environmental concerns and support the management of natural resources and international policy commitments in the European Union. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Bridging Food Webs, Ecosystem Metabolism, and Biogeochemistry Using Ecological Stoichiometry Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Welti

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Although aquatic ecologists and biogeochemists are well aware of the crucial importance of ecosystem functions, i.e., how biota drive biogeochemical processes and vice-versa, linking these fields in conceptual models is still uncommon. Attempts to explain the variability in elemental cycling consequently miss an important biological component and thereby impede a comprehensive understanding of the underlying processes governing energy and matter flow and transformation. The fate of multiple chemical elements in ecosystems is strongly linked by biotic demand and uptake; thus, considering elemental stoichiometry is important for both biogeochemical and ecological research. Nonetheless, assessments of ecological stoichiometry (ES often focus on the elemental content of biota rather than taking a more holistic view by examining both elemental pools and fluxes (e.g., organismal stoichiometry and ecosystem process rates. ES theory holds the promise to be a unifying concept to link across hierarchical scales of patterns and processes in ecology, but this has not been fully achieved. Therefore, we propose connecting the expertise of aquatic ecologists and biogeochemists with ES theory as a common currency to connect food webs, ecosystem metabolism, and biogeochemistry, as they are inherently concatenated by the transfer of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous through biotic and abiotic nutrient transformation and fluxes. Several new studies exist that demonstrate the connections between food web ecology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem metabolism. In addition to a general introduction into the topic, this paper presents examples of how these fields can be combined with a focus on ES. In this review, a series of concepts have guided the discussion: (1 changing biogeochemistry affects trophic interactions and ecosystem processes by altering the elemental ratios of key species and assemblages; (2 changing trophic dynamics influences the transformation and

  11. Social-ecological drivers of multiple ecosystem services: what variables explain patterns of ecosystem services across the Norrström drainage basin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Meacham

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In human dominated landscapes many diverse, and often antagonistic, human activities are intentionally and inadvertently determining the supply of various ecosystem services. Understanding how different social and ecological factors shape the availability of ecosystem services is essential for fair and effective policy and management. In this paper, we evaluate how well alternative social-ecological models of human impact on ecosystems explain patterns of 16 ecosystem services (ES across the 62 municipalities of the Norrström drainage basin in Sweden. We test four models of human impact on ecosystems, land use, ecological modernization, ecological footprint, and location theory, and test their ability to predict both individual ES and bundles of ES. We find that different models do best to predict different types of individual ES. Land use is the best model for predicting provisioning services, standing water quality, biodiversity appreciation, and cross-country skiing, while other models work better for the remaining services. However, this range of models is not able to predict some of the cultural ES. ES bundles are predicted worse than individual ES by these models, but provide a clear picture of variation in multiple ecosystem services based on limited information. Based on our results, we offer suggestions on how social-ecological modeling and assessments of ecosystems can be further developed.

  12. Ecological Diversity of Soil Fauna as Ecosystem Engineers in Small-Holder Cocoa Plantation in South Konawe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laode Muhammad Harjoni Kilowasid

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Taxa diversity within soil fauna functional groups can affected ecosystem functioning such as ecosystem engineers,which influence decomposition and nutrient cycling. The objective of this study is to describe ecological diversityvariation within soil fauna as ecosystem engineers in soil ecosystem of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L. plantation.Sampling was conducted during one year period from five different ages of plantation. Soil fauna removed from soilcore using hand sorting methods. A total of 39 genera of soil fauna as ecosystem engineers were found during thesestudies. Thirty five genera belong to the group of Formicidae (ants, three genera of Isoptera (termites, and onegenera of Oligochaeta (earthworms. Ecological diversity variation within ecosystem engineers was detected withSimpson indices for dominance and evenness. The highest diversity of ecosystem engineers was in the young ageof plantation. This study reinforces the importance biotic interaction which contributed to the distribution andabundance within soil fauna community as ecosystem engineers in small-holder cocoa plantation.

  13. Examining Ecological and Ecosystem Level Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species in Lake Michigan Using An Ecosystem Productivity Model, LM-Eco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological and ecosystem-level impacts of aquatic invasive species in Lake Michigan were examined using the Lake Michigan Ecosystem Model (LM-Eco). The LM-Eco model includes a detailed description of trophic levels and their interactions within the lower food web of Lake Michiga...

  14. Ecological Diversity of Soil Fauna as Ecosystem Engineers in Small-Holder Cocoa Plantation in South Konawe

    OpenAIRE

    Laode Muhammad Harjoni Kilowasid; Tati Suryati Syamsudin; Franciscus Xaverius Susilo; Endah Sulistyawati

    2012-01-01

    Taxa diversity within soil fauna functional groups can affected ecosystem functioning such as ecosystem engineers,which influence decomposition and nutrient cycling. The objective of this study is to describe ecological diversityvariation within soil fauna as ecosystem engineers in soil ecosystem of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) plantation.Sampling was conducted during one year period from five different ages of plantation. Soil fauna removed from soilcore using hand sorting methods. A total of ...

  15. Ecological Security and Ecosystem Services in Response to Land Use Change in the Coastal Area of Jiangsu, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caiyao Xu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization, and the resulting land use/cover change, is a primary cause of the degradation of coastal wetland ecosystems. Reclamation projects are seen as a way to strike a balance between socioeconomic development and maintenance of coastal ecosystems. Our aim was to understand the ecological changes to Jiangsu’s coastal wetland resulting from land use change since 1977 by using remote sensing and spatial analyses. The results indicate that: (1 The area of artificial land use expanded while natural land use was reduced, which emphasized an increase in production-orientated land uses at the expense of ecologically important wetlands; (2 It took 34 years for landscape ecological security and 39 years for ecosystem services to regain equilibrium. The coastal reclamation area would recover ecological equilibrium only after a minimum of 30 years; (3 The total ecosystem service value decreased significantly from $2.98 billion per year to $2.31 billion per year from 1977 to 2014. Food production was the only one ecosystem service function that consistently increased, mainly because of government policy; (4 The relationship between landscape ecological security and ecosystem services is complicated, mainly because of the scale effect of landscape ecology. Spatial analysis of changing gravity centers showed that landscape ecological security and ecosystem service quality became better in the north than the south over the study period.

  16. Construction of Industrial Ecosystem of an Electric Company under Ecological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Zhang, Yuan; Wu, Han

    2018-01-01

    Be confronted with more and more fierce competition environment, only by constantly integrating, constructing and restructuring internal and external resources as well as capabilities can enterprises adapt themselves to the rapidly changing environment and maintain the advantages of sustained competition. Business competition has changed from product competition of single enterprise to competition of bussiness ecosystem. Therefore, how to build a business system is the key to win competition. This paper draws lessons from business ecosystem and industrial ecosystem concept and takes the subordinate industry company of a large enterprise as the research object. On the the basis of combing its characteristics and organizational structure, an industrial ecosystem is tired to constructed.

  17. Bubble Curtains: Herbivore Exclusion Devices for Ecology and Restoration of Marine Ecosystems?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Bennett

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Herbivorous fishes play a critical role in maintaining or disrupting the ecological resilience of many kelp forests, coral reefs and seagrass ecosystems, worldwide. The increasing rate and scale of benthic habitat loss under global change has magnified the importance of herbivores and highlights the need to study marine herbivory at ecologically relevant scales. Currently, underwater herbivore exclusions (or inclusions have been restricted to small scale experimental plots, in large part due to the challenges of designing structures that can withstand the physical forces of waves and currents, without drastically altering the physical environment inside the exclusion area. We tested the ability of bubble curtains to deter herbivorous fishes from feeding on seaweeds as an alternative to the use of rigid exclusion cages. Kelps (Ecklonia radiata were transplanted onto reefs with high browsing herbivore pressure into either unprotected plots, exclusion cages or plots protected by bubble curtains of 0.785 m2 and 3.14 m2. Remote underwater video was used to compare the behavioral response of fishes to kelps protected and unprotected by bubble curtains. Kelp biomass loss was significantly lower inside the bubble curtains compared to unprotected kelps and did not differ from kelp loss rates in traditional exclusion cages. Consistent with this finding, no herbivorous fishes were observed entering into the bubble curtain at any point during the experiment. In contrast, fish bite rates on unprotected kelps were 1,621 ± 702 bites h−1 (mean ± SE. Our study provides initial evidence that bubble curtains can exclude herbivorous fishes, paving the way for future studies to examine their application at larger spatial and temporal scales, beyond what has been previously feasible using traditional exclusion cages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The benefits derived from urban forest ecosystems are garnering increasing attention in ecological research and municipal planning. However, because of their location in heterogeneous and highly-altered urban landscapes, urban forests are vulnerable and commonly suffer disproportionate and varying levels of stress and disturbance. The objective of this study is to...

  19. [Effects of land use structure change on regional ecological health--taking Shapingba County as an example].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cheng; Wei, Chaofu; Gao, Ming; Luo, Guanglian; Jiang, Wei

    2005-12-01

    Land resource is the carrier for the exchange of matter, energy and information flows, while the change velocity and the intensity of land use has strong effects on the ecological processes such as matter circulation, energy flow, and biologic diversity. Land use structure change will alter the type, area, and spatial distribution of ecosystem, and in the meantime, result in the changes of regional ecological health. Employing the principles and methods of landscape ecology, and through endowing relative ecological value to land use type, this paper analyzed the charaeteristics of recent 10 years land use change in Shapingba County of Chongqing, and discussed the effects of land use change on regional ecological health, aimed to provide scientific references for land use planning and sustainable land resource utilization. The results indicated that transformation often occurred among different land use types, and the land use structure in each transformation phase differed quite obviously. Under different land use structure, there was a great disparity in relative ecological value of sub-ecosystems, which played various roles in regional ecological health. In general, the regional relative ecological value embodied both increase and decrease. In the future, the relative ecological value of sub-ecosystem would represent three tendencies, i.e., increase first and decrease then, continuous decrease, and continuous increase. The situation of regional ecological health would gradually become better.

  20. Human ecology and environmentalism: Two different approaches to the relationships ecosystem/culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leon Sicard, Tomas

    2001-01-01

    A comparative analysis of the human ecology focus versus the environmental dimension analysis, emphasizing that the first one does not have theoretical instruments to adequately consider the human action inside the ecosystems, while the second one considers the concept of culture as an explanation of the human niche and then of the environmental problem. It ends with thoughts about the environmental or ecologist conception that is discussed in the Colombian peace negotiations

  1. The roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems: new insights from long term ecological research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mather, Martha E.; Matich, Philip; Nifong, James C.; Ripple, William J.; Silliman, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    During recent human history, human activities such as overhunting and habitat destruction have severely impacted many large top predator populations around the world. Studies from a variety of ecosystems show that loss or diminishment of top predator populations can have serious consequences for population and community dynamics and ecosystem stability. However, there are relatively few studies of the roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems, so that we do not yet completely understand what could happen to coastal areas if large top predators are extirpated or significantly reduced in number. This lack of knowledge is surprising given that coastal areas around the globe are highly valued and densely populated by humans, and thus coastal large top predator populations frequently come into conflict with coastal human populations. This paper reviews what is known about the ecological roles of large top predators in coastal systems and presents a synthesis of recent work from three coastal eastern US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites where long-term studies reveal what appear to be common themes relating to the roles of large top predators in coastal systems. We discuss three specific themes: (1) large top predators acting as mobile links between disparate habitats, (2) large top predators potentially affecting nutrient and biogeochemical dynamics through localized behaviors, and (3) individual specialization of large top predator behaviors. We also discuss how research within the LTER network has led to enhanced understanding of the ecological roles of coastal large top predators. Highlighting this work is intended to encourage further investigation of the roles of large top predators across diverse coastal aquatic habitats and to better inform researchers and ecosystem managers about the importance of large top predators for coastal ecosystem health and stability.

  2. An evaluation of the ecological and environmental security on China's terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongqi; Xu, Erqi

    2017-04-11

    With rapid economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization, various ecological and environmental problems occur, which threaten and undermine the sustainable development and domestic survival of China. On the national scale, our progress remains in a state of qualitative or semi-quantitative evaluation, lacking a quantitative evaluation and a spatial visualization of ecological and environmental security. This study collected 14 indictors of water, land, air, and biodiversity securities to compile a spatial evaluation of ecological and environmental security in terrestrial ecosystems of China. With area-weighted normalization and scaling transformations, the veto aggregation (focusing on the limit indicator) and balanced aggregation (measuring balanced performance among different indicators) methods were used to aggregate security evaluation indicators. Results showed that water, land, air, and biodiversity securities presented different spatial distributions. A relatively serious ecological and environmental security crisis was found in China, but presented an obviously spatial variation of security evaluation scores. Hotspot areas at the danger level, which are scattered throughout the entirety of the country, were identified. The spatial diversities and causes of ecological and environmental problems in different regions were analyzed. Spatial integration of regional development and proposals for improving the ecological and environmental security were put forward.

  3. The role of satellite remote sensing in structured ecosystem risk assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Nicholas J; Keith, David A; Bland, Lucie M; Ferrari, Renata; Lyons, Mitchell B; Lucas, Richard; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Nicholson, Emily

    2018-04-01

    The current set of global conservation targets requires methods for monitoring the changing status of ecosystems. Protocols for ecosystem risk assessment are uniquely suited to this task, providing objective syntheses of a wide range of data to estimate the likelihood of ecosystem collapse. Satellite remote sensing can deliver ecologically relevant, long-term datasets suitable for analysing changes in ecosystem area, structure and function at temporal and spatial scales relevant to risk assessment protocols. However, there is considerable uncertainty about how to select and effectively utilise remotely sensed variables for risk assessment. Here, we review the use of satellite remote sensing for assessing spatial and functional changes of ecosystems, with the aim of providing guidance on the use of these data in ecosystem risk assessment. We suggest that decisions on the use of satellite remote sensing should be made a priori and deductively with the assistance of conceptual ecosystem models that identify the primary indicators representing the dynamics of a focal ecosystem. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cannicci, S.; Burrows, Damien; Fratini, Sara

    2008-01-01

    The last 20 years witnessed a real paradigm shift concerning the impact of biotic factors on ecosystem functions as well as on vegetation structure of mangrove forests. Before this small scientific revolution took place, structural aspects of mangrove forests were viewed to be the result of abiotic...... processes acting from the bottom-up, while, at ecosystem level, the outwelling hypothesis stated that mangroves primary production was removed via tidal action and carried to adjacent nearshore ecosystems where it fuelled detrital based food-webs. The sesarmid crabs were the first macrofaunal taxon...... to be considered a main actor in mangrove structuring processes, thanks to a number of studies carried out in the Indo-Pacific forests in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Following these classical papers, a number of studies on Sesarmidae feeding and burrowing ecology were carried out, which leave no doubts about...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cannicci, S.; Burows, D.; Fratini, S.

    2008-01-01

    The last 20 years witnessed a real paradigm shift concerning the impact of biotic factors on ecosystem functions as well as on vegetation structure of mangrove forests. Before this small scientific revolution took place, structural aspects of mangrove forests were viewed to be the result of abiotic...... processes acting from the bottom-up, while, at ecosystem level, the outwelling hypothesis stated that mangroves primary production was removed via tidal action and carried to adjacent nearshore ecosystems where it fuelled detrital based food-webs. The sesarmid crabs were the first macrofaunal taxon...... to be considered a main actor in mangrove structuring processes, thanks to a number of studies carried out in the Indo-Pacific forests in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Following these classical papers, a number of studies on Sesarmidae feeding and burrowing ecology were carried out, which leave no doubts about...

  6. Network Ecology and Adolescent Social Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Daniel A; Moody, James; Diehl, David; Smith, Jeffrey A; Thomas, Reuben J

    2014-12-01

    Adolescent societies-whether arising from weak, short-term classroom friendships or from close, long-term friendships-exhibit various levels of network clustering, segregation, and hierarchy. Some are rank-ordered caste systems and others are flat, cliquish worlds. Explaining the source of such structural variation remains a challenge, however, because global network features are generally treated as the agglomeration of micro-level tie-formation mechanisms, namely balance, homophily, and dominance. How do the same micro-mechanisms generate significant variation in global network structures? To answer this question we propose and test a network ecological theory that specifies the ways features of organizational environments moderate the expression of tie-formation processes, thereby generating variability in global network structures across settings. We develop this argument using longitudinal friendship data on schools (Add Health study) and classrooms (Classroom Engagement study), and by extending exponential random graph models to the study of multiple societies over time.

  7. A resilience framework for chronic exposures: water quality and ecosystem services in coastal social-ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    We outline a tailored resilience framework that applies ecosystem service concepts to coastal social-ecological systems (SES) affected by water quality degradation. Unlike acute coastal disturbances such as hurricanes or oil spills, water quality issues, particularly those relate...

  8. Ecosystem Services are Social-ecological Services in a Traditional Pastoral System: the Case of California's Mediterranean Rangelands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynn Huntsinger

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available When attempting to value ecosystem services and support their production, two critical aspects may be neglected. The term "ecosystem services" implies that they are a function of natural processes; yet, human interaction with the environment may be key to the production of many. This can contribute to a misconception that ecosystem service production depends on, or is enhanced by, the coercion or removal of human industry. Second, in programs designed to encourage ecosystem service production and maintenance, too often the inter-relationship of such services with social and ecological processes and drivers at multiple scales is ignored. Thinking of such services as "social-ecological services" can reinforce the importance of human culture, perspectives, and economies to the production of ecosystem services. Using a social-ecological systems perspective, we explore the integral role of human activity and decisions at pasture, ranch, and landscape scales. Just as it does for understanding ecosystems, a hierarchical, multiscaled framework facilitates exploring the complexity of social-ecological systems as producers of ecosystem services, to develop approaches for the conservation of such services. Using California's Mediterranean rangelands as a study area, we suggest that using a multiscaled approach that considers the importance of the differing drivers and processes at each scale and the interactions among scales, and that incorporates social-ecological systems concepts, may help avoid mistakes caused by narrow assumptions about "natural" systems, and a lack of understanding of the need for integrated, multiscaled conservation programs.

  9. Accounting for ecosystem services in Life Cycle Assessment, Part II: toward an ecologically based LCA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Baral, Anil; Bakshi, Bhavik R

    2010-04-01

    Despite the essential role of ecosystem goods and services in sustaining all human activities, they are often ignored in engineering decision making, even in methods that are meant to encourage sustainability. For example, conventional Life Cycle Assessment focuses on the impact of emissions and consumption of some resources. While aggregation and interpretation methods are quite advanced for emissions, similar methods for resources have been lagging, and most ignore the role of nature. Such oversight may even result in perverse decisions that encourage reliance on deteriorating ecosystem services. This article presents a step toward including the direct and indirect role of ecosystems in LCA, and a hierarchical scheme to interpret their contribution. The resulting Ecologically Based LCA (Eco-LCA) includes a large number of provisioning, regulating, and supporting ecosystem services as inputs to a life cycle model at the process or economy scale. These resources are represented in diverse physical units and may be compared via their mass, fuel value, industrial cumulative exergy consumption, or ecological cumulative exergy consumption or by normalization with total consumption of each resource or their availability. Such results at a fine scale provide insight about relative resource use and the risk and vulnerability to the loss of specific resources. Aggregate indicators are also defined to obtain indices such as renewability, efficiency, and return on investment. An Eco-LCA model of the 1997 economy is developed and made available via the web (www.resilience.osu.edu/ecolca). An illustrative example comparing paper and plastic cups provides insight into the features of the proposed approach. The need for further work in bridging the gap between knowledge about ecosystem services and their direct and indirect role in supporting human activities is discussed as an important area for future work.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathleen A. Dwire; Richard R. Lowrance

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Context-Specific Trophic and Functional Ecology of Fishes of Small Stream Ecosystems in the Ouachita National Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Matthews; A. Maria Miller-Lemke; Melvin L. Warren; Donna Cobb; Jeffery G. Stewart; Betty Crump; Frances P. Gelwick

    2004-01-01

    Abstract - Fish play diverse and important roles in stream ecosystems, but details about ecosystem effects are poorly known for many freshwater fish species. A requisite first step to understanding functional roles of individual species is information on their trophic ecology in the context of particular environmental settings. Stomach contents were...

  12. ECOLOGIC FEATURES OF WOOD ANATOMY OF Casearia sylvestris SW (SALICACEAE IN THREE BRAZILIAN ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciene da Silva Mota

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Casearia sylvestris SW (Salicaceae is a highly adaptive perennial species that is found throughout Latin America and widely spread in Brazil. This work analyzed the ecological features of wood anatomy of C. sylvestris occurring in three ecosystem types: Cerrado, Gallery Forest (Northern of Minas Gerais and Mata Atlântica (Southern of Minas Gerais. Qualitative features were similar among plants in the three ecosystems, differing only in the distribution of pith flecks and neighboring tyloses that were more frequent in Cerrado and Gallery Forest. The quantitative results showed significant differences for several parameters, as well as variation between individuals of vegetation types of Northern and Southern of Minas Gerais. The correlation matrix of variables including quantitative anatomical characteristics, soil characteristics, height and diameter of the plants showed that plants were grouped by ecosystem type. Casearia sylvestris might adopt different survival strategies regarding safety and efficiency of water transport by wood anatomy ecological adaptation. The adaptive anatomical features to drought were mostly an decrease of vessel frequency and an increase of ray width and frequency.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Structured ecosystem-scale approach to marine water quality management

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Taljaard, Susan

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available and implement environmental management programmes. A structured ecosystem-scale approach for the design and implementation of marine water quality management programmes developed by the CSIR (South Africa) in response to recent advances in policies...

  15. Assessing Freshwater Ecosystem Service Risk over Ecological, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Gradients: Problem Space Characterization and Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, T. C.; Villamizar, S. R.; Conde, D.; Rusak, J.; Reid, B.; Astorga, A.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; London, S.; Velez, M.; Hoyos, N.; Escobar, J.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater ecosystems and the services they provide are under increasing anthropogenic pressure at local (e.g., irrigation diversions, wastewater discharge) and global scales (e.g., climate change, global trading). The impact depends on an ecosystem's sensitivity, which is determined by its geophysical and ecological settings, and the population and activities in its surrounding watershed. Given the importance of ecosystem services, it is critical that we improve our ability to identify and understand changes in aquatic ecosystems, and translate them to risk of service loss. Furthermore, to inspire changes in human behavior, it is equally critical that we learn to communicate risk, and pose risk mitigation strategies, in a manner acceptable to a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Quantifying the nature and timing of the risk is difficult because (1) we often fail to understand the connection between anthropogenic pressures and the timing and extent of ecosystem changes; and (2) the concept of risk is inherently coupled to human perception, which generally differs with cultural and socio-economic conditions. In this study, we endeavor to assess aquatic ecosystem risks across an international array of six study sites. The challenge is to construct a methodology capable of capturing the marked biogeographical, socioeconomic, and cultural differences among the sites, which include: (1) Muskoka River watershed in humid continental Ontario, Canada; (2) Lower San Joaquin River, an impounded snow-fed river in semi-arid Central California; (3) Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, a tropical coastal lagoon in Colombia; (4) Senguer River basin in the semi-arid part of Argentina; (5) Laguna de Rocha watershed in humid subtropical Uruguay; and (6) Palomas Lake complex in oceanic Chilean Patagonia. Results will include a characterization of the experimental gradient over the six sites, an overview of the risk assessment methodology, and preliminary findings for several of the sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qun; Jin, Xianshi; Zhang, Bo

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Extrapolating ecological risks of ionizing radiation from individuals to populations to ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1997-01-01

    Approaches for protecting ecosystems from ionizing radiation are quite different from those used for protecting ecosystems from adverse effects of toxic chemicals. The methods used for chemicals are conceptually similar to those used to assess risks of chemicals to human health in that they focus on the protection of the most sensitive or most highly exposed individuals. The assumption is that if sensitive or maximally exposed species and life stages are protected, then ecosystems will be protected. Radiological protection standards, on the other hand, are explicitly premised on the assumption that organisms, populations and ecosystems all possess compensatory capabilities to allow them to survive in the face of unpredictable natural variation in their environments. These capabilities are assumed to persist in the face of at least some exposure to ionizing radiation. The prevailing approach to radiological protection was developed more than 30 years ago, at a time when the terms risk assessment and risk management were rarely used. The expert review approach used to derive radiological protection standards is widely perceived to be inconsistent with the open, participatory approach that prevails today for the regulation of toxic chemicals. The available data for environmental radionuclides vastly exceeds that available for any chemical. Therefore, given an understanding of dose-response relationships for radiation effects and exposures for individual organisms, it should be possible to develop methods for quantifying effects of radiation on populations. A tiered assessment scheme as well as available population models that could be used for the ecological risk assessment of radionuclides is presented. (author)

  18. Local ecological knowledge related with marine ecosystems in two coastal communities: El Valle and Sapzurro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Correa, Sandra Liliana; Turbay, Sandra; Velez, Madelene

    2012-01-01

    The inhabitants of the Colombian coastal populations of El Valle, in the Pacific, and Sapzurro, in the Caribbean Darien, have ecological knowledge about coastal ecosystems that is a result of their constant relation with the sea, through fishing and navigation. The sea is a source of food and economical resources, but it is also the sphere where the male personality is forged. The accurate knowledge about mangrove, coral, coral reef, beaches and fishing grounds has been enriched through the dialog between local inhabitants and researchers in the conservation biology field. However, the tensions with researchers and environmental authorities still exist. The paper suggests that local ecological knowledge studies could be a starting point for maintaining a more horizontal dialogue between environmentalist and the populations with livelihoods derived of fishing.

  19. A policy-driven large scale ecological restoration: quantifying ecosystem services changes in the Loess Plateau of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Yihe; Fu, Bojie; Feng, Xiaoming; Zeng, Yuan; Liu, Yu; Chang, Ruiying; Sun, Ge; Wu, Bingfang

    2012-01-01

    As one of the key tools for regulating human-ecosystem relations, environmental conservation policies can promote ecological rehabilitation across a variety of spatiotemporal scales. However, quantifying the ecological effects of such policies at the regional level is difficult. A case study was conducted at the regional level in the ecologically vulnerable region of the Loess Plateau, China, through the use of several methods including the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), hydrological modeling and multivariate analysis. An assessment of the changes over the period of 2000-2008 in four key ecosystem services was undertaken to determine the effects of the Chinese government's ecological rehabilitation initiatives implemented in 1999. These ecosystem services included water regulation, soil conservation, carbon sequestration and grain production. Significant conversions of farmland to woodland and grassland were found to have resulted in enhanced soil conservation and carbon sequestration, but decreased regional water yield under a warming and drying climate trend. The total grain production increased in spite of a significant decline in farmland acreage. These trends have been attributed to the strong socioeconomic incentives embedded in the ecological rehabilitation policy. Although some positive policy results have been achieved over the last decade, large uncertainty remains regarding long-term policy effects on the sustainability of ecological rehabilitation performance and ecosystem service enhancement. To reduce such uncertainty, this study calls for an adaptive management approach to regional ecological rehabilitation policy to be adopted, with a focus on the dynamic interactions between people and their environments in a changing world.

  20. Role of green structure and ecological services: a case study of bahawalpur city, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shafqat, A.; Arshad, S.

    2014-01-01

    Cities can make broader contribution to achieve the goals of sustainable development as they are considered major consumers of resources and ecological services. Ecological services provide a range of benefits at local, regional and global levels. Terrestrial ecosystem has different components in urban environment that provides ecological services to its inhabitants. Cities not only benefit from the internal urban ecosystem but also depend upon other ecosystems beyond the city limit. Green structure is an important component in terms of making city more sustainable and habitable. Green structure in urban environment means green infrastructure that is planned and supports sustainable that is planned and supports sustainable urban development. From planning perspective, spatial structure of green space provides a basis for sustainable urban development. In sustainable perspective, green structure more than the sum of green spaces. It is considered as spatial network of open spaces, public and private gardens and parks, sports fields, allotment gardens, woodlands and recreational grounds. Therefore, it is considered as a significant part of built-up environment and major source of ecological services. To structure urban areas of sustainable development, it is necessary to develop a proportion between grey and green cities. Keeping in view, research has been conducted to investigate spatial network of green structure in planned areas of Bahawalpur City of Pakistan. This study analyzes the ecological services generated from the investigated green structures, and helped develop an approach of inter-relation between green environment and urban society. Moreover, strategies for better land-use planning in green and sustainable perspective have been proposed. (author)

  1. Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalusche, D.

    1978-01-01

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

  2. The Structures of Perception: An Ecological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael James Braund

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available James J. Gibson is one of the best known and perhaps most controversial visual theorists of the twentieth century. Writing in the vein of the American functionalists, and immersed in their profound sense of pragmatism, Gibson sought to establish a more rigorous foundation for the study of vision by reworking its most fundamental concepts. Over the five decades of his distinguished career, Gibson brought new clarity to the old problems of the tradition. He offered an alternative theory of perception - one that could accommodate the experimental insights of contemporary research programs. He characterized this new theory as a version of direct perception in order to distinguish it from the traditional indirect approach of Rene Descartes. On Descartes' account, our perceptual awareness of reality comes through the representations we have formed of it within ourselves. In contrast, Gibson's theory of direct perception states that the environment contains all of the information needed to specify its properties. Hence, perceiving these properties is a matter of detecting the information available in the environment. This theory avoids the difficulty of explaining how the mind organizes holistic perceptions from atomic sensations. In what follows, I will attempt to make good these claims by situating the concept of "structure" at the heart of the ecological program. I will argue that this concept is significant precisely because it allows Gibson to locate the moving, perceiving body at the heart of meaningful perceptual experience; an experience which emerges in the dynamical structures that cross the body and the world.

  3. Historical ecology provides new insights for ecosystem management: Eastern Baltic cod case study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    MacKenzie, Brian; Ojaveer, Henn; Eero, Margit

    2011-01-01

    A recent historical marine ecological case study (cod in the eastern Baltic Sea) is used to show how long-term data and knowledge of fluctuations can contribute to revisions of fishery management policy. The case study first developed new longer analytical time series of spawner biomass and recru......A recent historical marine ecological case study (cod in the eastern Baltic Sea) is used to show how long-term data and knowledge of fluctuations can contribute to revisions of fishery management policy. The case study first developed new longer analytical time series of spawner biomass...... catch data from the late 1500s to early 1600s also contributed new perspectives to cod population dynamics under alternative ecosystem forcings. These new perspectives have contributed, and will likely continue to contribute to new management policies (e.g., revision of fishery management reference...... points), which should lead to higher sustainability of the population and fishery yields, and improved overall ecosystem health. These perspectives will likely continue to provide baseline information as ICES and the EU develop new policies based on maximum sustainable yield concepts....

  4. Bioremediation in marine ecosystems: a computational study combining ecological modelling and flux balance analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianna eTaffi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The pressure to search effective bioremediation methodologies for contaminated ecosystems has led to the large-scale identification of microbial species and metabolic degradation pathways. However, minor attention has been paid to the study of bioremediation in marine food webs and to the definition of integrated strategies for reducing bioaccumulation in species. We propose a novel computational framework for analysing the multiscale effects of bioremediation at the ecosystem level, based on coupling food web bioaccumulation models and metabolic models of degrading bacteria. The combination of techniques from synthetic biology and ecological network analysis allows the specification of arbitrary scenarios of contaminant removal and the evaluation of strategies based on natural or synthetic microbial strains.In this study, we derive a bioaccumulation model of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs in the Adriatic food web, and we extend a metabolic reconstruction of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (iJN746 with the aerobic pathway of PCBs degradation. We assess the effectiveness of different bioremediation scenarios in reducing PCBs concentration in species and we study indices of species centrality to measure their importance in the contaminant diffusion via feeding links.The analysis of the Adriatic sea case study suggests that our framework could represent a practical tool in the design of effective remediation strategies, providing at the same time insights into the ecological role of microbial communities within food webs.

  5. The hidden ecological resource of andic soils in mountain ecosystems: evidence from Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Terribile

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Andic soils have unique morphological, physical, and chemical properties that induce both considerable soil fertility and great vulnerability to land degradation. Moreover, they are the most striking mineral soils in terms of large organic C storage and long C residence time. This is especially related to the presence of poorly crystalline clay minerals and metal–humus complexes. Recognition of andic soils is then very important.Here we attempt to show, through a combined analysis of 35 sampling points chosen in accordance to specific physical and vegetation rules, that some andic soils have an utmost ecological importance.More specifically, in Italian non-volcanic mountain ecosystems ( > 600 m a.s.l. combining low slope (< 21 % and highly active green biomass (high NDVI values and in agreement to recent findings, we found the widespread occurrence of andic soils having distinctive physical and hydrological properties including low bulk density and remarkably high water retention. Most importantly, we report a demonstration of the ability of these soils to affect ecosystem functions by analysing their influence on the timescale acceleration of photosynthesis estimated by NDVI measurements.Our results are hoped to be a starting point for better understanding of the ecological importance of andic soils and also possibly to better consider pedological information in C balance calculations.

  6. The hidden ecological resource of andic soils in mountain ecosystems: evidence from Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terribile, Fabio; Iamarino, Michela; Langella, Giuliano; Manna, Piero; Mileti, Florindo Antonio; Vingiani, Simona; Basile, Angelo

    2018-01-01

    Andic soils have unique morphological, physical, and chemical properties that induce both considerable soil fertility and great vulnerability to land degradation. Moreover, they are the most striking mineral soils in terms of large organic C storage and long C residence time. This is especially related to the presence of poorly crystalline clay minerals and metal-humus complexes. Recognition of andic soils is then very important.Here we attempt to show, through a combined analysis of 35 sampling points chosen in accordance to specific physical and vegetation rules, that some andic soils have an utmost ecological importance.More specifically, in Italian non-volcanic mountain ecosystems ( > 600 m a.s.l.) combining low slope (highly active green biomass (high NDVI values) and in agreement to recent findings, we found the widespread occurrence of andic soils having distinctive physical and hydrological properties including low bulk density and remarkably high water retention. Most importantly, we report a demonstration of the ability of these soils to affect ecosystem functions by analysing their influence on the timescale acceleration of photosynthesis estimated by NDVI measurements.Our results are hoped to be a starting point for better understanding of the ecological importance of andic soils and also possibly to better consider pedological information in C balance calculations.

  7. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  8. Socio-ecological dynamics of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems and conservation opinion propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thampi, Vivek A; Anand, Madhur; Bauch, Chris T

    2018-02-07

    The Caribbean coral reef ecosystem has experienced a long history of deterioration due to various stressors. For instance, over-fishing of parrotfish - an important grazer of macroalgae that can prevent destructive overgrowth of macroalgae - has threatened reef ecosystems in recent decades and stimulated conservation efforts such as the formation of marine protected areas. Here we develop a mathematical model of coupled socio-ecological interactions between reef dynamics and conservation opinion dynamics to better understand how natural and human factors interact individually and in combination to determine coral reef cover. We find that the coupling opinion and reef systems generates complex dynamics that are difficult to anticipate without use of a model. For instance, instead of converging to a stable state of constant coral cover and conservationist opinion, the system can oscillate between low and high live coral cover as human opinion oscillates in a boom-bust cycle between complacency and concern. Out of various possible parameter manipulations, we also find that raising awareness of coral reef endangerment best avoids counter-productive nonlinear feedbacks and always increases and stabilizes live coral reef cover. In conclusion, an improved understanding of coupled opinion-reef dynamics under anthrogenic stressors is possible using coupled socio-ecological models, and such models should be further researched.

  9. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  10. A Foray into Fungal Ecology: Understanding Fungi and Their Functions Across Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, N.; Dunkirk, N. C.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite their incredible diversity and importance to terrestrial ecosystems, fungi are not included in a standard high school science curriculum. This past summer, however, my work for the Stanford EARTH High School Internship program introduced me to fungal ecology through experiments involving culturing, genomics and root dissections. The two fungal experiments I worked on had very different foci, both searching for answers to broad ecological questions of fungal function and physiology. The first, a symbiosis experiment, sought to determine if the partners of the nutrient exchange between pine trees and their fungal symbionts could choose one another. The second experiment, a dung fungal succession project, compared the genetic sequencing results of fungal extractions from dung versus fungal cultures from dung. My part in the symbiosis experiment involved dissection, weighing and encapsulation of root tissue samples characterized based on the root thickness and presence of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The dung fungi succession project required that I not only learn how to culture various genera of dung fungi but also learn how to extract DNA and RNA for sequencing from the fungal tissue. Although I primarily worked with dung fungi cultures and thereby learned about their unique physiologies, I also learned about the different types of genetic sequencing since the project compared sequences of cultured fungi versus Next Generation sequencing of all fungi present within a dung pellet. Through working on distinct fungal projects that reassess how information about fungi is known within the field of fungal ecology, I learned not only about the two experiments I worked on but also many past related experiments and inquiries through reading scientific papers. Thanks to my foray into fungal research, I now know not only the broader significance of fungi in ecological research but also how to design and conduct ecological experiments.

  11. Natural Length Scales of Ecological Systems: Applications at Community and Ecosystem Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig R. Johnson

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The characteristic, or natural, length scales of a spatially dynamic ecological landscape are the spatial scales at which the deterministic trends in the dynamic are most sharply in focus. Given recent development of techniques to determine the characteristic length scales (CLSs of real ecological systems, I explore the potential for using CLSs to address three important and vexing issues in applied ecology, viz. (i determining the optimum scales to monitor ecological systems, (ii interpreting change in ecological communities, and (iii ascertaining connectivity between species in complex ecologies. In summarizing the concept of characteristic length scales as system-level scaling thresholds, I emphasize that the primary CLS is, by definition, the optimum scale at which to monitor a system if the objective is to observe its deterministic dynamics at a system level. Using several different spatially explicit individual-based models, I then explore predictions of the underlying theory of CLSs in the context of interpreting change and ascertaining connectivity among species in ecological systems. Analysis of these models support predictions that systems with strongly fluctuating community structure, but an otherwise stable long-term dynamic defined by a stationary attractor, indicate an invariant length scale irrespective of community structure at the time of analysis, and irrespective of the species analyzed. In contrast, if changes in the underlying dynamic are forcibly induced, the shift in dynamics is reflected by a change in the primary length scale. Thus, consideration of the magnitude of the CLS through time enables distinguishing between circumstances where there are temporal changes in community structure but not in the long-term dynamic, from that where changes in community structure reflect some kind of fundamental shift in dynamics. In this context, CLSs emerge as a diagnostic tool to identify phase shifts to alternative stable states

  12. Interim report to the Northern Ecosystem Initiative from the Northern Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN-North)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wakelyn, L.; Eamer, J.

    2001-01-01

    The Northern Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN-North) has received funding for a proposal submitted to the Northern Ecosystems Initiative (NEI) in January 2001. EMAN-North is a network that coordinates ecological monitoring in northern Canada. Its geographic scope comprises 40 per cent of the geographic area of Canada, including Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and an area near Churchill, Manitoba. Funding was awarded because the proposed EMAN-North project addressed the NEI priority of Monitoring Ecosystem Status and Trends, and Ecosystem Impacts of Climate Change. The project was also aimed at improving the network's capacity for long-term ecological monitoring, assessment and reporting. Several activities deal specifically with ecological impacts of climate change. This paper described the need and the context for ecological monitoring in northern Canada and defined a strategic direction for EMAN-North. The project will include many individuals involved in ecological monitoring in the north to deliver information on ecosystem changes to decision-makers and the public. refs., tabs., figs

  13. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I.; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  14. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Bourne

    Full Text Available Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from

  15. Nitrogen deposition effects on Mediterranean-type ecosystems: An ecological assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raul, E-mail: raul.ochoa@ccma.csic.es [Department of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C/Serrano 115 Dpdo., 28006 Madrid (Spain); Allen, Edith B. [Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and Center for Conservation Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Branquinho, Cristina; Cruz, Cristina; Dias, Teresa [Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciencias, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Campo Grande, Bloco C4, 1749-016 Lisboa (Portugal); Fenn, Mark E. [US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, 4955 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside, CA 92507 (United States); Manrique, Esteban [Department of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C/Serrano 115 Dpdo., 28006 Madrid (Spain); Perez-Corona, M. Esther [Department of Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, C/Jose Antonio Novais 2, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Sheppard, Lucy J. [Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Stock, William D. [Centre for Ecosystem Management, School of Natural Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, Perth, WA 6027 (Australia)

    2011-10-15

    We review the ecological consequences of N deposition on the five Mediterranean regions of the world. Seasonality of precipitation and fires regulate the N cycle in these water-limited ecosystems, where dry N deposition dominates. Nitrogen accumulation in soils and on plant surfaces results in peaks of availability with the first winter rains. Decoupling between N flushes and plant demand promotes losses via leaching and gas emissions. Differences in P availability may control the response to N inputs and susceptibility to exotic plant invasion. Invasive grasses accumulate as fuel during the dry season, altering fire regimes. California and the Mediterranean Basin are the most threatened by N deposition; however, there is limited evidence for N deposition impacts outside of California. Consequently, more research is needed to determine critical loads for each region and vegetation type based on the most sensitive elements, such as changes in lichen species composition and N cycling. - Highlights: > N deposition impacts are understudied in Mediterranean ecosystems out of California. > Dry N deposition is dominant and N flushes are common after rainless periods. > Water availability and P fertility regulate ecosystem responses to N deposition. > Research is needed to determine critical loads for each region and vegetation type. - Nitrogen deposition threatens the Mediterranean regions of the world.

  16. Nitrogen deposition effects on Mediterranean-type ecosystems: An ecological assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raul; Allen, Edith B.; Branquinho, Cristina; Cruz, Cristina; Dias, Teresa; Fenn, Mark E.; Manrique, Esteban; Perez-Corona, M. Esther; Sheppard, Lucy J.; Stock, William D.

    2011-01-01

    We review the ecological consequences of N deposition on the five Mediterranean regions of the world. Seasonality of precipitation and fires regulate the N cycle in these water-limited ecosystems, where dry N deposition dominates. Nitrogen accumulation in soils and on plant surfaces results in peaks of availability with the first winter rains. Decoupling between N flushes and plant demand promotes losses via leaching and gas emissions. Differences in P availability may control the response to N inputs and susceptibility to exotic plant invasion. Invasive grasses accumulate as fuel during the dry season, altering fire regimes. California and the Mediterranean Basin are the most threatened by N deposition; however, there is limited evidence for N deposition impacts outside of California. Consequently, more research is needed to determine critical loads for each region and vegetation type based on the most sensitive elements, such as changes in lichen species composition and N cycling. - Highlights: → N deposition impacts are understudied in Mediterranean ecosystems out of California. → Dry N deposition is dominant and N flushes are common after rainless periods. → Water availability and P fertility regulate ecosystem responses to N deposition. → Research is needed to determine critical loads for each region and vegetation type. - Nitrogen deposition threatens the Mediterranean regions of the world.

  17. Coastal Upwelling Drives Intertidal Assemblage Structure and Trophic Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddin, Carl J; Docmac, Felipe; O'Connor, Nessa E; Bothwell, John H; Harrod, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Similar environmental driving forces can produce similarity among geographically distant ecosystems. Coastal oceanic upwelling, for example, has been associated with elevated biomass and abundance patterns of certain functional groups, e.g., corticated macroalgae. In the upwelling system of Northern Chile, we examined measures of intertidal macrobenthic composition, structure and trophic ecology across eighteen shores varying in their proximity to two coastal upwelling centres, in a hierarchical sampling design (spatial scales of >1 and >10 km). The influence of coastal upwelling on intertidal communities was confirmed by the stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) of consumers, including a dominant suspension feeder, grazers, and their putative resources of POM, epilithic biofilm, and macroalgae. We highlight the utility of muscle δ15N from the suspension feeding mussel, Perumytilus purpuratus, as a proxy for upwelling, supported by satellite data and previous studies. Where possible, we used corrections for broader-scale trends, spatial autocorrelation, ontogenetic dietary shifts and spatial baseline isotopic variation prior to analysis. Our results showed macroalgal assemblage composition, and benthic consumer assemblage structure, varied significantly with the intertidal influence of coastal upwelling, especially contrasting bays and coastal headlands. Coastal topography also separated differences in consumer resource use. This suggested that coastal upwelling, itself driven by coastline topography, influences intertidal communities by advecting nearshore phytoplankton populations offshore and cooling coastal water temperatures. We recommend the isotopic values of benthic organisms, specifically long-lived suspension feeders, as in situ alternatives to offshore measurements of upwelling influence.

  18. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  19. Intercalibrating classifications of ecological status: Europe's quest for common management objectives for aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birk, S; Willby, N J; Kelly, M G; Bonne, W; Borja, A; Poikane, S; van de Bund, W

    2013-06-01

    Halting and reversing the deterioration of aquatic ecosystems requires concerted action across state boundaries and administrative barriers. However, the achievement of common management objectives is jeopardised by different national quality targets and ambitions. The European Water Framework Directive requires that quality classifications are harmonised via an intercalibration exercise, ensuring a consistent level of ambition in the protection and restoration of surface water bodies across the Member States of the European Union. We outline the key principles of the intercalibration methodology, review the achievements of intercalibration and discuss its benefits and drawbacks. Less than half of the required intercalibration has been completed, mostly due to a lack of national assessment methods. The process has fostered a scientific debate on ecological classification with important implications for environmental management. Despite a significant level of statistical abstraction, intercalibration yielded a fundamental and unified vision of what constitutes good ecology across Europe, in principle ensuring greater parity in the funds invested to achieve good ecological status. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Ecological thresholds as a basis for defining management triggers for National Park Service vital signs: case studies for dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A.; Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Garman, Steven L.

    2013-01-01

    Threshold concepts are used in research and management of ecological systems to describe and interpret abrupt and persistent reorganization of ecosystem properties (Walker and Meyers, 2004; Groffman and others, 2006). Abrupt change, referred to as a threshold crossing, and the progression of reorganization can be triggered by one or more interactive disturbances such as land-use activities and climatic events (Paine and others, 1998). Threshold crossings occur when feedback mechanisms that typically absorb forces of change are replaced with those that promote development of alternative equilibria or states (Suding and others, 2004; Walker and Meyers, 2004; Briske and others, 2008). The alternative states that emerge from a threshold crossing vary and often exhibit reduced ecological integrity and value in terms of management goals relative to the original or reference system. Alternative stable states with some limited residual properties of the original system may develop along the progression after a crossing; an eventual outcome may be the complete loss of pre-threshold properties of the original ecosystem. Reverting to the more desirable reference state through ecological restoration becomes increasingly difficult and expensive along the progression gradient and may eventually become impossible. Ecological threshold concepts have been applied as a heuristic framework and to aid in the management of rangelands (Bestelmeyer, 2006; Briske and others, 2006, 2008), aquatic (Scheffer and others, 1993; Rapport and Whitford 1999), riparian (Stringham and others, 2001; Scott and others, 2005), and forested ecosystems (Allen and others, 2002; Digiovinazzo and others, 2010). These concepts are also topical in ecological restoration (Hobbs and Norton 1996; Whisenant 1999; Suding and others, 2004; King and Hobbs, 2006) and ecosystem sustainability (Herrick, 2000; Chapin and others, 1996; Davenport and others, 1998). Achieving conservation management goals requires the

  1. Using Flow-Ecology Relationships to Evaluate Ecosystem Service Trade-Offs and Complementarities in the Nation's Largest River Swamp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozak, Justin P.; Bennett, Micah G.; Hayden-Lesmeister, Anne; Fritz, Kelley A.; Nickolotsky, Aaron

    2015-06-01

    Large river systems are inextricably linked with social systems; consequently, management decisions must be made within a given ecological, social, and political framework that often defies objective, technical resolution. Understanding flow-ecology relationships in rivers is necessary to assess potential impacts of management decisions, but translating complex flow-ecology relationships into stakeholder-relevant information remains a struggle. The concept of ecosystem services provides a bridge between flow-ecology relationships and stakeholder-relevant data. Flow-ecology relationships were used to explore complementary and trade-off relationships among 12 ecosystem services and related variables in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana. Results from Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration were reduced to four management-relevant hydrologic variables using principal components analysis. Multiple regression was used to determine flow-ecology relationships and Pearson correlation coefficients, along with regression results, were used to determine complementary and trade-off relationships among ecosystem services and related variables that were induced by flow. Seven ecosystem service variables had significant flow-ecology relationships for at least one hydrologic variable ( R 2 = 0.19-0.64). River transportation and blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus) landings exhibited a complementary relationship mediated by flow; whereas transportation and crawfish landings, crawfish landings and crappie ( Pomoxis spp.) abundance, and blue crab landings and blue catfish ( Ictalurus furcatus) abundance exhibited trade-off relationships. Other trade-off and complementary relationships among ecosystem services and related variables, however, were not related to flow. These results give insight into potential conflicts among stakeholders, can reduce the dimensions of management decisions, and provide initial hypotheses for experimental flow modifications.

  2. Using Flow-Ecology Relationships to Evaluate Ecosystem Service Trade-Offs and Complementarities in the Nation's Largest River Swamp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozak, Justin P; Bennett, Micah G; Hayden-Lesmeister, Anne; Fritz, Kelley A; Nickolotsky, Aaron

    2015-06-01

    Large river systems are inextricably linked with social systems; consequently, management decisions must be made within a given ecological, social, and political framework that often defies objective, technical resolution. Understanding flow-ecology relationships in rivers is necessary to assess potential impacts of management decisions, but translating complex flow-ecology relationships into stakeholder-relevant information remains a struggle. The concept of ecosystem services provides a bridge between flow-ecology relationships and stakeholder-relevant data. Flow-ecology relationships were used to explore complementary and trade-off relationships among 12 ecosystem services and related variables in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana. Results from Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration were reduced to four management-relevant hydrologic variables using principal components analysis. Multiple regression was used to determine flow-ecology relationships and Pearson correlation coefficients, along with regression results, were used to determine complementary and trade-off relationships among ecosystem services and related variables that were induced by flow. Seven ecosystem service variables had significant flow-ecology relationships for at least one hydrologic variable (R (2) = 0.19-0.64). River transportation and blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) landings exhibited a complementary relationship mediated by flow; whereas transportation and crawfish landings, crawfish landings and crappie (Pomoxis spp.) abundance, and blue crab landings and blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) abundance exhibited trade-off relationships. Other trade-off and complementary relationships among ecosystem services and related variables, however, were not related to flow. These results give insight into potential conflicts among stakeholders, can reduce the dimensions of management decisions, and provide initial hypotheses for experimental flow modifications.

  3. Coupled hydrological, ecological, decision and economic models for monetary valuation of riparian ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, D. C.; Brookshire, D.; Broadbent, C.; Dixon, M. D.; Brand, L. A.; Thacher, J.; Benedict, K. K.; Lansey, K. E.; Stromberg, J. C.; Stewart, S.; McIntosh, M.

    2011-12-01

    Water is a critical component for sustaining both natural and human systems. Yet the value of water for sustaining ecosystem services is not well quantified in monetary terms. Ideally decisions involving water resource management would include an apples-to-apples comparison of the costs and benefits in dollars of both market and non-market goods and services - human and ecosystem. To quantify the value of non-market ecosystem services, scientifically defensible relationships must be developed that link the effect of a decision (e.g. human growth) to the change in ecosystem attributes from current conditions. It is this linkage that requires the "poly-disciplinary" coupling of knowledge and models from the behavioral, physical, and ecological sciences. In our experience another key component of making this successful linkage is development of a strong poly-disciplinary scientific team that can readily communicate complex disciplinary knowledge to non-specialists outside their own discipline. The time to build such a team that communicates well and has a strong sense of trust should not be underestimated. The research described in the presentation incorporated hydrologic, vegetation, avian, economic, and decision models into an integrated framework to determine the value of changes in ecological systems that result from changes in human water use. We developed a hydro-bio-economic framework for the San Pedro River Region in Arizona that considers groundwater, stream flow, and riparian vegetation, as well as abundance, diversity, and distribution of birds. In addition, we developed a similar framework for the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico. There are six research components for this project: (1) decision support and scenario specification, (2) regional groundwater model, (3) the riparian vegetation model, (4) the avian model, (5) methods for displaying the information gradients in the valuation survey instruments (Choice Modeling and Contingent Valuation), and (6

  4. Assessing the grass Schizachyrium gracile for capacity to ecologically restore the polluted soils of ecosystems in a bauxite mining area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pastor, J.; Alexis, S.; Hernandez, A. J.

    2009-07-01

    Abandoned bauxite mines in the tropical forest of the Dominican Republics only biosphere reserve are leaving behind extensive areas and landfills, whose negative impacts need restoring because of the ecological interest of the sites they occupy. Given that any realistic recovery program should be based on knowledge of the ecological succession, in this report we present the results derived from the study of two populations of a pioneer species of these ecosystems. (Author)

  5. Assessing the grass Schizachyrium gracile for capacity to ecologically restore the polluted soils of ecosystems in a bauxite mining area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pastor, J.; Alexis, S.; Hernandez, A. J.

    2009-01-01

    Abandoned bauxite mines in the tropical forest of the Dominican Republics only biosphere reserve are leaving behind extensive areas and landfills, whose negative impacts need restoring because of the ecological interest of the sites they occupy. Given that any realistic recovery program should be based on knowledge of the ecological succession, in this report we present the results derived from the study of two populations of a pioneer species of these ecosystems. (Author)

  6. Ecological and social dimensions of ecosystem restoration in the Nordic countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hagen, Dagmar; Svavarsdottir, Kristin; Nilsson, Christer

    2013-01-01

    An international overview of the extent and type of ecological restoration can offer new perspectives for understanding, planning, and implementation. The Nordic countries, with a great range of natural conditions but historically similar social and political structures, provide an opportunity...... and among countries, both in the Nordic countries and internationally. An obvious advantage of such cooperation is that a wider range of experiences from different habitats and different socio-economic conditions becomes available and thus provides a more solid basis for developing practical solutions...... to compare restoration approaches and efforts across borders. The aim of this study was to explore variation in ecological restoration using the Nordic countries as an example. We used recent national assessments and expert evaluations of ecological restoration. Restoration efforts differed among countries...

  7. Baseflow vs floods: Linking geomorphology and ecology by blurring disciplinary and ecosystem boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, M. W.; Stanley, E. H.; Small, M.

    2011-12-01

    emerge from drawing in geomorphology or hydrology into ecology, or vice versa. We suggest two approaches to continuing to bridge disciplines and potentially push forward river science. First, by looking for concepts formative in one discipline for which there are no analogous counter-parts in the other discipline, we may be able to re-analyze existing data in ways that are more conducive to interpretation by other disciplines. Converting nutrient spiraling metrics into effective discharge metrics is one such example. Another example worth exploring is Schumm and Licthy's classic time, space, and causality, but applied to stream ecology or biogeochemistry. A second approach is to blur the boundaries of ecosystems studied, either temporally or spatially. For example, expanding the spatial scale beyond the 'obvious' boundary of the streambed led to the discovery of the hyporheic zone; expanding traditional ecology study reaches led to the spate of research on tributary junctions network geometry. We suspect that there are similar opportunities for new discoveries or concepts through the intentional blurring of oft-used boundaries to stream studies.

  8. Re-establishing an ecological discourse in the policy debate over how to value ecosystems and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spash, Clive L; Aslaksen, Iulie

    2015-08-15

    In this paper we explore the discourses of ecology, environmental economics, new environmental pragmatism and social ecological economics as they relate to the value of ecosystems and biodiversity. Conceptualizing biodiversity and ecosystems as goods and services that can be represented by monetary values in policy processes is an economic discourse being increasingly championed by ecologists and conservation biologists. The latter promote a new environmental pragmatism internationally as hardwiring biodiversity and ecosystems services into finance. The approach adopts a narrow instrumentalism, denies value pluralism and incommensurability, and downplays the role of scientific knowledge. Re-establishing an ecological discourse in biodiversity policy implies a crucial role for biophysical indicators as independent policy targets, exemplified in this paper by the Nature Index for Norway. Yet, there is a recognisable need to go beyond a traditional ecological approach to one recognising the interconnections of social, ecological and economic problems. This requires reviving and relating to a range of alternative ecologically informed discourses, including an ecofeminist perspective, in order to transform the increasingly dominant and destructive relationship of humans separated from and domineering over Nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Foraging ecology and spatial behavior of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in a wet grassland ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meisner, Katrine; Sunde, Peter; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann

    2014-01-01

    We investigated diet composition, habitat selection and spatial behaviour of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to the availability of wader nests in a coastal polder area in southwest Denmark. The predatory role of the red fox in wet grassland ecosystems has profound implications...... for conservation status of declining populations of grassland breeding waders. However, few studies have focussed on the foraging ecology and behaviour of the red fox in these landscapes. Faecal analyses revealed that fox diet consisted of birds (43 % of prey remains / 32 % of biomass), rodents (39 % / 21...... %), sheep (mainly as carrion, 14 % / 41 %) and lagomorphs (4 % / 7 %). Charadriiformes (including waders) comprised 3–12 % of prey remains throughout the year. Telemetry data and spotlight counts indicated that foxes did not select areas with high densities of breeding waders, suggesting that foxes did...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  11. Ecological health status of the Lagos wetland ecosystems: Implications for coastal risk reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agboola, Julius I.; Ndimele, Prince E.; Odunuga, Shakirudeen; Akanni, Adeniran; Kosemani, Bosede; Ahove, Michael A.

    2016-12-01

    Lagos, a major urban agglomeration in the world is characterized by wetlands and basin for upstream rivers such as Ogun, Oshun and Yewa Rivers. Ongoing environmental pressures exerted by large-scale land reclamation for residential quarters, refuse and sewage dumping, and other uses, however, are suspected to have had a substantial impact on ecological health of the Lagos wetland ecosystems over the last few decades. To determine the impact of these pressures, we examined spatial changes in three wetlands areas- Badore/Langbasa (BL), Festac/Iba/Ijegun (FI) and Ologe/Otto-Awori (OO) through field sample collection and analyses of surface water, sediments, air-water interface gas fluxes and vegetations. Surface water conductivity, total suspended solids (TSS), alkalinity, chloride, biological oxygen demand (BOD), nitrate, phosphate and heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Fe, Na, Mn, Pb, Cd, K and Ni) exhibited relative spatial stability while other water quality parameters varied significantly (P International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There are indications of steady rise in greenhouse gas levels in Lagos since air CO2 value at BL have reached global threshold of 400 ppm with OO and FI closely approaching. We conclude that the Lagos wetland ecosystems, especially OO and FI still have some semblance of natural habitat. However, further destruction and unwise use of the resources could cause damage to physical, chemical, geological and biological processes in nature, which could result to grave socio-economic and cultural consequences to the local communities whose livelihood and lifestyle depend on these valued wetlands.

  12. Reprint of Ecological health status of the Lagos wetland ecosystems: Implications for coastal risk reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agboola, Julius I.; Ndimele, Prince E.; Odunuga, Shakirudeen; Akanni, Adeniran; Kosemani, Bosede; Ahove, Michael A.

    2016-12-01

    Lagos, a major urban agglomeration in the world is characterized by wetlands and basin for upstream rivers such as Ogun, Oshun and Yewa Rivers. Ongoing environmental pressures exerted by large-scale land reclamation for residential quarters, refuse and sewage dumping, and other uses, however, are suspected to have had a substantial impact on ecological health of the Lagos wetland ecosystems over the last few decades. To determine the impact of these pressures, we examined spatial changes in three wetlands areas- Badore/Langbasa (BL), Festac/Iba/Ijegun (FI) and Ologe/Otto-Awori (OO) through field sample collection and analyses of surface water, sediments, air-water interface gas fluxes and vegetations. Surface water conductivity, total suspended solids (TSS), alkalinity, chloride, biological oxygen demand (BOD), nitrate, phosphate and heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Fe, Na, Mn, Pb, Cd, K and Ni) exhibited relative spatial stability while other water quality parameters varied significantly (P International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There are indications of steady rise in greenhouse gas levels in Lagos since air CO2 value at BL have reached global threshold of 400 ppm with OO and FI closely approaching. We conclude that the Lagos wetland ecosystems, especially OO and FI still have some semblance of natural habitat. However, further destruction and unwise use of the resources could cause damage to physical, chemical, geological and biological processes in nature, which could result to grave socio-economic and cultural consequences to the local communities whose livelihood and lifestyle depend on these valued wetlands.

  13. Ecological Economic Evaluation Based on Emergy as Embodied Cosmic Exergy: A Historical Study for the Beijing Urban Ecosystem 1978–2004

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Mei Ming

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available For ecological economic evaluation based on the unified biophysical matrix this research illustrates an updated emergy synthesis in terms of embodied cosmic exergy instead of embodied solar energy, which successes the foundation of systems ecological theory but changes the starting point for the estimation from simply the sun to the cosmos. According to the modified definition implicating explicit scarcity and strict additivity based on the fundamental thermodynamics laws, the updated emergy approach overcomes the confusable and intractable deficiencies of traditional one and shows firmer theoretical basis as well as better applicability. As a case study for the regional socio-economic ecosystem, a cosmic emergy based ecological economic evaluation of the Beijing urban ecosystem during the period 1978-2004 is presented. The local and external resources supporting the concerned ecosystem are accounted and analyzed in a common unit, i.e., cosmic Joule, according to which a series of indicators are applied to reveal its evolutional characteristics through five aspects as emergy structure, emergy intensity, emergy welfare, environmental impacts, and degree of exploitation and economic efficiency. During the analyzed period, the major emergy source sustaining the operation of the ecosystem had changed from the renewable resources exploited locally to the nonrenewable resources purchased from outside. Emergy intensity for the Beijing urban ecosystem kept rising owing to the continuous investment of resources, which not only improved the living standard but also intensified the environmental pressure. Moreover, the increase of exploitation degree was accompanied with the decline of economic efficiency, while the rising emergy investment ratio implicates that Beijing was at the risks of resources shortage and high dependence on external resources

  14. Planning Water Resources in an Agroforest Ecosystem for Improvement of Regional Ecological Function Under Uncertainties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueting Zeng

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study, an agroforestry ecosystem project (AEP is developed for confronting the conflict between agricultural development and forest protection. A fuzzy stochastic programming with Laplace scenario analysis (FSL is proposed for planning water resources in an AEP issue under uncertainties. FSL can not only deal with spatial and temporal variations of hydrologic elements and meteorological conditions; but also handle uncertainties that are expressed in terms of probability, possibility distributions and fuzzy sets; meanwhile, policy scenario analysis with Laplace’s criterion (PSL is introduced to handle probability of each scenario occurrence under the supposition of no data available. The developed FSL can be applied to an AEP issue in Xixian county, located in north of China. The result of ecological effects, water allocation patterns, pollution mitigation schemes and system benefits under various scenarios are obtained, which can support policymakers adjusting current strategy to improve regional ecological function with cost-effective and sustainable manners. Meanwhile, it can support generating a robust water plan for regional sustainability in an AEP issue under uncertainties.

  15. A review of ecological effects and environmental fate of illicit drugs in aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosi-Marshall, E J; Snow, D; Bartelt-Hunt, S L; Paspalof, A; Tank, J L

    2015-01-23

    Although illicit drugs are detected in surface waters throughout the world, their environmental fate and ecological effects are not well understood. Many illicit drugs and their breakdown products have been detected in surface waters and temporal and spatial variability in use translates into "hot spots and hot moments" of occurrence. Illicit drug occurrence in regions of production and use and areas with insufficient wastewater treatment are not well studied and should be targeted for further study. Evidence suggests that illicit drugs may not be persistent, as their half-lives are relatively short, but may exhibit "pseudo-persistence" wherein continual use results in persistent occurrence. We reviewed the literature on the ecological effects of these compounds on aquatic organisms and although research is limited, a wide array of aquatic organisms, including bacteria, algae, invertebrates, and fishes, have receptors that make them potentially sensitive to these compounds. In summary, illicit drugs occur in surface waters and aquatic organisms may be affected by these compounds; research is needed that focuses on concentrations of illicit drugs in areas of production and high use, environmental fate of these compounds, and effects of these compounds on aquatic ecosystems at the concentrations that typically occur in the environment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Focusing Conservation Efforts on Ecosystem Service Supply May Increase Vulnerability of Socio-Ecological Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Laterra

    Full Text Available Growing concern about the loss of ecosystem services (ES promotes their spatial representation as a key tool for the internalization of the ES framework into land use policies. Paradoxically, mapping approaches meant to inform policy decisions focus on the magnitude and spatial distribution of the biophysical supply of ES, largely ignoring the social mechanisms by which these services influence human wellbeing. If social mechanisms affecting ES demand, enhancing it or reducing it, are taken more into account, then policies are more effective. By developing and applying a new mapping routine to two distinct socio-ecological systems, we show a strong spatial uncoupling between ES supply and socio-ecological vulnerability to the loss of ES, under scenarios of land use and cover change. Public policies based on ES supply might not only fail at detecting priority conservation areas for the wellbeing of human societies, but may also increase their vulnerability by neglecting areas of currently low, but highly valued ES supply.

  17. Habitat structure mediates biodiversity effects on ecosystem properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godbold, J A; Bulling, M T; Solan, M

    2011-08-22

    Much of what we know about the role of biodiversity in mediating ecosystem processes and function stems from manipulative experiments, which have largely been performed in isolated, homogeneous environments that do not incorporate habitat structure or allow natural community dynamics to develop. Here, we use a range of habitat configurations in a model marine benthic system to investigate the effects of species composition, resource heterogeneity and patch connectivity on ecosystem properties at both the patch (bioturbation intensity) and multi-patch (nutrient concentration) scale. We show that allowing fauna to move and preferentially select patches alters local species composition and density distributions, which has negative effects on ecosystem processes (bioturbation intensity) at the patch scale, but overall positive effects on ecosystem functioning (nutrient concentration) at the multi-patch scale. Our findings provide important evidence that community dynamics alter in response to localized resource heterogeneity and that these small-scale variations in habitat structure influence species contributions to ecosystem properties at larger scales. We conclude that habitat complexity forms an important buffer against disturbance and that contemporary estimates of the level of biodiversity required for maintaining future multi-functional systems may need to be revised.

  18. Spatial effects of aboveground biomass on soil ecological parameters and trace gas fluxes in a savannah ecosystem of Mount Kilimanjaro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Joscha; Gütlein, Adrian; Sierra Cornejo, Natalia; Kiese, Ralf; Hertel, Dietrich; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2015-04-01

    The savannah biome is a hotspot for biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Africa and recently got in the focus of research on carbon sequestration. Savannah ecosystems are under strong pressure from climate and land-use change, especially around populous areas like the Mt. Kilimanjaro region. Savannah vegetation in this area consists of grassland with isolated trees and is therefore characterized by high spatial variation of canopy cover, aboveground biomass and root structure. Canopy structure is known to affect microclimate, throughfall and evapotranspiration and thereby controls soil moisture conditions. Consequently, the canopy structure is a major regulator for soil ecological parameters and soil-atmospheric trace gas exchange (CO2, N2O, CH4) in water limited environments. The spatial distribution of these parameters and the connection between above and belowground processes are important to understand and predict ecosystem changes and estimate its vulnerability. Our objective was to determine trends and changes of soil parameters and relate their spatial variability to the vegetation structure. We chose three trees from each of the two most dominant species (Acacia nilotica and Balanites aegyptiaca) in our research area. For each tree, we selected transects with nine sampling points of the same relative distances to the stem. Distances were calculated in relation to the crown radius. At these each sampling point a soil core was taken and separated in 0-10 cm and 10-30 cm depth. We measured soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage, microbial biomass carbon C and N, soil respiration as well as root biomass and -density, soil temperature and soil water content. Each tree was characterized by crown spread, leaf area index and basal area. Preliminary results show that C and N stocks decreased about 50% with depth independently of distance to the tree. Soil water content under the tree crown increased with depth while it decreased under grass cover. Microbial

  19. Exposure to Violence across the Social Ecosystem and the Development of Aggression: A Test of Ecological Theory in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boxer, Paul; Huesmann, L. Rowell; Dubow, Eric F.; Landau, Simha F.; Gvirsman, Shira Dvir; Shikaki, Khalil; Ginges, Jeremy

    2013-01-01

    Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological model proposes that events in higher order social ecosystems should influence human development through their impact on events in lower order social ecosystems. This proposition was tested with respect to ecological violence and the development of children's aggression via analyses of 3 waves of data (1 wave…

  20. A structured ecosystem-scale approach to marine water quality ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    These, in turn, created the need for holistic and integrated frameworks within which to design and implement environmental management programmes. A structured ecosystem-scale approach for the design and implementation of marine water quality management programmes developed by the CSIR (South Africa) in ...

  1. Ecological function as a target for ecosystem-based management: Defining when change matters in decision making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) accounts for both direct and indirect drivers of ecological change for decision making. Just as with direct management of a resource, EBM requires a definition of management thresholds that define when change in function is sufficient to merit ma...

  2. New perspectives on the ecology of tree structure and tree communities through terrestrial laser scanning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Jackson, Tobias; Patrick Bentley, Lisa; Lau, Alvaro; Shenkin, Alexander; Herold, Martin; Calders, Kim; Bartholomeus, Harm; Disney, Mathias I

    2018-04-06

    Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) opens up the possibility of describing the three-dimensional structures of trees in natural environments with unprecedented detail and accuracy. It is already being extensively applied to describe how ecosystem biomass and structure vary between sites, but can also facilitate major advances in developing and testing mechanistic theories of tree form and forest structure, thereby enabling us to understand why trees and forests have the biomass and three-dimensional structure they do. Here we focus on the ecological challenges and benefits of understanding tree form, and highlight some advances related to capturing and describing tree shape that are becoming possible with the advent of TLS. We present examples of ongoing work that applies, or could potentially apply, new TLS measurements to better understand the constraints on optimization of tree form. Theories of resource distribution networks, such as metabolic scaling theory, can be tested and further refined. TLS can also provide new approaches to the scaling of woody surface area and crown area, and thereby better quantify the metabolism of trees. Finally, we demonstrate how we can develop a more mechanistic understanding of the effects of avoidance of wind risk on tree form and maximum size. Over the next few years, TLS promises to deliver both major empirical and conceptual advances in the quantitative understanding of trees and tree-dominated ecosystems, leading to advances in understanding the ecology of why trees and ecosystems look and grow the way they do.

  3. Dancing with structure: research in Ecological Pedagogy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    dr René Butter

    2011-01-01

    Ecological Pedagogy is the “Pedagogy of the whole”. It assumes a continuous interaction between the individual and his or her environment (e.g. Bronfenbrenner (1977)). Traditionally, Pedagogy has been aimed at separate aspects, such as the school, the family, the neighbourhood or government

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraft, Clifford E; Angert, Esther R

    2017-06-01

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

  5. Ecosystem structure and resilience—A comparison between the Norwegian and the Barents Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaragina, Natalia A.; Dolgov, Andrey V.

    2009-10-01

    Abundance and biomass of the most important fish species inhabited the Barents and Norwegian Sea ecosystems have shown considerable fluctuations over the last decades. These fluctuations connected with fishing pressure resulted in the trophic structure alterations of the ecosystems. Resilience and other theoretical concepts (top-down, wasp-waste and bottom-up control, trophic cascades) were viewed to examine different response of the Norwegian and Barents Sea ecosystems on disturbing forces. Differences in the trophic structure and functioning of Barents and Norwegian Sea ecosystems as well as factors that might influence the resilience of the marine ecosystems, including climatic fluctuation, variations in prey and predator species abundance, alterations in their regular migrations, and fishing exploitation were also considered. The trophic chain lengths in the deep Norwegian Sea are shorter, and energy transfer occurs mainly through the pelagic fish/invertebrates communities. The shallow Barents Sea is characterized by longer trophic chains, providing more energy flow into their benthic assemblages. The trophic mechanisms observed in the Norwegian Sea food webs dominated by the top-down control, i.e. the past removal of Norwegian Spring spawning followed by zooplankton development and intrusion of blue whiting and mackerel into the area. The wasp-waist response is shown to be the most pronounced effect in the Barents Sea, related to the position of capelin in the ecosystem; large fluctuations in the capelin abundance have been strengthened by intensive fishery. Closer links between ecological and fisheries sciences are needed to elaborate and test various food webs and multispecies models available.

  6. Transient Social-Ecological Stability: the Effects of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Restoration on Nutrient Management Compromise in Lake Erie

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric D. Roy

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Together, lake ecosystems and local human activity form complex social-ecological systems (SESs characterized by feedback loops and discontinuous change. Researchers in diverse fields have suggested that complex systems do not have single stable equilibria in the long term because of inevitable perturbation. During this study, we sought to address the general question of whether or not stable social-ecological equilibria exist in highly stressed and managed lacustrine systems. Using an integrated human-biophysical model, we investigated the impacts of a species invasion and ecosystem restoration on SES equilibrium, defined here as a compromise in phosphorus management among opposing stakeholders, in western Lake Erie. Our integrated model is composed of a calibrated ecological submodel representing Sandusky Bay, and a phosphorus management submodel that reflects the societal benefits and costs of phosphorus regulation. These two submodels together form a dynamic feedback loop that includes freshwater ecology, ecosystem services, and phosphorus management. We found that the invasion of dreissenid mussels decreased ecosystem resistance to eutrophication, necessitating increased phosphorus management to preserve ecosystem services and thus creating the potential for a shift in social-ecological equilibrium. Additionally, our results suggest that net benefits in the region following the invasion of dreissenids may never again reach the pre-invasion level if on-site phosphorus control is the sole management lever. Further demonstrating transient system stability, large-scale wetland restoration shifted points of management compromise to states characterized by less on-site phosphorus management and higher environmental quality, resulting in a significant increase in net benefits in the region. We conclude that lacustrine SESs are open and dynamic, and we recommend that future models of these systems emphasize site-specific perturbation over

  7. Soil and water related forest ecosystem services and resilience of social ecological system in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tekalign, Meron; Muys, Bart; Nyssen, Jan; Poesen, Jean

    2014-05-01

    In the central highlands of Ethiopia, deforestation and forest degradation are occurring and accelerating during the last century. The high population pressure is the most repeatedly mentioned reason. However, in the past 30 years researchers agreed that the absence of institutions, which could define the access rights to particular forest resources, is another underlying cause of forest depletion and loss. Changing forest areas into different land use types is affecting the biodiversity, which is manifested through not proper functioning of ecosystem services. Menagesha Suba forest, the focus of this study has been explored from various perspectives. However the social dimension and its interaction with the ecology have been addressed rarely. This research uses a combined theoretical framework of Ecosystem Services and that of Resilience thinking for understanding the complex social-ecological interactions in the forest and its influence on ecosystem services. For understanding the history and extent of land use land cover changes, in-depth literature review and a GIS and remote sensing analysis will be made. The effect of forest conversion into plantation and agricultural lands on soil and above ground carbon sequestration, fuel wood and timber products delivery will be analyzed with the accounting of the services on five land use types. The four ecosystem services to be considered are Supporting, Provisioning, Regulating, and Cultural services as set by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. A resilience based participatory framework approach will be used to analyze how the social and ecological systems responded towards the drivers of change that occurred in the past. The framework also will be applied to predict future uncertainties. Finally this study will focus on the possible interventions that could contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of the forest. An ecosystem services trade-off analysis and an environmental valuation of the water

  8. Unravelling ecosystem functions at the Amazonia-Cerrado transition: II. Carbon stocks and CO2 soil efflux in cerradão forest undergoing ecological succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peixoto, Karine S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Elias, Fernando; de Farias, Josenilton; Freitag, Renata; Mews, Henrique A.; das Neves, Eder C.; Prestes, Nayane Cristina C. S.; Malhi, Yadvinder

    2017-07-01

    The transition region between two major South American biomes, the Amazon forest and the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna), has been substantially converted into human-modified ecosystems. Nevertheless, the recovery dynamics of ecosystem functions in this important zone of (ecological) tension (ZOT) remain poorly understood. In this study, we compared two areas of cerradão (a forest-woodland of the Brazilian savanna; Portuguese augmentative of cerrado), one in secondary succession (SC) and one adjacent and well preserved (PC), to test whether the ecosystem functions lost after conversion to pasture were restored after 22 years of regeneration. We tested the hypothesis that the increase in annual aboveground biomass in the SC would be greater than that in the PC because of anticipated successional gains. We also investigated soil CO2 efflux, litter layer content, and fine root biomass in both the SC and PC. In terms of biomass recovery our hypothesis was not supported: the biomass did not increase in the successional area over the study period, which suggested limited capacity for recovery in this key ecosystem compartment. By contrast, the structure and function of the litter layer and root mat were largely reconstituted in the secondary vegetation. Overall, we provide evidence that 22 years of secondary succession were not sufficient for these short and open forests (e.g., cerradão) in the ZOT to recover ecosystem functions to the levels observed in preserved vegetation of identical physiognomy.

  9. Conservation success as a function of good alignment of social and ecological structures and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, Orjan; Crona, Beatrice; Thyresson, Matilda; Golz, Anna-Lea; Tengö, Maria

    2014-10-01

    How to create and adjust governing institutions so that they align (fit) with complex ecosystem processes and structures across scales is an issue of increasing concern in conservation. It is argued that lack of such social-ecological fit makes governance and conservation difficult, yet progress in explicitly defining and rigorously testing what constitutes a good fit has been limited. We used a novel modeling approach and data from case studies of fishery and forest conservation to empirically test presumed relationships between conservation outcomes and certain patterns of alignment of social-ecological interdependences. Our approach made it possible to analyze conservation outcome on a systems level while also providing information on how individual actors are positioned in the complex web of social-ecological interdependencies. We found that when actors who shared resources were also socially linked, conservation at the level of the whole social-ecological system was positively affected. When the scales at which individual actors used resources and the scale at which ecological resources were interconnected to other ecological resources were aligned through tightened feedback loops, conservation outcome was better than when they were not aligned. The analysis of individual actors' positions in the web of social-ecological interdependencies was helpful in understanding why a system has a certain level of social-ecological fit. Results of analysis of positions showed that different actors contributed in very different ways to achieve a certain fit and revealed some underlying difference between the actors, for example in terms of actors' varying rights to access and use different ecological resources. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Newtonian boreal forest ecology: The Scots pine ecosystem as an example.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pertti Hari

    Full Text Available Isaac Newton's approach to developing theories in his book Principia Mathematica proceeds in four steps. First, he defines various concepts, second, he formulates axioms utilising the concepts, third, he mathematically analyses the behaviour of the system defined by the concepts and axioms obtaining predictions and fourth, he tests the predictions with measurements. In this study, we formulated our theory of boreal forest ecosystems, called NewtonForest, following the four steps introduced by Newton. The forest ecosystem is a complicated entity and hence we needed altogether 27 concepts to describe the material and energy flows in the metabolism of trees, ground vegetation and microbes in the soil, and to describe the regularities in tree structure. Thirtyfour axioms described the most important features in the behaviour of the forest ecosystem. We utilised numerical simulations in the analysis of the behaviour of the system resulting in clear predictions that could be tested with field data. We collected retrospective time series of diameters and heights for test material from 6 stands in southern Finland and five stands in Estonia. The numerical simulations succeeded to predict the measured diameters and heights, providing clear corroboration with our theory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

    Spatial heterogeneity of soil resources, particularly nitrogen availability, affects herbaceous-layer cover and diversity in temperate forest ecosystems. Current hypotheses predict that ungulate herbivores influence nitrogen availability at the stand scale, but how ungulates affect nitrogen availability at finer spatial scales that are relevant to the herb layer is less understood. We tested the hypothesis that ungulate exclusion reduces the spatial complexity of nitrogen availability at neighborhood scales (1-26 m) apart from mean stand scale effects. This outcome was expected due to a lack of ungulate nitrogenous waste deposition within exclosures and seasonally variable ungulate habitat use. To test this hypothesis we examined spatial patterning of ammonium and nitrate availability, herb-layer cover and diversity, and under-canopy solar radiation using geostatistical models. Our study sites included six stands of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forest: three where white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were excluded and three that were accessible to deer. Where deer were present, patch sizes of ammonium availability, cover, and diversity were smaller compared to deer exclosures, whereas mean site-level effects were not significant. Within deer exclosures cover and solar radiation were more similar in patch size than were cover and nitrogen availability. Our results suggest that browsing ungulates affect spatial patterns of herb-layer cover and diversity through the excretion of nitrogenous wastes in small, discrete patches. Ungulate-excreted nitrogen deposition and herbivory were concentrated in the dormant season, allowing herb-layer plants a greater opportunity to benefit from nitrogen additions. Therefore, the impact of ungulates on nitrogen cycling in forest ecosystems varies with spatial scale and the seasonal timing of ungulate impacts. In this way, ungulates may function as a seasonally dependent link between fine-scale and landscape

  12. MAIN LAND USE PLANNING APPROACHES TO STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS LOCAL ECOLOGICAL NETWORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TretiakV.M.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In modern conditions of social development, changes in land eco-system of economic relations in Ukraine, the problem of providing conditions for the creation of sustainable land use and creation of protected areas get the status of special urgency. Ideology establishment of ecological networks became logical continuation of environmental thought in general. Considering the methodological approach to the establishment of ecological networks we can constitute, that it is an environmental frame of spatial infrastructure, land conservation and environmental areas, major part of land is the basis of the structural elements of ecological network. Designing an ecological network is made through developing regional schemes of Econet formation, regional and local schemes for establishing an ecological network areas, settlements and other areas. Land Management uses design of structural elements of the ecological network in the village council, as a rule, begins with ecological and landscape mikrozonationof the village council, held during the preparatory work for the land drafting and finishing the formation of environmentally homogeneous regions, which represents the tied system components of ecological network, environmental measures in the form of local environmental restrictions (encumbrances to use land and other natural resources. Additionally, there are some project organization and territorial measures that increase the sustainability area, such as: key, binders, buffer areas and renewable ecological network. Land management projects on the formation of structural elements of ecological network as territorial restrictions (encumbrances in land are used within the territories Councils determined the location and size of land: - Protection zones around especially valuable natural objects of cultural heritage, meteorological stations, etc. in order to protect them from adverse human impacts; - Protection zones along telecommunication lines, power

  13. Assessing Urban Forest Structure, Ecosystem Services, and Economic Benefits on Vacant Land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunwoo Kim

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available An urban forest assessment is essential for developing a baseline from which to measure changes and trends. The most precise way to assess urban forests is to measure and record every tree on a site, but although this may work well for relatively small populations (e.g., street trees, small parks, it is prohibitively expensive for large tree populations. Thus, random sampling offers a cost-effective way to assess urban forest structure and the associated ecosystem services for large-scale assessments. The methodology applied to assess ecosystem services in this study can also be used to assess the ecosystem services provided by vacant land in other urban contexts and improve urban forest policies, planning, and the management of vacant land. The study’s findings support the inclusion of trees on vacant land and contribute to a new vision of vacant land as a valuable ecological resource by demonstrating how green infrastructure can be used to enhance ecosystem health and promote a better quality of life for city residents.

  14. Wetland plant influence on sediment ecosystem structure and trophic function

    OpenAIRE

    Whitcraft, Christine René

    2007-01-01

    Vascular plants structure wetland ecosystems. To examine mechanisms behind their influence, plants were studied under different scenarios of change: experimental manipulation of cover, invasion, and response to flushing regimes. I tested the hypothesis that wetland plants alter benthic communities through modification of abiotic factors, with cascading effects on microalgae and invertebrate communities. Major plant effects were observed in all systems studied, but the magnitude of, mechanisms...

  15. Ecosystem services altered by human changes in the nitrogen cycle: a new perspective for US decision making Ecology Letters

    Science.gov (United States)

    The human alteration of the nitrogen (N) cycle has yielded many benefits, but also has altered ecosystems and degraded air and water quality in many areas. Here we explore the science available to connect the effects of increasing N on ecosystem structure and function to ecosyst...

  16. Cloud Coverage Acts as an Amplifier for Ecological Light Pollution in Urban Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyba, Christopher C. M.; Ruhtz, Thomas; Fischer, Jürgen; Hölker, Franz

    2011-01-01

    The diurnal cycle of light and dark is one of the strongest environmental factors for life on Earth. Many species in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems use the level of ambient light to regulate their metabolism, growth, and behavior. The sky glow caused by artificial lighting from urban areas disrupts this natural cycle, and has been shown to impact the behavior of organisms, even many kilometers away from the light sources. It could be hypothesized that factors that increase the luminance of the sky amplify the degree of this “ecological light pollution”. We show that cloud coverage dramatically amplifies the sky luminance, by a factor of 10.1 for one location inside of Berlin and by a factor of 2.8 at 32 km from the city center. We also show that inside of the city overcast nights are brighter than clear rural moonlit nights, by a factor of 4.1. These results have important implications for choronobiological and chronoecological studies in urban areas, where this amplification effect has previously not been considered. PMID:21399694

  17. Ecological Variability and Carbon Stock Estimates of Mangrove Ecosystems in Northwestern Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor G. Jones

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Mangroves are found throughout the tropics, providing critical ecosystem goods and services to coastal communities and supporting rich biodiversity. Despite their value, world-wide, mangroves are being rapidly degraded and deforested. Madagascar contains approximately 2% of the world’s mangroves, >20% of which has been deforested since 1990 from increased extraction for charcoal and timber and conversion to small to large-scale agriculture and aquaculture. Loss is particularly prominent in the northwestern Ambaro and Ambanja bays. Here, we focus on Ambaro and Ambanja bays, presenting dynamics calculated using United States Geological Survey (USGS national-level mangrove maps and the first localized satellite imagery derived map of dominant land-cover types. The analysis of USGS data indicated a loss of 7659 ha (23.7% and a gain of 995 ha (3.1% from 1990–2010. Contemporary mapping results were 93.4% accurate overall (Kappa 0.9, with producer’s and user’s accuracies ≥85%. Classification results allowed partitioning mangroves in to ecologically meaningful, spectrally distinct strata, wherein field measurements facilitated estimating the first total carbon stocks for mangroves in Madagascar. Estimates suggest that higher stature closed-canopy mangroves have average total vegetation carbon values of 146.8 Mg/ha (±10.2 and soil organic carbon of 446.2 (±36.9, supporting a growing body of studies that mangroves are amongst the most carbon-dense tropical forests.

  18. Cloud coverage acts as an amplifier for ecological light pollution in urban ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyba, Christopher C M; Ruhtz, Thomas; Fischer, Jürgen; Hölker, Franz

    2011-03-02

    The diurnal cycle of light and dark is one of the strongest environmental factors for life on Earth. Many species in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems use the level of ambient light to regulate their metabolism, growth, and behavior. The sky glow caused by artificial lighting from urban areas disrupts this natural cycle, and has been shown to impact the behavior of organisms, even many kilometers away from the light sources. It could be hypothesized that factors that increase the luminance of the sky amplify the degree of this "ecological light pollution". We show that cloud coverage dramatically amplifies the sky luminance, by a factor of 10.1 for one location inside of Berlin and by a factor of 2.8 at 32 km from the city center. We also show that inside of the city overcast nights are brighter than clear rural moonlit nights, by a factor of 4.1. These results have important implications for choronobiological and chronoecological studies in urban areas, where this amplification effect has previously not been considered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torralba Viorreta, Mario

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

  1. Improving the effectiveness of ecological site descriptions: General state-and-transition models and the Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool (EDIT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Williamson, Jeb C.; Talbot, Curtis J.; Cates, Greg W.; Duniway, Michael C.; Brown, Joel R.

    2016-01-01

    State-and-transition models (STMs) are useful tools for management, but they can be difficult to use and have limited content.STMs created for groups of related ecological sites could simplify and improve their utility. The amount of information linked to models can be increased using tables that communicate management interpretations and important within-group variability.We created a new web-based information system (the Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool) to house STMs, associated tabular information, and other ecological site data and descriptors.Fewer, more informative, better organized, and easily accessible STMs should increase the accessibility of science information.

  2. Trophic web structure and ecosystem attributes of a temperate estuarine system (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva García-Seoane

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems and simultaneously among the most threatened by conflicting human activities, which damage their ecological functions. Describing and attempting to understand the structure and functioning of estuaries is an essential step for maintaining and restoring the quality of estuarine ecosystems. The objective of this study was to obtain insights into the ecosystem structure and functioning of Ria de Aveiro. The study area is a coastal lagoon located on the Northwest Atlantic coast of Portugal, which is connected to the sea through an artificial channel. The ECOPATH software was used to create a static balanced trophic food web model of the tidal part of Ria de Aveiro. The model considers 26 functional groups, including birds, fish, invertebrates, seagrasses, zooplankton, phytoplankton and detritus. Few adjustments were necessary for the input parameters because most of the data were based on direct observations or compiled from literature based on the study site. The trophic interactions within the food web of Riade Aveiro and the transference of energy between functional groups were quantitatively represented. Finally, the keystone index was defined for each functional group.

  3. Analysis of the ecological conservation behavior of farmers in payment for ecosystem service programs in eco-environmentally fragile areas using social psychology models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Jian; Sun, Pingsheng; Zhao, Fazhu; Han, Xinhui; Yang, Gaihe; Feng, Yongzhong

    2016-04-15

    Studies on the ecological conservation behavior of farmers usually focus on individual and socio-economic characteristics without consideration of the underlying psychological constructs, such as farmers' intention and perceptions. This study uses the theory of planned behavior (TPB), a typical social psychology construct, to analyze the factors affecting the intention and behavior of farmers for conserving the ecological achievements from payment for ecosystem service (PES) programs in eco-environmentally fragile areas. Questionnaires based on TPB were administered to 1004 farmers from the Grain to Green Program area in the Loess Plateau, China, with the resulting dataset used to identify the underlying factors determining farmers' intention and behavior based on the structural equation model. The results show that the farmers' intention and behavior toward conserving ecological achievements were explained well by TPB. The farmers'behavior was significantly positively affected by their intention toward conserving ecological achievements, and their intention was significantly influenced by their attitude (positive or negative value of performance), the subjective norm (social pressure in engaging behavior), and perceived behavioral control (perceptions of their ability). The farmers' degree of support for PES programs and their recognition of environmental effects were the factors that most influenced the farmers' attitude. Pressure from neighbors was the most potent driver of the subjective norm. Meanwhile, perceptions of their ability to perform the behavior were the most potent factors affecting intention and it was mostly driven by the farmers' feelings toward environmental improvement and perceived ability (time and labor) to participate in ecological conservation. The drivers of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control can be used by policy makers to direct farmers' intention and behavior toward conserving ecological achievements in fragile

  4. HOW ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES ARE STRUCTURED: A REVIEW ON ECOLOGICAL ASSEMBLY RULES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Jaime Colorado Zuluaga

    Full Text Available Whether biological communities are deterministic or stochastic assemblages of species has long been a central topic of ecology. The widely demonstrated presence of structural patterns in nature may imply the existence of rules that regulate the organization of ecological communities. In this review, I present a compilation of major assembly rules that fundament, in a great proportion, the community assembly theory. Initially, I present a general overview of key concepts associated to the assembly of communities, in particular the origin of assembly rules, definition, the problem of scale and underlying mechanisms in the structure of ecological communities. Subsequently, two major approaches or paradigms (i.e. species-based and trait-based for the assembly of communities are discussed. Finally, major tested assembly rules are explored and discussed under the light of available published literature.

  5. Partial valuation of the goods and services that it provides the mangrove ecosystem: An integrated ecological-economic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castiblanco R, Carmenza

    2002-01-01

    The article presents a methodology to value the economic benefits of the use of some goods and services that provides the mangrove ecosystem, located in the municipality of Tumaco. An ecological analysis is developed integrated to an economic evaluation that allows expressing in monetary terms some values of use of the mangrove; this value are compared with the profitability that reports the Camaroniculture, productive activity that is constituted at the moment, in the most profitable alternative use

  6. Ecological regime shifts and changes of lake ecosystem service in a shallow Yangtze lake (Taibai Lake, China) over the past 150 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, X.; Xu, M.; Yang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Shallow lakes provide a range of ecosystem services such as water supply, biodiversity, aquaculture, tourism, shipping and flood regulation. Over recent decades, many lakes have become severely deteriorated due to a coupled natural and human disturbance. Given the limited monitoring records, however, we still have little knowledge on how, when and why those lake experienced ecological status shifts, and how the lake ecosystem service changed. Paleolimnological techniques were widely used in understanding the historical environmental and ecological changes. Here, we chose a typical eutrophic shallow lake, Taibai Lake, and acquired geochemistry proxies, grain size, diatom, cladocera and chironomid from a 210Pb and 137Cs dated sediment core. Document records and monitoring data are also included as important marks of social and environmental change. A T-test based algorithm of STARS reveal at least two ecological shifts, respectively in the 1960s and the 1990s. The sudden shift in the 1960s is supposed to be influenced by a dam and sluice construction in the 1950s and another shift in the 1990s should be a critical transition due to the alternation of ecosystem structure for higher fishery production. Correspondingly, lake ecosystem service (LES) also experienced significant changes. Prior to 1930s, different types of LES kept relatively stable with low values. With the dam construction in the 1960s, the changed hydrological condition led to gradual increases in both regulation and provision service. However, with much effort on fishery and reclamation, the regulation service of the lake decreased, exhibiting a tradeoff among LES. After 1990s, with intense aquaculture, most types of LSE suffered a further decrease. The long-term records exhibited that ecosystem services in primary productivity and biodiversity maintenance increased (synergies) whereas services in water-purification and climate regulating decreased significantly (tradeoffs) since 1950s, when local

  7. Mapping Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services for Prioritizing Restoration Efforts in a Semi-arid Mediterranean River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A.

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  8. Mapping ecological processes and ecosystem services for prioritizing restoration efforts in a semi-arid Mediterranean river basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  9. Large herbivores affect forest ecosystem functions by altering the structure of dung beetle communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iida, Taichi; Soga, Masashi; Koike, Shinsuke

    2018-04-01

    Dramatic increases in populations of large mammalian herbivores have become a major ecological issue, particularly in the northern hemisphere, due to their substantial impacts on both animal and plant communities through processes such as grazing, browsing, and trampling. However, little is known about the consequences of these population explosions on ecosystem functions. Here, we experimentally investigated how the population density of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in temperate deciduous forest areas in Japan affected the decomposition of mammal dung by dung beetles, which is a key process in forest ecosystems. We measured a range of environmental variables (e.g., vegetation cover, soil hardness) and the dung decomposition rate, measured as the amount of deer dung decomposed during one week, and sampled dung beetles at 16 study sites with three different deer densities (high/intermediate/low). We then used structural equation modeling to investigate the relationships between deer density, environmental variables, the biomass of dung beetles (classified into small or large species), and the dung decomposition rate. We found that the biomass of small species increased with increasing deer density, whereas that of large species was not related to deer density. Furthermore, the dung decomposition rate was positively related to the biomass of small species but unrelated to that of large species. Overall, our results showed that an increase in deer density affects the decomposition rate of mammal dung by changing the structure of dung beetle communities (i.e., increasing the number of small dung beetles). Such an understanding of how increases in large herbivore populations affect ecosystem functions is important for accurately evaluating the ecological consequences of their overabundance and ultimately managing their populations appropriately.

  10. Socio-cultural valuation of ecosystem services in a transhumance social-ecological network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oteros Rozas, E.; Martín-López, B.; González, J.A.; Plieninger, T.; López, C.A.; Montes, C.

    2014-01-01

    The ecosystem services framework is receiving increasing attention in the fields of policy and research. The assessment of human attitudes and perceptions regarding ecosystem services has been proposed as a promising tool for addressing complex problems associated with environmental change,

  11. Improving ecosystem-scale modeling of evapotranspiration using ecological mechanisms that account for compensatory responses following disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, David J.; Ewers, Brent E.; Mackay, D. Scott; Peckham, Scott; Reed, David E.; Sekoni, Adewale

    2017-09-01

    Mountain pine beetle outbreaks in western North America have led to extensive forest mortality, justifiably generating interest in improving our understanding of how this type of ecological disturbance affects hydrological cycles. While observational studies and simulations have been used to elucidate the effects of mountain beetle mortality on hydrological fluxes, an ecologically mechanistic model of forest evapotranspiration (ET) evaluated against field data has yet to be developed. In this work, we use the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES) to incorporate the ecohydrological impacts of mountain pine beetle disturbance on ET for a lodgepole pine-dominated forest equipped with an eddy covariance tower. An existing degree-day model was incorporated that predicted the life cycle of mountain pine beetles, along with an empirically derived submodel that allowed sap flux to decline as a function of temperature-dependent blue stain fungal growth. The eddy covariance footprint was divided into multiple cohorts for multiple growing seasons, including representations of recently attacked trees and the compensatory effects of regenerating understory, using two different spatial scaling methods. Our results showed that using a multiple cohort approach matched eddy covariance-measured ecosystem-scale ET fluxes well, and showed improved performance compared to model simulations assuming a binary framework of only areas of live and dead overstory. Cumulative growing season ecosystem-scale ET fluxes were 8 - 29% greater using the multicohort approach during years in which beetle attacks occurred, highlighting the importance of including compensatory ecological mechanism in ET models.

  12. Socio-cultural valuation of ecosystem services in a transhumance social-ecological network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oteros-Rozas, E.; Martín-López, B.; González, J.A.

    2014-01-01

    the importance of 34 ecosystem services (10 provisioning, 12 regulating, and 12 cultural) for both social and personal well-being. Overall, the ecosystem services considered to be the most important for social well-being were fire prevention, air purification and livestock. Most of the ecosystem services...

  13. Novel ecosystems: theoretical and management aspects of the new ecological world order

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard J. Hobbs; Salvatore Arico; James Aronson; Jill S. Baron; Peter Bridgewater; Viki A. Cramer; Paul R. Epstein; John J. Ewel; Carlos A. Klink; Ariel E. Lugo; David Norton; Dennis Ojima; Richardson David M.; Eric W. Sanderson; Fernando Valladares; Montserrat Vilà; Regino Zamora; Martin Zobel

    2006-01-01

    We explore the issues relevant to those types of ecosystems containing new combinations of species that arise through human action, environmental change, and the impacts of the deliberate and inadvertent introduction of species from other regions. Novel ecosystems (also termed ‘emerging ecosystems’) result when species occur in combinations and relative abundances that...

  14. Brief communication: the ecosystem perspective in ecotoxicology as a way forward for the ecological risk assessment of chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laender, Frederik; Janssen, Colin R

    2013-07-01

    One of the objectives of the European Union (EU) ecological risk assessment of chemicals (ERA) is to derive maximum environmental concentrations that are not expected to cause adverse ecological effects. To this end, related EU directives list protection goals as well as guidelines that should be used to reach these goals. It is generally accepted that the individual-level endpoints on which these guidelines are based do not correspond to the listed population- and ecosystem-level protection goals. In this article, we identify 5 research topics that are key to bridging this gap: 1) the refinement of population-level effects and recovery rates by explicitly taking into account competition and 2) predation, 3) the assessment of chemical effects on biodiversity, 4) the assessment of chemical stress on ecosystem functions and services, and 5) the quantification of the effects of chemical mixtures. In addition, we illustrate why an ecosystem perspective is needed to address these topics and to inform the risk assessment process. We propose the use of existing ecotoxicological community, food web, and ecosystem models to tackle these issues and discuss why new models are needed to predict chemical effects on biodiversity. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  15. River basins as social-ecological systems: linking levels of societal and ecosystem water metabolism in a semiarid watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Violeta Cabello

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available River basin modeling under complexity requires analytical frameworks capable of dealing with the multiple scales and dimensions of environmental problems as well as uncertainty in the evolution of social systems. Conceptual and methodological developments can now be framed using the wide socio-eco-hydrological approach. We add hierarchy theory into the mix to discuss the conceptualization of river basins as complex, holarchic social-ecological systems. We operationalize the social-ecological systems water metabolism framework in a semiarid watershed in Spain, and add the governance dimension that shapes human-environment reciprocity. To this purpose, we integrate an eco-hydrological model with the societal metabolism accounting scheme for land use, human activity, and water use. We explore four types of interactions: between societal organization and water uses/demands, between ecosystem organization and their water requirements/supplies, between societal metabolism and aquatic ecosystem health, and between water demand and availability. Our results reveal a metabolic pattern of a high mountain rural system striving to face exodus and agricultural land abandonment with a multifunctional economy. Centuries of social-ecological evolution shaping waterscapes through traditional water management practices have influenced the eco-hydrological functioning of the basin, enabling adaptation to aridity. We found a marked spatial gradient on water supply, use pattern, and impact on water bodies from the head to the mouth of the basin. Management challenges posed by the European water regulatory framework as a new driver of social-ecological change are highlighted.

  16. Remote sensing for restoration ecology: Application for restoring degraded, damaged, transformed, or destroyed ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, Molly K; Theel, Heather J

    2017-07-01

    Restoration monitoring is generally perceived as costly and time consuming, given the assumptions of successfully restoring ecological functions and services of a particular ecosystem or habitat. Opportunities exist for remote sensing to bolster the restoration science associated with a wide variety of injured resources, including resources affected by fire, hydropower operations, chemical releases, and oil spills, among others. In the last decade, the role of remote sensing to support restoration monitoring has increased, in part due to the advent of high-resolution satellite sensors as well as other sensor technology, such as lidar. Restoration practitioners in federal agencies require monitoring standards to assess restoration performance of injured resources. This review attempts to address a technical need and provides an introductory overview of spatial data and restoration metric considerations, as well as an in-depth review of optical (e.g., spaceborne, airborne, unmanned aerial vehicles) and active (e.g., radar, lidar) sensors and examples of restoration metrics that can be measured with remotely sensed data (e.g., land cover, species or habitat type, change detection, quality, degradation, diversity, and pressures or threats). To that end, the present article helps restoration practitioners assemble information not only about essential restoration metrics but also about the evolving technological approaches that can be used to best assess them. Given the need for monitoring standards to assess restoration success of injured resources, a universal monitoring framework should include a range of remote sensing options with which to measure common restoration metrics. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:614-630. Published 2016. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Published 2016. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. Quantifying Forest Ecosystem Services Tradeoff—Coupled Ecological and Economic Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haff, P. K.; Ling, P. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Quantification of the effect of carbon-related forestland management activities on ecosystem services is difficult, because knowledge about the dynamics of coupled social-ecological systems is lacking. Different forestland management activities, such as various amount, timing, and methods of harvesting, and natural disturbances events, such as wind and fires, create shocks and uncertainties to the forest carbon dynamics. A spatially explicit model, Landis-ii, was used to model the forest succession for different harvest management scenarios at the Grandfather District, North Carolina. In addition to harvest, the model takes into account of the impact of natural disturbances, such as fire and insects, and species competition. The result shows the storage of carbon in standing biomass and in wood product for each species for each scenario. In this study, optimization is used to analyze the maximum profit and the number of tree species that each forest landowner can gain at different prices of carbon, roundwood, and interest rates for different harvest management scenarios. Time series of roundwood production of different types were estimated using remote sensing data. Econometric analysis is done to understand the possible interaction and relations between the production of different types of roundwood and roundwood prices, which can indicate the possible planting scheme that a forest owner may make. This study quantifies the tradeoffs between carbon sequestration, roundwood production, and forest species diversity not only from an economic perspective, but also takes into account of the forest succession mechanism in a species-diverse region. The resulting economic impact on the forest landowners is likely to influence their future planting decision, which in turn, will influence the species composition and future revenue of the landowners.

  18. Metal bioavailability in ecological risk assessment of freshwater ecosystems: From science to environmental management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Väänänen, Kristiina; Leppänen, Matti T; Chen, XuePing; Akkanen, Jarkko

    2018-01-01

    Metal contamination in freshwater ecosystems is a global issue and metal discharges to aquatic environments are monitored in order to protect aquatic life and human health. Bioavailability is an important factor determining metal toxicity. In aquatic systems, metal bioavailability depends on local water and sediment characteristics, and therefore, the risks are site-specific. Environmental quality standards (EQS) are used to manage the risks of metals in aquatic environments. In the simplest form of EQSs, total concentrations of metals in water or sediment are compared against pre-set acceptable threshold levels. Now, however, the environmental administration bodies have stated the need to incorporate metal bioavailability assessment tools into environmental regulation. Scientific advances have been made in metal bioavailability assessment, including passive samplers and computational models, such as biotic ligand models (BLM). However, the cutting-edge methods tend to be too elaborate or laborious for standard environmental monitoring. We review the commonly used metal bioavailability assessment methods and introduce the latest scientific advances that might be applied to environmental management in the future. We present the current practices in environmental management in North America, Europe and China, highlighting the good practices and the needs for improvement. Environmental management has met these new challenges with varying degrees of success: the USA has implemented site-specific environmental risk assessment for water and sediment phases, and they have already implemented metal mixture toxicity evaluation. The European Union is promoting the use of bioavailability and BLMs in ecological risk assessment (ERA), but metal mixture toxicity and sediment phase are still mostly neglected. China has regulation only for total concentrations of metals in surface water. We conclude that there is a need for (1) Advanced and up-to-date guidelines and legislation

  19. Increasing production, the sustained yield method, and reserve structure of agrisilvicultural ecosystems in the moist tropics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruenig, E F

    1980-09-01

    While substantial improvements first of all require a profound change of political attitudes and the replacement of irrational ideological creeds, improvements of the food situation in addition needs the application of ecologically adapted and economically sound land use techniques. This in turn requires scientific knowledge of the interrelationships between site factors and the structure and functions of crop types. The principles of the structural design of tropical virgin forest ecosystems can be usefully adapted for the development of agroforestry crop types. Such crop types should be capable of producing a sustained yield of food, timber, fuel, medicinal substances, spices and other useful products and, in addition, produce favourable, stabilizing effects on the local, regional and finally global biosphere.

  20. Analysis of the changes in forest ecosystem functions, structure and composition in the Black Sea region of Turkey

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sedat Kele(s); (I)dris Durusoy; Günay Çakir

    2017-01-01

    We used geographical information system to analyze changes in forest ecosystem functions, structure and composition in a typical department of forest man-agement area consisting of four forest management plan-ning units in Turkey. To assess these effects over a 25 year period we compiled data from three forest management plans that were made in 1986, 2001 and 2011. Temporal changes in forest ecosystem functions were estimated based on the three pillars of forest sustainability: eco-nomics, ecology and socio-culture. We assessed a few indicators such as land-use and forest cover, forest types, tree species, development stage, stand age classes, crown closure, growing stock and its increment, and timber bio-mass. The results of the case study suggested a shift in forest values away from economic values toward ecologi-cal and socio-cultural values over last two planning peri-ods. Forest ecosystem structure improved, due mainly to increasing forest area, decreasing non-forest areas (espe-cially in settlement and agricultural areas), forestation on forest openings, rehabilitation of degraded forests, con-version of even-aged forests to uneven-aged forests and conversion of coppice forests to high forests with greater growing stock increments. There were also favorable changes in forest management planning approaches.

  1. The South Florida Ecosystem Portfolio Model - A Map-Based Multicriteria Ecological, Economic, and Community Land-Use Planning Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labiosa, William B.; Bernknopf, Richard; Hearn, Paul; Hogan, Dianna; Strong, David; Pearlstine, Leonard; Mathie, Amy M.; Wein, Anne M.; Gillen, Kevin; Wachter, Susan

    2009-01-01

    The South Florida Ecosystem Portfolio Model (EPM) prototype is a regional land-use planning Web tool that integrates ecological, economic, and social information and values of relevance to decision-makers and stakeholders. The EPM uses a multicriteria evaluation framework that builds on geographic information system-based (GIS) analysis and spatially-explicit models that characterize important ecological, economic, and societal endpoints and consequences that are sensitive to regional land-use/land-cover (LULC) change. The EPM uses both economics (monetized) and multiattribute utility (nonmonetized) approaches to valuing these endpoints and consequences. This hybrid approach represents a methodological middle ground between rigorous economic and ecological/ environmental scientific approaches. The EPM sacrifices some degree of economic- and ecological-forecasting precision to gain methodological transparency, spatial explicitness, and transferability, while maintaining credibility. After all, even small steps in the direction of including ecosystem services evaluation are an improvement over current land-use planning practice (Boyd and Wainger, 2003). There are many participants involved in land-use decision-making in South Florida, including local, regional, State, and Federal agencies, developers, environmental groups, agricultural groups, and other stakeholders (South Florida Regional Planning Council, 2003, 2004). The EPM's multicriteria evaluation framework is designed to cut across the objectives and knowledge bases of all of these participants. This approach places fundamental importance on social equity and stakeholder participation in land-use decision-making, but makes no attempt to determine normative socially 'optimal' land-use plans. The EPM is thus a map-based set of evaluation tools for planners and stakeholders to use in their deliberations of what is 'best', considering a balancing of disparate interests within a regional perspective. Although

  2. Understanding the structure of Exmoor's peatland ecosystems using laser-scanning technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luscombe, D. J.; Anderson, K.; Wetherelt, A.; Grand-Clement, E.; Le-Feuvre, N.; Smith, D.; Brazier, R. E.

    2012-04-01

    Upland blanket peatlands in the UK are of high conservation value and in an intact state, provide important landscape services, such as carbon sequestration and flood attenuation. The drainage of many such wetlands for agricultural reclamation has resulted in changes to upland blanket mire topography, ecology, hydrological processes and carbon fluxes. There is a need for spatially explicit monitoring approaches at peatland sites in the UK as although there has been a national effort to restore drained peat uplands, baseline and post restoration monitoring of changes to ecosystem structure and function is largely absent. Climate change policy and the emerging carbon markets also necessitate the need for enhanced system understanding to inform carbon targets and understand the impacts of restoration. Exmoor is the focus of this research because many areas of upland peat have, in the past, been extensively drained through government "moorland reclamation" programs. A large restoration project funded by South West Water is currently underway in association with Exmoor National Park, The Environment Agency and Natural England. Exmoor also provides an analogue for other westerly peatlands in the British Isles in terms of its climate, ecology and drainage characteristics. Our approach employed airborne LiDAR data gathered by the Environment Agency Geomatics Group coupled with Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) surveys. LiDAR data were processed to produce digital surface models (DSM) of the peatland surface at a 0.5m resolution. These data were further interrogated to separate vegetation structures and geomorphic features such as man-made drainage channels which have damaged the peatland. Over small extents the LiDAR derived DSM surface was then compared to a TLS derived DSM to examine the ability of these models to describe fine scale vegetation and geomorphic structure, which could then be extrapolated to larger spatial extents. Exploration of the data has shown that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francisco

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Environmental research programme. Ecological research. Annual report 1994. Urban-industrial landscapes, forests, agricultural landscapes, river and lake landscapes, terrestrial ecosystem research, environmental pollution and health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    In the annual report 1994 of the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology, the points of emphasis of the ecological research programme and their financing are discussed. The individual projects in the following subject areas are described in detail: urban-industrial landscapes, forests, agricultural landscapes, river and lake landscapes, other ecosystems and landscapes, terrestrial ecosystem research, environmental pollution and human health and cross-sectional activities in ecological research. (vhe) [de

  5. Assemblage structure: an overlooked component of human-mediated species movements among freshwater ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Andrew R. Drake

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The spread and impact of alien species among freshwater ecosystems has increased with global trade and human movement; therefore, quantifying the role of anthropogenic and ecological factors that increase the risk of invasion is an important conservation goal. Two factors considered as null models when assessing the potential for invasion are colonization pressure (i.e., the number of species introduced and propagule pressure [i.e., the number (propagule size, and frequency (propagule number, of individuals of each species introduced]. We translate the terminology of species abundance distributions to the invasion terminology of propagule size and colonization size (PS and CS, respectively. We conduct hypothesis testing to determine the underlying statistical species abundance distribution for zooplankton assemblages transported between freshwater ecosystems; and, on the basis of a lognormal distribution, construct four hypothetical assemblages spanning assemblage structure, rank-abundance gradient (e.g., even vs uneven, total abundance (of all species combined, and relative contribution of PS vs CS. For a given CS, many combinations of PS and total abundance can occur when transported assemblages conform to a lognormal species abundance distribution; therefore, for a given transportation event, many combinations of CS and PS are possible with potentially different ecological outcomes. An assemblage exhibiting high PS but low CS (species poor, but highly abundant may overcome demographic barriers to establishment, but with lower certainty of amenable environmental conditions in the recipient region; whereas, the opposite extreme, high CS and low PS (species rich, but low abundance per species may provide multiple opportunities for one of n arriving species to circumvent environmental barriers, albeit with lower potential to overcome demographic constraints. Species abundance distributions and the corresponding influence of CS and PS are some of

  6. The fundamental role of ecological feedback mechanisms for the adaptive management of seagrass ecosystems - a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Paul S; Eklöf, Johan S; van Katwijk, Marieke M; O'Brien, Katherine R; de la Torre-Castro, Maricela; Boström, Christoffer; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Unsworth, Richard K F; van Tussenbroek, Brigitta I; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2017-08-01

    Seagrass meadows are vital ecosystems in coastal zones worldwide, but are also under global threat. One of the major hurdles restricting the success of seagrass conservation and restoration is our limited understanding of ecological feedback mechanisms. In these ecosystems, multiple, self-reinforcing feedbacks can undermine conservation efforts by masking environmental impacts until the decline is precipitous, or alternatively they can inhibit seagrass recovery in spite of restoration efforts. However, no clear framework yet exists for identifying or dealing with feedbacks to improve the management of seagrass ecosystems. Here we review the causes and consequences of multiple feedbacks between seagrass and biotic and/or abiotic processes. We demonstrate how feedbacks have the potential to impose or reinforce regimes of either seagrass dominance or unvegetated substrate, and how the strength and importance of these feedbacks vary across environmental gradients. Although a myriad of feedbacks have now been identified, the co-occurrence and likely interaction among feedbacks has largely been overlooked to date due to difficulties in analysis and detection. Here we take a fundamental step forward by modelling the interactions among two distinct above- and belowground feedbacks to demonstrate that interacting feedbacks are likely to be important for ecosystem resilience. On this basis, we propose a five-step adaptive management plan to address feedback dynamics for effective conservation and restoration strategies. The management plan provides guidance to aid in the identification and prioritisation of likely feedbacks in different seagrass ecosystems. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  7. Effect of ecological restoration and climate change on ecosystems: a case study in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chong; Zhang, Linbo

    2016-06-01

    The Three-Rivers Headwater Region (TRHR) is the headwater of the Yangtze River Basin (YARB), Yellow River Basin (YRB), and Lancang River Basin (LRB); it is known as China's 'Water Tower' owing to its important supply of freshwater. In order to assess ecosystem changes in the TRHR during 2000-2012, we systematically and comprehensively evaluated a combination of model simulation results and actual observational data. The results showed the following: (1) Ecosystem pattern was relatively stable during 2000-2010, with a slight decrease in farmland and desert areas, and a slight increase in grassland and wetland/water-body areas. (2) A warmer and wetter climate, and ecological engineering, caused the vegetation cover and productivity to significantly improve. (3) Precipitation was the main controlling factor for streamflow. A significant increase in precipitation during 2000-2012 resulted in an obvious increase in annual and seasonal streamflow. Glacier melting also contributed to the streamflow increase. (4) The total amount of soil conservation increased slightly from 2000 to 2012. The increase in precipitation caused rainfall erosivity to increase, which enhanced the intensity of soil erosion. The decrease in wind speed decreased wind erosion and the frequency of sandstorms. (5) The overall habitat quality in the TRHR was stable between 2000 and 2010, and the spatial pattern exhibited obvious heterogeneity. In some counties that included nature reserves, habitat quality was slightly higher in 2010 than in 2000, which reflected the effectiveness of the ecological restoration. Overall, the aforementioned ecosystem changes are the combined results of ecological restoration and climate change, and they are likely a local and temporary improvement, rather than a comprehensive and fundamental change. Therefore, more investments and efforts are needed to preserve natural ecosystems.

  8. Ecological risk assessment for the terrestrial ecosystem under chronic radioactive pollution - Ecological risk assessment for the biota on regional radioactive waste storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavrentyeva, G.V.; Synzynys, B.I.; Shoshina, R.R.; Mirzeabasov, O.A. [Obninsk Institute for Nuclear Power Engineering, branch of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Department of Ecology, Studgorodok,1, 249040 Obninsk, Kaluga region (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    Now the methods of ecological regulation of a radiation factor from risk assessment are developed poorly. The paper attempts to assess and forecast the terrestrial ecosystem conditions under chronic ionizing radiation by calculating the critical loads. The paper is aimed at developing a methodology to assess the ecological risk for a terrestrial ecosystem under chronic radioactive pollution in a biotope of a regional radioactive waste storage. Objects and Methods: Biotope monitoring of a radioactive waste storage makes clear that the radioecological situation in this territory is stipulated by technogenic {sup 90}Sr found in soil, ground water and biota. Terrestrial mollusks of a shrubby Snail type (Bradybaena fruticum) were chosen as reference species due to their activity to accumulate {sup 90}Sr in shells and the number of colony-forming soil units (CFU) as reference indices. The number of CFU was determined by inoculation of solid medium. Soil and mollusk samples have been collected at most representative sites identified in the previous studies. To assess {sup 90}Sr content in the samples collected, radiochemical separation was used with further radionuclide activity measurements by a 'BETA-01C' scintillation beta-ray spectrometer according to a standard procedure of {sup 90}Sr content assessment from beta-radiation of its daughter radionuclide {sup 90}Y. Ecological risk was calculated from analyzed critical loads using a 'dose-effect' dependence. Statistical data processing was realized with Excell 2007 and R software programs [R Development Core Team, 2010]. The software R was also used for GIS creation. Results and Discussion: A methodology of ecological risk assessment for the terrestrial ecosystem under chronic radioactive pollution of a biotope near a regional radioactive waste storage has been developed in terms of the critical environmental loads analyzed. It consists of five stages: determination of effect indicators and assessment

  9. On the specification of structural equation models for ecological systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Olff, Han; Scheiner, Samuel M.

    The use of structural equation modeling (SEM) is often motivated by its utility for investigating complex networks of relationships, but also because of its promise as a means of representing theoretical Concepts using latent variables. In this paper, we discuss characteristics of ecological theory

  10. A new quantitative model of ecological compensation based on ecosystem capital in Zhejiang Province, China*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Yan; Huang, Jing-feng; Peng, Dai-liang

    2009-01-01

    Ecological compensation is becoming one of key and multidiscipline issues in the field of resources and environmental management. Considering the change relation between gross domestic product (GDP) and ecological capital (EC) based on remote sensing estimation, we construct a new quantitative estimate model for ecological compensation, using county as study unit, and determine standard value so as to evaluate ecological compensation from 2001 to 2004 in Zhejiang Province, China. Spatial differences of the ecological compensation were significant among all the counties or districts. This model fills up the gap in the field of quantitative evaluation of regional ecological compensation and provides a feasible way to reconcile the conflicts among benefits in the economic, social, and ecological sectors. PMID:19353749

  11. Impacts of drought and crayfish invasion on stream ecosystem structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magoulick, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    Drought and seasonal drying can be important disturbance events in many small streams, leading to intermittent or isolated habitats. Many small streams contain crayfish populations that are often keystone or dominant species in these systems. I conducted an experiment in stream mesocosms to examine the effects of drought and potential ecological redundancy of a native and invasive crayfish species. I examined the effects of drought (drought or control) and crayfish presence (none, native crayfish Orconectes eupunctus or invasive crayfish Orconectes neglectus) on stream mesocosm structure and function (leaf breakdown, community metabolism, periphyton, sediment and chironomid densities) in a fully factorial design. Each mesocosm contained a deep and shallow section, and drought treatments had surface water present (5-cm depth) in deep sections where tiles and leaf packs were placed. Drought and crayfish presence did not interact for any response variable. Drought significantly reduced leaf breakdown, and crayfish presence significantly increased leaf breakdown. However, the native and invasive crayfish species did not differ significantly in their effects on leaf breakdown. Drought significantly reduced primary production and community respiration overall, whereas crayfish presence did not significantly affect primary production and community respiration. Neither drought nor crayfish presence significantly affected periphyton overall. However, drought significantly reduced autotrophic index (AI), and crayfish presence increased AI. Inorganic sediment and chironomid density were not affected by drought, but both were significantly reduced by crayfish presence. O. eupunctus reduced AI and sediment more than O. neglectus did. Neither drought nor crayfish species significantly affected crayfish growth or survival. Drought can have strong effects on ecosystem function, but weaker effects on benthic structure. Crayfish can have strong effects on ecosystem

  12. Earthworm ecology affects the population structure of their Verminephrobacter symbionts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macedo Viana, Flavia Daniela; Jensen, Christopher Erik; Macey, Michael

    2016-01-01

    from two contrasting ecological types of earthworm hosts: the high population density, fast reproducing compost worms, Eisenia andrei and E. fetida, and the low-density, slow reproducing Aporrectodea tuberculata, commonly found in garden soils; for both types, three distinct populations were...... across host individuals from the same population. Thus, host ecology shapes the population structure of the Verminephrobacter symbionts. The homogeneous symbiont populations in the compost worms indicate that Verminephrobacter can be transferred bi-parentally or via leaky horizontal transmission in high...

  13. Ecological concerns following Superstorm Sandy: stressor level and recreational activity levels affect perceptions of ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna

    2015-06-01

    Coastal habitats are vulnerable to storms, and with increasing urbanization, sea level rise, and storm frequency, some urban populations are at risk. This study examined perceptions of respondents in coastal and central New Jersey to Superstorm Sandy , including: 1) concerns about ecological resources and effects (open-ended question), 2) information sources for ecology of the coast (open-ended), and 3) ratings of a list of ecological services as a function of demographics, location (coastal, central Jersey), stressor level (power outages, high winds, flooding) and recreational rates. "Wildlife" and "fish" were the ecological concerns mentioned most often, while beaches and dunes were most often mentioned for environmental concerns. Television, radio, and web/internet were sources trusted for ecological information. The data indicate 1) stressor level was a better predictor of ratings of ecological services than geographical location, but days engaged in recreation contributed the most to variations in ratings, 2) ecological services were rated the highest by respondents with the highest stressor levels, and by those from the coast, compared to others, 3) Caucasians rated ecological services higher than all others, and 4) recreational rates were highest for coastal respondents, and ratings for ecological services increased with recreational rates. Only 20 % of respondents listed specific ecological services as one of their three most important environmental concerns. These data will be useful for increasing preparedness, enhancing educational strategies for shore protection, and providing managers and public policy makers with data essential to developing resiliency strategies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. SIMBOURA

    2002-12-01

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

  15. EcoPrinciples Connect: A Pilot Project Matching Ecological Principles with Available Data to Promote Ecosystem-Based Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martone, R. G.; Erickson, A.; Mach, M.; Hale, T.; McGregor, A.; Prahler, E. E.; Foley, M.; Caldwell, M.; Hartge, E. H.

    2016-12-01

    Ocean and coastal practitioners work within existing financial constraints, jurisdictions, and legislative authorities to manage coastal and marine resources while seeking to promote and maintain a healthy and productive coastal economy. Fulfilling this mandate necessitates incorporation of best available science, including ecosystem-based management (EBM) into coastal and ocean management decisions. To do this, many agencies seek ways to apply lessons from ecological theory into their decision processes. However, making direct connections between science and management can be challenging, in part because there is no process for linking ecological principles (e.g., maintaining species diversity, habitat diversity, connectivity and populations of key species) with available data. Here we explore how incorporating emerging data and methods into resource management at a local scale can improve the overall health of our coastal and marine ecosystems. We introduce a new web-based interface, EcoPrinciples Connect, that links marine managers to scientific and geospatial information through the lens of these ecological principles, ultimately helping managers become more efficient, more consistent, and advance the integration of EBM. The EcoPrinciples Connect tool grew directly out of needs identified in response to a Center for Ocean Solutions reference guide, Incorporating Ecological Principles into California Ocean and Coastal Management: Examples from Practice. Here we illustrate how we have worked to translate the information in this guide into a co-developed, user-centric tool for agency staff. Specifically, we present a pilot project where we match publicly available data to the ecological principles for the California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. We will share early lessons learned from pilot development and highlight opportunities for future transferability to an expanded group of practitioners.

  16. The influence of ecological processes on the accumulation of persistent organochlorines in aquatic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berglund, Olof

    1999-09-01

    Several ecological problems influences the fate, transport, and accumulation of persistent organochlorines (OCs) in aquatic ecosystems. In this thesis, I have focused on two processes, namely (i) the food chain bioaccumulation of OCs, and (ii) the trophic status of the aquatic system. To test the biomagnification theory, I investigated PCB concentrations in planktonic food chains in lakes. The concentrations of PCB on a lipid basis did not increase with increasing trophic level. Hence, I could give no support to the theory of biomagnification. Instead, lipid content explained most of the variation in PCB accumulation in these food chains. PCBs were differentially fractionated in the food chains, the relative amount of high molecular weight PCBs increased with increasing trophic level, indicating congener specific differences in either the accumulation or the elimination of PCBs at the different trophic levels. In another study, I investigated the relationship between OC concentrations and trophic level, measured as {delta}{sup 15}N, in a specific predatory fish population. The dry weight OC concentrations and {delta}{sup 15}N were related, indicating effects of prey choice on the OC accumulation. However, here also, lipid content explained the major part of the variation in OC concentrations, independent of trophic level (e. g. {delta}{sup 15}N). I investigated the effects of trophic status, measured as Tot-P concentration in water, on the concentrations of OCs in water, planktonic food chains and sediment in lakes. The dry weight concentrations of PCBs in phytoplankton were negatively related to the trophic status of the lakes. However, this relationship was explained by the decreasing lipid content of phytoplankton with lake trophic status. The phytoplankton in eutrophic lakes had lower lipid content than phytoplankton in oligotrophic lakes, possibly due to inter- and intraspecific differences in lipid content due to nutrient stress. The sediment accumulation and

  17. Transforming "Ecosystem" from a Scientific Concept into a Teachable Topic: Philosophy and History of Ecology Informs Science Textbook Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schizas, Dimitrios; Papatheodorou, Efimia; Stamou, George

    2017-04-01

    This study conducts a textbook analysis in the frame of the following working hypothesis: The transformation of scientific knowledge into school knowledge is expected to reproduce the problems encountered with the scientific knowledge itself or generate additional problems, which may both induce misconceptions in textbook users. Specifically, we describe four epistemological problems associated with how the concept of "ecosystem" is elaborated within ecological science and we examine how each problem is reproduced in the biology textbook utilized by Greek students in the 12th grade and the resulting teacher and student misunderstandings that may occur. Our research demonstrates that the authors of the textbook address these problems by appealing simultaneously to holistic and reductionist ideas. This results in a meaningless and confused depiction of "ecosystem" and may provoke many serious misconceptions on the part of textbook users, for example, that an ecosystem is a system that can be applied to every set of interrelated ecological objects irrespective of the organizational level to which these entities belong or how these entities are related to each other. The implications of these phenomena for science education research are discussed from a perspective that stresses the role of background assumptions in the understanding of declarative knowledge.

  18. The Importance of Ecology-Based Nature Education Project in Terms of Nature Integration and Understanding the Human-Ecosystem Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meydan, Ali

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this project is to define the importance of 12-day ecology-based education training upon integration with nature and understanding the human-ecosystem relationship. In accordance with this purpose, there has been collected some survey data interviewing with the participants of "Lake Beysehir National Park and Ecology-based Nature…

  19. Microbial mat ecosystems: Structure types, functional diversity, and biotechnological application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina M. Prieto-Barajas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are horizontally stratified microbial communities, exhibiting a structure defined by physiochemical gradients, which models microbial diversity, physiological activities, and their dynamics as a whole system. These ecosystems are commonly associated with aquatic habitats, including hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal coastal zones and oligotrophic environments, all of them harbour phototrophic mats and other environments such as acidic hot springs or acid mine drainage harbour non-photosynthetic mats. This review analyses the complex structure, diversity, and interactions between the microorganisms that form the framework of different types of microbial mats located around the globe. Furthermore, the many tools that allow studying microbial mats in depth and their potential biotechnological applications are discussed.

  20. Restoring fire as an ecological process in shortgrass prairie ecosystems: initial effects of prescribed burning during the dormant and growing seasons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockway, Dale G; Gatewood, Richard G; Paris, Randi B

    2002-06-01

    Prior to Anglo-European settlement, fire was a major ecological process influencing the structure, composition and productivity of shortgrass prairie ecosystems on the Great Plains. However during the past 125 years, the frequency and extent of grassland fire has dramatically declined as a result of the systematic heavy grazing by large herds of domestic cattle and sheep which reduced the available levels of fine fuel and organized fire suppression efforts that succeeded in altering the natural fire regime. The greatly diminished role of recurrent fire in these ecosystems is thought to be responsible for ecologically adverse shifts in the composition, structure and diversity of these grasslands, leading specifically to the rise of ruderal species and invasion by less fire-tolerant species. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ecological effects of fire season and frequency on the shortgrass prairie and to determine the means by which prescribed fire can best be restored in this ecosystem to provide the greatest benefit for numerous resource values. Plant cover, diversity, biomass and nutrient status, litter cover and soil chemistry were measured prior to and following fire treatments on a buffalograss-blue grama shortgrass prairie in northeastern New Mexico. Dormant-season fire was followed by increases in grass cover, forb cover, species richness and concentrations of foliar P, K, Ca, Mg and Mn. Growing-season fire produced declines in the cover of buffalograss, graminoids and forbs and increases in litter cover and levels of foliar P, K, Ca and Mn. Although no changes in soil chemistry were observed, both fire treatments caused decreases in herbaceous production, with standing biomass resulting from growing-season fire approximately 600 kg/ha and dormant-season fire approximately 1200 kg/ha, compared with controls approximately 1800 kg/ha. The initial findings of this long-term experiment suggest that dormant-season burning may be the preferable method

  1. Wetland management strategies lead to tradeoffs in ecological structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariane L. Peralta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic legacy effects often occur as a consequence of land use change or land management and can leave behind long-lasting changes to ecosystem structure and function. This legacy is described as a memory in the form of ecological structure or ecological interactions that remains at a location from a previous condition. We examined how forested floodplain restoration strategy, based on planting intensity, influenced wetland community structure and soil chemical and physical factors after 15 years. The site was divided into 15 strips, and strips were assigned to one of five restoration treatments: plantings of acorns, 2-year-old seedlings, 5-ft bareroot trees, balled and burlapped trees, and natural seed bank regeneration. Our community composition survey revealed that plots planted with bareroot or balled and burlapped trees developed closed tree canopies with little herbaceous understory, while acorn plantings and natural colonization plots developed into dense stands of the invasive species reed canary grass (RCG; 'Phalaris arundinacea'. Restoration strategy influenced bacterial community composition but to a lesser degree compared to the plant community response, and riverine hydrology and restoration strategy influenced wetland soil conditions. Soil ammonium concentrations and pH were similar across all wetland restoration treatments, while total organic carbon was highest in forest and RCG-dominated plots compared to mixed patches of trees and open areas. The differences in restoration strategy and associated economic investment resulted in ecological tradeoffs. The upfront investment in larger, more mature trees (i.e., bareroot, balled and burlapped led to floodplain forested communities, while cheaper, more passive planting strategies (i.e., seedlings, seedbank, or acorns resulted in dense stands of invasive RCG, despite the similar floodplain hydrology across all sites. Therefore, recovery of multiple ecosystem services that

  2. Biocultural Ecology: Exploring the Social Construction of the Southern Appalachain Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    David P. Robertson; R. Bruce Hull

    2003-01-01

    The idea of a Southern Appalachian Ecosystem is now so much a part of our everyday language that many of the people who talk, write, and make decisions about thc place are unaware of the long and complicated history behind the idea. One primary purpose of this case study was to demonstrate how the Southern Appalachian Ecosystem has been socially constructed and reified...

  3. An assessment of long term ecosystem research activities across European socio-ecological gradients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Metzger, M.J.; Bunce, R.G.H.; Eupen, van M.; Mirtl, M.

    2010-01-01

    Integration of European long term ecosystem research (LTER) would provide important support for the management of the pan-European environment and ecosystems, as well as international policy commitments. This does require appropriate coverage of Europe and standardised frameworks and research

  4. Unsuitability of TAC management within an ecosystem approach to fisheries: An ecological perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reiss, H.; Greenstreet, S.P.R.; Robinson, L.; Ehrich, S.; Jorgensen, L.L.; Piet, G.J.; Wolff, W.J.

    2010-01-01

    Fisheries management in European waters is gradually moving from a single-species perspective towards a more holistic ecosystem approach to management (EAM), acknowledging the need to take all ecosystem components into account. Prerequisite within an EAM is the need for management processes that

  5. A social-ecological analysis of ecosystem services supply and trade-offs in European wood-pastures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartel, Tibor

    2018-01-01

    Wood-pastures are complex social-ecological systems (SES), which are the product of long-term interaction between society and its surrounding landscape. Traditionally characterized by multifunctional low-intensity management that enhanced a wide range of ecosystem services (ES), current farm management has shifted toward more intensive farm models. This study assesses the supply of ES in four study areas dominated by managed wood-pastures in Spain, Sweden, and Romania. On the basis of 144 farm surveys and the use of multivariate techniques, we characterize farm management and structure in the study areas and identify the trade-offs in ES supply associated with this management. We link these trade-offs to multiple factors that characterize the landholding: economic, social, environmental, technological, and governance. Finally, we analyze how landholders’ values and perspectives have an effect on management decisions. Results show a differentiated pattern of ES supply in the four study areas. We identified four types of trade-offs in ES supply that appear depending on what is being promoted by the farm management and that are associated with different dimensions of wood-pasture management: productivity-related trade-offs, crop production–related trade-offs, multifunctionality-related trade-offs, and farm accessibility–related trade-offs. These trade-offs are influenced by complex interactions between the properties of the SES, which have a direct influence on landholders’ perspectives and motivations. The findings of this paper advance the understanding of the dynamics between agroecosystems and society and can inform system-based agricultural and conservation policies. PMID:29732404

  6. Changes in biodiversity and trade-offs among ecosystem services, stakeholders, and components of well-being: the contribution of the International Long-Term Ecological Research network (ILTER to Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Maass

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER network comprises > 600 scientific groups conducting site-based research within 40 countries. Its mission includes improving the understanding of global ecosystems and informs solutions to current and future environmental problems at the global scales. The ILTER network covers a wide range of social-ecological conditions and is aligned with the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS goals and approach. Our aim is to examine and develop the conceptual basis for proposed collaboration between ILTER and PECS. We describe how a coordinated effort of several contrasting LTER site-based research groups contributes to the understanding of how policies and technologies drive either toward or away from the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services. This effort is based on three tenets: transdisciplinary research; cross-scale interactions and subsequent dynamics; and an ecological stewardship orientation. The overarching goal is to design management practices taking into account trade-offs between using and conserving ecosystems toward more sustainable solutions. To that end, we propose a conceptual approach linking ecosystem integrity, ecosystem services, and stakeholder well-being, and as a way to analyze trade-offs among ecosystem services inherent in diverse management options. We also outline our methodological approach that includes: (i monitoring and synthesis activities following spatial and temporal trends and changes on each site and by documenting cross-scale interactions; (ii developing analytical tools for integration; (iii promoting trans-site comparison; and (iv developing conceptual tools to design adequate policies and management interventions to deal with trade-offs. Finally, we highlight the heterogeneity in the social-ecological setting encountered in a subset of 15 ILTER sites. These study cases are diverse enough to provide a broad cross-section of contrasting

  7. Better BAT to Bolster Ecosystem Resilience : Operationalizing Ecological Governance through the Concept of Best Available Techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giljam, Renske A.

    This article examines to what extent ecological governance can be implemented by extending the concept of Best Available Techniques (BAT) at the European Union level. It therefore firstly analyses what ecological governance would require and what this implies for employing the use of BAT. The

  8. An Assessment of Students' Understanding of Ecosystem Concepts: Conflating Ecological Systems and Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Rebecca; Gray, Steven; Demeter, Marylee; Lui, Lei; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.

    2009-01-01

    Teaching ecological concepts in schools is important in promoting natural science and environmental education for young learners. Developing educational programs is difficult, however, because of complicated ecological processes operating on multiple levels, the unlimited nature of potential system interactions (given the openness of systems), and…

  9. Land-use change in Indian tropical agro-ecosystems: eco-energy estimation for socio-ecological sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nautiyal, Sunil; Kaechele, Harald; Umesh Babu, M S; Tikhile, Pavan; Baksi, Sangeeta

    2017-04-01

    This study was carried out to understand the ecological and economic sustainability of floriculture and other main crops in Indian agro-ecosystems. The cultivation practices of four major flower crops, namely Jasminum multiflorum, Crossandra infundibuliformis, Chrysanthemum and Tagetes erecta, were studied in detail. The production cost of flowers in terms of energy was calculated to be 99,622-135,996 compared to 27,681-69,133 MJ ha -1 for the main crops, namely Oryza sativa, Eleusine coracana, Zea mays and Sorghum bicolor. The highest-energy input amongst the crops was recorded for Z. mays (69,133 MJ ha -1 ) as this is a resource-demanding crop. However, flower cultivation requires approximately twice the energy required for the cultivation of Z. mays. In terms of both energy and monetary inputs, flower cultivation needs two to three times the requirements of the main crops cultivated in the region. The monetary inputs for main crop cultivation were calculated to be ₹ 27,349 to ₹ 46,930 as compared to flower crops (₹ 62,540 to ₹ 144,355). Floriculture was found to be more efficient in monetary terms when compared to the main crops cultivated in the region. However, the energy efficiency of flower crops is lower than that of the main crops, and the energy output from flower cultivation was found to be declining in tropical agro-ecosystems in India. Amongst the various inputs, farmyard manure accounts for the highest proportion, and for its preparation, most of the raw material comes from the surrounding ecosystems. Thus, flower cultivation has a direct impact on the ecosystem resource flow. Therefore, keeping the economic and environmental sustainability in view, this study indicates that a more field-based research is required to frame appropriate policies for flower cultivation to achieve sustainable socio-ecological development.

  10. Effects of ionizing radiation upon natural populations and ecosystems. Final report. [Ecological perspectives in land use planning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCormick, J.F.

    1976-01-01

    Accomplishments throughout a 10-year period summarized include: a study of the effects of radiation from a ..gamma.. source on the ecology of the El Verde rain forest in Puerto Rico, with emphasis on the role of secondary succession in the recovery of forest ecosystems following irradiation; the effects of light and temperature on gaseous exchange in trees using /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ as a tracer in Palcourea; the nature of the sensitivity of pine trees to ionizing radiation and the possible synergistic effects of elevated ozone levels on radiosensitivity; the combined effects of radioactive and thermal effluents on plant communities of a swamp hardwood forest; and the development of a new conceptual approach to the evaluation of environmental quality, with emphasis on ecological perspectives in land use planning. (CH)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kong, Xiangzhen; He, Wei; Liu, Wenxiu

    2016-01-01

    that hydrological regulation may play a significant role in driving all of these changes in Lake Chaohu in addition to eutrophication and intensive fishery. Overall, we strongly advocate the identification of a threshold in abundance of zooplanktivorous fish, an integrated strategy for future ecological restoration......Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning...... validated by the stable isotope-determined trophic level (TL) for each functional group, which indicated an acceptable model performance. Over time, we observed a collapse of the food web toward a simplified structure and decreasing biodiversity and trophic interactions. The lake ecosystem was approaching...

  12. Equivalency of Galápagos giant tortoises used as ecological replacement species to restore ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Gibbs, James P; Cayot, Linda J; Tapia, Washington

    2013-08-01

    Loss of key plant-animal interactions (e.g., disturbance, seed dispersal, and herbivory) due to extinctions of large herbivores has diminished ecosystem functioning nearly worldwide. Mitigating for the ecological consequences of large herbivore losses through the use of ecological replacements to fill extinct species' niches and thereby replicate missing ecological functions has been proposed. It is unknown how different morphologically and ecologically a replacement can be from the extinct species and still provide similar functions. We studied niche equivalency between 2 phenotypes of Galápagos giant tortoises (domed and saddlebacked) that were translocated to Pinta Island in the Galápagos Archipelago as ecological replacements for the extinct saddlebacked giant tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii). Thirty-nine adult, nonreproductive tortoises were introduced to Pinta Island in May 2010, and we observed tortoise resource use in relation to phenotype during the first year following release. Domed tortoises settled in higher, moister elevations than saddlebacked tortoises, which favored lower elevation arid zones. The areas where the tortoises settled are consistent with the ecological conditions each phenotype occupies in its native range. Saddlebacked tortoises selected areas with high densities of the arboreal prickly pear cactus (Opuntia galapageia) and mostly foraged on the cactus, which likely relied on the extinct saddlebacked Pinta tortoise for seed dispersal. In contrast, domed tortoises did not select areas with cactus and therefore would not provide the same seed-dispersal functions for the cactus as the introduced or the original, now extinct, saddlebacked tortoises. Interchangeability of extant megaherbivores as replacements for extinct forms therefore should be scrutinized given the lack of equivalency we observed in closely related forms of giant tortoises. Our results also demonstrate the value of trial introductions of sterilized individuals to test

  13. Connecting Social Networks with Ecosystem Services for Watershed Governance: a Social-Ecological Network Perspective Highlights the Critical Role of Bridging Organizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlyn J. Rathwell

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In many densely settled agricultural watersheds, water quality is a point of conflict between amenity and agricultural activities because of the varied demands and impacts on shared water resources. Successful governance of these watersheds requires coordination among different activities. Recent research has highlighted the role that social networks between management entities can play to facilitate cross-scale interaction in watershed governance. For example, bridging organizations can be positioned in social networks to bridge local initiatives done by single municipalities across whole watersheds. To better understand the role of social networks in social-ecological system dynamics, we combine a social network analysis of the water quality management networks held by local governments with a social-ecological analysis of variation in water management and ecosystem services across the Montérégie, an agricultural landscape near Montréal, Québec, Canada. We analyze municipal water management networks by using one-mode networks to represent direct collaboration between municipalities, and two-mode networks to capture how bridging organizations indirectly connect municipalities. We find that municipalities do not collaborate directly with one another but instead are connected via bridging organizations that span the water quality management network. We also discovered that more connected municipalities engaged in more water management activities. However, bridging organizations preferentially connected with municipalities that used more tourism related ecosystem services rather than those that used more agricultural ecosystem services. Many agricultural municipalities were relatively isolated, despite being the main producers of water quality problems. In combination, these findings suggest that further strengthening the water management network in the Montérégie will contribute to improving water quality in the region. However, such

  14. Trophic flow structure of a neotropical estuary in northeastern Brazil and the comparison of ecosystem model indicators of estuaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lira, Alex; Angelini, Ronaldo; Le Loc'h, François; Ménard, Frédéric; Lacerda, Carlos; Frédou, Thierry; Lucena Frédou, Flávia

    2018-06-01

    We developed an Ecopath model for the Estuary of Sirinhaém River (SIR), a small-sized system surrounded by mangroves, subject to high impact, mainly by the sugar cane and other farming industries in order to describe the food web structure and trophic interactions. In addition, we compared our findings with those of 20 available Ecopath estuarine models for tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, aiming to synthesize the knowledge on trophic dynamics and provide a comprehensive analysis of the structures and functioning of estuaries. Our model consisted of 25 compartments and its indicators were within the expected range for estuarine areas around the world. The average trophic transfer efficiency for the entire system was 11.8%, similar to the theoretical value of 10%. The Keystone Index and MTI (Mixed Trophic Impact) analysis indicated that the snook (Centropomus undecimalis and Centropomus parallelus) and jack (Caranx latus and Caranx hippos) are considered as key resources in the system, revealing their high impact in the food web. Both groups have a high ecological and commercial relevance, despite the unregulated fisheries. As result of the comparison of ecosystem model indicators in estuaries, differences in the ecosystem structure from the low latitude zones (tropical estuaries) to the high latitude zones (temperate system) were noticed. The structure of temperate and sub-tropical estuaries is based on high flows of detritus and export, while tropical systems have high biomass, respiration and consumption rates. Higher values of System Omnivory Index (SOI) and Overhead (SO) were observed in the tropical and subtropical estuaries, denoting a more complex food chain. Globally, none of the estuarine models were classified as fully mature ecosystems, although the tropical ecosystems were considered more mature than the subtropical and temperate ecosystems. This study is an important contribution to the trophic modeling of estuaries, which may also help

  15. Eco-logical : an ecosystem approach to developing transportation infrastructure projects in a changing environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-13

    The development of infrastructure facilities can negatively impact critical habitat and essential ecosystems. There are a variety of techniques available to avoid, minimize, and mitigate negative impacts of existing infrastructure as well as future i...

  16. Economic impact of ecosystem services provided by ecologically sustainable roadside right of way vegetation management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-01

    The economic value of runoff prevention, carbon sequestration, pollination and other insect services, air quality, : invasive species resistance, and aesthetics was estimated for Floridas State Highway System roadside right-of-way (ROW) ecosystem ...

  17. The ecology of seamounts: structure, function, and human impacts.

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, MR; Rowden, AA; Schlacher, T; Williams, A; Consalvey, M; Stocks, KI; Rogers, AD; O'Hara, TD; White, M; Shank, TM; Hall-Spencer, JM

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological prod...

  18. Recording of ecological half-lives of 90Sr and 137Cs in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Proehl, G.; Fiedler, I.; Ehlken, S.

    2004-01-01

    Within this project, the long-term behaviour of 90 Sr and 137 Cs in foods, feeds and a variety of environmental was analysed. The long-term behaviour is quantified by means of the ecological half-life which integrates all processes that cause a decrease of activity in a given medium as leaching, fixation and erosion. The following results were achieved: - For plant and animal food products, the ecological half-lives are in the range of 4 to 6 and 10 to 20 years for cesium and strontium respectively. The ecological half-lives for the period 1965 to 1985 are slightly shorter than those derived from monitoring measurements performed after 1987, due to the ongoing deposition in the post weapons' fallout period. - According to the German radioecological model that is applied during licensing of nuclear installations to assess radiation exposures to the general due to planned releases, the ecological half-lives for plant food products are 26 and 13 a for cesium and strontium respectively. In radioecological model that is used within the decision support system RODOS, the ecological half-lives are 8 years for Cesium and 14 years for strontium, which agrees well with the finding of this study. - For roe deer, deer, wild boar and forest plants (including mushrooms), under Middle European conditions, the ecological half-lives are about 12 years for cesium. However, in Ukraine, the cesium levels in forest products are much more persistent; in some cases the decrease of activity is only caused by the radioactive decay. - The variability of the long-term behaviour of 137Cs and 90Sr in freshwater ecosystems is much more pronounced than for terrestrial systems. It depends strongly on the sitespecific characteristics. The observed ecological half-lives for 137Cs and 90Sr cover a wide range from several days to several years. - The data to derive ecological half-lives of cesium in soil is relatively poor. For the upper soil layer of 0-10 cm, ecological half-lives were derived

  19. THE ECOLOGICAL STRUCTURE OF ORIBATID MITES POPULATION (‘OSNOVNOY’ QUARRY, DONETSK REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shtirts А. D.

    2015-08-01

    Zygoribatula frisiae. A distinctive feature of the oribatid mites’ population structure at the technogenic landscape is the presence of a large number of rare species, especially in spring, which is comparable to that in the undisturbed grassland ecosystems. In the oribatid life forms spectrum the presence of all morpho-ecological types is noted, which is a key feature for intact landscapes. In summer and autumn period a clear predominance of secondary specialized forms, typical for anthropogenic landscapes, was observed; in spring the structure is more aligned, and the residents of small soil wells make up a significant part of the population.

  20. How ecological restoration alters ecosystem services: an analysis of carbon sequestration in China's Loess Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xiaoming; Fu, Bojie; Lu, Nan; Zeng, Yuan; Wu, Bingfang

    2013-10-03

    Restoring disturbed and over-exploited ecosystems is important to mitigate human pressures on natural ecosystems. China has launched an ambitious national ecosystem restoration program called Grain to Green Program (GTGP) over the last decade. By using remote sensing techniques and ecosystem modelling, we quantitatively evaluated the changes in ecosystem carbon sequestration since China's GTGP program during period of 2000-2008. It was found the NPP and NEP in this region had steadily increased after the initiative of the GTGP program, and a total of 96.1 Tg of additional carbon had been sequestered during that period. Changes in soil carbon storage were lagged behind and thus insignificant over the period, but was expected to follow in the coming decades. As a result, the Loess Plateau ecosystem had shifted from a net carbon source in 2000 to a net carbon sink in 2008. The carbon sequestration efficiency was constrained by precipitation, and appropriate choices of restoration types (trees, shrubs, and grasses) in accordance to local climate are critical for achieving the best benefit/cost efficiency.

  1. Ecological half-lives in the Faeroe Islands' and in Danish agricultural ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aarkrog, A.

    1992-01-01

    It is important to be conversant with the ecological halving times when determining doses from radioactive pollution of the environment. This subject is elaborated and dose calculations and transfer factors are dealt with. It is stated that Sr-90 shows a longer ecological halving time then Cs-137. Cs-137 from global fallout has a longer halving time than that originating from the Chernobyl accident. Unexpectedly, global fallout in Danish food products has a longer ecological halving time than is found in products from the Faroe Islands. These factors are discussed further. (AB)

  2. Predation and Ecology in Deep-Time: How Modern Marine Ecosystems Develop and Deteriorate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tackett, L.

    2017-12-01

    Anti-predator adaptations in shelly prey and specialized feeding-capture structures in predators can be observed nearly everywhere in modern oceans. The conditions in which these adaptive "arms-races" between predators and prey developed in the oceans can yield important insights to predict how these relationships are affected by environmental change. However, in the fossil record it can be difficult to determine if an adaptation in a shelly animal is related to predation, or some other factor, such as competition for nutrients or space. To address (1) the problem of interpreting the function of shelly invertebrate adaptations, and (2) to identify environmental factors in the development of modern predator-prey interactions, I carefully study the relative abundances of shelly prey animals and microfossil remains of their predators in marine sediments. In the Late Triassic (220-204 million years ago), a dramatic paleoecological shift occurred among shelly marine animals—immobile surface-dwelling animals that had been abundant in the oceans for 300 million years became rare, and were replaced by burrowing clams, swimming scallops, cementing oysters, and many other new taxa with surprising adaptations. This proliferation of adaptive strategies seems to be synchronous with the appearance of many predator taxa specialized for shell-crushing that mainly moved along the seafloor. To test this hypothesis, I examine microfossils of these predators in the sediments containing macrofossils of their shelly prey, to find teeth or claw features that can exhibit specializations for shell-crushing or other predation modes. With the development of this very modern system of predator-prey interactions, we can better understand how these food-webs were disrupted by climatic perturbations later in the Triassic, and make meaningful comparisons to modern ocean ecosystems.

  3. Ecology and Distribution of Copepods from the Salt Pan Ecosystems of Mumbai, West Coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Stephen, R.; Jayalakshmy, K.V.; NaveenKumar, K.R.; Nair, V.R.

    Ecology, distribution and diversity of Copepod collected from two salt pans of Mumbai, India, are presented. Copepods, the mai zooplankton components, consisted mainly of Bestiolina similis, Acartia southwelli, Oithona sp., O. similis, O. hebes...

  4. Genomics meets applied ecology : Characterizing habitat quality for sloths in a tropical agro-ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fountain, Emily D; Kang, Jung Koo; Tempel, Douglas J; Palsbøll, Per J; Pauli, Jonathan N; Peery, M Zachariah

    Understanding how habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes governs the distribution and fitness of individuals is a fundamental aspect of ecology. While mean individual fitness is generally considered a key to assessing habitat quality, a comprehensive understanding of habitat quality in

  5. Common carp disrupt ecosystem structure and function through middle-out effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaemingk, Mark A.; Jolley, Jeffrey C.; Paukert, Craig P.; Willis, David W.; Henderson, Kjetil R.; Holland, Richard S.; Wanner, Greg A.; Lindvall, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    Middle-out effects or a combination of top-down and bottom-up processes create many theoretical and empirical challenges in the realm of trophic ecology. We propose using specific autecology or species trait (i.e. behavioural) information to help explain and understand trophic dynamics that may involve complicated and non-unidirectional trophic interactions. The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) served as our model species for whole-lake observational and experimental studies; four trophic levels were measured to assess common carp-mediated middle-out effects across multiple lakes. We hypothesised that common carp could influence aquatic ecosystems through multiple pathways (i.e. abiotic and biotic foraging, early life feeding, nutrient). Both studies revealed most trophic levels were affected by common carp, highlighting strong middle-out effects likely caused by common carp foraging activities and abiotic influence (i.e. sediment resuspension). The loss of water transparency, submersed vegetation and a shift in zooplankton dynamics were the strongest effects. Trophic levels furthest from direct pathway effects were also affected (fish life history traits). The present study demonstrates that common carp can exert substantial effects on ecosystem structure and function. Species capable of middle-out effects can greatly modify communities through a variety of available pathways and are not confined to traditional top-down or bottom-up processes.

  6. Extinction rate, historical population structure and ecological role of the Caribbean monk seal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClenachan, Loren; Cooper, Andrew B

    2008-06-22

    The productivity and biomass of pristine coral reef ecosystems is poorly understood, particularly in the Caribbean where communities have been impacted by overfishing and multiple other stressors over centuries. Using historical data on the spatial distribution and abundance of the extinct Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis), this study reconstructs the population size, structure and ecological role of this once common predator within coral reef communities, and provides evidence that historical reefs supported biomasses of fishes and invertebrates up to six times greater than those found on typical modern Caribbean reefs. An estimated 233,000-338,000 monk seals were distributed among 13 colonies across the Caribbean. The biomass of reef fishes and invertebrates required to support historical seal populations was 732-1018 gm(-2) of reefs, which exceeds that found on any Caribbean reef today and is comparable with those measured in remote Pacific reefs. Quantitative estimates of historically dense monk seal colonies and their consumption rates on pristine reefs provide concrete data on the magnitude of decline in animal biomass on Caribbean coral reefs. Realistic reconstruction of these past ecosystems is critical to understanding the profound and long-lasting effect of human hunting on the functioning of coral reef ecosystems.

  7. Decoupling of body-plan diversification and ecological structuring during the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition: evolutionary and geobiological feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mángano, M Gabriela; Buatois, Luis A

    2014-04-07

    The rapid appearance of bilaterian clades at the beginning of the Phanerozoic is one of the most intriguing topics in macroevolution. However, the complex feedbacks between diversification and ecological interactions are still poorly understood. Here, we show that a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the trace-fossil record of the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition indicates that body-plan diversification and ecological structuring were decoupled. The appearance of a wide repertoire of behavioural strategies and body plans occurred by the Fortunian. However, a major shift in benthic ecological structure, recording the establishment of a suspension-feeder infauna, increased complexity of the trophic web, and coupling of benthos and plankton took place during Cambrian Stage 2. Both phases were accompanied by different styles of ecosystem engineering, but only the second one resulted in the establishment of the Phanerozoic-style ecology. In turn, the suspension-feeding infauna may have been the ecological drivers of a further diversification of deposit-feeding strategies by Cambrian Stage 3, favouring an ecological spillover scenario. Trace-fossil information strongly supports the Cambrian explosion, but allows for a short time of phylogenetic fuse during the terminal Ediacaran-Fortunian.

  8. An ecological method to understand agricultural standardization in peach orchard ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Zhang, Ming-Yi; Jiang, Jie-Xian; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Hao-Zhang

    2016-02-22

    While the worldwide standardization of agricultural production has been advocated and recommended, relatively little research has focused on the ecological significance of such a shift. The ecological concerns stemming from the standardization of agricultural production may require new methodology. In this study, we concentrated on how ecological two-sidedness and ecological processes affect the standardization of agricultural production which was divided into three phrases (pre-, mid- and post-production), considering both the positive and negative effects of agricultural processes. We constructed evaluation indicator systems for the pre-, mid- and post-production phases and here we presented a Standardization of Green Production Index (SGPI) based on the Full Permutation Polygon Synthetic Indicator (FPPSI) method which we used to assess the superiority of three methods of standardized production for peaches. The values of SGPI for pre-, mid- and post-production were 0.121 (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), 0.379 (Level III, "Good" standard), and 0.769 × 10(-2) (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), respectively. Here we aimed to explore the integrated application of ecological two-sidedness and ecological process in agricultural production. Our results are of use to decision-makers and ecologists focusing on eco-agriculture and those farmers who hope to implement standardized agricultural production practices.

  9. Loss of an ecological baseline through the eradication of oyster reefs from coastal ecosystems and human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alleway, Heidi K; Connell, Sean D

    2015-06-01

    Oyster reefs form over extensive areas and the diversity and productivity of sheltered coasts depend on them. Due to the relatively recent population growth of coastal settlements in Australia, we were able to evaluate the collapse and extirpation of native oyster reefs (Ostrea angasi) over the course of a commercial fishery. We used historical records to quantify commercial catch of O. angasi in southern Australia from early colonization, around 1836, to some of the last recorded catches in 1944 and used our estimates of catch and effort to map their past distribution and assess oyster abundance over 180 years. Significant declines in catch and effort occurred from 1886 to 1946 and no native oyster reefs occur today, but historically oyster reefs extended across more than 1,500 km of coastline. That oyster reefs were characteristic of much of the coastline of South Australia from 1836 to 1910 appears not to be known because there is no contemporary consideration of their ecological and economic value. Based on the concept of a shifted baseline, we consider this contemporary state to reflect a collective, intergenerational amnesia. Our model of generational amnesia accounts for differences in intergenerational expectations of food, economic value, and ecosystem services of nearshore areas. An ecological system that once surrounded much of the coast and possibly the past presence of oyster reefs altogether may be forgotten and could not only undermine progress towards their recovery, but also reduce our expectations of these coastal ecosystems. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Solar energy and ecosystem. ; Simulation system for the ecological system (Bios-3 as an example). Taiyo energy to ecosystem. ; Seitaikei mogi system (Bios-3 wo rei to shite)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nitta, K [National Aerospace Laboratory, Tokyo (Japan)

    1992-11-30

    The present report gives inspectional opinions about the Bios-3 which is a Russian artificial ecological system and explains the simulation system for the ecological system. The Bios-3 installed in a semi-underground dome of Biophysics Research Institute, Krasnoyarsk is a stainless steel-made enclosed box which is 120m[sup 2] and 3m in total area and height, respectively. Such an internal volume is structurally divided into two botanical cultivation rooms, oxygen supply use chlorella cultivation room and living room where the human living experiment can be done without interruption during half a year. It is judged that the ecological environment can not sufficiently condition both the autotrophic substances which are plants and mosses, and hetrotrophic ones which are animals and microbes. As for the conditional control of ecological system, neither BS-II, USA nor Bios-3 can arbitrarily change the environmental condition. However by utilizing buffers, air blowers and other physico-chemical controllers, development must be done of a new simulator which can change the environment, and elucidate the correlation between the environment and biological beings. That simulator may play an important role also for preparing the IGBP's global model. 5 figs.

  11. Effects on parathion on the ecology of a eutrophic aquatic ecosystem: limnocorral experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasith, A.; Perry, A.S.; Mozel, Y.; Albright, J.L.

    1983-01-01

    Repetitive exposure of a eutrophic fish pond ecosystem, enclosed in limnocorrals, to 30 ppb parathion resulted in elimination of the potentially dominant zooplankton species, Moina micrura. Consequently, the populations of the rotifers Brachionus and Asplanchna markedly increased. Changes in the zooplankton composition and abundance were followed by increased fluctuations in phytoplankton biomass, phytoplankton photosynthesis, plankton respiration and community metabolism. Similar responses to parathion treatment were observed in previous studies under fish pond conditions. In the presence of fish the effect of parathion on the ecosystem was generally less pronounced and not uniform. The collapse of the zooplankton community and the rapid changes in limnological conditions in the control (untreated) limnocorrals severely limited the duration of the experiment. The results suggest that under eutrophic conditions, small enclosures may be useful for evaluation of the effect of toxicants on the ecosystem only in short term experiments with short lived chemicals. (author)

  12. How sulfate-rich mine drainage affected aquatic ecosystem degradation in northeastern China, and potential ecological risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qian; Guo, Fen; Zhang, Yuan; Ma, Shuqin; Jia, Xiaobo; Meng, Wei

    2017-12-31

    Mining activity is an increasingly important stressor for freshwater ecosystems. However, the mechanism on how sulfate-rich mine drainage affects freshwater ecosystems is largely unknown, and its potential ecological risk has not been assessed so far. During 2009-2016, water and macroinvertebrate samples from 405 sample sites were collected along the mine drainage gradient from circum-neutral to alkaline waters in Hun-Tai River, Northeastern China. Results of linear regressions showed that sulfate-rich mine drainage was significantly positively correlated with the constituents typically derived from rock weathering (Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ and HCO 3 - +CO 3 2- ); the diversity of intolerant stream macroinvertebrates exhibited a steep decline along the gradient of sulfate-rich mine drainage. Meanwhile, stressor-response relationships between sulfate-rich mine drainage and macroinvertebrate communities were explored by two complementary statistical approaches in tandem (Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis and the field-based method developed by USEPA). Results revealed that once stream sulfate concentrations in mine drainage exceeded 35mg/L, significant decline in the abundance of intolerant macroinvertebrate taxa occurred. An assessment of ecological risk posed by sulfate-rich mine drainage was conducted based on a tiered approach consisting of simple deterministic method (Hazard Quotient, HQ) to probabilistic method (Joint Probability Curve, JPC). Results indicated that sulfate-rich mine drainage posed a potential risk, and 64.62-84.88% of surface waters in Hun-Tai River exist serious risk while 5% threshold (HC 05 ) and 1% threshold (HC 01 ) were set up to protect macroinvertebrates, respectively. This study provided us a better understanding on the impacts of sulfate-rich mine drainage on freshwater ecosystems, and it would be helpful for future catchment management to protect streams from mining activity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Ecosystem Restoration: Fact or Fancy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Stanturf; Callie J. Schweitzer; Stephen H. Schoenholtz; James P. Barnett; Charles K. McMahon; Donald J. Tomszak

    1998-01-01

    Ecological restoration is generally accepted as the reestablishment of natural ecological processes that produce certain dynamic ecosystem properties of structure, function, and processes. But restore to what? The most frequently used conceptual model for the restoration process is the shift of conditions from some current (degraded) dynamic state to some past dynamic...

  14. Ecological Structure of a Tropical Urban Forest in the Bang Kachao Peninsula, Bangkok

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Montathip Sommeechai

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapid urbanization has changed the structure and function of natural ecosystems, especially floodplain ecosystems in SE Asia. The ecological structure of vegetation stands and the usefulness of satellite images was investigated to characterize a disturbed tropical urban forest located in the Chao Phraya River lower floodplain, Thailand. Nine sample plots were established on the Bang Kachao Peninsula (BKP within 4 tropical forest types in an urban area: rehabilitation forest, home-garden agroforestry, mangrove and park. The tree habitats were beach forest, swamp forest, moist evergreen forest, dry evergreen forest, mangrove forest and abandoned orchard or home-garden. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI values obtained from Landsat 7 satellite images were correlated with plant structure from field surveys. NDVI had the highest relationship with stand factors for number of families, number of species, Shannon-Weiner index and total basal area. Linear regression predicted well the correlation between NDVI and stand factors for families and basal area. NDVI trends reflected urban tropical forest typing and biodiversity, being high in rehabilitation and mangrove forests, moderate in home-gardens and low in parks. We suggest that the application of NDVI for assessments can be useful for future planning, monitoring and management of the BKP and hence may contribute for increasing biodiversity and complexity of these urban forests.

  15. Quantifying the Impacts of Outlet Control Structures on Lake Hydrology and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budd, B. M.; Kendall, A. D.; Martin, S. L.; Hyndman, D. W.

    2012-12-01

    There have been limited studies of the impacts of lake level control structures on stream ecology and lake property erosion. We examine the influence of historical lake level management strategies on Higgins Lake in Michigan, which is regionally known for recreation, fisheries, and scenery. Lake control structures have potentially increased shoreline erosion and seasonally-reduced flow through the outlets, likely impacting fish habitat. Concerns over these issues spurred local land owners to seek a study on the possible hydrologic and ecological impacts of the removal or modification of the control structure. Bathymetry maps are fundamental to understanding and managing lake ecosystems. From the 1930's through the 1950's, these maps were developed for thousands of Michigan inland lakes using soundings lowered through holes cut in winter lake ice. Increased land use change and alterations of lake outlets have likely modified erosion and sedimentation rates of these lake systems. Our research includes bathymetry surveys of Higgins Lake using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and side-scan sonar. The new higher-resolution bathymetry serves as the basis for simulating impacts of potential changes in lake management, on a verity of inpoint including shoreline position and fish habitat.

  16. Food-web and ecosystem structure of the open-ocean and deep-sea environments of the Azores, NE Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Telmo Morato

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The Marine Strategy Framework Directive intends to adopt ecosystem-based management for resources, biodiversity and habitats that puts emphasis on maintaining the health of the ecosystem alongside appropriate human use of the marine environment, for the benefit of current and future generations. Within the overall framework of ecosystem-based management, ecosystem models are tools to evaluate and gain insights in ecosystem properties. The low data availability and complexity of modelling deep-water ecosystems has limited the application of ecosystem models to few deep-water ecosystems. Here, we aim to develop an ecosystem model for the deep-sea and open ocean in the Azores exclusive economic zone with the overarching objective of characterising the food-web and ecosystem structure of the ecosystem. An ecosystem model with 45 functional groups, including a detritus group, two primary producer groups, eight invertebrate groups, 29 fish groups, three marine mammal groups, a turtle and a seabird group was built. Overall data quality measured by the pedigree index was estimated to be higher than the mean value of all published models. Therefore, the model was built with source data of an overall reasonable quality, especially considering the normally low data availability for deep-sea ecosystems. The total biomass (excluding detritus of the modelled ecosystem for the whole area was calculated as 24.7 t km-². The mean trophic level for the total marine catch of the Azores was estimated to be 3.95, similar to the trophic level of the bathypelagic and medium-size pelagic fish. Trophic levels for the different functional groups were estimated to be similar to those obtained with stable isotopes and stomach contents analyses, with some exceptions on both ends of the trophic spectra. Omnivory indices were in general low, indicating prey speciation for the majority of the groups. Cephalopods, pelagic sharks and toothed whales were identified as groups with

  17. Integrating Water, Actors, and Structure to Study Socio-Hydro-Ecological Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, R. L.; Armstrong, A.; Baker, M. A.; Bedingfield, S.; Betts, D.; Buahin, C. A.; Buchert, M.; Crowl, T.; Dupont, R.; Endter-Wada, J.; Flint, C.; Grant, J.; Hinners, S.; Horns, D.; Horsburgh, J. S.; Jackson-Smith, D.; Jones, A. S.; Licon, C.; Null, S. E.; Odame, A.; Pataki, D. E.; Rosenberg, D. E.; Runburg, M.; Stoker, P.; Strong, C.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization, climate uncertainty, and ecosystem change represent major challenges for managing water resources. Water systems and the forces acting upon them are complex, and there is a need to understand and generically represent the most important system components and linkages. We developed a framework to facilitate understanding of water systems including potential vulnerabilities and opportunities for sustainability. Our goal was to produce an interdisciplinary framework for water resources research to address water issues across scales (e.g., city to region) and domains (e.g., water supply and quality, urban and transitioning landscapes). An interdisciplinary project (iUTAH - innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability) with a large (N=~100), diverse team having expertise spanning the hydrologic, biological, ecological, engineering, social, planning, and policy sciences motivated the development of this framework. The framework was developed through review of the literature, meetings with individual researchers, and workshops with participants. The Structure-Water-Actor Framework (SWAF) includes three main components: water (quality and quantity), structure (natural, built, and social), and actors (individual and organizational). Key linkages include: 1) ecological and hydrological processes, 2) ecosystem and geomorphic change, 3) planning, design, and policy, 4) perceptions, information, and experience, 5) resource access, and 6) operational water use and management. Our expansive view of structure includes natural, built, and social components, allowing us to examine a broad set of tools and levers for water managers and decision-makers to affect system sustainability and understand system outcomes. We validate the SWAF and illustrate its flexibility to generate insights for three research and management problems: green stormwater infrastructure in an arid environment, regional water supply and demand, and urban river restoration

  18. Ecological half-lives of 9Sr and 137Cs in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Proehl, G.; Ehlken, S.; Fiedler, I.; Kirchner, G.; Klemt, E.; Zibold, G.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes the long-term behaviour of 9 Sr and 137 Cs in foods, feeds and a variety of environmental media. The long-term behaviour is quantified by means of the ecological half-life which integrates all processes that cause a decrease of activity in a given medium such as leaching, fixation and erosion. A large number of long-term time series of concentrations of radiocaesium and radiostrontium in these media have been identified and re-evaluated using a standardised statistical procedure to establish reference data sets of ecological half-lives. By example of undisturbed soils and marine water bodies it is shown that the ecological half-life concept is questionable if the distribution of the radionuclide of interest within the medium studied is non-uniform and if mixing and transport processes within this medium, therefore, are of considerable importance during the time period of observation

  19. How a clogged canal impacts ecological health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    The coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical urban ecosystem interwoven among a series of interconnected bays, lagoons, canals, and mangrove wetlands. As the city has expanded, infilling and urban encroachment on what was previously mangrove wetland and open estuarine ...

  20. How a clogged canal effects ecological and human health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    The coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical urban ecosystem interwoven among a series of interconnected bays, lagoons, canals, and mangrove wetlands. As the city has expanded, infilling and urban encroachment on what was previously mangrove wetland and open estuarine ...

  1. Current research trends on plastic pollution and ecological impacts on the soil ecosystem: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, Yooeun; An, Youn-Joo

    2018-05-09

    Plastic pollution in the environment is currently receiving worldwide attention. Improper dumping of disused or abandoned plastic wastes leads to contamination of the environment. In particular, the disposal of municipal wastewater effluent, sewage sludge landfill, and plastic mulch from agricultural activities is a serious issue and of major concern regarding soil pollution. Compared to plastic pollution in the marine and freshwater ecosystems, that in the soil ecosystem has been relatively neglected. In this study, we discussed plastic pollution in the soil environment and investigated research on the effects of plastic wastes, especially microplastics, on the soil ecosystem. We found that earthworms have been predominantly used as the test species in investigating the effects of soil plastic pollution on organisms. Therefore, further research investigating the effects of plastic on other species models (invertebrates, plants, microorganisms, and insects) are required to understand the effects of plastic pollution on the overall soil ecosystem. In addition, we suggest other perspectives for future studies on plastic pollution and soil ecotoxicity of plastics wastes, providing a direction for such research. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Soil ecology and ecosystem services of dairy and semi-natural grasslands on peat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deru, Joachim G.C.; Bloem, Jaap; Goede, de Ron; Keidel, Harm; Kloen, Henk; Rutgers, Michiel; Akker, van den Jan; Brussaard, Lijbert; Eekeren, van Nick

    2018-01-01

    Peat wetlands are of major importance for ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water regulation and maintenance of biodiversity. However, peat drainage for farming leads to CO2 emission, soil subsidence and biodiversity losses. In the peat areas in the Netherlands, solutions are sought in

  3. Major changes in the ecology of the Wadden Sea: human impacts, ecosystem engineering and sediment dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eriksson, B.K.; van der Heide, T.; Van de Koppel, J.; Piersma, T.; Van der Veer, H.W.; Olff, H.

    2010-01-01

    Shallow soft-sediment systems are mostly dominated by species that, by strongly affecting sediment dynamics, modify their local environment. Such ecosystem engineering species can have either sediment-stabilizing or sediment-destabilizing effects on tidal flats. They interplay with abiotic forcing

  4. An integrated ecosystem model for coral reef management where oceanography, ecology and socio-economics meet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary

    Widespread coral reef decline, including decline in reef fish populations upon which many coastal human populations depend, have led to phase-shifts from the coral-dominated systems, found desirable by humans, to algal-dominated systems that provide less ecosystem

  5. Applications of the First Law to Ecological Systems. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Thermodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, R. D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This report describes concepts presented in another module called "The First Law of…

  6. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  7. A demonstration project to test ecological restoration of a pinyon-juniper ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. Huffman; Michael T. Stoddard; Peter Z. Fule; W. Wallace Covington; H. B. Smith

    2008-01-01

    To test an approach for restoring historical stand densities and increasing plant species diversity of a pinyon-juniper ecosystem, we implemented a demonstration project at two sites (CR and GP) on the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in northern Arizona. Historical records indicated that livestock grazing was intensive on the sites beginning in the late 1800s...

  8. Habitat and Recreational Fishing Opportunity in Tampa Bay: Linking Ecological and Ecosystem Services to Human Beneficiaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estimating value of estuarine habitat to human beneficiaries requires that we understand how habitat alteration impacts function through both production and delivery of ecosystem goods and services (EGS). Here we expand on the habitat valuation technique of Bell (1997) with an es...

  9. An integrated ecosystem model for coral reef management where oceanography, ecology and socio-economics meet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, Mariska

    2015-01-01

    Widespread coral reef decline, including decline in reef fish populations upon which many coastal human populations depend, have led to phase-shifts from the coral-dominated systems, found desirable by humans, to algal-dominated systems that provide less ecosystem services, and the loss of

  10. ECOLOGICAL AND ENZYMATHICAL STUDY UPON SOIL RESOURCES FROM FOREST ECOSYSTEMS IN MIDDLE PRUT RIVER COURSE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geanina Bireescu

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Rezultatele experimentale prezentate în lucrarea de faţă fac parte dintr-un studiu ecologic multidisciplinar desfăşurat în cadrul Programului Naţional de Cercetare BIOSTAR în ecosisteme forestiere naturale şi antropizate din Lunca Prutului (Prisecani Iaşi. Diagnoza ecologică a solului evidenţiază un potenţial trofic ridicat care nu-i utilizat la optim în sezonul estival foarte secetos. Studiul potenţialului enzimatic ne prezintă valori mijlocii, ceva mai ridicate în păduri naturale.

  11. A Federated Reference Structure for Open Informational Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinen, Richard; Kerres, Michael; Scharnberg, Gianna; Blees, Ingo; Rittberger, Marc

    2016-01-01

    The paper describes the concept of a federated ecosystem for Open Educational Resources (OER) in the German education system. Here, a variety of OER repositories (ROER) (Muuß-Merholz & Schaumburg, 2014) and reference platforms have been established in the recent past. In order to develop this ecosystem, not only are metadata standards…

  12. Urban forest structure, ecosystem services and change in Syracuse, NY

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Robert E. Hoehn; Allison R. Bodine; Eric J. Greenfield; Jarlath. O' Neil-Dunne

    2013-01-01

    The tree population within the City of Syracuse was assessed using a random sampling of plots in 1999, 2001 and 2009 to determine how the population and the ecosystem services these trees provide have changed over time. Ecosystem services and values for carbon sequestration, air pollution removal and changes in building energy use were derived using the i-Tree Eco...

  13. Sierra Nevada grasslands: interactions between livestock grazing and ecosystem structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara H. Allen-Diaz

    2004-01-01

    Livestock grazing plays an integral role in the grass-dominated ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. Grazing has been asserted to influence such key ecological characteristics as water quality, net primary productivity, nutrient cycling, plant and animal diversity, wildlife habitat availability, and oak regeneration (Belsky and others 1999, Kauffmann and Krueger 1984)....

  14. AN ATTEMPT TO DEVELOP AN ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION SYSTEM OF ECOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR EVALUATING FUNCTIONS OF ECOSYSTEM-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION (ECO-DRR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Doko

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available “Ecological Infrastructure (EI” are defined as naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as healthy mountain catchments, rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, and nodes and corridors of natural habitat, which together form a network of interconnected structural elements in the landscape. On the other hand, natural disaster occur at the locations where habitat was reduced due to the changes of land use, in which the land was converted to the settlements and agricultural cropland. Hence, habitat loss and natural disaster are linked closely. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built or hard infrastructure, and is as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. Hence, ecological infrastructure is expected to contribute to functioning as ecological disaster reduction, which is termed Ecosystem-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR. Although ecological infrastructure already exists in the landscape, it might be degraded, needs to be maintained and managed, and in some cases restored. Maintenance and restoration of ecological infrastructure is important for security of human lives. Therefore, analytical tool and effective visualization tool in spatially explicit way for the past natural disaster and future prediction of natural disaster in relation to ecological infrastructure is considered helpful. Hence, Web-GIS based Ecological Infrastructure Environmental Information System (EI-EIS has been developed. This paper aims to describe the procedure of development and future application of EI-EIS. The purpose of the EI-EIS is to evaluate functions of Eco-DRR. In order to analyse disaster data, collection of past disaster information, and disaster-prone area is effective. First, a number of digital maps and analogue maps in Japan and Europe were collected. In total, 18,572 maps over 100 years were collected. The Japanese data includes Future

  15. An Attempt to Develop AN Environmental Information System of Ecological Infrastructure for Evaluating Functions of Ecosystem-Based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction Eco-Drr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doko, T.; Chen, W.; Sasaki, K.; Furutani, T.

    2016-06-01

    "Ecological Infrastructure (EI)" are defined as naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as healthy mountain catchments, rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, and nodes and corridors of natural habitat, which together form a network of interconnected structural elements in the landscape. On the other hand, natural disaster occur at the locations where habitat was reduced due to the changes of land use, in which the land was converted to the settlements and agricultural cropland. Hence, habitat loss and natural disaster are linked closely. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built or hard infrastructure, and is as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. Hence, ecological infrastructure is expected to contribute to functioning as ecological disaster reduction, which is termed Ecosystem-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). Although ecological infrastructure already exists in the landscape, it might be degraded, needs to be maintained and managed, and in some cases restored. Maintenance and restoration of ecological infrastructure is important for security of human lives. Therefore, analytical tool and effective visualization tool in spatially explicit way for the past natural disaster and future prediction of natural disaster in relation to ecological infrastructure is considered helpful. Hence, Web-GIS based Ecological Infrastructure Environmental Information System (EI-EIS) has been developed. This paper aims to describe the procedure of development and future application of EI-EIS. The purpose of the EI-EIS is to evaluate functions of Eco-DRR. In order to analyse disaster data, collection of past disaster information, and disaster-prone area is effective. First, a number of digital maps and analogue maps in Japan and Europe were collected. In total, 18,572 maps over 100 years were collected. The Japanese data includes Future-Pop Data Series (1,736 maps

  16. Small mammal populations and ecology in the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project area

    Science.gov (United States)

    William F. Jr. Laudenslayer; Roberta J. Fargo

    2002-01-01

    Small mammals are important components of woodlands and forests. Since 1992, we have been studying several aspects of small mammal ecology in oak woodlands in western foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada. Assemblages of small, nocturnal mammal species are dominated by the brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii), California mouse (P. californicus...

  17. Determination of the Ecological and Geographic Distributions of Armillaria Species in Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johann N. Bruhn; James J. Wetteroff; Jeanne D. Mihail; Susan. Burks

    1997-01-01

    Armillaria root rot contributes to oak decline in the Ozarks. Three Armillaria species were detected in Ecological Landtypes (ELT's) representing south- to west-facing side slopes (ELT 17), north- to east-facing side slopes (ELT 18), and ridge tops (ELT 11). Armillaria mellea was detected in 91 percent...

  18. Trophic ecology of Lepidoptera larvae associated with woody vegetation in a savanna ecosystem

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholtz, CH

    1982-06-01

    Full Text Available This study represents a quantitative survey of a Lepidoptera community and deals with the trophic ecology of the 27 species of foliage-feeding Lepidoptera on the eight dominant woody plants in the Burkea africana-Eragrostis pallens savanna...

  19. Climate change as an ecosystem architect: implications to rare plant ecology, conservation, and restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance I. Millar

    2003-01-01

    Recent advances in earth system sciences have revealed significant new information relevant to rare plant ecology and conservation. Analysis of climate change at high resolution with new and precise proxies of paleotemperatures reveals a picture over the past two million years of oscillatory climate change operating simultaneously at multiple timescales. Low-frequency...

  20. Using ecological site information to improve landscape management for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    People and their societies, have a complicated relationship with land. The unofficial patron saint of ecologists, Aldo Leopold, in “The Sand County Almanac,” traced the modern human relationship with land from a purely economic to an ecologically based approach, culminating in his “ Land Ethic.” In...

  1. The assessment of the required groundwater quantity for the conservation of ecosystems and the achievement of a good ecological status of surface waters

    OpenAIRE

    Mitja Janža; Dejan Šram; Kim Mezga; Mišo Andjelov; Jože Uhan

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of the available quantity of groundwater is of essential importance for its sustainable use. Modern approaches for estimation of groundwater availability take into account all potential impacts of abstractions, including impacts on groundwater dependent ecosystems and impacts on surface waters ecological status. Groundwater body is in good quantitative status if groundwater abstractions do not cause signifiant damages to groundwater dependent ecosystems and signifiant d...

  2. Structural and Functional Diversity of Weed Species in Organic and Conventional Rice Agro-Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Y. Mousawi Toghani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Diversity reflects the complexity of a system and can maintain its sustainability. Higherdiversity, results in higher inherent complexity of agro-ecosystems and strengthen their processes. It is necessary to realize the spatial distribution and temporal properties of the biodiversity components in agro-ecosystems, for the conservation and optimal utilization. Since weeds as a complementary component of agro-ecosystems and are inseparable, so the study of species, their functional and structural diversity of them can play an important role in weed management and balance in ecological systems. Materials and Methods This study was performed to determine the effects of different management systems on structural, and functional diversity of paddy weeds in Mazandaran province. Three rice fields, ranged from 0.3 to 0.5 ha, were chosen for each management system. Samples were collected from three fields running under each selected management system (organic and conventional. Data (number of weed species and their density were randomly gathered from 9 quadrates (1m×1m per each field in four stages (tillering, stem elongation, grain filling and after harvest. The diversity, evenness, frequency and similarity indices for weeds were determined at genera and species level. Data analysis carried out through T-test and grouping performed via cluster analysis as hierarchy. Results and Discussion All monitored weeds can be classified into four plant family including cereals (Poaceae, sedges (Cyperaceae, plantain (Plantaginaceae and chicory (Asteraceae.Under conventional systems the values of weed diversity indices were higher during tillering and stem elongation compared with organic ones, and were lower during grain filling and after harvest stages. However indices of weed evenness showed contrary tendency. Both Sympson and Shanon-Wiener diversity indices, consist of two clusters in 76% similarity. Evenness indices of Kamargo and Smith

  3. Ecological feedbacks. Termite mounds can increase the robustness of dryland ecosystems to climatic change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonachela, Juan A; Pringle, Robert M; Sheffer, Efrat; Coverdale, Tyler C; Guyton, Jennifer A; Caylor, Kelly K; Levin, Simon A; Tarnita, Corina E

    2015-02-06

    Self-organized spatial vegetation patterning is widespread and has been described using models of scale-dependent feedback between plants and water on homogeneous substrates. As rainfall decreases, these models yield a characteristic sequence of patterns with increasingly sparse vegetation, followed by sudden collapse to desert. Thus, the final, spot-like pattern may provide early warning for such catastrophic shifts. In many arid ecosystems, however, termite nests impart substrate heterogeneity by altering soil properties, thereby enhancing plant growth. We show that termite-induced heterogeneity interacts with scale-dependent feedbacks to produce vegetation patterns at different spatial grains. Although the coarse-grained patterning resembles that created by scale-dependent feedback alone, it does not indicate imminent desertification. Rather, mound-field landscapes are more robust to aridity, suggesting that termites may help stabilize ecosystems under global change. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. Ecological Stoichiometric Characteristics of Two Typical Plantations in the Karst Ecosystem of Southwestern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danbo Pang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Reforestation has been widely adopted to restore soil fertility and ecosystem service function in the rocky desertification region of southwestern China. However, there has been limited research concerning the stoichiometry of carbon (C, nitrogen (N, and phosphorus (P and nutrient resorption rate of plantations in karst ecosystems. In this study, we selected plantations of Pinus yunnanensis Franch. (PY and Eucalyptus maideni F. Muell. (EM in Yunnan Province. The C, N, and P concentrations and the C:N:P stoichiometry in different soil layers (0–10 cm, 10–20 cm, and 20–30 cm were examined. The nutrient limitation and nutrient resorption efficiency were also analyzed. The leaf C and N concentrations in the PY plantation were higher than that in the EM plantation; the P concentration demonstrated the opposite trend, both in green and senesced leaves. Soil C, N, and P concentrations in the EM plantation were much greater than in the PY plantation at all three depths and decreased with the depth of the soil. In addition, the high ratios of C:P, N:P, C:Available P, and N:Available P in soil coupled with the ratios of N:P in leaves indicate that the EM plantation has a greater P deficiency than the PY plantation. In the EM plantation, the relatively low P concentrations in senesced leaves indicates efficient TP (Total phosphorus resorption, which highlights that the high reuse proficiency of P could have favored moderating P limitation in the karst ecosystem. This research aids in understanding the stoichiometric characteristics that mediate forest properties, and provides a basis for management of vegetation in karst ecosystems.

  5. Exopolysaccharides from Marine and Marine Extremophilic Bacteria: Structures, Properties, Ecological Roles and Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Casillo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The marine environment is the largest aquatic ecosystem on Earth and it harbours microorganisms responsible for more than 50% of total biomass of prokaryotes in the world. All these microorganisms produce extracellular polymers that constitute a substantial part of the dissolved organic carbon, often in the form of exopolysaccharides (EPS. In addition, the production of these polymers is often correlated to the establishment of the biofilm growth mode, during which they are important matrix components. Their functions include adhesion and colonization of surfaces, protection of the bacterial cells and support for biochemical interactions between the bacteria and the surrounding environment. The aim of this review is to present a summary of the status of the research about the structures of exopolysaccharides from marine bacteria, including capsular, medium released and biofilm embedded polysaccharides. Moreover, ecological roles of these polymers, especially for those isolated from extreme ecological niches (deep-sea hydrothermal vents, polar regions, hypersaline ponds, etc., are reported. Finally, relationships between the structure and the function of the exopolysaccharides are discussed.

  6. Ecological role of the giant root-rat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) in the Afroalpine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šklíba, Jan; Vlasatá, Tereza; Lövy, Matěj; Hrouzková, Ema; Meheretu, Yonas; Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; Šumbera, Radim

    2017-07-01

    Rodents with prevailing subterranean activity usually play an important role in the ecosystems of which they are a part due to the combined effect of herbivory and soil perturbation. This is the case for the giant root-rat Tachyoryctes macrocephalus endemic to the Afroalpine ecosystem of the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia. We studied the impact of root-rats on various ecosystem features within a 3.5-ha study locality dominated by Alchemilla pasture, which represents an optimal habitat for this species, in 2 periods of a year. The root-rats altered plant species composition, reducing the dominant forb, Alchemilla abyssinica, while enhancing Salvia merjame and a few other species, and reduced vegetation cover, but not the fresh plant biomass. Where burrows were abandoned by root-rats, other rodents took them over and A. abyssinica increased again. Root-rat burrowing created small-scale heterogeneity in soil compactness due to the backfilling of some unused burrow segments. Less compacted soil tended to be rich in nutrients, including carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, which likely affected the plant growth on sites where the vegetation has been reduced as a result of root-rat foraging and burrowing. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  7. Application of eco-exergy for assessment of ecosystem health and development of structurally dynamic models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, J.; Gürkan, Zeren; Jørgensen, S.E.

    2010-01-01

    are developed using eco-exergy as the goal function, have been applied in explaining and exploring ecosystem properties and changes in community structure driven by biotic and abiotic factors. In this paper, we review the application of eco-exergy for the assessment of ecosystem health and development......Eco-exergy has been widely used in the assessment of ecosystem health, parameter estimations, calibrations, validations and prognoses. It offers insights into the understanding of ecosystem dynamics and disturbance-cl riven changes. Particularly, structurally dynamic models (SDMs), which...

  8. The Human Threat to River Ecosystems at the Watershed Scale: An Ecological Security Assessment of the Songhua River Basin, Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Shen

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Human disturbances impact river basins by reducing the quality of, and services provided by, aquatic ecosystems. Conducting quantitative assessments of ecological security at the watershed scale is important for enhancing the water quality of river basins and promoting environmental management. In this study, China’s Songhua River Basin was divided into 204 assessment units by combining watershed and administrative boundaries. Ten human threat factors were identified based on their significant influence on the river ecosystem. A modified ecological threat index was used to synthetically evaluate the ecological security, where frequency was weighted by flow length from the grids to the main rivers, while severity was weighted by the potential hazard of the factors on variables of river ecosystem integrity. The results showed that individual factors related to urbanization, agricultural development and facility construction presented different spatial distribution characteristics. At the center of the plain area, the provincial capital cities posed the highest level of threat, as did the municipal districts of prefecture-level cities. The spatial relationships between hot spot locations of the ecological threat index and water quality, as well as the distribution areas of critically endangered species, were analyzed. The sensitivity analysis illustrated that alteration of agricultural development largely changed the ecological security level of the basin. By offering a reference for assessing ecological security, this study can enhance water environmental planning and management.

  9. Hierarchical structure of ecological and non-ecological processes of differentiation shaped ongoing gastropod radiation in the Malawi Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bocxlaer, Bert

    2017-09-13

    Ecological processes, non-ecological processes or a combination of both may cause reproductive isolation and speciation, but their specific roles and potentially complex interactions in evolutionary radiations remain poorly understood, which defines a central knowledge gap at the interface of microevolution and macroevolution. Here I examine genome scans in combination with phenotypic and environmental data to disentangle how ecological and non-ecological processes contributed to population differentiation and speciation in an ongoing radiation of Lanistes gastropods from the Malawi Basin. I found a remarkable hierarchical structure of differentiation mechanisms in space and time: neutral and mutation-order processes are older and occur mainly between regions, whereas more recent adaptive processes are the main driver of genetic differentiation and reproductive isolation within regions. The strongest differentiation occurs between habitats and between regions, i.e. when ecological and non-ecological processes act synergistically. The structured occurrence of these processes based on the specific geographical setting and ecological opportunities strongly influenced the potential for evolutionary radiation. The results highlight the importance of interactions between various mechanisms of differentiation in evolutionary radiations, and suggest that non-ecological processes are important in adaptive radiations, including those of cichlids. Insight into such interactions is critical to understanding large-scale patterns of organismal diversity. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. Ecosystem structure and trophic analysis of Angolan fishery landings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo Angelini

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Information on the mean trophic level of fishery landings in Angola and the output from a preliminary Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE model were used to examine the dynamics of the Angolan marine ecosystem. Results were compared with the nearby Namibian and South African ecosystems, which share some of the exploited fish populations. The results show that: (i The mean trophic level of Angola’s fish landings has not decreased over the years; (ii There are significant correlations between the landings of Angola, Namibia and South Africa; (iii The ecosystem attributes calculated by the EwE models for the three ecosystems were similar, and the main differences were related to the magnitude of flows and biomass; (iv The similarity among ecosystem trends for Namibia, South Africa and Angola re-emphasizes the need to continue collaborative regional studies on the fish stocks and their ecosystems. To improve the Angolan model it is necessary to gain a better understanding of plankton dynamics because plankton are essential for Sardinella spp. An expanded analysis of the gut contents of the fish species occupying Angola’s coastline is also necessary.

  11. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  12. On the specification of structural equation models for ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.; Michael, Anderson T.; Han, O.; Scheiner, S.M.

    2010-01-01

    The use of structural equation modeling (SEM) is often motivated by its utility for investigating complex networks of relationships, but also because of its promise as a means of representing theoretical concepts using latent variables. In this paper, we discuss characteristics of ecological theory and some of the challenges for proper specification of theoretical ideas in structural equation models (SE models). In our presentation, we describe some of the requirements for classical latent variable models in which observed variables (indicators) are interpreted as the effects of underlying causes. We also describe alternative model specifications in which indicators are interpreted as having causal influences on the theoretical concepts. We suggest that this latter nonclassical specification (which involves another variable type-the composite) will often be appropriate for ecological studies because of the multifaceted nature of our theoretical concepts. In this paper, we employ the use of meta-models to aid the translation of theory into SE models and also to facilitate our ability to relate results back to our theories. We demonstrate our approach by showing how a synthetic theory of grassland biodiversity can be evaluated using SEM and data from a coastal grassland. In this example, the theory focuses on the responses of species richness to abiotic stress and disturbance, both directly and through intervening effects on community biomass. Models examined include both those based on classical forms (where each concept is represented using a single latent variable) and also ones in which the concepts are recognized to be multifaceted and modeled as such. To address the challenge of matching SE models with the conceptual level of our theory, two approaches are illustrated, compositing and aggregation. Both approaches are shown to have merits, with the former being preferable for cases where the multiple facets of a concept have widely differing effects in the

  13. Ecological Understanding 2: Transformation--A Key to Ecological Understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsson, Britta

    2002-01-01

    Describes the structure and general features of the phenomenon of ecological understanding. Presents qualitatively different ways of experiencing cycling of matter and the flow of energy in the context of ecosystems. The idea of transformation is key to the development of ecological understanding. (Contains 17 references.) (Author/YDS)

  14. Farmers’ Value Assessment of Sociocultural and Ecological Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Habtamu Temesgen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Biophysical and economic values of ecosystem services (ESs are commonly used to define areas for land use and management planning. To date, there has been limited research conducted in Ethiopia regarding farmers’ evaluations of ESs. This article addresses farmers’ evaluations and perceptions of 16 ESs that are provided by five major land uses within two catchments, using a combined method of data generation and synthesis. Most farmers perceived the majority of land use/land cover (LUC types as multifunctional; however, they showed distinctly diverse opinions of the benefits and services that the land uses provide. The farmers also distinguished pristine ESs as different importantance depending on their location in up- or downstream regions. Accordingly, shade and shelter values in the upstream region and fodder sources in the downstream regions were among the services perceived as the most important, followed by erosion control. Conversely, water treatment and tenure security were attributed poor value. Farmers’ also identified various threats to the studied ESs that were believed to be the consequences of overpopulation coupled with climate change. Routine anthropogenic activities, woodlots extraction, agribusiness investment, and drought and rainfall variability appeared to be the main drivers of these threats. The farmers’ perceptions recorded in this study generally parallel empirical research, wherein anthropogenic and environmental challenges affect the ecosystems. This general consensus represents an important basis for the establishment of collaborative land management activities.

  15. Biological nitrogen fixation: rates, patterns and ecological controls in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitousek, Peter M.; Menge, Duncan N.L.; Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.

    2013-01-01

    New techniques have identified a wide range of organisms with the capacity to carry out biological nitrogen fixation (BNF)—greatly expanding our appreciation of the diversity and ubiquity of N fixers—but our understanding of the rates and controls of BNF at ecosystem and global scales has not advanced at the same pace. Nevertheless, determining rates and controls of BNF is crucial to placing anthropogenic changes to the N cycle in context, and to understanding, predicting and managing many aspects of global environmental change. Here, we estimate terrestrial BNF for a pre-industrial world by combining information on N fluxes with 15N relative abundance data for terrestrial ecosystems. Our estimate is that pre-industrial N fixation was 58 (range of 40–100) Tg N fixed yr−1; adding conservative assumptions for geological N reduces our best estimate to 44 Tg N yr−1. This approach yields substantially lower estimates than most recent calculations; it suggests that the magnitude of human alternation of the N cycle is substantially larger than has been assumed.

  16. Changes in composition, ecology and structure of high-mountain vegetation: a re-visitation study over 42 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelista, Alberto; Frate, Ludovico; Carranza, Maria Laura; Attorre, Fabio; Pelino, Giovanni; Stanisci, Angela

    2016-01-27

    High-mountain ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change, causing biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and landscape modifications. However, very few detailed studies have focussed on plant biodiversity in the high mountains of the Mediterranean. In this study, we investigated the long-term changes that have occurred in the composition, structure and ecology of high-mountain vegetation in the central Apennines (Majella) over the last 42 years. We performed a re-visitation study, using historical and newly collected vegetation data to explore which ecological and structural features have been the most successful in coping with climatic changes. Vegetation changes were analysed by comparing geo-referenced phytosociological relevés collected in high-mountain habitats (dolines, gentle slopes and ridges) on the Majella massif in 1972 and in 2014. Composition analysis was performed by detrended correspondence analysis, followed by an analysis of similarities for statistical significance assessment and by similarity percentage procedure (SIMPER) for identifying which species indicate temporal changes. Changes in ecological and structural indicators were analysed by a permutational multivariate analysis of variance, followed by a post hoc comparison. Over the last 42 years, clear floristic changes and significant ecological and structural variations occurred. We observed a significant increase in the thermophilic and mesonitrophilic plant species and an increment in the frequencies of hemicryptophytes. This re-visitation study in the Apennines agrees with observations in other alpine ecosystems, providing new insights for a better understanding of the effects of global change on Mediterranean high-mountain biodiversity. The observed changes in floristic composition, the thermophilization process and the shift towards a more nutrient-demanding vegetation are likely attributable to the combined effect of higher temperatures and the increase in soil nutrients

  17. Ecological risk assessment of ecosystem services in the Taihu Lake Basin of China from 1985 to 2020.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xibao; Yang, Guishan; Tan, Yan; Zhuang, Qianlai; Li, Hengpeng; Wan, Rongrong; Su, Weizhong; Zhang, Jian

    2016-06-01

    There are tremendous theoretical, methodological and policy challenges in evaluating the impact of land-use change on the degradation of ecosystem services (ES) at the regional scale. This study addresses these challenges by developing an interdisciplinary methodology based on the Procedure for Ecological Tiered Assessment of Risk (PETAR). This novel methodology integrates ecological models with a land-use change model. This study quantifies the multi-dimensional degradation risks of ES in the Taihu Lake Basin (TLB) of China from 1985 to 2020. Four key ES related to water purification, water quantity adjustment, carbon sequestration and grain production are selected. The study employs models of Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC), Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant (SWAP), Biome-BGC and Agro-ecological Zoning (AEZ) for assimilations. Land-use changes by 2020 were projected using a geographically weighted multinomial logit-cellular automata (GWML-CA) model. The results show that rapid land-use change has posed a great degradation risk of ES in the region in 1985-2020. Slightly less than two-thirds of the basin experienced degradation of ES over the 1985-2010 period, and about 12% of the basin will continue to experience degradation until 2020. Hot spots with severe deterioration in 2010-2020 are projected to be centered around some small and less developed cities in the region. Regulating accelerated urban sprawl and population growth, reinforcing current environmental programs, and establishing monitoring systems for observing dynamics of regional ES are suggested as practical counter-measures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Functional-trait ecology of the plateau pika Ochotona curzoniae (Hodgson, 1858) in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andrew T; Badingqiuying; Wilson, Maxwell C; Hogan, Brigitte W

    2018-01-09

    Understanding a species' functional traits allows for a directed and productive perspective on the role a species plays in nature, thus its relative importance to conservation planning. The functional trait ecology of the plateau pika Ochotona curzoniae (Hodgson, 1858) is examined to better understand the resilience and sustainability of the high alpine grasslands of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). The key functional traits of plateau pikas are their abundance and behavior of digging extensive burrow systems. Plateau pikas have been poisoned over a significant part of their original geographic distribution across the QTP, allowing comparison of ecological communities with and without pikas. Nearly all mammalian and avian carnivores, most of which are obligate predators on pikas, have been lost in regions where pikas have been poisoned. Most endemic birds on the QTP nest in pika burrows; when pikas are poisoned, burrows collapse, and these birds are greatly reduced in number. Due to the biopedturbation resulting from their burrows, regional plant species richness is higher in areas with pikas than without. The presence of pika burrows allows higher rates of infiltration during heavy monsoon rains compared to poisoned areas, possibly mitigating runoff and the potential for serious downslope erosion and flooding. Thus the functional traits of plateau pikas enhance native biodiversity and other important ecosystem functions; these traits are irreplaceable. As plateau pikas are not natural colonizers, active re-introduction programs are needed to restore pikas to areas from which they have been poisoned to restore the important functional ecological traits of pikas. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  19. [Evaluation of ecosystem service value and strategies for ecological design in land consolidation: a case of land consolidation project in Da'an City, Jilin Province, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Yan, Shen-Chun; Yu, Li; Zhang, Ya-Nan

    2014-04-01

    Land consolidation, as one of the major driving forces for the changes of land use/cover, has significant impacts on landscape patterns, ecological functions, and ecosystem services. In this paper, a land consolidation project conducted in Da'an City, Jinlin Province, China, was selected to evaluate the ecosystem service values before and after land consolidation at three spatial scales, i. e., village, town, and county. The results indicated that the land consolidation with the goal to increase the area of cultivated land might cause the decrease of the saline and alkaline land, grassland, and wetland. In addition, land consolidation resulted in the reduction of the total ecosystem service values at varying degree at the three scales. Compared to the pre-consolidation status, the total post-consolidation ecosystem service values at the village, town and county scales were 7.96, 843.01 and 1205.86 million yuan, and reduced by 10.5%, 14.2% and 33.1%, respectively. Based on the evaluation of ecosystem service value, strategies of landscape ecological design were discussed to improve the ecological functions and to provide the guidance for the sustainable development of land consolidation.

  20. Environmental research programme. Ecological research. Annual report 1995. Urban-industrial landscapes, forests, agricultural landscapes, river and lake landscapes, terrestrial ecosystem research, environmental pollution and health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    In promoting ecology research, the federal ministry of science and technology (BMBF) pursues the aim to enhance understanding of the natural resources indispensable to the life of man, animals and plant societies and their interrelations, and to point out existing scope for action to preserve or replenish them. Consequently, ecology research makes an essential contribution towards effective nature conservancy and environmental protection. The interactions between climate and ecosystems also form an important part of this. With regard to topical environmental issues concerning agricultural landscapes, rivers and lakes, forests and urban-industrial agglomerations, system interrelations in representative ecosystems are investigated. The results are to be embodied in directives for the protection or appropriate use of these ecosystems in order to contribute towards a sustainable development of these types of landscapes. The book also evaluates and assesses which types of nuisances, interventions and modes of use represent hazards for the respective systems. (orig./VHE) [de

  1. Cold fronts and reservoir limnology: an integrated approach towards the ecological dynamics of freshwater ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tundisi, J G; Matsumura-Tundisi, T; Pereira, K C; Luzia, A P; Passerini, M D; Chiba, W A C; Morais, M A; Sebastien, N Y

    2010-10-01

    In this paper the authors discuss the effects of cold fronts on the dynamics of freshwater ecosystems of southeast South America. Cold fronts originating from the Antarctic show a monthly frequency that promotes turbulence and vertical mixing in reservoirs with a consequence to homogenize nutrient distribution, dissolved oxygen and temperature. Weak thermoclines and the athelomixis process immediately before, during and after the passage of cold fronts interfere with phytoplankton succession in reservoirs. Cyanobacteria blooms in eutrophic reservoirs are frequently connected with periods of stratification and stability of the water column. Cold fronts in the Amazon and Pantanal lakes may produce fish killings during the process of "friagem" associated mixing events. Further studies will try to implement a model to predict the impact of cold fronts and prepare management procedures in order to cope with cyanobacteria blooms during warm and stable water column periods. Changes in water quality of reservoirs are expected during circulation periods caused by cold fronts.

  2. Ecology of Florida black bears in the Okefenokee-Osceola ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobey, S.; Masters, D.V.; Scheick, B.K.; Clark, J.D.; Pelton, M.R.; Sunquist, M.E.

    2005-01-01

    The population status of the Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) is problematic within many portions of its range and its potential listing as a federally threatened species has been the subject of legal debate. We studied Florida black bears in 2 areas in the Okefenokee-Osceola ecosystem in southeast Georgia (i.e.,Okefenokee) and north Florida (i.e., Osceola) from 1995 to 1999 to evaluate relationships between population characteristics, habitat conditions, and human activities. Bears in Okefenokee were hunted and those in Osceola were not. We captured 205 different black bears (124M:81F) 345 times from June 1995 to September  1998. We obtained 13,573 radiolocations from 87 (16M:71F) individual bears during the study.

  3. Cold fronts and reservoir limnology: an integrated approach towards the ecological dynamics of freshwater ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JG. Tundisi

    Full Text Available In this paper the authors discuss the effects of cold fronts on the dynamics of freshwater ecosystems of southeast South America. Cold fronts originating from the Antarctic show a monthly frequency that promotes turbulence and vertical mixing in reservoirs with a consequence to homogenize nutrient distribution, dissolved oxygen and temperature. Weak thermoclines and the athelomixis process immediately before, during and after the passage of cold fronts interfere with phytoplankton succession in reservoirs. Cyanobacteria blooms in eutrophic reservoirs are frequently connected with periods of stratification and stability of the water column. Cold fronts in the Amazon and Pantanal lakes may produce fish killings during the process of "friagem" associated mixing events. Further studies will try to implement a model to predict the impact of cold fronts and prepare management procedures in order to cope with cyanobacteria blooms during warm and stable water column periods. Changes in water quality of reservoirs are expected during circulation periods caused by cold fronts.

  4. Development of concepts of plants activity, its ecological role and methods of its assessment in ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savinov Alexander

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available When studying the species activity in the phytocoenoses, three methodological approaches are used: coenotipic, status and ergontic. The latter is proposed for the first time and based on the fact that the activity of plant organisms of a given species is considered as a set of interactions of these organisms with each other, with other organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. This interaction essentially reflects the rate of accumulation and generation of substances, energy and information by plant organisms. To calculate the activity of the plant species in this aspect, the appropriate formulas were proposed. When comparing the coenotipic, status and ergontic approaches, it was stated that these approaches can complement each other.

  5. Sensitivity of global ocean biogeochemical dynamics to ecosystem structure in a future climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manizza, Manfredi; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Le Quéré, Corinne

    2010-07-01

    Terrestrial and oceanic ecosystem components of the Earth System models (ESMs) are key to predict the future behavior of the global carbon cycle. Ocean ecosystem models represent low complexity compared to terrestrial ecosystem models. In this study we use two ocean biogeochemical models based on the explicit representation of multiple planktonic functional types. We impose to the models the same future physical perturbation and compare the response of ecosystem dynamics, export production (EP) and ocean carbon uptake (OCU) to the same physical changes. Models comparison shows that: (1) EP changes directly translate into changes of OCU on decadal time scale, (2) the representation of ecosystem structure plays a pivotal role at linking OCU and EP, (3) OCU is highly sensitive to representation of ecosystem in the Equatorial Pacific and Southern Oceans.

  6. Effects of ecological engineered oxygenation on the bacterial community structure in an anoxic fjord in western Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forth, M.; Liljebladh, B.; Stigebrandt, A.

    2015-01-01

    Oxygen-depleted bodies of water are becoming increasingly common in marine ecosystems. Solutions to reverse this trend are needed and under development, for example, by the Baltic deep-water OXygenation (BOX) project. In the framework of this project, the Swedish Byfjord was chosen for a pilot...... in the lower water column and the benthic zone up to 110 mumol l(-1).We used molecular ecologic methods to study changes in bacterial community structure in response to the oxygenation in the Byfjord. Water column samples from before, during and after the oxygenation as well as from two nearby control fjords...

  7. Island biogeography and landscape structure: Integrating ecological concepts in a landscape perspective of anthropogenic impacts in temporary wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angeler, David G.; Alvarez-Cobelas, Miguel

    2005-01-01

    Although our understanding of environmental risk assessment in temporary wetlands has been improved by the use of multi-species toxicity testing, we still know little of how landscape variables mediate the strength of, and recovery from, anthropogenic stress in such ecosystems. To bridge this research gap, we provide a theoretical framework of the response of temporary wetlands to anthropogenic disturbance along a habitat-isolation continuum based on island biogeography theory, landscape ecology and dispersal and colonization strategies of temporary wetland organisms. - Environmental risk assessment in temporary wetlands may benefit from consideration of island biogeography theory and landscape structure

  8. Exposure to violence across the social ecosystem and the development of aggression: a test of ecological theory in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boxer, Paul; Rowell Huesmann, L; Dubow, Eric F; Landau, Simha F; Gvirsman, Shira Dvir; Shikaki, Khalil; Ginges, Jeremy

    2013-01-01

    Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological model proposes that events in higher order social ecosystems should influence human development through their impact on events in lower order social ecosystems. This proposition was tested with respect to ecological violence and the development of children's aggression via analyses of 3 waves of data (1 wave yearly for 3 years) from 3 age cohorts (starting ages: 8, 11, and 14) representing three populations in the Middle East: Palestinians (N = 600), Israeli Jews (N = 451), and Israeli Arabs (N = 450). Results supported a hypothesized model in which ethnopolitical violence increases community, family, and school violence and children's aggression. Findings are discussed with respect to ecological and observational learning perspectives on the development of aggressive behavior. © 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  9. Metrics to assess ecological condition, change, and impacts in sandy beach ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlacher, Thomas A; Schoeman, David S; Jones, Alan R; Dugan, Jenifer E; Hubbard, David M; Defeo, Omar; Peterson, Charles H; Weston, Michael A; Maslo, Brooke; Olds, Andrew D; Scapini, Felicita; Nel, Ronel; Harris, Linda R; Lucrezi, Serena; Lastra, Mariano; Huijbers, Chantal M; Connolly, Rod M

    2014-11-01

    Complexity is increasingly the hallmark in environmental management practices of sandy shorelines. This arises primarily from meeting growing public demands (e.g., real estate, recreation) whilst reconciling economic demands with expectations of coastal users who have modern conservation ethics. Ideally, shoreline management is underpinned by empirical data, but selecting ecologically-meaningful metrics to accurately measure the condition of systems, and the ecological effects of human activities, is a complex task. Here we construct a framework for metric selection, considering six categories of issues that authorities commonly address: erosion; habitat loss; recreation; fishing; pollution (litter and chemical contaminants); and wildlife conservation. Possible metrics were scored in terms of their ability to reflect environmental change, and against criteria that are widely used for judging the performance of ecological indicators (i.e., sensitivity, practicability, costs, and public appeal). From this analysis, four types of broadly applicable metrics that also performed very well against the indicator criteria emerged: 1.) traits of bird populations and assemblages (e.g., abundance, diversity, distributions, habitat use); 2.) breeding/reproductive performance sensu lato (especially relevant for birds and turtles nesting on beaches and in dunes, but equally applicable to invertebrates and plants); 3.) population parameters and distributions of vertebrates associated primarily with dunes and the supralittoral beach zone (traditionally focused on birds and turtles, but expandable to mammals); 4.) compound measurements of the abundance/cover/biomass of biota (plants, invertebrates, vertebrates) at both the population and assemblage level. Local constraints (i.e., the absence of birds in highly degraded urban settings or lack of dunes on bluff-backed beaches) and particular issues may require alternatives. Metrics - if selected and applied correctly - provide

  10. Reverse engineering model structures for soil and ecosystem respiration: the potential of gene expression programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Ilie

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Accurate model representation of land–atmosphere carbon fluxes is essential for climate projections. However, the exact responses of carbon cycle processes to climatic drivers often remain uncertain. Presently, knowledge derived from experiments, complemented by a steadily evolving body of mechanistic theory, provides the main basis for developing such models. The strongly increasing availability of measurements may facilitate new ways of identifying suitable model structures using machine learning. Here, we explore the potential of gene expression programming (GEP to derive relevant model formulations based solely on the signals present in data by automatically applying various mathematical transformations to potential predictors and repeatedly evolving the resulting model structures. In contrast to most other machine learning regression techniques, the GEP approach generates readable models that allow for prediction and possibly for interpretation. Our study is based on two cases: artificially generated data and real observations. Simulations based on artificial data show that GEP is successful in identifying prescribed functions, with the prediction capacity of the models comparable to four state-of-the-art machine learning methods (random forests, support vector machines, artificial neural networks, and kernel ridge regressions. Based on real observations we explore the responses of the different components of terrestrial respiration at an oak forest in south-eastern England. We find that the GEP-retrieved models are often better in prediction than some established respiration models. Based on their structures, we find previously unconsidered exponential dependencies of respiration on seasonal ecosystem carbon assimilation and water dynamics. We noticed that the GEP models are only partly portable across respiration components, the identification of a general terrestrial respiration model possibly prevented by equifinality issues. Overall

  11. Reverse engineering model structures for soil and ecosystem respiration: the potential of gene expression programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilie, Iulia; Dittrich, Peter; Carvalhais, Nuno; Jung, Martin; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Migliavacca, Mirco; Morison, James I. L.; Sippel, Sebastian; Subke, Jens-Arne; Wilkinson, Matthew; Mahecha, Miguel D.

    2017-09-01

    Accurate model representation of land-atmosphere carbon fluxes is essential for climate projections. However, the exact responses of carbon cycle processes to climatic drivers often remain uncertain. Presently, knowledge derived from experiments, complemented by a steadily evolving body of mechanistic theory, provides the main basis for developing such models. The strongly increasing availability of measurements may facilitate new ways of identifying suitable model structures using machine learning. Here, we explore the potential of gene expression programming (GEP) to derive relevant model formulations based solely on the signals present in data by automatically applying various mathematical transformations to potential predictors and repeatedly evolving the resulting model structures. In contrast to most other machine learning regression techniques, the GEP approach generates readable models that allow for prediction and possibly for interpretation. Our study is based on two cases: artificially generated data and real observations. Simulations based on artificial data show that GEP is successful in identifying prescribed functions, with the prediction capacity of the models comparable to four state-of-the-art machine learning methods (random forests, support vector machines, artificial neural networks, and kernel ridge regressions). Based on real observations we explore the responses of the different components of terrestrial respiration at an oak forest in south-eastern England. We find that the GEP-retrieved models are often better in prediction than some established respiration models. Based on their structures, we find previously unconsidered exponential dependencies of respiration on seasonal ecosystem carbon assimilation and water dynamics. We noticed that the GEP models are only partly portable across respiration components, the identification of a general terrestrial respiration model possibly prevented by equifinality issues. Overall, GEP is a promising

  12. The Web-Driven Learning Ecosystem: Its Structure and Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raska, David; Shaw, Doris; Keller, Eileen Weisenbach

    2012-01-01

    We have devised a Web-based learning ecosystem (LECOS) that aligns marketing curriculum, course design, technology, instructors, students, as well as external stakeholders--a system that integrates traditional teaching methods with technological advancements in an attempt to enhance marketing students' motivation, engagement, and performance. A…

  13. The importance of landscape and spatial structure for hymenopteran-based food webs in an agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, Yvonne; Sandau, Nadine; Bruggisser, Odile T; Aebi, Alex; Kehrli, Patrik; Rohr, Rudolf P; Naisbit, Russell E; Bersier, Louis-Félix

    2013-11-01

    1. Understanding the environmental factors that structure biodiversity and food webs among communities is central to assess and mitigate the impact of landscape changes. 2. Wildflower strips are ecological compensation areas established in farmland to increase pollination services and biological control of crop pests and to conserve insect diversity. They are arranged in networks in order to favour high species richness and abundance of the fauna. 3. We describe results from experimental wildflower strips in a fragmented agricultural landscape, comparing the importance of landscape, of spatial arrangement and of vegetation on the diversity and abundance of trap-nesting bees, wasps and their enemies, and the structure of their food webs. 4. The proportion of forest cover close to the wildflower strips and the landscape heterogeneity stood out as the most influential landscape elements, resulting in a more complex trap-nest community with higher abundance and richness of hosts, and with more links between species in the food webs and a higher diversity of interactions. We disentangled the underlying mechanisms for variation in these quantitative food web metrics. 5. We conclude that in order to increase the diversity and abundance of pollinators and biological control agents and to favour a potentially stable community of cavity-nesting hymenoptera in wildflower strips, more investment is needed in the conservation and establishment of forest habitats within agro-ecosystems, as a reservoir of beneficial insect populations. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  14. Ecosystem structure and fishing impacts in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea using a food web model within a comparative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrales, Xavier; Coll, Marta; Tecchio, Samuele; Bellido, José María; Fernández, Ángel Mario; Palomera, Isabel

    2015-08-01

    We developed an ecological model to characterize the structure and functioning of the marine continental shelf and slope area of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, from Toulon to Cape La Nao (NWM model), in the early 2000s. The model included previously modeled areas in the NW Mediterranean (the Gulf of Lions and the Southern Catalan Sea) and expanded their ranges, covering 45,547 km2, with depths from 0 to 1000 m. The study area was chosen to specifically account for the connectivity between the areas and shared fish stocks and fleets. Input data were based on local scientific surveys and fishing statistics, published data on stomach content analyses, and the application of empirical equations to estimate consumption and production rates. The model was composed of 54 functional groups, from primary producers to top predators, and Spanish and French fishing fleets were considered. Results were analyzed using ecological indicators and compared with outputs from ecosystem models developed in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Cadiz prior to this study. Results showed that the main trophic flows were associated with detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates. Several high trophic level organisms (such as dolphins, benthopelagic cephalopods, large demersal fishes from the continental shelf, and other large pelagic fishes), and the herbivorous salema fish, were identified as keystone groups within the ecosystem. Results confirmed that fishing impact was high and widespread throughout the food web. The comparative approach highlighted that, despite productivity differences, the ecosystems shared common features in structure and functioning traits such as the important role of detritus, the dominance of the pelagic fraction in terms of flows and the importance of benthic-pelagic coupling.

  15. Provision of ecosystem services by human-made structures in a highly impacted estuary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Layman, Craig A; Jud, Zachary R; Archer, Stephanie K; Riera, David

    2014-01-01

    Water filtration is one of the most important ecosystem services provided by sessile organisms in coastal ecosystems. As a consequence of increased coastal development, human-made shoreline structures (e.g., docks and bulkheads) are now common, providing extensive surface area for colonization by filter feeders. We estimate that in a highly urbanized sub-tropical estuary, water filtration capacity supported by filter feeding assemblages on dock pilings accounts for 11.7 million liters of water h −1 , or ∼30% of the filtration provided by all natural oyster reef throughout the estuary. Assemblage composition, and thus filtration capacity, varied as a function of piling type, suggesting that the choice of building material has critical implications for ecosystem function. A more thorough depiction of the function of coastal ecosystems necessitates quantification of the extensive ecosystem services associated with human-made structures. (paper)

  16. Regional and geomorphic influence on the productivity, composition, and structure of oak ecosystems in the western central hardwoods region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amber M. Steele; John M. Kabrick; Randall J. Miles

    2013-01-01

    The steeply dissected glaciated landscapes of the Chariton River Hills Ecological Subsection (CRHES) in northern Missouri have extensive, but largely unmanaged, oak forests that are relatively unstudied. There is increasing interest in these forests for oak ecosystem restoration, ecological site description, and production of oak timber for biofuels. Our objectives...

  17. Persistent effects of acidification on stream ecosystem structure and function

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Traister, E.; McDowell, W. H.; Krám, Pavel; Fottová, Daniela; Kolaříková, K.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 32, č. 2 (2013), s. 586-596 ISSN 2161-9565 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : acidification * macroinvertebrates * whole-stream metabolism * streams * isotopic signature * terrestrial detritus * periphyton * GEOMON Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  18. Vegetation Structure Controls Carbon Sequestration Potential in a Savannah Ecosystem of Mt. Kilimanjaro Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, J. N.; Gutlein, A.; Sierra Cornejo, N.; Ralf, K.; Hertel, D.; Kuzyakov, Y.

    2016-12-01

    The savannah biome is a hotspot for biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Africa and recently got in the focus of research on carbon (C) sequestration. Savanna ecosystems are increasingly pressured by climate and land-use changes, especially around populous areas such as the Mt. Kilimanjaro region. Savanna vegetation consists of grassland with isolated trees and is therefore characterized by high spatial variation and patchiness of canopy cover and aboveground biomass. Both are major regulators for soil ecological properties and soil-atmospheric trace gas exchange (CO2, N2O, CH4), especially in water-limited environments. Our objectives were to determine spatial trends in soil properties and trace-gas fluxes during the dry season and to relate above- and belowground processes and attributes. We chose three trees from each of the two most dominant species (Acacia nilotica and Balanites aegyptiaca) in our research area. For each tree, we selected transects with nine sampling points of the same relative distances to the stem. At each sampling point (0-10 & 10-30 cm depth) we measured soil C and nitrogen (N) storage, microbial biomass C and N, Natural δ13C, soil respiration, available nutrients, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC) as well as root biomass and -density, soil temperature and soil water content. The tree species had no effect on soil parameters and gas fluxes under the crown. CEC, C and N fractions decreased up to 50% outside the crown-covered area. Tree leaf litter had a far lower C:N ratio than leaf litter of the C4-grass species. δ13C in soil under the crowns shifted about 15% in the direction of tree leaf litter δ13C compared to soil in open area reflecting the tree litter contribution to soil organic matter. The microbial C:N ratio and CO2 efflux were about 30% higher in the open area and strongly dependent on mineral N availability. This indicates N limitation and low C-use efficiency in soil under open grassland. We conclude that the spatial

  19. New ecological mechanism of formation of spatial distribution of radionuclides in river ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Degermendzhy, A.G.; Shevyrnogov, A.P.; Kosolapova, L.G.; Levin, L.A.; Chernousov, A.V.; Vlasik, P.V.

    1996-01-01

    Radioecological expeditions on the Yenissei river revealed 'spotty' distribution of radioisotopes in bottom sediments and along the coastline of the river. This work presents results of theoretical analysis of the formation mechanism of stable spatial non-uniformities of river ecosystem components by population interactions of 'predator-prey' type between the phytoplukton and zooplankton. 'Patchiness contrast' (i.e. the amplitude of the radionuclide spatial propagation wave in the water) for the large oscillations control by increasing or decreasing current velocity depends both on the boundary concentrations of phytoplankton and zooplankton and on the established nature of their interpopulation interactions (or coefficients of interactions). Variation of the below given interaction parameters within the 'phytoplanbon-zooplankton' system makes increase the amplitude of spatial distribution wave: decrease of algal growth rate; increase of algal death rate; decrease of zooplankton death rate; increase of interaction coefficients. It was shown for small oscillations that the period of component distribution waves is in proportion to the current velocity and the amplitude of 'small' waves does not depend on the water current velocity. Theoretically it has been also found that with deep limitation of phytoplankton growth by biogenous elements the 'standing wave' is observed to deteriorate and monotonous distribution of radionuclide concentration fields is found to form. (author)

  20. [Effects of agricultural practices on community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agricultural ecosystem: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Ping-Ping; Li, Min; Liu, Run-Jin

    2011-06-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are rich in diversity in agricultural ecosystem, playing a vital role based on their unique community structure. Host plants and environmental factors have important effects on AM fungal community structure, so do the agricultural practices which deserve to pay attention to. This paper summarized the research advances in the effects of agricultural practices such as irrigation, fertilization, crop rotation, intercropping, tillage, and pesticide application on AM fungal community structure, analyzed the related possible mechanisms, discussed the possible ways in improving AM fungal community structure in agricultural ecosystem, and put forward a set of countermeasures, i.e., improving fertilization system and related integrated techniques, increasing plant diversity in agricultural ecosystem, and inoculating AM fungi, to enhance the AM fungal diversity in agricultural ecosystem. The existing problems in current agricultural practices and further research directions were also proposed.

  1. Ecological and Biogeochemical Impacts of Internal Waves on Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems: Testing Eddy Covariance and Isotope Approaches, Iriomote, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, A. S. J.; Miyajima, T.; Leichter, J.; Naruse, T.; Kuwae, T.; Yamamoto, S.; Satoh, N.; Nagata, T.

    2016-02-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCE) occur in the `twilight zone' of decreasing light between 30 - 150 m water depth where they may be protected or damped from disturbances impacting shallower reefs. However insufficient information is available on the environmental conditions that support MCE to allow us to understand and conserve these `deep water refugia'. For instance, nutrient inputs and recycling have rarely been quantified over MCE, but deeper reefs may differ fundamentally to that of shallow counterparts due to the reduction in light and increasing use of oceanic nutrients at the base of the food web, leading to increased reliance on heterotrophy over autotrophy at species and ecosystem levels and stronger links to oceanic processes. For instance, due to their depth relative to typical water column density stratification, MCE are particularly likely to experience internal wave forcing, the significance of which should vary spatially depending on aspect and exposure. In this study we are focusing on MCE occurring along a continuum of oceanic-exposure along Funauki Bay on the west coast of Iriomote, Japan. Here our preliminary observations indicate that ocean-exposed MCE are subject to semi-diurnal temperature oscillations of up to 4 C during summer (range 23 - 29 deg C), while inner bay MCE occur at shallower depths in more turbid but stable environments. This continuum of oceanic exposure is ideal for testing a range of approaches for quantifying the relative ecological and biogeochemical influence of internal waves. Stable isotope analyses (SIA) are a particularly useful tool for understanding functional links between oceanic processes, local-scale nutrient cycling, and trophic ecology, with results from shallow reefs showing they likely function along a continuum of reliance on external inputs versus internal recycling depending on the degree of oceanic exposure. Although challenging to implement in deep water habitats, the combination of SIA with compound

  2. Assessing the potential to restore historic grazing ecosystems with tortoise ecological replacements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Christine J; Zuël, Nicolas; Jones, Carl G; Ahamud, Zairabee; Harris, Stephen

    2013-08-01

    The extinction of large herbivores, often keystone species, can dramatically modify plant communities and impose key biotic thresholds that may prevent an ecosystem returning to its previous state and threaten native biodiversity. A potentially innovative, yet controversial, landscape-based long-term restoration approach is to replace missing plant-herbivore interactions with non-native herbivores. Aldabran giant (Aldabrachelys gigantea) and Madagascan radiated (Astrochelys radiata) tortoises, taxonomically and functionally similar to the extinct Mauritian giant tortoises (Cylindraspis spp.), were introduced to Round Island, Mauritius, in 2007 to control the non-native plants that were threatening persistence of native species. We monitored the response of the plant community to tortoise grazing for 11 months in enclosures before the tortoises were released and, compared the cost of using tortoises as weeders with the cost of using manual labor. At the end of this period, plant biomass; vegetation height and cover; and adult, seedling, flower, and seed abundance were 3-136 times greater in adjacent control plots than in the tortoise enclosures. After their release, the free-roaming tortoises grazed on most non-native plants and significantly reduced vegetation cover, height, and seed production, reflecting findings from the enclosure study. The tortoises generally did not eat native species, although they consumed those native species that increased in abundance following the eradication of mammalian herbivores. Our results suggest that introduced non-native tortoises are a more cost-effective approach to control non-native vegetation than manual weeding. Numerous long-term outcomes (e.g., change in species composition and soil seed bank) are possible following tortoise releases. Monitoring and adaptive management are needed to ensure that the replacement herbivores promote the recovery of native plants. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. A spatially explicit hydro-ecological modeling framework (BEPS-TerrainLab V2.0): Model description and test in a boreal ecosystem in Eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govind, Ajit; Chen, Jing Ming; Margolis, Hank; Ju, Weimin; Sonnentag, Oliver; Giasson, Marc-André

    2009-04-01

    SummaryA spatially explicit, process-based hydro-ecological model, BEPS-TerrainLab V2.0, was developed to improve the representation of ecophysiological, hydro-ecological and biogeochemical processes of boreal ecosystems in a tightly coupled manner. Several processes unique to boreal ecosystems were implemented including the sub-surface lateral water fluxes, stratification of vegetation into distinct layers for explicit ecophysiological representation, inclusion of novel spatial upscaling strategies and biogeochemical processes. To account for preferential water fluxes common in humid boreal ecosystems, a novel scheme was introduced based on laboratory analyses. Leaf-scale ecophysiological processes were upscaled to canopy-scale by explicitly considering leaf physiological conditions as affected by light and water stress. The modified model was tested with 2 years of continuous measurements taken at the Eastern Old Black Spruce Site of the Fluxnet-Canada Research Network located in a humid boreal watershed in eastern Canada. Comparison of the simulated and measured ET, water-table depth (WTD), volumetric soil water content (VSWC) and gross primary productivity (GPP) revealed that BEPS-TerrainLab V2.0 simulates hydro-ecological processes with reasonable accuracy. The model was able to explain 83% of the ET, 92% of the GPP variability and 72% of the WTD dynamics. The model suggests that in humid ecosystems such as eastern North American boreal watersheds, topographically driven sub-surface baseflow is the main mechanism of soil water partitioning which significantly affects the local-scale hydrological conditions.

  4. The Dependencies of Ecosystem Pattern, Structure, and Dynamics on Climate, Climate Variability, and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, S.; Hurtt, G. C.; Fisk, J. P.; Rourke, O.

    2012-12-01

    A robust understanding of the sensitivity of the pattern, structure, and dynamics of ecosystems to climate, climate variability, and climate change is needed to predict ecosystem responses to current and projected climate change. We present results of a study designed to first quantify the sensitivity of ecosystems to climate through the use of climate and ecosystem data, and then use the results to test the sensitivity of the climate data in a state-of the art ecosystem model. A database of available ecosystem characteristics such as mean canopy height, above ground biomass, and basal area was constructed from sources like the National Biomass and Carbon Dataset (NBCD). The ecosystem characteristics were then paired by latitude and longitude with the corresponding climate characteristics temperature, precipitation, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and dew point that were retrieved from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). The average yearly and seasonal means of the climate data, and their associated maximum and minimum values, over the 1979-2010 time frame provided by NARR were constructed and paired with the ecosystem data. The compiled results provide natural patterns of vegetation structure and distribution with regard to climate data. An advanced ecosystem model, the Ecosystem Demography model (ED), was then modified to allow yearly alterations to its mechanistic climate lookup table and used to predict the sensitivities of ecosystem pattern, structure, and dynamics to climate data. The combined ecosystem structure and climate data results were compared to ED's output to check the validity of the model. After verification, climate change scenarios such as those used in the last IPCC were run and future forest structure changes due to climate sensitivities were identified. The results of this study can be used to both quantify and test key relationships for next generation models. The sensitivity of ecosystem characteristics to climate data

  5. Applying principles from economics to improve the transfer of ecological production estimates in fisheries ecosystem services research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services (ES) represent a way to represent and quantify multiple uses, values as well as connectivity between ecosystem processes and human well-being. Ecosystem-based fisheries management approaches may seek to quantify expected trade-offs in ecosystem services due to ...

  6. Ecological effects assessment of anionic surfactant on aquatic ecosystem using microcosm system; Microcosm wo mochiita in ion kaimen kasseizai no suiken seitaikei ni oyobosu eikyo hyoka

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takamatsu, Y. [University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba (Japan); Inamori, Y. [National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba (Japan); Sudo, R. [Tohoku University, Sendai (Japan). Faculty of Engineering; Kurihara, Y. [Ou Univ., Fukushima (Japan). Faculty of Engineering; Matsumura, M. [University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba (Japan). Institute of Applied Biochemical

    1997-11-10

    Microcosm system was applied to assess effect of anionic surfactant (LAS) on aquatic ecosystem. Anionic surfactant such as LAS was added to an flask microcosm consisting of four species of bacteria as decomposer, one species of ciliate protozoa (Cyclidium glaucoma), two rotifers (Philodina sp. and Lepadella sp.) and one aquatic oligochaete (Aeolosoma hemprichi) as predator, and a green alga (Chlorella sp.) and a filamentous blue-green alga (Tolypothrix sp.) as producer, comparing with that of an natural lake model ecosystem derived from natural lake water. In the flask microcosm system and the natural lake model ecosystem, biodegradation rates of LAS were almost same and NOECs (no observed effect concentration) of LAS were also below 1.5 mg{center_dot} l{sup -1}. It was found that flask microcosm test could provide precise ecological effect assessment of LAS on number of microorganisms because the system showed higher reproducibility and stability than natural take model ecosystem. It was suggested that flask microcosm test was useful ecological effect assessment method which can reflect natural aquatic ecosystem. 10 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Ecological restoration of aquatic and semi-aquatic ecosystems in the Netherlands: an introduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nienhuis, P.H.; Gulati, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    In 1989, a symposium was held under the title `Netherlands-Wetlands', aiming at the presentation of the state of the art of the existing knowledge of structure and functioning of wetlands, characteristic for the Netherlands. The present multi-author volume can be seen as a logical successor of the

  8. Evaluation of Heavy Metal Contamination Ecological Risk in a Food-Producing Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    mohsen Mirzaei

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction and purpose: The consumption of agricultural products cultivated in soils contaminated with heavy metals is very health-threatening. Therefore, the implementation of an inclusive and multilateral assessment of the heavy metal risk on the verge of their entrance to the food chain is a matter of fundamental importance. Regarding this, the present study was conducted with the aim of monitoring the concentration of heavy metals in the surface soil of grape gardens and zoning the area in terms of geoaccumulation index (Igeo, contamination factor, degree of contamination, modified degree of contamination (MDC, pollution load index (PLI, and ecological risk index (RI. Methods: For the purpose of the study, 31 grape gardens were selected in Gahru region (i.e., the main center of grape production through simple random sampling technique. The surface soil samples were transferred to the laboratory for the analysis of the concentration of cadmium, lead, chromium, copper, and zinc. Results: According to the results, the concentration of the metals in the region was Zn > Cu > Pb > Cr > Cd with the mean total concentrations of 74.87, 55.31, 22.32, 9.81, and 0.91 mg/kg, respectively. Based on the results of the PLI, six grape gardens were classified as insignificantly contaminated (1≤PLI≤2, and the remaining gardens were classified as noncontaminated (PLI300, medium (150

  9. The chemical behaviour and ecological transfer in the human food chain of some radionuclides in aqueous ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furnica, Gh.

    1980-01-01

    The aqueous ecosystem of the Danube has been investigated in the period of 1976-1979. Data on the ecological transfer of radionuclides in the human food chain made an estimation available on the risk of the affected population. In the assessment of population exposure, the internal radiation dose for a period of one year and the continuous external irradiation determined by TLD have been considered. - The results revealed very low Sr-90 and Cs-137 contents in the Danube water and in the drinking water. The radioactivity contents are higher in the sediment and in some biota than in the water. The H-3 content in the Danube water varies in a wider range and higher concentration was found in fish than in the water. Both the Danube sediment and the irrigated sandy soil contain very low concentrations of fission products. During 1976-1979, the radioiodine content in air, milk and cow thyroid around the 679-Km is continuously decreasing. - Based on the data obtained, the corresponding collective dose equivalent value was calculated and the risk on the health of the population was found to be very low from contamination during 1975-1978. The radioactivity concentration values in critical human food chain, however, are not negligible. (author)

  10. Ecological assessment of the marine ecosystems of Barbuda, West Indies: Using rapid scientific assessment to inform ocean zoning and fisheries management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caselle, Jennifer E.; Estep, Andrew J.; Johnson, Ayana Elizabeth; Marhaver, Kristen L.; Richter, Lee J.; Sandin, Stuart A.; Vermeij, Mark J. A.; Smith, Jennifer E.; Grenda, David; Cannon, Abigail

    2018-01-01

    To inform a community-based ocean zoning initiative, we conducted an intensive ecological assessment of the marine ecosystems of Barbuda, West Indies. We conducted 116 fish and 108 benthic surveys around the island, and measured the abundance and size structure of lobsters and conch at 52 and 35 sites, respectively. We found that both coral cover and fish biomass were similar to or lower than levels observed across the greater Caribbean; live coral cover and abundance of fishery target species, such as large snappers and groupers, was generally low. However, Barbuda lacks many of the high-relief forereef areas where similar work has been conducted in other Caribbean locations. The distribution of lobsters was patchy, making it difficult to quantify density at the island scale. However, the maximum size of lobsters was generally larger than in other locations in the Caribbean and similar to the maximum size reported 40 years ago. While the lobster population has clearly been heavily exploited, our data suggest that it is not as overexploited as in much of the rest of the Caribbean. Surveys of Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon revealed many juvenile lobsters, but none of legal size (95 mm carapace length), suggesting that the lagoon functions primarily as nursery habitat. Conch abundance and size on Barbuda were similar to that of other Caribbean islands. Our data suggest that many of the regional threats observed on other Caribbean islands are present on Barbuda, but some resources—particularly lobster and conch—may be less overexploited than on other Caribbean islands. Local management has the potential to provide sustainability for at least some of the island’s marine resources. We show that a rapid, thorough ecological assessment can reveal clear conservation opportunities and facilitate rapid conservation action by providing the foundation for a community-driven policymaking process at the island scale. PMID:29309413

  11. ECOLOGICAL FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RUSTIC SPECIES IN DISTURBED ECOSYSTEMS IN THE ATLANTIC FOREST, PIRAÍ, RIO DE JANEIRO STATE – BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiram Feijó Baylão Junior

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5902/1980509810542 Disturbed ecosystems do not present original floristic composition. Their soils are depleted, shallow, stony, with low infiltration and present erosion with different levels of Geodynamics. The region has areas of pasture with sparse herbaceous vegetation which is weakened in every rain and fire, covering less ground. The individuals that colonized and settled in these environments were considered rustic species. This study raised and identified by census, the rustic species and their structure in the most degraded part (lower third of the watershed of Cacaria’s river at the base of the Serra do Mar, Piraí, Rio de Janeiro state, and evaluated the influence of ecological exposure, slope, elevation, topography and rock outcrops in the establishment and growth of these species. For the vegetation survey it was conducted census in an area of 22 hectares, where it was measured, geo-referenced and identified all spontaneous tree species that were isolated in a pasture area. Ecological factors exposure, elevation and slope were determined with a compass, altimeter and clinometer, respectively. We identified 131 individuals, representing 14 species, grouped into nine families. Tabernaemontana laeta Mart., Sparattosperma leucanthum (Vell. Schum., Machaerium hirtum (Vell. Stellfeld, Tabebuia chrysotricha (Mart. ex DC. Stan., Cecropia pachystachya Trec., Peltophorum dubium (Spreng. Taub., Guarea guidonia (L. Sleumer, Acacia polyphylla DC. and Psidium guajava L.were present in portions of the slope with exposure to the north, with altitudes from 60m to 80m and with slope strongly corrugated (20-45%, indicating a preference of these species for microhabitats with those characteristics. 

  12. Ecological structure of recent and last glacial mammalian faunas in northern Eurasia: the case of Altai-Sayan refugium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Věra Pavelková Řičánková

    Full Text Available Pleistocene mammalian communities display unique features which differ from present-day faunas. The paleocommunities were characterized by the extraordinarily large body size of herbivores and predators and by their unique structure consisting of species now inhabiting geographically and ecologically distinct natural zones. These features were probably the result of the unique environmental conditions of ice age ecosystems. To analyze the ecological structure of Last Glacial and Recent mammal communities we classified the species into biome and trophic-size categories, using Principal Component analysis. We found a marked similarity in ecological structure between Recent eastern Altai-Sayan mammalian assemblages and comparable Pleistocene faunas. The composition of Last Glacial and Recent eastern Altai-Sayan assemblages were characterized by the occurrence of large herbivore and predator species associated with steppe, desert and alpine biomes. These three modern biomes harbor most of the surviving Pleistocene mammals. None of the analyzed Palearctic Last Glacial faunas showed affinity to the temperate forest, taiga, or tundra biome. The Eastern part of the Altai-Sayan region could be considered a refugium of the Last Glacial-like mammalian assemblages. Glacial fauna seems to persist up to present in those areas where the forest belt does not separate alpine vegetation from the steppes and deserts.

  13. Impact of the Qualitative and Quantitative Aspects of Human Activity on the Ecosystem: Demonstration through the Use of Ecological Footprint Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makram GAALICHE

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This article aims to show that the impact of human activities on the ecosystem, measured by the Ecological Footprint, depends on the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the population. Indeed, we confirmed our hypothesis by an empirical analysis on Tunisia, where it was revealed that the increase in its Ecological Footprint, is attributed mainly to massive consumption of goods, bad land management by building horizontal, and to a lesser extent, to the presence of polluting employments. The results suggest the adoption of targeted policies, according to the specific characteristics of population.

  14. Metacommunity theory as a multispecies, multiscale framework for studying the influence of river network structure on riverine communities and ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, B.L.; Swan, C.M.; Auerbach, D.A.; Campbell, Grant E.H.; Hitt, N.P.; Maloney, K.O.; Patrick, C.

    2011-01-01

    Explaining the mechanisms underlying patterns of species diversity and composition in riverine networks is challenging. Historically, community ecologists have conceived of communities as largely isolated entities and have focused on local environmental factors and interspecific interactions as the major forces determining species composition. However, stream ecologists have long embraced a multiscale approach to studying riverine ecosystems and have studied both local factors and larger-scale regional factors, such as dispersal and disturbance. River networks exhibit a dendritic spatial structure that can constrain aquatic organisms when their dispersal is influenced by or confined to the river network. We contend that the principles of metacommunity theory would help stream ecologists to understand how the complex spatial structure of river networks mediates the relative influences of local and regional control on species composition. From a basic ecological perspective, the concept is attractive because new evidence suggests that the importance of regional processes (dispersal) depends on spatial structure of habitat and on connection to the regional species pool. The role of local factors relative to regional factors will vary with spatial position in a river network. From an applied perspective, the long-standing view in ecology that local community composition is an indicator of habitat quality may not be uniformly applicable across a river network, but the strength of such bioassessment approaches probably will depend on spatial position in the network. The principles of metacommunity theory are broadly applicable across taxa and systems but seem of particular consequence to stream ecology given the unique spatial structure of riverine systems. By explicitly embracing processes at multiple spatial scales, metacommunity theory provides a foundation on which to build a richer understanding of stream communities.

  15. Coupled economic-ecological models for ecosystem-based fishery management: Exploration of trade-offs between model complexity and management needs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thunberg, Eric; Holland, Dan; Nielsen, J. Rasmus

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem based fishery management has moved beyond rhetorical statements calling for a more holistic approach to resource management, to implementing decisions on resource use that are compatible with goals of maintaining ecosystem health and resilience. Coupled economic-ecological models...... are a primary tool for informing these decisions. Recognizing the importance of these models, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) formed a Study Group on Integration of Economics, Stock Assessment and Fisheries Management (SGIMM) to explore alternative modelling approaches...... and ecological systems are inherently complex, models are abstractions of these systems incorporating varying levels of complexity depending on available data and the management issues to be addressed. The objective of this special session was to assess the pros and cons of increasing model complexity...

  16. Structure, Behavior, Function as a Framework For Teaching and Learning about Complexity In Ecosystems: Lessons from Middle School Classrooms (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hmelo-Silver, C.; Gray, S.; Jordan, R.

    2010-12-01

    Complex systems surround us, and as Sabelli (2006) has argued, understanding complex systems is a critical component of science literacy. Understanding natural and designed systems are also prominent in the new draft science standards (NRC, 2010) and therefore of growing importance in the science classroom. Our work has focused on promoting an understanding of one complex natural system, aquatic ecosystems, which given current events, is fast becoming a requisite for informed decision-making as citizens (Jordan et al. 2008). Learners have difficulty understanding many concepts related to complex natural systems (e.g., Hmelo-Silver, Marathe, & Liu, 2007; Jordan, Gray, Liu, Demeter, & Hmelo-Silver, 2009). Studies of how students think about complex ecological systems (e.g; Hmelo-Silver, Marathe, & Liu, 2007; Hogan, 2000, Hogan & Fisherkeller, 1996: Covitt & Gunkel, 2008) have revealed difficulties in thinking beyond linear flow, single causality, and visible structure. Helping students to learn about ecosystems is a complex task that requires providing opportunities for students to not only engage directly with ecosystems but also with resources that provide relevant background knowledge and opportunities for learners to make their thinking visible. Both tasks can be difficult given the large spatial and temporal scales on which ecosystems operate. Additionally, visible components interact with often invisible components which can obscure ecosystem processes for students. Working in the context of aquatic ecosystems, we sought to provide learners with representations and simulations that make salient the relationship between system components. In particular, we provided learners with opportunities to experience both the micro-level and macro-level phenomena that are key to understanding ecosystems (Hmelo-Silver, Liu, Gray, & Jordan, submitted; Liu & Hmelo-Silver, 2008; Jacobson & Wilensky, 2006). To accomplish this, we needed to help learners make connections across

  17. Pastoralists' Perception and Ecological Knowledge on Savanna Ecosystem Dynamics in Semi-arid Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olaotswe Kgosikoma

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated vegetation dynamics in relation to livestock grazing as perceived by pastoral farmers in different regions of Botswana. A structured questionnaire was used to collect farmers' understanding of vegetation changes and causes within three different grazing lands. The pastoral farmers' description of dominant vegetation differed significantly both at the local and district level, which suggests that rangelands consist of patches dominated by different grasses and woody vegetation. Most pastoralists indicated that grass composition has undergone changes, and unpalatable grasses such as Aristida congesta and Megaloprotachne albescens are increasing. The different factors perceived by pastoral farmers to cause changes in vegetation composition included rainfall, overgrazing, and fire. Bush encroachment is considered to be more common in communal grazing land than in ranches. According to pastoral farmers, the ranching system is less degrading to the environment and more sustainable for livestock production than is communal grazing.

  18. Investigating point zero: The artificial catchment 'Chicken Creek' as an observatory to study critical zone structures and processes of the critical zone in an initial ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüttl, Reinhard F.; Gerwin, Werner

    2010-05-01

    Recently, earth surface structures reaching from vegetation to the groundwater in the near underground have been termed "critical zone". This zone is "critical" to supporting life on Earth and, thus, the understanding of processes within this zone is of great importance in environmental sciences. Investigating the critical zone requires interdisciplinary and integrative research approaches across the fields of geomorphology, ecology, biology, soil science, hydrology and environmental modeling. A central motivation of the critical zone concept is the need for moving beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to a more holistic and integrated study of the Earth surface system. However, the critical zone is characterized by complex interactions between abiotic and biotic structures and processes which need to be analyzed for improving our understanding of ecosystem functioning as well as of ecosystem development. To gain a better understanding of these fundamental questions it might be helpful to look at initial ecosystems, i.e. at ecosystems in the initial phase of development. It can be hypothesized that the complexity of a very young ecosystem is lower compared to mature systems and, therefore, structure-process interactions might become more obvious at early than at later stages of development. In this context, an artificial watershed was constructed with well known boundary conditions to investigate the initial ecosystem phase. The catchment ‘Chicken Creek' in Lusatia (Germany; 150 km SE from Berlin) has an area of 6 ha. It was set up with a layer of post-glacial sandy sediments overlying an aquiclude made of clay at the base. These hydrological starting conditions allowed for the formation of a groundwater body within the sandy layer of the experimental catchment. Further, after completion of the construction works in September 2005 the site was left to natural succession and no measures like planting or fertilization were carried out. As the initial phase of

  19. Synergy of VSWIR and LiDAR for Ecosystem Structure, Biomass, and Canopy Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Bruce D.; Asner, Gregory P.

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of Visible ShortWave InfraRed (VSWIR) Imaging Spectrometer and LiDAR to study ecosystem structure, biomass and canopy diversity. It is shown that the biophysical data from LiDAR and biochemical information from hyperspectral remote sensing provides complementary data for: (1) describing spatial patterns of vegetation and biodiversity, (2) characterizing relationships between ecosystem form and function, and (3) detecting natural and human induced change that affects the biogeochemical cycles.

  20. Addressing ecological effects of radiation on populations and ecosystems to improve protection of the environment against radiation: Agreed statements from a Consensus Symposium

    OpenAIRE

    Bréchignac, François; Oughton, Deborah; Mays, Claire; Barnthouse, Lawrence; Beasley, James C.; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Bradshaw, Clare; Brown, Justin; Dray, Stéphane; Geras'kin, Stanislav; Glenn, Travis; Higley, Kathy; Ishida, Ken; Kapustka, Lawrence; Kautsky, Ulrik

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports the output of a consensus symposium organized by the International Union of Radioecology in November 2015. The symposium gathered an academically diverse group of 30 scientists to consider the still debated ecological impact of radiation on populations and ecosystems. Stimulated by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters? accidental contamination of the environment, there is increasing interest in developing environmental radiation protection frameworks. Scientific research c...

  1. The assessment of the required groundwater quantity for the conservation of ecosystems and the achievement of a good ecological status of surface waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitja Janža

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of the available quantity of groundwater is of essential importance for its sustainable use. Modern approaches for estimation of groundwater availability take into account all potential impacts of abstractions, including impacts on groundwater dependent ecosystems and impacts on surface waters ecological status. Groundwater body is in good quantitative status if groundwater abstractions do not cause signifiant damages to groundwater dependent ecosystems and signifiant diminution in the ecological status of surface water bodies. The methodology presented in this paper was developed as an integral part of the assessment of the quantitative status of groundwater bodies in Slovenia and is tailored to the characteristics of the groundwater dependent ecosystems as well as hydrological and hydrogeological conditions in the Slovenian territory. Two different approaches were implemented; for forest habitats on alluvial aquifers, and habitats of amphibians and molluscs in karst areas. Estimates of the required quantity of groundwater for groundwater dependent ecosystems conservation were performed at the level of groundwater bodies and annual averages of temporal variables of the water balance, calculated with the regional water balance model GROWA-SI. In the areas of groundwater bodies with groundwater dependent ecosystems estimated quantity present 0.1 % - 12.4 % of the groundwater recharge. The estimated share of annual renewable quantity of groundwater to maintain the ecological status of surface waters for the entire territory of Slovenia is 23.2 %. The largest share, 30 % is in north-eastern Slovenia and the lowest in the north-west part of Slovenia with a 16.6 % average annual renewable quantity.

  2. A Framework to Quantify the Strength of the Ecological Links Between an Environmental Stressor and Final Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthropogenic stressors such as climate change, fire, and pollution are driving shifts in ecosystem function and resilience. Scientists generally rely on biological indicators of these stressors to signal that ecosystem conditions have been altered beyond an acceptable amount. Ho...

  3. Panarchy: discontinuities reval similarities in the dynamic system structure of ecological and social systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debates on the organization, structure and dynamics of ecosystems across scales of space and time have waxed and waned in the literature for a century. From successional theory to ecosystem theories of resilience and robustness, from hierarchy to ascendency to panarchy theory, e...

  4. An ecological perspective on U.S. industrial poultry production: the role of anthropogenic ecosystems on the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria from agricultural environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Meghan F; Price, Lance B; Liu, Cindy Meng-Hsin; Silbergeld, Ellen K

    2011-06-01

    The industrialization of food animal production, specifically the widespread use of antimicrobials, not only increased pressure on microbial populations, but also changed the ecosystems in which antimicrobials and bacteria interact. In this review, we argue that industrial food animal production (IFAP) is appropriately defined as an anthropogenic ecosystem. This paper uses an ecosystem perspective to frame an examination of these changes in the context of U.S. broiler chicken production. This perspective emphasizes multiple modes by which IFAP has altered microbiomes and also suggests a means of generating hypotheses for understanding and predicting the ecological impacts of IFAP in terms of the resistome and the flow of resistance within and between microbiomes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Linking morphology to ecosystem structure using satellite for monitoring Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filipponi, F.; Valentini, E.; Taramelli, A.; Giulio, S.; Persichillo, M.; D'Alpaos, A.

    2013-12-01

    Modern views on the behavior of complex systems, like the low lying coastal areas, allow the interpretation of phenomenological coastal landscape as a steady state that corresponds to a dynamic equilibrium, and to a self-organized exogenic order of the edge of the chaos. Space-borne data, coupled with field spectral measurements and observations, are quantitative tools for the research on feedbacks between the biological influences and physical forming processes steering landscape changes, allowing the identification of critical thresholds beyond which the ecosystem reach a new steady state. This research deals with a multi-temporal change analysis of halophytic vegetation and morphology of two analogous accumulation sites along the northern Adriatic adjoining coast: the 'Bacan island' (Venice Lagoon) and the Spit of Goro Lagoon (Po Delta). These two sites represent delicate ecosystems and are susceptible to different drivers being located close to the lagoon's inlet. The two tests sites support a great biodiversity and supply important resources, so the conservation of their habitats is necessary to maintain the ecosystem services provision. Evidence from previous studies highlights the role of climate, mostly winds and hydrology acting on sediment transport, but only few accounts for the role of vegetation in landform shaping and sediment stabilizing. In this study spatial trends of both vegetation cover/typology and sediment/soil distribution are implemented to obtain detailed classification from EO. By means of sub-pixel processing techniques (Spectral Mixing Analysis), classifications are analyzed in terms of spatial (Power law) and temporal (Empirical Orthogonal Functions) patterns, in order to find the fingerprint of spatial patterns of vegetation, sediments and very shallow waters and their variation over time. The application of a double step analysis from coarse to finer spatial resolution lead first to a biophysical cover map in term of vegetation

  6. The impacts of multiple stressors to model ecological structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landis, W.G.; Kelly, S.A.; Markiewicz, A.J.; Matthews, R.A.; Matthews, G.B.

    1995-01-01

    The basis of the community conditioning hypothesis is that ecological structures are the result of their unique etiology. Systems that have been exposed to a variety of stressors should reflect this history. The authors how conducted a series of microcosm experiments that can compare the effects of multiple stressors upon community dynamics. The microcosm protocols are derived from the Standardized Aquatic Microcosm (SAM) and have Lemma and additional protozoan species. Two multiple stressor experiments have been conducted. In an extended length SAM (ELSAM), two of four treatments were dosed with the turbine fuel JP-8 one week into the experiment. Two treatments were later exposed to the heat stress, one that had received jet fuel and one that had not. Similarly, an ELSAM was conducted with the second stressor being the further addition of JP-8 replacing the heat shock. Biological, physical and chemical data were analyzed with multivariate techniques including nonmetric clustering and association analysis. Space-time worms and phase diagrams were also employed to ascertain the dynamic relationships of variables identified as important by the multivariate techniques. The experiments do not result in a simple additive linear response to the additional stressor. Examination of the relative population dynamics reveal alterations in trajectories that suggest treatment related effects. As in previous single stressor experiments, recovery does not occur even after extended experimental periods. The authors are now attempting to measure the resulting trajectories, changes in similarity vectors and overall dynamics. However, community conditioning does appear to be an important framework in understanding systems with a heterogeneous array of stressors

  7. Adaptive long-term monitoring of soil health in metal phytostabilization: ecological attributes and ecosystem services based on soil microbial parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, José M; Alkorta, Itziar; Garbisu, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Phytostabilization is a promising option for the remediation of metal contaminated soils which requires the implementation of long-term monitoring programs. We here propose to incorporate the paradigm of "adaptive monitoring", which enables monitoring programs to evolve iteratively as new information emerges and research questions change, to metal phytostabilization. Posing good questions that cover the chemical, toxicological and ecological concerns associated to metal contaminated soils is critical for an efficient long-term phytostabilization monitoring program. Regarding the ecological concerns, soil microbial parameters are most valuable indicators of the effectiveness of metal phytostabilization processes in terms of recovery of soil health. We suggest to group soil microbial parameters in higher-level categories such as "ecological attributes" (vigor, organization, stability) or "ecosystem services" in order to facilitate interpretation and, most importantly, to provide long-term phytostabilization monitoring programs with the required stability through time against changes in techniques, methods, interests, etc. that will inevitably occur during the monitoring program. Finally, a Phytostabilization Monitoring Card, based on both ecological attributes and ecosystem services, for soil microbial properties is provided.

  8. Ecological behavior and effects of radionuclides in southeastern ecosystems. Progress report: a three year review, June 1975--June 1976

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Platt, R.B.; Ragsdale, H.L.; Shure, D.J.

    1976-01-01

    Four interrelated studies were conducted within the LTRC watershed: the LTRC-Donora Station study, which has examined transfer processes within a floodplain and a stream, and exchanges between floodplain and stream; a comparative LTRC study which focused on edaphic differences and soil-plant relations in order to examine upstream cycling vs downstream immobilization of 137 Cs; similar studies of Carolina Bays and of Turkey Oak-Sand Hill communities, which were within the LTRC watershed uplands. These studies and their integration are not yet complete. However, we have documented and quantified processes of material exchange in all four systems. Our initial hypotheses regarding LTRC are essentially intact. This stream, as representative of low gradient streams of the coastal plain, does laterally displace 137 Cs into floodplains. The upstream-downstream gradient of decreased 137 Cs cycling is apparently real and related to microtopography of floodplains, increased C.E.C. and clays downstream, and increased potassium concentrations downstream. The documentation of 15 nCi/m 2 , approximately 12 percent of the total system 137 Cs burden, in the biotic phase of the sandy low potassium content turkey oak, and measurement of a 3 percent root uptake of soil 134 Cs within forests suggest that unusually high bioaccumulation of 137 Cs can occur in terrestrial systems as well. The role of fungi in concentrating 137 Cs and in maintaining it in decomposing leaf litter suggests two mechanisms, food chains and elemental recycling, by which 137 Cs could remain mobile in these ecological systems. Although these conclusions must remain tentative, it seems certain that these coastal plain ecosystems are different from those of other land provinces in the extent of system bioaccumulation of 137 Cs and that these differences relate strongly to soils, nutrient concentrations, and processes of material transport within and through water sheds

  9. Using structural equation modeling to investigate relationships among ecological variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaeb, Z.A.; Kevin, Summers J.; Pugesek, B.H.

    2000-01-01

    Structural equation modeling is an advanced multivariate statistical process with which a researcher can construct theoretical concepts, test their measurement reliability, hypothesize and test a theory about their relationships, take into account measurement errors, and consider both direct and indirect effects of variables on one another. Latent variables are theoretical concepts that unite phenomena under a single term, e.g., ecosystem health, environmental condition, and pollution (Bollen, 1989). Latent variables are not measured directly but can be expressed in terms of one or more directly measurable variables called indicators. For some researchers, defining, constructing, and examining the validity of latent variables may be the end task of itself. For others, testing hypothesized relationships of latent variables may be of interest. We analyzed the correlation matrix of eleven environmental variables from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program for Estuaries (EMAP-E) using methods of structural equation modeling. We hypothesized and tested a conceptual model to characterize the interdependencies between four latent variables-sediment contamination, natural variability, biodiversity, and growth potential. In particular, we were interested in measuring the direct, indirect, and total effects of sediment contamination and natural variability on biodiversity and growth potential. The model fit the data well and accounted for 81% of the variability in biodiversity and 69% of the variability in growth potential. It revealed a positive total effect of natural variability on growth potential that otherwise would have been judged negative had we not considered indirect effects. That is, natural variability had a negative direct effect on growth potential of magnitude -0.3251 and a positive indirect effect mediated through biodiversity of magnitude 0.4509, yielding a net positive total effect of 0

  10. Planing of land use of structural elements of ecological network at local level

    OpenAIRE

    Tretiak V.; Hun'ko L.

    2016-01-01

    and Management projecting of structural elements of land use of the ecological network on the territory of the village council begins with ecological and landscape micro zoning of the territory of village council, held during the preparatory work for the drafting of land and are finished by the formation of environmentally homogeneous regions, to which the system components of ecological network are tied, as well as environmental measures in the form of local environmental restrictions (encum...

  11. Ecological impacts of environmental toxicants and radiation on the microbial ecosystem: a model simulation of computational microbiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, Masahiro; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Fuma, Shoichi; Takeda, Hiroshi; Miyamoto, Kiriko; Yanagisawa, K.; Nakamura, Yuji; Kawabata, Zenichiro

    2000-01-01

    This study explores a microorganic closed-ecosystem by computer simulation to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm that consists of heterotroph protozoa, Tetrahymena thermophila B as a consumer, autotroph algae, Euglena gracilis Z as a primary producer and saprotroph Bacteria, Escherichia coli DH5 as decomposer. The simulation program is written as a procedure of StarLogoT1.5.1, which is developed by Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Tufts University. The virtual microcosm is structured and operated by the following rules; 1) Environment is defined as a lattice model, which consists of 10,201 square patches, 300 micron Wide, 300 micron Length and 100 micron Hight. 2) Each patch has its own attributes, Nutrient, Detritus and absolute coordinates, 3) Components of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli are defined as sub-system, and each sub-system has its own attributes as location, heading direction, cell-age, structured biomass, reserves energy and demographic parameters (assimilation rate, breeding threshold, growth rate, etc.). 4) Each component of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli, lives by foraging (Tetrahymena eats E-coli), excreting its metabolic products to the environment (as a substrate of E-coli), breeding and dying according vital condition. 5) Euglena utilizes sunlight energy by photosynthesis process and produces organic compounds. E-coli breaks down the organic compounds of dead protoplasm or metabolic wastes (Detritus) and releases inorganic substances to construct down stream of food cycle. Virtual ecosystem in this study is named SIM-COSM, a parallel computing model for self-sustaining system of complexity. It found that SIM-COSM is a valuable to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm, where a feedback mechanism acts in response to disturbances and interactions among species and environment. In the simulation, microbes increased demographic and environmental

  12. Effects of vegetation structure on soil carbon, nutrients and greenhouse gas exchange in a savannah ecosystem of Mount Kilimanjaro Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, J.

    2015-12-01

    The savannah biome is a hotspot for biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Africa and recently got in the focus of research on carbon sequestration. Savannah ecosystems are under strong pressure from climate and land-use change, especially around populous areas like the Mt. Kilimanjaro region. Savannah vegetation consists of grassland with isolated trees and is therefore characterized by high spatial variation of canopy cover, aboveground biomass and root structure. The canopy structure is a major regulator for soil ecological parameters and soil-atmospheric trace gas exchange (CO2, N2O, CH4) in water limited environments. The spatial distribution of these parameters and the connection between above and belowground processes are important to understand and predict ecosystem changes and estimate its vulnerability. Our objective was to determine spatial trends and changes of soil parameters and relate their variability to the vegetation structure. We chose three trees from each of the two most dominant species (Acacia nilotica and Balanites aegyptiaca) in our research area. For each tree, we selected transects with nine sampling points of the same relative distances to the stem. At these each sampling point a soil core was taken and separated in 0-10 cm and 10-30 cm depth. We measured soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage, microbial biomass C and N, Natural δ13C, soil respiration, available nutrients, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC) as well as root biomass and -density, soil temperature and soil water content. Concentrations and stocks of C and N fractions, CEC and K+ decreased up to 50% outside the crown covered area. Microbial C:N ratio and CO2 efflux was about 30% higher outside the crown. This indicates N limitation and low C use efficiency in soil outside the crown area. We conclude that the spatial structure of aboveground biomass in savanna ecosystems leads to a spatial variance in nutrient limitation. Therefore, the capability of a savanna ecosystem

  13. The Role of Bridging Organizations in Enhancing Ecosystem Services and Facilitating Adaptive Management of Social-Ecological Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adaptive management is an approach for monitoring the response of ecological systems to different policies and practices and attempts to reduce the inherent uncertainty in ecological systems via system monitoring and iterative decision making and experimentation (Holling 1978). M...

  14. A hybrid land-water-environment model for identification of ecological effect and risk under uncertain meteorological precipitation in an agroforestry ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xueting; Li, Tienan; Chen, Cong; Si, Zhenjiang; Huang, Guohe; Guo, Ping; Zhuang, Xiaowen

    2018-08-15

    In this study, a hybrid land-water-environment (LWE) model is developed for identifying ecological effect and risk under uncertain precipitation in an agroforestry ecosystem. A simulation-based fuzzy-stochastic programming with risk analysis (SFSR) method is used into LWE model to reflect the meteorological impacts; meanwhile, it also can quantify artificial fuzziness (e.g., risk attitude of policymaker) and natural vagueness (e.g., ecological function) in decision-making. The developed LWE model with SFSR method is applied to a practical agroforestry ecosystem in China. Results of optimized planting scale, irrigative water schedule, pollution mitigation scheme, and system benefit under changed rainfall, precise risk-adoption and vague ecological function are obtained; meanwhile their corresponding ecological effects and risks are analyzed. It found that current LWE plans could generate massive water deficits (e.g., 23.22×10 6 m 3 in crop irrigation and 26.32×10 6 m 3 in forest protection at highest) due to over-cultivation and excessive pollution discharges (e.g., the highest excessive TP and TN discharges would reach 460.64 and 15.30×10 3 ton) due to irrational fertilization, which would increase regional ecological risks. In addition, fifteen scenarios associated with withdrawing cultivation and recovering forest based on regional environment heterogeneity (such as soil types) have been discussed to adjust current agriculture-environment policies. It found that, the excessive pollution discharges (TN and TP) could be reduced 12.95% and 18.32% at highest through ecological expansions, which would generate higher system benefits than that without withdrawing farmland and recovering forest. All above can facilitate local policymakers to modulate a comprehensive LWE with more sustainable and robust manners, achieving regional harmony between socio-economy and eco-environment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Social-Ecological Transformation for Ecosystem Management: the Development of Adaptive Co-management of a Wetland Landscape in Southern Sweden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Per Olsson

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the emergence of an adaptive co-management system for wetland landscape governance in southern Sweden, a process where unconnected management by several actors in the landscape was mobilized, renewed, and reconfigured into ecosystem management within about a decade. Our analysis highlights the social mechanisms behind the transformation toward ecosystem management. The self-organizing process was triggered by perceived threats among members of various local stewardship associations and local government to the area's cultural and ecological values. These threats challenged the development of ecosystem services in the area. We show how one individual, a key leader, played an instrumental role in directing change and transforming governance. The transformation involved three phases: 1 preparing the system for change, 2 seizing a window of opportunity, and 3 building social-ecological resilience of the new desired state. This local policy entrepreneur initiated trust-building dialogue, mobilized social networks with actors across scales, and started processes for coordinating people, information flows and ongoing activities, and for compiling and generating knowledge, understanding, and management practices of ecosystem dynamics. Understanding, collaborative learning, and creating public awareness were part of the process. A comprehensive framework was developed with a shared vision and goals that presented conservation as development, turned problems into possibilities, and contributed to a shift in perception among key actors regarding the values of the wetland landscape. A window of opportunity at the political level opened, which made it possible to transform the governance system toward a trajectory of ecosystem management. The transformation involved establishing a new municipal organization, the Ecomuseum Kristianstads Vattenrike (EKV. This flexible organization serves as a bridge between local actors and governmental bodies and is

  16. STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS OF BOREAL ECOSYSTEMS: ANOTHER APPROACH TO LANDSAT IMAGERY CLASSIFICATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Litinsky

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available An alternative approach to information extraction from Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery is proposed. It involves transformation the image space into visible 3D form and comparing location in this space the segments of the ecosystem types with expressed graphically typology of forest and mire cover (biogeocenotic scheme. The model is built in LC1-LC2-MSI axis (the two first principal components of the image matrix in logarithmic form and moisture stress index. Comparing to Tasseled Cap, this transformation is more suitable for study area (north taiga zone of Eastern Fennoscandia. The spectral segments of mature and old-growth forests line up from the ecological optimum (moraine hills along two main environmental gradients: i lack of water and nutrition (fluvioglacial sands bedrock and ii degree of paludication (lacustrine plains. Thus, the biogeocenotic complexes are identified. The succession trajectories of forest regeneration through spectral space are also associated with the type of Quaternary deposits. For mire ecosystems spectral classes accurately reflect the type of water and mineral nutrition (ombrotrophic or mesotrophic. Spectral space model created using measured by the scanner physical ecosystem characteristics can be the base for developing objective classification of boreal ecosystems, where one of the most significant clustering criterions is the position in the spectral space.

  17. The Role of Herbivory in Structuring Tropical Seagrass Ecosystem Service Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Abigail L.; York, Paul H.; Duncan, Clare; Macreadie, Peter I.; Connolly, Rod M.; Ellis, Megan T.; Jarvis, Jessie C.; Jinks, Kristin I.; Marsh, Helene; Rasheed, Michael A.

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows support key ecosystem services, via provision of food directly for herbivores, and indirectly to their predators. The importance of herbivores in seagrass meadows has been well-documented, but the links between food webs and ecosystem services in seagrass meadows have not previously been made explicit. Herbivores interact with ecosystem services – including carbon sequestration, cultural values, and coastal protection. Interactions can be positive or negative and depend on a range of factors including the herbivore identity and the grazing type and intensity. There can be unintended consequences from management actions based on a poor understanding of trade-offs that occur with complex seagrass-herbivore interactions. Tropical seagrass meadows support a diversity of grazers spanning the meso-, macro-, and megaherbivore scales. We present a conceptual model to describe how multiple ecosystem services are influenced by herbivore pressure in tropical seagrass meadows. Our model suggests that a balanced ecosystem, incorporating both seagrass and herbivore diversity, is likely to sustain the broadest range of ecosystem services. Our framework suggests the pathway to achieve desired ecosystem services outcomes requires knowledge on four key areas: (1) how size classes of herbivores interact to structure seagrass; (2) desired community and management values; (3) seagrass responses to top–down and bottom–up controls; (4) the pathway from intermediate to final ecosystem services and human benefits. We suggest research should be directed to these areas. Herbivory is a major structuring influence in tropical seagrass systems and needs to be considered for effective management of these critical habitats and their services. PMID:29487606

  18. Bio-inspired Autonomic Structures: a middleware for Telecommunications Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzalini, Antonio; Minerva, Roberto; Moiso, Corrado

    Today, people are making use of several devices for communications, for accessing multi-media content services, for data/information retrieving, for processing, computing, etc.: examples are laptops, PDAs, mobile phones, digital cameras, mp3 players, smart cards and smart appliances. One of the most attracting service scenarios for future Telecommunications and Internet is the one where people will be able to browse any object in the environment they live: communications, sensing and processing of data and services will be highly pervasive. In this vision, people, machines, artifacts and the surrounding space will create a kind of computational environment and, at the same time, the interfaces to the network resources. A challenging technological issue will be interconnection and management of heterogeneous systems and a huge amount of small devices tied together in networks of networks. Moreover, future network and service infrastructures should be able to provide Users and Application Developers (at different levels, e.g., residential Users but also SMEs, LEs, ASPs/Web2.0 Service roviders, ISPs, Content Providers, etc.) with the most appropriate "environment" according to their context and specific needs. Operators must be ready to manage such level of complication enabling their latforms with technological advanced allowing network and services self-supervision and self-adaptation capabilities. Autonomic software solutions, enhanced with innovative bio-inspired mechanisms and algorithms, are promising areas of long term research to face such challenges. This chapter proposes a bio-inspired autonomic middleware capable of leveraging the assets of the underlying network infrastructure whilst, at the same time, supporting the development of future Telecommunications and Internet Ecosystems.

  19. Seascape ecology in Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: Linking structure and ecological processes for management

    OpenAIRE

    Abadie, Arnaud; Pace, Matthew; Gobert, Sylvie; Borg, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows constitute marine habitats in shallow water temperate and tropical coastal areas worldwide that have a high ecological and economic importance. Amongst the 60 or so seagrass species, the endemic Mediterranean species Posidonia oceanica forms meadows that are arguably the most important shallow water coastal habitat in the region but which are subjected to high anthropogenic pressures. Because of the relatively large size of the plant, the meadows formed by this seagrass have ...

  20. Weaving Ecosystem Service Assessment into Environmental Impact Assessments of Thar Coal Field: Impact of Coal Mining on Socio-Ecological Systems of Rural Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hina, A.

    2016-12-01

    The Research takes into account Block II Mining and Power Plant Project of Thar Coal field in Pakistan by carrying out ecosystem service assessment of the region to identify the impact on important ecosystem service losses and the contribution of mining companies to mitigate the socio-economic problems as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The study area includes 7 rural settlements, around 921 households and 7000 individuals, dependent on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods. Currently, the project has adopted the methods of strip mining (also called open-cut mining, open-cast mining, and stripping), undergoing removing the overburden in strips to enable excavation of the coal seams. Since the consequences of mine development can easily spill across community and ecological boundaries, the rising scarcity of some ecosystem services makes the case to examine both project impact and dependence on ecosystem services. A preliminary Ecosystem Service review of Thar Coal Field identifies key ecosystems services owing to both high significance of project impact and high project dependence are highlighted as: the hydrogeological study results indicate the presence of at least three aquifer zones: one above the coal zone (the top aquifer), one within the coal and the third below the coal zone. Hence, Water is identified as a key ecosystem service to be addressed and valued due to its high dependency in the area for livestock, human wellbeing, agriculture and other purposes. Crop production related to agricultural services, in association with supply services such as soil quality, fertility, and nutrient recycling and water retention need to be valued. Cultural services affected in terms of land use change and resettlement and rehabilitation factors are recommended to be addressed.

  1. The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosser, James I; Bohannan, Brendan J M; Curtis, Tom P; Ellis, Richard J; Firestone, Mary K; Freckleton, Rob P; Green, Jessica L; Green, Laura E; Killham, Ken; Lennon, Jack J; Osborn, A Mark; Solan, Martin; van der Gast, Christopher J; Young, J Peter W

    2007-05-01

    Microbial ecology is currently undergoing a revolution, with repercussions spreading throughout microbiology, ecology and ecosystem science. The rapid accumulation of molecular data is uncovering vast diversity, abundant uncultivated microbial groups and novel microbial functions. This accumulation of data requires the application of theory to provide organization, structure, mechanistic insight and, ultimately, predictive power that is of practical value, but the application of theory in microbial ecology is currently very limited. Here we argue that the full potential of the ongoing revolution will not be realized if research is not directed and driven by theory, and that the generality of established ecological theory must be tested using microbial systems.

  2. [Ecological memory and its potential applications in ecology: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhong-yu; Ren, Hai

    2011-03-01

    Ecological memory (EM) is defined as the capability of the past states or experiences of a community to influence the present or future ecological responses of the community. As a relatively new concept, EM has received considerable attention in the study of ecosystem structure and function, such as community succession, ecological restoration, biological invasion, and natural resource management. This review summarized the definition, components, and categories of EM, and discussed the possible mechanisms and affecting factors of EM. Also, the potential applications of EM were proposed, in order to further understand the mechanisms of community succession and to guide ecological restoration.

  3. Studies on Interpretive Structural Model for Forest Ecosystem Management Decision-Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Suqing; Gao, Xiumei; Zen, Qunying; Zhou, Yuanman; Huang, Yuequn; Han, Weidong; Li, Linfeng; Li, Jiping; Pu, Yingshan

    Characterized by their openness, complexity and large scale, forest ecosystems interweave themselves with social system, economic system and other natural ecosystems, thus complicating both their researches and management decision-making. According to the theories of sustainable development, hierarchy-competence levels, cybernetics and feedback, 25 factors have been chosen from human society, economy and nature that affect forest ecosystem management so that they are systematically analyzed via developing an interpretive structural model (ISM) to reveal their relationships and positions in the forest ecosystem management. The ISM consists of 7 layers with the 3 objectives for ecosystem management being the top layer (the seventh layer). The ratio between agricultural production value and industrial production value as the bases of management decision-making in forest ecosystems becomes the first layer at the bottom because it has great impacts on the values of society and the development trends of forestry, while the factors of climatic environments, intensive management extent, management measures, input-output ratio as well as landscape and productivity are arranged from the second to sixth layers respectively.

  4. Function assessment of coastal ecosystem based on phytoplankton community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haraguchi, Lumi

    2018-01-01

    on phytoplankton community structure; and 3) investigating the role of planktonic communities on the cycling of dissolved organic matter. Those objectives were addressed focusing the temperate mesohaline estuary of Roskilde Fjord (Denmark). Paper I, explores the use of Pulse-shape recording flow cytometry (PFCM...... as an energy reservoir, buffering changes in the nutrient supply. Finally, the results embedded in this thesis demonstrate the importance of integrating different time scales to understand functioning of phytoplankton communities. Phytoplankton dynamics should not be regarded just in light of inorganic......This Ph.D. project aimed to improve the knowledge on phytoplankton community structure and its influence in the carbon transfer and nutrient cycling in coastal waters, by: 1) assessing the importance of phytoplankton

  5. Emergence Unites Ecology and Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald L. Trosper

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The effort to combine analysis of ecosystems and social systems requires a firm theoretical basis. When humans are present in an ecosystem, their actions affect emergent structures; this paper examines forms of emergence that account for the presence of humans. Humans monitor and regulate ecosystems based on their cultural systems. Cultural systems consist of concepts linked in complicated ways that can form consistent world views, can contain inconsistencies, and may or may not accurately model the properties of a social-ecological system. Consequently, human monitoring and regulating processes will differ, depending on cultural systems. Humans, as agents, change or maintain pre-existing material and cultural emergent structures. The presentation is illustrated with a case study of fire-prone forests. The paper shows that explicit attention to emergence serves very well in unifying the following requirements for social-ecological analysis: coherent and observable definitions of sustainability; ways to link ecological and social phenomena; ways to understand cultural reasons for stability and instability in dynamic social-ecological systems; and ways to include human self-evaluation and culture within dynamic models of social-ecological systems. Analysis of cultural emergent structures clarifies many differences in assumptions among the fields of economics, sociology, political science, ecology, and ecological economics. Because it can be readily applied to empirical questions, the framework provides a good way to organize policy analysis that is not dominated by one or another discipline.

  6. Structure of forest ecosystems and leaf area index of wood plants -results of monitoring over the years 1991-1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oszlanyi, J.

    1995-01-01

    Monitored characteristics and their dynamics over the last four vegetation seasons reveal the following conclusions: 1) Changes of monitored parameters (e.g. the structure of tree and shrub layer, the leaf area index) are slow, drab and insignificant at the permanent monitoring representing a major part of forest ecosystems of the area affected by the Hydroelectric power structures Gabcikovo. Despite the absence of floods, the ground water level is at a sufficient height to contact rhisosphere of wood plants and the recorded changes are in accord with growth regularities. 2) An increase of the ground water level in the upper part of the monitored territory and a partial renaturation of hydropedological conditions led to an improvement of production-ecological parameters of the area. Changes of its structure are of positive tendency, the leaf area index is stabilised at high values and somewhere even increased (in 1994 being by 70-80% higher than in 1991). 3) Localities with a permanent decrease of the ground water level (band along the old river-bed of the Danube, a dry triangle among the old river-bed of the Danube, the inlet canal and the river arm supplied by the intake structure at Dobrohost and other places) were afflicted by negative changes, locally indicating destruction of tree and shrub layers, with the leaf area index significantly reduced by 20-30%. (author). 1 tab., 5 refs [sk

  7. Trophic structure and community stability in an overfished ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Utne-Palm, Anne Christine

    2010-07-15

    Since the collapse of the pelagic fisheries off southwest Africa in the late 1960s, jellyfish biomass has increased and the structure of the Benguelan fish community has shifted, making the bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus) the new predominant prey species. Despite increased prédation pressure and a harsh environment, the gobies are thriving. Here we show that physiological adaptations and antipredator and foraging behaviors underpin the success of these fish. In particular, body-tissue isotope signatures reveal that gobies consume jellyfish and sulphidic diatomaceous mud, transferring "dead-end" resources back into the food chain.

  8. Trophic structure and community stability in an overfished ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Utne-Palm, Anne Christine; Salvanes, Anne Gro Vea; Currie, Bronwen; Kaartvedt, Stein; Nilsson, Gö ran E.; Braithwaite, Victoria A.; Stecyk, Jonathan A W; Hundt, Matthias; Van Der Bank, Megan G.; Flynn, Bradley A.; Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Klevjer, Thor Aleksander; Sweetman, Andrew K.; Brü chert, Volker; Pittman, Karin A.; Peard, Kathleen R.; Lunde, Ida Gjervold; Strandaba, R. A U; Gibbons, Mark J.

    2010-01-01

    Since the collapse of the pelagic fisheries off southwest Africa in the late 1960s, jellyfish biomass has increased and the structure of the Benguelan fish community has shifted, making the bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus) the new predominant prey species. Despite increased prédation pressure and a harsh environment, the gobies are thriving. Here we show that physiological adaptations and antipredator and foraging behaviors underpin the success of these fish. In particular, body-tissue isotope signatures reveal that gobies consume jellyfish and sulphidic diatomaceous mud, transferring "dead-end" resources back into the food chain.

  9. The evolving role of science in wilderness to our understanding of ecosystems and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman L. Christensen

    2000-01-01

    Research in wilderness areas (areas with minimal human activity and of large spatial extent) formed the foundation for ecological models and theories that continue to shape our understanding how ecosystems change through time, how ecological communities are structured and how ecosystems function. By the middle of this century, large expanses of wilderness had become...

  10. Long-Distance Interactions Regulate the Structure and Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Koppel, J.; van der Heide, T.; Altieri, A.H.; Eriksson, B.K.; Bouma, T.J.; Olff, H.; Silliman, B.R.

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence indicates that spatial interactions are important in structuring coastal ecosystems. Until recently, however, most of this work has been focused on seemingly exceptional systems that are characterized by regular, self-organized patterns. In this review, we document that

  11. Data from: How habitat-modifying organisms structure the food web of two coastal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zee, van der Els M.; Angelini, Christine; Govers, Laura L.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Altieri, Andrew H.; Reijden, van der K.J.; Silliman, Brian R.; Koppel, van de Johan; Geest, van der Matthijs; Gils, van Jan A.; Veer, van der Henk W.; Piersma, Theunis; Ruiter, de P.C.; Olff, H.; Heide, van der Tjisse

    2016-01-01

    The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both on trophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such as habitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interaction networks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these two main

  12. How habitat-modifying organisms structure the food web of two coastal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Zee, E.M.; Angelini, C.; Govers, L.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Altieri, A.H.; van der Reijden, K.J.; Silliman, B.R.; van de Koppel, J.; van der Geest, M.; van Gils, J.A.; van der Veer, H.W.; Piersma, T.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Olff, H.; van der Heide, T.

    2016-01-01

    The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both ontrophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such ashabitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interactionnetworks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these twomain

  13. How habitat-modifying organisms structure the food web of two coastal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Zee, Els M; Angelini, Christine; Govers, Laura L; Christianen, Marjolijn J A; Altieri, Andrew H; van der Reijden, Karin J; Silliman, Brian R; van de Koppel, Johan; van der Geest, Matthijs; van Gils, Jan A; van der Veer, Henk W; Piersma, Theunis; de Ruiter, Peter C; Olff, Han; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2016-01-01

    The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both on trophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such as habitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interaction networks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these two main

  14. Point Estimate Transfers in Ecosystem Services Research: Applying Principles from Economics to Improve the Transfer of Ecological Production Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    There is increasing demand to describe and account for the benefits that humans derive from ecosystem functions in decision-making. Comprehensive descriptions of these benefits, referred to as ecosystem services (ES), and their production can be limited because there is limited ...

  15. Ecosystem processes and human influences regulate streamflow response to climate change at long-term ecological research sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julia A. Jones; Irena F. Creed; Kendra L. Hatcher; Robert J. Warren; Mary Beth Adams; Melinda H. Benson; Emery Boose; Warren A. Brown; John L. Campbell; Alan Covich; David W. Clow; Clifford N. Dahm; Kelly Elder; Chelcy R. Ford; Nancy B. Grimm; Donald L Henshaw; Kelli L. Larson; Evan S. Miles; Kathleen M. Miles; Stephen D. Sebestyen; Adam T. Spargo; Asa B. Stone; James M. Vose; Mark W. Williams

    2012-01-01

    Analyses of long-term records at 35 headwater basins in the United States and Canada indicate that climate change effects on streamflow are not as clear as might be expected, perhaps because of ecosystem processes and human influences. Evapotranspiration was higher than was predicted by temperature in water-surplus ecosystems and lower than was predicted in water-...

  16. ECOLOGICAL STRUCTURE OF ORIBATID MITE COMMUNITIES IN ACER PLATANOIDES L. STAND ON THE REMEDIATED SITE OF PAVLOGRADSKAYA MINE (PAVLOGRAD, THE DNIPROPETROVSK REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. L. Kulbachko

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Species composition and features of ecological structure of oribatid mite communities were studied on various options of bulk artificial-mixed soil in Acer platanoides L. stand growing on the remediated site of Pavlogradskaya mine (Pavlograd, Dnipropetrovsk Region. The ecological structure of oribatid population generally was damaged and this is typical for the man-modified ecosystems. Oribatid mite density in maple litter was higher than in the top layer of bulk soil (loess loam and chernozem by 4.1–7.4 times. Species abundance of oribatid mite was almost equal in maple litter and bulk soil. Punctoribates liber Pavlitshenko, 1991 prevailed generally as eudominant species in oribatid mite structure in Acer platanoides stand. The representatives of unspecialized life-forms were dominated among the oribatid life-forms in the remediated site with chernozem bulk. Key words: oribatid mites, forest remediation, mine dumps.

  17. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  18. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Rodríguez-Lozano

    Full Text Available Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1 leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2 triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel, conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  19. Impacts of fish farm pollution on ecosystem structure and function of tropical headwater streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosa, Rodrigo dos Santos; Aguiar, Anna Carolina Fornero; Boëchat, Iola Gonçalves; Gücker, Björn

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the impacts of effluent discharge from small flow-through fish farms on stream water characteristics, the benthic invertebrate community, whole-system nitrate uptake, and ecosystem metabolism of three tropical headwater streams in southeastern Brazil. Effluents were moderately, i.e. up to 20-fold enriched in particulate organic matter (POM) and inorganic nutrients in comparison to stream water at reference sites. Due to high dilution with stream water, effluent discharge resulted in up to 2.0-fold increases in stream water POM and up to 1.8-fold increases in inorganic nutrients only. Moderate impacts on the benthic invertebrate community were detected at one stream only. There was no consistent pattern of effluent impact on whole-stream nitrate uptake. Ecosystem metabolism, however, was clearly affected by effluent discharge. Stream reaches impacted by effluents exhibited significantly increased community respiration and primary productivity, stressing the importance of ecologically sound best management practices for small fish farms in the tropics. -- Highlights: ► Fish farm effluent discharge had moderate effects on stream water quality. ► Impacts on the benthic invertebrate community occurred at one stream. ► Whole-stream nitrate uptake showed no consistent impact pattern. ► Effluents caused considerable increases in stream ecosystem metabolism. ► Compliance with best management practices is important for small fish farms. -- Moderate water pollution by small fish farms caused considerable eutrophication responses in tropical headwater streams

  20. Ecosystem-service Based Ecological Protection for Dongting Lake Wetlands%基于生态系统服务的洞庭湖湿地生态保护

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    江波; 李红清; 李志军; 林国俊; 柳雅纯

    2015-01-01

    基于洞庭湖湿地水文监测数据、洞庭湖湿地遥感卫星数据、湿地越冬水鸟观测数据及文献综述,对洞庭湖湿地主要生态环境变化进行了分析.结果表明:①近20年,城陵矶10月水位表现为显著下降趋势(Z=-2.26,p0.05);②受人类活动和水位变化影响,各湿地类型在1987-2011年整个时间序列变化较为复杂,而在空间上表现为相对稳定的分布规律;③2005-2014年越冬水鸟数量和多样性指数无显著变化趋势(p>0.05);④湿地退化会影响生态系统服务的供给能力及受益者的实际需求(使用)量.基于以上分析结果,探讨了洞庭湖湿地生态保护的重要性及现有研究在管理层面应用的局限性,并基于文献综述提出使用适合于洞庭湖湿地生态系统管理的驱动力-压力-状态-生态系统服务-响应(DPSER)框架.主要目标是使洞庭湖湿地生态服务由认知走向管理实践.%Dongting Lake provides a great diversity of ecosystem services needed to sustain human livelihoods and socio-economic development. Despite the crucial role it plays in delivering ecosystem services and supporting human well-being, Dongting Lake is one of the most extensively and rapidly altered lakes in China due to human disturbances and natural variability. Ecosystem service based management (ESBM) is proposed as a decision-making strategy to help managers evaluate the different needs of multiple stakeholders. Yet the implementation of the ESBM requires cross-sector and transdisciplinary cooperation to ifll the data gaps in clarifying tradeoffs among ecosystem services and the marginal inlfuence of ecosystem structures and processes on ecosystem services. In this paper, we first used the hydrological monitoring data, satellite monitoring data, winter-bird survey data, ifeld survey, and literature review to assess the importance of Dongting Lake ecological protection. The main results of the data analysis were: 1) in recent two decades

  1. ECOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION OF LAND AND ECOSYSTEM MAPPING. TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION 5 OF THE EUROPEAN BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY TO 2020 IN ITALY.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Capotorti

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present paper is to illustrate the basic data and the methodological approach proposed for the implementation of Action 5 of the European Biodiversity Strategy in Italy. In particular, it focuses on a model for ecosystem mapping and characterisation at the country level that has been built with the interdisciplinary involvement of geobotanists, functional ecologists, forest scientists and zoologists. The first operational steps of the model are based on the cartographic integration between potential natural vegetation, biogeographic regions, and land cover maps. The final step entails characterising the mapped ecosystems in terms of Habitats Directive, local occurrence of threatened plant species and faunal components. The model is going to be tested in Italy, but should also be applied elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe, especially in those countries that have a comparable ecological complexity.

  2. How is shrimp aquaculture transforming coastal livelihoods and lagoons in Estero Real, Nicaragua? The need to integrate social-ecological research and ecosystem-based approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benessaiah, Karina; Sengupta, Raja

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystem-based approaches to aquaculture integrate environmental concerns into planning. Social-ecological systems research can improve this approach by explicitly relating ecological and social dynamics of change at multiple scales. Doing so requires not only addressing direct effects of aquaculture but also considering indirect factors such as changes in livelihood strategies, governance dynamics, and power relations. We selected the community of Puerto Morazán, Nicaragua as a case study to demonstrate how the introduction of small-scale aquaculture radically transformed another key livelihood activity, lagoon shrimp fishing, and the effects that these changes have had on lagoons and the people that depend on them. We find that shrimp aquaculture played a key role in the collapse, in the 1990s, of an existing lagoon common-property management. Shrimp aquaculture-related capital enabled the adoption of a new fishing technique that not only degraded lagoons but also led to their gradual privatization. The existence of social ties between small-scale shrimp farmers and other community members mitigated the impacts of privatization, illustrating the importance of social capital. Since 2008, community members are seeking to communally manage the lagoons once again, in response to degraded environmental conditions and a consolidation of the shrimp industry at the expense of smaller actors. This research shows that shrimp aquaculture intersects with a complex set of drivers, affecting not only how ecosystems are managed but also how they are perceived and valued. Understanding these social-ecological dynamics is essential to implement realistic policies and management of mangrove ecosystems and address the needs of resource-dependent people.

  3. Addressing ecological effects of radiation on populations and ecosystems to improve protection of the environment against radiation: Agreed statements from a Consensus Symposium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bréchignac, François; Oughton, Deborah; Mays, Claire; Barnthouse, Lawrence; Beasley, James C.; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Bradshaw, Clare; Brown, Justin; Dray, Stéphane; Geras'kin, Stanislav

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports the output of a consensus symposium organized by the International Union of Radioecology in November 2015. The symposium gathered an academically diverse group of 30 scientists to consider the still debated ecological impact of radiation on populations and ecosystems. Stimulated by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters' accidental contamination of the environment, there is increasing interest in developing environmental radiation protection frameworks. Scientific research conducted in a variety of laboratory and field settings has improved our knowledge of the effects of ionizing radiation on the environment. However, the results from such studies sometimes appear contradictory and there is disagreement about the implications for risk assessment. The Symposium discussions therefore focused on issues that might lead to different interpretations of the results, such as laboratory versus field approaches, organism versus population and ecosystemic inference strategies, dose estimation approaches and their significance under chronic exposure conditions. The participating scientists, from across the spectrum of disciplines and research areas, extending also beyond the traditional radioecology community, successfully developed a constructive spirit directed at understanding discrepancies. From the discussions, the group has derived seven consensus statements related to environmental protection against radiation, which are supplemented with some recommendations. Each of these statements is contextualized and discussed in view of contributing to the orientation and integration of future research, the results of which should yield better consensus on the ecological impact of radiation and consolidate suitable approaches for efficient radiological protection of the environment. - Highlights: • IUR built better scientific consensus on the ecological effects of radiation. • Laboratory versus field approaches have been addressed. • Organism versus

  4. Man-Made Closed Ecological Systems as Model of Natural Ecosystems and as Means to Provide High Quality of Human Life in Adverse Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitelson, I. I.; Harper, Lynn (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    For its more than thirty year long history, the experimental creation of closed ecological systems has from its very sources been distinctly and strongly motivated by the development of human life-support systems for space. As the trend developed its fundamental significance and broad opportunities of terrestrial applications of the technologies under development were coming to the foreground. Nowadays, it can be argued that development of closed ecosystems is experimental foundation of a new branch of ecology biospherics, the goal of which is to comprehend the regularities of existence of the biosphere as a unique in the Universe (in that part of it that we know, at least) closed ecosystem. Closed technologies can be implemented in life-support systems under adverse conditions of life on the Earth - in Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, deserts, high mountains or deep in the ocean, as well as under the conditions of polluted water and air. In space where the environment is hostile for life all around the cell of life should be sealed and the life-support system as close to the ideally closed cyclic turnover of the matter as possible. Under terrestrial conditions designers should strive for maximum closure of the limiting factor: water - in deserts, oxygen - in high mountains, energy - in polar latitudes, etc. Essential closure of a life-support systems withstands also pollution of the environment by the wastes of human vital activity. This is of particular importance for the quarantine of visited planets, and on the Earth under the conditions of deficient heat in high latitudes and water in and areas. The report describes experimental ecosystem 'BIOS' and exohabitats being designed on its basis, which are adapted to various conditions, described capacities of the Center for Closed Ecosystems in Drasnoyarsk for international collaboration in research and education in this field.

  5. A New Perspective on the Foraging Ecology of Apex Predators in the California Current: Results from a Fully Coupled Ecosystem Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiechter, J.; Huckstadt, L. A.; Rose, K.; Costa, D. P.; Curchitser, E. N.; Hedstrom, K.; Edwards, C. A.; Moore, A. M.

    2016-02-01

    Results from a fully coupled end-to-end ecosystem model for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem are used to describe the impact of environmental variability on the foraging ecology of its most abundant apex predator, California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). The ecosystem model consists of a biogeochemical submodel embedded in a regional ocean circulation submodel, and both coupled with a multi-species individual-based submodel for forage fish (sardine and anchovy) and California sea lions. For sea lions, bioenergetics and behavioral attributes are specified using available TOPP (Tagging Of Pacific Predators) data on their foraging patterns and diet in the California Current. Sardine and anchovy are explicitly included in the model as they represent important prey sources for California sea lions and exhibit significant interannual and decadal variability in population abundances. Output from a 20-year run (1989-2008) of the model demonstrates how different physical and biological processes control habitat utilization and foraging success of California sea lions on interannual time scales. A principal component analysis of sea lion foraging patterns indicates that the first mode of variability is alongshore and tied to sardine availability, while the second mode is cross-shore and associated with coastal upwelling intensity (a behavior consistent with male sea lion tracking data collected in 2004 vs. 2005). The results also illustrate how variability in environmental conditions and forage fish distribution affects sea lions feeding success. While specifically focusing on the foraging ecology of sea lions, our modeling framework has the ability to provide new and unique perspectives on trophic interactions in the California Current, or other regions where similar end-to-end ecosystem models may be implemented.

  6. Experimental terrestrial soil-core microcosm test protocol. A method for measuring the potential ecological effects, fate, and transport of chemicals in terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Voris, P.; Tolle, D.A.; Arthur, M.F.

    1985-06-01

    In order to protect the environment properly and have a realistic appraisal of how a chemical will act in the environment, tests of ecological effects and chemical fate must be performed on complex assemblages of biotic and abiotic components (i.e., microcosms) as well as single species. This protocol is one which could be added to a series of tests recently developed as guidelines for Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (P.L. 94-469; U.S.C., Section 2601-2629). The terrestrial soil-core microcosm is designed to supply site-specific and possibly regional information on the probable chemical fate and ecological effects resulting from release of a chemical substance to a terrestrial ecosystem. The EPA will use the data resulting from this test system to compare the potential hazards of a chemical with others that have been previously evaluated.

  7. External wall structure of green rural houses in Daqing, China, based on life cycle and ecological footprint theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Jin

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Daqing is situated in one of the severely cold regions of China. The living environment in this region is extremely poor because of the harsh climate and the backward economy. The external wall is an important component of the external envelope of buildings, and it greatly contributes to the indoor thermal environment. By taking the external wall as the research object, this study summarizes the characteristics of the external wall structure and analyzes the common materials used in existing rural residences. Specifically, we combine life cycle theory and ecological footprint (EF theory and introduce the green external wall structure, as well as its application in practice, in accordance with the local ecosystem. Results show that anecological residence offers a better environment and greater economic benefits than a traditional residence. The annual energy consumption, CO2 consumption, and EF of the ecological residence in this study are lower than those of the traditional residence by 69.61%, 17.5 t, and 99.47%, respectively.

  8. Network structure and institutional complexity in an ecology of water management games

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Lubell

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Social-ecological systems are governed by a complex of ecology of games featuring multiple actors, policy institutions, and issues, and not just single institutions operating in isolation. We update Long's (1958 ecology of games to analyze the coordinating roles of actors and institutions in the context of the ecology of water management games in San Francisco Bay, California. The ecology of games is operationalized as a bipartite network with actors participating in institutions, and exponential random graph models are used to test hypotheses about the structural features of the network. We found that policy coordination is facilitated mostly by federal and state agencies and collaborative institutions that span geographic boundaries. Network configurations associated with closure show the most significant departures from the predicted model values, consistent with the Berardo and Scholz (2010 "risk hypothesis" that closure is important for solving cooperation problems.

  9. An integrated ecological modeling system for assessing impacts of multiple stressors on stream and riverine ecosystem services within river basins

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — We demonstrate a novel, spatially explicit assessment of the current condition of aquatic ecosystem services, with limited sensitivity analysis for the atmospheric...

  10. Flow intermittence and ecosystem services in rivers of the Anthropocene_Figure 4_Journal of Applied Ecology

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Counts of ecosystem service status (provided, altered, and lost/absent) during three hydrological phases (flowing, pool, dry) typically seen in intermittent rivers...

  11. Habitat structural effect on squamata fauna of the restinga ecosystem in northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Eduardo J R; Rocha, Carlos F D

    2014-03-01

    In this work, we surveyed data on richness and composition of squamatan reptiles and habitat structural effect in nine areas of restinga ecosystem in the State of Bahia, northeastern Brazil. The "restinga" ecosystems are coastal sand dune habitats on the coast of Brazil. Our main hypothesis is that the Squamata fauna composition along these restinga areas would be modulated by habitat structural. After 90 days of field sampling we recorded approximately 5% of reptile species known in Brazil. The composition of Squamata assemblages varied mainly based on the presence or absence of lizards of the genera Ameivula and Tropidurus. Our data showed that habitat structure consistently affected the composition of local Squamata fauna, especially lizards.

  12. Towards Integration of Ecosystem and Human Health: A Novel Conceptual Framework to Operationalise Ecological Public Health and to Incorporate Distal and Proximal Effects of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, S.; Fleming, L. E.; Beck, S.; Austen, M.; Morris, G.; White, M.; Taylor, T. J.; Orr, N.; Osborne, N. J.; Depledge, M.

    2014-12-01

    Conceptual models for problem framing in environmental (EIA) and health impact assessment (HIA) share similar concepts, but differ in their scientific or policy focus, methodologies and underlying causal chains, and the degree of complexity and scope. The Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework used by the European Environment Agency, the OECD and others and the Integrated Science for Society and the Environment (ISSE) frameworks are widely applied in policy appraisal and impact assessments. While DPSIR is applied across different policy domains, the ISSE framework is used in Ecosystem Services assessments. The modified Driver-Pressure-State-Exposure-Effect-Action (DPSEEA) model extends DPSIR by separating exposure from effect, adding context as a modifier of effect, and susceptibility to exposures due to socio-economic, demographic or other determinants. While continuously evolving, the application of conceptual frameworks in policy appraisals mainly occurs within established discipline boundaries. However, drivers and environmental states, as well as policy measures and actions, affect both human and ecosystem receptors. Furthermore, unintended consequences of policy actions are seldom constrained within discipline or policy silos. Thus, an integrated conceptual model is needed, accounting for the full causal chain affecting human and ecosystem health in any assessment. We propose a novel model integrating HIA methods and ecosystem services in an attempt to operationalise the emerging concept of "Ecological Public Health." The conceptual approach of the ecosystem-enriched DPSEEA model ("eDPSEEA") has stimulated wide-spread debates and feedback. We will present eDPSEEA as a stakeholder engagement process and a conceptual model, using illustrative case studies of climate change as a starting point, not a complete solution, for the integration of human and ecosystem health impact assessment as a key challenge in a rapidly changing world. Rayner G and

  13. Our Social Roots: How Local Ecology Shapes Our Social Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Ruth

    There is overwhelming evidence that wide-ranging aspects of human biology and human behavior can be considered as adaptations to different subsistence systems. Wider environmental and ecological correlates of behavioral and cultural traits are generally best understood as being mediated by differences in subsistence strategies. Modes of subsistence profoundly influence both human biology, as documented in genetic changes, and human social behavior and cultural norms, such as kinship, marriage, descent, wealth inheritance, and political systems. Thus both cultural and biological factors usually need to be considered together in studies of human evolutionary ecology, combined in specifically defined evolutionary models. Models of cultural adaptation to environmental conditions can be subjected to the same or similar tests that behavioral ecologists have used to seek evidence for adaptive behavior in other species. Phylogenetic comparative methods are proving useful, both for studying co-evolutionary hypotheses (cultural and/or gene-culture co-evolution), and for estimating ancestral states of prehistoric societies. This form of formal cross-cultural comparison is helping to put history back into anthropology, and helping us to understand cultural evolutionary processes at a number of levels.

  14. Ecologically rational choice and the structure of the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleskac, Timothy J; Hertwig, Ralph

    2014-10-01

    In life, risk is reward and vice versa. Unfortunately, the big rewards people desire are relatively unlikely to occur. This relationship between risk and reward or probabilities and payoffs seems obvious to the financial community and to laypeople alike. Yet theories of decision making have largely ignored it. We conducted an ecological analysis of life's gambles, ranging from the domains of roulette and life insurance to scientific publications and artificial insemination. Across all domains, payoffs and probabilities proved intimately tied, with payoff magnitudes signaling their probabilities. In some cases, the constraints of the market result in these two core elements of choice being related via a power function; in other cases, other factors such as social norms appear to produce the inverse relationship between risks and rewards. We offer evidence that decision makers exploit this relationship in the form of a heuristic--the risk-reward heuristic--to infer the probability of a payoff during decisions under uncertainty. We demonstrate how the heuristic can help explain observed ambiguity aversion. We further show how this ecological relationship can inform other aspects of decision making, particularly the approach of using monetary lotteries to study choice under risk and uncertainty. Taken together, these findings suggest that theories of decision making need to model not only the decision process but also the environment to which the process is adapted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Community and ecosystem responses to elevational gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sundqvist, Maja K.; Sanders, Nate; Wardle, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Community structure and ecosystem processes often vary along elevational gradients. Their responses to elevation are commonly driven by changes in temperature, and many community- and ecosystem-level variables therefore frequently respond similarly to elevation across contrasting gradients...... elevational gradients for understanding community and ecosystem responses to global climate change at much larger spatial and temporal scales than is possible through conventional ecological experiments. However, future studies that integrate elevational gradient approaches with experimental manipulations...... will provide powerful information that can improve predictions of climate change impacts within and across ecosystems....

  17. Influence of glacier runoff on ecosystem structure in Gulf of Alaska fjords

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.; Mueter, Franz J.

    2016-01-01

    To better understand the influence of glacier runoff on fjord ecosystems, we sampled oceanographic conditions, nutrients, zooplankton, forage fish and seabirds within 4 fjords in coastal areas of the Gulf Alaska. We used generalized additive models and geostatistics to identify the range of glacier runoff influence into coastal waters within fjords of varying estuarine influence and topographic complexity. We also modeled the response of depth-integrated chlorophyll a concentration, copepod biomass, fish and seabird abundance to physical, nutrient and biotic predictor variables. The effects of glacial runoff were traced at least 10 km into coastal fjords by cold, turbid, stratified and generally nutrient-rich near-surface conditions. Glacially modified physical gradients, nutrient availability and among-fjord differences explained 67% of the variation in phytoplankton abundance, which is a driver of ecosystem structure at higher trophic levels. Copepod, euphausiid, fish and seabird distribution and abundance were related to environmental gradients that could be traced to glacial freshwater input, particularly turbidity and temperature. Seabird density was predicted by prey availability and silicate concentrations, which may be a proxy for upwelling areas where this nutrient is in excess. Similarities in ecosystem structure among fjords were attributable to an influx of cold, fresh and sediment-laden water, whereas differences were likely related to fjord topography and local differences in estuarine vs. ocean influence. We anticipate that continued changes in the timing and volume of glacial runoff will ultimately alter coastal ecosystems in the future.

  18. The Ecological Dynamics of Natural Selection: Traits and the Coevolution of Community Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPeek, Mark A

    2017-05-01

    Natural selection has both genetic and ecological dynamics. The fitnesses of individuals change with their ecological context, and so the form and strength of selective agents change with abiotic factors and the phenotypes and abundances of interacting species. I use standard models of consumer-resource interactions to explore the ecological dynamics of natural selection and how various trait types influence these dynamics and the resulting structure of a community of coevolving species. Evolutionary optima favored by natural selection depend critically on the abundances of interacting species, and the traits of species can undergo dynamic cycling in limited areas of parameter space. The ecological dynamics of natural selection can also drive shifts from one adaptive peak to another, and these ecologically driven adaptive peak shifts are fundamental to the dynamics of niche differentiation. Moreover, this ecological differentiation is fostered in more productive and more benign environments where species interactions are stronger and where the selection gradients generated by species interactions are stronger. Finally, community structure resulting from coevolution depends fundamentally on the types of traits that underlie species interactions. The ecological dynamics of the process cannot be simplified, neglected, or ignored if we are to build a predictive theory of natural selection.

  19. Pacific Islands Coral Reef Ecosystems Division (CRED) Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) algae species lists (NODC Accession 0010352)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Quadrats were sampled along consecutively placed transect lines as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at sites in American Pacific Islands: CRED REA...

  20. Addressing ecological effects of radiation on populations and ecosystems to improve protection of the environment against radiation: Agreed statements from a Consensus Symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bréchignac, François; Oughton, Deborah; Mays, Claire; Barnthouse, Lawrence; Beasley, James C; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Bradshaw, Clare; Brown, Justin; Dray, Stéphane; Geras'kin, Stanislav; Glenn, Travis; Higley, Kathy; Ishida, Ken; Kapustka, Lawrence; Kautsky, Ulrik; Kuhne, Wendy; Lynch, Michael; Mappes, Tapio; Mihok, Steve; Møller, Anders P; Mothersill, Carmel; Mousseau, Timothy A; Otaki, Joji M; Pryakhin, Evgeny; Rhodes, Olin E; Salbu, Brit; Strand, Per; Tsukada, Hirofumi

    2016-07-01

    This paper reports the output of a consensus symposium organized by the International Union of Radioecology in November 2015. The symposium gathered an academically diverse group of 30 scientists to consider the still debated ecological impact of radiation on populations and ecosystems. Stimulated by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters' accidental contamination of the environment, there is increasing interest in developing environmental radiation protection frameworks. Scientific research conducted in a variety of laboratory and field settings has improved our knowledge of the effects of ionizing radiation on the environment. However, the results from such studies sometimes appear contradictory and there is disagreement about the implications for risk assessment. The Symposium discussions therefore focused on issues that might lead to different interpretations of the results, such as laboratory versus field approaches, organism versus population and ecosystemic inference strategies, dose estimation approaches and their significance under chronic exposure conditions. The participating scientists, from across the spectrum of disciplines and research areas, extending also beyond the traditional radioecology community, successfully developed a constructive spirit directed at understanding discrepancies. From the discussions, the group has derived seven consensus statements related to environmental protection against radiation, which are supplemented with some recommendations. Each of these statements is contextualized and discussed in view of contributing to the orientation and integration of future research, the results of which should yield better consensus on the ecological impact of radiation and consolidate suitable approaches for efficient radiological protection of the environment. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Addressing ecological effects of radiation on populations and ecosystems to improve protection of the environment against radiation: Agreed statements from a Consensus Symposium☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bréchignac, François; Oughton, Deborah; Mays, Claire; Barnthouse, Lawrence; Beasley, James C.; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Bradshaw, Clare; Brown, Justin; Dray, Stéphane; Geras’kin, Stanislav; Glenn, Travis; Higley, Kathy; Ishida, Ken; Kapustka, Lawrence; Kautsky, Ulrik; Kuhne, Wendy; Lynch, Michael; Mappes, Tapio; Mihok, Steve; Møller, Anders P.; Mothersill, Carmel; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Otaki, Joji M.; Pryakhin, Evgeny; Rhodes, Olin E.; Salbu, Brit; Strand, Per; Tsukada, Hirofumi

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports the output of a consensus symposium organized by the International Union of Radioecology in November 2015. The symposium gathered an academically diverse group of 30 scientists to consider the still debated ecological impact of radiation on populations and ecosystems. Stimulated by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters’ accidental contamination of the environment, there is increasing interest in developing environmental radiation protection frameworks. Scientific research conducted in a variety of laboratory and field settings has improved our knowledge of the effects of ionizing radiation on the environment. However, the results from such studies sometimes appear contradictory and there is disagreement about the implications for risk assessment. The Symposium discussions therefore focused on issues that might lead to different interpretations of the results, such as laboratory versus field approaches, organism versus population and ecosystemic inference strategies, dose estimation approaches and their significance under chronic exposure conditions. The participating scientists, from across the spectrum of disciplines and research areas, extending also beyond the traditional radioecology community, successfully developed a constructive spirit directed at understanding discrepancies. From the discussions, the group has derived seven consensus statements related to environmental protection against radiation, which are supplemented with some recommendations. Each of these statements is contextualized and discussed in view of contributing to the orientation and integration of future research, the results of which should yield better consensus on the ecological impact of radiation and consolidate suitable approaches for efficient radiological protection of the environment. PMID:27058410

  2. A comparison of community and trophic structure in five marine ecosystems based on energy budgets and system metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaichas, Sarah; Skaret, Georg; Falk-Petersen, Jannike; Link, Jason S.; Overholtz, William; Megrey, Bernard A.; Gjøsæter, Harald; Stockhausen, William T.; Dommasnes, Are; Friedland, Kevin D.; Aydin, Kerim

    2009-04-01

    Energy budget models for five marine ecosystems were compared to identify differences and similarities in trophic and community structure. We examined the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, the combined Norwegian/Barents Seas in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, and the eastern Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Comparable energy budgets were constructed for each ecosystem by aggregating information for similar species groups into consistent functional groups. Several ecosystem indices (e.g., functional group production, consumption and biomass ratios, cumulative biomass, food web macrodescriptors, and network metrics) were compared for each ecosystem. The comparative approach clearly identified data gaps for each ecosystem, an important outcome of this work. Commonalities across the ecosystems included overall high primary production and energy flow at low trophic levels, high production and consumption by carnivorous zooplankton, and similar proportions of apex predator to lower trophic level biomass. Major differences included distinct biomass ratios of pelagic to demersal fish, ranging from highest in the combined Norwegian/Barents ecosystem to lowest in the Alaskan systems, and notable differences in primary production per unit area, highest in the Alaskan and Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine ecosystems, and lowest in the Norwegian ecosystems. While comparing a disparate group of organisms across a wide range of marine ecosystems is challenging, this work demonstrates that standardized metrics both elucidate properties common to marine ecosystems and identify key distinctions useful for fisheries management.

  3. Directions of improvement for public administration institutional structure in field of ecology at regional level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. I. Matyushenko

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Based on the analysis of the organizational structure of public authorities at national and regional level involved in the process of governance in the environmental field as well as their legal security it was found that at the regional level, in regions there are different units (departments, management authorities, divisions, sectors that coordinate the process of public administration in the environmental field. In order to offer its own structure unit of state administration, to deal with environmental issues it is analyzed the organizational structures of central executive authority in the field of ecology - the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine at the national level and the organizational structures of departments / offices of Ecology and Natural Resources regional administrations respectively, at the regional level. As it is determined there is no typical structure of the regional state administration unit in Ukraine. Recognized that departments and sectors uniting at the high level is chaotic, unsystematic and apparently dictated by different reasons (financial, personal and psychological, corruption etc., not the content of (the logic of and structural accountability to senior management level. It is offered the author organizational structure for the Ecology and Natural Resources Department of Regional State Administration. It is suggested that this Department consists of three units: Department of Ecology (Department of environmental monitoring and audit department of environmental security department of planning and coordination of international projects in the environmental field; Department of Natural Resources (Department of Conservation of Natural Resources, Department of Protected Areas and Ecological Network Development, Department of Environmental Economics; Management support of the Department (Legal, Financial and Economic Division, Department of Administration Department, a department of scientific and

  4. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  5. Neighborhood scale quantification of ecosystem goods and services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are those ecological structures and functions that humans can directly relate to their state of well-being. Ecosystem goods and services include, but are not limited to, a sufficient fresh water supply, fertile lands to produce agricultural products, ...

  6. Plants in aquatic ecosystems: current trends and future directions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O’Hare, Matthew T.; Aguiar, Francisca C.; Asaeda, Takashi; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Chambers, Patricia A.; Clayton, John S.; Elger, Arnaud; Ferreira, Teresa M.; Gross, Elisabeth M.; Gunn, Iain D.M.; Gurnell, Angela M.; Hellsten, Seppo; Hofstra, Deborah E.; Li, Wei; Mohr, Silvia; Puijalon, Sara; Szoszkiewicz, Krzysztof; Willby, Nigel J.; Wood, Kevin A.

    2018-01-01

    Aquatic plants fulfil a wide range of ecological roles, and make a substantial contribution to the structure, function and service provision of aquatic ecosystems. Given their well-documented importance in aquatic ecosystems, research into aquatic plants continues to blossom. The 14th International

  7. Ecological homogenization of residential macrosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter M. Groffman; Meghan Avolio; Jeannine Cavender-Bares; Neil D. Bettez; J. Morgan Grove; Sharon J. Hall; Sarah E. Hobbie; Kelli L. Larson; Susannah B. Lerman; Dexter H. Locke; James B. Heffernan; Jennifer L. Morse; Christopher Neill; Kristen C. Nelson; Jarlath O' Neil-Dunne; Diane E. Pataki; Colin Polsky; Rinku Roy Chowdhury; Tara L. E. Trammell

    2017-01-01

    Similarities in planning, development and culture within urban areas may lead to the convergence of ecological processes on continental scales. Transdisciplinary, multi-scale research is now needed to understand and predict the impact of human-dominated landscapes on ecosystem structure and function.

  8. Structuring institutional analysis for urban ecosystems: A key to sustainable urban forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah K. Mincey; Miranda Hutten; Burnell C. Fischer; Tom P. Evans; Susan I. Stewart; Jessica M. Vogt

    2013-01-01

    A decline in urban forest structure and function in the United States jeopardizes the current focus on developing sustainable cities. A number of social dilemmas—for example, free-rider problems—restrict the sustainable production of ecosystem services and the stock of urban trees from which they flow. However, institutions, or the rules, norms, and strategies that...

  9. Support Structures in Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Comparing the Swedish and the French Environments.

    OpenAIRE

    Bouges, Alexis

    2015-01-01

    This thesis compares the Swedish and the French social entrepreneurship ecosystems. After an examination of the definitions and current legal frameworks around social enterprises in each country, their levels of social entrepreneurship activity are compared. The existing support structures providing non-financial help to social entrepreneurs (i.e. incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and networks) are identified in Paris and in Stockholm, while perceptions from social entrepreneurs ben...

  10. Lake Michigan offshore ecosystem structure and food web changes from 1987 to 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Mark W.; Bunnell, David B.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Warner, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems undergo dynamic changes owing to species invasions, fisheries management decisions, landscape modifications, and nutrient inputs. At Lake Michigan, new invaders (e.g., dreissenid mussels (Dreissena spp.), spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus), round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)) have proliferated and altered energy transfer pathways, while nutrient concentrations and stocking rates to support fisheries have changed. We developed an ecosystem model to describe food web structure in 1987 and ran simulations through 2008 to evaluate changes in biomass of functional groups, predator consumption, and effects of recently invading species. Keystone functional groups from 1987 were identified as Mysis, burbot (Lota lota), phytoplankton, alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), nonpredatory cladocerans, and Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Simulations predicted biomass reductions across all trophic levels and predicted biomasses fit observed trends for most functional groups. The effects of invasive species (e.g., dreissenid grazing) increased across simulation years, but were difficult to disentangle from other changes (e.g., declining offshore nutrient concentrations). In total, our model effectively represented recent changes to the Lake Michigan ecosystem and provides an ecosystem-based tool for exploring future resource management scenarios.

  11. Ecosystem Structure Changes in the Turkish Seas as a Response to Overfishing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazihan Akoglu, Ayse; Salihoglu, Baris; Akoglu, Ekin; Kideys, Ahmet E.

    2013-04-01

    Human population in Turkey has grown more than five-fold since its establishment in 1923 and more than 73 million people are currently living in the country. Turkey is surrounded by partially connected seas (the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea) each of which has significantly different productivity levels and ecosystem characteristics. Increasing human population with its growing socio-economic needs has generated an intensive fishing pressure on the fish stocks in its exclusive economic zone. Fishing grounds in the surrounding seas were exploited with different fishing intensities depending upon their productivity level and catch rates. Hence, the responses of these different ecosystems to overfishing have been realized differently. In this study, changes of the ecosystem structures in the Turkish Seas were comparatively investigated by ecosystem indices such as Marine Trophic Index (MTI), Fishing in Balance (FiB) and Primary Production Required (PPR) to assess the degree of sustainability of the fish stocks for future generations.

  12. DayCent-Chem Simulations of Ecological and Biogeochemical Processes of Eight Mountain Ecosystems in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Melannie D.; Baron, Jill S.; Clow, David W.; Creed, Irena F.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Ewing, Holly A.; Haines, Bruce D.; Knoepp, Jennifer; Lajtha, Kate; Ojima, Dennis S.; Parton, William J.; Renfro, Jim; Robinson, R. Bruce; Van Miegroet, Helga; Weathers, Kathleen C.; Williams, Mark W.

    2009-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) cause complex responses in ecosystems, from fertilization to forest ecosystem decline, freshwater eutrophication to acidification, loss of soil base cations, and alterations of disturbance regimes. DayCent-Chem, an ecosystem simulation model that combines ecosystem nutrient cycling and plant dynamics with aqueous geochemical equilibrium calculations, was developed to address ecosystem responses to combined atmospheric N and S deposition. It is unique among geochemically-based models in its dynamic biological cycling of N and its daily timestep for investigating ecosystem and surface water chemical response to episodic events. The model was applied to eight mountainous watersheds in the United States. The sites represent a gradient of N deposition across locales, from relatively pristine to N-saturated, and a variety of ecosystem types and climates. Overall, the model performed best in predicting stream chemistry for snowmelt-dominated sites. It was more difficult to predict daily stream chemistry for watersheds with deep soils, high amounts of atmospheric deposition, and a large degree of spatial heterogeneity. DayCent-Chem did well in representing plant and soil carbon and nitrogen pools and fluxes. Modeled stream nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+) concentrations compared well with measurements at all sites, with few exceptions. Simulated daily stream sulfate (SO42-) concentrations compared well to measured values for sites where SO42- deposition has been low and where SO42- adsorption/desorption reactions did not seem to be important. The concentrations of base cations and silica in streams are highly dependent on the geochemistry and weathering rates of minerals in each catchment, yet these were rarely, if ever, known. Thus, DayCent-Chem could not accurately predict weathering products for some catchments. Additionally, few data were available for exchangeable soil cations or the magnitude of base cation

  13. Global change and landscape structure in Ukraine: Ecological and socio-economic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shvidenko, Anatoly; Lakyda, Petro; Schepaschenko, Dmitry; Vasylyshyn, Roman; Marchuk, Yuiry

    2013-04-01

    The current land cover of Ukraine is very heterogeneous. While on average forest covers 15.9% of its land, substantial part of the country is basically forestless. The agricultural potential of Ukraine is high. However, in spite of the fact that 68% of the arable land in Ukraine consists of the famous Ukrainian black soils (chernozems), the quality of the country's arable land (69.5% of the total land) is not satisfactory. The country has the highest over the globe share of the tilled land (~80% of the agricultural land in the country) and processes of soil erosion impact about one third of arable land. Air pollution, soil and water contamination are widespread. Substantial problems are generated by the Chernobyl disaster. Overall, about half of the country is in the critical and pre-critical ecological situation. Climatic predictions suppose that the country will live in much warmer and drier climate by end of this century. Taking into account that major pat of Ukraine lies in the xeric belt, the expected climatic change generates divers risks for both environment and vegetation ecosystems of the country, particularly for forests and agriculture. The presentation considers the role of forests and trees outside of forests in transition to integrated ecosystem management and sustainable structure of landscapes within two scenarios of socio-economic development for the next 20 yeas. The "business-as-usual" scenario prolongs tendencies of dynamics of the land-use and forest sectors during the last 20 years. This scenario leads to further deterioration of quality of land and environment in Ukraine. The "progressive" scenario is considered as a crucial initial step of adaptation to climatic change and includes a system of pressing measures which are needed to decrease destructive processes that are observed at the landscape level. It is shown that it would require development of 1.62 M ha of protective forests including 0.62 M ha on unstable elements of landscapes

  14. Remote sensing of Essential Biodiversity Variables: new measurements linking ecosystem structure, function and composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schimel, D.; Pavlick, R.; Stavros, E. N.; Townsend, P. A.; Ustin, S.; Thompson, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing can inform a wide variety of essential biodiversity variables, including measurements that define primary productivity, forest structure, biome distribution, plant communities, land use-land cover change and climate drivers of change. Emerging remote sensing technologies can add significantly to remote sensing of EBVs, providing new, large scale insights on plant and habitat diversity itself, as well as causes and consequences of biodiversity change. All current biodiversity assessments identify major data gaps, with insufficient coverage in critical regions, limited observations to monitor change over time, with very limited revisit of sample locations, as well as taxon-specific biased biases. Remote sensing cannot fill many of the gaps in global biodiversity observations, but spectroscopic measurements in terrestrial and marine environments can aid in assessing plant/phytoplankton functional diversity and efficiently reveal patterns in space, as well as changes over time, and, by making use of chlorophyll fluorescence, reveal associated patterns in photosynthesis. LIDAR and RADAR measurements quantify ecosystem structure, and can precisely define changes due to growth, disturbance and land use. Current satellite-based EBVs have taken advantage of the extraordinary time series from LANDSAT and MODIS, but new measurements more directly reveal ecosystem structure, function and composition. We will present results from pre-space airborne studies showing the synergistic ability of a suite of new remote observation techniques to quantify biodiversity and ecosystem function and show how it changes during major disturbance events.

  15. Towards the use of Structural Loop Analysis to Study System Behaviour of Socio-Ecological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abram, Joseph; Dyke, James

    2016-04-01

    Maintaining socio-ecological systems in desirable states is key to developing a growing economy, alleviating poverty and achieving a sustainable future. While the driving forces of an environmental system are often well known, the dynamics impacting these drivers can be hidden within a tangled structure of causal chains and feedback loops. A lack of understanding of a system's dynamic structure and its influence on a system's behaviour can cause unforeseen side-effects during model scenario testing and policy implementation. Structural Loop analysis of socio-ecological system models identifies dominant feedback structures during times of behavioural shift, allowing the user to monitor key influential drivers during model simulation. This work carries out Loop Eigenvalue Elasticity Analysis (LEEA) on three system dynamic models, exploring tipping points in lake systems undergoing eutrophication. The purpose is to explore the potential benefits and limitations of the technique in the field of socio-ecology. The LEEA technique shows promise for socio-ecological systems which undergo regime shifts or express oscillatory trends, but shows limited usefulness with large models. The results of this work highlight changes in feedback loop dominance, years prior to eutrophic tipping events in lake systems. LEEA could be used as an early warning signal to impending system changes, complementary to other known early warning signals. This approach could improve our understanding during critical times of a system's behaviour, changing how we approach model analysis and the way scenario testing and policy implementation are addressed in socio-ecological system models.

  16. The social structural foundations of adaptation and transformation in social-ecological systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele L. Barnes

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Social networks are frequently cited as vital for facilitating successful adaptation and transformation in linked social-ecological systems to overcome pressing resource management challenges. Yet confusion remains over the precise nature of adaptation vs. transformation and the specific social network structures that facilitate these processes. Here, we adopt a network perspective to theorize a continuum of structural capacities in social-ecological systems that set the stage for effective adaptation and transformation. We begin by drawing on the resilience literature and the multilayered action situation to link processes of change in social-ecological systems to decision making across multiple layers of rules underpinning societal organization. We then present a framework that hypothesizes seven specific social-ecological network configurations that lay the structural foundation necessary for facilitating adaptation and transformation, given the type and magnitude of human action required. A key contribution of the framework is explicit consideration of how social networks relate to ecological structures and the particular environmental problem at hand. Of the seven configurations identified, three are linked to capacities conducive to adaptation and three to transformation, and one is hypothesized to be important for facilitating both processes. We discuss how our theoretical framework can be applied in practice by highlighting existing empirical examples from related environmental governance contexts. Further extension of our hypotheses, particularly as more data become available, can ultimately help guide the design of institutional arrangements to be more effective at dealing with change.

  17. Integrated structural biology and molecular ecology of N-cycling enzymes from ammonia-oxidizing archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolar, Bradley B; Herrmann, Jonathan; Bargar, John R; van den Bedem, Henry; Wakatsuki, Soichi; Francis, Christopher A

    2017-10-01

    Knowledge of the molecular ecology and environmental determinants of ammonia-oxidizing organisms is critical to understanding and predicting the global nitrogen (N) and carbon cycles, but an incomplete biochemical picture hinders in vitro studies of N-cycling enzymes. Although an integrative structural and dynamic characterization at the atomic scale would advance our understanding of function tremendously, structural knowledge of key N-cycling enzymes from ecologically relevant ammonia oxidizers is unfortunately extremely limited. Here, we discuss the challenges and opportunities for examining the ecology of ammonia-oxidizing organisms, particularly uncultivated Thaumarchaeota, through (meta)genome-driven structural biology of the enzymes ammonia monooxygenase (AMO) and nitrite reductase (NirK). © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Spatial ecology and behavior of eastern box turtles on the hardwood ecosystem experiment: pre-treatment results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrea F. Currylow; Brian J. MacGowan; Rod N. Williams

    2013-01-01

    To understand better how eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) are affected by forest management practices, we monitored movements of box turtles prior to silvicultural treatments within the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) in Indiana. During 2007 and 2008, we tracked 23-28 turtles on six units of the HEE. Estimated minimum convex...

  19. Ecological effects of the Hayman Fire - Part 3: Soil properties, erosion, and implications for rehabilitation and aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan E. Cipra; Eugene F. Kelly; Lee MacDonald; John Norman

    2003-01-01

    This team was asked to address three questions regarding soil properties, erosion and sedimentation, and how aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems have responded or could respond to various land management options. We have used soil survey maps, burn severity maps, and digital elevation model (DEM) maps as primary map data. We used our own field measurements and...

  20. Change characteristics of DSi and nutrition structure at the Yangtze River Estuary after Three Gorges Project impounding and their ecological effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Lei

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The variation law of dissolved silica (DSi, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN, dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP and nutrition structure after the Three Gorges Project (TGP impounding as well as their ecological effect were analyzed according to monitoring survey of the Yangtze River Estuary in spring (May and summer (August from 2004-2009. The results showed that after impounding, DSi and DIN concentration decreased and increased, respectively. During the study period, DSi decreased by about 63%, while DIN almost tripled. DIP concentration fluctuated slightly. With respect to nutrition structure, N:P increased, whereas Si:P and Si:N declined. According to chemometry standard of nutrient limits, nutrition structure tended to be imbalanced and the limiting factor of phytoplankton growth (P was studied. Changes of nutrition structure have largely decreased diatom and caused different composition of dominant phytoplankton species. This may change ecosystem structure of the Yangtze River Estuary.

  1. Effects of whaling on the structure of the Southern Ocean food web: insights on the "krill surplus" from ecosystem modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Surma

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to examine the ecological plausibility of the "krill surplus" hypothesis and the effects of whaling on the Southern Ocean food web using mass-balance ecosystem modelling. The depletion trajectory and unexploited biomass of each rorqual population in the Antarctic was reconstructed using yearly catch records and a set of species-specific surplus production models. The resulting estimates of the unexploited biomass of Antarctic rorquals were used to construct an Ecopath model of the Southern Ocean food web existing in 1900. The rorqual depletion trajectory was then used in an Ecosim scenario to drive rorqual biomasses and examine the "krill surplus" phenomenon and whaling effects on the food web in the years 1900-2008. An additional suite of Ecosim scenarios reflecting several hypothetical trends in Southern Ocean primary productivity were employed to examine the effect of bottom-up forcing on the documented krill biomass trend. The output of the Ecosim scenarios indicated that while the "krill surplus" hypothesis is a plausible explanation of the biomass trends observed in some penguin and pinniped species in the mid-20th century, the excess krill biomass was most likely eliminated by a rapid decline in primary productivity in the years 1975-1995. Our findings suggest that changes in physical conditions in the Southern Ocean during this time period could have eliminated the ecological effects of rorqual depletion, although the mechanism responsible is currently unknown. Furthermore, a decline in iron bioavailability due to rorqual depletion may have contributed to the rapid decline in overall Southern Ocean productivity during the last quarter of the 20th century. The results of this study underscore the need for further research on historical changes in the roles of top-down and bottom-up forcing in structuring the Southern Ocean food web.

  2. Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: Rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a U.K. wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peh, Kelvin S-H; Balmford, Andrew; Field, Rob H; Lamb, Anthony; Birch, Jennifer C; Bradbury, Richard B; Brown, Claire; Butchart, Stuart H M; Lester, Martin; Morrison, Ross; Sedgwick, Isabel; Soans, Chris; Stattersfield, Alison J; Stroh, Peter A; Swetnam, Ruth D; Thomas, David H L; Walpole, Matt; Warrington, Stuart; Hughes, Francine M R

    2014-10-01

    Restoration of degraded land is recognized by the international community as an important way of enhancing both biodiversity and ecosystem services, but more information is needed about its costs and benefits. In Cambridgeshire, U.K., a long-term initiative to convert drained, intensively farmed arable land to a wetland habitat mosaic is driven by a desire both to prevent biodiversity loss from the nationally important Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve (Wicken Fen NNR) and to increase the provision of ecosystem services. We evaluated the changes in ecosystem service delivery resulting from this land conversion, using a new Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) to estimate biophysical and monetary values of ecosystem services provided by the restored wetland mosaic compared with the former arable land. Overall results suggest that restoration is associated with a net gain to society as a whole of $199 ha(-1)y(-1), for a one-off investment in restoration of $2320 ha(-1). Restoration has led to an estimated loss of arable production of $2040 ha(-1)y(-1), but estimated gains of $671 ha(-1)y(-1) in nature-based recreation, $120 ha(-1)y(-1) from grazing, $48 ha(-1)y(-1) from flood protection, and a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worth an estimated $72 ha(-1)y(-1). Management costs have also declined by an estimated $1325 ha(-1)y(-1). Despite uncertainties associated with all measured values and the conservative assumptions used, we conclude that there was a substantial gain to society as a whole from this land-use conversion. The beneficiaries also changed from local arable farmers under arable production to graziers, countryside users from towns and villages, and the global community, under restoration. We emphasize that the values reported here are not necessarily transferable to other sites.

  3. The influence of Critical Zone structure on runoff paths, seasonal water storage, and ecosystem composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahm, W. J.; Dietrich, W. E.; Rempe, D.; Dralle, D.; Dawson, T. E.; Lovill, S.; Bryk, A.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding how subsurface water storage mediates water availability to ecosystems is crucial for elucidating linkages between water, energy, and carbon cycles from local to global scales. Earth's Critical Zone (the CZ, which extends from the top of the vegetation canopy downward to fresh bedrock) includes fractured and weathered rock layers that store and release water, thereby contributing to ecosystem water supplies, and yet are not typically represented in land-atmosphere models. To investigate CZ structural controls on water storage dynamics, we intensively studied field sites in a Mediterranean climate where winter rains arrive months before peak solar energy availability, resulting in strong summertime ecosystem reliance on stored subsurface water. Intra-hillslope and catchment-wide observations of CZ water storage capacity across a lithologic boundary in the Franciscan Formation of the Northern California Coast Ranges reveal large differences in the thickness of the CZ and water storage capacity that result in a stark contrast in plant community composition and stream behavior. Where the CZ is thick, rock moisture storage supports forest transpiration and slow groundwater release sustains baseflow and salmon populations. Where the CZ is thin, limited water storage is used by an oak savanna ecosystem, and streams run dry in summer due to negligible hillslope drainage. At both sites, wet season precipitation replenishes the dynamic storage deficit generated during the summer dry season, with excess winter rains exiting the watersheds via storm runoff as perched groundwater fracture flow at the thick-CZ site and saturation overland flow at the thin-CZ site. Annual replenishment of subsurface water storage even in severe drought years may lead to ecosystem resilience to climatic perturbations: during the 2011-2015 drought there was not widespread forest die-off in the study area.

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

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

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

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

  5. The services-oriented architecture: ecosystem services as a framework for diagnosing change in social ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip A. Loring; F. Stuart Chapin; S. Craig Gerlach

    2008-01-01

    Computational thinking (CT) is a way to solve problems and understand complex systems that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science and is well suited to the challenges that face researchers of complex, linked social-ecological systems. This paper explores CT's usefulness to sustainability science through the application of the services-oriented...

  6. The promise and peril of intensive-site-based ecological research: insights from the Hubbard Brook ecosystem study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timothy J. Fahey; Pamela H. Templer; Bruce T. Anderson; John J. Battles; John L. Campbell; Charles T. Driscoll; Anthony R. Fusco; Mark B. Green; Karim-Aly S. Kassam; Nicholas L. Rodenhouse; Lindsey Rustad; Paul G. Schaberg; Matthew A. Vadeboncoeur

    2015-01-01

    Ecological research is increasingly concentrated at particular locations or sites. This trend reflects a variety of advantages of intensive, site-based research, but also raises important questions about the nature of such spatially delimited research: how well does site based research represent broader areas, and does it constrain scientific discovery? We provide an...

  7. Type of disturbance and ecological history determine structural stability.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wurff, A.W.G.; Kools, S.A.E.; Boivin, M.E.; van den Brink, P.J.; van den Megen, H.H.M.; Riksen, J.A.G.; Doroszuk, A.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    This study aims to reveal whether complexity, namely, community and trophic structure, of chronically stressed soil systems is at increased risk or remains stable when confronted with a subsequent disturbance. Therefore, we focused on a grassland with a history of four centuries of patchy

  8. Type of disturbance and ecological history determine structural stability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wurff, van der A.W.G.; Kools, S.A.E.; Boivin, M.E.Y.; Brink, van den P.J.; Megen, van H.H.B.; Riksen, J.A.G.; Doroszuk, A.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    This study aims to reveal whether complexity, namely, community and trophic structure, of chronically stressed soil systems is at increased risk or remains stable when confronted with a subsequent disturbance. Therefore, we focused on a grassland with a history of four centuries of patchy

  9. Calcium Isotopic Evidence for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Structure Prior to the K/Pg Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jeremy E; Vincent, Peggy; Tacail, Théo; Khaldoune, Fatima; Jourani, Essaid; Bardet, Nathalie; Balter, Vincent

    2017-06-05

    The collapse of marine ecosystems during the end-Cretaceous mass extinction involved the base of the food chain [1] up to ubiquitous vertebrate apex predators [2-5]. Large marine reptiles became suddenly extinct at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary, whereas other contemporaneous groups such as bothremydid turtles or dyrosaurid crocodylomorphs, although affected at the familial, genus, or species level, survived into post-crisis environments of the Paleocene [5-9] and could have found refuge in freshwater habitats [10-12]. A recent hypothesis proposes that the extinction of plesiosaurians and mosasaurids could have been caused by an important drop in sea level [13]. Mosasaurids are unusually diverse and locally abundant in the Maastrichtian phosphatic deposits of Morocco, and with large sharks and one species of elasmosaurid plesiosaurian recognized so far, contribute to an overabundance of apex predators [3, 7, 14, 15]. For this reason, high local diversity of marine reptiles exhibiting different body masses and a wealth of tooth morphologies hints at complex trophic interactions within this latest Cretaceous marine ecosystem. Using calcium isotopes, we investigated the trophic structure of this extinct assemblage. Our results are consistent with a calcium isotope pattern observed in modern marine ecosystems and show that plesiosaurians and mosasaurids indiscriminately fall in the tertiary piscivore group. This suggests that marine reptile apex predators relied onto a single dietary calcium source, compatible with the vulnerable wasp-waist food webs of the modern world [16]. This inferred peculiar ecosystem structure may help explain plesiosaurian and mosasaurid extinction following the end-Cretaceous biological crisis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Emerging contaminants in agricultural ecosystems: impact of selected pharmaceutical on water and soil ecology and pratical implications

    OpenAIRE

    Saccà, Maria Ludovica

    2010-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals are useful tools to prevent and treat human and animal diseases. Following administration, a significant fraction of pharmaceuticals is excreted unaltered into faeces and urine and may enter the aquatic ecosystem and agricultural soil through irrigation with recycled water, constituting a significant source of emerging contaminants into the environment. Understanding major factors influencing their environmental fate is consequently needed to value the risk, reduce contaminati...

  11. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  12. Meroterpenes from Marine Invertebrates: Structures, Occurrence, and Ecological Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menna, Marialuisa; Imperatore, Concetta; D’Aniello, Filomena; Aiello, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Meroterpenes are widely distributed among marine organisms; they are particularly abundant within brown algae, but other important sources include microorganisms and invertebrates. In the present review the structures and bioactivities of meroterpenes from marine invertebrates, mainly sponges and tunicates, are summarized. More than 300 molecules, often complex and with unique skeletons originating from intra- and inter-molecular cyclizations, and/or rearrangements, are illustrated. The reported syntheses are mentioned. The issue of a potential microbial link to their biosynthesis is also shortly outlined. PMID:23685889

  13. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  14. Chronic irradiation as an ecological factor affecting genetic population structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kal'chenko, V.A.; Kalabushkin, B.A.; Rubanovich, A.V.

    1991-01-01

    Genetic structure of two Centaurea scabiosa L. populations was studied by frequency distribution of leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) locus genotypes. The experimental population has been growing under conditions of chronic irradiation, with the dose per generation amounting to 1.2 to 25.5 Gy. In it, mutational variants are observed with a frequency of 5.4.10(-3)-4.5.10(-2) per generation (as compared to control population frequency at 5.4.10(-4)). Indexes for heterozygosity, mean number of genotypes, and effective number of alleles were higher in the experimental population. Segregation analysis revealed no differences in viability in the control population, and all genotypic combinations were found to be nearly neutral. In the experimental population, however, significant differences in relative viability of the genotypes were disclosed. The relative viability of heterozygotes for mutant allele C' was nearly maximum, while heterozygotes for other mutant alleles showed minimum viability. We reach the conclusion that the differences in genetic structure of the populations under investigation can be explained by the chronic irradiation factor that brought out differences in adaptability of both normal and mutant genotypes. The suggestion is that intra-locus interactions of the C' allele with normal alleles determine plant resistance to a wide range of unfavorable environmental conditions

  15. Ecological traits influence the phylogenetic structure of bird species co-occurrences worldwide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barnagaud, J.-Y.; Kissling, W.D.; Sandel, B.; Eiserhardt, W.L.; Şekercioğlu, Ç.H.; Enquist, B.J.; Tsirogiannis, C.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2014-01-01

    The extent to which species’ ecological and phylogenetic relatedness shape their co-occurrence patterns at large spatial scales remains poorly understood. By quantifying phylogenetic assemblage structure within geographic ranges of >8000 bird species, we show that global co-occurrence patterns are

  16. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  17. Elasticity in ecosystem services: exploring the variable relationship between ecosystems and human well-being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim M. Daw

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Although ecosystem services are increasingly recognized as benefits people obtain from nature, we still have a poor understanding of how they actually enhance multidimensional human well-being, and how well-being is affected by ecosystem change. We develop a concept of "ecosystem service elasticity" (ES elasticity that describes the sensitivity of human well-being to changes in ecosystems. ES Elasticity is a result of complex social and ecological dynamics and is context dependent, individually variable, and likely to demonstrate nonlinear dynamics such as thresholds and hysteresis. We present a conceptual framework that unpacks the chain of causality from ecosystem stocks through flows, goods, value, and shares to contribute to the well-being of different people. This framework builds on previous conceptualizations, but places multidimensional well-being of different people as the final element. This ultimately disaggregated approach emphasizes how different people access benefits and how benefits match their needs or aspirations. Applying this framework to case studies of individual coastal ecosystem services in East Africa illustrates a wide range of social and ecological factors that can affect ES elasticity. For example, food web and habitat dynamics affect the sensitivity of different fisheries ecosystem services to ecological change. Meanwhile high cultural significance, or lack of alternatives enhance ES elasticity, while social mechanisms that prevent access can reduce elasticity. Mapping out how chains are interlinked illustrates how different types of value and the well-being of different people are linked to each other and to common ecological stocks. We suggest that examining chains for individual ecosystem services can suggest potential interventions aimed at poverty alleviation and sustainable ecosystems while mapping out of interlinkages between chains can help to identify possible ecosystem service trade-offs and winners and

  18. An ecosystem-based approach and management framework for the integrated evaluation of bivalve aquaculture impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Cranford, Peter J.; Kamermans, Pauline; Krause, Gesche; Mazurie, Joseph; Buck, Bela H.; Dolmer, Per; Fraser, David; Van Nieuwenhove, Kris; O'Beirn, Francis X.; Sanchez-mata, Adoracion; Thorarinsdottir, Gudrun G.; Strand, Oivind

    2012-01-01

    An ecosystem-based approach to bivalve aquaculture management is a strategy for the integration of aquaculture within the wider ecosystem, including human aspects, in such a way that it promotes sustainable development, equity, and resilience of ecosystems. Given the linkage between social and ecological systems, marine regulators require an ecosystem-based decision framework that structures and integrates the relationships between these systems and facilitates communication of aquaculture–en...

  19. Integrating Ecosystem Engineering and Food Web Ecology: Testing the Effect of Biogenic Reefs on the Food Web of a Soft-Bottom Intertidal Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Smet, Bart; Fournier, Jérôme; De Troch, Marleen; Vincx, Magda; Vanaverbeke, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The potential of ecosystem engineers to modify the structure and dynamics of food webs has recently been hypothesised from a conceptual point of view. Empirical data on the integration of ecosystem engineers and food webs is however largely lacking. This paper investigates the hypothesised link based on a field sampling approach of intertidal biogenic aggregations created by the ecosystem engineer Lanice conchilega (Polychaeta, Terebellidae). The aggregations are known to have a considerable impact on the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of their environment and subsequently on the abundance and biomass of primary food sources and the macrofaunal (i.e. the macro-, hyper- and epibenthos) community. Therefore, we hypothesise that L. conchilega aggregations affect the structure, stability and isotopic niche of the consumer assemblage of a soft-bottom intertidal food web. Primary food sources and the bentho-pelagic consumer assemblage of a L. conchilega aggregation and a control area were sampled on two soft-bottom intertidal areas along the French coast and analysed for their stable isotopes. Despite the structural impacts of the ecosystem engineer on the associated macrofaunal community, the presence of L. conchilega aggregations only has a minor effect on the food web structure of soft-bottom intertidal areas. The isotopic niche width of the consumer communities of the L. conchilega aggregations and control areas are highly similar, implying that consumer taxa do not shift their diet when feeding in a L. conchilega aggregation. Besides, species packing and hence trophic redundancy were not affected, pointing to an unaltered stability of the food web in the presence of L. conchilega.

  20. [Applied ecology: retrospect and prospect].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xingyuan; Zeng, Dehui

    2004-10-01

    Applied ecology is evolved into a principal part of modern ecology that rapidly develops. The major stimulus for the development of applied ecology roots in seeking the solutions for the problems of human populations, resources and environments. Through four decades, the science of applied ecology has been becoming a huge group of disciplines. The future for the applied ecology should concern more with human-influenced and managed ecosystems, and acknowledge humans as the components of ecosystems. Nowadays and in future, the top-priorities in applied ecology should include following fields: sustainable ecosystems and biosphere, ecosystem services and ecological design, ecological assessment of genetically modified organisms, ecology of biological invasions, epidemical ecology, ecological forecasting, ecological process and its control. The authors believe that the comprehensive and active research hotspots coupled some new traits would occur around these fields in foreseeable future.

  1. Testing the performance of a Dynamic Global Ecosystem Model: Water balance, carbon balance, and vegetation structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucharik, Christopher J.; Foley, Jonathan A.; Delire, Christine; Fisher, Veronica A.; Coe, Michael T.; Lenters, John D.; Young-Molling, Christine; Ramankutty, Navin; Norman, John M.; Gower, Stith T.

    2000-09-01

    While a new class of Dynamic Global Ecosystem Models (DGEMs) has emerged in the past few years as an important tool for describing global biogeochemical cycles and atmosphere-biosphere interactions, these models are still largely untested. Here we analyze the behavior of a new DGEM and compare the results to global-scale observations of water balance, carbon balance, and vegetation structure. In this study, we use version 2 of the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS), which includes several major improvements and additions to the prototype model developed by Foley et al. [1996]. IBIS is designed to be a comprehensive model of the terrestrial biosphere; the model represents a wide range of processes, including land surface physics, canopy physiology, plant phenology, vegetation dynamics and competition, and carbon and nutrient cycling. The model generates global simulations of the surface water balance (e.g., runoff), the terrestrial carbon balance (e.g., net primary production, net ecosystem exchange, soil carbon, aboveground and belowground litter, and soil CO2 fluxes), and vegetation structure (e.g., biomass, leaf area index, and vegetation composition). In order to test the performance of the model, we have assembled a wide range of continental and global-scale data, including measurements of river discharge, net primary production, vegetation structure, root biomass, soil carbon, litter carbon, and soil CO2 flux. Using these field data and model results for the contemporary biosphere (1965-1994), our evaluation shows that simulated patterns of runoff, NPP, biomass, leaf area index, soil carbon, and total soil CO2 flux agree reasonably well with measurements that have been compiled from numerous ecosystems. These results also compare favorably to other global model results.

  2. Do all ecosystems maximise their distance with respect to thermodynamic equilibrium? A comment on the Ecological Law of Thermodynamics (ELT, proposed by Sven Erik Jørgensen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rutger de Wit

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Sven Erik Jørgensen has boldly proposed a “Fourth Law of Thermodynamics” which he also advocates as the “Ecological Law of Thermodynamics” or ELT (Integration of Ecosystem Theories: A Pattern, Kluwer Academic Publisher. This Law is still a hypothesis and can be tested. I disagree with the generalised way he uses the term “exergy” in his approach. Exergy is commonly defined as a measure of the work capacity of a system. According to the physicists Boltzmann information embodies energy. Jørgensen takes this into account when considering the “exergy” stored in ecosystems; hence, according to his way of calculating the genetic information of the organisms is the mayor contribution to