WorldWideScience

Sample records for grassland biodiversity experiments

  1. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter Török

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Relationship between plant biodiversity and heavy metal bioavailability in grasslands overlying an abandoned mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, A J; Pastor, J

    2008-04-01

    Abandoned metal mines in the Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid, Spain, are often located in areas of high ecological value. This is true of an abandoned barium mine situated in the heart of a bird sanctuary. Today the area sustains grasslands, interspersed with oakwood formations of Quercus ilex and heywood scrub (Retama sphaerocarpa L.), used by cattle, sheep and wild animals. Our study was designed to establish a relationship between the plant biodiversity of these grasslands and the bioavailability of heavy metals in the topsoil layer of this abandoned mine. We conducted soil chemical analyses and performed a greenhouse evaluation of the effects of different soil heavy metal concentrations on biodiversity. The greenhouse bioassays were run for 6 months using soil samples obtained from the mine polluted with heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd) and from a control pasture. Soil heavy metal and Na concentrations, along with the pH, had intense negative effects on plant biodiversity, as determined through changes in the Shannon index and species richness. Numbers of grasses, legumes, and composites were reduced, whilst other species (including ruderals) were affected to a lesser extent. Zinc had the greatest effect on biodiversity, followed by Cd and Cu. When we compared the sensitivity of the biodiversity indicators to the different metal content variables, pseudototal metal concentrations determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were the most sensitive, followed by available and soluble metal contents. Worse correlations between biodiversity variables and metal variables were shown by pseudototal contents obtained by plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Our results highlight the importance of using as many different indicators as possible to reliably assess the response shown by plants to heavy metal soil pollution.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wehn

    2018-04-01

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

  8. Supporting biodiversity by prescribed burning in grasslands - A multi-taxa approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    There are contrasting opinions on the use of prescribed burning management in European grasslands. On the one hand, prescribed burning can be effectively used for the management of open landscapes, controlling dominant species, reducing accumulated litter or decreasing wildfire risk. On the other hand burning can have a detrimental impact on grassland biodiversity by supporting competitor grasses and by threatening several rare and endangered species, especially arthropods. We studied the effects of prescribed burning in alkaline grasslands of high conservation interest. Our aim was to test whether dormant-season prescribed burning can be an alternative conservation measure in these grasslands. We selected six sites in East-Hungary: in three sites, a prescribed fire was applied in November 2011, while three sites remained unburnt. We studied the effects of burning on soil characteristics, plant biomass and on the composition of vegetation and arthropod assemblages (isopods, spiders, ground beetles and rove beetles). Soil pH, organic matter, potassium and phosphorous did not change, but soluble salt content increased significantly in the burnt sites. Prescribed burning had several positive effects from the nature conservation viewpoint. Shannon diversity and the number of flowering shoots were higher, and the cover of the dominant grass Festuca pseudovina was lower in the burnt sites. Graminoid biomass was lower, while total, green and forb biomass were higher in the burnt plots compared to the control. The key finding of our study was that prescribed burning did not decrease the abundance and diversity of arthropod taxa. Species-level analyses showed that out of the most abundant invertebrate species, 10 were not affected, 1 was negatively and 1 was positively affected by burning. Moreover, our results suggest that prescribed burning leaving unburnt patches can be a viable management tool in open landscapes, because it supports plant diversity and does not threaten

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Evaluating productivity-biodiversity relationship and spectral diversity in prairie grasslands under different fire management treatments using in-situ and remote sensing hyperspectral data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gholizadeh, H.; Gamon, J. A.; Zygielbaum, A. I.; Schweiger, A. K.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Yang, Y.; Knops, J. M. H.

    2017-12-01

    Grasslands cover as much as 25% of the Earth's surface and account for approximately 20% of overall terrestrial productivity and contribute to global biodiversity. To optimize the status of grasslands and to counteract their degradation, different management practices have been adopted. Fire has been shown to be an important management practice in the maintenance of grasslands. Our main goals were 1) to evaluate the productivity-biodiversity relationship in grasslands under fire treatment, and 2) to evaluate the capability of hyperspectral remote sensing in estimating biodiversity using spectral data (i.e. spectral diversity). We used above-ground biomass (as a surrogate for productivity), species richness (SR; as a surrogate for biodiversity), and airborne hyperspectral data from a natural grassland with fire treatment (20 plots), and a natural grassland without fire treatment (21 plots), all located at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Central Minnesota, USA. The productivity-biodiversity relationship for the fire treatment plots showed a hump-shaped model with adjusted R2=0.37, whereas the relationship for the non-burned plots were non-significant. The relationship between SR and spectral diversity (SD) were positive linear for both treatments; however, the relationship for plots with fire treatment was higher (adjusted R2 = 0.34 vs. 0.19). It is assumed that post-fire foliar nutrients increase soil nitrogen and phosphorus which facilitate post-fire growth and induce higher above-ground biomass and chlorophyll content in plants. Overall, the results of this study showed that management practices affect the productivity-biodiversity relationship and illustrated the effect of fire treatment on remote sensing of biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Landscape and Local Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Conservation Grasslands: Implications for the Conservation of Ecosystem Service Providers in Agricultural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  13. Teaching Biodiversity & Evolution through Travel Course Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zervanos, Stam. M.; McLaughlin, Jacqueline S.

    2003-01-01

    Biodiversity is the extraordinary variety of life in this planet. In order to be fully appreciated, biodiversity needs to be experienced firsthand, or "experientially." Thus, the standard classroom lecture format is not the ideal situation for teaching biodiversity and evolutionary concepts, in that student interest and understanding are…

  14. Evaluating patterns of biodiversity in managed grasslands using spatial turnover metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erin Questad; Bryan L. Foster; Suneeti Jog; Kelly Kindscher; Hillary Loring

    2011-01-01

    Market and policy incentives that encourage agricultural intensification, such as incentives for bioenergy, may contribute to biodiversity decline when they encourage a large-scale conversion of native and seminatural ecosystems to production fields. In order to appreciate the impact of these incentives on biodiversity, it is imperative to better understand how native...

  15. Children in Nature: Sensory Engagement and the Experience of Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Thomas; Jørgensen, Kari Anne

    2018-01-01

    Given concerns for a severely diminished childhood experience of nature, coupled with alarm for a rapidly diminishing global biodiversity, this article considers the potential for childhood nature experience to be an important part of biodiversity understanding. Findings from two studies are integrated and presented as windows into childhood…

  16. DESERTIFICATION AND ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY IN THE DESERT GRASSLANDS OF NORTH AMERICA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of breeding birds and small mammals were conducted at a series of sites that form a gradient of severity of desertification. Desert grassland sites represented the least changed landscape units and mesquite coppice dunes represented the most severe degradtion, an irrevers...

  17. Habitat‐ and rainfall‐dependent biodiversity responses to cattle removal in an arid woodland–grassland environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Anke S K; Wardle, Glenda M; Dickman, Chris R; Greenville, Aaron C

    Biodiversity conservation in rangeland environments is often addressed by removing livestock, but inconsistent responses by biota mean that the efficacy of this form of management is hotly debated. Reasons for this inconsistency include the usually short duration and small spatial scale of manipulations compared to the area of grazing properties, as well as divergent responses amongst biota. In low-productivity arid environments, the pulse-reserve dynamic also complicates the outcome of manipulations. Here, we tested and extended these ideas in a heterogeneous desert environment in central Australia that consists of small patches of open woodland (gidgee) in a grassland (spinifex) matrix. Taking advantage of a controlled property-scale removal of cattle, and a rain event that stimulated productivity, we first quantified differences in the vegetation and small vertebrates of these two habitats, and then tracked the diversity, composition, and abundance of these biota for 6–19 months post-rain. We predicted that the two habitats would differ in the structure, composition, and reproductive output of their constituent plant species. We predicted also that the effects of cattle removal would interact with these habitat differences, with the abundance, richness, and diversity of small mammals and reptiles differing across habitats and grazing treatments. As anticipated, plant species composition in woodland was distinct from that in grassland and varied over time. The effects of cattle removal were habitat specific: Plant composition responded to de-stocking in woodland, but not in grassland; flowers were more abundant, and palatable plant cover also was greater following cessation of grazing pressure. The responses of small mammals but not reptiles showed some accord with our predictions, varying over time but inconsistently with treatment, and perhaps reflected high variability in capture success. We conclude that the timing and length of sampling are important when

  18. Biodiversity of Soil Microbial Communities Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland: An Assessment Using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Gentry, T. J.; Filley, T. R.; Boutton, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Woody plants have encroached into grasslands, savannas, and other grass-dominated ecosystems throughout the world during the last century. This dramatic vegetation change is likely driven by livestock grazing, altered fire frequencies, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changes in atmospheric deposition patterns. Woody invasion often results in significant changes in ecosystem function, including alterations in above- and belowground primary productivity, soil C, N, and P storage and turnover, and the size and activity of the soil microbial biomass pool. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships and interactions between plant communities and soil microbial communities in the Rio Grande Plains region of southern Texas where grasslands have been largely replaced by woodlands. Research was conducted along a successional chronosequence representing the stages of woody plant encroachment from open grassland to closed-canopy woodland. To characterize soil microbial community composition, soil samples (0-7.5 cm) were collected in remnant grasslands (representing time 0) and near the centers of woody plant clusters, groves, and drainage woodlands ranging in age from 10 to 130 yrs. Ages of woody plant stands were determined by dendrochronology. Community DNA was extracted from each soil sample with a MoBio PowerMax Soil DNA isolation kit. The DNA concentrations were quantified on a NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer and diluted to a standard concentration. Pyrosequencing was performed by the Research and Testing Laboratory (Lubbock, TX) according to Roche 454 Titanium chemistry protocols. Samples were amplified with primers 27F and 519R for bacteria, and primers ITS1F and ITS4 for fungi. Sequences were aligned using BioEdit and the RDP Pipeline and analyzed in MOTHUR. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of the operational taxonomic units identified by pyrosequencing revealed that both bacterial and fungal community composition were

  19. Research priorities for grassland science: the need of long term integrated experiments networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lemaire

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands have to be considered not only as a mean for providing foods for domestic herbivore but also as an important biome of terrestrial biosphere. This function of grasslands as an active component of our environment requires specific studies on the role and impact of this ecosystem on soil erosion and soil quality, quality and quantity of water resources, atmosphere composition and greenhouse gas emission or sequestration, biodiversity dynamics at different scales from field plot to landscape. All these functions have to be evaluated in conjunction with the function of providing animal products for increasing human population. So multifunctionality of grasslands become a new paradigm for grassland science. Environmental and biodiversity outputs require long term studies, being the long term retro-active processes within soil, vegetation and micro-organism communities in relation to changes in management programme. So grassland science needs to carry on long term integrated experimentation for studying all the environmental outputs and ecological services associated to grassland management systems.

  20. Agri-Environmental Schemes and Grassland Biodiversity: Another Side of the Coin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Münch, Angela

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, the Agri-Environmental Schemes (AES) of the European Union are evaluated on the basis of county-level data for the German Federal States Thuringia and Bavaria. The purpose is to disentangle the effects of AES on farming practice from their effects on biodiversity. One of the major ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity offers multiple opportunities for development and improving human well-being. It is the basis for essential environmental services upon which life on Earth depends. Thus, its conservation and sustainable use are of critical importance...

  3. Experience and Strategy of Biodiversity Data Integration in Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K T Shao

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The integration of Taiwan's biodiversity databases started in 2001, the same year that Taiwan joined GBIF as an associate participant. Taiwan, hence, embarked on a decade of integrating biodiversity data. Under the support of NSC and COA, the database and websites of TaiBIF, TaiBNET (TaiCOL, TaiBOL, and TaiEOL have been established separately and collaborate with the GBIF, COL, BOL, and EOL respectively. A cross-agency committee was thus established in Academia Sinica in 2008 to formulate policies on data collection and integration as well as the mechanism to make data available to the public. Any commissioned project will hereafter be asked to include these policy requirements in its contract. So far, TaiBIF has gained recognition in Taiwan and abroad for its efforts over the past several years. It can provide its experience and insights for others to reference or replicate.

  4. Biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Giraldo; Luis Jair

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity is a really surprising ecological event, as long as there is an extraordinary chemical and biochemical homogeneity at the very foundation of all living beings. It is believed that there are at least three phenomena that may explain it: Darwinian evolution, that is a kind of ramifying evolution; structural coupling, as defined by H. Maturana; and, finally, thermodynamical phenomena, as presented by S. Kauffman leaning on the concepts of organization and a propagating organization that diversifies, and they are all interpreted by E. D. Schneider and J. J. Kay from the idea of Earth as a thermodynamical system. The explanatory importance of this idea in the current environmental crisis, evident in other events such as global warming, is of great relevance.

  5. Dry grassland biodiversity conservation using low-intensity sheep and goat grazing management: case study in Prague (Czech republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostálek, J.; Frantík, Tomáš

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 3 (2008), s. 1439-1454 ISSN 0960-3115 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : dry grassland * grazing * plant diversity conservation Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.473, year: 2008

  6. Changes in vegetation types and Ellenberg indicator values after 65 years of fertilizer application in the Rengen Grassland Experiment, Germany

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chytry, M.; Hejcman, M.; Hennekens, S.M.; Schellberg, J.

    2009-01-01

    Question: How does semi-natural grassland diversify after 65 years of differential application of Ca, N, P, and K fertilizers? Is fertilizer application adequately reflected by the Ellenberg indicator values (EIVs)? Location: Eifel Mountains, West Germany. Methods: The Rengen Grassland Experiment

  7. 17 years of grassland management leads to parallel local and regional biodiversity shifts among a wide range of taxonomic groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordwijk, van C.G.E.; Baeten, Lander; Turin, Hans; Heijerman, Theodoor; Alders, Kees; Boer, Peter; Mabelis, A.A.; Siepel, Henk; Berg, Matty P.; Bonte, Dries

    2017-01-01

    Conservation management is expected to increase local biodiversity, but uniform management may lead to biotic homogenization and diversity losses at the regional scale. We evaluated the effects of renewed grazing and cutting management carried out across a whole region, on the diversity of plants

  8. Heterogeneity of water flow in grassland soil during irrigation experiment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lichner, Ľ.; Dušek, J.; Tesař, Miroslav; Czachor, H.; Mészároš, I.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 11 (2014), s. 1555-1561 ISSN 0006-3088 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR(CZ) TA0201451 Grant - others:ERDF ITMS26240120004 Institutional support: RVO:67985874 Keywords : degree of preferential flow * effective cross section * infiltration experiment * radioactive tracer technique * sandy soil Subject RIV: DA - Hydrology ; Limnology Impact factor: 0.827, year: 2014

  9. Using Calibrated RGB Imagery from Low-Cost Uavs for Grassland Monitoring: Case Study at the Rengen Grassland Experiment (rge), Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussem, U.; Hollberg, J.; Menne, J.; Schellberg, J.; Bareth, G.

    2017-08-01

    Monitoring the spectral response of intensively managed grassland throughout the growing season allows optimizing fertilizer inputs by monitoring plant growth. For example, site-specific fertilizer application as part of precision agriculture (PA) management requires information within short time. But, this requires field-based measurements with hyper- or multispectral sensors, which may not be feasible on a day to day farming practice. Exploiting the information of RGB images from consumer grade cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can offer cost-efficient as well as near-real time analysis of grasslands with high temporal and spatial resolution. The potential of RGB imagery-based vegetation indices (VI) from consumer grade cameras mounted on UAVs has been explored recently in several. However, for multitemporal analyses it is desirable to calibrate the digital numbers (DN) of RGB-images to physical units. In this study, we explored the comparability of the RGBVI from a consumer grade camera mounted on a low-cost UAV to well established vegetation indices from hyperspectral field measurements for applications in grassland. The study was conducted in 2014 on the Rengen Grassland Experiment (RGE) in Germany. Image DN values were calibrated into reflectance by using the Empirical Line Method (Smith & Milton 1999). Depending on sampling date and VI the correlation between the UAV-based RGBVI and VIs such as the NDVI resulted in varying R2 values from no correlation to up to 0.9. These results indicate, that calibrated RGB-based VIs have the potential to support or substitute hyperspectral field measurements to facilitate management decisions on grasslands.

  10. USING CALIBRATED RGB IMAGERY FROM LOW-COST UAVS FOR GRASSLAND MONITORING: CASE STUDY AT THE RENGEN GRASSLAND EXPERIMENT (RGE, GERMANY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Lussem

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the spectral response of intensively managed grassland throughout the growing season allows optimizing fertilizer inputs by monitoring plant growth. For example, site-specific fertilizer application as part of precision agriculture (PA management requires information within short time. But, this requires field-based measurements with hyper- or multispectral sensors, which may not be feasible on a day to day farming practice. Exploiting the information of RGB images from consumer grade cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV can offer cost-efficient as well as near-real time analysis of grasslands with high temporal and spatial resolution. The potential of RGB imagery-based vegetation indices (VI from consumer grade cameras mounted on UAVs has been explored recently in several. However, for multitemporal analyses it is desirable to calibrate the digital numbers (DN of RGB-images to physical units. In this study, we explored the comparability of the RGBVI from a consumer grade camera mounted on a low-cost UAV to well established vegetation indices from hyperspectral field measurements for applications in grassland. The study was conducted in 2014 on the Rengen Grassland Experiment (RGE in Germany. Image DN values were calibrated into reflectance by using the Empirical Line Method (Smith & Milton 1999. Depending on sampling date and VI the correlation between the UAV-based RGBVI and VIs such as the NDVI resulted in varying R2 values from no correlation to up to 0.9. These results indicate, that calibrated RGB-based VIs have the potential to support or substitute hyperspectral field measurements to facilitate management decisions on grasslands.

  11. Weed suppression greatly increased by plant diversity in intensively managed grasslands: A continental-scale experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, John; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa; Kirwan, Laura; Finn, John Anthony; Llurba, Rosa; Suter, Matthias; Collins, Rosemary P; Porqueddu, Claudio; Helgadóttir, Áslaug; Baadshaug, Ole H; Bélanger, Gilles; Black, Alistair; Brophy, Caroline; Čop, Jure; Dalmannsdóttir, Sigridur; Delgado, Ignacio; Elgersma, Anjo; Fothergill, Michael; Frankow-Lindberg, Bodil E; Ghesquiere, An; Golinski, Piotr; Grieu, Philippe; Gustavsson, Anne-Maj; Höglind, Mats; Huguenin-Elie, Olivier; Jørgensen, Marit; Kadziuliene, Zydre; Lunnan, Tor; Nykanen-Kurki, Paivi; Ribas, Angela; Taube, Friedhelm; Thumm, Ulrich; De Vliegher, Alex; Lüscher, Andreas

    2018-03-01

    Grassland diversity can support sustainable intensification of grassland production through increased yields, reduced inputs and limited weed invasion. We report the effects of diversity on weed suppression from 3 years of a 31-site continental-scale field experiment.At each site, 15 grassland communities comprising four monocultures and 11 four-species mixtures based on a wide range of species' proportions were sown at two densities and managed by cutting. Forage species were selected according to two crossed functional traits, "method of nitrogen acquisition" and "pattern of temporal development".Across sites, years and sown densities, annual weed biomass in mixtures and monocultures was 0.5 and 2.0 t  DM ha -1 (7% and 33% of total biomass respectively). Over 95% of mixtures had weed biomass lower than the average of monocultures, and in two-thirds of cases, lower than in the most suppressive monoculture (transgressive suppression). Suppression was significantly transgressive for 58% of site-years. Transgressive suppression by mixtures was maintained across years, independent of site productivity.Based on models, average weed biomass in mixture over the whole experiment was 52% less (95% confidence interval: 30%-75%) than in the most suppressive monoculture. Transgressive suppression of weed biomass was significant at each year across all mixtures and for each mixture.Weed biomass was consistently low across all mixtures and years and was in some cases significantly but not largely different from that in the equiproportional mixture. The average variability (standard deviation) of annual weed biomass within a site was much lower for mixtures (0.42) than for monocultures (1.77). Synthesis and applications . Weed invasion can be diminished through a combination of forage species selected for complementarity and persistence traits in systems designed to reduce reliance on fertiliser nitrogen. In this study, effects of diversity on weed suppression were

  12. Assessing biodiversity risks with socio economic methods: the ALARM experience

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Humans play an undeniable role in the acceleration of threats to the diversity of ecosystems, species and genes. This book is a response to the urgent need of policy oriented socio-ecological research, profoundly based on empirical evidence. Socio-environmental patterns and political responses are compared through the use of case studies analyzing a range of pressures to biodiversity. Aquatic bioinvasions in the Ebro River and Lake Izabal exemplify socio-environmental processes linked to rive...

  13. Successive sheep grazing reduces population density of Brandt's voles in steppe grassland by altering food resources: a large manipulative experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoliang; Yin, Baofa; Wan, Xinrong; Wei, Wanhong; Wang, Guiming; Krebs, Charles J; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has shaped grassland ecosystems around the world. Previous studies indicated grazing showed various impacts on small rodents; however, most studies were conducted over 1-2 years without controlling for confounding factors such as immigration/emigration and predation in rodents. Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) are generally recognized as pests because of food overlap with domestic herbivores, but are also important for biodiversity conservation because they provide nests or food to many birds. Fully understanding the ecological relationship between domestic herbivores and small mammals is essential to making ecosystem management decisions. To address these needs, we carried out a field experiment during the period 2010-2013 to assess the effects of sheep grazing on vegetation and the population density of Brandt's voles along a gradient of three grazing intensities by using 12 large-scale enclosures. Responses of Brandt's voles to livestock grazing varied with grazing intensity and year. As compared to the control group, sheep grazing had no effect on vole abundance in the first year but an overall negative effect on vole abundance in the following 3 years. Successive grazing caused decreases in survival and male body mass of voles, but had no significant effect on fecundity. Negative effects of grazing were associated with a grazing-induced deterioration in both food quantity (reflected by biomass and cover of less-preferred plants), and food quality (measured by tannin and total phenol content). Our findings highlight the urgent need for more flexible management of yearly rotational grazing to optimize livestock production while maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health.

  14. Comparing arbuscular mycorrhizal communities of individual plants in a grassland biodiversity experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gamper, H.A.; Hol, W.H.G.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Plants differ greatly in the soil organisms colonizing their roots. However, how soil organism assemblages of individual plant roots can be influenced by plant community properties remains poorly understood. We determined the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Jacobaea vulgaris

  15. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children's Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soga, Masashi; Gaston, Kevin J; Yamaura, Yuichi; Kurisu, Kiyo; Hanaki, Keisuke

    2016-05-25

    Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities) and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends) on their affective attitudes (individuals' emotional feelings) toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children's affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children's willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences.

  16. Both Direct and Vicarious Experiences of Nature Affect Children’s Willingness to Conserve Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masashi Soga

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Children are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature. This ongoing loss of human interactions with nature, the extinction of experience, is viewed as one of the most fundamental obstacles to addressing global environmental challenges. However, the consequences for biodiversity conservation have been examined very little. Here, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schoolchildren and investigated effects of the frequency of direct (participating in nature-based activities and vicarious experiences of nature (reading books or watching TV programs about nature and talking about nature with parents or friends on their affective attitudes (individuals’ emotional feelings toward and willingness to conserve biodiversity. A total of 397 children participated in the surveys in Tokyo. Children’s affective attitudes and willingness to conserve biodiversity were positively associated with the frequency of both direct and vicarious experiences of nature. Path analysis showed that effects of direct and vicarious experiences on children’s willingness to conserve biodiversity were mediated by their affective attitudes. This study demonstrates that children who frequently experience nature are likely to develop greater emotional affinity to and support for protecting biodiversity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to experience nature and be provided with various types of these experiences.

  17. An African grassland responds similarly to long-term fertilization to the Park Grass experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ward

    Full Text Available We compared the results of a long-term (65 years experiment in a South African grassland with the world's longest-running ecological experiment, the Park Grass study at Rothamsted, U.K. The climate is warm and humid in South Africa and cool and temperate in England. The African grassland has been fertilized with two forms of nitrogen applied at four levels, phosphorus and lime in a crossed design in 96 plots. In 1951, about 84% of plant cover consisted of Themeda triandra, Tristachya leucothrix and Setaria nigrirostris. Currently, the dominant species are Panicum maximum, Setaria sphacelata and Eragrostis curvula, making up 71% of total biomass. As in the Park Grass experiment, we found a significant (additive interaction effect on ANPP of nitrogen and phosphorus, and a (marginally significant negative correlation between ANPP and species richness. Unlike the Park Grass experiment, there was no correlation between ANPP and species richness when pH was included as a covariate. There was also a significant negative effect of nitrogen amount and nitrogen form and a positive effect of lime on species richness and species diversity. Soil pH had an important effect on species richness. Liming was insufficient to balance the negative effects on species richness of nitrogen fertilization. There was a significant effect of pH on biomass of three abundant species. There were also significant effects of light on the biomass of four species, with only Panicum maximum having a negative response to light. In all of the abundant species, adding total species richness and ANPP to the model increased the amount of variance explained. The biomass of Eragrostis curvula and P. maximum were negatively correlated with species richness while three other abundant species increased with species richness, suggesting that competition and facilitation were active. Consistent with the results from the Park Grass and other long-term fertilization experiments of grasslands

  18. Assessing wave energy effects on biodiversity: the wave hub experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, M J; Sheehan, E V; Bearhop, S; Broderick, A C; Conley, D C; Cotterell, S P; Crow, E; Grecian, W J; Halsband, C; Hodgson, D J; Hosegood, P; Inger, R; Miller, P I; Sims, D W; Thompson, R C; Vanstaen, K; Votier, S C; Attrill, M J; Godley, B J

    2012-01-28

    Marine renewable energy installations harnessing energy from wind, wave and tidal resources are likely to become a large part of the future energy mix worldwide. The potential to gather energy from waves has recently seen increasing interest, with pilot developments in several nations. Although technology to harness wave energy lags behind that of wind and tidal generation, it has the potential to contribute significantly to energy production. As wave energy technology matures and becomes more widespread, it is likely to result in further transformation of our coastal seas. Such changes are accompanied by uncertainty regarding their impacts on biodiversity. To date, impacts have not been assessed, as wave energy converters have yet to be fully developed. Therefore, there is a pressing need to build a framework of understanding regarding the potential impacts of these technologies, underpinned by methodologies that are transferable and scalable across sites to facilitate formal meta-analysis. We first review the potential positive and negative effects of wave energy generation, and then, with specific reference to our work at the Wave Hub (a wave energy test site in southwest England, UK), we set out the methodological approaches needed to assess possible effects of wave energy on biodiversity. We highlight the need for national and international research clusters to accelerate the implementation of wave energy, within a coherent understanding of potential effects-both positive and negative.

  19. Leaf trait response to nutrients and herbivore exclusion across a globally replicated grassland experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Leaf trait response to nutrients and herbivore exclusion across a globally replicated grassland experiment Jennifer Firn1, James McGree2, Eric Lind3, Elizabeth Borer3, Eric Seabloom3, Lauren Sullivan3, Kimberly Lapierre4 and the Nutrient Network 1Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Brisbane, QLD, 4001 Australia 2Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Mathematical Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Brisbane, QLD, 4001 Australia 3Universtiy of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, 1479 Gortner Avenue, 140 Gortner Laboratory, St. Paul, MN 55108 USA 4Department of integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA Functional trait research has developed with the aim of finding general patterns in how the function of plant assemblages changes with respect to different land-uses. Most studies have compared sites within and across regions with variations in land-use history, but not necessarily with standardized treatments in an experimental framework. The trends that have emerged from this research is that characteristics of leaf traits such as specific leaf area (SLA) correlate with carbon acquisition strategies known to influence ecosystem functioning. SLA has been found to represent a plant's investment in growing light-capturing area per dry mass content. Species with a relatively high SLA tend to have a higher rate of return on the resources invested into making tissue (cheaper leaves in terms of energy and resources needed to produce them) when compared to species with a lower SLA (more expensive leaves to produce). Few studies have examined quantitatively measured traits in an experimental framework. The Nutrient Network experiment, globally distributed experiment, presents a unique opportunity to examine the response of functional traits across grassland ecosystems characterised by a diverse range of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

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

  2. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  3. Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvertown, J

    1980-01-01

    The published results of the Park Grass Experiment (PGE), begun in 1856, provide up to 30 yr of annual data which may be used to determine whether the botanical composition of these grasslands was at equilibrium. Data covering a period exceeding 80 yr are available to test for relationships between hay yield (biomass), species diversity, species number and time. Species diversity and species number show negative relationships with plot biomass and with pH. These relationships were constant over time. The effects of biomass and pH on species number and species diversity were additive. Analysis of the flora of nine plots, each divided into grasses, legumes and a miscellaneous component showed that these components were at equilibrium. The effect of various endogenous factors on this botanical equilibrium was examined. No regular or irregular cycles of component biomass operating between years were detected and it is inferred that populations were regulated by processes operating within individual years. The biomasses of all three components were positively correlated within an unfertilized plot but the floristic components of plots receiving a fertilizer treatment showed few within-plot correlations. By contrast between-plot correlations of components were common for all plots with the exception of those receiving nitrogen fertilizer. The mechanisms of population regulation which maintained the park grass ecosystem at equilibrium are discussed and tests for these are proposed.

  4. Late Quaternary vegetation, biodiversity and fire dynamics on the southern Brazilian highland and their implication for conservation and management of modern Araucaria forest and grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behling, Hermann; Pillar, Valério DePatta

    2007-02-28

    Palaeoecological background information is needed for management and conservation of the highly diverse mosaic of Araucaria forest and Campos (grassland) in southern Brazil. Questions on the origin of Araucaria forest and grasslands; its development, dynamic and stability; its response to environmental change such as climate; and the role of human impact are essential. Further questions on its natural stage of vegetation or its alteration by pre- and post-Columbian anthropogenic activity are also important. To answer these questions, palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental data based on pollen, charcoal and multivariate data analysis of radiocarbon dated sedimentary archives from southern Brazil are used to provide an insight into past vegetation changes, which allows us to improve our understanding of the modern vegetation and to develop conservation and management strategies for the strongly affected ecosystems in southern Brazil.

  5. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Kevin R; Shi, Zheng; Gherardi, Laureano A; Lemoine, Nathan P; Koerner, Sally E; Hoover, David L; Bork, Edward; Byrne, Kerry M; Cahill, James; Collins, Scott L; Evans, Sarah; Gilgen, Anna K; Holub, Petr; Jiang, Lifen; Knapp, Alan K; LeCain, Daniel; Liang, Junyi; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Peñuelas, Josep; Pockman, William T; Smith, Melinda D; Sun, Shanghua; White, Shannon R; Yahdjian, Laura; Zhu, Kai; Luo, Yiqi

    2017-10-01

    Climatic changes are altering Earth's hydrological cycle, resulting in altered precipitation amounts, increased interannual variability of precipitation, and more frequent extreme precipitation events. These trends will likely continue into the future, having substantial impacts on net primary productivity (NPP) and associated ecosystem services such as food production and carbon sequestration. Frequently, experimental manipulations of precipitation have linked altered precipitation regimes to changes in NPP. Yet, findings have been diverse and substantial uncertainty still surrounds generalities describing patterns of ecosystem sensitivity to altered precipitation. Additionally, we do not know whether previously observed correlations between NPP and precipitation remain accurate when precipitation changes become extreme. We synthesized results from 83 case studies of experimental precipitation manipulations in grasslands worldwide. We used meta-analytical techniques to search for generalities and asymmetries of aboveground NPP (ANPP) and belowground NPP (BNPP) responses to both the direction and magnitude of precipitation change. Sensitivity (i.e., productivity response standardized by the amount of precipitation change) of BNPP was similar under precipitation additions and reductions, but ANPP was more sensitive to precipitation additions than reductions; this was especially evident in drier ecosystems. Additionally, overall relationships between the magnitude of productivity responses and the magnitude of precipitation change were saturating in form. The saturating form of this relationship was likely driven by ANPP responses to very extreme precipitation increases, although there were limited studies imposing extreme precipitation change, and there was considerable variation among experiments. This highlights the importance of incorporating gradients of manipulations, ranging from extreme drought to extreme precipitation increases into future climate change

  7. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wilcox, K. R.; Shi, Z.; Gherardi, L. A.; Lemoine, N. P.; Koerner, S. E.; Hoover, D. L.; Bork, E.; Byrne, K. M.; Cahill, J.; Collins, S. L.; Evans, S.M.; Gilgen, Anna K.; Holub, Petr; Jiang, L.; Knapp, A. K.; LeCain, D.; Liang, J.; Garcia-Palacios, P.; Penuelas, J.; Pockman, W. T.; Smith, M. D.; Sun, S.; White, S. R.; Yahdjian, L.; Zhu, K.; Luo, Y.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 10 (2017), s. 4376-4385 ISSN 1354-1013 Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : net primary productivity * terrestrial ecosystems * temperate grassland * biomass allocation * plant-communities * tallgrass prairie * climate extremes * use efficiency * united-states * global-change * aboveground net primary productivity * belowground net primary productivity * biomass allocation * climate change * grasslands * meta-analysis * root biomass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 8.502, year: 2016

  8. Backyard Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Sarah S.

    2002-01-01

    Describes a field trip experience for the Earth Odyssey project for elementary school students focusing on biodiversity. Introduces the concept of diversity, field work, species richness, and the connection between animals and their habitat. (YDS)

  9. The Rengen Grassland experiment: bryophytes biomass and element concentrations after 65 years of fertilizer application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hejcman, Michal; Száková, Jirina; Schellberg, Jürgen; Srek, Petr; Tlustos, Pavel; Balík, Jirí

    2010-07-01

    The Rengen Grassland Experiment in Germany, established in 1941, consists of the following fertilizer treatments applied under a two cut management: control, Ca, CaN, CaNP, CaNP-KCl, and CaNP-K(2)SO(4). The aim of this study was (1) to identify effects of fertilizer application on biomass and species composition of bryophytes and (2) to investigate the impact of fertilizer application on macro- (N, P, K, Ca, Mg), micro- (Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn), and toxic (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, Ni) element concentrations in bryophyte biomass. In June 2006, Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus was the only bryophyte species recorded in the control. In treatment Ca, R. squarrosus was the dominant bryophyte species whereas Brachythecium rutabulum occurred sporadically only in a single plot of that treatment. The latter was the only bryophyte species collected in CaN, CaNP, CaNP-KCl, and CaNP-K(2)SO(4) treatments. Dry matter accumulation of bryophytes was highest in the control (180 g m(-2)) followed by Ca (46 g m(-2)), CaNP (25 g m(-2)), CaNP-KCl (15 g m(-2)), CaNP-K(2)SO(4) (9 g m(-2)), and CaN (2 g m(-2)) treatments. A negative correlation between biomass production of bryophytes and dry matter production of vascular plants was revealed up to a threshold value of 400 g m(-2). Above this limit, biomass production of bryophytes remained obviously unaffected by further increase in biomass production of vascular plants. A significant effect of treatment on As, Cd, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, P, Ca, Mg, K, and N concentrations was revealed. Concentrations of these elements were a function of amount of elements supplied with fertilizers. Bryophytes seem to be promising bio-indicators not only for airborne deposition of toxic element but also for fertilizer introduced as well.

  10. 17 years of grassland management leads to parallel local and regional biodiversity shifts among a wide range of taxonomic groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Noordwijk, C. G.E.; Baeten, Lander; Turin, Hans; Heijerman, Theodoor; Alders, Kees; Boer, Peter; Mabelis, A. A.; Aukema, Berend; Noordam, Aart; Remke, Eva; Siepel, Henk; Berg, Matty P.; Bonte, Dries

    2017-01-01

    Conservation management is expected to increase local biodiversity, but uniform management may lead to biotic homogenization and diversity losses at the regional scale. We evaluated the effects of renewed grazing and cutting management carried out across a whole region, on the diversity of plants

  11. Vegetation recovery in slash-pile scars following conifer removal in a grassland-restoration experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Halpern; Joseph A. Antos; Liam M. Beckman

    2014-01-01

    A principal challenge to restoring tree-invaded grasslands is the removal of woody biomass. Burning of slash piles to reduce woody residues from forest restoration practices generates intense, prolonged heating, with adverse effects on soils and vegetation. In this study, we examined vegetation responses to pile burning following tree removal from conifer-invaded...

  12. USING CALIBRATED RGB IMAGERY FROM LOW-COST UAVS FOR GRASSLAND MONITORING: CASE STUDY AT THE RENGEN GRASSLAND EXPERIMENT (RGE), GERMANY

    OpenAIRE

    U. Lussem; J. Hollberg; J. Hollberg; J. Menne; J. Schellberg; J. Schellberg; G. Bareth; G. Bareth

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the spectral response of intensively managed grassland throughout the growing season allows optimizing fertilizer inputs by monitoring plant growth. For example, site-specific fertilizer application as part of precision agriculture (PA) management requires information within short time. But, this requires field-based measurements with hyper- or multispectral sensors, which may not be feasible on a day to day farming practice. Exploiting the information of RGB images from consumer g...

  13. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. WATCHING GRASS GROW- A PILOT STUDY ON THE SUITABILITY OF PHOTOGRAMMETRIC TECHNIQUES FOR QUANTIFYING CHANGE IN ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS IN GRASSLAND EXPERIMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kröhnert

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecology experiments in remote locations requiring quantitative analysis of the biomass in defined plots are becoming increasingly widespread, but are still limited by manual sampling methodologies. To provide a cost-effective automated solution for biomass determination, several photogrammetric techniques are examined to generate 3D point cloud representations of plots as a basis, to estimate aboveground biomass on grassland plots, which is a key ecosystem variable used in many experiments. Methods investigated include Structure from Motion (SfM techniques for camera pose estimation with posterior dense matching as well as the usage of a Time of Flight (TOF 3D camera, a laser light sheet triangulation system and a coded light projection system. In this context, plants of small scales (herbage and medium scales are observed. In the first pilot study presented here, the best results are obtained by applying dense matching after SfM, ideal for integration into distributed experiment networks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    the environmental setting or wider climatic conditions that the grasslands experience. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the relatively stable ecosystem state that has prevailed in the 'pristine' grasslands studied, is in fact very fragile and may be easily altered, either by anthropogenic forcing, due to land management or by 'semi-natural' processes, related to climate change or changes in the incidence of wildfires (for example). Once structurally altered, it is also shown that positive feedbacks will occur to accelerate the loss of critical resources (topsoil and nutrients) from the ecosystem, in particular in drylands, resulting in widespread land degradation that cannot be reversed. In the temperate grasslands studied, it is shown that anthropogenic intervention may halt or even to some degree reverse the degradation of the soil-vegetation-water continuum. However, such 'landscape restoration' approaches are costly and require long-term management commitment if they are to succeed. degrade these critical ecosystems further. Finally, analysis of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes from this range of grasslands also demonstrates how critical ecosystem services that grasslands can provide; including soil water storage to buffer downstream flooding, soil carbon storage and enhanced biodiversity are reduced, often to the point where restoration of the original (pristine) landscape function is impossible. To conclude, discussion is made of how we can learn across grass landscapes globally, to ensure that those ecosystems that might be restored to build resilient landscapes under future climates are well understood and that future efforts to manage grasslands for increased food production do not degrade these critical ecosystems further.

  20. Analysis of biodiversity experiments: A comparison of traditional and linear-model-based methods

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fibich, P.; Rychtecká, T.; Lepš, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 63, Feb 12 (2015), s. 47-55 ISSN 1146-609X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : biodiversity effects * diversity-interactions models * species identity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.420, year: 2015 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X15000181

  1. Relationships between cattle and biodiversity revealed by the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    On rangelands worldwide, cattle interact with many forms of biodiversity, most obviously with vegetation and other large herbivores. Since 1995, we have been manipulating the presence of cattle, medium-sized herbivores, and mega-herbivores (elephants and giraffes) in a series of eighteen 4ha (10-acr...

  2. How to reconcile wood production and biodiversity conservation? The Pan-European boreal forest history gradient as an "experiment".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naumov, Vladimir; Manton, Michael; Elbakidze, Marine; Rendenieks, Zigmars; Priednieks, Janis; Uhlianets, Siarhei; Yamelynets, Taras; Zhivotov, Anton; Angelstam, Per

    2018-07-15

    , different regional forest histories provide different challenges in terms of satisfying both wood production and biodiversity conservation objectives in a forest management unit. These regional differences in northern Europe create opportunities for exchanging experiences among different regional contexts about how to achieve both objectives. We discuss this in the context of land-sharing versus land-sparing. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Dynamics of ammonia exchange with cut grassland: synthesis of results and conclusions of the GRAMINAE Integrated Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Sutton

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Improved data on biosphere-atmosphere exchange are fundamental to understanding the production and fate of ammonia (NH3 in the atmosphere. The GRAMINAE Integrated Experiment combined novel measurement and modelling approaches to provide the most comprehensive analysis of the interactions to date. Major inter-comparisons of micrometeorological parameters and NH3 flux measurements using the aerodynamic gradient method and relaxed eddy accumulation (REA were conducted. These showed close agreement, though the REA systems proved insufficiently precise to investigate vertical flux divergence. Grassland management had a large effect on fluxes: emissions increased after grass cutting (−50 to 700 ng m−2 s−1 NH3 and after N-fertilization (0 to 3800 ng m−2 s−1 compared with before the cut (−60 to 40 ng m−2 s−1.

    Effects of advection and air chemistry were investigated using horizontal NH3 profiles, acid gas and particle flux measurements. Inverse modelling of NH3 emission from an experimental farm agreed closely with inventory estimates, while advection errors were used to correct measured grassland fluxes. Advection effects were caused both by the farm and by emissions from the field, with an inverse dispersion-deposition model providing a reliable new approach to estimate net NH3 fluxes. Effects of aerosol chemistry on net NH3 fluxes were small, while the measurements allowed NH3-induced particle growth rates to be calculated and aerosol fluxes to be corrected.

    Bioassays estimated the emission potential Γ = [NH4+]/[H+] for different plant pools, with the apoplast having the smallest values (30–1000. The main within-canopy sources of NH3 emission appeared to be leaf litter and the soil surface, with Γ up to 3 million and

  4. The value of biodiversity for the functioning of tropical forests: insurance effects during the first decade of the Sabah biodiversity experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Michael J.; Philipson, Christopher D.; Saner, Philippe; Tanadini, Matteo; Dzulkifli, Dzaeman; Godoong, Elia; Nilus, Reuben; Ong, Robert C.; Schmid, Bernhard; Sinun, Waidi; Snaddon, Jake L.; Snoep, Martijn; Tangki, Hamzah; Tay, John; Ulok, Philip; Wai, Yap Sau; Weilenmann, Maja; Reynolds, Glen

    2016-01-01

    One of the main environmental threats in the tropics is selective logging, which has degraded large areas of forest. In southeast Asia, enrichment planting with seedlings of the dominant group of dipterocarp tree species aims to accelerate restoration of forest structure and functioning. The role of tree diversity in forest restoration is still unclear, but the ‘insurance hypothesis’ predicts that in temporally and spatially varying environments planting mixtures may stabilize functioning owing to differences in species traits and ecologies. To test for potential insurance effects, we analyse the patterns of seedling mortality and growth in monoculture and mixture plots over the first decade of the Sabah biodiversity experiment. Our results reveal the species differences required for potential insurance effects including a trade-off in which species with denser wood have lower growth rates but higher survival. This trade-off was consistent over time during the first decade, but growth and mortality varied spatially across our 500 ha experiment with species responding to changing conditions in different ways. Overall, average survival rates were extreme in monocultures than mixtures consistent with a potential insurance effect in which monocultures of poorly surviving species risk recruitment failure, whereas monocultures of species with high survival have rates of self-thinning that are potentially wasteful when seedling stocks are limited. Longer-term monitoring as species interactions strengthen will be needed to more comprehensively test to what degree mixtures of species spread risk and use limited seedling stocks more efficiently to increase diversity and restore ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:27928046

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Plant selection and soil legacy enhance long-term biodiversity effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Flynn, Dan F B; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Petermann, Jana S; Schmid, Bernhard

    2016-04-01

    Plant-plant and plant-soil interactions can help maintain plant diversity and ecosystem functions. Changes in these interactions may underlie experimentally observed increases in biodiversity effects over time via the selection of genotypes adapted to low or high plant diversity. Little is known, however, about such community-history effects and particularly the role of plant-soil interactions in this process. Soil-legacy effects may occur if co-evolved interactions with soil communities either positively or negatively modify plant biodiversity effects. We tested how plant selection and soil legacy influence biodiversity effects on productivity, and whether such effects increase the resistance of the communities to invasion by weeds. We used two plant selection treatments: parental plants growing in monoculture or in mixture over 8 yr in a grassland biodiversity experiment in the field, which we term monoculture types and mixture types. The two soil-legacy treatments used in this study were neutral soil inoculated with live or sterilized soil inocula collected from the same plots in the biodiversity experiment. For each of the four factorial combinations, seedlings of eight species were grown in monocultures or four-species mixtures in pots in an experimental garden over 15 weeks. Soil legacy (live inoculum) strongly increased biodiversity complementarity effects for communities of mixture types, and to a significantly weaker extent for communities of monoculture types. This may be attributed to negative plant-soil feedbacks suffered by mixture types in monocultures, whereas monoculture types had positive plant-soil feedbacks, in both monocultures and mixtures. Monocultures of mixture types were most strongly invaded by weeds, presumably due to increased pathogen susceptibility, reduced biomass, and altered plant-soil interactions of mixture types. These results show that biodiversity effects in experimental grassland communities can be modified by the evolution of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Secondary succession after fire in Imperata grasslands of East Kalimantan Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yassir, I.; Kamp, van der J.; Buurman, P.

    2010-01-01

    Regeneration of grassland areas is becoming increasingly important, not only to create new secondary forest and recover the original biodiversity, but also recover for agriculture. We studied an early succession in Imperata grasslands in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, using plots that last burned 3

  10. Quantifying effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning across times and places†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Cowles, Jane; Dee, Laura E.; Loreau, Michel; Reich, Peter B.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Hector, Andy; Schmid, Bernhard

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity loss decreases ecosystem functioning at the local scales at which species interact, but it remains unclear how biodiversity loss affects ecosystem functioning at the larger scales of space and time that are most relevant to biodiversity conservation and policy. Theory predicts that additional insurance effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning could emerge across time and space if species respond asynchronously to environmental variation and if species become increasingly dominant when and where they are most productive. Even if only a few dominant species maintain ecosystem functioning within a particular time and place, ecosystem functioning may be enhanced by many different species across many times and places (β-diversity). Here, we develop and apply a new approach to estimate these previously unquantified insurance effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning that arise due to species turnover across times and places. In a long-term (18-year) grassland plant diversity experiment, we find that total insurance effects are positive in sign and substantial in magnitude, amounting to 19% of the net biodiversity effect, mostly due to temporal insurance effects. Species loss can therefore reduce ecosystem functioning both locally and by eliminating species that would otherwise enhance ecosystem functioning across temporally fluctuating and spatially heterogeneous environments. PMID:29493062

  11. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  12. Does plant diversity affect the water balance of established grassland systems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leimer, Sophia; Bischoff, Sebastian; Blaser, Stefan; Boch, Steffen; Busch, Verena; Escher, Peter; Fischer, Markus; Kaupenjohann, Martin; Kerber, Katja; Klaus, Valentin; Michalzik, Beate; Prati, Daniel; Schäfer, Deborah; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schwarz, Martin T.; Siemens, Jan; Thieme, Lisa; Wilcke, Wolfgang

    2017-04-01

    The water cycle drives nutrient cycles and plant productivity. The impact of land use on the water cycle has been extensively studied and there is experimental evidence that biodiversity modifies the water cycle in grasslands. However, the combined influences of land-use and associated biodiversity on the water cycle in established land-use systems are unclear. Therefore, we investigated how evapotranspiration (ETa), downward water flux (DF), and capillary rise (CR) in topsoil and subsoil are related to land-use and plant diversity in established, commercially managed grassland and compared these results to findings from experiments where plant diversity was manipulated. In three Central European regions ("Biodiversity Exploratories"), we studied 29 grassland plots (50 m x 50 m; 9-11 plots per region) from 2010 to 2015. The land-use types cover pasture, mown pasture, and meadow in at least triplicate per region. On each plot, we measured soil water contents, meteorological data (hourly resolution), cumulative precipitation (biweekly), plant species richness, the number of plants in the functional groups of grasses, herbs, and legumes (annually), and root biomass (once). Potential evapotranspiration (ETp) was calculated from meteorological data per plot. Missing data points of ETp and soil water contents were estimated with Bayesian hierarchical models. ETa, DF, and CR were calculated for two soil layers with a soil water balance model. The model is based on changes in soil water storage between subsequent observation dates and ETp, which was partitioned between soil layers according to root distribution. Water fluxes in annual resolution were statistically analyzed for land-use and biodiversity effects using repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Land-use type did not affect water fluxes. Species richness did not influence DF and CR. DF from topsoil was higher on plots with more grass species, which is opposite to the results from a manipulative

  13. Intensification of grassland and forage use: driving forces and constraints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Klein, de C.; Alfaro, M.

    2014-01-01

    The increasing demand for safe and nutritional dairy and beef products in a globalising world, together with the needs to increase resource use efficiency and to protect biodiversity, provide strong incentives for intensification of grassland and forage use. This paper addresses the question: 'Does

  14. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, R.; van der Plas, F.; van Noordwijk, C. G. E. (Toos); WallisDeVries, M. F.; Olff, H.

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141

  15. The Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG in 2016–2017

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venn Stephen

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available This report summarizes the activities and achievements of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG from mid-2016 through to the end of 2017. During this period, the 13th Eurasian Grassland Conference took place in Sighişoara, Romania, and the 14th conference was held in Riga, Latvia. The 10th EDGG Field Workshop on Biodiversity patterns across a precipitation gradient in the Central Apennine mountains was conducted in the Central Apennines, Italy, this time in addition to multi-scale sampling of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens, also including one animal group (leaf hoppers. Apart from the quarterly issues of its own electronic journal (Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group, EDGG also finalised five grassland-related Special Features/Issues during the past 1.5 years in the following international journals: Applied Vegetation Science, Biodiversity and Conservation, Phytocoenologia, Tuexenia and Hacquetia. Beyond that, EDGG facilitated various national and supra-national vegetationplot databases of grasslands and established its own specialised database for standardised multi-scale plot data of Palaearctic grasslands (GrassPlot.

  16. Variation in soil moisture and N availability modulates carbon and water exchange in a California grassland experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    St. Clair, S.B.; Sudderth, E.; Fischer, M.L.; Torn, M.S.; Stuart, S.; Salve, R.; Eggett, D.; Ackerly, D.

    2009-03-15

    Variability in the magnitude and timing of precipitation is predicted to change under future climate scenarios. The primary objective of this study was to understand how variation in precipitation patterns consisting of soil moisture pulses mixed with intermittent dry down events influence ecosystem gas fluxes. We characterized the effects of precipitation amount and timing, N availability, and plant community composition on whole ecosystem and leaf gas exchange in a California annual grassland mesocosm study system that allowed precise control of soil moisture conditions. Ecosystem CO2 and fluxes increased significantly with greater precipitation and were positively correlated with soil moisture. A repeated 10 day dry down period following 11 days of variable precipitation inputs strongly depressed net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) across a range of season precipitation totals, and plant community types. Ecosystem respiration (Re), evapotranspiration (ET) and leaf level photosynthesis (Amax) showed greatest sensitivity to dry down periods in low precipitation plots. Nitrogen additions significantly increased NEE, Re and Amax, particularly as water availability was increased. These results demonstrate that N availability and intermittent periods of soil moisture deficit (across a wide range of cumulative season precipitation totals) strongly modulate ecosystem gas exchange.

  17. Organic vs. conventional grassland management: do (15)N and (13)C isotopic signatures of hay and soil samples differ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Valentin H; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2013-01-01

    Distinguishing organic and conventional products is a major issue of food security and authenticity. Previous studies successfully used stable isotopes to separate organic and conventional products, but up to now, this approach was not tested for organic grassland hay and soil. Moreover, isotopic abundances could be a powerful tool to elucidate differences in ecosystem functioning and driving mechanisms of element cycling in organic and conventional management systems. Here, we studied the δ(15)N and δ(13)C isotopic composition of soil and hay samples of 21 organic and 34 conventional grasslands in two German regions. We also used Δδ(15)N (δ(15)N plant - δ(15)N soil) to characterize nitrogen dynamics. In order to detect temporal trends, isotopic abundances in organic grasslands were related to the time since certification. Furthermore, discriminant analysis was used to test whether the respective management type can be deduced from observed isotopic abundances. Isotopic analyses revealed no significant differences in δ(13)C in hay and δ(15)N in both soil and hay between management types, but showed that δ(13)C abundances were significantly lower in soil of organic compared to conventional grasslands. Δδ(15)N values implied that management types did not substantially differ in nitrogen cycling. Only δ(13)C in soil and hay showed significant negative relationships with the time since certification. Thus, our result suggest that organic grasslands suffered less from drought stress compared to conventional grasslands most likely due to a benefit of higher plant species richness, as previously shown by manipulative biodiversity experiments. Finally, it was possible to correctly classify about two third of the samples according to their management using isotopic abundances in soil and hay. However, as more than half of the organic samples were incorrectly classified, we infer that more research is needed to improve this approach before it can be efficiently

  18. Organic vs. Conventional Grassland Management: Do 15N and 13C Isotopic Signatures of Hay and Soil Samples Differ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Valentin H.; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2013-01-01

    Distinguishing organic and conventional products is a major issue of food security and authenticity. Previous studies successfully used stable isotopes to separate organic and conventional products, but up to now, this approach was not tested for organic grassland hay and soil. Moreover, isotopic abundances could be a powerful tool to elucidate differences in ecosystem functioning and driving mechanisms of element cycling in organic and conventional management systems. Here, we studied the δ15N and δ13C isotopic composition of soil and hay samples of 21 organic and 34 conventional grasslands in two German regions. We also used Δδ15N (δ15N plant - δ15N soil) to characterize nitrogen dynamics. In order to detect temporal trends, isotopic abundances in organic grasslands were related to the time since certification. Furthermore, discriminant analysis was used to test whether the respective management type can be deduced from observed isotopic abundances. Isotopic analyses revealed no significant differences in δ13C in hay and δ15N in both soil and hay between management types, but showed that δ13C abundances were significantly lower in soil of organic compared to conventional grasslands. Δδ15N values implied that management types did not substantially differ in nitrogen cycling. Only δ13C in soil and hay showed significant negative relationships with the time since certification. Thus, our result suggest that organic grasslands suffered less from drought stress compared to conventional grasslands most likely due to a benefit of higher plant species richness, as previously shown by manipulative biodiversity experiments. Finally, it was possible to correctly classify about two third of the samples according to their management using isotopic abundances in soil and hay. However, as more than half of the organic samples were incorrectly classified, we infer that more research is needed to improve this approach before it can be efficiently used in practice

  19. Enhancing the diversity of breeding invertebrates within field margins of intensively managed grassland: Effects of alternative management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritch, Rochelle A; Sheridan, Helen; Finn, John A; McCormack, Stephen; Ó hUallacháin, Daire

    2017-11-01

    Severe declines in biodiversity have been well documented for many taxonomic groups due to intensification of agricultural practices. Establishment and appropriate management of arable field margins can improve the diversity and abundance of invertebrate groups; however, there is much less research on field margins within grassland systems. Three grassland field margin treatments (fencing off the existing vegetation "fenced"; fencing with rotavation and natural regeneration "rotavated" and; fencing with rotavation and seeding "seeded") were compared to a grazed control in the adjacent intensively managed pasture. Invertebrates were sampled using emergence traps to investigate species breeding and overwintering within the margins. Using a manipulation experiment, we tested whether the removal of grazing pressure and nutrient inputs would increase the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates within grassland field margins. We also tested whether field margin establishment treatments, with their different vegetation communities, would change the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates in the field margins. Exclusion of grazing and nutrient inputs led to increased abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups that we sampled. However, there were more complex effects of field margin establishment treatment on the abundance and richness of invertebrate taxa. Each of the three establishment treatments supported a distinct invertebrate community. The removal of grazing from grassland field margins provided a greater range of overwintering/breeding habitat for invertebrates. We demonstrate the capacity of field margin establishment to increase the abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups in study plots that were located on previously more depauperate areas of intensively managed grassland. These results from grassland field margins provide evidence to support practical actions that can inform Greening (Pillar 1) and agri

  20. Teaching Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Author Affiliations. Madhav Gadgil1 2. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India. Biodiversity Unit, Jowaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P.O. Jakkur, Bangalore 560064, India ...

  1. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Localized Agri-Food Systems and Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bolette Bele

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Interest in localized agri-food systems has grown significantly in recent years. They are associated with several benefits and are seen as important for rural development. An important share of the academic debate addresses the contribution of localized food systems to the current and/or future sustainability of agriculture. Sustainability is defined in several ways, but many scholars recognize that sustainability can only be achieved by a combination of socio-economic, cultural, and environmental aspects. However, the attributes and indicators used for sustainability analyses also differ. Biodiversity is, for instance, often not included in analyses of environmental sustainability even if biodiversity is of crucial importance for longer-term ecological sustainability. To contribute to the debate about the importance of localized food production for sustainability from the environmental point of view, specifically with regard to biodiversity, this is therefore discussed based on the results of several studies presented in this paper. The studies focus on Nordic low-intensity livestock systems related to species-rich semi-natural grasslands. All the studies show that low-intensive agriculture and use of semi-natural grasslands may play an important role in maintaining biodiversity on both small and large scales. They also show that milk and dairy products from free-ranging livestock in heterogeneous landscapes with semi-natural grasslands may have a unique quality associated with local grazing resources. Thus, producers can combine production of food of documented high nutritional and gastronomic value with maintenance of biodiversity, i.e., localized agri-food production based on low-intensive agriculture systems and semi-natural grasslands may be a win-win recipe for both farmers and the society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  6. Editor's Choice: Unveiling below-ground species abundance in a biodiversity experiment: a test of vertical niche differentation among grassland species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Semchenko, M.; Mommer, L.

    2010-01-01

    P>1. Currently, there is a debate among plant ecologists on the concepts of the intensity of competition and the importance of competition, which is central to many issues of modern plant population ecology and plant community ecology. 2. It is problematic that the current measures of intensity

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. Soil fertilization leads to a decline in between-samples variability of microbial community δ13C profiles in a grassland fertilization experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stavros D Veresoglou

    Full Text Available Gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS was used to measure the (13C/(12C ratios of PLFAs at natural abundance levels from a temperate grassland nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P factorial fertilization experiment in northern Greece. In each plot two rhizosphere samples were derived centred around individual Agrostis capillaris and Prunella vulgaris plants. It was hypothesized that the isotopic signal of microbes that preferentially feed on recalcitrant litter such as fungi would be modified by fertilization more strongly than that of opportunistic microbes using labile C. Microbial community δ(13C was affected by both P and N fertilization regime and plant species identity. However, we have been unable to detect significant nutrient effects on individual groups of microbes when analyzed separately in contrast to our original hypothesis. Intra-treatment variability, as evaluated from Hartley's F(max tests in the five first PCA components axes as well as the size of the convex hulls in PCA scoreplots and Mahalanobis distances, was considerably higher in the non-fertilized controls. Moreover, a significant relationship was established between the change in PLFA abundances and their respective changes in δ(13C for the aggregate of samples and those simultaneously fertilized with N and P. We conclude that use of compound specific isotope analysis in the absence of labelling represents a valuable and overlooked tool in obtaining an insight of microbial community functioning.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Effects of plant diversity, N fertilization, and elevated carbon dioxide on grassland soil N cycling in a long-term experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Kevin E; Hobbie, Sarah E; Tilman, David; Reich, Peter B

    2013-04-01

    The effects of global environmental changes on soil nitrogen (N) pools and fluxes have consequences for ecosystem functions such as plant productivity and N retention. In a 13-year grassland experiment, we evaluated how elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), N fertilization, and plant species richness alter soil N cycling. We focused on soil inorganic N pools, including ammonium and nitrate, and two N fluxes, net N mineralization and net nitrification. In contrast with existing hypotheses, such as progressive N limitation, and with observations from other, often shorter, studies, elevated CO2 had relatively static and small, or insignificant, effects on soil inorganic N pools and fluxes. Nitrogen fertilization had inconsistent effects on soil N transformations, but increased soil nitrate and ammonium concentrations. Plant species richness had increasingly positive effects on soil N transformations over time, likely because in diverse subplots the concentrations of N in roots increased over time. Species richness also had increasingly positive effects on concentrations of ammonium in soil, perhaps because more carbon accumulated in soils of diverse subplots, providing exchange sites for ammonium. By contrast, subplots planted with 16 species had lower soil nitrate concentrations than less diverse subplots, especially when fertilized, probably due to greater N uptake capacity of subplots with 16 species. Monocultures of different plant functional types had distinct effects on N transformations and nitrate concentrations, such that not all monocultures differed from diverse subplots in the same manner. The first few years of data would not have adequately forecast the effects of N fertilization and diversity on soil N cycling in later years; therefore, the dearth of long-term manipulations of plant species richness and N inputs is a hindrance to forecasting the state of the soil N cycle and ecosystem functions in extant plant communities. © 2012 Blackwell

  11. The Sabah Biodiversity Experiment: a long-term test of the role of tree diversity in restoring tropical forest structure and functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hector, Andy; Philipson, Christopher; Saner, Philippe; Chamagne, Juliette; Dzulkifli, Dzaeman; O'Brien, Michael; Snaddon, Jake L.; Ulok, Philip; Weilenmann, Maja; Reynolds, Glen; Godfray, H. Charles J.

    2011-01-01

    Relatively, little is known about the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in forests, especially in the tropics. We describe the Sabah Biodiversity Experiment: a large-scale, long-term field study on the island of Borneo. The project aims at understanding the relationship between tree species diversity and the functioning of lowland dipterocarp rainforest during restoration following selective logging. The experiment is planned to run for several decades (from seed to adult tree), so here we focus on introducing the project and its experimental design and on assessing initial conditions and the potential for restoration of the structure and functioning of the study system, the Malua Forest Reserve. We estimate residual impacts 22 years after selective logging by comparison with an appropriate neighbouring area of primary forest in Danum Valley of similar conditions. There was no difference in the alpha or beta species diversity of transect plots in the two forest types, probably owing to the selective nature of the logging and potential effects of competitive release. However, despite equal total stem density, forest structure differed as expected with a deficit of large trees and a surfeit of saplings in selectively logged areas. These impacts on structure have the potential to influence ecosystem functioning. In particular, above-ground biomass and carbon pools in selectively logged areas were only 60 per cent of those in the primary forest even after 22 years of recovery. Our results establish the initial conditions for the Sabah Biodiversity Experiment and confirm the potential to accelerate restoration by using enrichment planting of dipterocarps to overcome recruitment limitation. What role dipterocarp diversity plays in restoration only will become clear with long-term results. PMID:22006970

  12. Composition, phenology and restoration of campo rupestre mountain grasslands - Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Le Stradic, Soizig

    2012-01-01

    Global environmental changes, especially land-use changes, have profound effects on both ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, having already altered many ecosystem services. These losses emphasize the need to preserve what remains; however when conservation programs are not sufficient, restoring areas that have been destroyed or disturbed can improve conservation efforts and mitigate damages. This work focuses on campos rupestres, Neotropical grasslands found at altitudes, which are part o...

  13. Does interspecific competition alter effects of early season ozone exposure on plants from wet grasslands? Results of a three-year experiment in open-top chambers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Franzaring, J.; Brouwer, G.; Metselaar, K.; Dueck, T.A.

    2004-01-01

    Chronic effects of ozone on wet grassland species early in the growing season might be altered by interspecific competition. Individual plants of Holcus lanatus, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Molinia caerulea and Plantago lanceolata were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Agrostis capillaris.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-08

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

  15. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.

  16. Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valkó Orsolya

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaearctic grasslands encompass a diverse variety of habitats, many of high nature value and vulnerability. The main challenges are climate-change, land-use change, agricultural intensification and abandonment. Many measures are in place to address these challenges, through restoration and appropriate management, though more work is necessary. We present eight studies from China/Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The papers cover a wide range of grassland and steppe habitats and cover vegetation ecology, syntaxonomy and zoology. We also conducted a systematic search on steppe and grassland diversity. The greatest number of studies was from China, followed by Germany and England. We conclude that the amount of research being carried out on Eurasian grasslands is inadequate considering their high levels of biodiversity and vulnerability. We hope to encourage readers to address current major challenges, such as how to manage grasslands for the benefit of diverse taxa, to ensure that conservation initiatives concentrate on sites where there is good potential for success and for the generation of realistic and viable conservation strategies.

  17. Identifying priority areas for ecosystem service management in South African grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egoh, Benis N; Reyers, Belinda; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2011-06-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services required to support human well-being and are home to a diverse fauna and flora. Degradation of grasslands due to agriculture and other forms of land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various efforts are underway around the world to stem these declines. The Grassland Programme in South Africa is one such initiative and is aimed at safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. As part of this developing programme, we identified spatial priority areas for ecosystem services, tested the effect of different target levels of ecosystem services used to identify priority areas, and evaluated whether biodiversity priority areas can be aligned with those for ecosystem services. We mapped five ecosystem services (below ground carbon storage, surface water supply, water flow regulation, soil accumulation and soil retention) and identified priority areas for individual ecosystem services and for all five services at the scale of quaternary catchments. Planning for individual ecosystem services showed that, depending on the ecosystem service of interest, between 4% and 13% of the grassland biome was required to conserve at least 40% of the soil and water services. Thirty-four percent of the biome was needed to conserve 40% of the carbon service in the grassland. Priority areas identified for five ecosystem services under three target levels (20%, 40%, 60% of the total amount) showed that between 17% and 56% of the grassland biome was needed to conserve these ecosystem services. There was moderate to high overlap between priority areas selected for ecosystem services and already-identified terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity priority areas. This level of overlap coupled with low irreplaceability values obtained when planning for individual ecosystem services makes it possible to combine biodiversity and ecosystem services in one plan using systematic conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

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

  19. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhua Zhang

    Full Text Available Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  20. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuhua; Wang, Yongfan; Yu, Shixiao

    2014-01-01

    Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  1. Effects of ecological compensation meadows on arthropod diversity in adjacent intensively managed grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrecht, M.; Duelli, P.; Obrist, M.K.; Müller, C.; Schüpbach, B.; Kleijn, D.; Schmid, B.

    2010-01-01

    An important goal of ecological compensation areas (ECAs) is to increase biodiversity in adjacent intensively managed farmland and the agricultural landscape at large. We tested whether this goal can be achieved in the case of the agri-environmental restoration scheme implemented for Swiss grassland

  2. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Modernel Hristoff, Pablo; Rossing, W.A.H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-01-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of

  3. Sudden changes in environmental conditions do not increase invasion risk in grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruprecht, Eszter; Fenesi, Annamária; Nijs, Ivan

    2013-02-01

    After direct habitat transformation, biological invasions are considered to be the second most important threat to biodiversity. A better understanding of the factors affecting invasion success in new areas is crucial, and may provide insight into potential control actions. We hypothesized that invasion risk increases in habitats undergoing a sudden change in the disturbance regime or environmental conditions. For testing this assumption we initiated a seed sowing experiment while introducing two novel treatments, mowing twice and fertilizer application, in two grassland sites (one dryer and one mesic) in Romania. The seeds of two invasive species, Solidago canadensis and Rudbeckia laciniata, and two resident natives of similar seed sizes, life-forms and strategies were sowed in treated and control plots, and seed germination, seedling establishment and growth were followed during four months. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in the treatment effects on seed germination and seedling establishment between species, while there was on seedling vigour of the larger seeded species in the dryer grassland site, where the native had a higher performance especially in increased nutrient conditions. Indifferently from applied treatments, invasive species had greater cumulative germination in the mesic site, while natives were far more successful in seedling establishment in the drier site. At the same time, seed size was found to be a very important factor explaining germination and establishment success, with large seeded species outperforming small seeded species in any circumstances. Our results call the attention upon management interventions in mesic, productive grassland sites opening colonization windows for the recruitment of those invasive species of which ecological requirements correspond to local environmental conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  5. A more holistic understanding of soil organic matter pools of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia Franco, Noelia; Wiesmeier, Martin; Kiese, Ralf; Dannenmann, Michael; Wolf, Benjamin; Brandhuber, Robert; Beck, Robert; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2016-04-01

    In southern Germany, the alpine and pre-alpine grassland systems (> 1 Mio ha) provide an important economic value via fodder used for milk and meat production and grassland soils support environmental key functions (C and N storage, water retention, erosion control and biodiversity hot spot). In addition, these grassland soils constitute important regions for tourism and recreation. However, the different land use and management practices in this area introduce changes which are likely to accelerate due to climate change. The newly launched SUPSALPS project within the BonaRes Initiative of the German Ministry for Education and Research is focused on the development and evaluation of innovative grassland management strategies under climate change with an emphasis on soil functions, which are on the one hand environmental sustainable and on the other hand economically viable. Several field experiments of the project will be initialized in order to evaluate grassland soil functioning for a range of current and climate adapted management practices. A multi-factorial design combines ongoing and new plant-soil meso-/macrocosm and field studies at a multitude of existing long-term research sites along an elevation gradient in Bavaria. One of the specific objectives of the project is to improve our knowledge on the sensitivity of specific soil organic matter (SOM) fractions to climate change. Moreover, the project aims to determine the processes and mechanisms involved in the build-up and stabilization of C and N pools under different management practices. In order to derive sensitive SOM pools, a promising physical fractionation method was developed that enables the separation of five different SOM fractions by density, ultrasonication and sieving separation: fine particulate organic matter (fPOM), occluded particulate organic matter (oPOM>20μm and oPOM 20 μm; medium + fine silt and clay, management changes.

  6. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Bender, S. Franz; Widmer, Franco; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability. PMID:24639507

  7. Brown World Invertebrates Contradict Green World Biodiversity Theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patrick, L.B.; Kershner, M.W.; Fraser, L.H.

    2008-01-01

    Biodiversity-productivity theory predicts that ecosystems with increased productivity due to excessive limiting-nutrient loading will have decreased taxonomic diversity. In this 4-year study, we elevated productivity by adding NPK fertilizer to 20 m diameter plots in an old-field grassland to test the effects of anthropogenically mediated nutrient loading on plant and epigeal arthropod communities. While plants responded as predicted by the biodiversity-productivity theory, the epigeal arthropod community had highest species richness within the fertilized high-productivity treatments. We conclude that the contradictory response of the largely detrital-based epigeal community should alter conventional biodiversity-productivity theory and could affect terrestrial biodiversity conservation strategies.

  8. Digital Geogames to Foster Local Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaal, Sonja; Schaal, Steffen; Lude, Armin

    2015-01-01

    The valuing of biodiversity is considered to be a first step towards its conservation. Therefore, the aim of the BioDiv2Go project is to combine sensuous experiences discovering biodiversity with mobile technology and a game-based learning approach. Following the competence model for environmental education (Roczen et al, 2014), Geogames (location…

  9. Scale- and time-dependent effects of fertilization, mowing and dominant removal on a grassland community during a 15-year experiment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lepš, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 4 (2014), s. 978-987 ISSN 0021-8901 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA13-17118S Program:GA Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : biodiversity decline * competitive exclusion * Molinia caerulea Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.564, year: 2014 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12255/pdf

  10. Managed grassland alters soil N dynamics and N2O emissions in temperate steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lijun; Xu, Xingliang; Tang, Xuejuan; Xin, Xiaoping; Ye, Liming; Yang, Guixia; Tang, Huajun; Lv, Shijie; Xu, Dawei; Zhang, Zhao

    2018-04-01

    Reclamation of degraded grasslands as managed grasslands has been increasingly accelerated in recent years in China. Land use change affects soil nitrogen (N) dynamics and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions. However, it remains unclear how large-scale grassland reclamation will impact the grassland ecosystem as a whole. Here, we investigated the effects of the conversion from native to managed grasslands on soil N dynamics and N2O emissions by field experiments in Hulunber in northern China. Soil (0-10cm), nitrate (NO 3 - ), ammonium (NH 4 + ), and microbial N were measured in plots in a temperate steppe (Leymus chinensis grassland) and two managed grasslands (Medicago sativa and Bromus inermis grasslands) in 2011 and 2012. The results showed conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa or B. inermis grasslands decreased concentrations of NO 3 - -N, but did not change NH 4 + -N. Soil microbial N was slightly decreased by the conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa, but increased by the conversion to B. inermis. The conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa (i.e., a legume grass) increased N 2 O emissions by 26.2%, while the conversion to the B. inermis (i.e., a non-legume grass) reduced N 2 O emissions by 33.1%. The conversion from native to managed grasslands caused large created variations in soil NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N concentrations. Net N mineralization rates did not change significantly in growing season or vegetation type, but to net nitrification rate. These results provide evidence on how reclamation may impact the grassland ecosystem in terms of N dynamics and N 2 O emissions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Evaluation of SPOT imagery for the estimation of grassland biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusseux, P.; Hubert-Moy, L.; Corpetti, T.; Vertès, F.

    2015-06-01

    In many regions, a decrease in grasslands and change in their management, which are associated with agricultural intensification, have been observed in the last half-century. Such changes in agricultural practices have caused negative environmental effects that include water pollution, soil degradation and biodiversity loss. Moreover, climate-driven changes in grassland productivity could have serious consequences for the profitability of agriculture. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of remotely sensed data with high spatial resolution to estimate grassland biomass in agricultural areas. A vegetation index, namely the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and two biophysical variables, the Leaf Area Index (LAI) and the fraction of Vegetation Cover (fCOVER) were computed using five SPOT images acquired during the growing season. In parallel, ground-based information on grassland growth was collected to calculate biomass values. The analysis of the relationship between the variables derived from the remotely sensed data and the biomass observed in the field shows that LAI outperforms NDVI and fCOVER to estimate biomass (R2 values of 0.68 against 0.30 and 0.50, respectively). The squared Pearson correlation coefficient between observed and estimated biomass using LAI derived from SPOT images reached 0.73. Biomass maps generated from remotely sensed data were then used to estimate grass reserves at the farm scale in the perspective of operational monitoring and forecasting.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-31

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

  14. The disturbance-diversity relationship: integrating biodiversity conservation and resource management in anthropogenic landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Sharma, Lila Nath

    2016-01-01

    Disturbance, natural or anthropogenic, is ubiquitous to forest and grassland ecosystems across the globe. Many of these ecosystems have evolved alongside centuries old anthropogenic disturbance regimes. Understanding how disturbance impacts biodiversity and ecosystem service delivery is a topic of paramount importance as high biodiversity is likely to provide a wide array of ecosystem goods and services to an ever-growing human population. There is a general consensus that dist...

  15. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition

    OpenAIRE

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; et al

    2015-01-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five mu...

  16. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    OpenAIRE

    Allan Eric; Manning Pete; Alt Fabian; Binkenstein Julia; Blaser Stefan; Blüthgen Nico; Böhm Stefan; Grassein Fabrice; Hölzel Norbert; Klaus Valentin H.; Kleinebecker Till; Morrys Elisabeth Kathryn; Oelmann Yvonne; Prati Daniel; Renner Sven C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global change, especially land?use intensification, affects human well?being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real?world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land?use intensity. We also int...

  17. Use of ecoacoustics to determine biodiversity patterns across ecological gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Paul B C; Samways, Michael J

    2016-12-01

    The variety of local animal sounds characterizes a landscape. We used ecoacoustics to noninvasively assess the species richness of various biotopes typical of an ecofriendly forest plantation with diverse ecological gradients and both nonnative and indigenous vegetation. The reference area was an adjacent large World Heritage Site protected area (PA). All sites were in a global biodiversity hotspot. Our results showed how taxa segregated into various biotopes. We identified 65 singing species, including birds, frogs, crickets, and katydids. Large, natural, protected grassland sites in the PA had the highest mean acoustic diversity (14.1 species/site). Areas covered in nonnative timber or grass species were devoid of acoustic species. Sites grazed by native and domestic megaherbivores were fairly rich (5.1) in acoustic species but none were unique to this habitat type, where acoustic diversity was greater than in intensively managed grassland sites (0.04). Natural vegetation patches inside the plantation mosaic supported high mean acoustic diversity (indigenous forests 7.6, grasslands 8.0, wetlands 9.1), which increased as plant heterogeneity and patch size increased. Indigenous forest patches within the plantation mosaic contained a highly characteristic acoustic species assemblage, emphasizing their complementary contribution to local biodiversity. Overall, acoustic signals determined spatial biodiversity patterns and can be a useful tool for guiding conservation. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N; Arnell, Andrew P; Contu, Sara; De Palma, Adriana; Ferrier, Simon; Hill, Samantha L L; Hoskins, Andrew J; Lysenko, Igor; Phillips, Helen R P; Burton, Victoria J; Chng, Charlotte W T; Emerson, Susan; Gao, Di; Pask-Hale, Gwilym; Hutton, Jon; Jung, Martin; Sanchez-Ortiz, Katia; Simmons, Benno I; Whitmee, Sarah; Zhang, Hanbin; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purvis, Andy

    2016-07-15

    Land use and related pressures have reduced local terrestrial biodiversity, but it is unclear how the magnitude of change relates to the recently proposed planetary boundary ("safe limit"). We estimate that land use and related pressures have already reduced local biodiversity intactness--the average proportion of natural biodiversity remaining in local ecosystems--beyond its recently proposed planetary boundary across 58.1% of the world's land surface, where 71.4% of the human population live. Biodiversity intactness within most biomes (especially grassland biomes), most biodiversity hotspots, and even some wilderness areas is inferred to be beyond the boundary. Such widespread transgression of safe limits suggests that biodiversity loss, if unchecked, will undermine efforts toward long-term sustainable development. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Does interspecific competition alter effects of early season ozone exposure on plants from wet grasslands? Results of a three-year experiment in open-top chambers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonneijck, A E G; Franzaring, J; Brouwer, G; Metselaar, K; Dueck, Th A

    2004-09-01

    Chronic effects of ozone on wet grassland species early in the growing season might be altered by interspecific competition. Individual plants of Holcus lanatus, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Molinia caerulea and Plantago lanceolata were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Agrostis capillaris. Mesocosms were exposed to charcoal-filtered air plus 25 nl l(-1) ozone (CF+25), non-filtered air (NF), non-filtered air plus 25 nl l(-1) ozone (NF+25) and non-filtered air plus 50 nl l(-1) ozone (NF+50) early in the growing seasons of 2000 through 2002. Ozone-enhanced senescence and visible foliar injury were recorded on some of the target plants in the first year only. Ozone effects on biomass production were minimal and plant response to ozone did not differ between monocultures and mixed cultures. After three years, above-ground biomass of the plants in mixed culture compared to monocultures was three times greater for H. lanatus and two to four times smaller for the other species.

  1. Does interspecific competition alter effects of early season ozone exposure on plants from wet grasslands? Results of a three-year experiment in open-top chambers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Franzaring, J.; Brouwer, G.; Metselaar, K.; Dueck, Th.A

    2004-09-01

    Chronic effects of ozone on wet grassland species early in the growing season might be altered by interspecific competition. Individual plants of Holcus lanatus, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Molinia caerulea and Plantago lanceolata were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Agrostis capillaris. Mesocosms were exposed to charcoal-filtered air plus 25 nl l{sup -1} ozone (CF + 25), non-filtered air (NF), non-filtered air plus 25 nl l{sup -1} ozone (NF + 25) and non-filtered air plus 50 nl l{sup -1} ozone (NF + 50) early in the growing seasons of 2000 through 2002. Ozone-enhanced senescence and visible foliar injury were recorded on some of the target plants in the first year only. Ozone effects on biomass production were minimal and plant response to ozone did not differ between monocultures and mixed cultures. After three years, above-ground biomass of the plants in mixed culture compared to monocultures was three times greater for H. lanatus and two to four times smaller for the other species.

  2. Does interspecific competition alter effects of early season ozone exposure on plants from wet grasslands? Results of a three-year experiment in open-top chambers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Franzaring, J.; Brouwer, G.; Metselaar, K.; Dueck, Th.A.

    2004-01-01

    Chronic effects of ozone on wet grassland species early in the growing season might be altered by interspecific competition. Individual plants of Holcus lanatus, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Molinia caerulea and Plantago lanceolata were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Agrostis capillaris. Mesocosms were exposed to charcoal-filtered air plus 25 nl l -1 ozone (CF + 25), non-filtered air (NF), non-filtered air plus 25 nl l -1 ozone (NF + 25) and non-filtered air plus 50 nl l -1 ozone (NF + 50) early in the growing seasons of 2000 through 2002. Ozone-enhanced senescence and visible foliar injury were recorded on some of the target plants in the first year only. Ozone effects on biomass production were minimal and plant response to ozone did not differ between monocultures and mixed cultures. After three years, above-ground biomass of the plants in mixed culture compared to monocultures was three times greater for H. lanatus and two to four times smaller for the other species

  3. Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiafouli, Maria A; Thébault, Elisa; Sgardelis, Stefanos P; de Ruiter, Peter C; van der Putten, Wim H; Birkhofer, Klaus; Hemerik, Lia; de Vries, Franciska T; Bardgett, Richard D; Brady, Mark Vincent; Bjornlund, Lisa; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht; Christensen, Sören; Hertefeldt, Tina D'; Hotes, Stefan; Gera Hol, W H; Frouz, Jan; Liiri, Mira; Mortimer, Simon R; Setälä, Heikki; Tzanopoulos, Joseph; Uteseny, Karoline; Pižl, Václav; Stary, Josef; Wolters, Volkmar; Hedlund, Katarina

    2015-02-01

    Soil biodiversity plays a key role in regulating the processes that underpin the delivery of ecosystem goods and services in terrestrial ecosystems. Agricultural intensification is known to change the diversity of individual groups of soil biota, but less is known about how intensification affects biodiversity of the soil food web as a whole, and whether or not these effects may be generalized across regions. We examined biodiversity in soil food webs from grasslands, extensive, and intensive rotations in four agricultural regions across Europe: in Sweden, the UK, the Czech Republic and Greece. Effects of land-use intensity were quantified based on structure and diversity among functional groups in the soil food web, as well as on community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. We also elucidate land-use intensity effects on diversity of taxonomic units within taxonomic groups of soil fauna. We found that between regions soil food web diversity measures were variable, but that increasing land-use intensity caused highly consistent responses. In particular, land-use intensification reduced the complexity in the soil food webs, as well as the community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. In all regions across Europe, species richness of earthworms, Collembolans, and oribatid mites was negatively affected by increased land-use intensity. The taxonomic distinctness, which is a measure of taxonomic relatedness of species in a community that is independent of species richness, was also reduced by land-use intensification. We conclude that intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity, making soil food webs less diverse and composed of smaller bodied organisms. Land-use intensification results in fewer functional groups of soil biota with fewer and taxonomically more closely related species. We discuss how these changes in soil biodiversity due to land-use intensification may threaten the functioning of soil in agricultural production systems. © 2014 John Wiley

  4. Seed dispersal by large herbivores : Implications for the restoration of plant biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mouissie, Albert Maarten

    2004-01-01

    Since 1900, huge areas of European heathlands and species-rich grasslands have been converted into arable land or pastures, comprising a serious loss of biodiversity. In addition remnants, that have been preserved, suffer from abandonment (leading to subsequent bush encroachment) desiccation,

  5. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Marie Ballouard

    Full Text Available Environmental education is essential to stem current dramatic biodiversity loss, and childhood is considered as the key period for developing awareness and positive attitudes toward nature. Children are strongly influenced by the media, notably the internet, about biodiversity and conservation issues. However, most media focus on a few iconic, appealing, and usually exotic species. In addition, virtual activities are replacing field experiences. This situation may curb children knowledge and concerns about local biodiversity. Focusing our analyses on local versus exotic species, we examined the level of knowledge and the level of diversity of the animals that French schoolchildren are willing to protect, and whether these perceptions are mainly guided by information available in the internet. For that, we collected and compared two complementary data sets: 1 a questionnaire was administered to schoolchildren to assess their knowledge and consideration to protect animals, 2 an internet content analysis (i.e. Google searching sessions using keywords was performed to assess which animals are the most often represented. Our results suggest that the knowledge of children and their consideration to protect animal are mainly limited to internet contents, represented by a few exotic and charismatic species. The identification rate of local animals by schoolchildren was meager, suggesting a worrying disconnection from their local environment. Schoolchildren were more prone to protect "virtual" (unseen, exotic rather than local animal species. Our results reinforce the message that environmental education must also focus on outdoor activities to develop conservation consciousness and concerns about local biodiversity.

  6. Bacterial traits, organism mass, and numerical abundance in the detrital soil food web of Dutch agricultural grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, C.; Cohen, J.E.; Setälä, H.; Bloem, J.; Breure, A.M.

    2005-01-01

    This paper compares responses to environmental stress of the ecophysiological traits of organisms in the detrital soil food webs of grasslands in the Netherlands, using the relationship between average body mass M and numerical abundance N. The microbial biomass and biodiversity of belowground fauna

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M.; Wardle, David A.; O’Connor, Mary I.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A.; Thompson, Patrick L.; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature’s benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation. PMID:28569811

  9. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M; Wardle, David A; O'Connor, Mary I; Duffy, J Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A; Thompson, Patrick L; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-05-31

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature's benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation.

  10. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Rasmus Meyer; Lehmann, Martin; Christensen, Per

    Despite the overall importance of biodiversity, the quality measures of biodiversity show worrying figures. Numerous human impacts on nature impose serious hazard to its inherent diversity. This expansion of human activities leaves the battle against loss of biodiversity to be a great challenge......, but the effort has until now considered biodiversity actions relatively little, compared to other areas such as e.g. climate related actions. Nevertheless, the opportunity for businesses to meet their responsibilities and lift a share of the challenge is far from being just a romantic thought. Nor...... is the challenge of engaging businesses in responsible actions. The core challenge is to create awareness of the environmental phenomenon biodiversity, inform about the significance of business involvement, and encourage the business world to participate in this process of protecting biodiversity as the valuable...

  11. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly (p = 0.019 increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha−1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha−1 biofertilizer. This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha−1 increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella. Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella. According to our structural equation modeling (SEM, Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  12. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fengge; Huo, Yunqian; Cobb, Adam B; Luo, Gongwen; Zhou, Jiqiong; Yang, Gaowen; Wilson, Gail W T; Zhang, Yingjun

    2018-01-01

    In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly ( p = 0.019) increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha -1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum) compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha -1 biofertilizer). This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha -1 ) increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella . Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella . According to our structural equation modeling (SEM), Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  13. [Vegetation index estimation by chlorophyll content of grassland based on spectral analysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Han; Chen, Xiu-Wan; Yang, Zhen-Yu; Li, Huai-Yu; Zhu, Han

    2014-11-01

    Comparing the methods of existing remote sensing research on the estimation of chlorophyll content, the present paper confirms that the vegetation index is one of the most practical and popular research methods. In recent years, the increasingly serious problem of grassland degradation. This paper, firstly, analyzes the measured reflectance spectral curve and its first derivative curve in the grasslands of Songpan, Sichuan and Gongger, Inner Mongolia, conducts correlation analysis between these two spectral curves and chlorophyll content, and finds out the regulation between REP (red edge position) and grassland chlorophyll content, that is, the higher the chlorophyll content is, the higher the REIP (red-edge inflection point) value would be. Then, this paper constructs GCI (grassland chlorophyll index) and selects the most suitable band for retrieval. Finally, this paper calculates the GCI by the use of satellite hyperspectral image, conducts the verification and accuracy analysis of the calculation results compared with chlorophyll content data collected from field of twice experiments. The result shows that for grassland chlorophyll content, GCI has stronger sensitivity than other indices of chlorophyll, and has higher estimation accuracy. GCI is the first proposed to estimate the grassland chlorophyll content, and has wide application potential for the remote sensing retrieval of grassland chlorophyll content. In addition, the grassland chlorophyll content estimation method based on remote sensing retrieval in this paper provides new research ideas for other vegetation biochemical parameters' estimation, vegetation growth status' evaluation and grassland ecological environment change's monitoring.

  14. Biodiversity and Climate Change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onyango, J.C.O.; Ojoo-Massawa, E.; Abira, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    Biological diversity or biodiversity is crucial for ecological stability including regulation of climate change, recreational and medicinal use; and scientific advancement. Kenya like other developing countries, especially, those in Sub-Saharan Africa, will continue to depend greatly on her biodiversity for present and future development. This important resource must, therefore be conserved. This chapter presents an overview of Kenya's biodiversity; its importance and initiatives being undertaken for its conservation; and in detail, explores issues of climate change and biodiversity, concentrating on impacts of climate change

  15. Does Evapotranspiration Increase When Forests are converted to Grasslands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varcoe, Robert; Sterling, Shannon

    2017-04-01

    The conversion of forests to grasslands (FGC) is a widespread land cover change (LCC) and is also among the most commonly studied changes with respect to its impact on ET; such research employs a variety of experimental approaches, including, paired catchment (PC), Budyko and land surface models (LSM), and measurement methods, including the catchment water balance (CWB), eddy covariance (EC) and remote sensing (RS). Until recently, there has been consensus in the scientific literature that rates of ET decrease when a forest is converted to grassland; however, this consensus has recently come into question. Williams (2012) applied the Budyko framework to a global network of eddy covariance measurements with the results that grasslands have a 9% greater evaporative index than forests. In addition, HadGEM2, a recent Hadley Centre LSM, produced increased ET in the northern Amazon Basin after simulating global scale tropical deforestation (Brovkin et al., 2015). Here we present an analysis of available estimates of how ET rates change with FGC to increase our understanding of the forest - grassland-ET paradigm. We used two datasets to investigate the impacts land cover change on ET. I compiled a dataset of change in ET with land cover change (ΔETLCC) using published experiments that compare forest and grassland ET under conditions controlled for meteorological and landscape influences. Using the ΔETLCC dataset, we show that, in all cases, forest ET is higher than grassland under controlled conditions. Results suggest that the eddy covariance method measures smaller changes in ET when forests are converted to grasslands, though more data are needed for this result to be statistically significant. Finally, GETA2.0, a new global dataset of annual ET, projects that forest ET is greater than grassland, except at high latitudes and areas where orography influences precipitation (P). The data included in this study represent the data available on forest and grassland ET

  16. Energy production from grassland - Assessing the sustainability of different process chains under German conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roesch, Christine; Skarka, J.; Raab, K.; Stelzer, V.

    2009-01-01

    In many regions of Europe, grassland shapes the landscape and fulfils important functions in protecting nature, soil, and water. However, the traditional uses of grassland for forage production are vanishing with progress in breeding and structural adaptations in agriculture. On the other hand, the demand for biomass energy is rising due to political sustainability goals and financial measures to support renewable energy. Against this background, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis investigated the applicability, economic efficiency, and sustainability of different techniques for energy production from grassland as well as from grassland converted into maize fields or short-rotation poplars under German conditions. The results show that despite relatively high energy prices and the financial support for bioenergy, the effects of energy production from grassland on employment in agriculture and farmers' income are modest. What is beneficial are savings in non-renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local provision of energy carriers. If grassland biomass (grass silage or hay) is used for energy purposes, this brings the further advantages of preserving biodiversity and the cultural landscape and protecting of soil and groundwater. Negative impacts on sustainable development result from an increase in emissions, which leads to acidification, eutrophication, and risks to human health. The overall evaluation indicates that short-rotation poplars are comparatively advantageous from the economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, a development plan for grassland is required to identify areas where grassland could be used as an energy resource or where it would be favourable to install energy plantations with fast-growing perennial plants

  17. Recovering biodiversity knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijerink, G.W.; Smolders, H.; Sours, S.; Pou, S.

    2005-01-01

    Cambodian¿s civil wars have seriously affected the country¿s agro-biodiversity and the farmers¿ traditional knowledge in this field. The PEDIGREA project aims at conserving on-farm agro-biodiversity conservation and in Cambodia it focuses on vegetable diversity. It tries to link the preservation of

  18. In Defence of Biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Archer, Alfred; Burch Brown, Joanna

    2017-01-01

    The concept of biodiversity has played a central role within conservation biology over the last thirty years. Precisely how it should be understood, however, is a matter of ongoing debate. In this paper we defend what we call a classic multidimensional conception of biodiversity. We begin by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

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

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

  1. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Tao; Cozic, Anne; Lardy, Romain; Graux, Anne-Isabelle; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Soussana, Jean-François

    2013-04-01

    Grassland is a widespread vegetation type, covering nearly one-fifth of the world's land surface (24 million km2), and playing a significant role in the global carbon (C) cycle. Most of grasslands in Europe are cultivated to feed animals, either directly by grazing or indirectly by grass harvest (cutting). A better understanding of the C fluxes from grassland ecosystems in response to climate and management requires not only field experiments but also the aid of simulation models. ORCHIDEE process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications treats grasslands as being unmanaged, where C / water fluxes are only subject to atmospheric CO2 and climate changes. Our study describes how management of grasslands is included in the ORCHIDEE, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (Grassland Management) is capable with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), of accounting for two grassland management practices (cutting and grazing). The evaluation of the results of ORCHIDEE-GM compared with those of ORCHIDEE at 11 European sites equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, show that ORCHIDEE-GM can capture realistically the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: Leaf Area Index; AGB: Aboveground Biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: Gross Primary Productivity; TER: Total Ecosystem Respiration; and NEE: Net Ecosystem Exchange). But improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM, which relates to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. At some sites, the model-observation misfit in ORCHIDEE-GM is found to be more related to ill-constrained parameter values than to model structure. Additionally, ORCHIDEE-GM is able to simulate

  3. Importance of baseline specification in evaluating conservation interventions and achieving no net loss of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, J W; Gordon, A; Law, E A; Suttle, K B; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2014-06-01

    There is an urgent need to improve the evaluation of conservation interventions. This requires specifying an objective and a frame of reference from which to measure performance. Reference frames can be baselines (i.e., known biodiversity at a fixed point in history) or counterfactuals (i.e., a scenario that would have occurred without the intervention). Biodiversity offsets are interventions with the objective of no net loss of biodiversity (NNL). We used biodiversity offsets to analyze the effects of the choice of reference frame on whether interventions met stated objectives. We developed 2 models to investigate the implications of setting different frames of reference in regions subject to various biodiversity trends and anthropogenic impacts. First, a general analytic model evaluated offsets against a range of baseline and counterfactual specifications. Second, a simulation model then replicated these results with a complex real world case study: native grassland offsets in Melbourne, Australia. Both models showed that achieving NNL depended upon the interaction between reference frame and background biodiversity trends. With a baseline, offsets were less likely to achieve NNL where biodiversity was decreasing than where biodiversity was stable or increasing. With a no-development counterfactual, however, NNL was achievable only where biodiversity was declining. Otherwise, preventing development was better for biodiversity. Uncertainty about compliance was a stronger determinant of success than uncertainty in underlying biodiversity trends. When only development and offset locations were considered, offsets sometimes resulted in NNL, but not across an entire region. Choice of reference frame determined feasibility and effort required to attain objectives when designing and evaluating biodiversity offset schemes. We argue the choice is thus of fundamental importance for conservation policy. Our results shed light on situations in which biodiversity offsets may

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Yassir

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Threshold responses to interacting global changes in a California grassland ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Field, Christopher [Carnegie Inst. of Science, Stanford, CA (United States); Mooney, Harold [Stanford Univ., CA (United States); Vitousek, Peter [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)

    2015-02-02

    Building on the history and infrastructure of the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment, we conducted experiments to explore the potential for single and combined global changes to stimulate fundamental type changes in ecosystems that start the experiment as California annual grassland. Using a carefully orchestrated set of seedling introductions, followed by careful study and later removal, the grassland was poised to enable two major kinds of transitions that occur in real life and that have major implications for ecosystem structure, function, and services. These are transitions from grassland to shrubland/forest and grassland to thistle patch. The experiment took place in the context of 4 global change factors – warming, elevated CO2, N deposition, and increased precipitation – in a full-factorial array, present as all possible 1, 2, 3, and 4-factor combinations, with each combination replicated 8 times.

  7. The biodiversity from Bogota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calvachi Zambrano, Byron

    2002-01-01

    It is about the flora biodiversity and fauna that it occupied the savannah of Bogota originally, about the flora and extinct fauna and of the flora and fauna that still persist in spite of the colonization

  8. Biodiversity and global change

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Solbrig, Otto Thomas; Emden, H. M. van; Oordt, P. G. W. J. van; Solbrig, Otto T

    1992-01-01

    The IUBS symposium "Biodiversity and Global Change" held during the 24th General Assembly, 1-6 September, 1991, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, represented the first attempt to address the issue of bio...

  9. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... and applications.?Good surrogates of biodiversity are necessary to help identify conservation areas that will be effective in preventing species extinctions. Birds perform fairly well as surrogates in cases where birds are relatively speciose, but overall effectiveness will be improved by adding additional data...... from other taxa, in particular from range-restricted species. Conservation solutions with focus on birds as biodiversity surrogate could therefore benefit from also incorporating species data from other taxa....

  10. Funding begets biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahrends, Antje; Burgess, Neil David; Gereau, Roy E.

    2011-01-01

    Aim Effective conservation of biodiversity relies on an unbiased knowledge of its distribution. Conservation priority assessments are typically based on the levels of species richness, endemism and threat. Areas identified as important receive the majority of conservation investments, often...... facilitating further research that results in more species discoveries. Here, we test whether there is circularity between funding and perceived biodiversity, which may reinforce the conservation status of areas already perceived to be important while other areas with less initial funding may remain overlooked......, and variances decomposed in partial regressions. Cross-correlations are used to assess whether perceived biodiversity drives funding or vice versa. Results Funding explained 65% of variation in perceived biodiversity patterns – six times more variation than accounted for by 34 candidate environmental factors...

  11. Dimensions of biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palma, De Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Bugter, Rob; Ferrier, Simon; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Potts, Simon G.; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Schweiger, Oliver; Purvis, Andy

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more

  12. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

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

  13. The ecological and economic consequences of changing land use in the southern Drakensberg grasslands, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JK Turpie

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The grassland biome of the southern Drakensberg region of South Africa is characterized by a relatively rich floral biodiversity, including a high level of endemics.  Land use in the area was traditionally dominated by livestock ranching based mainly on indigenous grassland that conserved biodiversity to some degree.  Currently however, market demands and risk factors are shifting land use in the area to a matrix of beef, cropping, dairy and particularly, towards plantation forestry.  A spreadsheet model was constructed to understand how expected land use conversion will likely influence the biodiversity, and consequently, the total economic value (TEV of the area.  Six scenarios of increasing dairy and forestry intensification were modelled that incorporated biophysical and legal constraints to development.  Results indicate that enhanced development is likely to have significant negative biodiversity impacts including the reduction of the alpha diversity of the indigenous plants in the region, a diminished local invertebrate diversity, an increase in invasions, and could also jeopardize the long term survival of the rare Wattled Crane and Oribi.  Furthermore, while the direct use value derived from agriculture and forestry increases with increasing development, its negative influence on the indirect value of water runoff, by far the greatest value of the area, is sufficient to potentially offset the benefits.  Other major direct-use, indirect-use, option and existence values are also considered.

  14. Interactive Effects of Nitrogen and Climate Change on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, E. M.; Bowman, W. D.; Clark, C. M.; Compton, J. E.; Pardo, L. H.; Soong, J.

    2011-12-01

    example, in certain arid ecosystems of southern California, elevated nitrogen has promoted invasions of annual non-native grasses. At the same time, a period of above-normal precipitation years has exacerbated the grass invasions. Increased grass cover has altered the hydrologic cycle of these areas and increased fire risk, ultimately leading to conversion of the ecosystem from diverse shrublands to less diverse grasslands. In addition to empirical studies, modeling can be used to simulate climate change and nitrogen interactions. The ForSAFE-VEG model, for example, has been used to examine climate change and nitrogen interactions in Rocky Mountain alpine vegetation communities. Results from both empirical studies and modeling indicate that nitrogen and climate change interact to drive losses in biodiversity greater than those caused by either stressor alone. Reducing inputs of anthropogenic reactive nitrogen may be an effective mitigation strategy for protecting biodiversity in the face of climate change.

  15. Networks of soil biota in a secondary succession gradient: Is it biodiversity or network structure that determines soil function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morriën, Elly; Hannula, Emilia; Snoek, Basten; Hol, Gera; van Veen, Hans; van der Putten, Wim

    2017-04-01

    Land abandonment is considered an effective tool for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem functions. However, thus far little attention is given to the role of soil biodiversity. Here, we present results of a soil biodiversity development and ecosystem functioning from a chonosequence of ex-arable fields in The Netherlands. These fields are typically managed by low-intensive grazing while undergoing a transition from an arable system into a species-rich grassland. We manipulated soil biodiversity to be able to couple biodiversity loss to loss of soil functions. We hypothesized that biodiversity loss would lead to less N uptake by plants and slower C transfer to microbes. A greenhouse mesocosm experiment was performed in which sterilized soils from the chronosequence were re-inoculated with a dilution series of soil suspensions (filtered to include only bacteria, fungi and protozoa) to manipulate soil diversity. These mesocosms were planted with a community of plants that naturally occur in all of the grasslands along the chronosequence. We measured microbial community development with TRFLP and sequencing, plant C, N and biomass and using dual labelled 15N ammonium nitrate (15NH415NO3) and 13C in the form of 13CO2 fed to the plants to assess the short term fate, turnover and retention of recent plant assimilated carbon and nitrogen in soil. The faith of the C and N were followed by sequential sampling of aboveground and belowground plant tissues and soil bacterial and fungal PLFA and NLFA biomarkers. With the first method the role of microbial diversity and soil on plant carbon assimilation and nitrogen uptake was evaluated. This was further related to the amount of recently photosynthesized carbon plants allocated to different microbial groups in soils. Microbial end-communities were pyrosequenced to evaluate the end diversity. In this study we showed the effects of the loss of soil biodiversity to C and N cycling in plants and microbes. Next to this manipulative

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-17

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

  18. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  19. Riparian landscapes: Linking geodiversity with habitat and biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmieleski, Jana; Danzeisen, Laura

    2017-04-01

    Keywords: Oder valley, biodiversity, geodiversity River landscapes of all scales originally showed a high diversity of structures and habitats at a small spatial entity, such as the stream beds, terrasses, sand and gravel banks. This variety, with a lot of different elements, patches and patterns, represents not only a variety of geoelements or geomorhological features but also a large biodiversity, both of habitats and species. Riparian landscapes are both, a natural as well as a geoheritage, often even a cultural heritage (sustainabe land use practices). Embankments, utilization for agriculture, constructions for navigation, management measures lead to a strong loss of these structures. This impacts the value of the landscape as well ecosystem functions, not only the biodiversity and the geodiversity but also the recreation function or the aesthetic values. A case study from the National Park Lower Oder Valley in the Northeastern part of Germany, wich is also part of a Geopark („Eiszeitland am Oderrand") presents the connections of the diversity of geomorphological features with biodiversity and shows the loss of features (loss of values) due to intensive utilisation by using GIS-analysis and landscape-metrics. The Northern part of the Oder valley (National Park, transnational protection area of Germany and Poland) have been modified by man since centuries but even so remained in near-natural state that allows semi-(natural) stream dynamics. While the Oder's reparian zone is marked by the stream itself, by its bayous, reed beds, periodically flooded wet meadows and by its natural riparian forest the mineral morainic plateaus are marked by semi-natural forests and dry grasslands. Two areas of different degradation states, a) near-natural and wilderness area and b) grassland area will be compared in order to identify: quantity and extent of features, relation of measure and coverage, connectivity with other features, quantity and types of habitats (with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  1. Marine biodiversity in Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diaz, Juan Manuel

    2002-01-01

    One decade ago, the seas and oceans were considered biologically less diverse that the terrestrial environment. Now it is known that it is on the contrary; 33 of the 34 categories of animals (phylum), they are represented in the sea, compared with those solely 15 that exist in earth. The investigation about the diversity of life in the sea has been relatively scorned, but there are big benefits that we can wait if this is protected. The captures of fish depend on it; the species captured by the fisheries are sustained of the biodiversity of their trophic chains and habitats. The marine species are probably the biggest reservoir of chemical substances that can be used in pharmaceutical products. The genetic material of some species can be useful in biotechnical applications. The paper treats topics like the current state of the knowledge in marine biodiversity and it is done a diagnostic of the marine biodiversity in Colombia

  2. The biodiversity cost of carbon sequestration in tropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abreu, Rodolfo C R; Hoffmann, William A; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Pilon, Natashi A; Rossatto, Davi R; Durigan, Giselda

    2017-08-01

    Tropical savannas have been increasingly viewed as an opportunity for carbon sequestration through fire suppression and afforestation, but insufficient attention has been given to the consequences for biodiversity. To evaluate the biodiversity costs of increasing carbon sequestration, we quantified changes in ecosystem carbon stocks and the associated changes in communities of plants and ants resulting from fire suppression in savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, a global biodiversity hotspot. Fire suppression resulted in increased carbon stocks of 1.2 Mg ha -1 year -1 since 1986 but was associated with acute species loss. In sites fully encroached by forest, plant species richness declined by 27%, and ant richness declined by 35%. Richness of savanna specialists, the species most at risk of local extinction due to forest encroachment, declined by 67% for plants and 86% for ants. This loss highlights the important role of fire in maintaining biodiversity in tropical savannas, a role that is not reflected in current policies of fire suppression throughout the Brazilian Cerrado. In tropical grasslands and savannas throughout the tropics, carbon mitigation programs that promote forest cover cannot be assumed to provide net benefits for conservation.

  3. The Bird Community Resilience Index: a novel remote sensing-based biodiversity variable for quantifying ecological integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, N. L.; Wilsey, C.; Burkhalter, C.; Trusty, B.; Langham, G.

    2017-12-01

    Scalable indicators of biodiversity change are critical to reporting overall progress towards national and global targets for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Aichi Targets) and sustainable development (SDGs). These essential biodiversity variables capitalize on new remote sensing technologies and growth of community science participation. Here we present a novel biodiversity metric quantifying resilience of bird communities and, by extension, of their associated ecological communities. This metric adds breadth to the community composition class of essential biodiversity variables that track trends in condition and vulnerability of ecological communities. We developed this index for use with North American grassland birds, a guild that has experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild, in order to evaluate gains from the implementation of best management practices on private lands. The Bird Community Resilience Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird Community Resilience Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and arid land birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional diversity metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., climate). We present an analysis of bird community resilience across ranches in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. As predicted, Bird Community Resilience was higher in lands implementing best management practices than elsewhere. While developed for grassland birds, this metric holds great potential for use as an Essential Biodiversity Variable for community composition in a variety of habitat.

  4. Warfare in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Thor; Brooks, Thomas M; Da Fonseca, Gustavo A B; Hoffmann, Michael; Lamoreux, John F; Machlis, Gary; Mittermeier, Cristina G; Mittermeier, Russell A; Pilgrim, John D

    2009-06-01

    Conservation efforts are only as sustainable as the social and political context within which they take place. The weakening or collapse of sociopolitical frameworks during wartime can lead to habitat destruction and the erosion of conservation policies, but in some cases, may also confer ecological benefits through altered settlement patterns and reduced resource exploitation. Over 90% of the major armed conflicts between 1950 and 2000 occurred within countries containing biodiversity hotspots, and more than 80% took place directly within hotspot areas. Less than one-third of the 34 recognized hotspots escaped significant conflict during this period, and most suffered repeated episodes of violence. This pattern was remarkably consistent over these 5 decades. Evidence from the war-torn Eastern Afromontane hotspot suggests that biodiversity conservation is improved when international nongovernmental organizations support local protected area staff and remain engaged throughout the conflict. With biodiversity hotspots concentrated in politically volatile regions, the conservation community must maintain continuous involvement during periods of war, and biodiversity conservation should be incorporated into military, reconstruction, and humanitarian programs in the world's conflict zones. ©2009 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Biodiversity and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.R. Willig

    2011-01-01

    Researchers predict that human activities especially landscape modification and climate change will have a considerable impact on the distribution and abundance of species at local, regional, and global scales in the 21st century ( 1, 2). This is a concern for a number of reasons, including the potential loss of goods and services that biodiversity provides to people...

  6. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

    to provide information about vertebrate biodiversity. This thesis covers the development of a monitoring method based on iDNA extracted from terrestrial haematophagous leeches, a continuation of the work presented in Schnell et al., 2012. The chapters investigate and/or discuss different subjects regarding...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Educating for biodiversity conservation in urban parks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guerra, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This article is intended to propose a procedure for learning about biodiversity in urban parks, as a contribution for educating conservation of natural resources. The procedure was named “Diagnosis of biodiversity conservation status in urban parks”. It comprises for stages describing the physic, geographic, socio-historic, and cultural study of the park as well as a taxonomic inventory of species, its distribution, presence in Cuba, and menaces they are subjected to. This facilitates to carry out educative activities. The introduction of the procedure is thought of from an ethno-biological and interdisciplinary perspective for training students in biological, geographical, historical, cultural and ethnological procedures, seeking a holistic approach to environment. The effectiveness of the proposal was appraised by accounting the experience of a class at “Casino Campestre” park in Camagüey City. Key words: biodiversity, urban parks, procedures, conservation training

  9. Caribbean landscapes and their biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Lugo; E. H. Helmer; E. Santiago Valentín

    2012-01-01

    Both the biodiversity and the landscapes of the Caribbean have been greatly modified as a consequence of human activity. In this essay we provide an overview of the natural landscapes and biodiversity of the Caribbean and discuss how human activity has affected both. Our Caribbean geographic focus is on the insular Caribbean and the biodiversity focus is on the flora,...

  10. Forecasting the future of biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Sanders, Nate; Ferrier, Simon

    2011-01-01

    , but their application to forecasting climate change impacts on biodiversity has been limited. Here we compare forecasts of changes in patterns of ant biodiversity in North America derived from ensembles of single-species models to those from a multi-species modeling approach, Generalized Dissimilarity Modeling (GDM...... climate change impacts on biodiversity....

  11. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

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

  12. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Beyond biodiversity: fish metagenomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Ardura

    Full Text Available Biodiversity and intra-specific genetic diversity are interrelated and determine the potential of a community to survive and evolve. Both are considered together in Prokaryote communities treated as metagenomes or ensembles of functional variants beyond species limits.Many factors alter biodiversity in higher Eukaryote communities, and human exploitation can be one of the most important for some groups of plants and animals. For example, fisheries can modify both biodiversity and genetic diversity (intra specific. Intra-specific diversity can be drastically altered by overfishing. Intense fishing pressure on one stock may imply extinction of some genetic variants and subsequent loss of intra-specific diversity. The objective of this study was to apply a metagenome approach to fish communities and explore its value for rapid evaluation of biodiversity and genetic diversity at community level. Here we have applied the metagenome approach employing the barcoding target gene coi as a model sequence in catch from four very different fish assemblages exploited by fisheries: freshwater communities from the Amazon River and northern Spanish rivers, and marine communities from the Cantabric and Mediterranean seas.Treating all sequences obtained from each regional catch as a biological unit (exploited community we found that metagenomic diversity indices of the Amazonian catch sample here examined were lower than expected. Reduced diversity could be explained, at least partially, by overexploitation of the fish community that had been independently estimated by other methods.We propose using a metagenome approach for estimating diversity in Eukaryote communities and early evaluating genetic variation losses at multi-species level.

  15. Beyond biodiversity: fish metagenomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardura, Alba; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity and intra-specific genetic diversity are interrelated and determine the potential of a community to survive and evolve. Both are considered together in Prokaryote communities treated as metagenomes or ensembles of functional variants beyond species limits.Many factors alter biodiversity in higher Eukaryote communities, and human exploitation can be one of the most important for some groups of plants and animals. For example, fisheries can modify both biodiversity and genetic diversity (intra specific). Intra-specific diversity can be drastically altered by overfishing. Intense fishing pressure on one stock may imply extinction of some genetic variants and subsequent loss of intra-specific diversity. The objective of this study was to apply a metagenome approach to fish communities and explore its value for rapid evaluation of biodiversity and genetic diversity at community level. Here we have applied the metagenome approach employing the barcoding target gene coi as a model sequence in catch from four very different fish assemblages exploited by fisheries: freshwater communities from the Amazon River and northern Spanish rivers, and marine communities from the Cantabric and Mediterranean seas.Treating all sequences obtained from each regional catch as a biological unit (exploited community) we found that metagenomic diversity indices of the Amazonian catch sample here examined were lower than expected. Reduced diversity could be explained, at least partially, by overexploitation of the fish community that had been independently estimated by other methods.We propose using a metagenome approach for estimating diversity in Eukaryote communities and early evaluating genetic variation losses at multi-species level.

  16. Resource-Mediated Indirect Effects of Grassland Management on Arthropod Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Nadja K.; Gossner, Martin M.; Lewinsohn, Thomas M.; Boch, Steffen; Lange, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Socher, Stephanie A.; Türke, Manfred; Fischer, Markus; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2014-01-01

    Intensive land use is a driving force for biodiversity decline in many ecosystems. In semi-natural grasslands, land-use activities such as mowing, grazing and fertilization affect the diversity of plants and arthropods, but the combined effects of different drivers and the chain of effects are largely unknown. In this study we used structural equation modelling to analyse how the arthropod communities in managed grasslands respond to land use and whether these responses are mediated through changes in resource diversity or resource quantity (biomass). Plants were considered resources for herbivores which themselves were considered resources for predators. Plant and arthropod (herbivores and predators) communities were sampled on 141 meadows, pastures and mown pastures within three regions in Germany in 2008 and 2009. Increasing land-use intensity generally increased plant biomass and decreased plant diversity, mainly through increasing fertilization. Herbivore diversity decreased together with plant diversity but showed no response to changes in plant biomass. Hence, land-use effects on herbivore diversity were mediated through resource diversity rather than quantity. Land-use effects on predator diversity were mediated by both herbivore diversity (resource diversity) and herbivore quantity (herbivore biomass), but indirect effects through resource quantity were stronger. Our findings highlight the importance of assessing both direct and indirect effects of land-use intensity and mode on different trophic levels. In addition to the overall effects, there were subtle differences between the different regions, pointing to the importance of regional land-use specificities. Our study underlines the commonly observed strong effect of grassland land use on biodiversity. It also highlights that mechanistic approaches help us to understand how different land-use modes affect biodiversity. PMID:25188423

  17. European mountain biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagy, Jennifer

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper, originally prepared as a discussion document for the ESF Exploratory Workshop «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop», provides an overview of current mountain biodiversity research in Europe. It discusses (a biogeographical trends, (b the general properties of biodiversity, (c environmental factors and the regulation of biodiversity with respect to ecosystem function, (d the results of research on mountain freshwater ecosystems, and (e climate change and air pollution dominated environmental interactions.- The section on biogeographical trends highlights the importance of altitude and latitude on biodiversity. The implications of the existence of different scales over the different levels of biodiversity and across organism groups are emphasised as an inherent complex property of biodiversity. The discussion on ecosystem function and the regulation of biodiversity covers the role of environmental factors, productivity, perturbation, species migration and dispersal, and species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity. Regional and long-term temporal patterns are also discussed. A section on the relatively overlooked topic of mountain freshwater ecosystems is presented before the final topic on the implications of recent climate change and air pollution for mountain biodiversity.

    [fr] Ce document a été préparé à l'origine comme une base de discussion pour «ESF Exploratory Workshop» intitulé «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop»; il apporte une vue d'ensemble sur les recherches actuelles portant sur la biodiversité des montagnes en Europe. On y discute les (a traits biogéographiques, (b les caractéristiques générales- de la biodiversité, (c les facteurs environnementaux et la régulation de la biodiversité par rapport à la fonction des écosystèmes, (d les résultats des études sur les écosystèmes aquatiques des montagnes et (e les

  18. The value of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

    Full Text Available In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence, biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc. with their related economic values.

  19. Wet Grasslands as a Green Infrastructure for Ecological Sustainability: Wader Conservation in Southern Sweden as a Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Manton

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Biosphere Reserves aim at being role models for biodiversity conservation. This study focuses on the unsuccessful conservation of waders (Charadrii on wet grasslands in the Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve (KVBR in southern Sweden. Predation on nests and young has been proposed as one reason contributing to the decline of waders. We explored this hypothesis by comparing two landscapes, one with declining (KVBR and one with stable (Östergötland wader populations on managed wet grasslands in southern Sweden. Specifically, we tested three predictions linked to predation on wader nests and young, namely that (1 the relative abundance of avian predators and waders; (2 the avian predator abundance; and (3 the predation rate on artificial wader nests, should all be higher in declining versus stable populations. All predictions were clearly supported. Nevertheless, predation may not be the ultimate factor causing wader population declines. We discuss the cumulative effects of landscape change linked to increased food resources for predators, reduced wet grassland patch size and quality. Holistic analyses of multiple wet grassland landscapes as social-ecological systems as case studies, including processes such as predation and other factors affecting waders, is a promising avenue towards collaborative learning for wet grasslands as a functional green infrastructure. However, if governance and management approaches can be improved is questionable without considerable investment in both ecological and social systems.

  20. Crowdfunding biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo-Cajiao, E; Archibald, C; Friedman, R; Steven, R; Fuller, R A; Game, E T; Morrison, T H; Ritchie, E G

    2018-05-26

    Raising funds is critical for conserving biodiversity and hence so too is scrutinizing emerging financial mechanisms that might help achieve this goal. In this context, anecdotal evidence indicates crowdfunding is being used to support a variety of activities needed for biodiversity conservation, yet its magnitude and allocation remain largely unknown. We conducted a global analysis to help address this knowledge gap, based on empirical data from conservation-focused projects extracted from crowdfunding platforms. For each project, we determined the funds raised, date, country of implementation, proponent characteristics, activity type, biodiversity realm, and target taxa. We identified 72 relevant platforms and 577 conservation-focused projects that have raised US$4 790 634 since 2009. Whilst proponents were based in 38 countries, projects were delivered across 80 countries, indicating a potential mechanism of resource mobilization. Proponents were from non-governmental organizations (35%), universities (30%), or were freelancers (26%). Most projects were for research (40%), persuasion (31%), and on-ground actions (21%). Projects have focused primarily on species (57.7%) and terrestrial ecosystems (20.3%), and less on marine (8.8%) and freshwater ecosystems (3.6%). Projects have focused on 208 species, including a disproportionate number of threatened bird and mammal species. Crowdfunding for biodiversity conservation has now become a global phenomenon and presents signals for potential expansion, despite possible pitfalls. Opportunities arise from its spatial amplifying effect, steady increase over time, inclusion of Cinderella species, adoption by multiple actors, and funding of a range of activities beyond research. Our study paves the way for further research on key questions, such as campaign success rates, effectiveness, and drivers of adoption. Even though the capital input of crowdfunding so far has been modest compared to other conservation finance

  1. Experiencing biodiversity as a bridge over the science-society communication gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinard, Yves; Quétier, Fabien

    2014-06-01

    Drawing on the idea that biodiversity is simply the diversity of living things, and that everyone knows what diversity and living things mean, most conservation professionals eschew the need to explain the many complex ways in which biodiversity is understood in science. On many biodiversity-related issues, this lack of clarity leads to a communication gap between science and the general public, including decision makers who must design and implement biodiversity policies. Closing this communication gap is pivotal to the ability of science to inform sound environmental decision making. To address this communication gap, we propose a surrogate of biodiversity for communication purposes that captures the scientific definition of biodiversity yet can be understood by nonscientists; that is, biodiversity as a learning experience. The prerequisites of this or any other biodiversity communication surrogate are that it should have transdisciplinary relevance; not be measurable; be accessible to a wide audience; be usable to translate biodiversity issues; and understandably encompass biodiversity concepts. Biodiversity as a learning experience satisfies these prerequisites and is philosophically robust. More importantly, it can effectively contribute to closing the communication gap between biodiversity science and society at large. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  3. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Herbage intake regulation and growth of rabbits raised on grasslands: back to basics and looking forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, G; Duprat, A; Goby, J-P; Theau, J-P; Roinsard, A; Descombes, M; Legendre, H; Gidenne, T

    2016-10-01

    Organic agriculture is developing worldwide, and organic rabbit production has developed within this context. It entails raising rabbits in moving cages or paddocks, which enables them to graze grasslands. As organic farmers currently lack basic technical information, the objective of this article is to characterize herbage intake, feed intake and the growth rate of rabbits raised on grasslands in different environmental and management contexts (weather conditions, grassland type and complete feed supplementation). Three experiments were performed with moving cages at an experimental station. From weaning, rabbits grazed a natural grassland, a tall fescue grassland and a sainfoin grassland in experiments 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Rabbit diets were supplemented with a complete pelleted feed limited to 69 g dry matter (DM)/rabbit per day in experiment 1 and 52 g DM/rabbit per day in experiments 2 and 3. Herbage allowance and fiber, DM and protein contents, as well as rabbit intake and live weight, were measured weekly. Mean herbage DM intake per rabbit per day differed significantly (P<0.001) between experiments. It was highest in experiment 1 (78.5 g DM/day) and was 43.9 and 51.2 g DM/day in experiments 2 and 3, respectively. Herbage allowance was the most significant determinant of herbage DM intake during grazing, followed by rabbit metabolic weight (live weight0.75) and herbage protein and fiber contents. Across experiments, a 10 g DM increase in herbage allowance and a 100 g increase in rabbit metabolic weight corresponded to a mean increase of 6.8 and 9.6 g of herbage DM intake, respectively. When including complete feed, daily mean DM intakes differed significantly among experiments (P<0.001), ranging from 96.1 g DM/rabbit per day in experiment 2 to 163.6 g DM/rabbit per day in experiment 1. Metabolic weight of rabbits raised on grasslands increased linearly over time in all three experiments, yielding daily mean growth rates of 26.2, 19.2 and 28.5 g/day in

  5. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  6. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. BIODIVERSITY AND THE PROTECTED AREAS SYSTEM IN ALBANIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehmet Metaj

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Albania possesses a wide range of ecological systems including coastal zones, estuaries and lagoons, lakes and wetlands, grasslands, middle-low altitude coppice forests, high altitude forests, alpine vegetation and glacial areas. The country possesses about 3,250 species of vascular plants, 165 families and more than 900 genera. Medicinal plants (botanicals and non-timber forest products have a long history of importance in the culture and traditional knowledge of Albania. Proper legislation and especially legal and regulatory framework enforcement for the regulation of this developing industry remains lacking. A Strategy of Biodiversity plan developed in 2000 calls for an increase in the Protected Areas system which currently covers some 6 % of Albania's area to a total area of 435,600 ha, approximately 15 % of the country's territory. Changes in the legal and policy framework as well as institutional structures is required to move forward and provide an environment for biodiversity conservation and a sustainable protected areas system. The various threats to biodiversity and constraints to improvement are outlined as well as recommendations for sustainable use, assessment and regulation.

  8. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Josefsson, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural industrialization alters rural landscapes in Europe, causing large-scale and rapid loss of important biodiversity. The principal instruments to protect farmland biodiversity are various agri-environmental measures (AEMs) in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, growing awareness of shortcomings to CAP biodiversity integration prompts examination of causes and potential solutions. This thesis assesses the importance of structural heterogeneity of crop and non-crop habi...

  9. Not seeing the grass for the trees: Timber plantations and agriculture shrink tropical montane grassland by two-thirds over four decades in the Palani Hills, a Western Ghats Sky Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arasumani, M; Khan, Danish; Das, Arundhati; Lockwood, Ian; Stewart, Robert; Kiran, Ravi A; Muthukumar, M; Bunyan, Milind; Robin, V V

    2018-01-01

    Tropical montane habitats, grasslands, in particular, merit urgent conservation attention owing to the disproportionate levels of endemic biodiversity they harbour, the ecosystem services they provide, and the fact that they are among the most threatened habitats globally. The Shola Sky Islands in the Western Ghats host a matrix of native forest-grassland matrix that has been planted over the last century, with exotic timber plantations. The popular discourse on the landscape change is that mainly forests have been lost to the timber plantations and recent court directives are to restore Shola forest trees. In this study, we examine spatiotemporal patterns of landscape change over the last 40 years in the Palani Hills, a significant part of the montane habitat in the Western Ghats. Using satellite imagery and field surveys, we find that 66% of native grasslands and 31% of native forests have been lost over the last 40 years. Grasslands have gone from being the dominant, most contiguous land cover to one of the rarest and most fragmented. They have been replaced by timber plantations and, to a lesser extent, expanding agriculture. We find that the spatial pattern of grassland loss to plantations differs from the loss to agriculture, likely driven by the invasion of plantation species into grasslands. We identify remnant grasslands that should be prioritised for conservation and make specific recommendations for conservation and restoration of grasslands in light of current management policy in the Palani Hills, which favours large-scale removal of plantations and emphasises the restoration of native forests.

  10. Drought and Carbon Cycling of Grassland Ecosystems under Global Change: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianjie Lei

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the increased intensity and duration of droughts have dramatically altered the structure and function of grassland ecosystems, which have been forced to adapt to this change in climate. Combinations of global change drivers such as elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, warming, nitrogen (N deposition, grazing, and land-use change have influenced the impact that droughts have on grassland C cycling. This influence, to some extent, can modify the relationship between droughts and grassland carbon (C cycling in the multi-factor world. Unfortunately, prior reviews have been primarily anecdotal from the 1930s to the 2010s. We investigated the current state of the study on the interactive impacts of multiple factors under drought scenarios in grassland C cycling and provided scientific advice for dealing with droughts and managing grassland C cycling in a multi-factor world. Currently, adequate information is not available on the interaction between droughts and global change drivers, which would advance our understanding of grassland C cycling responses. It was determined that future experiments and models should specifically test how droughts regulate grassland C cycling under global changes. Previous multi-factor experiments of current and future global change conditions have studied various drought scenarios poorly, including changes in precipitation frequency and amplitude, timing, and interactions with other global change drivers. Multi-factor experiments have contributed to quantifying these potential changes and have provided important information on how water affects ecosystem processes under global change. There is an urgent need to establish a systematic framework that can assess ecosystem dynamic responses to droughts under current and future global change and human activity, with a focus on the combined effects of droughts, global change drivers, and the corresponding hierarchical responses of an ecosystem.

  11. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity provides data and information on amphibians, disease agents (extent and distribution of infectious and parasitic...

  12. Topographic and Bioclimatic Determinants of the Occurrence of Forest and Grassland in Tropical Montane Forest-Grassland Mosaics of the Western Ghats, India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arundhati Das

    Full Text Available The objective of this analysis was to identify topographic and bioclimatic factors that predict occurrence of forest and grassland patches within tropical montane forest-grassland mosaics. We further investigated whether interactions between topography and bioclimate are important in determining vegetation pattern, and assessed the role of spatial scale in determining the relative importance of specific topographic features. Finally, we assessed the role of elevation in determining the relative importance of diverse explanatory factors. The study area consists of the central and southern regions of the Western Ghats of Southern India, a global biodiversity hotspot. Random forests were used to assess prediction accuracy and predictor importance. Conditional inference classification trees were used to interpret predictor effects and examine potential interactions between predictors. GLMs were used to confirm predictor importance and assess the strength of interaction terms. Overall, topographic and bioclimatic predictors classified vegetation pattern with approximately 70% accuracy. Prediction accuracy was higher for grassland than forest, and for mosaics at higher elevations. Elevation was the most important predictor, with mosaics above 2000 m dominated largely by grassland. Relative topographic position measured at a local scale (within a 300 m neighbourhood was another important predictor of vegetation pattern. In high elevation mosaics, northness and concave land surface curvature were important predictors of forest occurrence. Important bioclimatic predictors were: dry quarter precipitation, annual temperature range and the interaction between the two. The results indicate complex interactions between topography and bioclimate and among topographic variables. Elevation and topography have a strong influence on vegetation pattern in these mosaics. There were marked regional differences in the roles of various topographic and bioclimatic

  13. Topographic and Bioclimatic Determinants of the Occurrence of Forest and Grassland in Tropical Montane Forest-Grassland Mosaics of the Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Arundhati; Nagendra, Harini; Anand, Madhur; Bunyan, Milind

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this analysis was to identify topographic and bioclimatic factors that predict occurrence of forest and grassland patches within tropical montane forest-grassland mosaics. We further investigated whether interactions between topography and bioclimate are important in determining vegetation pattern, and assessed the role of spatial scale in determining the relative importance of specific topographic features. Finally, we assessed the role of elevation in determining the relative importance of diverse explanatory factors. The study area consists of the central and southern regions of the Western Ghats of Southern India, a global biodiversity hotspot. Random forests were used to assess prediction accuracy and predictor importance. Conditional inference classification trees were used to interpret predictor effects and examine potential interactions between predictors. GLMs were used to confirm predictor importance and assess the strength of interaction terms. Overall, topographic and bioclimatic predictors classified vegetation pattern with approximately 70% accuracy. Prediction accuracy was higher for grassland than forest, and for mosaics at higher elevations. Elevation was the most important predictor, with mosaics above 2000 m dominated largely by grassland. Relative topographic position measured at a local scale (within a 300 m neighbourhood) was another important predictor of vegetation pattern. In high elevation mosaics, northness and concave land surface curvature were important predictors of forest occurrence. Important bioclimatic predictors were: dry quarter precipitation, annual temperature range and the interaction between the two. The results indicate complex interactions between topography and bioclimate and among topographic variables. Elevation and topography have a strong influence on vegetation pattern in these mosaics. There were marked regional differences in the roles of various topographic and bioclimatic predictors across the

  14. Biodiversity effects of the predation gauntlet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stier, Adrian C.; Stallings, Christopher D.; Samhouri, Jameal F.; Albins, Mark A.; Almany, Glenn R.

    2017-06-01

    The ubiquity of trophic downgrading has led to interest in the consequences of mesopredator release on prey communities and ecosystems. This issue is of particular concern for reef-fish communities, where predation is a key process driving ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Here, we synthesize existing experiments that have isolated the effects of mesopredators to quantify the role of predation in driving changes in the abundance and biodiversity of recently settled reef fishes. On average, predators reduced prey abundance through generalist foraging behavior, which, through a statistical sampling artifact, caused a reduction in alpha diversity and an increase in beta diversity. Thus, the synthesized experiments provide evidence that predation reduces overall abundance within prey communities, but—after accounting for sampling effects—does not cause disproportionate effects on biodiversity.

  15. Creating biodiversity partnerships: The Nature Conservancy's perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawhill, John C.

    1996-11-01

    The Nature Conservancy is an international organization dedicated to the mission of conserving biodiversity throughout the world. By working in a nonconfrontational manner, an approach that has promoted both government and corporate sponsorship of its activities, The Nature Conservancy has developed symbiotic relationships with many electric utility companies. Drawing on the organization's experiences, and the experiences of the author as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Nature Conservancy, five broad areas of cooperation between conservation organizations and the utility industry are explored: landmanagement agreements, mitigation projects, conflictavoidance programs, program support, and volunteer activities. The paper is concluded with comments on the future trends of biodiversity conservation, challenging the electric utility industry to become involved with conservation efforts by forming cooperative partnerships.

  16. Experimental control of Spanish broom (Spartium junceum invading natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sanhueza

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A group of legumes generically known as brooms are among the most successful shrubs invading grasslands in South America and otherregions. These species share a set of biological features that enhance their invasiveness, such as abundant and long-lasting seed banks,aggressive root systems and rapid growth, combined with their ability for re-sprouting after cutting or burning and for avoiding herbivores.They grow in dense stands that exclude native vegetation and are able to change ecological processes, increasing fire frequency and intensity,and fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The Spanish broom (Spartium junceum is a shrub native form the Mediterranean that was introduced intothe Argentine Pampas grasslands where it spreads over remnants of pristine ecosystems, threatening their biodiversity. This paper reports theresults obtained after an adaptive management strategy aimed at controlling this species in a nature reserve, and compares the efficiency ofdifferent mechanical and chemical control techniques in terms of the number of plants killed and the effects on surrounding vegetation andon the recruitment of broom seedlings. Control was implemented in two phases, the first included three treatments: i cut at the base of theplant, ii cut followed by the immediate application of Togar (Picloram 3% + Triclopyr 6%, at a 5% dilution in diesel oil on top of the cut stump, and iii foliar spraying with Togar. The follow-up treatments, implemented one year later, consisted of spraying the re-sprouts with Togar (5% in diesel oil or Glyphosate 36% (2% in water. The best option in terms of controlling Spanish broom was spraying the resprouts with Togar which gave 100% mortality of the treated plants, compared with values of 40% - 100% re-sprouting for the other optionstested. None of the methods was associated with an increase in seedling recruitment, nor with significant changes in the vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the controlled brooms.

  17. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

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

  18. Bioenergy and biodiversity: Key lessons from the Pan American region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kline, Keith L. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Martinelli, Fernanda Silva [UFRRJ/Conservation International Brazil, Seropedica (Brazil); Mayer, Audrey L. [Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States); Medeiros, Rodrigo [Federal Rural Univ. of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Oliveira, Camila Ortolan F. [Univ. of Campinas, Campinas (Brazil); Sparovek, Gerd [Univ. of Sao Paulo, Piracicaba (Brazil); Walter, Arnaldo [Univ. of Campinas, Campinas (Brazil); Venier, Lisa A. [Canadian Forest Service, Sault Ste. Marie (Canada). Great Lakes Forestry Centre

    2015-06-24

    Understanding how large-scale bioenergy production can affect biodiversity and ecosystems is important if society is to meet current and future sustainable development goals. A variety of bioenergy production systems have been established within different contexts throughout the Pan American region, with wide-ranging results in terms of documented and projected effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Pan American region is home to the majority of commercial bioenergy production and therefore the region offers a broad set of experiences and insights on both conflicts and opportunities for biodiversity and bioenergy. This paper synthesizes lessons learned focusing on experiences in Canada, the United States, and Brazil, regarding the conflicts that can arise between bioenergy production and ecological conservation, and benefits that can be derived when bioenergy policies promote planning and more sustainable land management systems. Lastly, we propose a research agenda to address priority information gaps that are relevant to biodiversity concerns and related policy challenges in the Pan American region.

  19. Bioenergy and Biodiversity: Key Lessons from the Pan American Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Keith L.; Martinelli, Fernanda Silva; Mayer, Audrey L.; Medeiros, Rodrigo; Oliveira, Camila Ortolan F.; Sparovek, Gerd; Walter, Arnaldo; Venier, Lisa A.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how large-scale bioenergy production can affect biodiversity and ecosystems is important if society is to meet current and future sustainable development goals. A variety of bioenergy production systems have been established within different contexts throughout the Pan American region, with wide-ranging results in terms of documented and projected effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Pan American region is home to the majority of commercial bioenergy production and therefore the region offers a broad set of experiences and insights on both conflicts and opportunities for biodiversity and bioenergy. This paper synthesizes lessons learned focusing on experiences in Canada, the United States, and Brazil regarding the conflicts that can arise between bioenergy production and ecological conservation, and benefits that can be derived when bioenergy policies promote planning and more sustainable land-management systems. We propose a research agenda to address priority information gaps that are relevant to biodiversity concerns and related policy challenges in the Pan American region.

  20. Climate changes and biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsmeier, C.

    2011-01-01

    As some people forecast an average temperature increase between 1 and 3.5 degrees by the end of the century, with higher increases under high latitudes (it could reach 8 degrees in some regions of Canada), other changes will occur: precipitations, sea level rise, reductions in polar ice, extreme climatic events, glacier melting, and so on. The author discusses how these changes will impact biodiversity as they will threat habitat and living conditions of many species. Some studies assess a loss of 15 to 37 per cent of biodiversity by 2050. Moreover, physiology is influenced by temperature: for some species, higher temperatures favour the development of female embryos, or the increase of their population, or may result in an evolution of their reproduction strategy. Life rhythm will also change, for plants as well as for animals. Species will keep on changing their distribution area, but some others will not be able to and are therefore threatened. Finally, as the evolutions concern their vectors, some diseases will spread in new regions

  1. Net present biodiversity value and the design of biodiversity offsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overton, Jacob McC; Stephens, R T Theo; Ferrier, Simon

    2013-02-01

    There is an urgent need to develop sound theory and practice for biodiversity offsets to provide a better basis for offset multipliers, to improve accounting for time delays in offset repayments, and to develop a common framework for evaluating in-kind and out-of-kind offsets. Here, we apply concepts and measures from systematic conservation planning and financial accounting to provide a basis for determining equity across type (of biodiversity), space, and time. We introduce net present biodiversity value (NPBV) as a theoretical and practical measure for defining the offset required to achieve no-net-loss. For evaluating equity in type and space we use measures of biodiversity value from systematic conservation planning. Time discount rates are used to address risk of non-repayment, and loss of utility. We illustrate these concepts and measures with two examples of biodiversity impact-offset transactions. Considerable further work is required to understand the characteristics of these approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  4. Importance of Baseline Specification in Evaluating Conservation Interventions and Achieving No Net Loss of Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, J W; Gordon, A; Law, E A; Suttle, K B; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2014-01-01

    There is an urgent need to improve the evaluation of conservation interventions. This requires specifying an objective and a frame of reference from which to measure performance. Reference frames can be baselines (i.e., known biodiversity at a fixed point in history) or counterfactuals (i.e., a scenario that would have occurred without the intervention). Biodiversity offsets are interventions with the objective of no net loss of biodiversity (NNL). We used biodiversity offsets to analyze the effects of the choice of reference frame on whether interventions met stated objectives. We developed 2 models to investigate the implications of setting different frames of reference in regions subject to various biodiversity trends and anthropogenic impacts. First, a general analytic model evaluated offsets against a range of baseline and counterfactual specifications. Second, a simulation model then replicated these results with a complex real world case study: native grassland offsets in Melbourne, Australia. Both models showed that achieving NNL depended upon the interaction between reference frame and background biodiversity trends. With a baseline, offsets were less likely to achieve NNL where biodiversity was decreasing than where biodiversity was stable or increasing. With a no-development counterfactual, however, NNL was achievable only where biodiversity was declining. Otherwise, preventing development was better for biodiversity. Uncertainty about compliance was a stronger determinant of success than uncertainty in underlying biodiversity trends. When only development and offset locations were considered, offsets sometimes resulted in NNL, but not across an entire region. Choice of reference frame determined feasibility and effort required to attain objectives when designing and evaluating biodiversity offset schemes. We argue the choice is thus of fundamental importance for conservation policy. Our results shed light on situations in which biodiversity offsets may

  5. Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Chris D; Anderson, Barbara J; Moilanen, Atte; Eigenbrod, Felix; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Quaife, Tristan; Roy, David B; Gillings, Simon; Armsworth, Paul R; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-05-01

    Climate change is leading to the development of land-based mitigation and adaptation strategies that are likely to have substantial impacts on global biodiversity. Of these, approaches to maintain carbon within existing natural ecosystems could have particularly large benefits for biodiversity. However, the geographical distributions of terrestrial carbon stocks and biodiversity differ. Using conservation planning analyses for the New World and Britain, we conclude that a carbon-only strategy would not be effective at conserving biodiversity, as have previous studies. Nonetheless, we find that a combined carbon-biodiversity strategy could simultaneously protect 90% of carbon stocks (relative to a carbon-only conservation strategy) and > 90% of the biodiversity (relative to a biodiversity-only strategy) in both regions. This combined approach encapsulates the principle of complementarity, whereby locations that contain different sets of species are prioritised, and hence disproportionately safeguard localised species that are not protected effectively by carbon-only strategies. It is efficient because localised species are concentrated into small parts of the terrestrial land surface, whereas carbon is somewhat more evenly distributed; and carbon stocks protected in one location are equivalent to those protected elsewhere. Efficient compromises can only be achieved when biodiversity and carbon are incorporated together within a spatial planning process. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

    Habitat models address only 1 component of biodiversity but can be useful in addressing and managing single or multiple species and ecosystem functions, for projecting disturbance regimes, and in supporting decisions. I review categories and examples of habitat models, their utility for biodiversity conservation, and their roles in making conservation decisions. I...

  7. Undergraduate Students' Attitudes toward Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hui-Ju; Lin, Yu-Teh Kirk

    2014-01-01

    The study investigated American and Taiwan undergraduate students' attitudes toward biodiversity. The survey questionnaire consisted of statements prompted by the question "To what extent do you agree with the following statements about problems with the biodiversity issues." Students indicated strongly disagree, disagree, agree,…

  8. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does

  9. Biodiversity of the Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Parulekar, A.H.

    stream_size 2 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Biodiversity_Western_Ghats_Inf_Kit_1994_3.1_1.pdf.txt stream_source_info Biodiversity_Western_Ghats_Inf_Kit_1994_3.1_1.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text...

  10. Place prioritization for biodiversity content

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The prioritization of places on the basis of biodiversity content is part of any systematic biodiversity conservation planning process. The place prioritization procedure implemented in the ResNet software package is described. This procedure is primarily based on the principles of rarity and complementarity. Application of the ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-04-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Ornamental Eudicotyledons from grasslands of Pampa biome in Rio Grande do Sul

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana De Araújo Carrion

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The present study aims at investigating the group of Eudicotyledons native plants with ornamental potential of grasslands from the Pampa biome in the south of Brazil. The Pampa presents a high level of biodiversity; however, it requires studies related to the richness of vascular plants and its biological and ecological knowledge. The purpose of this work is to elaborate a preliminary inventory of this group of plants, analyzing the ornamental potential of each specie and indicating those that could be considered as being priorities for the purpose of sustainable use with this objective. Some grassland species were selected through the search for information in herbarium registers, national and international works about decorative plants, floristic surveys, besides the authors´ practical knowledge. Some parameters and values were associated, aiming at reducing the subjectivity of the choice. The survey resulted in a list of 177 species distributed in 36 families and 101 genera. Among these species, ten presented high ornamental potential. These data show that the richness of the grassland native ornamental flora is high, even though its use is poorly known. The use of these plants, if in a sustainable manner, can produce economic and ecological benefits.

  14. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

    Foreword: This proceeding is based on a set of papers presented at the second Nordic Benthological Meeting held in Silkeborg, November 13-14, 1997. The main theme of the meeting was biodiversity in benthic ecology and the majority of contributions touch on this subject. In addition, the proceeding...... contains papers which cover other themes thus continuing with the spirit of the meetings in the Nordic Benthological Society (NORBS) by being an open forum for exchanging knowledge on all aspects of benthic ecology. Overall, we feel the proceeding contains a wide selection of very interesting papers...... representing the state-of-the-art of benthic ecology research within, and to a lesser degree, outside the Nordic countries. We wish to thank all the authors for their inspirational contributions to the proceeding, but we feel that a special thanks is due to the invited speakers for their readiness to produce...

  15. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modernel, P.; Rossing, W. A. H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-11-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of external inputs. We synthesised 242 references from peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1945 and mid-2015 and analysed secondary data to examine the evidence on the ecosystem services provided by this grassland biodiversity hotspot and the way they are affected by land use changes and their drivers. The analysis followed the requirements of systematic review from the PRISMA statement (Moher et al 2009 Acad. Clin. Ann. Intern. Med. 151 264-9). The Pampas and Campos provide feed for 43 million heads of cattle and 14 million sheep. The biome is habitat of 4000 native plant species, 300 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 49 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The soils of the region stock 5% of the soil organic carbon of Latin America on 3% of its area. Driven by high prices of soybean, the soybean area increased by 210% between 2000 and 2010, at the expense of 2 million ha (5%) of native grassland, mostly in the Pampas. Intensification of livestock production was apparent in two spatially distinct forms. In subregions where cropping increased, intensification of livestock production was reflected in an increased use of grains for feed as part of feedlots. In subregions dominated by native grasslands, stocking rates increased. The review showed that land use change and grazing regimes with low forage allowances were predominantly associated with negative effects on ecosystem service provision by reducing soil organic carbon stocks and the diversity of plants, birds and mammals, and by increasing soil erosion. We found little quantitative information on changes in the ecosystem services water provision, nutrient cycling and erosion control

  16. Does delaying the first mowing date benefit biodiversity in meadowland?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humbert Jean-Yves

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Meadows are regularly mown in order to provide fodder or litter for livestock and to prevent vegetation succession. However, the time of year at which meadows should be first mown in order to maximize biological diversity remains controversial and may vary with respect to context and focal taxa. We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of delaying the first mowing date upon plants and invertebrates in European meadowlands. Methods Following a CEE protocol, ISI Web of Science, Science Direct, JSTOR, Google and Google Scholar were searched. We recorded all studies that compared the species richness of plants, or the species richness or abundance of invertebrates, between grassland plots mown at a postponed date (treatment vs plots mown earlier (control. In order to be included in the meta-analysis, compared plots had to be similar in all management respects, except the date of the first cut that was (mostly experimentally manipulated. They were also to be located in the same meadow type. Meta-analyses applying Hedges’d statistic were performed. Results Plant species richness responded differently to the date to which mowing was postponed. Delaying mowing from spring to summer had a positive effect, while delaying either from spring to fall, or from early summer to later in the season had a negative effect. Invertebrates were expected to show a strong response to delayed mowing due to their dependence on sward structure, but only species richness showed a clearly significant positive response. Invertebrate abundance was positively influenced in only a few studies. Conclusions The present meta-analysis shows that in general delaying the first mowing date in European meadowlands has either positive or neutral effects on plant and invertebrate biodiversity (except for plant species richness when delaying from spring to fall or from early summer to later. Overall, there was also strong between

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-11-01

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

  18. Fate of leaf-litter N in forest and grassland along a pedo-climatic gradient in south-western Siberia: an in situ 15N-labelling experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brédoire, Félix; Zeller, Bernd; Nikitich, Polina; Barsukov, Pavel A.; Rusalimova, Olga; Bakker, Mark R.; Legout, Arnaud; Bashuk, Alexander; Kayler, Zachary E.; Derrien, Delphine

    2017-04-01

    The suitability of Siberia for agriculture is expected to increase in the next decades due to strong and rapid climatic changes, but little is known on the environmental drivers of soil fertility there, especially nitrogen (N). Plant-available N is mainly derived from litter decomposition. South-western (SW) Siberia is located on the transition between several bioclimatic zones that are predicted to shift and extend along with climate change (steppe, forest-steppe, sub-taiga). The soils of this region are formed on a common loess deposit but they are submitted to different climatic conditions and vegetation cover. In the south of the region, typically in steppe/forest-steppe, soil freezes over winter because of a relatively shallow snow-pack, and water shortages are frequent in summer. In the north, typically in sub-taiga, the soil is barely frozen in winter due to a thick snow-pack and sufficient soil moisture in summer. In this study, we characterized the dynamics of leaf litter decomposition and the transfer of N from leaf litter to the soil and back to plants. Four sites were chosen along a climate gradient (temperature, precipitation and snow depth). At each site, we applied 15N-labelled leaf litter on the soil surface in experimental plots in an aspen (Populus tremula L.) forest and in a grassland. Twice a year during three years, we tracked the 15N derived from the decomposing labelled-litter in the organic layers, in the first 15 cm of the soil, and in above-ground vegetation. Soil temperature and moisture were monitored at a daily timestep over three years and soil water budgets were simulated (BILJOU model, Granier et al. 1999). We observed contrasting patterns in the fate of litter-derived 15N between bioclimatic zones. Over three years, along with faster decay rates, the release of leaf litter-N was faster in sub-taiga than in forest-steppe. As such, higher quantities of 15N were transferred into the soil in sub-taiga. The transfer was also deeper there

  19. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Biodiversity informatics is a relatively new discipline extending computer science in the context of biodiversity data, and its development to date has not been uniform throughout the world. Digitizing effort and capacity building are costly, and ways should be found to prioritize them rationally. The proposed 'Biodiversity Informatics Potential (BIP) Index' seeks to fulfill such a prioritization role. We propose that the potential for biodiversity informatics be assessed through three concepts: (a) the intrinsic biodiversity potential (the biological richness or ecological diversity) of a country; (b) the capacity of the country to generate biodiversity data records; and (c) the availability of technical infrastructure in a country for managing and publishing such records. Methods Broadly, the techniques used to construct the BIP Index were rank correlation, multiple regression analysis, principal components analysis and optimization by linear programming. We built the BIP Index by finding a parsimonious set of country-level human, economic and environmental variables that best predicted the availability of primary biodiversity data accessible through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) network, and constructing an optimized model with these variables. The model was then applied to all countries for which sufficient data existed, to obtain a score for each country. Countries were ranked according to that score. Results Many of the current GBIF participants ranked highly in the BIP Index, although some of them seemed not to have realized their biodiversity informatics potential. The BIP Index attributed low ranking to most non-participant countries; however, a few of them scored highly, suggesting that these would be high-return new participants if encouraged to contribute towards the GBIF mission of free and open access to biodiversity data. Conclusions The BIP Index could potentially help in (a) identifying countries most likely to

  20. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

  1. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Look both ways: mainstreaming biodiversity and poverty reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bass, Steve; Roe, Dilys; Smith, Jessica

    2010-10-15

    The world's failure to meet its 2010 target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss demonstrates that conservation efforts have so far been insufficient. They are too often undermined by seemingly more pressing economic and poverty goals — despite the frequent correlation of high biodiversity with high incidence of poverty. But it shouldn't be a competition. Biodiversity and poverty reduction are intrinsically linked and demand an integrated approach. The Convention on Biological Diversity has long emphasised the need for integrating, or 'mainstreaming', biodiversity into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies, most recently in its new Strategic Plan. Lessons learnt from wider experience of environmental mainstreaming can help parties to the Convention achieve this target in practice — they point to a six-step plan for the task.

  3. Baltic Sea biodiversity status vs. cumulative human pressures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Korpinen, Samuli

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Many studies have tried to explain spatial and temporal variations in biodiversity status of marine areas from a single-issue perspective, such as fishing pressure or coastal pollution, yet most continental seas experience a wide range of human pressures. Cumulative impact assessments have...... been developed to capture the consequences of multiple stressors for biodiversity, but the ability of these assessments to accurately predict biodiversity status has never been tested or ground-truthed. This relationship has similarly been assumed for the Baltic Sea, especially in areas with impaired...... status, but has also never been documented. Here we provide a first tentative indication that cumulative human impacts relate to ecosystem condition, i.e. biodiversity status, in the Baltic Sea. Thus, cumulative impact assessments offer a promising tool for informed marine spatial planning, designation...

  4. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

  5. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  6. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  7. Indicators for Monitoring Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bispo, A.; Cluzeau, D.; Creamer, R.

    2009-01-01

    is made for a set of suitable indicators for monitoring the decline in soil biodiversity (Bispo et al. 2007). These indicators were selected both from a literature review and an inventory of national monitoring programmes. Decline in soil biodiversity was defined as the reduction of forms of life living...... indicators are actually measured.   For monitoring application it was considered in ENVASSO that only three key indicators per soil stress were practical. For indicating biodiversity decline it was difficult to arrive at a small set of indicators due to the complexity of soil biota and functions. Therefore...

  8. Metacommunity analysis of amoeboid protists in grassland soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiore-Donno, Anna Maria; Weinert, Jan; Wubet, Tesfaye; Bonkowski, Michael

    2016-01-11

    This study reveals the diversity and distribution of two major ubiquitous groups of soil amoebae, the genus Acanthamoeba and the Myxomycetes (plasmodial slime-moulds) that are rarely, if ever, recovered in environmental sampling studies. We analyzed 150 grassland soil samples from three Biodiversity Exploratories study regions in Germany. We developed specific primers targeting the V2 variable region in the first part of the small subunit of the ribosomal RNA gene for high-throughput pyrotag sequencing. From ca. 1 million reads, applying very stringent filtering and clustering parameters to avoid overestimation of the diversity, we obtained 273 acanthamoebal and 338 myxomycete operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 96% similarity threshold). This number is consistent with the genetic diversity known in the two investigated lineages, but unequalled to date by any environmental sampling study. Only very few OTUs were identical to already known sequences. Strikingly different OTUs assemblages were found between the three German regions (PerMANOVA p.value = 0.001) and even between sites of the same region (multiple-site Simpson-based similarity indices <0.4), showing steep biogeographical gradients.

  9. The nutritive value of Valjevac grassland - Zasavica reservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grdović Svetlana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Valjevac pasture of Zasavica reservation with its area of 300 ha presents a significant area for grazing cattle. In order to evaluate its potential for livestock production, the botanical and chemical composition of hay in three different time periods was observed (spring, summer and autumn. The determined plants species confirmed the richness of Zasavica grasslands, as well as the presence of dry, moist and forest habitat plants. The analyzed plants mostly belong to the Poaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Plantaginaceae families. Chemical analysis determined that the protein content decreased (P<0.01 from April (17.22±0.40 % to October (10.30±0.16 %, and cellulose content increased (P<0.01 (from 19.07±0.38 % in April to 21.65±0.41 % in October. The calculated energy density of hay samples ranged from 0.425 Starch Units (SU in October, 0.443 SU in April to 0.448 SU in June. The Valjevac pasture with its numerous plant species is of great importance in upkeeping biodiversity and also presents a solid base for livestock production. The determined levels of manganese and copper point out to the need of copper supplementation especially during the late summer and autumn periods. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III46002

  10. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

    The connotation, progress, research frontiers and developmental trend of grassland agroecology are discussed in this paper. The interface theory, structure and function, coupling and discordance, and health assessment of grassland agroecosystems were recognized as the four research frontiers of the discipline. There exist three primary interfaces in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., vegetation-site, grassland-animal and production-management. Research into a series of the ecological processes that occurred at these interfaces is the key to revealing the features of the system behavior. There are four sections in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., pre-plant, plant, animal and post-biotic sections. System coupling and discordance are the two important concepts to describe interactions among the production sections. System coupling among the sections can lead to system improvement by exerting the potential of system capacity. Health of an ecosystem is a reflection of its structure and function, and health assessment is a measurement of its orderliness and service value.

  11. Interactions between the flooding regime and floodplain grasslands in the Tana River Delta, in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leauthaud, Crystele; Musila, Winfred; Duvail, Stéphanie; Kergoat, Laurent; Hiernaux, Pierre; Grippa, Manuela; Albergel, Jean

    2017-04-01

    The floodplain grasslands of the Tana River Delta, located on the East African coast in Kenya, form part of an intertwined socio-ecological deltaic system of high biodiversity value that delivers numerous goods and services. Mainly composed of Echinochloa stagnina (Retz) P. Beauv., a high-value forage species, this ecosystem is the major dry-season grazing grounds of the local pastoralist communities. The construction of hydroelectric infrastructure has led to a modification of the flooding regime. The impacts of the resulting reduction of floods in the deltaic zone on ecosystem properties and services still need to be assessed. In such a perspective, this study characterizes the link between the flooding regime of the Tana River and the growth pattern of its floodplain grassland. Aboveground dry phytomass was sampled for 15 months under a wide variety of naturally flooded and non-flooded conditions and controlled irrigation and cutting frequency treatments. Annual aboveground dry phytomass attained high values between 11 T.ha-1 and 32 T.ha-1 and annual net primary production of the grasslands reached 35 T.ha-1.year-1. Growth rates clearly depended on the flooding regime, management and climate conditions and were on average more than twice as fast during, and 50% faster after the floods, relative to pre-flood conditions. A plant growth model allowed testing the effect of different flooding regimes on plant productivity, confirming very low productivity in the absence of floods. These results suggest that rangeland and water management for the Tana River deltaic wetlands are tightly linked. The projected construction of another dam could lead to a reduction of flood extent and period and a decrease of grassland productivity and growth duration. Mitigation of this type of negative impacts, which will have direct and adverse consequences for the pastoralist communities as well as on the delivery of other goods and services, needs to be undertaken.

  12. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    This study was concerned with plutonium contamination of grassland at the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geogrphical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for plutonium analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99% of the total plutonium was contained in the soil. The concentrations of plutonium in soil were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes. A mechanism of agglomerated submicron plutonium oxide particles and larger (1-500 μm) host soil particles was proposed. Concentrations of Pu in litter and vegetation were inversely correlated to distance from the source and directly correlated to soil concentrations at the same location. Comparatively high concentration ratios of vegetation to soil suggested wind resuspension of contamination as an important transport mechanism. Arthropod and small mammal samples were highly skewed, kurtotic, and quite variable, having coefficients of variation (standard deviation/mean) as high as 600%. Bone Pu concentrations were lower than other tissues. Hide, GI, and lung were generally not higher in Pu than kidney, liver and muscle

  13. Pollination decays in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamosi, Jana C; Knight, Tiffany M; Steets, Janette A; Mazer, Susan J; Burd, Martin; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2006-01-24

    As pollinators decline globally, competition for their services is expected to intensify, and this antagonism may be most severe where the number of plant species is the greatest. Using meta-analysis and comparative phylogenetic analysis, we provide a global-scale test of whether reproduction becomes more limited by pollen receipt (pollen limitation) as the number of coexisting plant species increases. As predicted, we find a significant positive relationship between pollen limitation and species richness. In addition, this pattern is particularly strong for species that are obligately outcrossing and for trees relative to herbs or shrubs. We suggest that plants occurring in species-rich communities may be more prone to pollen limitation because of interspecific competition for pollinators. As a consequence, plants in biodiversity hotspots may have a higher risk of extinction and/or experience increased selection pressure to specialize on certain pollinators or diversify into different phenological niches. The combination of higher pollen limitation and habitat destruction represents a dual risk to tropical plant species that has not been previously identified.

  14. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...

  15. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory M Mikkelson

    Full Text Available Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of species that are threatened or declining increases substantially with the Gini ratio of income inequality. At both levels of analysis, the connection between income inequality and biodiversity loss persists after controlling for biophysical conditions, human population size, and per capita GDP or income. Future research should explore potential mechanisms behind this equality-biodiversity relationship. Our results suggest that economic reforms would go hand in hand with, if not serving as a prerequisite for, effective conservation.

  16. Urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, L. K.; Lyytimäki, J.; Normander, B.

    2007-01-01

    This report is concerned with the relations between lifestyles of urban populations on one hand and protection of biodiversity in urban areas on the other. Urban areas are of importance for the general protection of biodiversity. In the surroundings of cities and within urban sprawls there can...... biodiversity, recreational, educational and other needs. However, uncovered and unsealed space is constantly under pressure for building and infrastructure development in the urban landscape, and the design and usages of urban green structure is a matter of differing interests and expectations. Integrating...... the green needs of urban lifestyle in the planning process does not come by itself. Nor does finding the synergies between urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity. Careful planning including stakeholder involvement is required. In this process various mapping techniques and use of indicators can be most...

  17. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments. The CBMP includes an international...... on developing and implementing long-term plans for monitoring the integrity of Arctic biomes: terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and coastal (under development) environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group (CBMP-TEMG) has developed the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP......-Terrestrial Plan/the Plan) as the framework for coordinated, long-term Arctic terrestrial biodiversity monitoring. The goal of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long...

  18. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikkelson, Gregory M; Gonzalez, Andrew; Peterson, Garry D

    2007-05-16

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of species that are threatened or declining increases substantially with the Gini ratio of income inequality. At both levels of analysis, the connection between income inequality and biodiversity loss persists after controlling for biophysical conditions, human population size, and per capita GDP or income. Future research should explore potential mechanisms behind this equality-biodiversity relationship. Our results suggest that economic reforms would go hand in hand with, if not serving as a prerequisite for, effective conservation.

  19. MCBS Sites of Biodiversity Significance

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer represents areas with varying levels of native biodiversity that may contain high quality native plant communities, rare plants, rare animals, and/or...

  20. Biodiversity versus cloning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaramillo T, Jose Hernan

    1998-01-01

    The announcement has been made on the cloning of mice in these days and he doesn't stop to miss, because the world lives a stage where conscience of the protection is creating that should be given to the biodiversity. It is known that alone we won't subsist and the protection of the means and all that contains that environment is of vital importance for the man. But it is also known that the vegetables and animal transgenic that they come to multiply the species have appeared that we prepare. The transgenic has been altered genetically, for substitution of one or more genes of other species, inclusive human genes. This represents an improvement compared with the investigations that gave origin to the cloning animal. But it is necessary to notice that to it you arrived through the cloning. This year 28 million hectares have been sowed in cultivations of transgenic seeds and there is around 700 bovine transgenic whose milk contains a necessary protein in the treatment of the man's illnesses

  1. Fungal biodiversity to biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambergo, Felipe S; Valencia, Estela Y

    2016-03-01

    Fungal habitats include soil, water, and extreme environments. With around 100,000 fungus species already described, it is estimated that 5.1 million fungus species exist on our planet, making fungi one of the largest and most diverse kingdoms of eukaryotes. Fungi show remarkable metabolic features due to a sophisticated genomic network and are important for the production of biotechnological compounds that greatly impact our society in many ways. In this review, we present the current state of knowledge on fungal biodiversity, with special emphasis on filamentous fungi and the most recent discoveries in the field of identification and production of biotechnological compounds. More than 250 fungus species have been studied to produce these biotechnological compounds. This review focuses on three of the branches generally accepted in biotechnological applications, which have been identified by a color code: red, green, and white for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial biotechnology, respectively. We also discuss future prospects for the use of filamentous fungi in biotechnology application.

  2. Filling in biodiversity threat gaps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joppa, L. N.; O'Connor, Brian; Visconti, Piero

    2016-01-01

    increase to 10,000 times the background rate should species threatened with extinction succumb to pressures they face (4). Reversing these trends is a focus of the Convention on Biological Diversity's 2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its 20 Aichi Targets and is explicitly incorporated...... into the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We identify major gaps in data available for assessing global biodiversity threats and suggest mechanisms for closing them....

  3. Economic Inequality Predicts Biodiversity Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Mikkelson, Gregory M.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Peterson, Garry D.

    2007-01-01

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of sp...

  4. Constraints on tree seedling establishment in montane grasslands of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan D. Coop; Thomas J. Givnish

    2008-01-01

    Montane and subalpine grasslands are prominent, but poorly understood, features of the Rocky Mountains. These communities frequently occur below reversed tree lines on valley floors, where nightly cold air accumulation is spatially coupled with fine soil texture. We used field experiments to assess the roles of minimum temperature, soil texture, grass competition, and...

  5. Nitrogen Fertilizer Replacement Value of Concentrated Liquid Fraction of Separated Pig Slurry Applied to Grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelkoop, Van J.C.; Holshof, G.

    2017-01-01

    Seven grassland experiments on sandy and clay soils were performed during a period of 4 years to estimate the nitrogen (N) fertilizer replacement value (NFRV) of concentrated liquid fractions of separated pig slurry (mineral concentrate: MC). The risk of nitrate leaching when applying MC was

  6. Dissimilar response of plant and soil biota communities to long-term nutrient adition in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der A.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Korevaar, H.; Schouten, A.J.; Jagers op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.

    2009-01-01

    The long-term effect of fertilizers on plant diversity and productivity is well known, but long-term effects on soil biota communities have received relatively little attention. Here, we used an exceptional long-lasting (>40 years) grassland fertilization experiment to investigate the long-term

  7. Mechanical soil disturbance as a determinant of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in semi-natural grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim Krone; Lekberg, Ylva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2011-01-01

    an ongoing grassland restoration experiment that contained replicated plowed and control plots. The AM fungal community in roots was determined using nested PCR and LSU rDNA primers. We identified 38 phylotypes within the Glomeromycota, of which 29 belonged to Glomus A, six to Glomus B, and three...

  8. Soil acidification and liming in grassland production and grassland soil fertility in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure ČOP

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the evidences on grassland soil acidity and liming in relation to soil processes and herbage production. There is also an outline of the present state of soil acidity and acidity-related traits – contents of organic matter (OM, phosphorus (P and potassium (K in Slovene grassland. In grassland, soil acidification is an ongoing process under humid climate conditions. It is mainly driven by leaching of nutrients, net loss of cations due to retention in livestock products, use of physiologically acid fertilizers, acid rain and N2 fixation. This process is reduced by strong pH buffering capacity of the soil and by physiologically basic fertilizers. Acid grassland soils in Slovenia are widely distributed in spite of the fact that 44% of the total land has developed from a carbonate parent material. Of the 1713 grassland soil samples analysed during 2005-2007 45% were regarded as acid ones (pH < 5.5; in KCl, 57% as soils with very low P status (˂ 6 mg P2O5/100 g soil and 22% as soils with very low K status (˂ 10 mg K2O/100 soil. Increased content of soil organic matter was identified for alpine pastures (˃ 10 % OM in 44% of samples, mainly as a result of low decomposition rate. Liming of acid grassland soils did not always reflect in a higher herbage yield. The cause for this inefficiency is plant composition of grassland. Thus, many grassland plants with relatively high production potential have adapted to acid soil conditions. To illustrate the inconsistent liming effect three researches are reviewed. In the first two researches liming along with fertilizer application did not increase the yield comparing to the fertilized control while in the third research the increase amounted 26 %. Liming improves considerably botanical composition of the acid grassland (e.g. sward where Common Bent – Agrostis tenuis Sibth. – prevails and thus indirectly affects palatability and nutritive value of herbage. Grassland liming has a weak

  9. Grassland ecology and diversity (Ecologia y diversidad de pastizales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert region are ecologically and economically important. These grasslands are valued for their rangeland, wildlife, watershed, and recreation resources. Biological diversity also raises the value of grassland communities. The potential for multiple uses within the region increases as the diversity of the resource base increases. In order...

  10. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hennessy, D.; Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.

    2014-01-01

    The European project MultiSward studied the appreciation of different functions of grasslands by European stakeholders. This paper describes the importance of grasslands for stakeholders in Ireland. Ireland currently has approximately 4.6 million ha of grassland, which is 90% of the total utilized

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  12. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

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

  13. Biodiversity impact assessment (BIA+) - methodological framework for screening biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Lisa; Pflugmacher, Stephan; Berger, Markus; Finkbeiner, Matthias

    2018-03-01

    For the past 20 years, the life cycle assessment (LCA) community has sought to integrate impacts on biodiversity into the LCA framework. However, existing impact assessment methods still fail to do so comprehensively because they quantify only a few impacts related to specific species and regions. This paper proposes a methodological framework that will allow LCA practitioners to assess currently missing impacts on biodiversity on a global scale. Building on existing models that seek to quantify the impacts of human activities on biodiversity, the herein proposed methodological framework consists of 2 components: a habitat factor for 14 major habitat types and the impact on the biodiversity status in those major habitat types. The habitat factor is calculated by means of indicators that characterize each habitat. The biodiversity status depends on parameters from impact categories. The impact functions, relating these different parameters to a given response in the biodiversity status, rely on expert judgments. To ensure the applicability for LCA practitioners, the components of the framework can be regionalized on a country scale for which LCA inventory data is more readily available. The weighting factors for the 14 major habitat types range from 0.63 to 1.82. By means of area weighting of the major habitat types in a country, country-specific weighting factors are calculated. In order to demonstrate the main part of the framework, examples of impact functions are given for the categories "freshwater eutrophication" and "freshwater ecotoxicity" in 1 major habitat type. The results confirm suitability of the methodological framework. The major advantages are the framework's user-friendliness, given that data can be used from LCA databases directly, and the complete inclusion of all levels of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystem). It is applicable for the whole world and a wide range of impact categories. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018;14:282-297.

  14. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ng, B.J.L.; Hutyra, L.R.; Nguyen, H.; Cobb, A.R.; Kai, F.M.; Harvey, C.; Gandois, L.

    2015-01-01

    Turfgrass covers a large fraction of the urbanized landscape, but the carbon exchange of urban lawns is poorly understood. We used eddy covariance and flux chambers in a grassland field manipulative experiment to quantify the carbon mass balance in a Singapore tropical turfgrass. We also assessed how management and variations in environmental factors influenced CO 2 respiration. Standing aboveground turfgrass biomass was 80 gC m −2 , with a mean ecosystem respiration of 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1 . The contribution of autotrophic respiration was 49–76% of total ecosystem respiration. Both chamber and eddy covariance measurements suggest the system was in approximate carbon balance. While we did not observe a significant relationship between the respiration rates and soil temperature or moisture, daytime fluxes increased during the rainy interval, indicating strong overall moisture sensitivity. Turfgrass biomass is small, but given its abundance across the urban landscape, it significantly influences diurnal CO 2 concentrations. - Highlights: • We measured urban turfgrass CO 2 respiration rates and soil characteristics. • Mean observed ecosystem respiration was 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1 . • Soil temperature and moisture were largely insignificant drivers of observed flux. - We found a Singapore urban turfgrass to be approximately carbon neutral, with a mean ecosystem respiration of 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1

  15. Assessing the impacts of livestock production on biodiversity in rangeland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkemade, Rob; Reid, Robin S.; van den Berg, Maurits; de Leeuw, Jan; Jeuken, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock production on the global rangelands area and their biodiversity. First we formalized existing knowledge about livestock grazing impacts on biodiversity, expressed in mean species abundance (MSA) of the original rangeland native species assemblages, through metaanalysis of peer-reviewed literature. MSA values, ranging from 1 in natural rangelands to 0.3 in man-made grasslands, were entered in the IMAGE-GLOBIO model. This model was used to assess the impact of change in food demand and livestock production on future rangeland biodiversity. The model revealed remarkable regional variation in impact on rangeland area and MSA between two agricultural production scenarios. The area of used rangelands slightly increases globally between 2000 and 2050 in the baseline scenario and reduces under a scenario of enhanced uptake of resource-efficient production technologies increasing production [high levels of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology (high-AKST)], particularly in Africa. Both scenarios suggest a global decrease in MSA for rangelands until 2050. The contribution of livestock grazing to MSA loss is, however, expected to diminish after 2030, in particular in Africa under the high-AKST scenario. Policies fostering agricultural intensification can reduce the overall pressure on rangeland biodiversity, but additional measures, addressing factors such as climate change and infrastructural development, are necessary to totally halt biodiversity loss. PMID:22308313

  16. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Besson, Benoit

    2009-01-01

    The project 'SENSIB' of the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) aims at characterizing and classifying parameters with significant impact on the transfer of radioactive contaminants in the environment. This thesis is focused on permanent grassland areas. Its objectives are the analysis of the activity variations of two artificial radionuclides ( 137 Cs and 90 Sr) in the chain from soil to dairy products as well as the categorization of ecological and anthropogenic parameters, which determine the sensitivity of the studied area. For this study, in situ sampling is carried out in 15 farms in 3 different French regions (Charente, Puy-de-Dome and Jura). The sampling sites are chosen according to their natural variations (geology, altitude and climate) and the soil types. Additionally to the radiologic measurements, geographic, soil and vegetation data as well as data concerning cattle-rearing and cheese manufacturing processes are gathered. From the soil to the grass vegetation, 137 Cs transfer factors vary between 3 x 10-3 and 148 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (dry weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 73). Theses transfer factors are significantly higher in the Puy-de-Dome region than in the Jura region. The 137 Cs transfer factor from cattle feed to milk varies from 5.9 x 10-3 to 258 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (fresh weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 28). Statistically, it is higher in the Charente region. Finally, the 90 Sr transfer factor from milk to cheese ranges from 3.9 to 12.1. The studied site with the highest factor is the Jura (N = 25). The link between milk and dairy products is the stage with the most 137 Cs and 90 Sr transfers. A nonlinear approach based on a discretization method of the transfer factor with multiple comparison tests admits a classification of the sensitivity factors from soil to grass vegetation. We can determine 20 factors interfering in the 137 Cs transfer into the vegetation, for instance, the clay rate of the soils or a marker

  17. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  18. Grasslands feeling the heat: The effects of elevated temperatures on a subtropical grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan D. Buhrmann

    2016-12-01

    Conclusions: OTCs can simulate realistic increases of air temperature in subtropical grasslands. Graminoids and shrubs appear to benefit from elevated temperatures whilst forbs decrease in abundance, possibly through competition and/or direct physiological effects.

  19. Leaching of biomass from semi-natural grasslands – Effects on chemical composition and ash high-temperature behaviour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tonn, Bettina; Thumm, Ulrich; Lewandowski, Iris; Claupein, Wilhelm

    2012-01-01

    Combustion of biodiversity-rich semi-natural grassland biomass no longer needed for forage allows nature conservation to be combined with bioenergy production. Natural leaching by rainfall during the period between biomass harvest and collection can reduce the content of elements detrimental for the combustion of grassland biomass. This study assesses the influence of biomass characteristics on leaching efficiency and the potential effects of leaching on ash melting behaviour and elemental release. Grassland biomass harvested from five sites at two harvest dates was leached at two intensities. Low-temperature ash was heated to 700, 800, 900 and 1000 °C respectively and classified into four ash fusion classes. Ash mass loss was determined as a measure of high-temperature elemental release. Weather data were used to calculate the frequency of weather conditions favourable to on-field leaching. K and Cl were leached most strongly and were reduced by 30 and 45% respectively by a leaching treatment corresponding to 30–40 mm of rain. The effects of site and harvest date on leaching efficiency were significant but small. Ash melting behaviour and elemental release between 700 and 900 °C were favourably influenced by leaching. The K/(Ca + Mg) and Si/ash ratios were related to increased ash melting. In this respect, semi-natural grassland biomass differs from other, less Ca-rich, herbaceous biofuels. Even if suitable weather conditions are not occurring frequently at the study sites, on-field leaching can offer an additional low-cost, on-farm strategy option for farmers and nature conservation agencies to improve biomass quality of nature conservation grasslands for combustion. -- Graphical abstract: Highlights: ► Combustion of biomass from biodiversity-rich nature conservation grassland. ► Leaching by rain during the field period reduces K and Cl concentrations. ► Increasing K/(Ca + Mg) and decreasing (K + Ca + Mg)/ash ratios increase ash melting. ► Leaching

  20. Multi-level natural resources governance based on local community: A case study on semi-natural grassland in Tarōji, Nara, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisaku Shimada

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Japan is facing a bio-diversity crisis as a result of rapid industrialisation. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment formulated a National Biodiversity Strategy based on the Convention on Biological Diversity signed at the Earth Summit in 1992. After an amendment in 2002, the National Biodiversity Strategy addressed three crises in biodiversity: over-exploitation and development that destroys habitats, underutilisation (the satoyama problem and artificially introduced factors (chemicals, alien species and so on. This paper focuses on the second problem. Secondary natural environments called satoyama have been created and maintained over the centuries by human activity. Because natural environments in Japan have been affected by human-induced disturbances for 35,000 years, many species have evolved in response to these disturbances. If the human activities cease, many of the species that have evolved to survive in managed environments become threatened. Many satoyama have been managed as commonage or common lands, called iriai in Japan. One natural resource system created by commoners is semi-natural grassland, and economic modernisation has led to abandonment of traditional management practices on these grasslands – one of the more evident changes in Japanese iriai practices. Before industrialisation, semi-natural grasslands were managed as a source of green manure, as a harvest for roofing materials (thatch and as pasture for animals. After industrialisation, however, introduction of chemical fertilizers, changes in building practices and importation of animal feeds rapidly decreased the use value of these grasslands for local residents. On the other hand, their value as public goods – as historical, cultural landscapes and places of biodiversity – which concern a much broader population than the local community – became relatively more important. The resulting problem is how to manage this resource with its new value for new

  1. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage

  2. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Cathy W. Dahms

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of an ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States, and it is one of a series of planned publications addressing major ecosystems of the Southwest. The first assessment, General Technical Report RM-GTR- 295, An Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in the Southwest (by Dahms and Geils, technical editors,...

  3. [Spatiotemporal characteristics of MODIS NDVI in Hulunber Grassland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Bin; Yang, Gui-Xia; Wu, Wen-Bin; Li, Gang; Chen, Bao-Rui; Xin, Xiao-Ping

    2009-11-01

    Time-series MODIS NDVI datasets from 2000 to 2008 were used to study the spatial change trend, fluctuation degree, and occurrence time of the annual NDVImax of four typical grassland types, i.e., lowland meadow, temperate steppe, temperate meadow steppe, and upland meadow, in Hulunber Grassland. In 2000-2008, the vegetation in Hulunber Grassland presented an obvious deterioration trend. The mean annual NDVImax of the four grassland types had a great fluctuation, especially in temperate steppe where the maximum change in the mean value of annual NDVImax approximated to 50%. As for the area change of different grade grasslands, the areas with NDVImax between 0.4 and 1 accounted for about 91% of the total grassland area, which suggested the good vegetation coverage in the Grassland. However, though the areas with NDVImax values in (0.4, 0.8) showed an increasing trend, the areas with NDVImax values in (0.2, 0.4) and (0.8, 1) decreased greatly in the study period. Overall, the deteriorating grassland took up about 66.25% of the total area, and the restoring grassland took the rest. There was about 62.85% of the grassland whose NDVImax occurred between the 193rd day and the 225th day in each year, indicating that this period was the most important vegetation growth season in Hulunber Grassland.

  4. CITY HOTSPOT: LINKAGES BETWEEN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND BIODIVERSITY OF URBAN GREEN AREAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Špela Železnikar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Green areas in cities and their ecosystem services (ES offer residents various benefits. The range of services depends on biodiversity of a green space. The aim was to determine the relationship between biodiversity in different categories of green areas in the city and the ecosystem services, which appear in it. We made 108 relevés in the autumn and spring time, within nine categories of green areas in the Municipality of Ljubljana. In each category the range of ES was assessed based on field analysis and compared with literature assessed ecosystem services. Results showed that the category of forests differ from others. Other categories were similar to each other, in particular grassland categories. Also, a positive relationship linkage was found - more plant species mean more assessed ecosystem services in a specific green infrastructure category.

  5. Conserving what, where and how? Cost-efficient measures to conserve biodiversity in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders Højgård; Strange, Niels; Anthon, Signe

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation efforts in Europe have traditionally focused on farmland and open nature areas such as grasslands, heathlands and meadows, while little attention has been devoted to conservation actions in forest. Using detailed information on the geographical distribution of about 900...... terrestrial species in Denmark we apply systematic conservation planning techniques to identify how to protect biodiversity at the lowest cost to society. The results suggest that conservation actions in forest should be given a higher priority. Thus, three to four times the number of forest species...... are protected per million € compared with species living in open land natural areas. Furthermore, a gap analysis finds the current designation of Natura 2000 and other protected areas is skewed toward open land natural areas, and insufficient to meet the conservation targets on forest species....

  6. Evolution, plant breeding and biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with changes in biodiversity during the course of evolution, plant domestication and plant breeding. It shows than man has had a strong influence on the progressive decrease of biodiversity, unconscious at first and deliberate in modern times. The decrease in biodiversity in the agricultures of the North causes a severe threat to food security and is in contrasts with the conservation of biodiversity which is part of the culture of several populations in the South. The concluding section of the paper shows that man could have guided evolution in a different way and shows an example of participatory plant breeding, a type of breeding which is done in collaboration with farmers and is based on selection for specific adaptation. Even though participatory plant breeding has been practiced for only about 20 years and by relatively few groups, the effects on both biodiversity and crop production are impressive. Eventually the paper shows how participatory plant breeding can be developed into ‘evolutionary plant breeding’ to cope in a dynamic way with climate changes.

  7. Monitoring Biodiversity using Environmental DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis

    DNA). Especially the advance in DNA sequencing technology has revolutionized this field and opened new frontiers in ecology, evolution and environmental sciences. Also, it is becoming a powerful tool for field biologist, with new and efficient methods for monitoring biodiversity. This thesis focuses on the use...... of eDNA in monitoring of biodiversity in different settings. First, it is shown that a diversity of rare freshwater animals – representing amphibians, fish, mammals, insects and crustaceans – can be detected based on eDNA obtained directly from 15 ml water samples of lakes, ponds and streams...... setting, showing that eDNA obtained directly from ½ l seawater samples can account for marine fish biodiversity using NGS. Promisingly, eDNA covered the fish diversity better than any of 9 methods, conventionally used in marine fish surveys. Additionally, it is shown that even short 100-bp. fish e...

  8. Nitrogen acquisition by plants and microorganisms in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qianyuan; Qiao, Na; Xu, Xingliang; Xin, Xiaoping; Han, Jessie Yc; Tian, Yuqiang; Ouyang, Hua; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-03-10

    Nitrogen (N) limitation is common in most terrestrial ecosystems, often leading to strong competition between microorganisms and plants. The mechanisms of niche differentiation to reduce this competition remain unclear. Short-term (15)N experiments with NH4(+), NO3(-), and glycine were conducted in July, August and September in a temperate grassland to evaluate the chemical, spatial and temporal niche differentiation by competition between plants and microorganisms for N. Microorganisms preferred NH4(+) and NO3(-), while plants preferred NO3(-). Both plants and microorganisms acquired more N in August and September than in July. The soil depth had no significant effects on microbial uptake, but significantly affected plant N uptake. Plants acquired 67% of their N from the 0-5 cm soil layer and 33% from the 5-15 cm layer. The amount of N taken up by microorganisms was at least seven times than plants. Although microorganisms efficiently compete for N with plants, the competition is alleviated through chemical partitioning mainly in deeper soil layer. In the upper soil layer, neither chemical nor temporal niche separation is realized leading to strong competition between plants and microorganisms that modifies N dynamics in grasslands.

  9. Transient behavior of cadmium in a grassland arthropod food chain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Hook, R.I.; Yates, A.J.

    1975-01-01

    Biological assimilation and transport of cadmium were determined for an arthropod food chain in an east Tennessee grassland community. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that there were no significant differences (P greater than 0.05) in assimilation rates (17 percent assimilation per day) or biological half-lives (7 days) of 109 Cd either as soluble nitrate or insoluble oxide in crickets under identical conditions. Field experiments demonstrated that primary consumers (crickets) accumulated 109 Cd much more rapidly (uptake rate = 0.55 day -1 ) than did the spider predators (uptake rate = 0.08 day -1 ). Equilibrium concentrations in crickets were obtained in 9 days (0.04 ppM cadmium), while equilibrium was not reached in spiders during the 30-day study. Food-chain concentration of cadmium did not occur as crickets accumulated levels of cadmium 60 percent of that in their vegetation food sources and spiders accumulated only 70 percent of the cadmium present in the cricket tissues

  10. Data intensive computing for biodiversity

    CERN Document Server

    Dhillon, Sarinder K

    2013-01-01

    This book is focused on the development of a data integration framework for retrieval of biodiversity information from heterogeneous and distributed data sources. The data integration system proposed in this book links remote databases in a networked environment, supports heterogeneous databases and data formats, links databases hosted on multiple platforms, and provides data security for database owners by allowing them to keep and maintain their own data and to choose information to be shared and linked. The book is a useful guide for researchers, practitioners, and graduate-level students interested in learning state-of-the-art development for data integration in biodiversity.

  11. Effects of Grazing Abandoned Grassland on Herbage Production and Utilization, and Sheep Preference and Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Håvard Steinshamn

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Large areas of farmland are abandoned in Norway, which for various reasons are regarded as undesirable. Loss of farmland may have negative implications for biodiversity and ecosystem function and food production potential. The objectives of this study were to assess forage mass production and utilization, botanical composition, lamb performance, and grazing distribution pattern when reintroducing livestock grazing to an abandoned grassland. The study area was located in Central Norway, unmanaged for 12 years. Sheep grazed the area for 10 weeks in 2013 and 4 weeks in spring and autumn, respectively, in 2014 and 2015. During the summer of 2014 and 2015, the area was subjected to the following replicated treatments: (1 No grazing, (2 grazing with heifers, and (3 grazing with ewes and their offspring. The stocking rate was similar in the grazed treatments. Forage biomass production and animal intake were estimated using grazing exclosure cages and botanical composition by visual assessment. Effect on lamb performance was evaluated by live weight gain and slaughter traits in sheep subjected to three treatments: (1 Common farm procedure with summer range pasturing, (2 spring grazing period extended by 1 month on the abandoned grassland before summer range pasturing, and (3 spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland. Grazing distribution patterns were studied using GPS position collars on ewes. Total annual biomass production was on average 72% higher with summer grazing than without. Annual consumption and utilization was on average 218 g DM/m2 and 70% when summer grazed, and 25 g DM/m2 and 18% without grazing, respectively. Botanical composition did not differ between treatments. Live weight gain was higher in lambs subjected to an extended spring grazing period (255 g/d compared to common farm practice (228 g/d and spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland (203 g/d, and carcass value was 14% higher in lambs on extended spring

  12. Biodiverse planting for carbon and biodiversity on indigenous land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renwick, Anna R; Robinson, Catherine J; Martin, Tara G; May, Tracey; Polglase, Phil; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie

    2014-01-01

    Carbon offset mechanisms have been established to mitigate climate change through changes in land management. Regulatory frameworks enable landowners and managers to generate saleable carbon credits on domestic and international markets. Identifying and managing the associated co-benefits and dis-benefits involved in the adoption of carbon offset projects is important for the projects to contribute to the broader goal of sustainable development and the provision of benefits to the local communities. So far it has been unclear how Indigenous communities can benefit from such initiatives. We provide a spatial analysis of the carbon and biodiversity potential of one offset method, planting biodiverse native vegetation, on Indigenous land across Australia. We discover significant potential for opportunities for Indigenous communities to achieve carbon sequestration and biodiversity goals through biodiverse plantings, largely in southern and eastern Australia, but the economic feasibility of these projects depend on carbon market assumptions. Our national scale cost-effectiveness analysis is critical to enable Indigenous communities to maximise the benefits available to them through participation in carbon offset schemes.

  13. Predicting the responsiveness of soil biodiversity to deforestation: a cross-biome study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, Thomas W; Maynard, Daniel S; Leff, Jonathan W; Oldfield, Emily E; McCulley, Rebecca L; Fierer, Noah; Bradford, Mark A

    2014-09-01

    The consequences of deforestation for aboveground biodiversity have been a scientific and political concern for decades. In contrast, despite being a dominant component of biodiversity that is essential to the functioning of ecosystems, the responses of belowground biodiversity to forest removal have received less attention. Single-site studies suggest that soil microbes can be highly responsive to forest removal, but responses are highly variable, with negligible effects in some regions. Using high throughput sequencing, we characterize the effects of deforestation on microbial communities across multiple biomes and explore what determines the vulnerability of microbial communities to this vegetative change. We reveal consistent directional trends in the microbial community response, yet the magnitude of this vegetation effect varied between sites, and was explained strongly by soil texture. In sandy sites, the difference in vegetation type caused shifts in a suite of edaphic characteristics, driving substantial differences in microbial community composition. In contrast, fine-textured soil buffered microbes against these effects and there were minimal differences between communities in forest and grassland soil. These microbial community changes were associated with distinct changes in the microbial catabolic profile, placing community changes in an ecosystem functioning context. The universal nature of these patterns allows us to predict where deforestation will have the strongest effects on soil biodiversity, and how these effects could be mitigated. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  15. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

    OpenAIRE

    Piacenza, Susan E.; Thurman, Lindsey L.; Barner, Allison K.; Benkwitt, Cassandra E.; Boersma, Kate S.; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B.; Ingeman, Kurt E.; Kindinger, Tye L.; Lindsley, Amy J.; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N.; Rowe, Jennifer C.; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A.; Heppell, Selina S.

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monito...

  16. Relationship between biodiversity and agricultural production

    OpenAIRE

    Brunetti, Ilaria; Tidball, Mabel; Couvet, Denis

    2018-01-01

    Agriculture is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss. In this work we model the interdependent relationship between biodiversity and agriculture on a farmed land, supposing that, while agriculture has a negative impact on biodiversity, the latter can increase agricultural production. Farmers act as myopic agents, who maximize their instantaneous profit without considering the negative effects of their practice on the evolution of biodiversity. We find that a tax on inputs can have a pos...

  17. Africa's hotspots of biodiversity redefined

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Küper, W.; Sommer, J.H.; Lovett, J.C.; Beentje, H.J.; Rompaey, van R.S.A.R.; Chatelain, C.; Sosef, M.S.M.; Barthlott, W.

    2004-01-01

    A key problem for conservation is the coincidence of regions of high biodiversity with regions of high human impact. Twenty-five of the most threatened centers of plant diversity were identified by Myers et al., and these "hotspots" play a crucial role in international conservation strategies. The

  18. Biodiversity in Word and Meaning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slingsby, David

    2010-01-01

    This article argues that we need to abandon the word "biodiversity", to rediscover the biology that it obscures and to rethink how to introduce this biology to young people. We cannot go back to the systematics that once made up a large part of a biology A-level course (ages 16-18), so we need to find alternative ways of introducing the…

  19. Trading biodiversity for pest problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent shifts in agricultural practices have resulted in increased pesticide use, land use intensification, and landscape simplification, all of which threaten biodiversity in and near farms. Pests are major challenges to food security, and responses to pests can represent unintended socioeconomic a...

  20. Wilderness, biodiversity, and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel L. Dustin; Keri A. Schwab; Kelly S. Bricker

    2015-01-01

    This paper illustrates how wilderness, biodiversity, and human health are intertwined. Proceeding from the assumption that humankind is part of, rather than apart from, nature, health is re-imagined as a dynamic relationship that can best be conceived in broad ecological terms. Health, from an ecological perspective, is a measure of the wellness of the individual and...

  1. Biodiversity: past, present and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubidge, Emily M.; Burton, A. Cole; Vamosi, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    On 12–15 May 2011, a diverse group of students, researchers and practitioners from across Canada and around the world met in Banff, Alberta, to discuss the many facets of biodiversity science at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution. PMID:21733869

  2. The Early Years: Exploring Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2017-01-01

    The importance of biodiversity to human life and the benefits of a diverse ecosystem are not often obvious to young children. This column discusses resources and science topics related to students in grades preK to 2. The objective in this month's issue is to introduce children to the diversity of plant life in a given area through a plant…

  3. Nitrogen deposition and terrestrial biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher M. Clark; Yongfei Bai; William D. Bowman; Jane M. Cowles; Mark E. Fenn; Frank S. Gilliam; Gareth K. Phoenix; Ilyas Siddique; Carly J. Stevens; Harald U. Sverdrup; Heather L. Throop

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen deposition, along with habitat losses and climate change, has been identified as a primary threat to biodiversity worldwide (Butchart et al., 2010; MEA, 2005; Sala et al., 2000). The source of this stressor to natural systems is generally twofold: burning of fossil fuels and the use of fertilizers in modern intensive agriculture. Each of these human...

  4. Ecological restoration: Biodiversity and conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vargas Rios, Orlando

    2011-01-01

    In this essay the principal concepts and methods applied on projects aimed at ecological restoration are reviewed, with emphasis on the relationship between conservation, biodiversity and restoration. The most common definitions are provided and the steps to take into account to develop projects on ecological restoration, which will be determined by the level of degradation of the ecosystem to be intervened.

  5. Business Meets Biodiversity Conference 2012

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vollaard, B.; Man, M. de; Verweij, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    How can companies successfully integrate the sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity into their business models? This was the central question at the international conference ‘Business Meets Biodiversity’ held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on June 27th 2012. The organizing committee,

  6. A forgotten component of biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2011-07-08

    Jul 8, 2011 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 36; Issue 4. Clipboard: Helminth richness in Arunachal Pradesh fishes: A forgotten component of biodiversity. Amit Tripathi. Volume 36 Issue 4 September 2011 pp 559-561. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  7. Mutualism Disruption Threatens Global Plant Biodiversity: A Systematic Review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare E Aslan

    Full Text Available As global environmental change accelerates, biodiversity losses can disrupt interspecific interactions. Extinctions of mutualist partners can create "widow" species, which may face reduced ecological fitness. Hypothetically, such mutualism disruptions could have cascading effects on biodiversity by causing additional species coextinctions. However, the scope of this problem - the magnitude of biodiversity that may lose mutualist partners and the consequences of these losses - remains unknown.We conducted a systematic review and synthesis of data from a broad range of sources to estimate the threat posed by vertebrate extinctions to the global biodiversity of vertebrate-dispersed and -pollinated plants. Though enormous research gaps persist, our analysis identified Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and global oceanic islands as geographic regions at particular risk of disruption of these mutualisms; within these regions, percentages of plant species likely affected range from 2.1-4.5%. Widowed plants are likely to experience reproductive declines of 40-58%, potentially threatening their persistence in the context of other global change stresses.Our systematic approach demonstrates that thousands of species may be impacted by disruption in one class of mutualisms, but extinctions will likely disrupt other mutualisms, as well. Although uncertainty is high, there is evidence that mutualism disruption directly threatens significant biodiversity in some geographic regions. Conservation measures with explicit focus on mutualistic functions could be necessary to bolster populations of widowed species and maintain ecosystem functions.

  8. Achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 to improve the performance of protected areas and conserve freshwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego Juffe-Bignoli; Ian Harrison; Stuart HM Butchart; Rebecca Flitcroft; Virgilio Hermoso; Harry Jonas; Anna Lukasiewicz; Michele Thieme; Eren Turak; Heather Bingham; James Dalton; William Darwall; Marine Deguignet; Nigel Dudley; Royal Gardner; Jonathan Higgins; Ritesh Kumar; Simon Linke; G Randy Milton; Jamie Pittock; Kevin G Smith; Arnout van Soesbergen

    2016-01-01

    1. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011–2020), adopted at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, sets 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets to be met by 2020 to address biodiversity loss and ensure its sustainable and equitable use. Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 describes what an improved conservation network would look...

  9. Uncertainty in biodiversity science, policy and management: a conceptual overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yrjö Haila

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The protection of biodiversity is a complex societal, political and ultimately practical imperative of current global society. The imperative builds upon scientific knowledge on human dependence on the life-support systems of the Earth. This paper aims at introducing main types of uncertainty inherent in biodiversity science, policy and management, as an introduction to a companion paper summarizing practical experiences of scientists and scholars (Haila et al. 2014. Uncertainty is a cluster concept: the actual nature of uncertainty is inherently context-bound. We use semantic space as a conceptual device to identify key dimensions of uncertainty in the context of biodiversity protection; these relate to [i] data; [ii] proxies; [iii] concepts; [iv] policy and management; and [v] normative goals. Semantic space offers an analytic perspective for drawing critical distinctions between types of uncertainty, identifying fruitful resonances that help to cope with the uncertainties, and building up collaboration between different specialists to support mutual social learning.

  10. Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    site. IABIN Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) OAS » SEDI » DSD » IABIN IABIN GEF Logo inbio natserve usgs polpar wcm The Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN , and use of biodiversity information relevant to policy and decision-making on natural resources

  11. Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikmenli, Musa

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.…

  12. European Biodiversity Observation Network – EBONE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Halada, L.; Jongman, R.H.G.; Gerard, F.; Whittaker, L.; Bunce, R.G.H.; Bauch, B.; Schmeller, D.S.

    2009-01-01

    EBONE (European Biodiversity Observation Network) is a project developing a system of biodiversity observation at regional, national and European levels as a contribution to European reporting on biodiversity. The project focuses on GEO (Group of Earth Observations) task BI 07-01 to unify many of

  13. Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; Loreau, Michel; He, Nianpeng; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2017-08-04

    1. Global reactive nitrogen (N) is projected to further increase in the coming years. Previous studies have demonstrated that N enrichment weakens the temporal stability of the ecosystem and the primary productivity through decreased biodiversity and species asynchrony. Mowing is a globally common practise in grasslands; and infrequent mowing can maintain or increase plant diversity under N enrichment conditions. However, it is unclear how infrequent mowing affects ecosystem stability in the face of N enrichment. 2. By independently manipulating the frequency (twice vs. monthly additions per year) and rate (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 50 g N m -2 year -1 ) of NH 4 NO 3 inputs and mowing (unmown vs. mown) over 3 years (2011-2013) in a temperate grassland of northern China, we aimed to examine the interactive effects of N enrichment and mowing on ecosystem stability. 3. The results show that mowing maintained a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem stability despite N addition, but that it exacerbated the negative effects of N addition on ecosystem stability. Mowing increased mean primary productivity and plant species richness, but it also increased the synchrony of population fluctuations and the variability of primary productivity under N enrichment, thereby contributing to a decline in the ecosystem stability. 4. Thus, our study reveals that infrequent mowing can buffer the negative effects of N enrichment on biodiversity to some extent and further increase the primary productivity, but it exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability with N enrichment, thereby threatening local and/or semiarid regional food security.

  14. Grassland to woodland transitions: Dynamic response of microbial community structure and carbon use patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, Courtney A.; Filley, Timothy R.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Rowe, Helen I.

    2016-06-01

    Woodland encroachment into grasslands is a globally pervasive phenomenon attributed to land use change, fire suppression, and climate change. This vegetation shift impacts ecosystem services such as ground water allocation, carbon (C) and nutrient status of soils, aboveground and belowground biodiversity, and soil structure. We hypothesized that woodland encroachment would alter microbial community structure and function and would be related to patterns in soil C accumulation. To address this hypothesis, we measured the composition and δ13C values of soil microbial phospholipids (PLFAs) along successional chronosequences from C4-dominated grasslands to C3-dominated woodlands (small discrete clusters and larger groves) spanning up to 134 years. Woodland development increased microbial biomass, soil C and nitrogen (N) concentrations, and altered microbial community composition. The relative abundance of gram-negative bacteria (cy19:0) increased linearly with stand age, consistent with decreases in soil pH and/or greater rhizosphere development and corresponding increases in C inputs. δ13C values of all PLFAs decreased with time following woody encroachment, indicating assimilation of woodland C sources. Among the microbial groups, fungi and actinobacteria in woodland soils selectively assimilated grassland C to a greater extent than its contribution to bulk soil. Between the two woodland types, microbes in the groves incorporated relatively more of the relict C4-C than those in the clusters, potentially due to differences in below ground plant C allocation and organo-mineral association. Changes in plant productivity and C accessibility (rather than C chemistry) dictated microbial C utilization in this system in response to shrub encroachment.

  15. Greenhouse Gas Emission from Beef Cattle Grazing Systems on Temperate Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, C. W.; Rivera-Zayas, J.

    2017-12-01

    At a global scale, cattle production is responsible for 65% of GHG emissions. During 2014 cattle management was the largest emitters of methane (CH4) representing a 23.2% of the total CH4 from anthropogenic activities. Since 2014, gas samples have been gathered and analyzed for carbon dioxide (CO2), CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O) from three grazing areas under three different burning regimes at the temperate grassland of Konza Prairie Biological Station in Kansas. Burning regimes included one site in annually burned, and two sites with patch burned every three years on offset years. Burning regimes showed no effect in N2O emissions (pconsumed on grazed grassland soils; with an increase in consumption with patch burning. Results quantify the role of temperate grasslands as a sink of CH4, and a possible sink of N2O. This experiment evidence CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions behavior as a consequence of burning regimes, and quantify the role of temperate grasslands as a sink of CH4 and N2O in order to understand best practice for resilience of beef cattle management.

  16. Feasibility Study on: Reforestation of Degraded Grasslands in Indonesia as a Climate Change Mitigation Option

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalfelt, A; Naess, L O; Sutamihardja, R T.M.; Gintings, N

    1997-12-31

    The report deals with a cooperation project between Norway and Indonesia dealing with a feasibility study on sustainable reforestation of degraded grasslands in Indonesia. Poor forest management and uncontrolled land use changes contribute a significant share anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO{sub 2}, and one of many ways to reduce the CO{sub 2} emission is to encourage reforestation and better forest management. The report contains a brief overview of the issue of Imperata (alang-alang) grasslands, an outline of the present status, a discussion of potential costs and benefits associated with reforestation, and suggestions of strategies which could be applied to reach the desired goals. Case studies are presented from three locations where field work has been undertaken. The case studies provide baseline data about the sites and the imperata grasslands, experiences from earlier efforts to rehabilitate the grasslands, the common attitude to reforestation among the local communities, a discussion of the feasibility of reforestation, and finally, recommendations for the future. 142 refs., 11 figs., 15 tabs.

  17. Grassland/atmosphere response to changing climate: Coupling regional and local scales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coughenour, M.B.; Kittel, T.G.F.; Pielke, R.A.; Eastman, J.

    1993-10-01

    The objectives of the study were: to evaluate the response of grassland ecosystems to atmospheric change at regional and site scales, and to develop multiscaled modeling systems to relate ecological and atmospheric models with different spatial and temporal resolutions. A menu-driven shell was developed to facilitate use of models at different temporal scales and to facilitate exchange information between models at different temporal scales. A detailed ecosystem model predicted that C 3 temperate grasslands wig respond more strongly to elevated CO 2 than temperate C 4 grasslands in the short-term while a large positive N-PP response was predicted for a C 4 Kenyan grassland. Long-term climate change scenarios produced either decreases or increases in Colorado plant productivity (NPP) depending on rainfall, but uniform increases in N-PP were predicted in Kenya. Elevated CO 2 is likely to have little effect on ecosystem carbon storage in Colorado while it will increase carbon storage in Kenya. A synoptic climate classification processor (SCP) was developed to evaluate results of GCM climate sensitivity experiments. Roughly 80% agreement was achieved with manual classifications. Comparison of lx and 2xCO 2 GCM Simulations revealed relatively small differences

  18. Multiscale Trend Analysis for Pampa Grasslands Using Ground Data and Vegetation Sensor Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Scottá

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate changes in the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP of grasslands in the Pampa biome by using experimental plots and changes in the spectral responses of similar vegetation communities obtained by remote sensing and to compare both datasets with meteorological variations to validate the transition scales of the datasets. Two different geographic scales were considered in this study. At the local scale, an analysis of the climate and its direct influences on grassland ANPP was performed using data from a long-term experiment. At the regional scale, the influences of climate on the grassland reflectance patterns were determined using vegetation sensor imagery data. Overall, the monthly variations of vegetation canopy growth analysed using environmental changes (air temperature, total rainfall and total evapotranspiration were similar. The results from the ANPP data and the NDVI data showed the that variations in grassland growth were similar and independent of the analysis scale, which indicated that local data and the relationships of local data with climate can be considered at the regional scale in the Pampa biome by using remote sensing.

  19. Feasibility Study on: Reforestation of Degraded Grasslands in Indonesia as a Climate Change Mitigation Option

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalfelt, A.; Naess, L.O.; Sutamihardja, R.T.M.; Gintings, N.

    1996-12-31

    The report deals with a cooperation project between Norway and Indonesia dealing with a feasibility study on sustainable reforestation of degraded grasslands in Indonesia. Poor forest management and uncontrolled land use changes contribute a significant share anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO{sub 2}, and one of many ways to reduce the CO{sub 2} emission is to encourage reforestation and better forest management. The report contains a brief overview of the issue of Imperata (alang-alang) grasslands, an outline of the present status, a discussion of potential costs and benefits associated with reforestation, and suggestions of strategies which could be applied to reach the desired goals. Case studies are presented from three locations where field work has been undertaken. The case studies provide baseline data about the sites and the imperata grasslands, experiences from earlier efforts to rehabilitate the grasslands, the common attitude to reforestation among the local communities, a discussion of the feasibility of reforestation, and finally, recommendations for the future. 142 refs., 11 figs., 15 tabs.

  20. Trajectories of grassland ecosystem change in response to experimental manipulations of precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Alan; Smith, Melinda; Collins, Scott; Blair, John; Briggs, John

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and predicting the dynamics of ecological systems has always been central to Ecology. Today, ecologists recognize that in addition to natural and human-caused disturbances, a fundamentally different type of ecosystem change is being driven by the combined and cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities affecting earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. This type of change is historically unprecedented in magnitude, and as a consequence, such alterations are leading to trajectories of change in ecological responses that differ radically from those observed in the past. Through both short- and long-term experiments, we have been trying to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of ecological change in grassland ecosystems likely to result from changes in precipitation regimes. We have manipulated a key resource for most grasslands (water) and modulators of water availability (temperature) in field experiments that vary from 1-17 years in duration, and used even longer-term monitoring data from the Konza Prairie LTER program to assess how grassland communities and ecosystems will respond to changes in water availability. Trajectories of change in aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in sites subjected to 17 years of soil water augmentation were strongly non-linear with a marked increase in the stimulation of ANPP after year 8 (from 25% to 65%). Lags in alterations in grassland community composition are posited to be responsible for the form of this trajectory of change. In contrast, responses in ANPP to chronic increases in soil moisture variability appear to have decreased over a 10-yr period of manipulation, although the net effects of more variable precipitation inputs were to reduce ANPP, alter the genetic structure of the dominant grass species, increase soil nitrogen availability and reduce soil respiration. The loss of sensitivity to increased resource variability was not reflected in adjacent plots where precipitation was

  1. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Ržonca

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003 and 2004 was carried out the energy analysis of the different types of permanent grassland utilization on the Hrubý Jeseník locality. There were estimated values of the particular entrances of additional energy. Energy entrances moved according to the pratotechnologies from 2.17 GJ. ha–1 to 22.70 GJ.ha–1. The biggest share on energy entrances had fertilizers. It was 84.93% by the nitrogen fertilisation. The most energy benefit of brutto and nettoenergy was marked by the low intensive utilisation (33.40 GJ.ha–1 NEL and 32.40 GJ.ha–1 NEV on average. The highest value of energy efficiency (13.23% was marked by the low intensive utilization of permanent grassland. By using of higher doses of industrial fertilizers has energy efficiency decreased. From view of energy benefit and intensiveness on energy entrances it appears the most available utilisation of permanent grassland with three cuts per year (first cut on May 31st at the latest, every next after 60 days or two cuts per year (first cut on July 15th, next cuts after 90 days.

  2. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is critical for the maintenance of plant populations and community diversity, but sexual regeneration is considered to be infrequent in climatically harsh habitats such as sub alpine grasslands. For this reasons it is very important to improve the grassland. In this paper we study the interaction among milk production, fertilizations and flower composition in sub alpine grasslands. The agrochemical indicators are important because they influence the pasture value and at the final the milk production.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O. [Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The aim of the project on the title subject is to provide insight into the major controlling factors that contribute to the net exchange rates of methane (CH4) between grassland and atmosphere, and to provide quantitative net CH4 emission rates. Net CH4 emissions have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers on both intensively managed grasslands and grasslands in a nature preserve on peat soil in the Netherlands. Net CH4 emissions from intensively managed grasslands (Zegveld, Netherlands) were low in the period January-December 1994, in general in the range of -0.2 to 0.2 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1}. Only in the relatively warm summer of 1994, consumption of atmospheric CH4 of about 0.4 mg m{sup -2} d{sup -1} was measured. Effects of ground water level in the range of 30-60 cm below surface were very small. There were also no clear effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing versus mowing on CH4 emission from the soil. Net CH4 emissions from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve (Nieuwkoopse Plassen area in the Netherlands) ranged from 0-215 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1} in the period January 1994-June 1995. Differences between the three sites were quite large, as were the spatial variations at each of the sites. The results presented here indicate that a shift of intensively managed peat grasslands into more natural ecosystems will significantly increase the contribution of Dutch peat soils to the total CH4 emission. refs.

  4. Options for promoting high-biodiversity REDD+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swan, Steve; Mcnally, Richard; Grieg-Gran, Maryanne; Roe, Dilys; Mohammed, Essam Yassin

    2011-11-15

    International climate and biodiversity conventions agree that to be effective in the long term, strategies to reduce emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, and sustainable forest management (REDD+), must not undermine biodiversity. But how do countries achieve 'high-biodiversity REDD+' in practice? At a global level, options include immediate policy strengthening in international negotiations; promotion of co-benefit standards; and financial incentives and preferences for buying countries. At a national level, developing countries can also promote high-biodiversity REDD+ through more coherent policies; integrated planning; regulatory and economic instruments; and improved monitoring of biodiversity impacts.

  5. Sustaining America's Aquatic Biodiversity. Aquatic Insect Biodiversity and Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Voshell, J. Reese

    2005-01-01

    Provides a description of the structure and appearance of aquatic insects, how they live and reproduce, the habitats they live in, how to collect them, why they are of importance, and threats to their survival; document also includes a brief illustrated summary of the eight major groups of aquatic insects and web links to more information. Part of a 12 part series on sustaining aquatic biodiversity in America.

  6. Rice agroecosystem and the maintenance of biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahyaudin Ali

    2002-01-01

    Rice fields are a special type of wetland. They are shallow, constantly disturbed and experience extremes in temperature and dissolved oxygen content. They receive nutrients in the form of fertilizers during rice cultivation. Rice fields; support a variety of flora and fauna that have adapted and adjusted themselves to the extreme conditions. Since rice fields also support populations of wild fish, rice?fish integration should be done in order to optimize land use and provide supplementary income to farmers. Rice?fish farming encourages farmers to judiciously apply pesticides and herbicides in their fields thus helping to control excessive and unwarranted use of these chemicals. Rice fields also support many migratory and nonmigratory bird species and provides habitat for small mammals. Thus the rice agroecosystem helps to maintain aquatic biodiversity. The Muda rice agroecosystem consists of a troika of interconnected ecosystems. The troika consisting of reservoirs, the connecting network of canals and the rice fields; should be investigated further. This data is needed for informed decision-making concerning development and management of the system so that productivity and biodiversity can be maintained and sustained. (Author)

  7. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on "1"3C natural abundances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klaus, Valentin H.; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F.; Hänsel, Falk; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ"1"3C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier "1"3C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of "1"3C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ"1"3C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ"1"3C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ"1"3C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future climate change. - Highlights

  8. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on {sup 13}C natural abundances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klaus, Valentin H., E-mail: v.klaus@uni-muenster.de [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany); Hölzel, Norbert [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany); Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara [University of Bern, Institute of Plant Sciences, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern (Switzerland); Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F. [Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena (Germany); Hänsel, Falk [University Marburg, Environmental Informatics, Faculty of Geography, Deutschhausstr. 12, 35037 Marburg (Germany); Fischer, Markus [University of Bern, Institute of Plant Sciences, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern (Switzerland); Kleinebecker, Till [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany)

    2016-10-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ{sup 13}C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier {sup 13}C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of {sup 13}C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ{sup 13}C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ{sup 13}C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ{sup 13}C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future

  9. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Georgina M.; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-01-01

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth’s human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum—as well as opposition—is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem’s long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify ‘biodiversity services’ in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. PMID:27928040

  10. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddon, Nathalie; Mace, Georgina M; Naeem, Shahid; Tobias, Joseph A; Pigot, Alex L; Cavanagh, Rachel; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-12-14

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth's human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum-as well as opposition-is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem's long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify 'biodiversity services' in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. © 2016 The Author(s).

  11. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sizemore, Grant C

    2015-05-15

    Biodiversity is an essential part of properly functioning ecosystems, yet the loss of biodiversity currently occurs at rates unparalleled in the modern era. One of the major causes of this phenomenon is habitat loss and modification as a result of intensified agricultural practices. This paper provides a starting point for considering biodiversity within dairy production, and, although focusing primarily on the United States, findings are applicable broadly. Biodiversity definitions and assessments (e.g., indicators, tools) are proposed and reviewed. Although no single indicator or tool currently meets all the needs of comprehensive assessment, many sustainable practices are readily adoptable as ways to conserve and promote biodiversity. These practices, as well as potential funding opportunities are identified. Given the state of uncertainty in addressing the complex nature of biodiversity assessments, the adoption of generally sustainable environmental practices may be the best currently available option for protecting biodiversity on dairy lands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Regional Variation in the Temperature Sensitivity of Soil Organic Matter Decomposition in China's Forests and Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y.; He, N.; Zhu, J.; Yu, G.; Xu, L.; Niu, S.; Sun, X.; Wen, X.

    2017-12-01

    How to assess the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and its regional variation with high accuracy is one of the largest uncertainties in determining the intensity and direction of the global carbon (C) cycle in response to climate change. In this study, we collected a series of soils from 22 forest sites and 30 grassland sites across China to explore regional variation in Q10 and its underlying mechanisms. We conducted a novel incubation experiment with periodically changing temperature (5-30 °C), while continuously measuring soil microbial respiration rates. The results showed that Q10 varied significantly across different ecosystems, ranging from 1.16 to 3.19 (mean 1.63). Q10 was ordered as follows: alpine grasslands (2.01) > temperate grasslands (1.81) > tropical forests (1.59) > temperate forests (1.55) > subtropical forests (1.52). The Q10 of grasslands (1.90) was significantly higher than that of forests (1.54). Furthermore, Q10 significantly increased with increasing altitude and decreased with increasing longitude. Environmental variables and substrate properties together explained 52% of total variation in Q10 across all sites. Overall, pH and soil electrical conductivity primarily explained spatial variation in Q10. The general negative relationships between Q10 and substrate quality among all ecosystem types supported the C quality temperature (CQT) hypothesis at a large scale, which indicated that soils with low quality should have higher temperature sensitivity. Furthermore, alpine grasslands, which had the highest Q10, were predicted to be more sensitive to climate change under the scenario of global warming.

  13. Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi mediate soil respiration response to climate change in California grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estruch, Carme; Mcfarland, Jack; Haw, Monica P.; Schulz, Marjorie S.; Pugnaire, Francisco I.; Waldrop, Mark P.

    2017-04-01

    California grasslands store ca. 100 Tg of soil organic carbon (SOC) and almost 40% of those ecosystems are prone to land use changes. The fate of these carbon pools will largely depend on how the main components of soil respiration - i.e., roots, mycorrhiza, and 'bulk soil' communities- respond to such changes. In order to determine the sensitivity to environmental drivers we set up an experiment to address the effect of plant community composition, soil age and warming on soil respiration rate during the 2014-2015 winter. We tested differences among microbial, fungal and root respiration using an exclusion technique to assess the effect of plant community (open grasslands vs oak woodland) in two field sites differing in soil properties as nutrient content, related to geologic soil age (92 and 137 kyr). We also used open top chambers (OTC) to simulate global change effects on grasslands. Our results showed that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were the main drivers of differences recorded between soils of different age, and that those differences were linked to nutrient availability. Bulk soil respiration was more sensitive to environmental variation than mycorrhizal or root respiration, indicating that the presence of mycorrhizae and roots can regulate the capacity of CO2 emission to the atmosphere. Soil age affected CO2 flux from grasslands but not under oak canopies, likely due to the high concentration of SOM in oak canopies which moderated any affect of soil mineralogy on nutrient availability. Overall our study shows that the ability of grasslands to mitigate CO2 emissions depends on interactions between vegetation and their rhizosphere on soil microbial communities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuwen Xu

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

  15. Biodiversity redistribution under climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pecl, Gretta T.; Bastos, Miguel; Bell, Johann D.

    2017-01-01

    Distributions of Earth’s species are changing at accelerating rates, increasingly driven by humanmediated climate change. Such changes are already altering the composition of ecological communities, but beyond conservation of natural systems, how and why does this matter? We review evidence that ...... by changes in species distribution. Consideration of these effects of biodiversity redistribution is critical yet lacking in most mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals....

  16. Island biodiversity conservation needs palaeoecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogué, Sandra; de Nascimento, Lea; Froyd, Cynthia A.

    2017-01-01

    to human activities. Consequently, even the most degraded islands are a focus for restoration, eradication, and monitoring programmes to protect the remaining endemic and/or relict populations. Here, we build a framework that incorporates an assessment of the degree of change from multiple baseline...... and the introduction of non-native species. We provide exemplification of how such approaches can provide valuable information for biodiversity conservation managers of island ecosystems....

  17. Re-introducing environmental change drivers in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laender, Frederik; Rohr, Jason R.; Ashauer, Roman; Baird, Donald J.; Berger, Uta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Grimm, Volker; Hommen, Udo; Maltby, Lorraine; Meliàn, Carlos J.; Pomati, Francesco; Roessink, Ivo; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Van den Brink, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    For the past 20 years, research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (B-EF) has only implicitly considered the underlying role of environmental change. We illustrate that explicitly re-introducing environmental change drivers in B-EF research is needed to predict the functioning of ecosystems facing changes in biodiversity. Next, we show how this reintroduction improves experimental control over community composition and structure, which helps to obtain mechanistic insight about how multiple aspects of biodiversity relate to function, and how biodiversity and function relate in food-webs. We also highlight challenges for the proposed re-introduction, and suggest analyses and experiments to better understand how random biodiversity changes, as studied by classic approaches in B-EF research, contribute to the shifts in function that follow environmental change. PMID:27742415

  18. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh (contributor), Paul Henning

    Soil is one of the fundamental components for supporting life on Earth. Most ecosystem processes and global functions that occur within soil are driven by living organisms that, in turn, sustain life above ground. However, despite the fact that soils are home to a quarter of all living species on...... Biodiversity is an essential reference to the many and varied aspects of soil. The overall goal of this work is to convey the fundamental necessity to safeguard soil biodiversity in order to guarantee life on this planet.......Soil is one of the fundamental components for supporting life on Earth. Most ecosystem processes and global functions that occur within soil are driven by living organisms that, in turn, sustain life above ground. However, despite the fact that soils are home to a quarter of all living species...... on Earth, life within the soil is often hidden away and suffers by being 'out of sight and out of mind'. What kind of life is there in soil? What do we mean by soil biodiversity? What is special about soil biology? How do our activities affect soil ecosystems? What are the links between soil biota...

  19. Demonstrating biodiversity offset policy outcomes using the classic "trading in a pit market" classroom game

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bull, Joseph William; Strange, Niels

    2017-01-01

    , and subsequently, the provision of full ecological compensation measures elsewhere by the associated developer, e. g., habitat restoration. The objective is no net loss of biodiversity overall. Here, we develop an offset experiment in the style of a classic economic game (‘trading in a pit market’), which can...... the experiment, with and without a hypothetical biodiversity offset policy in place, revealed some key principles around offsetting which have been noted in real world policy outcomes....

  20. Scale dependence of the diversity–stability relationship in a temperate grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; He, Nianpeng; Loreau, Michel; Pan, Qingmin; Han, Xingguo

    2018-01-01

    A positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability has been reported in many ecosystems; however, it has yet to be determined whether and how spatial scale affects this relationship. Here, for the first time, we assessed the effects of alpha, beta and gamma diversity on ecosystem stability and the scale dependence of the slope of the diversity–stability relationship.By employing a long-term (33 years) dataset from a temperate grassland, northern China, we calculated the all possible spatial scales with the complete combination from the basic 1-m2 plots.Species richness was positively associated with ecosystem stability through species asynchrony and overyielding at all spatial scales (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 m2). Both alpha and beta diversity were positively associated with gamma stability.Moreover, the slope of the diversity–area relationship was significantly higher than that of the stability–area relationship, resulting in a decline of the slope of the diversity–stability relationship with increasing area.Synthesis. With the positive species diversity effect on ecosystem stability from small to large spatial scales, our findings demonstrate the need to maintain a high biodiversity and biotic heterogeneity as insurance against the risks incurred by ecosystems in the face of global environmental changes. PMID:29725139

  1. Scale dependence of the diversity-stability relationship in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; He, Nianpeng; Loreau, Michel; Pan, Qingmin; Han, Xingguo

    2018-05-01

    A positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability has been reported in many ecosystems; however, it has yet to be determined whether and how spatial scale affects this relationship. Here, for the first time, we assessed the effects of alpha, beta and gamma diversity on ecosystem stability and the scale dependence of the slope of the diversity-stability relationship.By employing a long-term (33 years) dataset from a temperate grassland, northern China, we calculated the all possible spatial scales with the complete combination from the basic 1-m 2 plots.Species richness was positively associated with ecosystem stability through species asynchrony and overyielding at all spatial scales (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 m 2 ). Both alpha and beta diversity were positively associated with gamma stability.Moreover, the slope of the diversity-area relationship was significantly higher than that of the stability-area relationship, resulting in a decline of the slope of the diversity-stability relationship with increasing area. Synthesis. With the positive species diversity effect on ecosystem stability from small to large spatial scales, our findings demonstrate the need to maintain a high biodiversity and biotic heterogeneity as insurance against the risks incurred by ecosystems in the face of global environmental changes.

  2. Impact of Grassland Reseeding, Herbicide spraying and Ploughing on Diversity and Abundance of Soil Arthropods.

    OpenAIRE

    Wei Liu; Wei Liu; Wei Liu; Junling Zhang; Stuart L Norris; Phil Murray

    2016-01-01

    In order to determine the interactive effect of reseeding, herbicide spraying and ploughing on soil fauna communities, we conducted a grassland reseeding experiment combined with pre-reseed management to examine how with the whole reseeding process affects soil faunal composition. Sampling occasions and exact treatments were as follows: 1) before chemical herbicide spray; 2) after spray but before ploughing; 3) after ploughing but before reseeding; and 4) after one year of recovery. Our resul...

  3. Greenhouse gas balance of an establishing Sphagnum culture on a former bog grassland in Germany

    OpenAIRE

    A. Günther; G. Jurasinski; K. Albrecht; G. Gaudig; M. Krebs; S. Glatzel

    2017-01-01

    The cultivation of Sphagnum mosses on re-wetted peat bogs for use in horticulture is a new land use strategy. We provide the first greenhouse gas balances for a field-scale Sphagnum farming experiment on former bog grassland, in its establishment phase. Over two years we used closed chambers to make measurements of GHG exchange on production strips of Sphagnum palustre L. and Sphagnum papillosum Lindb. and on irrigation ditches. Methane fluxes of both Sphagnum species showed a significant dec...

  4. More than a century of Grain for Green Program is expected to restore soil carbon stock on alpine grassland revealed by field {sup 13}C pulse labeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Qi; Chen, Dongdong; Zhao, Liang [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Yang, Xue [Department of Education of Qinghai Province, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Xu, Shixiao [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Zhao, Xinquan, E-mail: xqzhao@nwipb.cas.cn [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 10041, Sichuan (China)

    2016-04-15

    Anthropogenic changes in land use/cover have altered the vegetation, soil, and carbon (C) cycling on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) over the last ~ 50 years. As a result, the Grain for Green Program (GfGP) has been widely implemented over the last 10 years to mitigate the impacts of cultivation. To quantify the effects of the GfGP on C partitioning and turnover rates at the ecosystem scale, an in situ {sup 13}C pulse labeling experiment was conducted on natural and GfGP grasslands in an agro-pastoral ecotone in the Lake Qinghai region on the QTP. We found that there were significant differences in the C stocks of all the considered pools in both the natural and GfGP grasslands, with higher CO{sub 2} uptake rates in the GfGP grassland than that in the natural grassland. Partitioning of photoassimilate (% of recovered {sup 13}C) in C pools of both grasslands was similar 25 days after labeling, except in the roots of the 0–15 and 5–15 cm soil layer. Soil organic C (SOC) sequestration rate in the GfGP grassland was 11.59 ± 1.89 g C m{sup −2} yr{sup −1} significantly greater than that in the natural grassland. The results confirmed that the GfGP is an efficient approach for grassland restoration and C sequestration. However, it will take more than a century (119.19 ± 20.26 yr) to restore the SOC stock from the current cropland baseline level to the approximate level of natural grassland. We suggest that additional measures are needed in the selection of suitable plant species for vegetation restoration, and in reasonable grazing management. - Highlights: • Grain for Green Project initiated in 1999 converts cropland to grassland/shrubland. • Impact of Grain for Green on carbon cycling on Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is unknown. • Effects on carbon partitioning and turnover were accessed by {sup 13}CO{sub 2} pulse labeling. • Different mass of {sup 13}C in excess, similar {sup 13}C partitioning are shown in grasslands. • Soil organic carbon of

  5. More than a century of Grain for Green Program is expected to restore soil carbon stock on alpine grassland revealed by field "1"3C pulse labeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Qi; Chen, Dongdong; Zhao, Liang; Yang, Xue; Xu, Shixiao; Zhao, Xinquan

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in land use/cover have altered the vegetation, soil, and carbon (C) cycling on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) over the last ~ 50 years. As a result, the Grain for Green Program (GfGP) has been widely implemented over the last 10 years to mitigate the impacts of cultivation. To quantify the effects of the GfGP on C partitioning and turnover rates at the ecosystem scale, an in situ "1"3C pulse labeling experiment was conducted on natural and GfGP grasslands in an agro-pastoral ecotone in the Lake Qinghai region on the QTP. We found that there were significant differences in the C stocks of all the considered pools in both the natural and GfGP grasslands, with higher CO_2 uptake rates in the GfGP grassland than that in the natural grassland. Partitioning of photoassimilate (% of recovered "1"3C) in C pools of both grasslands was similar 25 days after labeling, except in the roots of the 0–15 and 5–15 cm soil layer. Soil organic C (SOC) sequestration rate in the GfGP grassland was 11.59 ± 1.89 g C m"−"2 yr"−"1 significantly greater than that in the natural grassland. The results confirmed that the GfGP is an efficient approach for grassland restoration and C sequestration. However, it will take more than a century (119.19 ± 20.26 yr) to restore the SOC stock from the current cropland baseline level to the approximate level of natural grassland. We suggest that additional measures are needed in the selection of suitable plant species for vegetation restoration, and in reasonable grazing management. - Highlights: • Grain for Green Project initiated in 1999 converts cropland to grassland/shrubland. • Impact of Grain for Green on carbon cycling on Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is unknown. • Effects on carbon partitioning and turnover were accessed by "1"3CO_2 pulse labeling. • Different mass of "1"3C in excess, similar "1"3C partitioning are shown in grasslands. • Soil organic carbon of cropland will be restored to natural

  6. Interference between perennial grassland and Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata seedlings: a case of spatial segregation cause by competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Ana M.; Peco, Begoña

    2004-07-01

    This paper analyses the relationship between Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata, a common Mediterranean scrub species in central Iberia, and perennial grasslands. While Lavandula gives rise to almost monospecific formations in intermediate and upper hill zones, perennial grasses occupy the low areas. The proposed explanatory hypothesis for this spatial distribution is that the scrub is unable to establish itself in grasslands with heavy spatial occupation. We designed two experiments to test this hypothesis, one which analysed the effect of perennial grass cover on Lavandula establishment, and another which focused on its influence on previously implanted seedling survival and growth, distinguishing the effect of shoot and root interference. The results show negative interference during establishment and later in the use of light and nutrients. This results in a very low overall survival probability, with only 1.4% of seedlings surviving the first growth period. This low success rate explains the existence of a clear spatial segregation between scrub patches and perennial-dominated grasslands.

  7. Cattle slurry on grassland - application methods and nitrogen use efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

    Cattle slurry represents a significant resource on grassland-based farming systems. The objective of this thesis was to investigate and devise cattle slurry application methods and strategies that can be implemented on grassland farms to improve the efficiency with which nitrogen (N) in

  8. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  9. Influence of density on the seasonal utilization of broad grassland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We monitored seasonal use of grassland types by white rhinos at two sites within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). Thirty-two rhinos were removed from one site to reduce rhino density. Seasonal use of grassland types was similar at both sites, but differed to what a previous study reported. This was likely due to higher food ...

  10. Biodiversity of Helminths of Sheep Breed in Vojvodina (Northern Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan PAVLOVIĆ

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Vojvodina is situated in the northern part of Serbia. The region is divided into: Bačka in the northwest, Banat in the east and Srem in the southwest. A small part of the Mačva region is also located in Vojvodina, in the Srem District. Vojvodina is abundant with numerous grasslands suitable for sheep grazing. The present study was conducted in 90 sheep flocks from the territory of Vojvodina in the period of March 2014 to January 2015, using into consideration the biodiversity and sesonal occurance and prevalence of isolated parasites. Fecal samples were examined by using qualitative and quantitative coprological methods. Infection we occurred at 81.22% of sheep. We found eggs of Nematodirus sp. (71.22%, Ostertagia sp. (69.22%, Trichostrongylus sp. (66.55%, Haemonchus sp. (64.44%, Chabertia ovina (60.11%, Dictyocaulus spp. (49.00%, Oesophagostomum sp.(36.77%, Dicrocelium dendriticum (34.66%, Marshallagia sp. (29.66%, Cooperia sp. (27.88%, Moniezia sp. (26.77%, Bunostomum sp. (22.33% and Skrjabinema sp. (13,66%.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998 a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of grasslands. To ease the impact on the residents’ livelihoods, the national and regional governments have offered a series of top-down arrangements to stimulate sustainable use of the grasslands. Simultaneously, local households spontaneously developed bottom-up countermeasures. To determine the effects of these processes, we interviewed members of 135 households using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We analyzed the effects on household dependence on local grasslands and on perceptions of the future of grassland use. Our findings show that the implementation of the grassland conservation policies significantly affected household livelihoods, which in turn affected household use of natural assets (primarily the land, their agricultural assets (farming and grazing activities and their financial assets (income and consumption, resulting in fundamental transformation of their lifestyles. The households developed adaptation measures to account for the dependence of their livelihood on local ecosystems by initializing strategies, such as seeking off-farm work, leasing pasture land, increasing purchases of fodder for stall-fed animals and altering their diet and fuel consumption to compensate for their changing livelihoods.

  12. Monitoring soil greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pinés, Eugenio; Lu, Haiyan; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Kiese, Ralf

    2014-05-01

    Grasslands in Central Europe are of enormous social, ecological and economical importance. They are intensively managed, but the influence of different common practices (i.e. fertilization, harvesting) on the total greenhouse gas budget of grasslands is not fully understood, yet. In addition, it is unknown how these ecosystems will react due to climate change. Increasing temperatures and changing precipitation will likely have an effect on productivity of grasslands and on bio-geo-chemical processes responsible for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). In the frame of the TERENO Project (www.tereno.net), a long-term observatory has been implemented in the Ammer catchment, southern Germany. Acting as an in situ global change experiment, 36 big lysimeters (1 m2 section, 150 cm height) have been translocated along an altitudinal gradient, including three sites ranging from 600 to 860 meters above sea level. In addition, two treatments have been considered, corresponding to different management intensities. The overall aim of the pre-alpine TERENO observatory is improving our understanding of the consequences of climate change and management on productivity, greenhouse gas balance, soil nutritional status, nutrient leaching and hydrology of grasslands. Two of the sites are equipped with a fully automated measurement system in order to continuously and accurately monitor the soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange. Thus, a stainless steel chamber (1 m2 section, 80 cm height) is controlled by a robotized system. The chamber is hanging on a metal structure which can move both vertically and horizontally, so that the chamber is able to be set onto each of the lysimeters placed on the field. Furthermore, the headspace of the chamber is connected with a gas tube to a Quantum Cascade Laser, which continuously measures CO2, CH4, N2O and H2O mixing ratios. The chamber acts as a static chamber and sets for 15 minutes onto each lysimeter

  13. Biodiversity technologies: tools as change agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snaddon, Jake; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Jepson, Paul; Willis, Katherine J.

    2013-01-01

    A meeting on Biodiversity Technologies was held by the Biodiversity Institute, Oxford on the 27–28 of September 2012 at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. The symposium brought together 36 speakers from North America, Australia and across Europe, presenting the latest research on emerging technologies in biodiversity science and conservation. Here we present a perspective on the general trends emerging from the symposium. PMID:23221877

  14. Economic growth, biodiversity loss and conservation effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Simon; Adger, W Neil

    2003-05-01

    This paper investigates the relationship between economic growth, biodiversity loss and efforts to conserve biodiversity using a combination of panel and cross section data. If economic growth is a cause of biodiversity loss through habitat transformation and other means, then we would expect an inverse relationship. But if higher levels of income are associated with increasing real demand for biodiversity conservation, then investment to protect remaining diversity should grow and the rate of biodiversity loss should slow with growth. Initially, economic growth and biodiversity loss are examined within the framework of the environmental Kuznets hypothesis. Biodiversity is represented by predicted species richness, generated for tropical terrestrial biodiversity using a species-area relationship. The environmental Kuznets hypothesis is investigated with reference to comparison of fixed and random effects models to allow the relationship to vary for each country. It is concluded that an environmental Kuznets curve between income and rates of loss of habitat and species does not exist in this case. The role of conservation effort in addressing environmental problems is examined through state protection of land and the regulation of trade in endangered species, two important means of biodiversity conservation. This analysis shows that the extent of government environmental policy increases with economic development. We argue that, although the data are problematic, the implications of these models is that conservation effort can only ever result in a partial deceleration of biodiversity decline partly because protected areas serve multiple functions and are not necessarily designated to protect biodiversity. Nevertheless institutional and policy response components of the income biodiversity relationship are important but are not well captured through cross-country regression analysis.

  15. Biodiversity effects in the wild are common and as strong as key drivers of productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J Emmett; Godwin, Casey M; Cardinale, Bradley J

    2017-09-14

    More than 500 controlled experiments have collectively suggested that biodiversity loss reduces ecosystem productivity and stability. Yet the importance of biodiversity in sustaining the world's ecosystems remains controversial, largely because of the lack of validation in nature, where strong abiotic forcing and complex interactions are assumed to swamp biodiversity effects. Here we test this assumption by analysing 133 estimates reported in 67 field studies that statistically separated the effects of biodiversity on biomass production from those of abiotic forcing. Contrary to the prevailing opinion of the previous two decades that biodiversity would have rare or weak effects in nature, we show that biomass production increases with species richness in a wide range of wild taxa and ecosystems. In fact, after controlling for environmental covariates, increases in biomass with biodiversity are stronger in nature than has previously been documented in experiments and comparable to or stronger than the effects of other well-known drivers of productivity, including climate and nutrient availability. These results are consistent with the collective experimental evidence that species richness increases community biomass production, and suggest that the role of biodiversity in maintaining productive ecosystems should figure prominently in global change science and policy.

  16. Mining and biodiversity offsets: a transparent and science-based approach to measure "no-net-loss".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virah-Sawmy, Malika; Ebeling, Johannes; Taplin, Roslyn

    2014-10-01

    Mining and associated infrastructure developments can present themselves as economic opportunities that are difficult to forego for developing and industrialised countries alike. Almost inevitably, however, they lead to biodiversity loss. This trade-off can be greatest in economically poor but highly biodiverse regions. Biodiversity offsets have, therefore, increasingly been promoted as a mechanism to help achieve both the aims of development and biodiversity conservation. Accordingly, this mechanism is emerging as a key tool for multinational mining companies to demonstrate good environmental stewardship. Relying on offsets to achieve "no-net-loss" of biodiversity, however, requires certainty in their ecological integrity where they are used to sanction habitat destruction. Here, we discuss real-world practices in biodiversity offsetting by assessing how well some leading initiatives internationally integrate critical aspects of biodiversity attributes, net loss accounting and project management. With the aim of improving, rather than merely critiquing the approach, we analyse different aspects of biodiversity offsetting. Further, we analyse the potential pitfalls of developing counterfactual scenarios of biodiversity loss or gains in a project's absence. In this, we draw on insights from experience with carbon offsetting. This informs our discussion of realistic projections of project effectiveness and permanence of benefits to ensure no net losses, and the risk of displacing, rather than avoiding biodiversity losses ("leakage"). We show that the most prominent existing biodiversity offset initiatives employ broad and somewhat arbitrary parameters to measure habitat value and do not sufficiently consider real-world challenges in compensating losses in an effective and lasting manner. We propose a more transparent and science-based approach, supported with a new formula, to help design biodiversity offsets to realise their potential in enabling more responsible

  17. Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme coastal biodiversity monitoring background paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, Donald; Anderson, Rebecca D.; Wegeberg, S.; Pettersvik Arvnes, Maria; Sergienko, Liudmila; Behe, Carolina; Moss-Davies, Pitseolak; Fritz, S.; Markon, Carl J.; Christensen, T.; Barry, T.; Price, C.

    2016-01-01

    In 2014, the United States (U.S.) and Canada agreed to act as co-lead countries for the initial development of the Coastal Expert Monitoring Group (CEMG) as part of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP, www. cbmp.is) under the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF, www.caff.is) working group. The CAFF Management Board approved Terms of Reference for the CEMG in the spring of 2014. The primary goal of the CEMG is to develop a long term, integrated, multi-disciplinary, circumpolar Arctic Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (the Coastal Plan) that relies on science and Traditional Knowledge, and has direct and relevant application for communities, industry, government decision makers, and other users. In addition to the monitoring plan, the CAFF working group has asked the CBMP, and thus the CEMG, to develop an implementation plan that identifies timeline, costs, organizational structure and partners. This background paper provides a platform for the guidance for the development of the Coastal Plan and is produced by the CEMG with assistance from a number of experts in multiple countries.

  18. Marine biodiversity in Japanese waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsunori Fujikura

    Full Text Available To understand marine biodiversity in Japanese waters, we have compiled information on the marine biota in Japanese waters, including the number of described species (species richness, the history of marine biology research in Japan, the state of knowledge, the number of endemic species, the number of identified but undescribed species, the number of known introduced species, and the number of taxonomic experts and identification guides, with consideration of the general ocean environmental background, such as the physical and geological settings. A total of 33,629 species have been reported to occur in Japanese waters. The state of knowledge was extremely variable, with taxa containing many inconspicuous, smaller species tending to be less well known. The total number of identified but undescribed species was at least 121,913. The total number of described species combined with the number of identified but undescribed species reached 155,542. This is the best estimate of the total number of species in Japanese waters and indicates that more than 70% of Japan's marine biodiversity remains un-described. The number of species reported as introduced into Japanese waters was 39. This is the first attempt to estimate species richness for all marine species in Japanese waters. Although its marine biota can be considered relatively well known, at least within the Asian-Pacific region, considering the vast number of different marine environments such as coral reefs, ocean trenches, ice-bound waters, methane seeps, and hydrothermal vents, much work remains to be done. We expect global change to have a tremendous impact on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Japan is in a particularly suitable geographic situation and has a lot of facilities for conducting marine science research. Japan has an important responsibility to contribute to our understanding of life in the oceans.

  19. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Chown

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020-an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet's surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists.

  20. The response of sward-dwelling arthropod communities to reduced grassland management intensity in pastures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helden Alvin J.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We compared arthropod taxon richness, diversity and community structure of two replicated grassland husbandry experiments to investigate effects of reduced management intensity, as measured by nutrient input levels (390, 224 and 0 kg/ha per year N in one experiment, and 225 and 88 kg/ha per year N in another. Suction sampling was used to collect Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Hymenoptera, with Araneae and Coleoptera also sampled with pitfall trapping. Univariate analyses found no significant differences in abundance and species density between treatments. However, with multivariate analysis, there were significant differences in arthropod community structure between treatments in both experiments.

  1. Effects of Erosion from Mounds of Different Termite Genera on Distinct Functional Grassland Types in an African Savannah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosling, Cleo M; Cromsigt, Joris P G M; Mpanza, Nokukhanya; Olff, Han

    A key aspect of savannah vegetation heterogeneity is mosaics formed by two functional grassland types, bunch grasslands, and grazing lawns. We investigated the role of termites, important ecosystem engineers, in creating high-nutrient patches in the form of grazing lawns. Some of the ways termites can contribute to grazing lawn development is through erosion of soil from aboveground mounds to the surrounding soil surface. This may alter the nutrient status of the surrounding soils. We hypothesize that the importance of this erosion varies with termite genera, depending on feeding strategy and mound type. To test this, we simulated erosion by applying mound soil from three termite genera ( Macrotermes , Odontotermes , and Trinervitermes ) in both a field experiment and a greenhouse experiment. In the greenhouse experiment, we found soils with the highest macro nutrient levels (formed by Trinervitermes ) promoted the quality and biomass of both a lawn ( Digitaria longiflora ) and a bunch ( Sporobolus pyramidalis ) grass species. In the field we found that soils with the highest micro nutrient levels (formed by Macrotermes ) showed the largest increase in cover of grazing lawn species. By linking the different nutrient availability of the mounds to the development of different grassland states, we conclude that the presence of termite mounds influences grassland mosaics, but that the type of mound plays a crucial role in determining the nature of the effects.

  2. Towards global interoperability for supporting biodiversity research on Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Hardisty, A.; García, E.A.; Santamaria, M.; De Leo, F.; Pesole, G.; Freyhof, J.; Manset, D.; Wissel, S.; Konijn, J.; Los, W.

    2015-01-01

    Essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) have been proposed by the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) to identify a minimum set of essential measurements that are required for studying, monitoring and reporting biodiversity and ecosystem change. Despite the initial

  3. Learning to Measure Biodiversity: Two Agent-Based Models that Simulate Sampling Methods & Provide Data for Calculating Diversity Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Thomas; Laughlin, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Nothing could be more effective than a wilderness experience to demonstrate the importance of conserving biodiversity. When that is not possible, though, there are computer models with several features that are helpful in understanding how biodiversity is measured. These models are easily used when natural resources, transportation, and time…

  4. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Klink, R; van der Plas, F; van Noordwijk, C G E Toos; WallisDeVries, M F; Olff, H

    2015-05-01

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141 studies on this topic of which 24 simultaneously investigated plant and arthropod diversity. Using the data from these 24 studies, we compared the responses of plant and arthropod diversity to an increase in grazing intensity. This quantitative assessment showed no overall significant effect of increasing grazing intensity on plant diversity, while arthropod diversity was generally negatively affected. To understand these negative effects, we explored the mechanisms by which large herbivores affect arthropod communities: direct effects, changes in vegetation structure, changes in plant community composition, changes in soil conditions, and cascading effects within the arthropod interaction web. We identify three main factors determining the effects of large herbivores on arthropod diversity: (i) unintentional predation and increased disturbance, (ii) decreases in total resource abundance for arthropods (biomass) and (iii) changes in plant diversity, vegetation structure and abiotic conditions. In general, heterogeneity in vegetation structure and abiotic conditions increases at intermediate grazing intensity, but declines at both low and high grazing intensity. We conclude that large herbivores can only increase arthropod diversity if they cause an increase in (a)biotic heterogeneity, and then only if this increase is large enough to compensate for the loss of total resource abundance and the increased mortality rate. This is expected to occur only at low herbivore densities or with spatio-temporal variation in herbivore densities. As we demonstrate that arthropod diversity is often more negatively affected by grazing than plant diversity, we strongly recommend considering the

  5. Marine biodiversity and fishery sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2009-01-01

    Marine fish is one of the most important sources of animal protein for human use, especially in developing countries with coastlines. Marine fishery is also an important industry in many countries. Fifty years ago, many people believed that the ocean was so vast and so resilient that there was no way the marine environment could be changed, nor could marine fishery resources be depleted. Half a century later, we all agree that the depletion of fishery resources is happening mainly due to anthropogenic factors such as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species introduction, and climate change. Since overfishing can cause chain reactions that decrease marine biodiversity drastically, there will be no seafood left after 40 years if we take no action. The most effective ways to reverse this downward trend and restore fishery resources are to promote fishery conservation, establish marine-protected areas, adopt ecosystem-based management, and implement a "precautionary principle." Additionally, enhancing public awareness of marine conservation, which includes eco-labeling, fishery ban or enclosure, slow fishing, and MPA (marine protected areas) enforcement is important and effective. In this paper, we use Taiwan as an example to discuss the problems facing marine biodiversity and sustainable fisheries.

  6. Anthropic Risk Assessment on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piragnolo, M.; Pirotti, F.; Vettore, A.; Salogni, G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology for risk assessment of anthropic activities on habitats and species. The method has been developed for Veneto Region, in order to simplify and improve the quality of EIA procedure (VINCA). Habitats and species, animals and plants, are protected by European Directive 92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EC but they are subject at hazard due to pollution produced by human activities. Biodiversity risks may conduct to deterioration and disturbance in ecological niches, with consequence of loss of biodiversity. Ecological risk assessment applied on Natura 2000 network, is needed to best practice of management and monitoring of environment and natural resources. Threats, pressure and activities, stress and indicators may be managed by geodatabase and analysed using GIS technology. The method used is the classic risk assessment in ecological context, and it defines the natural hazard as influence, element of risk as interference and vulnerability. Also it defines a new parameter called pressure. It uses risk matrix for the risk analysis on spatial and temporal scale. The methodology is qualitative and applies the precautionary principle in environmental assessment. The final product is a matrix which excludes the risk and could find application in the development of a territorial information system.

  7. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiatante, Gianpasquale; Meriggi, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs), such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops). Moreover, the

  8. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianpasquale Chiatante

    Full Text Available Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs, such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops

  9. Indirect Effects of Energy Development in Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duquette, Cameron Albert

    Grassland landscapes in North America are undergoing rapid industrialization due to energy development facilitated by the growing popularity of fracking and horizontal drilling technology. Each year over 3 million hectares are lost from grassland and shrubland habitats to well infrastructure. Direct footprints from energy infrastructure cause impacts to vegetation cover, available cattle forage, carbon sequestration potential, and usable space for wildlife. However, legacy effects from well construction and noise pollution, light pollution, and altered viewsheds have the potential to impact areas beyond this direct footprint, causing additive and persistent changes to nearby grassland function. While these additional areas may be small on a well pad basis, they may have substantial cumulative impacts over time. To investigate these effects via a diversity of mechanisms, we studied the seasonal habitat selection of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus, hereafter bobwhite) in an energy-producing landscape to evaluate space use patterns relative to energy infrastructure. Habitat selection was modeled in the breeding and nonbreeding season using resource Utilization functions (RUFs). We then investigated patterns of vegetation, arthropod, and soil characteristics surrounding well pads to assess small scale environmental gradients extending away from drilling pads via a combination of multivariate and univariate techniques (i.e., Nonmetric dimensional scaling and ANOVA). We found minimal avoidance of energy structures by quail, suggesting a tolerance of moderate development levels. All small-scale effects studied except for soil moisture were impacted at the pad itself (P < 0.01). Off-pad impacts to arthropod abundance and biomass were spatially limited to areas close to pads, while vegetation cover was typically lower than the surrounding habitat beyond 10 m of pads. Soil surface temperature was higher at distances close to well pads, and soil moisture was not

  10. The role of grasslands in food security and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, F P

    2012-11-01

    Grasslands are a major part of the global ecosystem, covering 37 % of the earth's terrestrial area. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to overgrazing and the resulting problems of soil erosion and weed encroachment, many of the world's natural grasslands are in poor condition and showing signs of degradation. This review examines their contribution to global food supply and to combating climate change. Grasslands make a significant contribution to food security through providing part of the feed requirements of ruminants used for meat and milk production. Globally, this is more important in food energy terms than pig meat and poultry meat. Grasslands are considered to have the potential to play a key role in greenhouse gas mitigation, particularly in terms of global carbon storage and further carbon sequestration. It is estimated that grazing land management and pasture improvement (e.g. through managing grazing intensity, improved productivity, etc) have a global technical mitigation potential of almost 1·5 Gt CO(2) equivalent in 2030, with additional mitigation possible from restoration of degraded lands. Milk and meat production from grassland systems in temperate regions has similar emissions of carbon dioxide per kilogram of product as mixed farming systems in temperate regions, and, if carbon sinks in grasslands are taken into account, grassland-based production systems can be as efficient as high-input systems from a greenhouse gas perspective. Grasslands are important for global food supply, contributing to ruminant milk and meat production. Extra food will need to come from the world's existing agricultural land base (including grasslands) as the total area of agricultural land has remained static since 1991. Ruminants are efficient converters of grass into humanly edible energy and protein and grassland-based food production can produce food with a comparable carbon footprint as mixed systems. Grasslands are a very important store of carbon, and

  11. Effective climate action: why biodiversity matters | IDRC ...

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

    2018-05-22

    May 22, 2018 ... Home · Resources · Perspectives ... This resource-dependency describes the relationship between ... involves holistic and integrated resource management strategies that ... This has been recognized in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity ... as setting the global framework for priority actions on biodiversity.

  12. The biodiversity conservation game with heterogeneous countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winands, S.; Holm-Müller, K.; Weikard, H.P.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity is an essential resource, which we classify as conditionally-renewable. In order to achieve conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity virtually all nation states signed the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. In this paper we investigate how the heterogeneity of

  13. Biodiversity and Tourism : Impacts and Interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duim, van der V.R.; Caalders, J.D.A.D.

    2002-01-01

    This paper sets a framework for intervention in the relationship between biodiversity and tourism against the background of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is argued that intervention cannot and should not only be based on considerations of measurable impacts of tourism on biodiversity

  14. Intentional systems management: managing forests for biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    A.B. Carey; B.R. Lippke; J. Sessions

    1999-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity provides for economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Intentional management is designed to manage conflicts among groups with conflicting interests. Our goal was to ascertain if intentional management and principles of conservation of biodiversity could be combined into upland and riparian forest management strategies that would...

  15. Conserving biodiversity on native rangelands: Symposium proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Uresk; Greg L. Schenbeck; James T. O' Rourke

    1997-01-01

    These proceedings are the result of a symposium, "Conserving biodiversity on native rangelands" held on August 17, 1995 in Fort Robinson State Park, NE. The purpose of this symposium was to provide a forum to discuss how elements of rangeland biodiversity are being conserved today. We asked, "How resilient and sustainable are rangeland systems to the...

  16. Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    I. Thompson; B. Mackey; S. McNulty; A. Mosseler

    2009-01-01

    This paper reviews the concepts of ecosystem resilience, resistance, and stability in forests and their relationship to biodiversity, with particular reference to climate change. The report is a direct response to a request by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, in decision IX/51, to explore the links between biodiversity, forest ecosystem...

  17. Plantation forests and biodiversity: oxymoron or opportunity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; John A. Parrotta; Christopher Quine; Jeffrey Sayer

    2008-01-01

    Losses of natural and semi-natural forests, mostly to agriculture, are a significant concern for biodiversity. Against this trend, the area of intensively managed plantation forests increases, and there is much debate about the implications for biodiversity. We provide a comprehensive review of the function of plantation forests as habitat compared with other land...

  18. African Traditional Knowledge Systems and Biodiversity Management

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is a link between African Traditional Knowledge Systems and the management of Biodiversity. These have been passed over from one generation to the next through oral tradition. The lack of documentation of these systems of managing biodiversity has led to the existence of a gap between the scientifi cally based ...

  19. Optimising stocking rate and grazing management to enhance environmental and production outcomes for native temperate grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badgery, Warwick; Zhang, Yingjun; Huang, Ding; Broadfoot, Kim; Kemp, David; Mitchell, David

    2015-04-01

    Stocking rate and grazing management can be altered to enhance the sustainable production of grasslands but the relative influence of each has not often been determined for native temperate grasslands. Grazing management can range from seasonal rests through to intensive rotational grazing involving >30 paddocks. In large scale grazing, it can be difficult to segregate the influence of grazing pressure from the timing of utilisation. Moreover, relative grazing pressure can change between years as seasonal conditions influence grassland production compared to the relative constant requirements of animals. This paper reports on two studies in temperate native grasslands of northern China and south eastern Australia that examined stocking rate and regionally relevant grazing management strategies. In China, the grazing experiment involved combinations of a rest, moderate or heavy grazing pressure of sheep in spring, then moderate or heavy grazing in summer and autumn. Moderate grazing pressure at 50% of the current district average, resulted in the better balance between maintaining productive and diverse grasslands, a profitable livestock system, and mitigation of greenhouse gases through increased soil carbon, methane uptake by the soil, and efficient methane emissions per unit of weight gain. Spring rests best maintained a desirable grassland composition, but had few other benefits and reduced livestock productivity due to lower feed quality from grazing later in the season. In Australia, the grazing experiment compared continuous grazing to flexible 4- and 20-paddock rotational grazing systems with sheep. Stocking rates were adjusted between systems biannually based on the average herbage mass of the grassland. No treatment degraded the perennial pasture composition, but ground cover was maintained at higher levels in the 20-paddock system even though this treatment had a higher stocking rate. Overall there was little difference in livestock production (e.g. kg

  20. The origins of tropical marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Brian W; Rocha, Luiz A; Toonen, Robert J; Karl, Stephen A

    2013-06-01

    Recent phylogeographic studies have overturned three paradigms for the origins of marine biodiversity. (i) Physical (allopatric) isolation is not the sole avenue for marine speciation: many species diverge along ecological boundaries. (ii) Peripheral habitats such as oceanic archipelagos are not evolutionary graveyards: these regions can export biodiversity. (iii) Speciation in marine and terrestrial ecosystems follow similar processes but are not the same: opportunities for allopatric isolation are fewer in the oceans, leaving greater opportunity for speciation along ecological boundaries. Biodiversity hotspots such as the Caribbean Sea and the Indo-Pacific Coral Triangle produce and export species, but can also accumulate biodiversity produced in peripheral habitats. Both hotspots and peripheral ecosystems benefit from this exchange in a process dubbed biodiversity feedback. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Biodiversity and models of evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Podvalny

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Summary. The paper discusses the evolutionary impact of biodiversity, the backbone of noosphere, which status has been fixed by a UN convention. The examples and role of such diversity are considered the various levels of life arrangement. On the level of standalone organisms, the diversity in question manifests itself in the differentiation and separation of the key physiologic functions which significantly broaden the eco-niche for the species with the consummate type of such separation. However, the organismic level of biodiversity does not work for building any developmental models since the starting point of genetic inheritance and variability processes emerges on the minimum structural unit of the living world only, i.e. the population. It is noted that the sufficient gene pool for species development may accumulate in fairly large populations only, where the general rate of mutation does not yield to the rate of ambient variations. The paper shows that the known formal models of species development based on the Fisher theorem about the impact of genodispersion on species adjustment are not in keeping with the actual existence of the species due to the conventionally finite and steady number of genotypes within a population. On the ecosystem level of life arrangement, the key role pertains to the taxonomic diversity supporting the continuous food chain in the system against any adverse developmental conditions of certain taxons. Also, the progressive evolution of an ecosystem is largely stabilized by its multilayer hierarchic structure and the closed circle of matter and energy. The developmental system models based on the Lotka-Volterra equations describing the interaction of the open-loop ecosystem elements only insufficiently represent the position of biodiversity in the evolutionary processes. The paper lays down the requirements to such models which take into account the mass balance within a system; its trophic structure; the

  2. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piacenza, Susan E; Thurman, Lindsey L; Barner, Allison K; Benkwitt, Cassandra E; Boersma, Kate S; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B; Ingeman, Kurt E; Kindinger, Tye L; Lindsley, Amy J; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N; Rowe, Jennifer C; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A; Heppell, Selina S

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period off the US Pacific Coast, we developed a methodological approach for avoiding biases associated with hotspot delineation. We aggregated benthic fish species data from research trawls and calculated mean hotspot thresholds for fish species richness and Shannon's diversity indices over the eight year dataset. We used a spatial frequency distribution method to assign hotspot designations to the grid cells annually. We found no areas containing consistently high biodiversity through the entire study period based on the mean thresholds, and no grid cell was designated as a hotspot for greater than 50% of the time-series. To test if our approach was sensitive to sampling effort and the geographic extent of the survey, we followed a similar routine for the northern region of the survey area. Our finding of low consistency in benthic fish biodiversity hotspots over time was upheld, regardless of biodiversity metric used, whether thresholds were calculated per year or across all years, or the spatial extent for which we calculated thresholds and identified hotspots. Our results suggest that static measures of benthic fish biodiversity off the US West Coast are insufficient for identification of hotspots and that long-term data are required to appropriately identify patterns of high temporal variability in biodiversity for these highly mobile taxa. Given that ecological communities are responding to a changing climate and other

  3. Grazing reduces soil greenhouse gas fluxes in global grasslands: a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Shiming; Tian, Dashuan; Niu, Shuli

    2017-04-01

    Grazing causes a worldwide degradation in grassland and likely alters soil greenhouse gas fluxes (GHGs). However, the general patterns of grazing-induced changes in grassland soil GHGs and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, we synthesized 63 independent experiments in global grasslands that examined grazing impacts on soil GHGs (CO2, CH4 and N2O). We found that grazing with light or moderate intensity did not significantly influence soil GHGs, but consistently depressed them under heavy grazing, reducing CO2 emission by 10.55%, CH4 uptake by 19.24% and N2O emission by 28.04%. The reduction in soil CO2 was mainly due to decreased activity in roots and microbes (soil respiration per unit root and microbial biomass), which was suppressed by less water availability due to higher soil temperature induced by lower community cover under heavy grazing. N2O emission decreased with grazing-caused decline in soil total N. The inhibitory effect on methanotroph activities by water stress is responsible for the decreased CH4 uptake. Furthermore, grazing duration and precipitation also influenced the direction and magnitude of responses in GHGs fluxes. Overall, our results indicate that the reduction in soil CO2 and N2O emission under heavy grazing is partially compensated by the decrease in CH4 uptake, which is mainly regulated by variations in soil moisture.

  4. NDVI and meteorological data as indicators of the Pampa biome natural grasslands growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Cybis Fontana

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The present study aimed to characterize the dynamics of NDVI and meteorological conditions, relating both to the annual dynamics of biomass accumulation in natural pastures of the Pampa biome as a way of subsidizing growth modeling. Forage accumulation rate data from a long-term experiment, NDVI data from the MODIS images, and meteorological data measured at the surface were used. We verify that the agrometeorological element associated to the accumulation of forage in the natural grasslands is different according to the season, which is typical of the subtropical climate. Winter is the critical season for livestock production due to the lower forage accumulation rate and lower values of NDVI, conditioned by the decrease of solar radiation and air temperature. In the summer, the limiting factor to forage accumulation is the hydric condition. It was also verified that the variability in the growth of grasslands can be associated with the ENSO phenomenon, being the El Niño favorable and the La Niña unfavorable, especially in the spring-summer period. Considering the verified associations, spectral indices combined with agrometeorological elements are recommended to the adjustment of models of forage accumulation in the Pampa biome natural grasslands.

  5. Biodiversity assessment among two Nebraska prairies: a comparison between traditional and phylogenetic diversity indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aust, Shelly K; Ahrendsen, Dakota L; Kellar, P Roxanne

    2015-01-01

    Conservation of the evolutionary diversity among organisms should be included in the selection of priority regions for preservation of Earth's biodiversity. Traditionally, biodiversity has been determined from an assessment of species richness (S), abundance, evenness, rarity, etc. of organisms but not from variation in species' evolutionary histories. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) measures evolutionary differences between taxa in a community and is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity assessment tool. However, with the increase in the number of ways to calculate PD, end-users and decision-makers are left wondering how metrics compare and what data are needed to calculate various metrics. In this study, we used massively parallel sequencing to generate over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. We estimated asterid phylogenies from character datasets of varying nucleotide quantities, and then assessed the effect of varying character datasets on resulting PD metric values. We also compared multiple PD metrics with traditional diversity indices (including S) among two endangered grassland prairies in Nebraska (U.S.A.). Our results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the quantity of genes used to infer the phylogenies; therefore, when comparing PD metrics between sites, it is vital to use comparable datasets. Additionally, various PD metrics and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the research question. Our study provides empirical results that reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness of using PD metrics in combination with other diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Ours is just one example of the types of investigations that need to be conducted across the tree of life and across varying ecosystems in order to build

  6. A new framework for evaluating the impacts of drought on net primary productivity of grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Tianjie; Wu, Jianjun; Li, Xiaohan; Geng, Guangpo; Shao, Changliang; Zhou, Hongkui; Wang, Qianfeng; Liu, Leizhen

    2015-12-01

    This paper presented a valuable framework for evaluating the impacts of droughts (single factor) on grassland ecosystems. This framework was defined as the quantitative magnitude of drought impact that unacceptable short-term and long-term effects on ecosystems may experience relative to the reference standard. Long-term effects on ecosystems may occur relative to the reference standard. Net primary productivity (NPP) was selected as the response indicator of drought to assess the quantitative impact of drought on Inner Mongolia grassland based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and BIOME-BGC model. The framework consists of six main steps: 1) clearly defining drought scenarios, such as moderate, severe and extreme drought; 2) selecting an appropriate indicator of drought impact; 3) selecting an appropriate ecosystem model and verifying its capabilities, calibrating the bias and assessing the uncertainty; 4) assigning a level of unacceptable impact of drought on the indicator; 5) determining the response of the indicator to drought and normal weather state under global-change; and 6) investigating the unacceptable impact of drought at different spatial scales. We found NPP losses assessed using the new framework were more sensitive to drought and had higher precision than the long-term average method. Moreover, the total and average losses of NPP are different in different grassland types during the drought years from 1961-2009. NPP loss was significantly increased along a gradient of increasing drought levels. Meanwhile, NPP loss variation under the same drought level was different in different grassland types. The operational framework was particularly suited for integrative assessing the effects of different drought events and long-term droughts at multiple spatial scales, which provided essential insights for sciences and societies that must develop coping strategies for ecosystems for such events. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. BVOCs emission in a semi-arid grassland under climate warming and nitrogen deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Wang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs profoundly affect atmospheric chemistry and ecosystem functioning. BVOCs emission and their responses to global change are still unclear in grasslands, which cover one quarter of the Earth's land surface and are currently undergoing the largest changes. Over two growing seasons, we conducted a field experiment in a semi-arid grassland (Inner Mongolia, China to examine the emission and the responses of BVOCs emissions to warming and nitrogen deposition. The natural emission rate (NER of monoterpene (dominant BVOCs here is 107 ± 16 μg m−2 h−1 in drought 2007, and 266 ± 53 μg m−2 h−1 in wet 2008, respectively. Warming decreased the standard emission factor (SEF by 24% in 2007, while it increased by 43% in 2008. The exacerbated soil moisture loss caused by warming in dry season might be responsible for the decrease of SEF in 2007. A possible threshold of soil moisture (8.2% (v/v, which controls the direction of warming effects on monoterpene emission, existed in the semiarid grassland. Nitrogen deposition decreased the coverage of Artemisia frigida and hence reduced the NER by 24% across the two growing seasons. These results suggest that the grasslands dominated by the extended Artemisia frigida are an important source for BVOCs, while the responses of their emissions to global changes are more uncertain since they depend on multifactorial in-situ conditions.

  8. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Woods

    Full Text Available Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹. Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹ than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹, but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively. Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.

  9. The community ecology of barley/cereal yellow dwarf viruses in Western US grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alison G; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez; Mitchell, Charles E; Seabloom, Eric W

    2011-08-01

    Research on plant viruses in natural ecosystems has been increasing rapidly over the past decade. This paper reviews recent research on the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in grasslands of the western US, beginning with the evidence that the disease caused by these viruses facilitated the invasion of western US grasslands by European annual grasses. Observational and experimental studies of B/CYDVs were carried out along a latitudinal gradient (33.8-48.8°N) from southern California to southern Canada. The prevalence and community composition of B/CYDVs were assessed over a variety of scales and under a range of biotic and abiotic conditions. The findings indicate that both biotic and abiotic factors are important influences on virus ecology and epidemiology. Introduced annual grasses are high-quality hosts that amplify both virus and vector populations in this system, but our research suggests that endemic perennial grasses are critically important for sustaining virus populations in contemporary grasslands largely composed of introduced species. Experiments indicated that increased phosphorus supply to hosts resulted in greater host biomass and higher virus prevalence. Using experimental exclosures, it was found that the presence of grazing vertebrate herbivores increased the abundance of annual grasses, resulting in increased virus prevalence. The results of these studies suggest that patterns of B/CYDV prevalence and coinfection in western US grasslands are strongly shaped by the interactions of host plants, vectors, vertebrate herbivores, and abiotic drivers including nutrients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Conference on wind energy development and biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gossement, Arnaud; Prevors, Lionel; Nagel, Paul-Bastian; Otto, Iris; Gourat, Fabrice; Sornin-Petit, Nicolas; Kelm, Volker; Beucher, Yannick; Rosenthal, Sonja; Strobl, Reinhard; Kozlowski, Sonia; Herrholz, Thomas; Hannemann, Thomas; Lange, Helmut; Behr, Oliver; Hochradel, Klaus; Mages, Juergen; Nagy, Martina; Korner-Nievergelt, Fraenzi; Niermann, Ivo; Simon, Ralph; Stiller, Florian; Weber, Natalie; Brinkmann, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The French-German office for Renewable energies (OFAEnR) organised a conference on wind energy development and biodiversity. In the framework of this French-German exchange of experience, about 90 participants exchanged views on the existing regulatory systems for nature protection in a wind energy context in both countries. In particular, birds fauna and chiropters protection were in the center of the debates. The question of wind energy development in a forest environment was addressed as well. This document brings together the available presentations (slides) made during this event: 1 - The development of onshore wind farms and the French environmental Code (Arnaud Gossement); 2 - Wind energy development priority - recent advances in environmental regulation (Lionel Prevors); 3 - environmental legislation and wind power deployment in Germany: An overview (Paul-Bastian Nagel); 4 - Avifauna and wind energy plants - To bring the expansion of wind energy in line with environmental issues (Iris Otto) 5 - environmental impact study in France and Germany: what challenges and what bird fauna specificities? (Fabrice Gourat); 6 - How to take into account the chiropters' aspect in authorization procedures? Regional scale experience feedback: the Champagne-Ardenne case (Nicolas Sornin-Petit); 7 - France and Germany - a comparison of bat monitoring experience (Volker Kelm, Yannick Beucher); 8 - Bat-friendly operation algorithms: reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines in central Europe (Oliver Behr); 9 - Wind energy use in forests? specifics from an environmental planning perspective (Sonja Rosenthal); 10 - expansion of wind energy in the Bavarian State Forest (Reinhard Strobl); 11 - Environmental impact assessment and environmental follow-up study for the forest wind farms: experience feedback (Sonia Kozlowski); 12 - German aviation light regulations - German aviation light regulations. Case study: eno 92 at wind farm Schoenerlinde (Thomas Herrholz); 13 - Welcome to

  11. Cycad diversification and tropical biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rull, V.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The recent unexpected discovery that living Cycadales are not Jurassic-Cretaceous (200– 65 Mya relicts, as all their extant genera began to diversify during the Late Miocene (12 Mya, has challenged a classical evolutionary myth. This brief note shows how this finding may also provide new clues on the shaping of the high tropical biodiversity

    El reciente e inesperado descubrimiento de que las Cycadales actuales no son relictos Jurásico-Cretácicos (200-65 Mya, ya que todos sus géneros iniciaron su diversificación durante el Mioceno Tardío (12 Mya, ha puesto en entredicho un mito evolutivo clásico. En esta nota se expone como este hallazgo puede, además, proporcionar nuevas pistas sobre el origen de la elevada biodiversidad tropical.

  12. Biodiversity mapping in sensitive areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, Tor; Ulssnes, Amund; Nissen-Lie, Torild [DNV, Oslo (Norway)

    2008-07-01

    When oil companies are entering new unexplored areas their potential footprint on the environment should be measured in a way that necessary action could be included in the planning of the activity. These actions should reduce the impact to accepted levels. Traditional baseline studies, including sediment and macro fauna sampling, are carried out in homogeneous areas. In heterogeneous and unexplored areas there is a need for more information than these traditional sediment analyses can give. To increase the knowledge from specific areas biodiversity mapping has been carried out. To combine the knowledge from ROV surveys, modelling, current measurements, sediment characteristics, seismic, macro fauna and background levels of chemicals contents in the sediments, both prior to the exploration, and after the drilling have taken place the operator can document their footprint on the marine environment. (author)

  13. Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer scintillometer. ... Water SA. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search ... of soil heat flux and net irradiance, evaporation rates were calculated as a residual of the ...

  14. Soil Organic Carbon Responses to Forest Expansion on Mountain Grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia

    . Changes in labile soil C were assessed by carbohydrate and thermal analyses of soil samples and fractions. Forest expansion on mountain grasslands caused a decrease in SOC stocks within the mineral soil. The SOC accumulation within the organic layers following forest establishment could not fully...... and thermally labile to resistant components decreased from grassland to forest successional stages, and corresponded to decreased SOC protection within stable aggregates. This PhD thesis showed that mineral SOC stocks and physically protected SOC fractions decreased following forest expansion on mountain......Grassland abandonment followed by progressive forest expansion is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. Contrasting trends in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks have been reported for mountainous regions following forest expansion on grasslands. Moreover, its effects on SOC properties...

  15. Impact intensities of climatic changes on grassland ecosystems in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. NJ TONUKARI

    2012-03-22

    Mar 22, 2012 ... Construction of the impact intensity model of climatic changes on grassland ecosystem ... the temperature and rainfall (Sun and Mu, 2011). Thus, the study ... of the equation, the study transformed the measurement unit Mu of.

  16. Large expansion of oil industry in the Ecuadorian Amazon: biodiversity vulnerability and conservation alternatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessmann, Janeth; Fajardo, Javier; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa

    2016-07-01

    Ecuador will experience a significant expansion of the oil industry in its Amazonian region, one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. In view of the changes that are about to come, we explore the conflicts between oil extraction interests and biodiversity protection and apply systematic conservation planning to identify priority areas that should be protected in different oil exploitation scenarios. First, we quantified the current extent of oil blocks and protected zones and their overlap with two biodiversity indicators: 25 ecosystems and 745 species (whose distributions were estimated via species distribution models). With the new scheme of oil exploitation, oil blocks cover 68% (68,196 km(2)) of the Ecuadorian Amazon; half of it occupied by new blocks open for bids in the southern Amazon. This region is especially vulnerable to biodiversity losses, because peaks of species diversity, 19 ecosystems, and a third of its protected zones coincide spatially with oil blocks. Under these circumstances, we used Marxan software to identify priority areas for conservation outside oil blocks, but their coverage was insufficient to completely represent biodiversity. Instead, priority areas that include southern oil blocks provide a higher representation of biodiversity indicators. Therefore, preserving the southern Amazon becomes essential to improve the protection of Amazonian biodiversity in Ecuador, and avoiding oil exploitation in these areas (33% of the extent of southern oil blocks) should be considered a conservation alternative. Also, it is highly recommended to improve current oil exploitation technology to reduce environmental impacts in the region, especially within five oil blocks that we identified as most valuable for the conservation of biodiversity. The application of these and other recommendations depends heavily on the Ecuadorian government, which needs to find a better balance between the use of the Amazon resources and biodiversity conservation.

  17. Analysing fragmentation in vulnerable biodiversity hotspots in Tanzania from 1975 to 2012 using remote sensing and fragstats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.M. Ojoyi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation is a threat to conservation of biodiversity hotspots in the Morogoro region, Tanzania. However, on-going research on fragmentation has not kept pace with temporal lapses and how individual species respond to habitat transformation and heterogeneity. This study sought to model spatial and temporal fragmentation patterns. Cloud free multi-temporal Landsat imagery with similar spectral resolution were acquired in the same season in 1975, 1995 and 2012. The images were used to characterize the biophysical landscape characteristics and a range of metrics used to quantify the magnitude of fragmentation. Patches and classes in the landscape were assessed using Fragstats, a spatial statistics program useful in computing landscape metrics. Results show that patch number was higher in dense forest and woodland than in less dense forest and grassland in 1975, 1995 and 2012 while the interspersion Juxtaposition Index (IJI ranged between 0 (for clumped patches and 100 (for grassland. In 1975 and 1995, the grassland habitat had the highest IJI while in 2012 less dense forest had the highest IJI. The Games-Howell test showed a significant fragmentation trend in less dense forests class (p≤0.05. Generally, the study indicates a high fragmentation pattern in the vulnerable tropical eastern arc mountain region of East Africa. This finding demonstrates the value of remotely sensed data in understanding the impact of anthropogenic processes on natural landscape transformation. Furthermore, the study provides a basis for informed conservation policy design and implementation in the region.

  18. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  19. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Campana, Pietro Elia

    2013-01-01

    Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...

  20. Air pollution and floristic biodiversity; Pollution atmospherique et biodiversite floristique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grub, A.; Bungener, P.; Contat, F.; Nussbaum, S.; Endtner, V.; Fuhrer, J. [Station Federale de Recherches en Agroecologie et Agriculture (FAL), Liebefeld-Berne (Switzerland). Institut de Recherches en Protection de l' Environnement et en Agriculture (IUL)

    1999-06-01

    The number of reports on negative effects of air pollution on biodiversity is increasing. Here, examples from the literature are presented which concern effects of fluoride, deposition of nitrogen, and ozone. Today, nitrogen loads and levels of tropospheric ozone seem to be most relevant forms of air pollution affecting species diversity of the flora. Results from recent investigations of ozone effects at Liebefeld indicate that the loss of floristic diversity in permanent meadows is possible because of the high relative sensitivity of some typical species. Further studies will be necessary to validate the results obtained from experiment with single plants at the level of the intact plant community in the field, and to identify the critical level of ozone to protect the floristic biodiversity of meadows. (authors)

  1. Local Environmental Factors Drive Divergent Grassland Soil Bacterial Communities in the Western Swiss Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Hélène; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-11-01

    Mountain ecosystems are characterized by a diverse range of climatic and topographic conditions over short distances and are known to shelter a high biodiversity. Despite important progress, still little is known on bacterial diversity in mountain areas. Here, we investigated soil bacterial biogeography at more than 100 sampling sites randomly stratified across a 700-km 2 area with 2,200-m elevation gradient in the western Swiss Alps. Bacterial grassland communities were highly diverse, with 12,741 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs) across 100 sites and an average of 2,918 OTUs per site. Bacterial community structure was correlated with local climatic, topographic, and soil physicochemical parameters with high statistical significance. We found pH (correlated with % CaO and % mineral carbon), hydrogen index (correlated with bulk gravimetric water content), and annual average number of frost days during the growing season to be among the groups of the most important environmental drivers of bacterial community structure. In contrast, bacterial community structure was only weakly stratified as a function of elevation. Contrasting patterns were discovered for individual bacterial taxa. Acidobacteria responded both positively and negatively to pH extremes. Various families within the Bacteroidetes responded to available phosphorus levels. Different verrucomicrobial groups responded to electrical conductivity, total organic carbon, water content, and mineral carbon contents. Alpine grassland bacterial communities are thus highly diverse, which is likely due to the large variety of different environmental conditions. These results shed new light on the biodiversity of mountain ecosystems, which were already identified as potentially fragile to anthropogenic influences and climate change. This article addresses the question of how microbial communities in alpine regions are dependent on local climatic and soil physicochemical variables. We benefit from a unique 700

  2. Impacts of Future Grassland Changes on Surface Climate in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change caused by land use/cover change (LUCC is becoming a hot topic in current global change, especially the changes caused by the grassland degradation. In this paper, based on the baseline underlying surface data of 1993, the predicted underlying surface data which can be derived through overlaying the grassland degradation information to the map of baseline underlying surface, and the atmospheric forcing data of RCP 6.0 from CMIP5, climatological changes caused by future grassland changes for the years 2010–2020 and 2040–2050 with the Weather Research Forecast model (WRF are simulated. The model-based analysis shows that future grassland degradation will significantly result in regional climate change. The grassland degradation in future could lead to an increasing trend of temperature in most areas and corresponding change range of the annual average temperature of −0.1°C–0.4°C, and it will cause a decreasing trend of precipitation and corresponding change range of the annual average precipitation of 10 mm–50 mm. This study identifies lines of evidence for effects of future grassland degradation on regional climate in Mongolia which provides meaningful decision-making information for the development and strategy plan making in Mongolia.

  3. Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brose, Ulrich; Blanchard, Julia L.; Eklöf, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the consequences of species loss in complex ecological communities is one of the great challenges in current biodiversity research. For a long time, this topic has been addressed by traditional biodiversity experiments. Most of these approaches treat species as trait-free, taxonomic...... stability, and (iii) ecosystem functioning. Contrasting current expectations, size-structured approaches suggest that the loss of large species, that typically exploit most resource species, may lead to future food webs that are less interwoven and more structured by chains of interactions and compartments...... trait when analysing the consequences of biodiversity loss for natural ecosystems. Applying size-structured approaches provides an integrative ecological concept that enables a better understanding of each species' unique role across communities and the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss....

  4. How Essential Biodiversity Variables and remote sensing can help national biodiversity monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petteri Vihervaara

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs have been suggested to harmonize biodiversity monitoring worldwide. Their aim is to provide a small but comprehensive set of monitoring variables that would give a balanced picture of the development of biodiversity and the reaching of international and national biodiversity targets. Globally, GEO BON (Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network has suggested 22 candidate EBVs to be monitored. In this article we regard EBVs as a conceptual tool that may help in making national scale biodiversity monitoring more robust by pointing out where to focus further development resources. We look at one country –Finland –with a relatively advanced biodiversity monitoring scheme and study how well Finland’s current biodiversity state indicators correspond with EBVs. In particular, we look at how national biodiversity monitoring could be improved by using available remote sensing (RS applications. Rapidly emerging new technologies from drones to airborne laser scanning and new satellite sensors providing imagery with very high resolution (VHR open a whole new world of opportunities for monitoring the state of biodiversity and ecosystems at low cost. In Finland, several RS applications already exist that could be expanded into national indicators. These include the monitoring of shore habitats and water quality parameters, among others. We hope that our analysis and examples help other countries with similar challenges. Along with RS opportunities, our analysis revealed also some needs to develop the EBV framework itself.

  5. Belowground Carbon Allocation and Plant-Microbial Interactions Drive Resistance and Resilience of Mountain Grassland Communities to Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlowsky, S.; Augusti, A.; Ingrisch, J.; Hasibeder, R.; Lavorel, S.; Bahn, M.; Gleixner, G.

    2016-12-01

    Belowground carbon allocation (BCA) and plant-microbial interactions are crucial for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Recent research suggests that extreme events can have severe effects on these processes but it is unknown how land use intensity potentially modifies their responses. We studied the resistance and resilience of mountain grassland communities to prolonged drought and investigated the role of plant C allocation and soil microbial communities in mediating drought resistance and immediate recovery. In a common garden experiment we exposed monoliths from an abandoned grassland and a hay meadow to an early summer drought. Two independent 13C pulse labeling experiments were conducted, the first during peak drought and the second during the recovery phase. The 13C incorporation was analyzed in above- and belowground plant parts and in phospho- and neutral lipid fatty acids of soil microorganisms. In addition, a 15N label was added at the rewetting to determine plant N uptake. We found that C uptake, BCA and C transfer to soil microorganisms were less strongly reduced by drought in the abandoned grassland than in the meadow. Moreover, drought induced an increase of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) marker in the abandoned grassland. Nevertheless, C uptake and related parameters were quickly recovered and N uptake increased in the meadow during recovery. Unexpectedly, AMF and their C uptake were generally reduced during recovery, while bacteria increased and quickly recovered C uptake, particularly in the meadow. Our results showed a negative relation between high resistance and fast recovery. The more resistant abandoned grassland plant communities seemed to invest more C below ground and into interactions with AMF during drought, likely to access water through their hyphal network. Conversely, meadow communities invested more C from recent photosynthesis into bacterial communities during recovery, obviously to gain more nutrients for regrowth

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

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

  7. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, 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, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  8. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available 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, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  9. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, 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, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

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

  12. The Effects of Land-Use Change from Grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus on Soil N2O Emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Williams

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available A one year field trial was carried out on three adjacent unfertilised plots; an 18 year old grassland, a 14 year old established Miscanthus crop, and a 7 month old newly planted Miscanthus crop. Measurements of N2O, soil temperature, water filled pore space (WFPS, and inorganic nitrogen concentrations, were made every one to two weeks. Soil temperature, WFPS and NO3− and NH4+ concentrations were all found to be significantly affected by land use. Temporal crop effects were also observed in soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, due in part to C4 litter incorporation into the soil under Miscanthus. Nonetheless, soil N2O fluxes were not significantly affected by land use. Cumulative yearly N2O fluxes were relatively low, 216 ± 163, 613 ± 294, and 377 ± 132 g·N·ha−1·yr−1 from the grassland, newly planted Miscanthus, and established Miscanthus plots respectively, and fell within the range commonly observed for unfertilised grasslands dominated by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne. Higher mean cumulative fluxes were measured in the newly planted Miscanthus, which may be linked to a possible unobserved increase immediately after establishment. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Based on the results of this experiment, land-use change from grassland to Miscanthus will have a neutral impact on medium to long-term N2O emissions.

  13. The effects of warming and nitrogen addition on soil nitrogen cycling in a temperate grassland, northeastern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin-Na Ma

    Full Text Available Both climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen (N deposition are predicted to affect soil N cycling in terrestrial biomes over the next century. However, the interactive effects of warming and N deposition on soil N mineralization in temperate grasslands are poorly understood.A field manipulation experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming and N addition on soil N cycling in a temperate grassland of northeastern China from 2007 to 2009. Soil samples were incubated at a constant temperature and moisture, from samples collected in the field. The results showed that both warming and N addition significantly stimulated soil net N mineralization rate and net nitrification rate. Combined warming and N addition caused an interactive effect on N mineralization, which could be explained by the relative shift of soil microbial community structure because of fungal biomass increase and strong plant uptake of added N due to warming. Irrespective of strong intra- and inter-annual variations in soil N mineralization, the responses of N mineralization to warming and N addition did not change during the three growing seasons, suggesting independence of warming and N responses of N mineralization from precipitation variations in the temperate grassland.Interactions between climate warming and N deposition on soil N cycling were significant. These findings will improve our understanding on the response of soil N cycling to the simultaneous climate change drivers in temperate grassland ecosystem.

  14. Hopping hotspots: global shifts in marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renema, W; Bellwood, D R; Braga, J C; Bromfield, K; Hall, R; Johnson, K G; Lunt, P; Meyer, C P; McMonagle, L B; Morley, R J; O'Dea, A; Todd, J A; Wesselingh, F P; Wilson, M E J; Pandolfi, J M

    2008-08-01

    Hotspots of high species diversity are a prominent feature of modern global biodiversity patterns. Fossil and molecular evidence is starting to reveal the history of these hotspots. There have been at least three marine biodiversity hotspots during the past 50 million years. They have moved across almost half the globe, with their timing and locations coinciding with major tectonic events. The birth and death of successive hotspots highlights the link between environmental change and biodiversity patterns. The antiquity of the taxa in the modern Indo-Australian Archipelago hotspot emphasizes the role of pre-Pleistocene events in shaping modern diversity patterns.

  15. Late Quaternary climate change shapes island biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weigelt, Patrick; Steinbauer, Manuel; Cabral, Juliano

    2016-01-01

    Island biogeographical models consider islands either as geologically static with biodiversity resulting from ecologically neutral immigration–extinction dynamics1, or as geologically dynamic with biodiversity resulting from immigration–speciation–extinction dynamics influenced by changes in island...... sea levels3, 4 and caused massive changes in island area, isolation and connectivity5, orders of magnitude faster than the geological processes of island formation, subsidence and erosion considered in island theory2, 6. Consequences of these oscillations for present biodiversity remain unassessed5, 7...

  16. Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings. We found that fire does not change cumulative species richness after 24 months, and that fire does not affect mean ant richness, abundance, and species composition in arboreal ants. On the other hand, fire increased mean ground ant species richness and abundance, and caused a significant change in species composition. Our results indicate a weak and beneficial effect of fire only for ground ant communities, which generally agrees with results from other studies in Brazilian savannas. Taken together, results from these studies may be useful for improvement of fire suppression policy in fire-prone habitats in Brazil.

  17. Improvement of native grassland by legumes introduction and tillage techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syamsu Bahar

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available A factorial design using three species of legumes (Siratro, Centro and Stylo and three different of tillage techniques (no-tillage, minimum tillage and total tillage was applied in this experiment. The results showed that there was no interaction between species and tillage techniques. There was significant reductions on bulk density from 1.23±0.03 g/cm3 (no-tillage to 1.07±0.02 g/cm3 (minimum tillage and 1.05±0.03 g/cm3 (total tillage. Also reductions on penetration resistance from 17.47±3.84 kg/cm2 (no-tillage to 3.31±0.43 kg/cm2 (minimum tillage and 3.19±0.45 kg/cm2 (total tillage. Otherwise significant increasing on aeration porosity from 12.80±0.80% vol. (no-tillage to 21.70±0.95% vol. (minimum tillage and 20.70±0.35% vol. (total tillage. Total tillage gives increased dry matter yield. Also both total tillage and minimum tillage give yields with a higher percentage of legumes compared with no-tillage. It was concluded that total tillage and minimum tillage could be used for improving native grassland.

  18. Priming of soil carbon decomposition in two inner Mongolia grassland soils following sheep dung addition: A study using13C natural abundance approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Xiuzhi; Ambus, Per; Wang, Shiping

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C) sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content) and a heav......To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C) sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content......) and a heavily degraded Artemisia frigida dominated community (1.3% organic matter content). Dung was collected from sheep either fed on L. chinensis (C3 plant with δ13C = -26.8‰; dung δ13C = -26.2‰) or Cleistogenes squarrosa (C4 plant with δ13C = -14.6‰; dung δ13C = -15.7‰). Fresh C3 and C4 sheep dung was mixed......-amended controls. In both grassland soils, ca. 60% of the evolved CO2 originated from the decomposing sheep dung and 40% from the native soil C. Priming effects of soil C decomposition were observed in both soils, i.e. 1.4 g and 1.6 g additional soil C kg-1 dry soil had been emitted as CO2 for the L. chinensis...

  19. Social and Ecological Factors Influencing Attitudes Toward the Application of High-Intensity Prescribed Burns to Restore Fire Adapted Grassland Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Toledo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Fire suppression in grassland systems that are adapted to episodic fire has contributed to the recruitment of woody species in grasslands worldwide. Even though the ecology of restoring these fire prone systems back to grassland states is becoming clearer, a major hurdle to the reintroduction of historic fires at a landscape scale is its social acceptability. Despite the growing body of literature on the social aspects of fire, an understanding of the human dimensions of applying high-intensity prescribed burns in grassland and savanna systems is lacking. We used structural equation modeling to examine how landowners' attitudes toward high-intensity prescribed burns are affected by previous experience with burning, perceptions of brush encroachment, land condition, proximity constraints, risk orientation, fire management knowledge and skill, access to fire management equipment, and subjective norms. Our results suggest that experience, risk taking orientation, and especially social norms, i.e., perceived support from others, when implementing prescribed burns play an important role in determining the attitudes of landowners toward the use of high-intensity prescribed burns. Concern over lack of skill, knowledge, and insufficient resources have a moderately negative effect on these attitudes. Our results highlight the importance of targeted engagement strategies to address risk perceptions, subjective norms, and landowner's concerns. With these concerns allayed, it is possible to increase the adoption of high-intensity prescribed burns that lead to landscape-scale grassland restoration and conservation.

  20. The influence of fire on the assemblage structure of foraging birds in grasslands of the Serra da Canastra National Park, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matheus G. Reis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands are the most threatened physiognomies of the Cerrado biome (Brazilian savanna, a biodiversity hotspot with conservation as a priority. The Serra da Canastra National Park protects the most important remnants of the Cerrado's southern grasslands, which are under strong anthropogenic pressure. The present study describes the structure of bird assemblages that directly use food resources in burned areas, comparing areas affected by natural fire to the areas where controlled fires were set (a management strategy to combat arson. The tested null hypothesis was that different bird assemblages are structured in a similar manner, regardless of the post-fire period or assessed area. Between December/2012 and January/2015, 92 species were recorded foraging in the study areas. The results indicate that both types of burnings triggered profound and immediate changes in bird assemblages, increasing the number of species and individuals. Natural fires exhibited a more significant influence on the structure (diversity and dominance than prescribed burnings. Nevertheless, all the differences were no longer noticeable after a relatively short time interval of 2-3 months after prescribed burnings and 3-4 after natural fires. The findings may help the understanding of prescribed burnings as a management strategy for bird conservation in grasslands.

  1. Making the case for biodiversity in South Africa: Re-framing biodiversity communications

    OpenAIRE

    Maze, Kristal; Barnett, Mandy; Botts, Emily A.; Stephens, Anthea; Freedman, Mike; Guenther, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Background: Biodiversity education and public awareness do not always contain the motivational messages that inspire action amongst decision-makers. Traditional messages from the biodiversity sector are often framed around threat, with a generally pessimistic tone. Aspects of social marketing can be used to support positive messaging that is more likely to inspire action amongst the target audience. Objectives: The South African biodiversity sector embarked on a market research process to ...

  2. Bridging the gap between biodiversity data and policy reporting needs: An essential biodiversity variables perspective

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Geijzendorffer, IR

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available come from less biodiverse areas such as North America and 92 Europe rather than biodiversity-rich areas such as some parts of the tropics (Collen et al. 2008; Mora et 93 al. 2008; Pereira et al. 2012) and developing countries (Butchart et al. 2010... provision, EBVs 349 for other specific ecosystem functions were missing (e.g., pollination or soil decomposition rates). 350 351 This analysis also highlighted that reporting required additional indicators on non-biodiversity variables, 352...

  3. Biofuels and biodiversity in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O’Farrell

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The South African government, as part of its efforts to mitigate the effects of the ongoing energy crisis, has proposed that biofuels should form an important part of the country’s energy supply. The contribution of liquid biofuels to the national fuel supply is expected to be at least 2% by 2013. The Biofuels Industrial Strategy of the Republic of South Africa of 2007 outlines key incentives for reaching this target and promoting the development of a sustainable biofuels industry. This paper discusses issues relating to this strategy as well as key drivers in biofuel processing with reference to potential impacts on South Africa’s rich biological heritage.

    Our understanding of many of the broader aspects of biofuels needs to be enhanced. We identify key areas where challenges exist, such as the link between technology, conversion processes and feedstock selection. The available and proposed processing technologies have important implications for land use and the use of different non-native plant species as desired feedstocks. South Africa has a long history of planting non-native plant species for commercial purposes, notably for commercial forestry. Valuable lessons can be drawn from this experience on mitigation against potential impacts by considering plausible scenarios and the appropriate management framework and policies. We conceptualise key issues embodied in the biofuels strategy, adapting a framework developed for assessing and quantifying impacts of invasive alien species. In so doing, we provide guidelines for minimising the potential impacts of biofuel projects on biodiversity.

  4. Conservation of biodiversity in the Sango Bay area, southern Uganda

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A series of biodiversity and socio-economic surveys carried out in the Sango Bay area of southern Uganda revealed high biodiversity values for some taxa in some sites. Use of this biodiversity and reliance on it by local communities was widespread. Biodiversity scores were given to all species and these were coupled with ...

  5. Online Biodiversity Resources - Principles for Usability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Neale

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Online biodiversity portals and databases enabling access to large volumes of biological information represent a potentially extensive set of resources for a variety of user groups. However, in order for these resources to live up to their promise they need to be both useful and easy to use. We discuss a number of principles for designing systems for usability, examine how these have been applied to the development of online biodiversity resources and compare this with a portal project developed by the Astrophysics community. We highlight a lack of user involvement and formalised requirements analysis by biodiversity projects resulting in a poor understanding of both the users and their tasks. We suggest a change in the way large biodiversity portal projects are structured, that is by providing infrastructure and supporting user groups developing individual interfaces.

  6. Collaborative Networks for biodiversity domain organizations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ermilova, E.; Afsarmanesh, H.

    2010-01-01

    European scientific research and development organizations, operating in the domains of biology, ecology, and biodiversity, strongly need to cooperate/collaborate with other centers. Unavailability of interoperation infrastructure as well as the needed collaboration environment among research

  7. language as a culture and biodiversity conservation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Guest

    biodiversity conservation because life in a particular human environment is ... communication ,by language, by word expression as cultural genes, stories, legends and ..... for expressing individual identity, preserve culture, understanding the ...

  8. Ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Ogden, J.; Done, T.; Salvat, B.

    1994-01-01

    The article highlights a workshop held in Key West, Florida in November 1993 attended by a group of 35 international scientists where topics of ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs were discussed.

  9. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chown, Steven L.; Brooks, Cassandra M.; Terauds, Aleks; Le Bohec, Céline; van Klaveren-Impagliazzo, Céline; Whittington, Jason D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Coetzee, Bernard W. T.; Collen, Ben; Convey, Peter; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gilbert, Neil; Gill, Mike; Höft, Robert; Johnston, Sam; Kennicutt, Mahlon C.; Kriesell, Hannah J.; Le Maho, Yvon; Lynch, Heather J.; Palomares, Maria; Puig-Marcó, Roser; Stoett, Peter; McGeoch, Melodie A.

    2017-01-01

    The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists. PMID:28350825

  10. Biodiversity of the flora of Mount Papa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin-Yin-Kyi

    1995-07-01

    Even though Mount Papa is in the dry zone area, it is almost evergreen, due to its elevation of 4981 feet above the sea level and its fertile soil conditions. A has a rich biodiversity with vegetation of many types

  11. Managing Agricultural Biodiversity for Nutrition, Health, Livelihoods ...

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

    Managing Agricultural Biodiversity for Nutrition, Health, Livelihoods and ... on local ecosystems and human resources can provide sustainable solutions to ... and health among the rural and urban poor through increased dietary diversity.

  12. Different responses of ecosystem carbon exchange to warming in three types of alpine grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Hu, Guozheng; Wan, Yunfan; Li, Yue; Danjiu, Luobu; Gao, Qingzhu

    2018-02-01

    Climate is a driver of terrestrial ecosystem carbon exchange, which is an important product of ecosystem function. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has recently been subjected to a marked increase in temperature as a consequence of global warming. To explore the effects of warming on carbon exchange in grassland ecosystems, we conducted a whole-year warming experiment between 2012 and 2014 using open-top chambers placed in an alpine meadow, an alpine steppe, and a cultivated grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We measured the gross primary productivity, net ecosystem CO 2 exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration, and soil respiration using a chamber-based method during the growing season. The results show that after 3 years of warming, there was significant stimulation of carbon assimilation and emission in the alpine meadow, but both these processes declined in the alpine steppe and the cultivated grassland. Under warming conditions, the soil water content was more important in stimulating ecosystem carbon exchange in the meadow and cultivated grassland than was soil temperature. In the steppe, the soil temperature was negatively correlated with ecosystem carbon exchange. We found that the ambient soil water content was significantly correlated with the magnitude of warming-induced change in NEE. Under high soil moisture condition, warming has a significant positive effect on NEE, while it has a negative effect under low soil moisture condition. Our results highlight that the NEE in steppe and cultivated grassland have negative responses to warming; after reclamation, the natural meadow would subject to loose more C in warmer condition. Therefore, under future warmer condition, the overextension of cultivated grassland should be avoided and scientific planning of cultivated grassland should be achieved.

  13. Responses of nocturnal rodents to shrub encroachment in Banni grasslands, Gujarat, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayadevan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Shrub encroachment is one of the greatest threats to grasslands globally. These woodlands can strongly influence the behaviour of small mammals adapted to more open habitats, which rely on high visibility for early detection of predators. In semi-arid grasslands, rodents are considered keystone species. Although shrub encroachment is known to negatively affect rodent assemblages, its impact on the foraging behaviour of rodents, which is known to vary in response to risky situations, is unknown. Understanding whether shrub encroachment alters such antipredator behaviour is important as antipredator behaviour can alter the distribution, abundance and ultimately, survival of prey species. In this study, I explored the effects of shrub encroachment on the foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodent communities in the Banni grasslands, India. I examined foraging behaviour, quantified using the giving-up density (GUD) framework and the number of rodent crossings around food patches, in two habitats that differed in the extent of shrub encroachment. Under the GUD framework, the amount of food left behind by a forager in a food patch reflects the costs of feeding at the patch. Higher GUDs imply higher foraging costs. I also investigated how removal of an invasive woody plant, Prosopis juliflora would affect foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodents. High shrub encroachment was associated with higher foraging costs (higher GUDs) and lower activity than the sparsely wooded habitat, likely due to low visibility in the densely wooded habitat. The dense habitat also supported a higher richness and relative abundance of generalist rodents than the sparse habitat, likely due to the increased heterogeneity of the habitat. The tree removal experiment revealed that rodents had lower GUDs (i.e., low foraging costs) after the event of tree cutting. This may be due to the reduction of cover in the habitat, leading to higher visibility and lower predation risk. My results suggest that shrub

  14. Biodiversity losses: The downward spiral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomback, Diana F.; Kendall, Katherine C.; Tomback, Diana F.; Arno, Stephen F.; Keane, Robert E.

    2001-01-01

    The dramatic decline of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) populations in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada from the combined effects of fire exclusion, mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae), and white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), and the projected decline of whitebark pine populations rangewide (Chapters 10 and 11) do not simply add up to local extirpations of a single tree species. Instead, the loss of whitebark pine has broad ecosystem-level consequences, eroding local plant and animal biodiversity, changing the time frame of succession, and altering the distribution of subalpine vegetation (Chapter 1). One potential casualty of this decline may be the midcontinental populations of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), which use whitebark pine seeds as a major food source (Chapter 7). Furthermore, whitebark pine is linked to other white pine ecosystems in the West through its seed-disperser, Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) (Chapter 5). Major declines in nutcracker populations ultimately seal the fate of several white pine ecosystems, and raise the question of whether restoration is possible once a certain threshold of decline is reached.

  15. Was sind Biodiversity Hotspots - global, regional, lokal?

    OpenAIRE

    Hobohm, Carsten

    2005-01-01

    Das Konzept der Biodiversity Hotspots, das Ende der 1980er Jahre von Norman Myers entworfen wurde, gehört derzeit zu den wichtigen forschungsleitenden Ansätzen globaler Naturschutzstrategien. In der vorliegenden Arbeit geht es in erster Linie um die Frage, ob und inwiefern dieses Konzept auf die regionale und lokale Dimension Europas übertragen werden kann. Es wird ein Vorschlag unterbreitet, wie europäische Biodiversity Hotspots definiert und identifiziert werden können. Bei der Erforschung ...

  16. Coastal sea radiation environment and biodiversity protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tang Senming; Shang Zhaorong

    2009-01-01

    This paper characterizes the types, trend and the potential of radiation contamination in the sea against the development of nuclear power stations. Combined with the present status of radioactive contamination and marine biodiversity in China seas, it is pointed out that non-human radiation protection should be considered on the bases of marine biodiversity protection. Besides, the reference species for marine radiation protection and some viewpoints on the work of marine radiation protection in China are pro- posed. (authors)

  17. Towards a Duty of Care for Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, G.; Curtis, A.; Allan, C.

    2010-04-01

    The decline in biodiversity is a worldwide phenomenon, with current rates of species extinction more dramatic than any previously recorded. Habitat loss has been identified as the major cause of biodiversity decline. In this article we suggest that a statutory duty of care would complement the current mix of policy options for biodiversity conservation. Obstacles hindering the introduction of a statutory duty of care include linguistic ambiguity about the terms ‘duty of care’ and ‘stewardship’ and how they are applied in a natural resource management context, and the absence of a mechanism to guide its implementation. Drawing on international literature and key informant interviews we have articulated characteristics of duty of care to reduce linguistic ambiguity, and developed a framework for implementing a duty of care for biodiversity at the regional scale. The framework draws on key elements of the common law ‘duty of care’, the concepts of ‘taking reasonable care’ and ‘avoiding foreseeable harm’, in its logic. Core elements of the framework include desired outcomes for biodiversity, supported by current recommended practices. The focus on outcomes provides opportunities for the development of innovative management practices. The framework incorporates multiple pathways for the redress of non-compliance including tiered negative sanctions, and positive measures to encourage compliance. Importantly, the framework addresses the need for change and adaptation that is a necessary part of biodiversity management.

  18. AMBON - the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iken, K.; Danielson, S. L.; Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.; Hopcroft, R. R.; Kuletz, K.; Stafford, K.; Mueter, F. J.; Collins, E.; Bluhm, B.; Moore, S. E.; Bochenek, R. J.

    2016-02-01

    The goal of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (AMBON) is to build an operational and sustainable marine biodiversity observing network for the US Arctic Chukchi Sea continental shelf. The AMBON has four main goals: 1. To close current gaps in taxonomic biodiversity observations from microbes to whales, 2. To integrate results of past and ongoing research programs on the US Arctic shelf into a biodiversity observation network, 3. To demonstrate at a regional level how an observing network could be developed, and 4. To link with programs on the pan-Arctic to global scale. The AMBON fills taxonomic (from microbes to mammals), functional (food web structure), spatial and temporal (continuing time series) gaps, and includes new technologies such as state-of-the-art genomic tools, with biodiversity and environmental observations linked through central data management through the Alaska Ocean Observing System. AMBON is a 5-year partnership between university and federal researchers, funded through the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP), with partners in the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM), and Shell industry. AMBON will allow us to better coordinate, sustain, and synthesize biodiversity research efforts, and make data available to a broad audience of users, stakeholders, and resource managers.

  19. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Loreau, Michel

    2015-02-01

    Habitat destruction is driving biodiversity loss in remaining ecosystems, and ecosystem functioning and services often directly depend on biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity loss is likely creating an ecosystem service debt: a gradual loss of biodiversity-dependent benefits that people obtain from remaining fragments of natural ecosystems. Here, we develop an approach for quantifying ecosystem service debts, and illustrate its use to estimate how one anthropogenic driver, habitat destruction, could indirectly diminish one ecosystem service, carbon storage, by creating an extinction debt. We estimate that c. 2-21 Pg C could be gradually emitted globally in remaining ecosystem fragments because of plant species loss caused by nearby habitat destruction. The wide range for this estimate reflects substantial uncertainties in how many plant species will be lost, how much species loss will impact ecosystem functioning and whether plant species loss will decrease soil carbon. Our exploratory analysis suggests that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debts can be globally substantial, even when locally small, if they occur diffusely across vast areas of remaining ecosystems. There is substantial value in conserving not only the quantity (area), but also the quality (biodiversity) of natural ecosystems for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Steel and biodiversity: a promising alliance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Klaus; Colla, Valentina; Moonen, Anna Camilla; Branca, Teresa Annunziata; Moretto, Deny Del; Ragaglini, Giorgio; Delmiro, Vanesa Maria Menendez; Romaniello, Lea; Carler, Sophie; Hodges, Jennifer; Bullock, Matthew; Malfa, Enrico

    2018-06-01

    The term "Biodiversity" derives from a contraction of "biological diversity" and commonly refers to a measure of the variety of organisms, which are present in different ecosystems, by considering genetic variation, ecosystem variation, or species variation within an area, biome, or planet. Biodiversity is receiving an ever-increasing attention at many levels of European society as well as from many industrial sectors, and a variety of actions are being put in place in order to protect, preserve and increase it. The present paper provides examples of the capabilities and potentials of the steel sector with respect to biodiversity. In effect, steel is a valuable and fundamental structural material in order to develop measures and systems for protection of biodiversity. On the other hand, biodiversity can represent for the steel industry not only a heritage to preserve, but, through its functional traits, it can become an opportunity, offering an ecosystem's perspective to all industrial companies. In the paper, steel relevant topics and applications are analyzed leading to the conclusion that biodiversity should be exploited and can play a role with potentially relevant benefits both for the company and for local communities. Sustainability and Ecodesign of processes, products and services

  1. Application of Multi-Source Remote Sensing Image in Yunnan Province Grassland Resources Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.; Wen, G.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    Trough mastering background information of Yunnan province grassland resources utilization and ecological conditions to improves grassland elaborating management capacity, it carried out grassland resource investigation work by Yunnan province agriculture department in 2017. The traditional grassland resource investigation method is ground based investigation, which is time-consuming and inefficient, especially not suitable for large scale and hard-to-reach areas. While remote sensing is low cost, wide range and efficient, which can reflect grassland resources present situation objectively. It has become indispensable grassland monitoring technology and data sources and it has got more and more recognition and application in grassland resources monitoring research. This paper researches application of multi-source remote sensing image in Yunnan province grassland resources investigation. First of all, it extracts grassland resources thematic information and conducts field investigation through BJ-2 high space resolution image segmentation. Secondly, it classifies grassland types and evaluates grassland degradation degree through high resolution characteristics of Landsat 8 image. Thirdly, it obtained grass yield model and quality classification through high resolution and wide scanning width characteristics of MODIS images and sample investigate data. Finally, it performs grassland field qualitative analysis through UAV remote sensing image. According to project area implementation, it proves that multi-source remote sensing data can be applied to the grassland resources investigation in Yunnan province and it is indispensable method.

  2. Establishing Sphagnum cultures on bog grassland, cut-over bogs, and floating mats: procedures, costs and area potential in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wichmann

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Sphagnum biomass is valued as a high-quality constituent of horticultural growing media. The cultivation of Sphagnum (peatmoss was tested successfully on peat soil and on artificial mats floating on acidic water bodies. But whether Sphagnum farming is economically feasible is unclear. Drawing on experience gained during four research projects in Germany we compared the procedures, costs and area potential for establishing large-scale Sphagnum cultures. Establishment costs were clearly lower for soil-based cultivation (€8.35 m-2 to €12.80 m 2 than for water-based cultivation (€17.34 m-2 to €21.43 m-2. Relating costs to the predicted dry mass yield over the total cultivation time resulted in values of €1,723 t-1 on cut-over bog, €2,646 t-1 on former bog grassland, €9,625 t -1 on floating mats without pre-cultivation and €11,833 t-1 on pre-cultivated Sphagnum mats. The high production costs of the mats (without pre-cultivation 54 % and with pre-cultivation 63 % of total costs resulted in the highest overall costs. In the case of soil-based Sphagnum cultures, the costs of purchasing Sphagnum diaspores were most influential (on bog grassland 46 % and on cut-over bog 71 % of total costs. The lowest costs relate to cut-over bog because of the smaller effort required for site preparation compared to taking off the topsoil of former bog grassland and the limited costs for the assumed irrigation system. In the case of former bog grassland, the high investment costs for the project-specific automatic water management boosted the establishment costs. Taking into account potential savings on the irrigation system and the high area potential, bog grassland emerges as the most promising land category for Sphagnum farming in Germany.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

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

  5. Grassland ecology and population growth: striking a balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, D; Duan, C; Zhang, D

    2000-06-01

    Degradation of forest and grasslands in western China attributes to the soil erosion and desertification in the country. Researchers have established that the primary reason for the degradation of grasslands is overgrazing, which in turn is caused by a number of factors, including over-population and over-reliance on animal husbandry. In addition, the existing administrative system has also proved ineffective in ensuring sustainable development. On contrary, many local governments even encourage exploitative development of grassland; thus, localities opened up grassland for growing crops in an effort to increase income. According to estimates, degraded grassland accounts for more than one-third of utilizable acreage and another one-third suffers from a profusion of rats and pests. To redress the situation, central government should implement strategies in achieving sustainable development, such as providing banking and tax incentives for the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, and supporting education and training of youths from herding areas. Moreover, government should increase spending on infrastructural construction and ecological preservation. Finally, the family planning program needs to be enforced to control population growth and improve the quality of peoples¿ lives.

  6. Are land use and short time climate change effective on soil carbon compositions and their relationships with soil properties in alpine grassland ecosystems on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhenzhen; Dong, Shikui; Jiang, Xiaoman; Zhao, Jinbo; Liu, Shiliang; Yang, Mingyue; Han, Yuhui; Sha, Wei

    2018-06-01

    Fencing and grass plantation are two key interventions to preserve the degraded grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Climate warming and N deposition have substantially affected the alpine grassland ecosystems. However, molecular composition of soil organic carbon (SOC), the indicator of degradation of SOC, and its responses to climate change are still largely unclear. In this study, we conducted the experiments in three types of land use on the QTP: alpine meadow (AM), alpine steppe (AS), and cultivated grassland (CG) under 2°C climatic warming, 5 levels of nitrogen deposition rates at 8, 24, 40, 56, and 72kg N ha -1 year -1 , as well as a combination of climatic warming and N deposition (8kg N ha -1 year -1 ). Our findings indicate that all three types of land use were dominated by O-alkyl carbon. The alkyl/O-alkyl ratio, aromaticity and hydrophobicity index of the CG were larger than those of the AM and AS, and this difference was generally stable under different treatments. Most of the SOC in the alpine grasslands was derived from fresh plants, and the carbon in the CG was more stable than that in the AM and AS. The compositions of all the alpine ecosystems were stable under short-term climatic changes, suggesting the short-term climate warming and nitrogen deposition likely did not affect the molecular composition of the SOC in the restored grasslands. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Liming impacts on soils, crops and biodiversity in the UK: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J E; Bennett, A E; Newton, A C; White, P J; McKenzie, B M; George, T S; Pakeman, R J; Bailey, J S; Fornara, D A; Hayes, R C

    2018-01-01

    Fertile soil is fundamental to our ability to achieve food security, but problems with soil degradation (such as acidification) are exacerbated by poor management. Consequently, there is a need to better understand management approaches that deliver multiple ecosystem services from agricultural land. There is global interest in sustainable soil management including the re-evaluation of existing management practices. Liming is a long established practice to ameliorate acidic soils and many liming-induced changes are well understood. For instance, short-term liming impacts are detected on soil biota and in soil biological processes (such as in N cycling where liming can increase N availability for plant uptake). The impacts of liming on soil carbon storage are variable and strongly relate to soil type, land use, climate and multiple management factors. Liming influences all elements in soils and as such there are numerous simultaneous changes to soil processes which in turn affect the plant nutrient uptake; two examples of positive impact for crops are increased P availability and decreased uptake of toxic heavy metals. Soil physical conditions are at least maintained or improved by liming, but the time taken to detect change varies significantly. Arable crops differ in their sensitivity to soil pH and for most crops there is a positive yield response. Liming also introduces implications for the development of different crop diseases and liming management is adjusted according to crop type within a given rotation. Repeated lime applications tend to improve grassland biomass production, although grassland response is variable and indirect as it relates to changes in nutrient availability. Other indicators of liming response in grassland are detected in mineral content and herbage quality which have implications for livestock-based production systems. Ecological studies have shown positive impacts of liming on biodiversity; such as increased earthworm abundance that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Land-use changes, farm management and the decline of butterflies associated with semi-natural grasslands in southern Sweden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven G. Nilsson

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Currently, we are experiencing biodiversity loss on different spatial scales. One of the best studied taxonomic groups in decline is the butterflies. Here, we review evidence for such declines using five systematic studies from southern Sweden that compare old butterfly surveys with the current situation. Additionally, we provide data on butterfly and burnet moth extinctions in the region’s counties. In some local areas, half of the butterfly fauna has been lost during the last 60-100 years. In terms of extinctions, counties have lost 2-10 butterfly and burnet moth species. Land use has changed markedly with key butterfly habitats such as hay meadows disappearing at alarming rates. Grazed, mixed open woodlands have been transformed into dense coniferous forests and clear-cuts and domestic grazers have been relocated from woodlands to arable fields and semi-natural grasslands. Ley has increased rapidly and is used for bale silage repeatedly during the season. Overall, the changed and intensified land use has markedly reduced the availability of nectar resources in the landscape. Species that decline in Sweden are strongly decreasing or already extinct in other parts of Europe. Many typical grassland species that were numerous in former times have declined severely; among those Hesperia comma, Lycaena virgaureae, Lycaena hippothoe, Argynnis adippe, and Polyommatus semiargus. Also, species associated with open woodlands and wetlands such as, Colias palaeno, Boloria euphrosyne and the glade-inhabiting Leptidea sinapis have all decreased markedly. Current management practise and EU Common Agricultural Policy rules favour intensive grazing on the remaining semi-natural grasslands, with strong negative effects on butterfly diversity. Abandoned grasslands are very common in less productive areas of southern Sweden and these habitats may soon become forests. There is an urgent need for immediate action to preserve unfertilized, mown and lightly grazed

  10. Biodiversity informatics: challenges and opportunities for applying biodiversity information to management and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    James S. Kagan

    2006-01-01

    Researchers, land managers, and the public currently often are unable to obtain useful biodiversity information because the subject represents such a large component of biology and ecology, and systems to compile and organize this information do not exist. Information on vascular plant taxonomy, as addressed by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and key...

  11. International Center for Himalayan Biodiversity (ICHB): Conserving Himalayan Biodiversity--A Global Responsibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram Bhandari

    2006-01-01

    Biodiversity is a global endowment of nature. Conservation of biodiversity includes all species of plants, animals and other organisms, the range of genetic stocks within each species, and ecosystem diversity. Food, many types of medicine and industrial products are provided by the biological resources that are the basis of life on Earth. The value of the Earth’s...

  12. Compensation for biodiversity loss – Advice to the Netherlands' Taskforce on Biodiversity and Natural Resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bie, de S.; Dessel, van B.

    2011-01-01

    Compensation of damage to biodiversity is one of the mechanisms to settle environmental costs. It concerns creating new opportunities for biodiversity, which as a minimum equals the residual impact after a company or organization has attempted to avoid, prevent and mitigate that impact. In the

  13. Breaking boundaries for biodiversity : expanding the policy agenda to halt biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, M.P.; Sanders, M.E.; Tekelenburg, A.; Gerritsen, A.L.; Lörzing, J.A.; Brink, Th.

    2010-01-01

    Our assessment from the perspective of the Netherlands, a country in the temperate zone, showed a slightly positive picture, in line with the overall results for this zone. The loss of biodiversity in the Netherlands has been slowed down, but the European target – halting the loss of biodiversity

  14. Challenges of Biodiversity Education: A Review of Education Strategies for Biodiversity Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Perez, Moramay; Tidball, Keith G.

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation has increasingly gained recognition in national and international agendas. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has positioned biodiversity as a key asset to be protected to ensure our well-being and that of future generations. Nearly 20 years after its inception, results are not as expected, as shown in the…

  15. Making the case for biodiversity in South Africa: Re-framing biodiversity communications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristal Maze

    2016-12-01

    Conclusion: Based on the findings, a communications strategy known as ‘Making the case for biodiversity’ was developed that re-framed the economic, emotional and practical value propositions for biodiversity. The communications strategy has already resulted in greater political and economic attention towards biodiversity in South Africa.

  16. Data hosting infrastructure for primary biodiversity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Today, an unprecedented volume of primary biodiversity data are being generated worldwide, yet significant amounts of these data have been and will continue to be lost after the conclusion of the projects tasked with collecting them. To get the most value out of these data it is imperative to seek a solution whereby these data are rescued, archived and made available to the biodiversity community. To this end, the biodiversity informatics community requires investment in processes and infrastructure to mitigate data loss and provide solutions for long-term hosting and sharing of biodiversity data. Discussion We review the current state of biodiversity data hosting and investigate the technological and sociological barriers to proper data management. We further explore the rescuing and re-hosting of legacy data, the state of existing toolsets and propose a future direction for the development of new discovery tools. We also explore the role of data standards and licensing in the context of data hosting and preservation. We provide five recommendations for the biodiversity community that will foster better data preservation and access: (1) encourage the community's use of data standards, (2) promote the public domain licensing of data, (3) establish a community of those involved in data hosting and archival, (4) establish hosting centers for biodiversity data, and (5) develop tools for data discovery. Conclusion The community's adoption of standards and development of tools to enable data discovery is essential to sustainable data preservation. Furthermore, the increased adoption of open content licensing, the establishment of data hosting infrastructure and the creation of a data hosting and archiving community are all necessary steps towards the community ensuring that data archival policies become standardized. PMID:22373257

  17. CALICE: Calibrating Plant Biodiversity in Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festi, Daniela; Cristofori, Antonella; Vernesi, Cristiano; Zerbe, Stefan; Wellstein, Camilla; Maggi, Valter; Oeggl, Klaus

    2017-04-01

    The objective of the project is to reconstruct plant biodiversity and its trend archived in Alpine glacier ice by pollen and eDNA (environmental DNA) during the last five decades by analyzing a 40 m ice core. For our study we chose the Adamello glacier (Trentino - Südtirol, Lombardia) because of i) the good preservation conditions for pollen and eDNA in ice, ii) the thickness of the ice cap (270m) and iii) the expected high time resolution. The biodiversity estimates gained by pollen analysis and eDNA will be validated by historical biodiversity assessments mainly based on vegetation maps, aerial photos and vegetation surveys in the catchment area of the Adamello glacier for the last five decades. This historical reconstruction of biodiversity trends will be performed on a micro-, meso- and macro-scale (5, 20-50 and 50-100 Km radius, respectively). The results will serve as a calibration data set on biodiversity for future studies, such as the second step of the coring by the POLLiCE research consortium (pollice.fmach.it). In fact, arrangements are currently been made to drill the complete ice cap and retrieve a 270 m thick core which has the potential to cover a time span of minimum 400 years up to several millennia. This second stage will extend the time scale and enable the evaluation of dissimilarity/similarity of modern biodiversity in relation to Late Holocene trends. Finally, we believe this case study has the potential to be applied in other glaciated areas to evaluate biodiversity for large regions (e.g. central Asian mountain ranges, Tibet and Tian Shan or the Andes).

  18. Biodiversity information platforms: From standards to interoperability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Berendsohn

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available One of the most serious bottlenecks in the scientific workflows of biodiversity sciences is the need to integrate data from different sources, software applications, and services for analysis, visualisation and publication. For more than a quarter of a century the TDWG Biodiversity Information Standards organisation has a central role in defining and promoting data standards and protocols supporting interoperability between disparate and locally distributed systems. Although often not sufficiently recognized, TDWG standards are the foundation of many popular Biodiversity Informatics applications and infrastructures ranging from small desktop software solutions to large scale international data networks. However, individual scientists and groups of collaborating scientist have difficulties in fully exploiting the potential of standards that are often notoriously complex, lack non-technical documentations, and use different representations and underlying technologies. In the last few years, a series of initiatives such as Scratchpads, the EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy, and biowikifarm have started to implement and set up virtual work platforms for biodiversity sciences which shield their users from the complexity of the underlying standards. Apart from being practical work-horses for numerous working processes related to biodiversity sciences, they can be seen as information brokers mediating information between multiple data standards and protocols. The ViBRANT project will further strengthen the flexibility and power of virtual biodiversity working platforms by building software interfaces between them, thus facilitating essential information flows needed for comprehensive data exchange, data indexing, web-publication, and versioning. This work will make an important contribution to the shaping of an international, interoperable, and user-oriented biodiversity information infrastructure.

  19. Biodiversity losses and conservation trade-offs: Assessing future urban growth scenarios for a North American trade corridor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel; Norman, Laura M.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Boykin, Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    The Sonoran Desert and Apache Highlands ecoregions of North America are areas of exceptionally high plant and vertebrate biodiversity. However, much of the vertebrate biodiversity is supported by only a few vegetation types with limited distributions, some of which are increasingly threatened by changing land uses. We assessed the impacts of two future urban growth scenarios on biodiversity in a binational watershed in Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico. We quantified and mapped terrestrial vertebrate species richness using Wildlife Habitat Relation models and validated the results with data from National Park Service biological inventories. Future urban growth, based on historical trends, was projected to the year 2050 for 1) a “Current Trends” scenario and, 2) a “Megalopolis” scenario that represented a transnational growth corridor with open-space conservation attributes. Based on Current Trends, 45% of existing riparian woodland (267 of 451species), and 34% of semi-desert grasslands (215 of 451 species) will be lost, whereas, in the Megalopolis scenario, these types would decline by 44% and 24% respectively. Outcomes of the two models suggest a trade-off at the taxonomic class level: Current Trends would reduce and fragment mammal and herpetofauna habitat, while Megalopolis would result in loss of avian-rich riparian habitat.

  20. Effects of different diets on utilization of nitrogen from cattle slurry applied to grassland on a sandy soil in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijs, J.W.; Sonneveld, M.P.W.; Sorensen, P.; Schils, R.L.M.; Groot, J.C.J.; Lantinga, E.A.

    2007-01-01

    Dietary adjustments have been suggested as a means to reduce N losses from dairy systems. Differences in fertilizing value of dairy slurry as a result of dietary adjustments were evaluated in a 1-year grassland experiment and by long-term modelling. Slurry composition of non-lactating dairy cows was

  1. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  2. Tools for Management for Grassland Ecosystem Sustainability: Thinking "Outside the Box"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem management is dynamic and has adapted to the development of new tools and ideas. Our ancestors were indirectly managing grasslands when they learned to move livestock to take advantage of better water and greener forage. One could argue that even their hunting of grassland wildlife, especially the use of fire to drive animals to waiting hunters, had...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  4. Evapotranspiration and soil moisture dynamics in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia China

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Hao; Ge Sun; Yongqiang Liu; G. S. Zhou; J. H.   Wan;  L. B. Zhang; J. L. Niu; Y. H. Sang;  J. J He

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture are the key controls for the productivity and functioning of temperate grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Quantifying the soil moisture dynamics and water balances in the grasslands is essential to sustainable grassland management under global climate change. We...

  5. Forest and grassland carbon in North America: A short course for land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Swanston; Michael J. Furniss; Kristen Schmitt; Jeffrey Guntle; Maria Janowiak; Sarah Hines

    2012-01-01

    This multimedia short-course presents a range of information on the science, management and policy of forest and grassland carbon. Forests and grasslands worldwide play a critical role in storing carbon and sequestering greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of forests and grasslands, emphasizes the need for...

  6. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erpenbeck, Dirk; Voigt, Oliver; Al-Aidaroos, Ali M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Büttner, Gabriele; Catania, Daniela; Guirguis, Adel Naguib; Paulay, Gustav; Schätzle, Simone

    2016-01-01

    Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters. - Highlights: •First assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia •Rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections •Assessment of 28S 'C-Region' for demosponge barcoding •Data for a future comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea

  7. Climate change: potential implications for Ireland's biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Alison

    2018-03-01

    A national biodiversity and climate change adaptation plan is being developed for Ireland by the Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment. In order to inform such a plan, it was necessary to review and synthesize some of the recent literature pertaining to the impact of climate change on biodiversity in Ireland. Published research on this topic fell within three broad categories: (i) changes in the timing of life-cycle events (phenology) of plants, birds, and insects; (ii) changes in the geographic range of some bird species; and (iii) changes in the suitable climatic zones of key habitats and species. The synthesis revealed evidence of (i) a trend towards earlier spring activity of plants, birds, and insects which may result in a change in ecosystem function; (ii) an increase in the number of bird species; and (iii) both increases and decreases in the suitable climatic area of key habitats and species, all of which are expected to impact Ireland's future biodiversity. This process identified data gaps and limitations in available information both of which could be used to inform a focused research strategy. In addition, it raises awareness of the potential implications of climate change for biodiversity in Ireland and elsewhere and demonstrates the need for biodiversity conservation plans to factor climate change into future designs.

  8. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E; Safi, Kamran

    2011-09-12

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future.

  9. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and clusters them into biodiversity metrics that relate to ecosystem service-relevant categories. Metrics, such as species and taxon richness, have been developed and integrated with other measures of biodiversity. Collectively, these metrics provide a consistent scalable process from which to make geographic comparisons, provide thematic assessments, and to monitor status and trends in biodiversity. The national biodiversity component operates across approximatel

  10. Geography of conservation spending, biodiversity, and culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, T R; Rankin, P S

    2016-10-01

    We used linear and multivariate models to examine the associations between geography, biodiversity, per capita economic output, national spending on conservation, governance, and cultural traits in 55 countries. Cultural traits and social metrics of modernization correlated positively with national spending on conservation. The global distribution of this spending culture was poorly aligned with the distribution of biodiversity. Specifically, biodiversity was greater in the tropics where cultures tended to spend relatively less on conservation and tended to have higher collectivism, formalized and hierarchical leadership, and weaker governance. Consequently, nations lacking social traits frequently associated with modernization, environmentalism, and conservation spending have the largest component of Earth's biodiversity. This has significant implications for setting policies and priorities for resource management given that biological diversity is rapidly disappearing and cultural traits change slowly. Therefore, we suggest natural resource management adapt to and use characteristics of existing social organization rather than wait for or promote social values associated with conservation spending. Supporting biocultural traditions, engaging leaders to increase conservation commitments, cross-national efforts that complement attributes of cultures, and avoiding interference with nature may work best to conserve nature in collective and hierarchical societies. Spending in modernized nations may be a symbolic response to a symptom of economic development and environmental degradation, and here conservation actions need to ensure that biodiversity is not being lost. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E.; Safi, Kamran

    2011-01-01

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future. PMID:21807728

  12. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Supporting the Construction of Workflows for Biodiversity Problem-Solving Accessing Secure, Distributed Resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.S. Pahwa

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In the Biodiversity World (BDW project we have created a flexible and extensible Web Services-based Grid environment for biodiversity researchers to solve problems in biodiversity and analyse biodiversity patterns. In this environment, heterogeneous and globally distributed biodiversity-related resources such as data sets and analytical tools are made available to be accessed and assembled by users into workflows to perform complex scientific experiments. One such experiment is bioclimatic modelling of the geographical distribution of individual species using climate variables in order to explain past and future climate-related changes in species distribution. Data sources and analytical tools required for such analysis of species distribution are widely dispersed, available on heterogeneous platforms, present data in different formats and lack inherent interoperability. The present BDW system brings all these disparate units together so that the user can combine tools with little thought as to their original availability, data formats and interoperability. The new prototype BDW system architecture not only brings together heterogeneous resources but also enables utilisation of computational resources and provides a secure access to BDW resources via a federated security model. We describe features of the new BDW system and its security model which enable user authentication from a workflow application as part of workflow execution.

  14. Controls upon microbial accessibility to soil organic matter following woody plant encroachment into grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, C. A.; Boutton, T. W.; Filley, T. R.

    2009-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment (WPE) into savannas and grasslands is a global phenomenon that alters soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics through changes in litter quality and quantity, soil structure, microbial ecology, and soil hydrology. To elucidate the controls upon microbial accessibility to SOM, bulk soils from a chronosequence of progressive WPE into native grasslands at the Texas A&M Agricultural Experimental Station La Copita Research Area were incubated for one year. The quantity and stable carbon isotope composition of respired CO2, plant biopolymer chemistry in SOM, and microbial community structure were tracked. Respiration rates declined steadily over the course of the experiment with 15-25% of the total CO2 respired released in the first month of incubation. Between 8 and 18% of the total carbon was mineralized to CO2 throughout the incubation. After day 84 a significantly (p evidence of enhanced carbon stabilization in these respiration experiments. In fact, a greater proportion of total carbon was lost from the soil of mature woody stands than from young stands, suggesting carbon accumulation observed with WPE may be due to greater input rates or microbial dynamics not captured in the laboratory incubation. A cluster approximately 34 years in age represents a transition point in WPE where respiration dynamics become distinct between grassland and wooded elements. By day 84 of the incubation CO2 respired from all soils was depleted with respect to bulk SOM (1.5 to 5‰) and this pattern remained for the rest of the incubation. As the depletion of CO2 relative to bulk SOM was observed in grassland and cluster soils, we hypothesized the depleted signature resulted from the utilization of depleted biopolymers, specifically lignin, cutin and suberin, as hypothesized by others. Quantitative and isotopic comparisons of these monomers prior to and following the incubation will determine if selective compound utilization is a reason for this depletion. The results

  15. Large-area mapping of biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, J.M.; Jennings, M.D.

    1998-01-01

    The age of discovery, description, and classification of biodiversity is entering a new phase. In responding to the conservation imperative, we can now supplement the essential work of systematics with spatially explicit information on species and assemblages of species. This is possible because of recent conceptual, technical, and organizational progress in generating synoptic views of the earth's surface and a great deal of its biological content, at multiple scales of thematic as well as geographic resolution. The development of extensive spatial data on species distributions and vegetation types provides us with a framework for: (a) assessing what we know and where we know it at meso-scales, and (b) stratifying the biological universe so that higher-resolution surveys can be more efficiently implemented, coveting, for example, geographic adequacy of specimen collections, population abundance, reproductive success, and genetic dynamics. The land areas involved are very large, and the questions, such as resolution, scale, classification, and accuracy, are complex. In this paper, we provide examples from the United States Gap Analysis Program on the advantages and limitations of mapping the occurrence of terrestrial vertebrate species and dominant land-cover types over large areas as joint ventures and in multi-organizational partnerships, and how these cooperative efforts can be designed to implement results from data development and analyses as on-the-ground actions. Clearly, new frameworks for thinking about biogeographic information as well as organizational cooperation are needed if we are to have any hope of documenting the full range of species occurrences and ecological processes in ways meaningful to their management. The Gap Analysis experience provides one model for achieving these new frameworks.

  16. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erpenbeck, Dirk; Voigt, Oliver; Al-Aidaroos, Ali M; Berumen, Michael L; Büttner, Gabriele; Catania, Daniela; Guirguis, Adel Naguib; Paulay, Gustav; Schätzle, Simone; Wörheide, Gert

    2016-04-30

    Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges

    KAUST Repository

    Erpenbeck, Dirk; Voigt, Oliver; Al-Aidaroos, Ali M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Bü ttner, Gabriele; Catania, Daniela; Guirguis, Adel Naguib; Paulay, Gustav; Schä tzle, Simone; Wö rheide, Gert

    2016-01-01

    Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters.

  18. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges

    KAUST Repository

    Erpenbeck, Dirk

    2016-01-07

    Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters.

  19. Biodiversity and the feel-good factor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dallimer, Martin; Irvine, Katherine N.; Skinner, Andrew M. J.

    2012-01-01

    Over half of the world's human population lives in cities, and for many, urban greenspaces are the only places where they encounter biodiversity. This is of particular concern because there is growing evidence that human well-being is enhanced by exposure to nature. However, the specific qualities...... of greenspaces that offer the greatest benefits remain poorly understood. One possibility is that humans respond positively to increased levels of biodiversity. Here, we demonstrate the lack of a consistent relationship between actual plant, butterfly, and bird species richness and the psychological well......-being of urban greenspace visitors. instead, well-being shows a positive relationship with the richness that the greenspace users perceived to be present. One plausible explanation for this discrepancy, which we investigate, is that people generally have poor biodiversity-identification skills. The apparent...

  20. Biodiversity analysis in the digital era

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    This paper explores what the virtual biodiversity e-infrastructure will look like as it takes advantage of advances in ‘Big Data’ biodiversity informatics and e-research infrastructure, which allow integration of various taxon-level data types (genome, morphology, distribution and species interactions) within a phylogenetic and environmental framework. By overcoming the data scaling problem in ecology, this integrative framework will provide richer information and fast learning to enable a deeper understanding of biodiversity evolution and dynamics in a rapidly changing world. The Atlas of Living Australia is used as one example of the advantages of progressing towards this future. Living in this future will require the adoption of new ways of integrating scientific knowledge into societal decision making. This article is part of the themed issue ‘From DNA barcodes to biomes’. PMID:27481789

  1. Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Heard, Matthew S; Isaac, Nick J B; Roy, David B; Procter, Deborah; Eigenbrod, Felix; Freckleton, Rob; Hector, Andy; Orme, C David L; Petchey, Owen L; Proença, Vânia; Raffaelli, David; Suttle, K Blake; Mace, Georgina M; Martín-López, Berta; Woodcock, Ben A; Bullock, James M

    2015-11-01

    Accelerating rates of environmental change and the continued loss of global biodiversity threaten functions and services delivered by ecosystems. Much ecosystem monitoring and management is focused on the provision of ecosystem functions and services under current environmental conditions, yet this could lead to inappropriate management guidance and undervaluation of the importance of biodiversity. The maintenance of ecosystem functions and services under substantial predicted future environmental change (i.e., their 'resilience') is crucial. Here we identify a range of mechanisms underpinning the resilience of ecosystem functions across three ecological scales. Although potentially less important in the short term, biodiversity, encompassing variation from within species to across landscapes, may be crucial for the longer-term resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they underpin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A conservation agenda for the Pantanal's biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, C J R; Sabino, J

    2011-04-01

    The Pantanal's biodiversity constitutes a valuable natural resource, in economic, cultural, recreational, aesthetic, scientific and educational terms. The vegetation plus the seasonal productivity support a diverse and abundant fauna. Many endangered species occur in the region, and waterfowl are exceptionally abundant during the dry season. Losses of biodiversity and its associated natural habitats within the Pantanal occur as a result of unsustainable land use. Implementation of protected areas is only a part of the conservation strategy needed. We analyse biodiversity threats to the biome under seven major categories: 1) conversion of natural vegetation into pasture and agricultural crops, 2) destruction or degradation of habitat mainly due to wild fire, 3) overexploitation of species mainly by unsustainable fishing, 4) water pollution, 5) river flow modification with implantation of small hydroelectric plants, 6) unsustainable tourism, and 7) introduction of invasive exotic species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  4. Impact of GM crops on biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Janet E

    2011-01-01

    The potential impact of GM crops on biodiversity has been a topic of interest both in general as well as specifically in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Agricultural biodiversity has been defined at levels from genes to ecosystems that are involved or impacted by agricultural production (www.cbd.int/agro/whatis.shtml). After fifteen years of commercial cultivation, a substantial body of literature now exists addressing the potential impacts of GM crops on the environment. This review takes a biodiversity lens to this literature, considering the impacts at three levels: the crop, farm and landscape scales. Within that framework, this review covers potential impacts of the introduction of genetically engineered crops on: crop diversity, biodiversity of wild relatives, non-target soil organisms, weeds, land use, non-target above-ground organisms, and area-wide pest suppression. The emphasis of the review is peer-reviewed literature that presents direct measures of impacts on biodiversity. In addition, possible impacts of changes in management practises such as tillage and pesticide use are also discussed to complement the literature on direct measures. The focus of the review is on technologies that have been commercialized somewhere in the world, while results may emanate from non-adopting countries and regions. Overall, the review finds that currently commercialized GM crops have reduced the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, through enhanced adoption of conservation tillage practices, reduction of insecticide use and use of more environmentally benign herbicides and increasing yields to alleviate pressure to convert additional land into agricultural use.

  5. Elevated CO2 and water addition enhance nitrogen turnover in grassland plants with implications for temporal stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Feike A; Carrillo, Yolima; Blumenthal, Dana M; Mueller, Kevin E; LeCain, Dan R; Morgan, Jack A; Zelikova, Tamara J; Williams, David G; Follett, Ronald F; Pendall, Elise

    2018-05-01

    Temporal variation in soil nitrogen (N) availability affects growth of grassland communities that differ in their use and reuse of N. In a 7-year-long climate change experiment in a semi-arid grassland, the temporal stability of plant biomass production varied with plant N turnover (reliance on externally acquired N relative to internally recycled N). Species with high N turnover were less stable in time compared to species with low N turnover. In contrast, N turnover at the community level was positively associated with asynchrony in biomass production, which in turn increased community temporal stability. Elevated CO 2 and summer irrigation, but not warming, enhanced community N turnover and stability, possibly because treatments promoted greater abundance of species with high N turnover. Our study highlights the importance of plant N turnover for determining the temporal stability of individual species and plant communities affected by climate change. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Initial Soil Organic Matter Content Influences the Storage and Turnover of Litter-, Root- and Soil Carbon in Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Xu, S.; Li, P.; Sayer, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    Grassland degradation is a worldwide problem that often leads to substantial loss of soil organic matter (SOM). Understanding how SOM content influences the stabilization of plant carbon (C) to form soil C is important to evaluate the potential of degraded grasslands to sequester additional C. We conducted a greenhouse experiment using C3 soils with six levels of SOM content and planted the C4 grass Cleistogenes squarrosa and/or added its litter to investigate how SOM content regulates the storage of new soil C derived from litter and roots, the decomposition of extant soil C, and the formation of soil aggregates. We found that microbial biomass carbon (MBC) increased with SOM content, and increased the mineralization of litter C. Both litter addition and planted treatments increased the amount of new C inputs to soil. However, litter addition had no significant impacts on the mineralization of extant soil C, but the presence of living roots significantly accelerated it. Thus, by the end of the experiment, soil C content was significantly higher in the litter addition treatments, but was not affected by planted treatments. The soil macroaggregate fraction increased with SOM content and was positively related to MBC. Overall, our study suggests that as SOM content increases, plant growth and soil microbes become more active, which allows microbes to process more plant-derived C and increases new soil C formation. The interactions between SOM content and plant C inputs should be considered when evaluating soil C turnover in degraded grasslands.

  7. Biodiversity in a Florida Sandhill Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Robertson

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This project compares two transects of land in the University of South Florida's Botanical Gardens for their biodiversity. The transects were chosen to represent a Florida sandhill ecosystem and the individual Longleaf Pine, Saw Palmetto, Turkey Oak, Laurel Oak and Live Oak specimens were counted. All other species above waist height were counted as "other"?. Once the individuals were counted, the Simpson's and Shannon-Wiener indices were calculated. Since the Shannon-Wiener index incorporates several diversity characteristics, it is typically more reliable than Simpson's. However, both biodiversity indices agreed that transect B was more diverse than transect A.

  8. Bats, Blood-Feeders and Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohmann, Kristine

    DNA metabarcoding of environmental samples has rapidly become a valuable tool for ecological studies such as biodiversity and diet studies. To reveal the diversity in environmental samples such as soil, water, and faeces, this approach principally employs PCR amplification of environmental DNA...... minimising the occurrence of errors. Centered around metabarcoding dietary studies of bat droppings and leech gut contents, this continuous exploration and refinement is reflected in both the work and structure of this thesis. After a thesis introduction and two chapters on environmental DNA and biodiversity...

  9. The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program Terrestrial Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    , understand and report on long-term change in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, and to identify knowledge gaps and priorities. This poster will outline the key management questions the plan aims to address and the proposed nested, multi-scaled approach linking targeted, research based monitoring...... and coastal environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Plan is a framework to focus and coordinate monitoring of terrestrial biodiversity across the Arctic. The goal of the plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect...

  10. The changing form of Antarctic biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chown, Steven L; Clarke, Andrew; Fraser, Ceridwen I; Cary, S Craig; Moon, Katherine L; McGeoch, Melodie A

    2015-06-25

    Antarctic biodiversity is much more extensive, ecologically diverse and biogeographically structured than previously thought. Understanding of how this diversity is distributed in marine and terrestrial systems, the mechanisms underlying its spatial variation, and the significance of the microbiota is growing rapidly. Broadly recognizable drivers of diversity variation include energy availability and historical refugia. The impacts of local human activities and global environmental change nonetheless pose challenges to the current and future understanding of Antarctic biodiversity. Life in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean is surprisingly rich, and as much at risk from environmental change as it is elsewhere.

  11. Essential Biodiversity Variables: A framework for communication between the biodiversity community and space agencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leidner, A. K.; Skidmore, A. K.; Turner, W. W.; Geller, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    The biodiversity community is working towards developing a consensus on a set of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) that can be used to measure and monitor biodiversity change over time. These EBVs will inform research, modeling, policy, and assessment efforts. The synoptic coverage provided by satellite data make remote sensing a particularly important observation tool to inform many EBVs. Biodiversity is a relatively new subject matter for space agencies, and thus the definition, description, and requirements of EBVs with a significant remote sensing component can foster ways for the biodiversity community to clearly and concisely communicate observational needs to space agencies and the Committee on Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS, the international coordinating body for civilian space agencies). Here, we present an overview of EBVs with a particular emphasis on those for which remote sensing will play a significant role and also report on the results of recent workshops to prioritize and refine EBVs. Our goal is to provide a framework for the biodiversity community to coalesce around a set of observational needs to convey to space agencies. Compared to many physical science disciplines, the biodiversity community represents a wide range of sub-disciplines and organizations (academia, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, national and local natural resource management agencies, etc.), which creates additional challenges when communicating needs to space agencies unfamiliar with the topic. EBVs thus offer a communication pathway that could increase awareness within space agencies of the uses of remote sensing for biodiversity research and applications, which in turn could foster greater use of remote sensing in the broader biodiversity community.

  12. Biodiversity monitoring in Europe: the EU FP7 EBONE project. European biodiversity observation NEtwork

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lück-Vogel, Melanie

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available submission Presentation Poster presentation A) Title Biodiversity Monitoring in Europe: The EU FP7 EBONE project European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork B) Short title EBONE - European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork C) Author(s) Vogel, M. (1... stream_source_info Vogel_2008.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 3055 Content-Encoding UTF-8 stream_name Vogel_2008.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=UTF-8 BIOTA AFRICA Congress 2008 Abstract...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

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

  14. Quantitative ecological relationships in the alpine grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey, based on 56 000 points at 102 sampling sites in the Tsehlanyane valley of the Oxbow (Madibamatso) Dam catchment in the alpine grassland of Lesotho, indicates that the area is generally in good condition. Physiographic and floristic criteria were measured and the association between pairs of criteria statistically ...

  15. Crude protein changes on grassland along a degradation gradient ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration was determined by quantifying the soil-water balance equation with the aid of runoff plots and soil-water content measurements. Crude protein ... The study shows that it is important to keep grassland in optimal condition to utilize limited soil water for sustainable plant and therefore animal production.

  16. Achieving grassland production and quality that matches animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different
    constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of
    Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the

  17. Achieving grassland production and quality that matching animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the most relevant

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

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

  19. Homogenization of the soil surface following fire in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carleton S. White

    2011-01-01

    Semiarid grasslands accumulate soil beneath plant "islands" that are raised above bare interspaces. This fine-scale variation in microtopographic relief is plant-induced and is increased with shrub establishment. Research found that fire-induced water repellency enhanced local-scale soil erosion that reduced variation in microtopographic relief, suggesting...

  20. Relationship between soil chemical factors and grassland diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  1. Transformation of a savanna grassland by drought and grazing | O ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relative effects of drought and heavy grazing on the floristic composition, population size and and structure, and basal cover of an African savanna grassland were differentiated by comparing changes over eight years over eight years, which included a severe drought year, across a gradient of grazing history. Drought ...

  2. Controlling nitrous oxide emissions from grassland livestock production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Gebauer, G.; Rodriguez, M.; Sapek, A.; Jarvis, S.C.; Corré, W.J.; Yamulki, S.

    1998-01-01

    There is growing awareness that grassland livestock production systems are major sources of nitrous oxide (N2O). Controlling these emissions requires a thorough understanding of all sources and controlling factors at the farm level. This paper examines the various controlling factors and proposes

  3. Potassium cycling and losses in grassland systems : a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kayser, M; Isselstein, J

    Cycling of potassium in grassland systems has received relatively little attention in research and practice in recent years. Balanced nutrient systems require consideration of nutrients other than nitrogen (N). Potassium (K) is needed in large amounts and is closely related to N nutrition. In

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  6. Organic matter dynamics and N mineralization in grassland soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassink, J.

    1995-01-01


    The aims of this study are i) to improve our understanding of the interactions between soil texturelsoil structure, soil organic matter, soil biota and mineralization in grassland soils, ii) to develop a procedure that yields soil organic matter fractions that can be determined directly

  7. Vegetation diversity of salt-rich grasslands in Southeast Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Eliáš, P. Jr.; Sopotlieva, D.; Dítě, D.; Hájková, Petra; Apostolova, I.; Senko, D.; Melečková, Z.; Hájek, Michal

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 3 (2013), s. 521-537 ISSN 1402-2001 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0329 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : salt marshes * vegetation survey * grasslands Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.416, year: 2013

  8. Long-term nutrient fertilization and the carbon balance of permanent grassland: any evidence for sustainable intensification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornara, Dario A.; Wasson, Elizabeth-Anne; Christie, Peter; Watson, Catherine J.

    2016-09-01

    Sustainable grassland intensification aims to increase plant yields while maintaining the ability of soil to act as a sink rather than sources of atmospheric CO2. High biomass yields from managed grasslands, however, can be only maintained through long-term nutrient fertilization, which can significantly affect soil carbon (C) storage and cycling. Key questions remain about (1) how long-term inorganic vs. organic fertilization influences soil C stocks, and (2) how soil C gains (or losses) contribute to the long-term C balance of managed grasslands. Using 43 years of data from a permanent grassland experiment, we show that soils not only act as significant C sinks but have not yet reached C saturation. Even unfertilized control soils showed C sequestration rates of 0.35 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 35 g C m-2 yr-1; 0-15 cm depth) between 1970 and 2013. High application rates of liquid manure (i.e. cattle slurry) further increased soil C sequestration to 0.86 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 86 g C m-2 yr-1) and a key cause of this C accrual was greater C inputs from cattle slurry. However, average coefficients of slurry-C retention in soils suggest that 85 % of C added yearly through liquid manure is lost possibly via CO2 fluxes and organic C leaching. Inorganically fertilized soils (i.e. NPK) had the lowest C-gain efficiency (i.e. unit of C gained per unit of N added) and lowest C sequestration (similar to control soils). Soils receiving cattle slurry showed higher C-gain and N-retention efficiencies compared to soils receiving NPK or pig slurry. We estimate that net rates of CO2-sequestration in the top 15 cm of the soil can offset 9-25 % of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from intensive management. However, because of multiple GHG sources associated with livestock farming, the net C balance of these grasslands remains positive (9-12 Mg CO2-equivalent ha-1 yr-1), thus contributing to climate change. Further C-gain efficiencies (e.g. reduced enteric fermentation and use of feed

  9. Biodiversity enhances ecosystem multifunctionality across trophic levels and habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Byrnes, Jarrett E. K.; Isbell, Forest; Gamfeldt, Lars; Griffin, John N.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Hensel, Marc J. S.; Hector, Andy; Cardinale, Bradley J.; Duffy, J. Emmett

    2015-01-01

    The importance of biodiversity for the integrated functioning of ecosystems remains unclear because most evidence comes from analyses of biodiversity's effect on individual functions. Here we show that the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function become more important as more functions are considered. We present the first systematic investigation of biodiversity's effect on ecosystem multifunctionality across multiple taxa, trophic levels and habitats using a comprehensive database of 94 manipulations of species richness. We show that species-rich communities maintained multiple functions at higher levels than depauperate ones. These effects were stronger for herbivore biodiversity than for plant biodiversity, and were remarkably consistent across aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Despite observed tradeoffs, the overall effect of biodiversity on multifunctionality grew stronger as more functions were considered. These results indicate that prior research has underestimated the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning by focusing on individual functions and taxonomic groups. PMID:25907115

  10. Core issues in the economics of biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdell, Clement A

    2011-02-01

    Economic evaluations are essential for assessing the desirability of biodiversity conservation. This article highlights significant advances in theories and methods of economic evaluation and their relevance and limitations as a guide to biodiversity conservation; considers the implications of the phylogenetic similarity principle for the survival of species; discusses consequences of the Noah's Ark problem for selecting features of biodiversity to be saved; analyzes the extent to which the precautionary principle can be rationally used to support the conservation of biodiversity; explores the impact of market extensions, market and other institutional failures, and globalization on biodiversity loss; examines the relationship between the rate of interest and biodiversity depletion; and investigates the implications of intergenerational equity for biodiversity conservation. The consequences of changes in biodiversity for sustainable development are given particular attention. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  11. Finding common ground for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Reyers, B

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Recently, some members of the conservation community have used ecosystem services as a strategy to conserve biodiversity. Others in the community have criticized this strategy as a distraction from the mission of biodiversity conservation...

  12. Status and strategies for marine biodiversity of Goa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Untawale, A.G.

    The status of marine biodiversity and factors responsible for the degradation and loss of marine biodiversity are discussed. Goa has abundant marine wealth. Phytoplankton, marine algae, manglicolous fungi, seagrasses, mangrove flora and other...

  13. Functional connectivity as a possible indicator of desertification in degraded grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vest, K. R.; Elmore, A. J.; Kaste, J. M.; Okin, G. S.

    2011-12-01

    Desertification of semi-arid grasslands impacts air quality, climate, biodiversity, and soil fertility. Desertification processes such as wind erosion lead to declining soil resources and sometimes local climate change. Desertification is irreversible; however, identifying when and where ecological changes are irreversible is problematic, requiring observations of a new ecological state, favoring the continued process of wind erosion and continued depletion of soil resources. Scientists hypothesize that an indicator of irreversibility in desertification might be "connected pathways". The connected pathway hypothesis requires that vegetation structure has changed from a grass to a shrub dominated system with increasing number and size of bare soil gaps. These bare soil gaps are functionally connected through the action of wind; therefore, functional connectivity of a landscape is related to the length and size of pathways through vegetation. This study used a combination of field measurements (total horizontal flux (Qtot) and vegetation structure) and landscape modeling to examine the difference in functional connectivity between grassland locations that were either degraded or relatively intact. At our field site, the degradation process was initiated by groundwater pumping, which adversely affects groundwater dependent grasses, providing a useful link to management seeking to limit the effects or extent of desertification. To analyze the functional connectivity of these locations in Owens Valley, we used circuit theory, a novel graph-based approach, which integrates all possible pathways to determine a "resistance distance" between any two points. Circuit theory uses current and resistance to represent movement of wind and the effect of vegetation and soil roughness on wind. Circuit theory was implemented using the open source software package, Circuitscape. To estimate landscape resistance, we performed a supervised classification on 1m aerial photographs. For

  14. Biodiversity mediates top-down control in eelgrass ecosystems: a global comparative-experimental approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J Emmett; Reynolds, Pamela L; Boström, Christoffer; Coyer, James A; Cusson, Mathieu; Donadi, Serena; Douglass, James G; Eklöf, Johan S; Engelen, Aschwin H; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Fredriksen, Stein; Gamfeldt, Lars; Gustafsson, Camilla; Hoarau, Galice; Hori, Masakazu; Hovel, Kevin; Iken, Katrin; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Moksnes, Per-Olav; Nakaoka, Masahiro; O'Connor, Mary I; Olsen, Jeanine L; Richardson, J Paul; Ruesink, Jennifer L; Sotka, Erik E; Thormar, Jonas; Whalen, Matthew A; Stachowicz, John J

    2015-07-01

    Nutrient pollution and reduced grazing each can stimulate algal blooms as shown by numerous experiments. But because experiments rarely incorporate natural variation in environmental factors and biodiversity, conditions determining the relative strength of bottom-up and top-down forcing remain unresolved. We factorially added nutrients and reduced grazing at 15 sites across the range of the marine foundation species eelgrass (Zostera marina) to quantify how top-down and bottom-up control interact with natural gradients in biodiversity and environmental forcing. Experiments confirmed modest top-down control of algae, whereas fertilisation had no general effect. Unexpectedly, grazer and algal biomass were better predicted by cross-site variation in grazer and eelgrass diversity than by global environmental gradients. Moreover, these large-scale patterns corresponded strikingly with prior small-scale experiments. Our results link global and local evidence that biodiversity and top-down control strongly influence functioning of threatened seagrass ecosystems, and suggest that biodiversity is comparably important to global change stressors. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Effects of biotechnology on biodiversity: herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant GM crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammann, Klaus

    2005-08-01

    Biodiversity is threatened by agriculture as a whole, and particularly also by traditional methods of agriculture. Knowledge-based agriculture, including GM crops, can reduce this threat in the future. The introduction of no-tillage practices, which are beneficial for soil fertility, has been encouraged by the rapid spread of herbicide-tolerant soybeans in the USA. The replacement of pesticides through Bt crops is advantageous for the non-target insect fauna in test-fields. The results of the British Farm Scale experiment are discussed. Biodiversity differences can mainly be referred to as differences in herbicide application management.

  16. Building essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) of species distribution and abundance at a global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Ahumada, J.A.; Bowser, A.; Fernandez, M.; Fernández, N.; Garcia, E.A.; Guralnick, R.P.; Isaac, N.J.B.; Kelling, S.; Los, W.; McRae, L.; Mihoub, J.-B.; Obst, M.; Santamaria, M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Williams, K.J.; Agosti, D.; Amariles, D.; Arvanitidis, C.; Bastin, L.; De Leo, F.; Egloff, W.; Elith, J.; Hobern, D.; Martin, D.; Pereira, H.M.; Pesole, G.; Peterseil, J.; Saarenmaa, H.; Schigel, D.; Schmeller, D.S.; Segata, N.; Turak, E.; Uhlir, P.F.; Wee, B.; Hardisty, A.R.

    2018-01-01

    Much biodiversity data is collected worldwide, but it remains challenging to assemble the scattered knowledge for assessing biodiversity status and trends. The concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) was introduced to structure biodiversity monitoring globally, and to harmonize and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-06

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

  18. Connecting Earth observation to high-throughput biodiversity data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bush, Alex; Sollmann, Rahel; Wilting, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Understandably, given the fast pace of biodiversity loss, there is much interest in using Earth observation technology to track biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, because most biodiversity is invisible to Earth observation, indicators based on Earth observation could...... observation data. This approach is achievable now, offering efficient and near-real-time monitoring of management impacts on biodiversity and its functions and services....

  19. Making a better case for biodiversity conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bugter, Rob; Harrison, Paula; Haslett, John; Tinch, Rob

    2018-01-01

    This Editorial to the BESAFE special issue introduces the project and its approach and case studies. The BESAFE (EC 7th Framework programme) project investigated how the effectiveness of different types of arguments for biodiversity conservation depends on the context in which they are used. Our

  20. Public perceptions of risk to forest biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarlane, Bonita L

    2005-06-01

    This study examines the perceived risks to forest biodiversity and perceived effectiveness of biodiversity conservation strategies among the general public. It tests the hypotheses that perceived risk to forest biodiversity is influenced by cognitive factors (value orientation and knowledge) and social-cultural factors (such as gender and environmental membership) and that risk perceptions influence other cognitive constructs such as support for natural resource policy and management. Data were collected from a sample of the general public (n= 596) in British Columbia, Canada by mail survey in 2001. Results show that insects and disease were perceived as the greatest risk. Educating the public and industry about biodiversity issues was perceived as a more effective conservation strategy than restricting human uses of the forest. Value orientation was a better predictor of perceptions of risk and perceived effectiveness of conservation strategies than knowledge indicators or social-cultural variables. Examining the indirect effects of social-cultural variables, however, revealed that value orientation may amplify the effect of these variables and suggests that alternative paths of influence should be included. Perceived risk showed an inconsistent association with perceived effectiveness of conservation strategies.