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Sample records for grassland community structure

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  2. Floristic and vegetation structure of a grassland plant community on shallow basalt in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fett Pinto

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have adequately described the floristic and structural features of natural grasslands associated with shallow basalt soils in southern Brazil. This study was carried out on natural grazing land used for livestock production in the municipality of Santana do Livramento, in the Campanha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The aim of the study was to describe the floristic and structural diversity of the area. The floristic list obtained comprises 229 plant taxa from 40 botanical families, with a predominance of the families Poaceae (62, Asteraceae (28, Fabaceae (16 and Cyperaceae (12. The estimated diversity and evenness in the community were 3.00 and 0.874, respectively. Bare soil and rock outcrops accounted for 19.3% of the area, resulting in limited forage availability. Multivariate analysis revealed two well-defined groups among the sampling units. One group showed a high degree of internal aggregation, associated with deep soils, and was characterized by the presence of tussocks, whereas the other was less aggregate and was characterized by prostrate species growing on shallow soil. Ordination analysis indicated a gradient of moisture and of soil depth in the study area, resulting in different vegetation patterns. These patterns were analogous to the vegetation physiognomies described for Uruguayan grasslands. Overall, the grassland community studied is similar to others found throughout southern Brazil, although it harbors more winter forage species. In addition, the rare grass Paspalum indecorum Mez is locally dominant in some patches, behaving similarly to P. notatum Fl., a widespread grass that dominates extensive grassland areas in southern Brazil.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  5. Community structure of grassland ground-dwelling arthropods along increasing soil salinities.

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    Pan, Chengchen; Feng, Qi; Liu, Jiliang; Li, Yulin; Li, Yuqiang; Yu, Xiaoya

    2018-03-01

    Ground-dwelling arthropod communities are influenced by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. Little is known, however, about the relative importance of vegetation structure and abiotic environmental factors on the patterns of ground-dwelling arthropod community across a wide range of soil salinities. Here, a field survey was conducted to assess the driving forces controlling ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands in the Hexi Corridor, Gansu Province, China. The data were analyzed by variance partitioning with canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). We found that vegetation structure and edaphic factors were at least of similar importance to the pattern of the whole ground-dwelling arthropod community. However, when all collected ground-dwelling arthropods were categorized into three trophic guilds (predators, herbivores, and decomposers), as these groups use different food sources, their populations were controlled by different driving forces. Predators and decomposers were mainly determined by biotic factors such as vegetation cover and aboveground plant biomass and herbivores by plant density and vegetation cover. Abiotic factors were also major determinants for the variation occurring in these guilds, with predators strongly affected by soil electrical conductivity (EC) and the content of fine particles (silt + clay, CS), herbivores by soil N:P, EC, and CS, and decomposers by soil EC and organic matter content (SOM). Since plant cover, density, and aboveground biomass can indicate resource availability, which are mainly constrained by soil N:P, EC, CS, and SOM, we consider that the ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands was mainly influenced by resource availability.

  6. Soil Bacterial and Fungal Community Structure Across a Range of Unimproved and Semi-Improved Upland Grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Kennedy, Nabla; Edwards, Suzanne; Clipson, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    Changes in soil microbial community structure due to improvement are often attributed to concurrent shifts in floristic community composition. The bacterial and fungal communities of unimproved and semi-improved (as determined by floristic classification) grassland soils were studied at five upland sites on similar geological substrata using both broad-scale (microbial activity and fungal biomass) and molecular [terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP)...

  7. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities.

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    Legay, N; Baxendale, C; Grigulis, K; Krainer, U; Kastl, E; Schloter, M; Bardgett, R D; Arnoldi, C; Bahn, M; Dumont, M; Poly, F; Pommier, T; Clément, J C; Lavorel, S

    2014-10-01

    Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

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    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Menke, Sean B

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Short-term responses and resistance of soil microbial community structure to elevated CO2 and N addition in grassland mesocosms.

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    Simonin, Marie; Nunan, Naoise; Bloor, Juliette M G; Pouteau, Valérie; Niboyet, Audrey

    2017-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) addition is known to affect soil microbial communities, but the interactive effects of N addition with other drivers of global change remain unclear. The impacts of multiple global changes on the structure of microbial communities may be mediated by specific microbial groups with different life-history strategies. Here, we investigated the combined effects of elevated CO2 and N addition on soil microbial communities using PLFA profiling in a short-term grassland mesocosm experiment. We also examined the linkages between the relative abundance of r- and K-strategist microorganisms and resistance of the microbial community structure to experimental treatments. N addition had a significant effect on microbial community structure, likely driven by concurrent increases in plant biomass and in soil labile C and N. In contrast, microbial community structure did not change under elevated CO2 or show significant CO2 × N interactions. Resistance of soil microbial community structure decreased with increasing fungal/bacterial ratio, but showed a positive relationship with the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacterial ratio. Our findings suggest that the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacteria ratio may be a useful indicator of microbial community resistance and that K-strategist abundance may play a role in the short-term stability of microbial communities under global change. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

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    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.

  13. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

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    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  14. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of soil microbial communities follow alteration of native tussock grassland ecosystems

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    Wakelin, Steven A.; Barratt, Barbara I.P.; Gerard, Emily; Gregg, Adrienne L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Andersen, Gary L.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zhou, Jizhong; He, Zhili; Kowalchuk, George A.; O'Callaghan, Maureen

    Globally, tussock-based grasslands are being modified to increase productive capacity. The impacts of cultivation and over-sowing with exotic grass and legumes on soil microbiology were assessed at four sites in New Zealand which differed in soil type, climate and vegetation. Primary alteration of

  15. Changes in the microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi in response to elevated CO(2) and warming in an Australian native grassland soil.

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    Hayden, Helen L; Mele, Pauline M; Bougoure, Damian S; Allan, Claire Y; Norng, Sorn; Piceno, Yvette M; Brodie, Eoin L; Desantis, Todd Z; Andersen, Gary L; Williams, Amity L; Hovenden, Mark J

    2012-12-01

    The microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi is described in an Australian native grassland soil after more than 5 years exposure to different atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) (ambient, +550 ppm) and temperatures (ambient, + 2°C) under different plant functional types (C3 and C4 grasses) and at two soil depths (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm). Archaeal community diversity was influenced by elevated [CO2], while under warming archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers increased for C4 plant Themeda triandra and decreased for the C3 plant community (P fungi in soil responded differently to elevated [CO2], warming and their interaction. Taxa identified as significantly climate-responsive could show differing trends in the direction of response ('+' or '-') under elevated CO2 or warming, which could then not be used to predict their interactive effects supporting the need to investigate interactive effects for climate change. The approach of focusing on specific taxonomic groups provides greater potential for understanding complex microbial community changes in ecosystems under climate change. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Responses of the functional structure of soil microbial community to livestock grazing in the Tibetan alpine grassland.

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    Yang, Yunfeng; Wu, Linwei; Lin, Qiaoyan; Yuan, Mengting; Xu, Depeng; Yu, Hao; Hu, Yigang; Duan, Jichuang; Li, Xiangzhen; He, Zhili; Xue, Kai; van Nostrand, Joy; Wang, Shiping; Zhou, Jizhong

    2013-02-01

    Microbes play key roles in various biogeochemical processes, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. However, changes of microbial community at the functional gene level by livestock grazing, which is a global land-use activity, remain unclear. Here we use a functional gene array, GeoChip 4.0, to examine the effects of free livestock grazing on the microbial community at an experimental site of Tibet, a region known to be very sensitive to anthropogenic perturbation and global warming. Our results showed that grazing changed microbial community functional structure, in addition to aboveground vegetation and soil geochemical properties. Further statistical tests showed that microbial community functional structures were closely correlated with environmental variables, and variations in microbial community functional structures were mainly controlled by aboveground vegetation, soil C/N ratio, and NH4 (+) -N. In-depth examination of N cycling genes showed that abundances of N mineralization and nitrification genes were increased at grazed sites, but denitrification and N-reduction genes were decreased, suggesting that functional potentials of relevant bioprocesses were changed. Meanwhile, abundances of genes involved in methane cycling, C fixation, and degradation were decreased, which might be caused by vegetation removal and hence decrease in litter accumulation at grazed sites. In contrast, abundances of virulence, stress, and antibiotics resistance genes were increased because of the presence of livestock. In conclusion, these results indicated that soil microbial community functional structure was very sensitive to the impact of livestock grazing and revealed microbial functional potentials in regulating soil N and C cycling, supporting the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating the consequence of land-use and/or climate changes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Shift in soil microbial communities with shrub encroachment in Inner Mongolia grasslands, China

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    Shen, H.; Li, H.; Zhang, J.; Hu, H.; Chen, L.; Zhu, Y.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The ongoing expansion of shrub encroachment into grasslands represents a unique form of land cover change. How this process affects soil microbial communities is poorly understood. In this study, we aim to assess the effects of shrub encroachment on soil microbial biomass, abundance and composition by comparing data between shrub patches and neighboring herb patches in shrub-encroached grasslands (SEGs) in Inner Mongolia, China. Fourteen SEG sites from two ecosystem types (typical and desert grasslands) were investigated. The phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method was used to analyze the composition and biomass of the soil microbial community. Our results showed that the top-soil microbial biomass and abundances of gram-negative bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and actinomycetes were significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in both typical and desert grasslands (P fungi to bacteria ratio was significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in desert grassland (P soil microbial communities, which makes the microbial communities toward a fresh organic carbon-based structure. This study highlights the importance of edaphic and climate factors in microbial community shifts in SEGs.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Hemiptera community and species responses to grassland sward islets

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    significantly different between remnant grasslands and all woody plant community types. Phylum-level classification of the 16S bacterial sequences showed that five phyla (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Gemmatiomonadetes) represented 85-91% of classifiable sequences in all landscape elements. The relative abundances of Acidobacteria were significantly higher (p<0.05) in grassland samples (29.5%) than in all wooded landscape elements (17.1-25.6%), while the relative abundances of Actinobacteria was lower in grasslands (8.8%) than wooded areas (16.1-19.7%). Phylum-level classification of fungal sequences showed that four phyla accounted for 61.8 to 86.3% of identified sequences. Ascomycota was the most common phylum in all samples (55.8-62.1%), with significant contributions from Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, and Blastocladiomycota. The largest change in fungal community composition at the phylum level was observed in the Chytridiomycota, which declined from 4.0% in the grasslands to 0.8-1.4% in the wooded landscape elements. These significant changes in microbial community composition that occur following grassland to woodland conversion may have important implications for key biogeochemical processes that influence ecosystem structure and function in this region.

  7. 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

  8. The Effect of Re-Planting Trees on Soil Microbial Communities in a Wildfire-Induced Subalpine Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ed-Haun Chang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire often causes tremendous changes in ecosystems, particularly in subalpine and alpine areas, which are vulnerable due to severe climate conditions such as cold temperature and strong wind. This study aimed to clarify the effect of tree re-planting on ecosystem services such as the soil microbial community after several decades. We compared the re-planted forest and grassland with the mature forest as a reference in terms of soil microbial biomass C and N (Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activities, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA composition, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE. The Cmic and Nmic did not differ among the grassland, re-planted forest and mature forest soil; however, ratios of Cmic/Corg and Nmic/Ntot decreased from the grassland to re-planted forest and mature forest soil. The total PLFAs and those attributed to bacteria and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria did not differ between the re-planted forest and grassland soil. Principle component analysis of the PLFA content separated the grassland from re-planted forest and mature forest soil. Similarly, DGGE analysis revealed changes in both bacterial and fungal community structures with changes in vegetation. Our results suggest that the microbial community structure changes with the re-planting of trees after a fire event in this subalpine area. Recovery of the soil microbial community to the original state in a fire-damaged site in a subalpine area may require decades, even under a re-planted forest.

  9. Drought consistently alters the composition of soil fungal and bacterial communities in grasslands from two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl; Collins, Scott L; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Hamonts, Kelly; Pockman, William T; Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Smith, Melinda D; Knapp, Alan K; Power, Sally A

    2018-03-05

    The effects of short-term drought on soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored, particularly at large scales and under field conditions. We used seven experimental sites from two continents (North America and Australia) to evaluate the impacts of imposed extreme drought on the abundance, community composition, richness, and function of soil bacterial and fungal communities. The sites encompassed different grassland ecosystems spanning a wide range of climatic and soil properties. Drought significantly altered the community composition of soil bacteria and, to a lesser extent, fungi in grasslands from two continents. The magnitude of the fungal community change was directly proportional to the precipitation gradient. This greater fungal sensitivity to drought at more mesic sites contrasts with the generally observed pattern of greater drought sensitivity of plant communities in more arid grasslands, suggesting that plant and microbial communities may respond differently along precipitation gradients. Actinobateria, and Chloroflexi, bacterial phyla typically dominant in dry environments, increased their relative abundance in response to drought, whereas Glomeromycetes, a fungal class regarded as widely symbiotic, decreased in relative abundance. The response of Chlamydiae and Tenericutes, two phyla of mostly pathogenic species, decreased and increased along the precipitation gradient, respectively. Soil enzyme activity consistently increased under drought, a response that was attributed to drought-induced changes in microbial community structure rather than to changes in abundance and diversity. Our results provide evidence that drought has a widespread effect on the assembly of microbial communities, one of the major drivers of soil function in terrestrial ecosystems. Such responses may have important implications for the provision of key ecosystem services, including nutrient cycling, and may result in the weakening of plant-microbial interactions and a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  11. The influence of boundary features on grassland-edge communities of Alta Murgia

    OpenAIRE

    Cassano, Stefania; Alignier, Audrey; Forte, Luigi; Labadessa, Rocco; Mairota, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest the importance of boundary features on plant community dynamics. Our aim was to investigate the influence of boundary features on edge plant assemblages in semi-natural dry grasslands. For this purpose we selected 16 grassland edges in the central portion of the Natura 2000 site Murgia Alta, in southeastern Italy. These sites were selected according to a combination of boundary features, i.e. the adjoining land use type (road or cereal crop), slope (grassland tilted towar...

  12. 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;

  13. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra M. Rodriguez-Artigas

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance, or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes. Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low

  14. Effect of soil properties and hydrology on Archaeal community composition in three temperate grasslands on peat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Görres, Carolyn-Monika; Conrad, Ralf; Petersen, Søren O

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands established on drained peat soils are regarded as negligible methane (CH4) sources; however, they can still exhibit considerable soil CH4 dynamics. We investigated archaeal community composition in two different fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark........ Overall, there seemed to be a significant coupling between peat type and archaeal community composition, with local hydrology modifying the strength of this coupling....

  15. Striking a balance: socioeconomic development and conservation in grassland through community-based zoning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Leisher

    Full Text Available The goal of preserving nature is often in conflict with economic development and the aspirations of the rural poor. Nowhere is this more striking than in native grasslands, which have been extensively converted until a mere fraction of their original extent remains. This is not surprising; grasslands flourish in places coveted by humans, primed for agriculture, plantations, and settlements that nearly always trump conservation efforts. The Umgano grassland conservation and poverty reduction project in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa uses community-based spatial planning to balance the conversion of its lower-conservation value grasslands to a timber plantation, while conserving higher-value grasslands for heritage purposes and managed livestock grazing. Ten years after project launch, we measured the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the project using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index remote sensing data and over 500 household interviews, as compared with similar non-conserved areas. Zoned management of the Umgano area had resulted in between 9% and 17% greater average peak production in the grassland areas compared to control sites. There was also a 21% gain in incomes for the roughly one hundred people employed by the forestry efforts, when compared to others in their village. Community-based spatial zoning is an overlooked tool for balancing conservation and development but may require, as we found in Umgano, certain critical factors including strong local leadership, an accountable financial management mechanism to distribute income, outside technical expertise for the zoning design, and community support.

  16. 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...

  17. Grassland communities of urban open spaces in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamokete N.V. Dingaan

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Natural vegetation in urban environments is greatly impacted by human activities and it is in constant threat of degradation and destruction as a result of urbanisation. This vegetation, although fragmented, serves an important ecological function and needs to be properly managed and conserved. Studies on urban vegetation are lacking in South Africa, with only a handful having been carried out since the end of the last century. This study was initiated to identify, classify and describe the grassland communities of the urban open spaces in Bloemfontein. Relevés were compiled in 61 sample plots, where species present and habitat information were recorded. Care was taken to restrict sample plots to vegetation in pristine condition, wherever possible, and severely degraded stands were avoided. A two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed two distinct major communities, seven communities and four sub-communities. Both detrended and canonical correspondence analyses indicated the vegetation units to be associated with soil texture and pH, although biotic factors such as overgrazing, burning and mowing also influence the composition of the vegetation. The proper management and conservation of urban open spaces requires in-depth knowledge of the spatial distribution, floristic, structural and functional compositions within the major vegetation types in this environment. The present study further contributed towards formulating ways for the proper management, utilisation and functioning of the open spaces within the Bloemfontein area.Conservation implications: The Grassland Biome of South Africa is poorly conserved, mainly because of its status as an agricultural hub of the country. The preservation of natural and semi-natural forms of urban vegetation is important because such vegetation, although often disturbed and degraded, could form dispersal corridors between peri-urban and rural

  18. 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....

  19. 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

  20. Landscape structure affects specialists but not generalists in naturally fragmented grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jesse E.D.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Harrison, Susan P.; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how biotic communities respond to landscape spatial structure is critically important for conservation management as natural landscapes become increasingly fragmented. However, empirical studies of the effects of spatial structure on plant species richness have found inconsistent results, suggesting that more comprehensive approaches are needed. In this study, we asked how landscape structure affects total plant species richness and the richness of a guild of specialized plants in a multivariate context. We sampled herbaceous plant communities at 56 dolomite glades (insular, fire-adapted grasslands) across the Missouri Ozarks, and used structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the relative importance of landscape structure, soil resource availability, and fire history for plant communities. We found that landscape spatial structure-defined as the area-weighted proximity of glade habitat surrounding study sites (proximity index)-had a significant effect on total plant species richness, but only after we controlled for environmental covariates. Richness of specialist species, but not generalists, was positively related to landscape spatial structure. Our results highlight that local environmental filters must be considered to understand the influence of landscape structure on communities, and that unique species guilds may respond differently to landscape structure than the community as a whole. These findings suggest that both local environment and landscape context should be considered when developing management strategies for species of conservation concern in fragmented habitats.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

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

  2. Responses of a grassland arthropod community to chronic beta and gamma radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Styron, C.E.; Dodson, G.J.; Beauchamp, J.J.; Miller, F.L. Jr.

    1976-01-01

    A long-term project was initiated in 1968 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to assess effects of mixed beta and gamma radiation from simulated fallout on a grassland ecosystem. Beta and gamma radiation dose rates in microhabitats of the experimentally contaminated enclosure were measured with LiF thermoluminescent microdosimeters. Extensive statistical analyses of data on numbers of individuals collected for each of 76 arthropod and 2 molluscan taxa have identified no lasting significant changes in similarity or species diversity of experimental versus control communities as the result of the long-term irradiation at low dose rates. Natural fluctuations in community dynamics obscured any possible radiation effects. Thus, the apparent threshold for mixed beta and gamma radiation inducing changes in community structure must be above the exposure rate range of 2.3 to 13 rad/day delivered during the 5 yr of observation. Establishing such a threshold is of importance in assessing the impact of communities subjected to chronic, low level environmental exposure to ionizing radiation

  3. Grassland communities in the USA and expected trends associated with climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Paul Belesky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands, including managed grazinglands, represent one of the largest ecosystems on the planet. Managed grazinglands in particular tend to occupy marginal climatic and edaphic resource zones, thus exacerbating responses in net primary productivity relative to changes in system resources, including anthropogenic factors. Climate dynamism, as evident from the fossil record, appears to be a putative feature of our planet. Recent global trends in temperature and precipitation patterns seem to differ from long-term patterns and have been associated with human activities linked with increased greenhouse gas emissions; specifically CO2. Thus grasslands, with their diverse floristic components, and interaction with and dependence upon herbivores, have a remarkable ability to persist and sustain productivity in response to changing resource conditions. This resistance and resilience to change, including uncertain long-term weather conditions, establishes managed grasslands as an important means of protecting food security. We review responses of grassland communities across regions of the USA and consider the responses in productivity and system function with respect to climatic variation. Research is needed to identify plant resources and management technologies that strengthen our ability to capitalize upon physiological and anatomical features prevalent in grassland communities associated with varying growing conditions.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. KOVACS-LANG

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert Zarnovican

    2017-06-01

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

  13. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

    Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  16. Diversity and distribution of autotrophic microbial community along environmental gradients in grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guangxia; Kong, Weidong; Liu, Jinbo; Zhao, Jingxue; Du, Haodong; Zhang, Xianzhou; Xia, Pinhua

    2015-10-01

    Soil microbial autotrophs play a significant role in CO2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystem, particularly in vegetation-constrained ecosystems with environmental stresses, such as the Tibetan Plateau characterized by low temperature and high UV. However, soil microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors remain less appreciated. We investigated the structure and shift of microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors along an elevation gradient (4400-5100 m above sea level) in alpine grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau. The autotrophic microbial communities were characterized by quantitative PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and cloning/sequencing of cbbL genes, encoding the large subunit for the CO2 fixation protein ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). High cbbL gene abundance and high RubisCO enzyme activity were observed and both significantly increased with increasing elevations. Path analysis identified that soil RubisCO enzyme causally originated from microbial autotrophs, and its activity was indirectly driven by soil water content, temperature, and NH4 (+) content. Soil autotrophic microbial community structure dramatically shifted along the elevation and was jointly driven by soil temperature, water content, nutrients, and plant types. The autotrophic microbial communities were dominated by bacterial autotrophs, which were affiliated with Rhizobiales, Burkholderiales, and Actinomycetales. These autotrophs have been well documented to degrade organic matters; thus, metabolic versatility could be a key strategy for microbial autotrophs to survive in the harsh environments. Our results demonstrated high abundance of microbial autotrophs and high CO2 fixation potential in alpine grassland soils and provided a novel model to identify dominant drivers of soil microbial communities and their ecological functions.

  17. Rapid response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities to short-term fertilization in an alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingjia Xiang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP is home to the vast grassland in China. The QTP grassland ecosystem has been seriously degraded by human land use practices and climate change. Fertilization is used in this region to increase vegetation yields for grazers. The impact of long-term fertilization on plant and microbial communities has been studied extensively. However, the influence of short-term fertilization on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF communities in the QTP is largely unknown, despite their important functional role in grassland ecosystems. Methods: We investigated AMF community responses to three years of N and/or P addition at an experimental field site on the QTP, using the Illumina MiSeq platform (PE 300. Results: Fertilization resulted in a dramatic shift in AMF community composition and NP addition significantly increased AMF species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Aboveground biomass, available phosphorus, and NO3− were significantly correlated with changes in AMF community structure. Changes in these factors were driven by fertilization treatments. Thus, fertilization had a large impact on AMF communities, mediated by changes in aboveground productivity and soil chemistry. Discussion: Prior work has shown how plants often lower their reliance on AMF symbioses following fertilization, leading to decrease AMF abundance and diversity. However, our study reports a rise in AMF diversity with fertilization treatment. Because AMF can provide stress tolerance to their hosts, we suggest that extreme weather on the QTP may help drive a positive relationship between fertilizer amendment and AMF diversity.

  18. [Soil catalase activity of main plant communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Guo, Jixun; Zhu, Li

    2002-06-01

    The seasonal dynamics of soil catalase activity of three different plants communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China were in a parabolas shape. The seasonal variation of Chloris virgata community was greater than those of Leymus chinensis community and Puccinellia tenuiflora community, and "seed effect" might be the main reason. The correlation between the activity of soil catalase in different soil layers and environmental factors were analyzed. The results showed that the activity of soil catalase was decreased gradually with depth of soil layer. The activity of soil catalase was closely correlated with rainfall and air temperature, and it was affected by soil temperature, soil moisture, and their interactions. The correlation between the activity and aboveground vegetation was very significant, and the growing condition of plant communities could be reflected by the activity of soil catalase.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. RUSINA

    2003-06-01

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

  20. Modelling stomatal ozone flux and deposition to grassland communities across Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashmore, M.R.; Bueker, P.; Emberson, L.D.; Terry, A.C.; Toet, S.

    2007-01-01

    Regional scale modelling of both ozone deposition and the risk of ozone impacts is poorly developed for grassland communities. This paper presents new predictions of stomatal ozone flux to grasslands at five different locations in Europe, using a mechanistic model of canopy development for productive grasslands to generate time series of leaf area index and soil water potential as inputs to the stomatal component of the DO 3 SE ozone deposition model. The parameterisation of both models was based on Lolium perenne, a dominant species of productive pasture in Europe. The modelled seasonal time course of stomatal ozone flux to both the whole canopy and to upper leaves showed large differences between climatic zones, which depended on the timing of the start of the growing season, the effect of soil water potential, and the frequency of hay cuts. Values of modelled accumulated flux indices and the AOT40 index showed a five-fold difference between locations, but the locations with the highest flux differed depending on the index used; the period contributing to the accumulation of AOT40 did not always coincide with the modelled period of active ozone canopy uptake. Use of a fixed seasonal profile of leaf area index in the flux model produced very different estimates of annual accumulated total canopy and leaf ozone flux when compared with the flux model linked to a simulation of canopy growth. Regional scale model estimates of both the risks of ozone impacts and of total ozone deposition will be inaccurate unless the effects of climate and management in modifying grass canopy growth are incorporated. - Modelled stomatal flux of ozone to productive grasslands in Europe shows different spatial and temporal variation to AOT40, and is modified by management and soil water status

  1. 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.

  2. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Knappová

    Full Text Available The importance of soil biota in the composition of mature plant communities is commonly acknowledged. In contrast, the role of soil biota in the early establishment of new plant communities and their relative importance for soil abiotic conditions are still poorly understood.The aim of this study was to understand the effects of soil origin and soil fungal communities on the composition of a newly established dry grassland plant community. We used soil from two different origins (dry grassland and abandoned field with different pH and nutrient and mineral content. Grassland microcosms were established by sowing seeds of 54 species of dry grassland plants into the studied soils. To suppress soil fungi, half of the pots were regularly treated with fungicide. In this way, we studied the independent and combined effects of soil origin and soil community on the establishment of dry grassland communities.The effect of suppressing the soil fungal community on the richness and composition of the plant communities was much stronger than the effect of soil origin. Contrary to our expectations, the effects of these two factors were largely additive, indicating the same degree of importance of soil fungal communities in the establishment of species-rich plant communities in the soils from both origins. The negative effect of suppressing soil fungi on species richness, however, occurred later in the soil from the abandoned field than in the soil from the grassland. This result likely occurred because the negative effects of the suppression of fungi in the field soil were caused mainly by changes in plant community composition and increased competition. In contrast, in the grassland soil, the absence of soil fungi was limiting for plants already at the early stages of their establishment, i.e., in the phases of germination and early recruitment. While fungicide affects not only arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but also other biota, our data indicate that changes

  3. Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12 in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4, double (S7, and triple (S12 compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63, but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7 than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12. The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands.

  4. Increased precipitation accelerates soil organic matter turnover associated with microbial community composition in topsoil of alpine grassland on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Conghai; Wang, Zongli; Si, Guicai; Lei, Tianzhu; Yuan, Yanli; Zhang, Gengxin

    2017-10-01

    Large quantities of carbon are stored in alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau, which is extremely sensitive to climate change. However, it remains unclear whether soil organic matter (SOM) in different layers responds to climate change analogously, and whether microbial communities play vital roles in SOM turnover of topsoil. In this study we measured and collected SOM turnover by the 14 C method in alpine grassland to test climatic effects on SOM turnover in soil profiles. Edaphic properties and microbial communities in the northwestern Qinghai Lake were investigated to explore microbial influence on SOM turnover. SOM turnover in surface soil (0-10 cm) was more sensitive to precipitation than that in subsurface layers (10-40 cm). Precipitation also imposed stronger effects on the composition of microbial communities in the surface layer than that in deeper soil. At the 5-10 cm depth, the SOM turnover rate was positively associated with the bacteria/fungi biomass ratio and the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, both of which are related to precipitation. Partial correlation analysis suggested that increased precipitation could accelerate the SOM turnover rate in topsoil by structuring soil microbial communities. Conversely, carbon stored in deep soil would be barely affected by climate change. Our results provide valuable insights into the dynamics and storage of SOM in alpine grasslands under future climate scenarios.

  5. Assessing the Impact of Spectral Resolution on Classification of Lowland Native Grassland Communities Based on Field Spectroscopy in Tasmania, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethany Melville

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a case study for the analysis of endangered lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands region using field spectroscopy and spectral convolution techniques. The aim of the study was to determine whether there was significant improvement in classification accuracy for lowland native grasslands and other vegetation communities based on hyperspectral resolution datasets over multispectral equivalents. A spectral dataset was collected using an ASD Handheld-2 spectroradiometer at Tunbridge Township Lagoon. The study then employed a k-fold cross-validation approach for repeated classification of a full hyperspectral dataset, a reduced hyperspectral dataset, and two convoluted multispectral datasets. Classification was performed on each of the four datasets a total of 30 times, based on two different class configurations. The classes analysed were Themeda triandra grassland, Danthonia/Poa grassland, Wilsonia rotundifolia/Selliera radicans, saltpan, and a simplified C3 vegetation class. The results of the classifications were then tested for statistically significant differences using ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc comparisons. The results of the study indicated that hyperspectral resolution provides small but statistically significant increases in classification accuracy for Themeda and Danthonia grasslands. For other classes, differences in classification accuracy for all datasets were not statistically significant. The results obtained here indicate that there is some potential for enhanced detection of major lowland native grassland community types using hyperspectral resolution datasets, and that future analysis should prioritise good performance in these classes over others. This study presents a method for identification of optimal spectral resolution across multiple datasets, and constitutes an important case study for lowland native grassland mapping in Tasmania.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dad, J. M.

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud eBerlemont

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of two years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal and bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and constituted ~18.2% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction.

  8. 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...

  9. Conversion of sagebrush shrublands to exotic annual grasslands negatively impacts small mammal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, S.M.; Schupp, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    Aim The exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is fast replacing sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities throughout the Great Basin Desert and nearby regions in the Western United States, impacting native plant communities and altering fire regimes, which contributes to the long-term persistence of this weedy species. The effect of this conversion on native faunal communities remains largely unexamined. We assess the impact of conversion from native perennial to exotic annual plant communities on desert rodent communities. Location Wyoming big sagebrush shrublands and nearby sites previously converted to cheatgrass-dominated annual grasslands in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA. Methods At two sites in Tooele County, Utah, USA, we investigated with Sherman live trapping whether intact sagebrush vegetation and nearby converted Bromus tectorum-dominated vegetation differed in rodent abundance, diversity and community composition. Results Rodent abundance and species richness were considerably greater in sagebrush plots than in cheatgrass-dominated plots. Nine species were captured in sagebrush plots; five of these were also trapped in cheatgrass plots, all at lower abundances than in the sagebrush. In contrast, cheatgrass-dominated plots had no species that were not found in sagebrush. In addition, the site that had been converted to cheatgrass longer had lower abundances of rodents than the site more recently converted to cheatgrass-dominated plots. Despite large differences in abundances and species richness, Simpson's D diversity and Shannon-Wiener diversity and Brillouin evenness indices did not differ between sagebrush and cheatgrass-dominated plots. Main conclusions This survey of rodent communities in native sagebrush and in converted cheatgrass-dominated vegetation suggests that the abundances and community composition of rodents may be shifting, potentially at the larger spatial scale of the entire Great Basin, where cheatgrass continues to invade

  10. 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

  11. Prescribed-fire effects on an aquatic community of a southwest montane grassland system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Colleen A.; Jacobi, Gerald Z.; Anderson, Michael C.; Parmenter, Robert R.; McGann, Jeanine; Gould, William R.; DuBey, Robert; Jacobi, M. Donna

    2013-01-01

    The use of prescription fire has long been recognized as a reliable management tool to suppress vegetative succession processes and to reduce fuel loading to prevent catastrophic wildfires, but very little attention has been paid to the effects on aquatic systems. A late-fall prescribed burn was implemented to characterize effects on an aquatic community within a montane grassland system in north-central New Mexico. The fire treatment was consistent with protocols of a managed burn except that the fire was allowed to burn through the riparian area to the treatment stream to replicate natural fire behavior. In addition to summer and fall preburn assessment of the treatment and reference stream, we characterized immediate postfire effects (within a week for macroinvertebrates and within 6 months for fish) and seasonal effects over a 2-year period. Responses within the treatment stream were compared with an unburned reference stream adjacent to the prescription burn. During the burn, the diel range in air temperature increased by 5°C while diel range in water temperature did not change. Carbon–nitrogen ratios did not differ between treatment and reference streams, indicating the contribution of ash from the surrounding grassland was negligible. Although total taxa and species richness of aquatic macroinvertebrates were not altered, qualitative indices revealed departure from preburn condition due to loss of sensitive taxa (mayflies [order Ephemeroptera] and stoneflies [order Plecoptera]) and an increase in tolerant taxa (midges [order Chironomidae]) following the burn. Within 1 year of the burn, these attributes returned to preburn conditions. The density and recruitment of adult Brown Trout Salmo trutta did not differ between pre- and postburn collections, nor did fish condition differ. Fire is rarely truly replicated within a given study. Although our study represents one replication, the results will inform managers about the importance in timing (seasonality

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Winter ecology of a subalpine grassland: Effects of snow removal on soil respiration, microbial structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavazov, Konstantin; Ingrisch, Johannes; Hasibeder, Roland; Mills, Robert T E; Buttler, Alexandre; Gleixner, Gerd; Pumpanen, Jukka; Bahn, Michael

    2017-07-15

    Seasonal snow cover provides essential insulation for mountain ecosystems, but expected changes in precipitation patterns and snow cover duration due to global warming can influence the activity of soil microbial communities. In turn, these changes have the potential to create new dynamics of soil organic matter cycling. To assess the effects of experimental snow removal and advanced spring conditions on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, and on the biomass and structure of soil microbial communities, we performed an in situ study in a subalpine grassland in the Austrian Alps, in conjunction with soil incubations under controlled conditions. We found substantial winter C-mineralisation and high accumulation of inorganic and organic N in the topsoil, peaking at snowmelt. Soil microbial biomass doubled under the snow, paralleled by a fivefold increase in its C:N ratio, but no apparent change in its bacteria-dominated community structure. Snow removal led to a series of mild freeze-thaw cycles, which had minor effects on in situ soil CO 2 production and N mineralisation. Incubated soil under advanced spring conditions, however, revealed an impaired microbial metabolism shortly after snow removal, characterised by a limited capacity for C-mineralisation of both fresh plant-derived substrates and existing soil organic matter (SOM), leading to reduced priming effects. This effect was transient and the observed recovery in microbial respiration and SOM priming towards the end of the winter season indicated microbial resilience to short-lived freeze-thaw disturbance under field conditions. Bacteria showed a higher potential for uptake of plant-derived C substrates during this recovery phase. The observed temporary loss in microbial C-mineralisation capacity and the promotion of bacteria over fungi can likely impede winter SOM cycling in mountain grasslands under recurrent winter climate change events, with plausible implications for soil nutrient availability and

  15. Mapping Land Cover and Estimating the Grassland Structure in a Priority Area of the Chihuahuan Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Maturino

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A field characterization of the grassland vegetation structure, represented by the coverage of grass canopy (CGC and the grass height, was carried out during three years (2009–2011 in a priority area for the conservation of grasslands of North America. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM5 images were selected and the information of reflectance was obtained based on the geographical location of each field-sampling site. Linear models, constructed with field and satellite data, with high coefficients of determination for CGC (R2 = 0.81, R2 = 0.81 and R2 = 0.72 and grass height (R2 = 0.82, R2 = 0.79 and R2 = 0.73 were obtained. The maps showed a good level of CGC (>25% and grass height (>25 cm, except for the year 2009, which presented the lowest values of grass height in the area. According to the Kappa Index, a moderate concordance among the three CGC maps was presented (0.49–0.59. Conversely, weak and moderate concordances were found among the grass height maps (0.36–0.59. It was observed that areas with a high CGC do not necessarily correspond to areas with greater grass height values. Based on the data analyzed in this study, the grassland areas are highly dynamic, structurally heterogeneous and the spatial distribution of the variables does not show a definite pattern. From the information generated, it is possible to determine those areas that are the most important for monitoring to then establish effective strategies for the conservation of these grasslands and the protection of threatened migratory bird species.

  16. Allelopathic dominance ofMiscanthus transmorrisonensis in an alpine grassland community in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, C H; Lee, Y F

    1991-11-01

    A study site located at 2600 m elevation in Tartarchia Anpu, Nantou county, Taiwan, exhibits a unique grassland community composed of two principal species,Miscanthus transmorrisonensis andYushinia niitakayamensis, and 35 other species. The relative frequencies of the two species are 12% and 11%, while their relative coverages are 25% and 19.5%, respectively. The values for the remaining 35 species are lower than4% each, while species diversity of the community is -3.04839, indicating great diversity. To elucidate the mechanism of dominance ofM. transmorrisonensis, allelopathic evaluation of the plant was conducted. Aqueous extracts of M.Transmorrisonensis plant parts with two ecotypes were bioassayed. The extracts showed significant phytotoxic effects on seed germination and radicle growth of four tested plants: rye grass, lettuce, and two varieties of Chinese cabbage. In addition, rhizosphere soils underMiscanthus also exhibited significant phytotoxicity, indicating that allelopathic interaction was involved. Some responsible phytotoxic phenolics, namely, p-coumaric, ferulic, vanillic, protocatechuic, o-hydroxyphenylacetic, andm-hydroxyphenylacetic acids, and 4-hydroxycoumarin and phloridzin were identified. Allelopathy thus can play an important role in regulating plant diversity in the field.

  17. Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klabi, Rim; Bell, Terrence H; Hamel, Chantal; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike; Raies, Aly; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha(-1) at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  19. Seasonal dynamics and vertical distribution of plant-feeding nematode communities in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschoor, B.C.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Hoop, de J.W.; Vries, de F.W.

    2001-01-01

    The vertical distribution and seasonal dynamics of plant- and fungal-feeding nematode taxa in permanent grasslands were investigated. Dolichodoridae, Paratylenchus, Pratylenchus, Tylenchidae and Aphelenchoides dominated the upper 10 cm soil and their numbers strongly decreased with depth. The

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

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, L; Sazima, M

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Antibiotics and Manure Effects on Microbial Communities Responsible for Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semedo, M.; Song, B.; Sparrer, T.; Crozier, C.; Tobias, C. R.; Phillips, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    Agroecosystems are major contributors of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Denitrification and nitrification are the primary pathways of N2O emission in soils. However, there is uncertainty regarding the organisms responsible for N2O production. Bacteria were previously considered the only microbial N2O source, however, current studies indicate that fungi also produce N2O by denitrification. Denitrifying bacteria can be a source or sink of N2O depending on the presence and expression of nitrous oxide reductase genes (nosZ), encoding for the enzyme converting N2O to N2. Fungal denitrification may produce only N2O as an end product due to missing the nosZ gene. Animal manures applied to agricultural fields can transfer antibiotics to soils as a result of antibiotic use in the livestock industry. These antibiotics target mostly bacteria and may promote fungal growth. The growth inhibition of denitrifying bacteria may favor fungal denitrifiers potentially enhancing N2O emissions. Our objective is to examine the effects of antibiotic exposure and manure fertilization on the microbial communities responsible for N2 and N2O production in grasslands. Soil slurry incubations were conducted with tetracycline at different concentrations. A mesocosm experiment was also performed with soil cores exposed to tetracycline and cow manure. Production of N2O and N2 was measured using gas chromatography with electron capture detector (GC-ECD) and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), respectively. Antibiotic inhibition of soil N2 production was found to be dose dependent, reaching up to 80% inhibition with 1g Kg-1 of tetracycline treatment, while N2O production was enhanced up to 8 times. These results suggest higher fungal denitrification with a concomitant decrease in bacterial denitrification after antibiotic exposure. We also found higher N2O fluxes in the soil mesocosms treated with manure plus tetracycline. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) will be conducted to examine the changes in

  2. Effects of Bromus tectorum invasion on microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in two adjacent undisturbed arid grassland communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Sean M.; Ziegler, Susan E.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    Soil nitrogen (N) is an important component in maintaining ecosystem stability, and the introduction of non-native plants can alter N cycling by changing litter quality and quantity, nutrient uptake patterns, and soil food webs. Our goal was to determine the effects of Bromus tectorum (C3) invasion on soil microbial N cycling in adjacent non-invaded and invaded C3 and C4 native arid grasslands. We monitored resin-extractable N, plant and soil δ13C and δ15N, gross rates of inorganic N mineralization and consumption, and the quantity and isotopic composition of microbial phospholipid biomarkers. In invaded C3 communities, labile soil organic N and gross and net rates of soil N transformations increased, indicating an increase in overall microbial N cycling. In invaded C4 communities labile soil N stayed constant, but gross N flux rates increased. The δ13C of phospholipid biomarkers in invaded C4 communities showed that some portion of the soil bacterial population preferentially decomposed invader C3-derived litter over that from the native C4 species. Invasion in C4 grasslands also significantly decreased the proportion of fungal to bacterial phospholipid biomarkers. Different processes are occurring in response to B. tectorum invasion in each of these two native grasslands that: 1) alter the size of soil N pools, and/or 2) the activity of the microbial community. Both processes provide mechanisms for altering long-term N dynamics in these ecosystems and highlight how multiple mechanisms can lead to similar effects on ecosystem function, which may be important for the construction of future biogeochemical process models.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C. J.; Bodelier, Paul L. E.; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M. F.; Hefting, Mariet M.; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization. PMID:23060870

  8. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eDaebeler

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of the associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilisation site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative PCR suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while the measured soil physico-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

  9. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C J; Bodelier, Paul L E; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M F; Hefting, Mariet M; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

  10. Community-specific hydraulic conductance potential of soil water decomposed for two Alpine grasslands by small-scale lysimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenck, Georg; Leitinger, Georg; Obojes, Nikolaus; Hofmann, Magdalena; Newesely, Christian; Deutschmann, Mario; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich

    2018-02-01

    For central Europe in addition to rising temperatures an increasing variability in precipitation is predicted. This will increase the probability of drought periods in the Alps, where water supply has been sufficient in most areas so far. For Alpine grasslands, community-specific imprints on drought responses are poorly analyzed so far due to the sufficient natural water supply. In a replicated mesocosm experiment we compared evapotranspiration (ET) and biomass productivity of two differently drought-adapted Alpine grassland communities during two artificial drought periods divided by extreme precipitation events using high-precision small lysimeters. The drought-adapted vegetation type showed a high potential to utilize even scarce water resources. This is combined with a low potential to translate atmospheric deficits into higher water conductance and a lower biomass production as those measured for the non-drought-adapted type. The non-drought-adapted type, in contrast, showed high water conductance potential and a strong increase in ET rates when environmental conditions became less constraining. With high rates even at dry conditions, this community appears not to be optimized to save water and might experience drought effects earlier and probably more strongly. As a result, the water use efficiency of the drought-adapted plant community is with 2.6 gDW kg-1 of water much higher than that of the non-drought-adapted plant community (0.16 gDW kg-1). In summary, the vegetation's reaction to two covarying gradients of potential evapotranspiration and soil water content revealed a clear difference in vegetation development and between water-saving and water-spending strategies regarding evapotranspiration.

  11. Community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in undisturbed vegetation revealed by analyses of LSU rdna sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosendahl, Søren; Holtgrewe-Stukenbrock, Eva

    2004-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form a mutualistic symbiosis with plant roots and are found in most ecosystems. In this study the community structure of AMF in a clade of the genus Glomus was examined in undisturbed costal grassland using LSU rDNA sequences amplified from roots of Hieracium...

  12. Effects of shallow natural gas well structures and associated roads on grassland songbird reproductive success in Alberta, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Yoo

    Full Text Available Grassland songbird populations across North America have experienced dramatic population declines due to habitat loss and degradation. In Canada, energy development continues to fragment and disturb prairie habitat, but effects of oil and gas development on reproductive success of songbirds in North American mixed-grass prairies remains largely unknown. From 2010-2012, in southeastern Alberta, Canada, we monitored 257 nests of two ground-nesting grassland songbird species, Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis and chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus. Nest locations varied with proximity to and density of conventional shallow gas well structures and associated roads in forty-two 258-ha mixed-grass prairie sites. We estimated the probabilities of nest success and clutch size relative to gas well structures and roads. There was little effect of distance to or density of gas well structure on nest success; however, Savannah sparrow experienced lower nest success near roads. Clutch sizes were lower near gas well structures and cattle water sources. Minimizing habitat disturbance surrounding gas well structures, and reducing abundance of roads and trails, would help minimize impacts on reproductive success for some grassland songbirds.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, I.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Controls of vegetation structure and net primary production in restored grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2014-01-01

    1. Vegetation structure and net primary production (NPP) are fundamental properties of ecosystems. Understanding how restoration practices following disturbance interact with environmental factors to control these properties can provide insight on how ecosystems recover and guide management efforts. 2. We assessed the relative contribution of environmental and restoration factors in controlling vegetation structure, above- and below-ground investment in production across a chronosequence of semiarid Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields recovering from dryland wheat cropping relative to undisturbed grassland. Importantly, we determined the role of plant diversity and how seeding either native or introduced perennial grasses influenced the recovery of vegetation properties. 3. Plant basal cover increased with field age and was highest in CRP fields seeded with native perennial grasses. In contrast, fields seeded with introduced perennial grasses had tall-growing plants with relatively low basal cover. These vegetation structural characteristics interacted with precipitation, but not soil characteristics, to influence above-ground NPP (ANPP). Fields enrolled in the CRP program for >7 years supported twice as much ANPP as undisturbed shortgrass steppe in the first wet year of the study, but all CRP fields converged on a common low amount of ANPP in the following dry year and invested less than half as much as the shortgrass steppe in below-ground biomass. 4. ANPP in CRP fields seeded with native perennial grasses for more than 7 years was positively related to species richness, whereas ANPP in CRP fields seeded with introduced perennial grasses were controlled more by dominant species. 5. Synthesis and applications. Seeding with introduced, instead of native, perennial grasses had a strong direct influence on vegetation structure, including species richness, which indirectly affected NPP through time. However, the effects of restoring either native or introduced

  15. Genetic Diversity and Spatial Genetic Structure of the Grassland Perennial Saxifraga granulata along Two River Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha van der Meer

    Full Text Available Due to changes in land use, the natural habitats of an increasing number of plant species have become more and more fragmented. In landscapes that consist of patches of suitable habitat, the frequency and extent of long-distance seed dispersal can be expected to be an important factor determining local genetic diversity and regional population structure of the remaining populations. In plant species that are restricted to riparian habitats, rivers can be expected to have a strong impact on the dynamics and spatial genetic structure of populations as they may enable long-distance seed dispersal and thus maintain gene flow between fragmented populations. In this study, we used polymorphic microsatellite markers to investigate the genetic diversity and the spatial genetic structure of 28 populations of Saxifraga granulata along two rivers in central Belgium. We hypothesized that rivers might be essential for gene flow among increasingly isolated populations of this species. Genetic diversity was high (HS = 0.68, which to a certain extent can be explained by the octoploid nature of S. granulata in the study area. Populations along the Dijle and Demer rivers were also highly differentiated (G"ST = 0.269 and 0.164 and DEST = 0.190 and 0.124, respectively and showed significant isolation-by-distance, indicating moderate levels of gene flow primarily between populations that are geographically close to each other. Along the river Demer population genetic diversity was higher upstream than downstream, suggesting that seed dispersal via the water was not the primary mode of dispersal. Overall, these results indicate that despite increasing fragmentation populations along both rivers were highly genetically diverse. The high ploidy level and longevity of S. granulata have most likely buffered negative effects of fragmentation on genetic diversity and the spatial genetic structure of populations in riparian grasslands.

  16. Assessment of interspecific interactions in plant communities: an illustration from the cold desert saltbush grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Carl D.; Emlen, John M.

    1995-01-01

    Interspecific interactions influence both the productivity and composition of plant communities. Here, we propose new field procedures and analytical approaches for assessing interspecific interactions in nature and apply these procedures to the salt desert shrub grasslands of western Utah. Data were collected from two grazing treatments over a period of 2 years. The proposed equations were fairly consistent across both treatments and years. In addition to illustrating how to assess interspecific interactions within a community, we also develop a new approach for projecting the community composition as a result of some alteration, i.e. increase or decrease in the abundance of one or more species. Results demonstrate competition both within and between plant life-form groups. While introduced annuals were found to depress profoundly the likelihood of perennial plants replacing themselves, perennials had little influence on annuals. Thus, as native perennials die, they are more likely to be replaced by perennials than for the reverse to occur. Our results suggest that unless conditions change, these communities will become increasingly dominated by introduced annuals.

  17. Effects of soil depth and plant-soil interaction on microbial community in temperate grasslands of northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xiaodong; Zhang, Naili; Zeng, Hui; Wang, Wei

    2018-07-15

    Although the patterns and drivers of soil microbial community composition are well studied, little is known about the effects of plant-soil interactions and soil depth on soil microbial distribution at a regional scale. We examined 195 soil samples from 13 sites along a climatic transect in the temperate grasslands of northern China to measure the composition of and factors influencing soil microbial communities within a 1-m soil profile. Soil microbial community composition was measured using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Fungi predominated in topsoil (0-10 cm) and bacteria and actinomycetes in deep soils (40-100 cm), independent of steppe types. This variation was explained by contemporary environmental factors (including above- and below-ground plant biomass, soil physicochemical and climatic factors) >58% in the 0-40 cm of soil depth, but soils. Interestingly, when we considered the interactive effects between plant traits (above ground biomass and root biomass) and soil factors (pH, clay content, and soil total carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous), we observed a significant interaction effect occurring at depths of 10-20 cm soil layer, due to different internal and external factors of the plant-soil system along the soil profile. These results improve understanding of the drivers of soil microbial community composition at regional scales. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Object-based random forest classification of Landsat ETM+ and WorldView-2 satellite imagery for mapping lowland native grassland communities in Tasmania, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melville, Bethany; Lucieer, Arko; Aryal, Jagannath

    2018-04-01

    This paper presents a random forest classification approach for identifying and mapping three types of lowland native grassland communities found in the Tasmanian Midlands region. Due to the high conservation priority assigned to these communities, there has been an increasing need to identify appropriate datasets that can be used to derive accurate and frequently updateable maps of community extent. Therefore, this paper proposes a method employing repeat classification and statistical significance testing as a means of identifying the most appropriate dataset for mapping these communities. Two datasets were acquired and analysed; a Landsat ETM+ scene, and a WorldView-2 scene, both from 2010. Training and validation data were randomly subset using a k-fold (k = 50) approach from a pre-existing field dataset. Poa labillardierei, Themeda triandra and lowland native grassland complex communities were identified in addition to dry woodland and agriculture. For each subset of randomly allocated points, a random forest model was trained based on each dataset, and then used to classify the corresponding imagery. Validation was performed using the reciprocal points from the independent subset that had not been used to train the model. Final training and classification accuracies were reported as per class means for each satellite dataset. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was undertaken to determine whether classification accuracy differed between the two datasets, as well as between classifications. Results showed mean class accuracies between 54% and 87%. Class accuracy only differed significantly between datasets for the dry woodland and Themeda grassland classes, with the WorldView-2 dataset showing higher mean classification accuracies. The results of this study indicate that remote sensing is a viable method for the identification of lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands, and that repeat classification and statistical significant testing can be

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayes, Felicity; Williamson, Jennifer; Mills, Gina

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Diversity effects on root length production and loss in an experimental grassland community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mommer, L.; Padilla, F.M.; Ruijven, van J.; Caluwe, de H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Berendse, F.; Kroon, de H.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in root ecology have revealed that root standing biomass is higher in species-rich plant communities than in species-poor communities. Currently, we do not know whether this below-ground diversity effect is the result of enhanced root production or reduced root mortality or both, which is

  1. Inter-specific competition, but not different soil microbial communities, affects N chemical forms uptake by competing graminoids of upland grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Medina-Roldán

    Full Text Available Evidence that plants differ in their ability to take up both organic (ON and inorganic (IN forms of nitrogen (N has increased ecologists' interest on resource-based plant competition. However, whether plant uptake of IN and ON responds to differences in soil microbial community composition and/or functioning has not yet been explored, despite soil microbes playing a key role in N cycling. Here, we report results from a competition experiment testing the hypothesis that soil microbial communities differing in metabolic activity as a result of long-term differences to grazing exposure could modify N uptake of Eriophorum vaginatum L. and Nardus stricta L. These graminoids co-occur on nutrient-poor, mountain grasslands where E. vaginatum decreases and N. stricta increases in response to long-term grazing. We inoculated sterilised soil with soil microbial communities from continuously grazed and ungrazed grasslands and planted soils with both E. vaginatum and N. stricta, and then tracked uptake of isotopically labelled NH(4 (+ (IN and glycine (ON into plant tissues. The metabolically different microbial communities had no effect on N uptake by either of the graminoids, which might suggest functional equivalence of soil microbes in their impacts on plant N uptake. Consistent with its dominance in soils with greater concentrations of ON relative to IN in the soluble N pool, Eriophorum vaginatum took up more glycine than N. stricta. Nardus stricta reduced the glycine proportion taken up by E. vaginatum, thus increasing niche overlap in N usage between these species. Local abundances of these species in mountain grasslands are principally controlled by grazing and soil moisture, although our results suggest that changes in the relative availability of ON to IN can also play a role. Our results also suggest that coexistence of these species in mountain grasslands is likely based on non-equilibrium mechanisms such as disturbance and/or soil heterogeneity.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Effects of below-ground insects, mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment of Vicia in grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganade, G; Brown, V K

    1997-02-01

     The effects of, and interactions between, insect root feeders, vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment, growth and reproduction of Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta (Fabaceae) were investigated in an early-successional grassland community. Seeds of both species were sown into plots where soil insecticide (Dursban 5G), soil fungicide (Rovral) and soil fertiliser (NPK) were applied in a factorial randomised block design. Fertiliser addition reduced growth, longevity and reproduction of both Vicia species, due to the commonly recorded increase in the competitive advantage of the non-nitrogen-fixing species when nitrogen is added to the plant community. However, in plots where fertiliser was not applied, a reduction in root feeders and mycorrhizal infection led to an increase in seedling establishment and fruit production of V. sativa, and to an increase in flower production for both Vicia species. The interaction between all three soil treatments explained much of the variation in growth and longevity of V. sativa. Plants grew larger and survived longer in plots where natural levels of mycorrhizal infection and root feeders were low compared with plots where all the treatments were applied. This suggests that, although soil nutrient availability was a strong determinant of the performance of these two leguminous species, at natural levels of soil fertility biotic factors acting in the soil, such as mycorrhizal fungi and soil-dwelling insects, were important in shaping the competitive interactions between the two Vicia species and the plant community. Our results indicate that non-additive interactions between ecological factors in the soil environment may strongly affect plant performance.

  5. Structural properties of dissolved organic carbon in deep soil horizons of an arable and temporarily grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavaud, A.; Chabbi, A.; Croue, J. P.

    2009-04-01

    It is commonly accepted that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the bio-available fraction of the largest amount of soil organic matter (SOM), even if it does represent only a very small proportion. Because most of the studies on DOC dynamics were mainly restricted to forest soils, studies on the factors governing the dynamics of DOC in deep soil horizons (>1 m) in arable system are still very little limited. The objective of this work is to better define the proportion of DOC in deep soil horizons and indicate their main characteristics and structural properties. The study was conducted on the long term observatory for environmental research- biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity Lusignan site). DOC collected using lysimeters plates inserted to a depth of 105 cm was fractionated into 3 fractions using the two column array of XAD-8 and XAD-4 resins. The HPO (hydrophobic) fraction (i.e. humic substances) isolated from the XAD-8 resin, the TPH (Transphilic) fraction from the XAD-4 resin and the HPI (hydrophilic) fraction which corresponds to the DOC that does not adsorbed onto the two resins under the acid condition used (pH 2). DOM adsorbed onto the resins is recovered with a 75%/25% acetonitrile/water mixture and lyophilized. Depend on the amount of material; the chemical composition of DOC was performed using UV254 nm, fluorescence EEM, NMR and HPSEC/UV/COD. The results show that the concentration and structural properties of DOC in deep soil horizon were similar to those of groundwater (low SUVA (1.2 m-1.L.mg C-1), structures composed mainly of low molecular weight). Because of the relatively recent establishment of the treatment, the monitoring of the dynamics of the DOC concentrations did not show significant differences between arable and grassland. However, the temporal dynamic shows a slight increase in the DOC content regardless of the of land use. DOC concentrations between winter and the middle of spring tend to double going from 1 to 2.5 mg / L and then

  6. Contributions of gopher mound and casting disturbances to plant community structure in a Cascade Range meadow complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. Case; C.B. Halpern; S.A. Levin

    2013-01-01

    Pocket gophers (Geomyidae) are major agents of disturbance in North American grasslands. Gopher mounds bury existing plants and influence community structure through various mechanisms. However, in mountain meadows that experience winter snowpack, gophers also create winter castings, smaller tube-shaped deposits, previously ignored in studies of plant–gopher...

  7. Spectral identification of plant communities for mapping of semi-natural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Anne; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Ejrnæs, Rasmus

    2000-01-01

    identification of plant communities was based on a hierarchical approach relating the test sites to i) management (Ma) and ii) flora (Fl) using spectral consistency and separability as the main criteria. Evaluation of spectral consistency was based on unsupervised clustering of test sites of Ma classes 1 to 7...... as a measure of plant community heterogeneity within management classes. The spectral analysis as well as the maximum likelihood classification indicated that the source of spectral variation within management classes might be related to vegetation composition....

  8. Effects of slurry application methods on soil faunal communities in permanent grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliet, van P.C.J.; Goede, de R.G.M.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the effects of two slurry manure application methods, broadcasting manure slurry (MB) and manure slit injection (SMI), on soil faunal communities 1 week and 4 or 5 weeks after application in the spring of 2002 and the summer of 2003. No effect on total numbers of Enchytraeidae and

  9. 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

  10. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus; Marcia Suelí Bohn; Maria Virginia Petry

    2012-01-01

    Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland e...

  11. Seed-bank structure and plant-recruitment conditions regulate the dynamics of a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-de Las Heras, Mariano; Turnbull, Laura; Wainwright, John

    2016-09-01

    Large areas of desert grasslands in the southwestern United States have shifted to sparse shrublands dominated by drought-tolerant woody species over the last 150 yr, accompanied by accelerated soil erosion. An important step toward the understanding of patterns in species dominance and vegetation change at desert grassland-shrubland transitions is the study of environmental limitations imposed by the shrub-encroachment phenomenon on plant establishment. Here, we analyze the structure of soil seed banks, environmental limitations for seed germination (i.e., soil-water availability and temperature), and simulated seedling emergence and early establishment of dominant species (black grama, Bouteloua eriopoda, and creosotebush, Larrea tridentata) across a Chihuahuan grassland-shrubland ecotone (Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA). Average viable seed density in soils across the ecotone is generally low (200-400 seeds/m 2 ), although is largely concentrated in densely vegetated areas (with peaks up to 800-1,200 seeds/m 2 in vegetated patches). Species composition in the seed bank is strongly affected by shrub encroachment, with seed densities of grass species sharply decreasing in shrub-dominated sites. Environmental conditions for seed germination and seedling emergence are synchronized with the summer monsoon. Soil-moisture conditions for seedling establishment of B. eriopoda take place with a recurrence interval ranging between 5 and 8 yr for grassland and shrubland sites, respectively, and are favored by strong monsoonal precipitation. Limited L. tridentata seed dispersal and a narrow range of rainfall conditions for early seedling establishment (50-100 mm for five to six consecutive weeks) constrain shrub-recruitment pulses to localized and episodic decadal events (9-25 yr recurrence intervals) generally associated with late-summer rainfall. Re-establishment of B. eriopoda in areas now dominated by L. tridentata is strongly limited by the

  12. Off-road sampling reveals a different grassland bird community than roadside sampling: implications for survey design and estimates to guide conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland bird species continue to decline steeply across North America. Road-based surveys such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS are often used to estimate trends and population sizes and to build species distribution models for grassland birds, although roadside survey counts may introduce bias in estimates because of differences in habitats along roadsides and in off-road surveys. We tested for differences in land cover composition and in the avian community on 21 roadside-based survey routes and in an equal number of adjacent off-road walking routes in the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada. Off-road routes (n = 225 point counts had more native grassland and short shrubs and less fallow land and road area than the roadside routes (n = 225 point counts. Consequently, 17 of the 39 bird species differed between the two route types in frequency of occurrence and relative abundance, measured using an indicator species analysis. Six species, including five obligate grassland species, were more prevalent at off-road sites; they included four species listed under the Canadian federal Species At Risk Act or listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii, Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii, the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus, and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii. The six species were as much as four times more abundant on off-road sites. Species more prevalent along roadside routes included common species and those typical of farmland and other human-modified habitats, e.g., the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia, and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus. Differences in avian community composition between roadside and off-road surveys suggest that the use of BBS data when generating population estimates or distribution models may overestimate certain common species and underestimate others of conservation

  13. How do plant communities and flower visitors relate? A case study of semi-natural xerothermic grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Chmura

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper examines the relationships between the species composition of flower visitors and plants in the semi-natural xerothermic grasslands in southern and central Poland. Thirty 10 × 10 m permanent plots were laid out in total, mainly in nature reserves. The vegetation units studied were classified according to the Braun-Blanquet system; these were phytocoenoses of the Festuco-Brometea classes Inuletum ensifoliae, Adonido-Brachypodietum pinnati and the transitional plant community. Entomological research was performed using the Pollard method within the same plots. A particular site was visited only once and different sites were studied between April and August 2008. We applied, among others, co-correspondence-analysis Co-CA, detrended correspondence analysis (DCA and redundancy analysis (RDA to investigate the co-occurrence patterns of plants and flower visitors and their biotopic requirements. We found that the species composition of flower visitors cannot be predicted by floristic composition when the duration of the study is restricted to one day (but under similar weather conditions; however, there is a positive relationship between the species richness of insects and plants and a positive relationship between the number of plant species and the abundance of flower visitors. The Ellenberg moisture index and the cover of meadow species significantly explained the species composition of insects. The three various vegetation units and five dominant xerothermic species, i.e. Adonis vernalis, Anemone sylvestris, Inula ensifolia, Linum hirsutum and Carlina onopordifolia that were studied across time differed in the species richness of insects. Our results demonstrate that possible patterns in the species composition and the assembly rules of flower visitors are not apparent when the Pollard method is applied. Based on the data obtained using this method, the flower visiting assemblages seem not to be driven by competition and they primarily

  14. 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

  15. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Knappová, Jana; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 7 (2016), s. 1-24 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-11635S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : AMF * dry grassland commnunity * soil abiotic conditions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  16. Relationship between land use pattern and the structure and diversity of soil meso-micro arthropod community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Limin; Zhang, Xueping; Cui, Wei

    2014-05-01

    Soil arthropod communities can provide valuable information regarding the impacts of human disturbances on ecosystem structure. Our study evaluated the structure, composition and diversity of soil meso-micro arthropod communities, in six different vegetation types and assessed the impacts of human activity. A completely randomized design, including 3 replicates from 6 sites (mowing steppe, natural grassland, severe degradation grassland, farmland, artificial shelter forest, and wetland) was used. Soil samples from the depth of 0 to 20 cm were collected during May, July, and September 2007. Soil meso-micro arthropod were separated using the Tullgren funnels method, and were identified and counted. Soil pH value, organic matter, and total nitrogen were measured in topsoil (0-20 cm) from each site. A total of 5,602 soil meso-micro arthropod individuals were collected, representing 4 classes, 14 orders, and 57 families. Most soil arthropods were widely distributed; however, some species appeared to be influenced by environment variables, and might serve as bioindicators of adverse human impacts. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated the soil arthropod distribution in the severely degraded grassland, mowing steppe, farmland, and shelter forest differed from the natural grassland. Arthropod density and diversity were greatest in May, and the forestland community was the most stable. Because of the vital role soil arthropods have in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, mechanisms to maintain their abundance and diversity should be further evaluated.

  17. Assessing vegetation structure and ANPP dynamics in a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone using NDVI-rainfall relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-de las Heras, M.; Diaz-Sierra, R.; Turnbull, L.; Wainwright, J.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change and the widespread alteration of natural habitats are major drivers of vegetation change in drylands. A classic case of vegetation change is the shrub-encroachment process that has been taking place over the last 150 years in the Chihuahuan Desert, where large areas of grasslands dominated by perennial grass species (black grama, Bouteloua eriopoda, and blue grama, B. gracilis) have transitioned to shrublands dominated by woody species (creosotebush, Larrea tridentata, and mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa), accompanied by accelerated water and wind erosion. Multiple mechanisms drive the shrub-encroachment process, including exogenous triggering factors such as precipitation variations and land-use change, and endogenous amplifying mechanisms brought about by soil erosion-vegetation feedbacks. In this study, simulations of plant biomass dynamics with a simple modelling framework indicate that herbaceous (grasses and forbs) and shrub vegetation in drylands have different responses to antecedent precipitation due to functional differences in plant growth and water-use patterns, and therefore shrub encroachment may be reflected in the analysis of landscape-scale vegetation-rainfall relationships. We analyze the structure and dynamics of vegetation at an 18 km2 grassland-shrubland ecotone in the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert (McKenzie Flats, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM, USA) by investigating the relationship between decade-scale (2000-2013) records of medium-resolution remote sensing of vegetation greenness (MODIS NDVI) and precipitation. Spatial evaluation of NDVI-rainfall relationship at the studied ecotone indicates that herbaceous vegetation shows quick growth pulses associated with short-term (previous 2 months) precipitation, while shrubs show a slow response to medium-term (previous 5 months) precipitation. We use these relationships to (a) classify landscape types as a function of the spatial distribution of dominant vegetation

  18. Finding Community Structures In Social Activity Data

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chengbin

    2015-01-01

    Social activity data sets are increasing in number and volume. Finding community structure in such data is valuable in many applications. For example, understand- ing the community structure of social networks may reduce the spread of epidemics

  19. Leveraging disjoint communities for detecting overlapping community structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chakraborty, Tanmoy

    2015-01-01

    Network communities represent mesoscopic structure for understanding the organization of real-world networks, where nodes often belong to multiple communities and form overlapping community structure in the network. Due to non-triviality in finding the exact boundary of such overlapping communities, this problem has become challenging, and therefore huge effort has been devoted to detect overlapping communities from the network.In this paper, we present PVOC (Permanence based Vertex-replication algorithm for Overlapping Community detection), a two-stage framework to detect overlapping community structure. We build on a novel observation that non-overlapping community structure detected by a standard disjoint community detection algorithm from a network has high resemblance with its actual overlapping community structure, except the overlapping part. Based on this observation, we posit that there is perhaps no need of building yet another overlapping community finding algorithm; but one can efficiently manipulate the output of any existing disjoint community finding algorithm to obtain the required overlapping structure. We propose a new post-processing technique that by combining with any existing disjoint community detection algorithm, can suitably process each vertex using a new vertex-based metric, called permanence, and thereby finds out overlapping candidates with their community memberships. Experimental results on both synthetic and large real-world networks show that PVOC significantly outperforms six state-of-the-art overlapping community detection algorithms in terms of high similarity of the output with the ground-truth structure. Thus our framework not only finds meaningful overlapping communities from the network, but also allows us to put an end to the constant effort of building yet another overlapping community detection algorithm. (paper)

  20. Differential Responses of Soil Microbial Community to Four-Decade Long Grazing and Cultivation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yating He

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Grazing and cultivation are two important management practices worldwide that can cause significant soil organic carbon (SOC losses. However, it remains elusive how soil microbes have responded to soil carbon changes under these two practices. Based on a four-decade long field experiment, this study investigated the effects of grazing and cultivation on SOC stocks and microbial properties in the semi-arid grasslands of China. We hypothesize that grazing and cultivation would deplete SOC and depress microbial activities under both practices. However, our hypotheses were only partially supported. As compared with the adjacent indigenous grasslands, SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC were decreased by 20% or more under grazing and cultivation, which is consistent with the reduction of fungi abundance by 40% and 71%, respectively. The abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes was decreased under grazing but increased under cultivation, which likely enhanced microbial diversity in cultivation. Invertase activity decreased under the two treatments, while urease activity increased under grazing. These results suggest that nitrogen fertilizer input during cultivation may preferentially favor bacterial growth, in spite of SOC loss, due to rapid decomposition, while overgrazing may deteriorate the nitrogen supply to belowground microbes, thus stimulating the microbial production of nitrogen acquisition enzymes. This decade-long study demonstrated differential soil microbial responses under grazing and cultivation and has important applications for better management practices in the grassland ecosystem.

  1. 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...

  2. An evolving network model with community structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Chunguang; Maini, Philip K

    2005-01-01

    Many social and biological networks consist of communities-groups of nodes within which connections are dense, but between which connections are sparser. Recently, there has been considerable interest in designing algorithms for detecting community structures in real-world complex networks. In this paper, we propose an evolving network model which exhibits community structure. The network model is based on the inner-community preferential attachment and inter-community preferential attachment mechanisms. The degree distributions of this network model are analysed based on a mean-field method. Theoretical results and numerical simulations indicate that this network model has community structure and scale-free properties

  3. Does the stress tolerance of mixed grassland communities change in a future climate? A test with heavy metal stress (zinc pollution)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van den Berge, Joke; Naudts, Kim; Janssens, Ivan A.; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Nijs, Ivan

    2011-01-01

    Will species that are sensitive/tolerant to Zn pollution still have the same sensitivity/tolerance in a future climate? To answer this question we analysed the response of constructed grassland communities to five levels of zinc (Zn) supply, ranging from 0 to 354 mg Zn kg -1 dry soil, under a current climate and a future climate (elevated CO 2 and warming). Zn concentrations increased in roots and shoots with Zn addition but this increase did not differ between climates. Light-saturated net CO 2 assimilation rate (A sat ) of the species, on the other hand, responded differently to Zn addition depending on climate. Still, current and future climate communities have comparable biomass responses to Zn, i.e., no change in root biomass and a 13% decrease of above-ground biomass. Provided that the different response of A sat in a future climate will not compromise productivity and survival on the long term, sensitivity is not altered by climate change. - Highlights: → We exposed constructed grassland communities to Zn addition in a current and a future climate. → Zn uptake did not differ between the climates. → Although A sat was more responsive to Zn in future climate, climate did not alter biomass responses. → If this response remains on the long term, climate change will not alter sensitivity. - This study is the first to examine plant responses to a heavy metal (Zn) in a changing climate, and shows that the tolerance of plants to Zn stress will not be altered in a future climate.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Epidemics in adaptive networks with community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Leah; Tunc, Ilker

    2010-03-01

    Models for epidemic spread on static social networks do not account for changes in individuals' social interactions. Recent studies of adaptive networks have modeled avoidance behavior, as non-infected individuals try to avoid contact with infectives. Such models have not generally included realistic social structure. Here we study epidemic spread on an adaptive network with community structure. We model the effect of heterogeneous communities on infection levels and epidemic extinction. We also show how an epidemic can alter the community structure.

  7. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland environment, and an endangeredspecies: Triclaria malachitacea. Bird abundance differed from woodland (n = 426 individuals to urban environments (n = 939 individuals (F2,6 = 7.315; P = 0.025. Species composition and feeding guilds differed significantly in the bird community structures among these three riparian environments. In the grassland and urban environments there were more generalist insectivorous species, while in the woodland environments we find more leaf and trunk insectivorous species and frugivorous species, sensitive to human impacts. Bird species can be biological quality indicators and they contribute to ecosystems performing relevant functions. With the knowledge on bird community structure and their needs, it is possible to implement management practices for restoration of degraded riparian environments.

  8. Meta-scale mountain grassland observatories uncover commonalities as well as specific interactions among plant and non-rhizosphere soil bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Helene; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2018-04-10

    Interactions between plants and bacteria in the non-rhizosphere soil are rarely assessed, because they are less direct and easily masked by confounding environmental factors. By studying plant vegetation alliances and soil bacterial community co-patterning in grassland soils in 100 sites across a heterogeneous mountain landscape in the western Swiss Alps, we obtained sufficient statistical power to disentangle common co-occurrences and weaker specific interactions. Plant alliances and soil bacterial communities tended to be synchronized in community turnover across the landscape, largely driven by common underlying environmental factors, such as soil pH or elevation. Certain alliances occurring in distinct, local, environmental conditions were characterized by co-occurring specialist plant and bacterial species, such as the Nardus stricta and Thermogemmatisporaceae. In contrast, some generalist taxa, like Anthoxanthum odoratum and 19 Acidobacteria species, spanned across multiple vegetation alliances. Meta-scale analyses of soil bacterial community composition and vegetation surveys, complemented with local edaphic measurements, can thus prove useful to identify the various types of plant-bacteria interactions and the environments in which they occur.

  9. 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...

  10. The structural and functional connectivity of the grassland plant Lychnis flos-cuculi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aavik, T; Holderegger, R; Bolliger, J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between structural and functional connectivity is essential for successful restoration and conservation management, particularly in intensely managed agricultural landscapes. We evaluated the relationship between structural and functional connectivity of the wetland plant Lychnis flos-cuculi in a fragmented agricultural landscape using landscape genetic and network approaches. First, we studied the effect of structural connectivity, such as geographic distance and various landscape elements (forest, agricultural land, settlements and ditch verges), on gene flow among populations as a measurement of functional connectivity. Second, we examined the effect of structural graph-theoretic connectivity measures on gene flow among populations and on genetic diversity within populations of L. flos-cuculi. Among landscape elements, forests hindered gene flow in L. flos-cuculi, whereas gene flow was independent of geographic distance. Among the structural graph-theoretic connectivity variables, only intrapopulation connectivity, which was based on population size, had a significant positive effect on gene flow, that is, more gene flow took place among larger populations. Unexpectedly, interpopulation connectivity of populations, which takes into account the spatial location and distance among populations, did not influence gene flow in L. flos-cuculi. However, higher observed heterozygosity and lower inbreeding was observed in populations characterised by higher structural interpopulation connectivity. This finding shows that a spatially coherent network of populations is significant for maintaining the genetic diversity of populations. Nevertheless, lack of significant relationships between gene flow and most of the structural connectivity measures suggests that structural connectivity does not necessarily correspond to functional connectivity. PMID:24253937

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Does the stress tolerance of mixed grassland communities change in a future climate? A test with heavy metal stress (zinc pollution).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Berge, Joke; Naudts, Kim; Janssens, Ivan A; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Nijs, Ivan

    2011-12-01

    Will species that are sensitive/tolerant to Zn pollution still have the same sensitivity/tolerance in a future climate? To answer this question we analysed the response of constructed grassland communities to five levels of zinc (Zn) supply, ranging from 0 to 354 mg Zn kg(-1) dry soil, under a current climate and a future climate (elevated CO2 and warming). Zn concentrations increased in roots and shoots with Zn addition but this increase did not differ between climates. Light-saturated net CO2 assimilation rate (A(sat)) of the species, on the other hand, responded differently to Zn addition depending on climate. Still, current and future climate communities have comparable biomass responses to Zn, i.e., no change in root biomass and a 13% decrease of above-ground biomass. Provided that the different response of A(sat) in a future climate will not compromise productivity and survival on the long term, sensitivity is not altered by climate change. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Community structure informs species geographic distributions

    KAUST Repository

    Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Estrada, Alba; Font, Xavier; Matias, Miguel G.; Meireles, Catarina; Mendoza, Manuel; Honrado, Joao P.; Prasad, Hari D.; Vicente, Joana R.; Early, Regan

    2018-01-01

    spatial resolution. However, survival of individuals is determined by processes that happen at small spatial scales. The relative abundance of coexisting species (i.e. 'community structure') reflects assembly processes occurring at small scales

  17. Afforestation alters community structure of soil fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, Jennifer K; Gleeson, Deirdre B; Clipson, Nicholas; Murphy, Daniel V

    2010-07-01

    Relatively little is known about the effect of afforestation on soil fungal communities. This study demonstrated that afforestation altered fungal community structure and that changes were correlated to pools of soil C. Pasture at three locations on the same soil type was afforested with Eucalyptus globulus or Pinus pinaster. The structure of fungal communities under the three land uses was measured after 13y using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Afforestation significantly altered the structure of fungal communities. The effect of location on the structure of fungal communities was limited to pasture soils; although these contained the same plant species, the relative composition of each species varied between locations. Differences in the structure of fungal communities between pasture, E. globulus and P. pinaster were significantly correlated with changes in the amount of total organic C and microbial biomass-C in soil. Afforestation of patches of agricultural land may contribute to conserving soil fungi in agricultural landscapes by supporting fungal communities with different composition to agricultural soils. Copyright © 2010 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Community level offset of rain use- and transpiration efficiency for a heavily grazed ecosystem in inner Mongolia grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ying Z; Giese, Marcus; Gao, Qiang; Brueck, Holger; Sheng, Lian X; Yang, Hai J

    2013-01-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE) is a key indicator to assess ecosystem adaptation to water stress. Rain use efficiency (RUE) is usually used as a proxy for WUE due to lack of transpiration data. Furthermore, RUE based on aboveground primary productivity (RUEANPP) is used to evaluate whole plant water use because root production data is often missing as well. However, it is controversial as to whether RUE is a reliable parameter to elucidate transpiration efficiency (TE), and whether RUEANPP is a suitable proxy for RUE of the whole plant basis. The experiment was conducted at three differently managed sites in the Inner Mongolia steppe: a site fenced since 1979 (UG79), a winter grazing site (WG) and a heavily grazed site (HG). Site HG had consistent lowest RUEANPP and RUE based on total net primary productivity (RUENPP). RUEANPP is a relatively good proxy at sites UG79 and WG, but less reliable for site HG. Similarly, RUEANPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on aboveground net primary productivity (TEANPP) at sites UG79 and WG but not for site HG. However, if total net primary productivity is considered, RUENPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on total net primary productivity (TENPP) for all sites. Although our measurements indicate decreased plant transpiration and consequentially decreasing RUE under heavy grazing, productivity was relatively compensated for with a higher TE. This offset between RUE and TE was even enhanced under water limited conditions and more evident when belowground net primary productivity (BNNP) was included. These findings suggest that BNPP should be considered when studies fucus on WUE of more intensively used grasslands. The consideration of the whole plant perspective and "real" WUE would partially revise our picture of system performance and therefore might affect the discussion on the C-sequestration and resilience potential of ecosystems.

  19. Wildfires alter rodent community structure across four vegetation types in southern California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brehme, Cheryl S.; Clark, Denise R.; Rochester, Carlton J.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    We surveyed burned and unburned plots across four habitat reserves in San Diego County, California, USA, in 2005 and 2006, to assess the effects of the 2003 wildfires on the community structure and relative abundance of rodent species. The reserves each contained multiple vegetation types (coastal sage scrub, chaparral, woodland, and grassland) and spanned from 250 m to 1078 m in elevation. Multivariate analyses revealed a more simplified rodent community structure in all burned habitats in comparison to unburned habitats. Reduction in shrub and tree cover was highly predictive of changes in post-fire rodent community structure in the burned coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats. Reduction in cover was not predictive for the less substantially burned woodlands and grasslands, for which we hypothesized that interspecific competition played a greater role in post-fire community structure. Across vegetation types, generalists and open habitat specialists typically increased in relative abundance, whereas closed habitat specialists decreased. We documented significant increases in relative abundance of the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus Wagner) and Dulzura kangaroo rat (Dipodomys simulans Merriam). In contrast, we found significant decreases in relative abundance for the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus Gambel), San Diego pocket mouse (Chaetodipus fallax Merriam), desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida Thomas), and brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii Baird). Currently, our research program involves assessment of whether habitat conservation plans (HCPs) in southern California provide long-term protection to HCP covered species, as well as preserve ecosystem function. The scenario of increased wildfires needs to be incorporated into this assessment. We discuss our results in relation to management and conservation planning under a future scenario of larger and more frequent wildfires in southern California.

  20. Contrasting response of coexisting plant’s water-use patterns to experimental precipitation manipulation in an alpine grassland community of Qinghai Lake watershed, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Yan; He, Bin; Liu, Jinzhao; Jiang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Cicheng

    2018-01-01

    Understanding species-specific changes in water-use patterns under recent climate scenarios is necessary to predict accurately the responses of seasonally dry ecosystems to future climate. In this study, we conducted a precipitation manipulation experiment to investigate the changes in water-use patterns of two coexisting species (Achnatherum splendens and Allium tanguticum) to alterations in soil water content (SWC) resulting from increased and decreased rainfall treatments. The results showed that the leaf water potential (Ψ) of A. splendens and A. tanguticum responded to changes in shallow and middle SWC at both the control and treatment plots. However, A. splendens proportionally extracted water from the shallow soil layer (0–10cm) when it was available but shifted to absorbing deep soil water (30–60 cm) during drought. By contrast, the A. tanguticum did not differ significantly in uptake depth between treatment and control plots but entirely depended on water from shallow soil layers. The flexible water-use patterns of A.splendens may be a key factor facilitating its dominance and it better acclimates the recent climate change in the alpine grassland community around Qinghai Lake. PMID:29677195

  1. 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.

  2. Anthropogenic land use shapes the composition and phylogenetic structure of soil arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moora, Mari; Davison, John; Öpik, Maarja; Metsis, Madis; Saks, Ülle; Jairus, Teele; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin

    2014-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play an important role in ecosystems, but little is known about how soil AM fungal community composition varies in relation to habitat type and land-use intensity. We molecularly characterized AM fungal communities in soil samples (n = 88) from structurally open (permanent grassland, intensive and sustainable agriculture) and forested habitats (primeval forest and spruce plantation). The habitats harboured significantly different AM fungal communities, and there was a broad difference in fungal community composition between forested and open habitats, the latter being characterized by higher average AM fungal richness. Within both open and forest habitats, intensive land use significantly influenced community composition. There was a broad difference in the phylogenetic structure of AM fungal communities between mechanically disturbed and nondisturbed habitats. Taxa from Glomeraceae served as indicator species for the nondisturbed habitats, while taxa from Archaeosporaceae, Claroideoglomeraceae and Diversisporaceae were indicators for the disturbed habitats. The distribution of these indicator taxa among habitat types in the MaarjAM global database of AM fungal diversity was in accordance with their local indicator status. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Niche partitioning in arbuscular mycorrhizal communities in temperate grasslands: a lesson from adjacent serpentine and nonserpentine habitats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Petr; Doubková, Pavla; Bahram, M.; Suda, Jan; Tedersoo, L.; Voříšková, Jana; Sudová, Radka

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 8 (2015), s. 1831-1843 ISSN 0962-1083 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi * community ecology * NDA barcoding Subject RIV: EF - Botanics; EE - Microbiology, Virology (MBU-M) Impact factor: 5.947, year: 2015

  4. Darwin's naturalization hypothesis up-close: Intermountain grassland invaders differ morphologically and phenologically from native community dominants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Yvette K. Ortega; Samantha J. Sears

    2012-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis predicts that successful invaders will tend to differ taxonomically from native species in recipient communities because less related species exhibit lower niche overlap and experience reduced biotic resistance. This hypothesis has garnered substantial support at coarse scales. However, at finer scales, the influence of traits...

  5. Mutual replacement of species in space in a grassland community: is there an evidence for functional complementarity of replacement groups?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Herben, Tomáš; Březina, Stanislav; Hadincová, Věroslava; Krahulec, František; Skálová, Hana

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 122, č. 1 (2013), s. 111-121 ISSN 0030-1299 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1471 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : community dynamics * biomass * removal experiments Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.559, year: 2013

  6. Soil shapes community structure through fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Fernando; Pausas, Juli G; Verdú, Miguel

    2010-07-01

    Recurrent wildfires constitute a major selecting force in shaping the structure of plant communities. At the regional scale, fire favours phenotypic and phylogenetic clustering in Mediterranean woody plant communities. Nevertheless, the incidence of fire within a fire-prone region may present strong variations at the local, landscape scale. This study tests the prediction that woody communities on acid, nutrient-poor soils should exhibit more pronounced phenotypic and phylogenetic clustering patterns than woody communities on fertile soils, as a consequence of their higher flammability and, hence, presumably higher propensity to recurrent fire. Results confirm the predictions and show that habitat filtering driven by fire may be detected even in local communities from an already fire-filtered regional flora. They also provide a new perspective from which to consider a preponderant role of fire as a key evolutionary force in acid, infertile Mediterranean heathlands.

  7. Assessing the impacts of human activities and climate variations on grassland productivity by partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHA Zongyao; XIE Yichun; TAN Xicheng; BAI Yongfei; LI Jonathan; LIU Xuefeng

    2017-01-01

    The cause-effect associations between geographical phenomena are an important focus in ecological research.Recent studies in structural equation modeling (SEM) demonstrated the potential for analyzing such associations.We applied the variance-based partial least squares SEM (PLS-SEM) and geographically-weighted regression (GWR) modeling to assess the human-climate impact on grassland productivity represented by above-ground biomass (AGB).The human and climate factors and their interaction were taken to explain the AGB variance by a PLS-SEM developed for the grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia,China.Results indicated that 65.5% of the AGB variance could be explained by the human and climate factors and their interaction.The case study showed that the human and climate factors imposed a significant and negative impact on the AGB and that their interaction alleviated to some extent the threat from the intensified human-climate pressure.The alleviation may be attributable to vegetation adaptation to high human-climate stresses,to human adaptation to climate conditions or/and to recent vegetation restoration programs in the highly degraded areas.Furthermore,the AGB response to the human and climate factors modeled by GWR exhibited significant spatial variations.This study demonstrated that the combination of PLS-SEM and GWR model is feasible to investigate the cause-effect relation in socio-ecological systems.

  8. Finding Community Structures In Social Activity Data

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chengbin

    2015-05-19

    Social activity data sets are increasing in number and volume. Finding community structure in such data is valuable in many applications. For example, understand- ing the community structure of social networks may reduce the spread of epidemics or boost advertising revenue; discovering partitions in tra c networks can help to optimize routing and to reduce congestion; finding a group of users with common interests can allow a system to recommend useful items. Among many aspects, qual- ity of inference and e ciency in finding community structures in such data sets are of paramount concern. In this thesis, we propose several approaches to improve com- munity detection in these aspects. The first approach utilizes the concept of K-cores to reduce the size of the problem. The K-core of a graph is the largest subgraph within which each node has at least K connections. We propose a framework that accelerates community detection. It first applies a traditional algorithm that is relatively slow to the K-core, and then uses a fast heuristic to infer community labels for the remaining nodes. The second approach is to scale the algorithm to multi-processor systems. We de- vise a scalable community detection algorithm for large networks based on stochastic block models. It is an alternating iterative algorithm using a maximum likelihood ap- proach. Compared with traditional inference algorithms for stochastic block models, our algorithm can scale to large networks and run on multi-processor systems. The time complexity is linear in the number of edges of the input network. The third approach is to improve the quality. We propose a framework for non- negative matrix factorization that allows the imposition of linear or approximately linear constraints on each factor. An example of the applications is to find community structures in bipartite networks, which is useful in recommender systems. Our algorithms are compared with the results in recent papers and their quality and e

  9. Phylogenetic structure in tropical hummingbird communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graham, Catherine H; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten

    2009-01-01

    How biotic interactions, current and historical environment, and biogeographic barriers determine community structure is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution, especially in diverse tropical regions. To evaluate patterns of local and regional diversity, we quantified the phylogenetic...... composition of 189 hummingbird communities in Ecuador. We assessed how species and phylogenetic composition changed along environmental gradients and across biogeographic barriers. We show that humid, low-elevation communities are phylogenetically overdispersed (coexistence of distant relatives), a pattern...... that is consistent with the idea that competition influences the local composition of hummingbirds. At higher elevations communities are phylogenetically clustered (coexistence of close relatives), consistent with the expectation of environmental filtering, which may result from the challenge of sustaining...

  10. Optimal community structure for social contagions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Zhen; Wang, Wei; Li, Lixiang; Stanley, H. Eugene; Braunstein, Lidia A.

    2018-05-01

    Community structure is an important factor in the behavior of real-world networks because it strongly affects the stability and thus the phase transition order of the spreading dynamics. We here propose a reversible social contagion model of community networks that includes the factor of social reinforcement. In our model an individual adopts a social contagion when the number of received units of information exceeds its adoption threshold. We use mean-field approximation to describe our proposed model, and the results agree with numerical simulations. The numerical simulations and theoretical analyses both indicate that there is a first-order phase transition in the spreading dynamics, and that a hysteresis loop emerges in the system when there is a variety of initially adopted seeds. We find an optimal community structure that maximizes spreading dynamics. We also find a rich phase diagram with a triple point that separates the no-diffusion phase from the two diffusion phases.

  11. Land use intensity controls actinobacterial community structure

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hill, P.; Krištůfek, Václav; Dijkhuizen, L.; Boddy, Ch.; Kroetsch, D.; van Elsas, J.D.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 2 (2011), s. 286-302 ISSN 0095-3628 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06066; GA MŠk 2B06154 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : actinobacterial community structure * DNA * soils Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.912, year: 2011

  12. Emergence of structured communities through evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtilerman, Elad; Kessler, David A; Shnerb, Nadav M

    2015-10-21

    Species-rich communities, in which many competing species coexist in a single trophic level, are quite frequent in nature, but pose a formidable theoretical challenge. In particular, it is known that complex competitive systems become unstable and unfeasible when the number of species is large. Recently, many studies have attributed the stability of natural communities to the structure of the interspecific interaction network, yet the nature of such structures and the underlying mechanisms responsible for them remain open questions. Here we introduce an evolutionary model, based on the generic Lotka-Volterra competitive framework, from which a stable, structured, diverse community emerges spontaneously. The modular structure of the competition matrix reflects the phylogeny of the community, in agreement with the hierarchial taxonomic classification. Closely related species tend to have stronger niche overlap and weaker fitness differences, as opposed to pairs of species from different modules. The competitive-relatedness hypothesis and the idea of emergent neutrality are discussed in the context of this evolutionary model. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Community structure informs species geographic distributions

    KAUST Repository

    Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia

    2018-05-23

    Understanding what determines species\\' geographic distributions is crucial for assessing global change threats to biodiversity. Measuring limits on distributions is usually, and necessarily, done with data at large geographic extents and coarse spatial resolution. However, survival of individuals is determined by processes that happen at small spatial scales. The relative abundance of coexisting species (i.e. \\'community structure\\') reflects assembly processes occurring at small scales, and are often available for relatively extensive areas, so could be useful for explaining species distributions. We demonstrate that Bayesian Network Inference (BNI) can overcome several challenges to including community structure into studies of species distributions, despite having been little used to date. We hypothesized that the relative abundance of coexisting species can improve predictions of species distributions. In 1570 assemblages of 68 Mediterranean woody plant species we used BNI to incorporate community structure into Species Distribution Models (SDMs), alongside environmental information. Information on species associations improved SDM predictions of community structure and species distributions moderately, though for some habitat specialists the deviance explained increased by up to 15%. We demonstrate that most species associations (95%) were positive and occurred between species with ecologically similar traits. This suggests that SDM improvement could be because species co-occurrences are a proxy for local ecological processes. Our study shows that Bayesian Networks, when interpreted carefully, can be used to include local conditions into measurements of species\\' large-scale distributions, and this information can improve the predictions of species distributions.

  14. Information transfer in community structured multiplex networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert eSolé Ribalta

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of complex networks that account for different types of interactions has become a subject of interest in the last few years, specially because its representational power in the description of users interactions in diverse online social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.. The mathematical description of these interacting networks has been coined under the name of multilayer networks, where each layer accounts for a type of interaction. It has been shown that diffusive processes on top of these networks present a phenomenology that cannot be explained by the naive superposition of single layer diffusive phenomena but require the whole structure of interconnected layers. Nevertheless, the description of diffusive phenomena on multilayer networks has obviated the fact that social networks have strong mesoscopic structure represented by different communities of individuals driven by common interests, or any other social aspect. In this work, we study the transfer of information in multilayer networks with community structure. The final goal is to understand and quantify, if the existence of well-defined community structure at the level of individual layers, together with the multilayer structure of the whole network, enhances or deteriorates the diffusion of packets of information.

  15. Information transfer in community structured multiplex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solé Ribalta, Albert; Granell, Clara; Gómez, Sergio; Arenas, Alex

    2015-08-01

    The study of complex networks that account for different types of interactions has become a subject of interest in the last few years, specially because its representational power in the description of users interactions in diverse online social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). The mathematical description of these interacting networks has been coined under the name of multilayer networks, where each layer accounts for a type of interaction. It has been shown that diffusive processes on top of these networks present a phenomenology that cannot be explained by the naive superposition of single layer diffusive phenomena but require the whole structure of interconnected layers. Nevertheless, the description of diffusive phenomena on multilayer networks has obviated the fact that social networks have strong mesoscopic structure represented by different communities of individuals driven by common interests, or any other social aspect. In this work, we study the transfer of information in multilayer networks with community structure. The final goal is to understand and quantify, if the existence of well-defined community structure at the level of individual layers, together with the multilayer structure of the whole network, enhances or deteriorates the diffusion of packets of information.

  16. Spatial Pattern and Scale Influence Invader Demographic Response to Simulated Precipitation Change in an Annual Grassland Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan J Skaer Thomason

    Full Text Available It is important to predict which invasive species will benefit from future changes in climate, and thereby identify those invaders that need particular attention and prioritization of management efforts. Because establishment, persistence, and spread determine invasion success, this prediction requires detailed demographic information. Explicit study of the impact of pattern on demographic response is particularly important for species that are naturally patchy, such as the invasive grass, Aegilops triuncialis. In the northern California Coast Range, where climate change may increase or decrease mean annual rainfall, we conducted a field experiment to understand the interaction of climate change and local-scale patterning on the demography of A. triuncialis. We manipulated precipitation (reduced, ambient, or augmented, seed density, and seeding pattern. Demographic and environmental data were collected for three years following initial seeding. Pattern and scale figure prominently in the demographic response of A. triuncialis to precipitation manipulation. Pattern interacts with precipitation and seeding density in its influence on per-plant seed output. Although per-plot seed production was highest when seeds were not aggregated, per-plant seed output was higher in aggregated patches. Results suggest aggregation of invasive A. triuncialis reduces the detrimental impact of interspecific competition in its invaded community, and that interspecific competition per se has a stronger impact than intraspecific competition.

  17. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  18. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifa Debouk

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland. The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short

  19. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Epidemic spreading on complex networks with community structures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stegehuis, C.; van der Hofstad, R.W.; van Leeuwaarden, J.S.H.

    2016-01-01

    Many real-world networks display a community structure. We study two random graph models that create a network with similar community structure as a given network. One model preserves the exact community structure of the original network, while the other model only preserves the set of communities

  1. How Do Landscape Structure, Management and Habitat Quality Drive the Colonization of Habitat Patches by the Dryad Butterfly (Lepidoptera: Satyrinae) in Fragmented Grassland?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalarus, Konrad; Nowicki, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Most studies dealing with species distribution patterns on fragmented landscapes focus on the characteristics of habitat patches that influence local occurrence and abundance, but they tend to neglect the question of what drives colonization of previously unoccupied patches. In a study of the dryad butterfly, we combined classical approaches derived from metapopulation theory and landscape ecology to investigate the factors driving colonization from a recent refugium. In three consecutive transect surveys, we recorded the presence and numbers of imagos in 27 patches of xerothermic grassland and 26 patches of wet meadow. Among the predictors affecting the occurrence and abundance of the dryad, we considered environmental variables reflecting (i) habitat patch quality (e.g., goldenrod cover, shrub density, vegetation height); (ii) factors associated with habitat spatial structure (patch size, patch isolation and fragmentation); and (iii) features of patch surroundings (100-m buffers around patches) that potentially pose barriers or provide corridors. Patch colonization by the dryad was strongly limited by the distance from the species refugium in the region; there was a slight positive effect of shrub density in this respect. Butterfly abundance increased in smaller and more fragmented habitat patches; it was negatively impacted by invasive goldenrod cover, and positively influenced by the density of watercourses in patch surroundings. Nectar plant availability was positively related to species abundance in xerothermic grassland, while in wet meadow the effect was the reverse. We conclude that dryad colonization of our study area is very recent, since the most important factor limiting colonization was distance from the refugium, while the habitat quality of target patches had less relevance. In order to preserve the species, conservation managers should focus on enhancing the quality of large patches and should also direct their efforts on smaller and more

  2. How Do Landscape Structure, Management and Habitat Quality Drive the Colonization of Habitat Patches by the Dryad Butterfly (Lepidoptera: Satyrinae in Fragmented Grassland?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konrad Kalarus

    Full Text Available Most studies dealing with species distribution patterns on fragmented landscapes focus on the characteristics of habitat patches that influence local occurrence and abundance, but they tend to neglect the question of what drives colonization of previously unoccupied patches. In a study of the dryad butterfly, we combined classical approaches derived from metapopulation theory and landscape ecology to investigate the factors driving colonization from a recent refugium. In three consecutive transect surveys, we recorded the presence and numbers of imagos in 27 patches of xerothermic grassland and 26 patches of wet meadow. Among the predictors affecting the occurrence and abundance of the dryad, we considered environmental variables reflecting (i habitat patch quality (e.g., goldenrod cover, shrub density, vegetation height; (ii factors associated with habitat spatial structure (patch size, patch isolation and fragmentation; and (iii features of patch surroundings (100-m buffers around patches that potentially pose barriers or provide corridors. Patch colonization by the dryad was strongly limited by the distance from the species refugium in the region; there was a slight positive effect of shrub density in this respect. Butterfly abundance increased in smaller and more fragmented habitat patches; it was negatively impacted by invasive goldenrod cover, and positively influenced by the density of watercourses in patch surroundings. Nectar plant availability was positively related to species abundance in xerothermic grassland, while in wet meadow the effect was the reverse. We conclude that dryad colonization of our study area is very recent, since the most important factor limiting colonization was distance from the refugium, while the habitat quality of target patches had less relevance. In order to preserve the species, conservation managers should focus on enhancing the quality of large patches and should also direct their efforts on smaller and

  3. Assessing social vulnerability to climate change in human communities near public forests and grasslands: a framework for resource managers and planners

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Paige Fischer; Travis Paveglio; Matthew Carroll; Daniel Murphy; Hannah Brenkert-Smith

    2013-01-01

    Public land management agencies have incorporated the concept of vulnerability into protocols for assessing and planning for climate change impacts on public forests and grasslands. However, resource managers and planners have little guidance for how to address the social aspects of vulnerability in these assessments and plans. Failure to assess social vulnerability to...

  4. Spatial Patterns of Species Diversity and Phylogenetic Structure of Plant Communities in the Tianshan Mountains, Arid Central Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Xiang Zhang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Tianshan Mountains, located in arid Central Asia, have a humid climate and are biodiversity hotspots. Here, we aimed to clarify whether the pattern of species diversity and the phylogenetic structure of plant communities is affected by environmental variables and glacial refugia. In this study, plant community assemblies of 17 research sites with a total of 35 sample plots were investigated at the grassland/woodland boundaries on the Tianshan Mountains. Community phylogeny of these plant communities was constructed based on two plant DNA barcode regions. The indices of phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic community structure were calculated for these sample plots. We first estimated the correlation coefficients between species richness (SR and environmental variables as well as the presence of glacial refugia. We then mapped the significant values of indices of community phylogeny (PD, RPD, NRI, and NTI to investigate the correlation between community phylogeny and environmental structure or macrozones in the study area. The results showed that a significantly higher value of SR was obtained for the refugial groups than for the colonizing groups (P < 0.05; presence of refugia and environmental variables were highly correlated to the pattern of variation in SR. Indices of community phylogeny were not significantly different between refugial and colonizing regions. Comparison with the humid western part showed that plant communities in the arid eastern part of the Tianshan Mountains tended to display more significant phylogenetic overdispersion. The variation tendency of the PhyloSor index showed that the increase in macro-geographical and environmental distance did not influence obvious phylogenetic dissimilarities between different sample plots. In conclusion, glacial refugia and environmental factors profoundly influenced the pattern of SR, but community phylogenetic structure was not affected by glacial refugia among different plant

  5. China's Grassland Contract Policy and its Impacts on Herder Ability to Benefit in Inner Mongolia: Tragic Feedbacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjun Li

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Northern China's grasslands have been losing productivity since the 1980s, when a policy known as the "grassland contracting policy" allocated commonly used grazing lands to individual herder households. Examined here is the connection between implementation of the grassland contracting policy and the loss of grassland production using the analytic concepts of ability to benefit and community failure. A gacha (village of the Sunite Left Banner of the Xilingol League in Inner Mongolia is used as a case study to compare herder ability to benefit from rangeland resources during adverse climate events before and after policy implementation. Social-ecological resilience, access to social and ecological assets, and institutions supporting crisis relief have been affected. We find that the privatization of grassland use rights has weakened pastoralist ability to benefit from rangelands by weakening or dismantling what are identified as the rights-, structure-, and relations-based abilities that enabled pastoralists to cope with nonequilibrium conditions. This has led to a community failure that engenders feedbacks of increased impoverishment and environmental deterioration. The inflexible boundaries of quasi-private household property rights have caused the pastoral system to lose capacity to respond to drought and weather events through the flexibility of "otor" and other forms of herd movement, increasing vulnerability to environmental change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Long-term dynamics of the hemiparasite Rhinanthus angustifolius and its relationship with vegetation structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ameloot, Els; Verheyen, Kris; Bakker, Jan P.; De Vries, Yzaak; Hermy, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Questions: 1. How are the long-term dynamics of the root hemiparasite Rhinanthus angustifolius related to vegetation structure, grassland management and climate? 2. Does R. angustifolius have a long-term impact on standing crop and community composition? Location: A formerly fertilized grassland,

  8. Soil properties impacting denitrifier community size, structure, and activity in New Zealand dairy-grazed pasture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, Neha; Saggar, Surinder; Giltrap, Donna; Tillman, Russ; Deslippe, Julie

    2017-09-01

    Denitrification is an anaerobic respiration process that is the primary contributor of the nitrous oxide (N2O) produced from grassland soils. Our objective was to gain insight into the relationships between denitrifier community size, structure, and activity for a range of pasture soils. We collected 10 dairy pasture soils with contrasting soil textures, drainage classes, management strategies (effluent irrigation or non-irrigation), and geographic locations in New Zealand, and measured their physicochemical characteristics. We measured denitrifier abundance by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and assessed denitrifier diversity and community structure by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the nitrite reductase (nirS, nirK) and N2O reductase (nosZ) genes. We quantified denitrifier enzyme activity (DEA) using an acetylene inhibition technique. We investigated whether varied soil conditions lead to different denitrifier communities in soils, and if so, whether they are associated with different denitrification activities and are likely to generate different N2O emissions. Differences in the physicochemical characteristics of the soils were driven mainly by soil mineralogy and the management practices of the farms. We found that nirS and nirK communities were strongly structured along gradients of soil water and phosphorus (P) contents. By contrast, the size and structure of the nosZ community was unrelated to any of the measured soil characteristics. In soils with high water content, the richnesses and abundances of nirS, nirK, and nosZ genes were all significantly positively correlated with DEA. Our data suggest that management strategies to limit N2O emissions through denitrification are likely to be most important for dairy farms on fertile or allophanic soils during wetter periods. Finally, our data suggest that new techniques that would selectively target nirS denitrifiers may be the most effective for limiting N2O

  9. [Community structure of soil meso- and micro-fauna in different habitats of urbanized region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhong; Zhang, Jia-en; Li, Qing-fang

    2009-12-01

    Investigations were made in May, June, and November 2007 and January 2008 to study the structural characteristics and their seasonal variations of soil meso- and micro-fauna communities in six habitats of three land use types (forest land, constructed grassland and farmland) in Tianhe District of Guangzhou City. The horizontal spatial distribution of soil fauna differed with habitat. During the investigation periods, the Botanical Garden of South China Agricultural University had the highest individual number (1286) of soil mesa- and micro-fauna, while the farmland, especially in the Fenghuang Street area, had the lowest number of individuals and groups. The seasonal variation of the individual number was in order of autumn (1815) > spring (1623) > winter (1365) > summer (1276). Hierarchical clustering and detrended correspondence analysis also showed that the community composition of soil meso- and micro-fauna in different habitats exhibited distinct seasonal variation. In the same seasons, the community structure and composition of soil meso- and micro-fauna in different habitats were correlated to the degrees of human interferences and the properties of soil environment.

  10. Research on Community Structure in Bus Transport Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Xuhua; Wang Bo; Sun Youxian

    2009-01-01

    We abstract the bus transport networks (BTNs) to two kinds of complex networks with space L and space P methods respectively. Using improved community detecting algorithm (PKM agglomerative algorithm), we analyze the community property of two kinds of BTNs graphs. The results show that the BTNs graph described with space L method have obvious community property, but the other kind of BTNs graph described with space P method have not. The reason is that the BTNs graph described with space P method have the intense overlapping community property and general community division algorithms can not identify this kind of community structure. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel community structure called N-depth community and present a corresponding community detecting algorithm, which can detect overlapping community. Applying the novel community structure and detecting algorithm to a BTN evolution model described with space P, whose network property agrees well with real BTNs', we get obvious community property. (general)

  11. Convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrestel, Elisabeth J; Donoghue, Michael J; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-08-01

    The importance of fire in the creation and maintenance of mesic grassland communities is well recognized. Improved understanding of how grasses--the dominant clade in these important ecosystems--will respond to alterations in fire regimes is needed in the face of anthropogenically driven climate and land-use change. Here, we examined how grass communities shift in response to experimentally manipulated fire regimes at multiple levels of community diversity--taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional--in C4-dominanted mesic savanna grassland sites with similar structure and physiognomy, yet disparate biogeographic histories. We found that the grass communities were similar in their phylogenetic response and aspects of their functional response to high fire frequency. Both sites exhibited phylogenetic clustering of highly abundant species in annually burned plots, driven by species of the Andropogoneae, and a narrow range of functional strategies associated with rapid post-fire regeneration in a high-light, nitrogen-limited environment. By examining multiple facets of diversity in a comparative context, we identified convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in two mesic savanna grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of a common filtering process associated with fire that is consistent across grasslands of disparate biogeographic histories and taxonomic representation. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  12. Community-oriented support and research structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Attig, Norbert; Eickermann, Thomas; Gibbon, Paul; Lippert, Thomas, E-mail: th.lippert@fz-juelich.d [Institute for Advanced Simulation, Juelich Supercomputing Centre, Forschungszentrum Juelich, 52425 Juelich (Germany)

    2009-07-01

    Coordinated by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) Europe is restructuring and strengthening its high-performance computing infrastructure with the aim to create a model HPC ecosystem. At the tip of the pyramid, up to six centres are envisaged that will operate systems of the highest performance class. The HPC Research Infrastructure (HPC-RI) will comprise European, national and regional centres. Science communities are integral partners, strong links will include Grid and Cloud users. The HPC-RI strives at providing scientists all over Europe, on the one hand, with unlimited and independent access to state-of-the-art computer resources in all performance classes and, on the other hand, with a world-class pan-European competence and support network. While the hardware-oriented buildup of the infrastructure is making progress, high-quality user support and software development in the upcoming era of unprecedented parallelism and exascale on the horizon have become the imminent challenges. This has been clearly recognized by the European Commission, who will issue calls for proposals to fund petascale software development in summer 2009. Although traditional support structures are well established in Europe's major supercomputing centres, it is questionable if these structures are able to meet the challenges of the future: in general, support structures are based on cross-disciplinary computer science and mathematics teams; disciplinary computational science support usually is given in an ad-hoc, project-oriented manner. In this paper, we describe our approach to establish a suitable support structure-Simulation Laboratories (SL). SLs are currently being established at the Juelich Supercomputing Centre of the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) and at the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) in Germany. While SLs are community-oriented, i.e. each SL focusses on a specific community, they are

  13. Community-oriented support and research structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Attig, Norbert; Eickermann, Thomas; Gibbon, Paul; Lippert, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Coordinated by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) Europe is restructuring and strengthening its high-performance computing infrastructure with the aim to create a model HPC ecosystem. At the tip of the pyramid, up to six centres are envisaged that will operate systems of the highest performance class. The HPC Research Infrastructure (HPC-RI) will comprise European, national and regional centres. Science communities are integral partners, strong links will include Grid and Cloud users. The HPC-RI strives at providing scientists all over Europe, on the one hand, with unlimited and independent access to state-of-the-art computer resources in all performance classes and, on the other hand, with a world-class pan-European competence and support network. While the hardware-oriented buildup of the infrastructure is making progress, high-quality user support and software development in the upcoming era of unprecedented parallelism and exascale on the horizon have become the imminent challenges. This has been clearly recognized by the European Commission, who will issue calls for proposals to fund petascale software development in summer 2009. Although traditional support structures are well established in Europe's major supercomputing centres, it is questionable if these structures are able to meet the challenges of the future: in general, support structures are based on cross-disciplinary computer science and mathematics teams; disciplinary computational science support usually is given in an ad-hoc, project-oriented manner. In this paper, we describe our approach to establish a suitable support structure-Simulation Laboratories (SL). SLs are currently being established at the Juelich Supercomputing Centre of the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) and at the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) in Germany. While SLs are community-oriented, i.e. each SL focusses on a specific community, they are structured

  14. Role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in Enriching the Depauperate Bird Community in “Cogon” Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel Dominated Grassland in Swidden Vegetation Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro A. Bernardo Jr.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to understand the role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in enhancing the avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel dominated grassland patches and to realize the influence of adjacent vegetations on the assemblage of birds that feed on the fruit of this tree. An avifaunal survey was conducted on “Cogon” dominated grassland patches adjacent to selected vegetations such as primary forest, secondary forest and upland agricultural area. A total of 250 birds belonging to 19 species representing ten families were found feeding on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla. The site adjacent to secondary forest has the highest species richness, abundance and diversity index values. This accentuates the combined influence of the open and forest dwelling bird species thriving in the secondary forest. The sites adjacent to the primary forest and to the agricultural area have the same species richness but differ in species composition as reflected by the low similarity index. More forest dwelling bird species were recorded near the forest while more open dwelling bird species were recorded near the agricultural area. This highlights the spillover effect of the adjacent vegetations on the feeding bird assemblage. The presence of several endemic and conservation priority bird species that feed on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla unfolds its important role in avifaunal conservation. Finally, the wide collection of fruit eating bird species attracted to it emphasized its importance in improving the overall avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica dominated grassland patches within the swidden vegetation matrix.

  15. Immunization of networks with community structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masuda, Naoki

    2009-01-01

    In this study, an efficient method to immunize modular networks (i.e. networks with community structure) is proposed. The immunization of networks aims at fragmenting networks into small parts with a small number of removed nodes. Its applications include prevention of epidemic spreading, protection against intentional attacks on networks, and conservation of ecosystems. Although preferential immunization of hubs is efficient, good immunization strategies for modular networks have not been established. On the basis of an immunization strategy based on eigenvector centrality, we develop an analytical framework for immunizing modular networks. To this end, we quantify the contribution of each node to the connectivity in a coarse-grained network among modules. We verify the effectiveness of the proposed method by applying it to model and real networks with modular structure.

  16. [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.

  17. Fitossociologia do estrato herbáceo-subarbustivo em campo limpo úmido no Brasil Central Phytosociology of the herb-subshrub layer of a moist grassland community in Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cássia Beatriz Rodrigues Munhoz

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available O campo limpo úmido é uma das fisionomias de Cerrado onde o lençol freático é superficial durante o ano todo. Em geral ocorrem bordeando as matas de galeria, sendo um local de ligação entre estas e as fitofisionomias bem drenadas de Cerrado. O objetivo deste estudo foi analisar a estrutura fitossociológica do estrato herbáceo-subarbustivo de uma comunidade de campo limpo úmido na Fazenda Água Limpa, Brasília, e avaliar possíveis alterações na composição e cobertura de espécies, em diferentes ocasiões no período de 13 meses, após incêndio. Uma área de 400×400 m foi subdividida em quatro porções de 200×200 m onde foram sorteadas as linhas de amostragem. No levantamento fitossociológico, adotou-se o método de interseção na linha, onde cada linha foi dividida em seções de 1 m. Foram amostradas 84 espécies incluídas em 54 gêneros e 24 famílias. A similaridade de Sørensen entre as quatro transeções amostradas foi baixa, entre 0,26 e 0,55%. As linhas sobre solos com lençol freático superficial o ano todo apresentaram composição de espécies diferenciada das linhas sobre solos com flutuação sazonal do lençol freático. A similaridade entre os cinco períodos de inventário foi elevada, pois as espécies mais importantes mostraram pouca variação nas suas taxas de cobertura ao longo do ano.The moist grassland community vegetation of the Cerrado is one of the physiognomies where the water table is superficial throughout the year. It generally occurs bordering the gallery forests, located between these forests and the well-drained Cerrado physiognomies. The aim of this study was to investigate the phytosociological structure of the herb-subshrub layer in a moist grassland at Água Limpa farm, Brasília, DF, and assess possible changes in species composition and cover, at different times throughout a 13-month period, after a fire. An area of 400×400 m was subdivided into four sections of 200×200 m and the

  18. Detecting highly overlapping community structure by greedy clique expansion

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Conrad; Reid, Fergal; McDaid, Aaron; Hurley, Neil

    2010-01-01

    In complex networks it is common for each node to belong to several communities, implying a highly overlapping community structure. Recent advances in benchmarking indicate that existing community assignment algorithms that are capable of detecting overlapping communities perform well only when the extent of community overlap is kept to modest levels. To overcome this limitation, we introduce a new community assignment algorithm called Greedy Clique Expansion (GCE). The algorithm identifies d...

  19. Bipartite Community Structure of eQTLs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platig, John; Castaldi, Peter J; DeMeo, Dawn; Quackenbush, John

    2016-09-01

    Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) and expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analyses have identified genetic associations with a wide range of human phenotypes. However, many of these variants have weak effects and understanding their combined effect remains a challenge. One hypothesis is that multiple SNPs interact in complex networks to influence functional processes that ultimately lead to complex phenotypes, including disease states. Here we present CONDOR, a method that represents both cis- and trans-acting SNPs and the genes with which they are associated as a bipartite graph and then uses the modular structure of that graph to place SNPs into a functional context. In applying CONDOR to eQTLs in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we found the global network "hub" SNPs were devoid of disease associations through GWAS. However, the network was organized into 52 communities of SNPs and genes, many of which were enriched for genes in specific functional classes. We identified local hubs within each community ("core SNPs") and these were enriched for GWAS SNPs for COPD and many other diseases. These results speak to our intuition: rather than single SNPs influencing single genes, we see groups of SNPs associated with the expression of families of functionally related genes and that disease SNPs are associated with the perturbation of those functions. These methods are not limited in their application to COPD and can be used in the analysis of a wide variety of disease processes and other phenotypic traits.

  20. Community Structure in Online Collegiate Social Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traud, Amanda; Kelsic, Eric; Mucha, Peter; Porter, Mason

    2009-03-01

    Online social networking sites have become increasingly popular with college students. The networks we studied are defined through ``friendships'' indicated by Facebook users from UNC, Oklahoma, Caltech, Georgetown, and Princeton. We apply the tools of network science to study the Facebook networks from these five different universities at a single point in time. We investigate each single-institution network's community structure, which we obtain through partitioning the graph using an eigenvector method. We use both graphical and quantitative tools, including pair-counting methods, which we interpret through statistical analysis and permutation tests to measure the correlations between the network communities and a set of characteristics given by each user (residence, class year, major, and high school). We also analyze the single gender subsets of these networks, and the impact of missing demographical data. Our study allows us to compare the online social networks for the five schools as well as infer differences in offline social interactions. At the schools studied, we were able to define which characteristics of the Facebook users correlate best with friendships.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Cryptogamic community structure as a bioindicator of soil condition along a pollution gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rola, Kaja; Osyczka, Piotr

    2014-09-01

    This study aims to determine changes in the structure of cryptogamic vegetation of poor psammophilous grassland along a pollution gradient near a zinc smelter to evaluate the potential of species assemblages as bioindicators of soil condition. Lichens and bryophytes were examined in study plots along six transects in four distance zones, and the physicochemical properties of corresponding soil samples were analysed. Four different responses of species to substrate contamination were identified, with a distinct group of species resistant to and favoured by metal contamination. Although species richness decreases as one approaches the smelter, the gradual replacement of certain sensitive species by resistant ones was observed along the pollution gradient. The results enabled us to develop a useful tool to diagnose strongly polluted sites. Two different cryptogamic assemblages of well-recognised key species characteristic for strongly polluted and lightly polluted sites were distinguished. We conclude that cryptogamic community structure clearly corresponds to the degree of soil contamination, thus demonstrating high bioindicative value. The study confirmed the high relevance of the community approach in metal pollution biomonitoring.

  3. Different effects of elevation, habitat fragmentation and grazing management on the functional, phylogenetic and taxonomic structure of mountain grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dainese, M.; Lepš, Jan; de Bello, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 1 (2015), s. 44-53 ISSN 1433-8319 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Grant - others: University of Padova(IT) GRIC12FBMS Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity components * community weighted mean (CWM) * environmental filtering Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 3.578, year: 2015 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1433831914000705

  4. 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

  5. El efecto del pastoreo sobre la diversidad florística y estructural en pastizales de montaña del centro de Argentina Grazing effects on the floristic and structural diversity in mountain grasslands from central Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARIANA NAI-BREGAGLIO

    2002-09-01

    vertical como horizontal, afectando probablemente a otros niveles tróficos del ecosistema. La alternancia en el espacio de los dos tipos de parches estudiados permitiría obtener un mejor compromiso entre pastoreo y conservación de la diversidad florística y estructuralThe effects of grazing and 10 years of cattle exclusion on floristic composition and diversity and on structural diversity were studied in natural mountain grasslands at Sierras de Córdoba (2,200 m of elevation, Argentine. We consider structural diversity as the arrangement complexity of biomass in space, both horizontal and vertical. The abundance of all plant species and their vertical and horizontal arrangement were recorded by means of 50 randomly assorted pins, each of them subdivided into 20 cm height intervals. Sampling was performed inside five replicates, each of them consisted of two adjacent 20 x 20 m plots separated by a fence, one grazed and another excluded from grazing. Floristic and vertical structure diversity were estimated by means of Shannon index. The variance in floristic and vertical structure diversity indexes were compared among treatments to study possible variations in the horizontal distribution of both floristic diversity and vertical structure, respectively. Species richness and floristic diversity were higher in grazed grasslands. Over 85 % of total plant species occurred at grazed grasslands, in contrast to 65 % in sites excluded from grazing. Only three exotic plant species were found, one of them exclusive to grazed sites. Cattle grazing produced a significant decrease in vertical structure diversity and in the variance in horizontal space of floristic diversity, but did not produce significant changes in the variance in horizontal space of vertical structure diversity. Although cattle grazing promotes lawns of high floristic diversity, it produces an over simplification of the community structure, both vertical and horizontal, probably affecting other trophic levels of

  6. Phase synchronization on small-world networks with community structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao-Hua, Wang; Li-Cheng, Jiao; Jian-She, Wu

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a simple model that can generate small-world network with community structure. The network is introduced as a tunable community organization with parameter r, which is directly measured by the ratio of inter- to intra-community connectivity, and a smaller r corresponds to a stronger community structure. The structure properties, including the degree distribution, clustering, the communication efficiency and modularity are also analysed for the network. In addition, by using the Kuramoto model, we investigated the phase synchronization on this network, and found that increasing the fuzziness of community structure will markedly enhance the network synchronizability; however, in an abnormal region (r ≤ 0.001), the network has even worse synchronizability than the case of isolated communities (r = 0). Furthermore, this network exhibits a remarkable synchronization behaviour in topological scales: the oscillators of high densely interconnected communities synchronize more easily, and more rapidly than the whole network. (general)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny J Gustafson

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

  8. Community structure and diversity of macrobenthic invertebrates in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Macrobenthic invertebrates' community structure and diversity in relation to ... Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that there were significant difference ... invertebrates' species distribution and some measured environmental variables.

  9. Identifying mechanisms that structure ecological communities by snapping model parameters to empirically observed tradeoffs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas Clark, Adam; Lehman, Clarence; Tilman, David

    2018-04-01

    Theory predicts that interspecific tradeoffs are primary determinants of coexistence and community composition. Using information from empirically observed tradeoffs to augment the parametrisation of mechanism-based models should therefore improve model predictions, provided that tradeoffs and mechanisms are chosen correctly. We developed and tested such a model for 35 grassland plant species using monoculture measurements of three species characteristics related to nitrogen uptake and retention, which previous experiments indicate as important at our site. Matching classical theoretical expectations, these characteristics defined a distinct tradeoff surface, and models parameterised with these characteristics closely matched observations from experimental multi-species mixtures. Importantly, predictions improved significantly when we incorporated information from tradeoffs by 'snapping' characteristics to the nearest location on the tradeoff surface, suggesting that the tradeoffs and mechanisms we identify are important determinants of local community structure. This 'snapping' method could therefore constitute a broadly applicable test for identifying influential tradeoffs and mechanisms. © 2018 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Environmental filtering is the main assembly rule of ground beetles in the forest and its edge but not in the adjacent grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magura, Tibor; Lövei, Gábor L

    2017-07-04

    In a fragmented landscape, transitional zones between neighboring habitats are common, and our understanding of community organizational forces across such habitats is important. Edge studies are numerous, but the majority of them utilize information on species richness and abundance. Abundance and taxonomic diversity, however, provide little information on the functioning and phylogeny of the co-existing species. Combining the evaluation of their functional and phylogenetic relationships, we aimed to assess whether ground beetle assemblages are deterministically or stochastically structured along grassland-forest gradients. Our results showed different community assembly rules on opposite sides of the forest edge. In the grassland, co-occurring species were functionally and phylogenetically not different from the random null model, indicating a random assembly process. Contrary to this, at the forest edge and the interior, co-occurring species showed functional and phylogenetic clustering, thus environmental filtering was the likely process structuring carabid assemblages. Community assembly in the grassland was considerably affected by asymmetrical species flows (spillover) across the forest edge: more forest species penetrated into the grassland than open-habitat and generalist species entered into the forest. This asymmetrical species flow underlines the importance of the filter function of forest edges. As unfavorable, human-induced changes to the structure, composition and characteristics of forest edges may alter their filter function, edges have to be specifically considered during conservation management. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  11. Detecting the overlapping and hierarchical community structure in complex networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lancichinetti, Andrea; Fortunato, Santo; Kertesz, Janos

    2009-01-01

    Many networks in nature, society and technology are characterized by a mesoscopic level of organization, with groups of nodes forming tightly connected units, called communities or modules, that are only weakly linked to each other. Uncovering this community structure is one of the most important problems in the field of complex networks. Networks often show a hierarchical organization, with communities embedded within other communities; moreover, nodes can be shared between different communities. Here, we present the first algorithm that finds both overlapping communities and the hierarchical structure. The method is based on the local optimization of a fitness function. Community structure is revealed by peaks in the fitness histogram. The resolution can be tuned by a parameter enabling different hierarchical levels of organization to be investigated. Tests on real and artificial networks give excellent results.

  12. Enhancing community detection by using local structural information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiang, Ju; Bao, Mei-Hua; Tang, Liang; Li, Jian-Ming; Hu, Ke; Chen, Benyan; Hu, Jing-Bo; Zhang, Yan; Tang, Yan-Ni; Gao, Yuan-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Many real-world networks, such as gene networks, protein–protein interaction networks and metabolic networks, exhibit community structures, meaning the existence of groups of densely connected vertices in the networks. Many local similarity measures in the networks are closely related to the concept of the community structures, and may have a positive effect on community detection in the networks. Here, various local similarity measures are used to extract local structural information, which is then applied to community detection in the networks by using the edge-reweighting strategy. The effect of the local similarity measures on community detection is carefully investigated and compared in various networks. The experimental results show that the local similarity measures are crucial for the improvement of community detection methods, while the positive effect of the local similarity measures is closely related to the networks under study and applied community detection methods. (paper: interdisciplinary statistical mechanics)

  13. A new hierarchical method to find community structure in networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saoud, Bilal; Moussaoui, Abdelouahab

    2018-04-01

    Community structure is very important to understand a network which represents a context. Many community detection methods have been proposed like hierarchical methods. In our study, we propose a new hierarchical method for community detection in networks based on genetic algorithm. In this method we use genetic algorithm to split a network into two networks which maximize the modularity. Each new network represents a cluster (community). Then we repeat the splitting process until we get one node at each cluster. We use the modularity function to measure the strength of the community structure found by our method, which gives us an objective metric for choosing the number of communities into which a network should be divided. We demonstrate that our method are highly effective at discovering community structure in both computer-generated and real-world network data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  16. Plant community structure regulates responses of prairie soil respiration to decadal experimental warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xia; Shi, Zheng; Li, Dejun; Zhou, Xuhui; Sherry, Rebecca A; Luo, Yiqi

    2015-10-01

    Soil respiration is recognized to be influenced by temperature, moisture, and ecosystem production. However, little is known about how plant community structure regulates responses of soil respiration to climate change. Here, we used a 13-year field warming experiment to explore the mechanisms underlying plant community regulation on feedbacks of soil respiration to climate change in a tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. Infrared heaters were used to elevate temperature about 2 °C since November 1999. Annual clipping was used to mimic hay harvest. Our results showed that experimental warming significantly increased soil respiration approximately from 10% in the first 7 years (2000-2006) to 30% in the next 6 years (2007-2012). The two-stage warming stimulation of soil respiration was closely related to warming-induced increases in ecosystem production over the years. Moreover, we found that across the 13 years, warming-induced increases in soil respiration were positively affected by the proportion of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) contributed by C3 forbs. Functional composition of the plant community regulated warming-induced increases in soil respiration through the quantity and quality of organic matter inputs to soil and the amount of photosynthetic carbon (C) allocated belowground. Clipping, the interaction of clipping with warming, and warming-induced changes in soil temperature and moisture all had little effect on soil respiration over the years (all P > 0.05). Our results suggest that climate warming may drive an increase in soil respiration through altering composition of plant communities in grassland ecosystems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. The structure and evolution of plankton communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longhurst, Alan R.

    New understanding of the circulation of ancient oceans is not yet matched by progress in our understanding of their pelagic ecology, though it was the planktonic ecosystems that generated our offshore oil and gas reserves. Can we assume that present-day models of ecosystem function are also valid for ancient seas? This question is addressed by a study of over 4000 plankton samples to derive a comprehensive, global description of zooplankton community structure in modern oceans: this shows that copepods form only 50% of the biomass of all plankton, ranging from 70% in polar to 35% in tropical seas. Comparable figures are derived from 14 other taxonomic categories of zooplankton. For trophic groupings, the data indicate globally: geletinous predators - 14%; gelatinous herbivores - 4%; raptorial predators - 33%; macrofiltering herbivores - 20%; macrofiltering omnivores - 25%; and detritivores - 3%. A simple, idealized model for the modern pelagic ecosystem is derived from these percentages which indicates that metazooplankton are not the most important consumers of pico- and nano-plankton production which itself probably constitutes 90% of primary production in warm oceans. This model is then compared with candidate life-forms available in Palaeozoic and Mesozoic oceans to determine to what extent it is also valid for ancient ecosystems: it is concluded that it is probably unnecessary to postulate models fundamentally differing from it in order to accommodate the life-forms, both protozoic and metazoic, known to have populated ancient seas. Remarkably few life-forms have existed which cannot be paralleled in the modern ocean, which contains remarkably few life-forms which cannot be paralleled in the Palaeozoic ocean. As a first assumption, then, it is reasonable to assume that energy pathways were similar in ancient oceans to those we study today.

  18. Seasonality and structure of the arthropod community in a forested ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The structure of an arthropod community in the forest floor vegetation was studied in a low altitude (about 700 m a.s.l.) forest valley in the Uluguru Mountains near Morogoro, Tanzania, by monthly sweep net sampling during one year (December 1996-November 1997). The community structure of arthropods changed ...

  19. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  20. Community Structural Instability, Anomie, Imitation and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorlindsson, Thorolfur; Bernburg, Jon Gunnar

    2009-01-01

    The current study examines the contextual effects of community structural characteristics, as well as the mediating role of key social mechanisms, on youth suicidal behavior in Iceland. We argue that the contextual influence of community structural instability on youth suicidal behavior should be mediated by weak attachment to social norms and…

  1. Similarity between community structures of different online social networks and its impact on underlying community detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, W.; Yeung, K. H.

    2015-03-01

    As social networking services are popular, many people may register in more than one online social network. In this paper we study a set of users who have accounts of three online social networks: namely Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. Community structure of this set of users may be reflected in these three online social networks. Therefore, high correlation between these reflections and the underlying community structure may be observed. In this work, community structures are detected in all three online social networks. Also, we investigate the similarity level of community structures across different networks. It is found that they show strong correlation with each other. The similarity between different networks may be helpful to find a community structure close to the underlying one. To verify this, we propose a method to increase the weights of some connections in networks. With this method, new networks are generated to assist community detection. By doing this, value of modularity can be improved and the new community structure match network's natural structure better. In this paper we also show that the detected community structures of online social networks are correlated with users' locations which are identified on Foursquare. This information may also be useful for underlying community detection.

  2. 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.

  3. Parameterization Improvements and Functional and Structural Advances in Version 4 of the Community Land Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew G. Slater

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The Community Land Model is the land component of the Community Climate System Model. Here, we describe a broad set of model improvements and additions that have been provided through the CLM development community to create CLM4. The model is extended with a carbon-nitrogen (CN biogeochemical model that is prognostic with respect to vegetation, litter, and soil carbon and nitrogen states and vegetation phenology. An urban canyon model is added and a transient land cover and land use change (LCLUC capability, including wood harvest, is introduced, enabling study of historic and future LCLUC on energy, water, momentum, carbon, and nitrogen fluxes. The hydrology scheme is modified with a revised numerical solution of the Richards equation and a revised ground evaporation parameterization that accounts for litter and within-canopy stability. The new snow model incorporates the SNow and Ice Aerosol Radiation model (SNICAR - which includes aerosol deposition, grain-size dependent snow aging, and vertically-resolved snowpack heating –– as well as new snow cover and snow burial fraction parameterizations. The thermal and hydrologic properties of organic soil are accounted for and the ground column is extended to ~50-m depth. Several other minor modifications to the land surface types dataset, grass and crop optical properties, atmospheric forcing height, roughness length and displacement height, and the disposition of snow-capped runoff are also incorporated.Taken together, these augmentations to CLM result in improved soil moisture dynamics, drier soils, and stronger soil moisture variability. The new model also exhibits higher snow cover, cooler soil temperatures in organic-rich soils, greater global river discharge, and lower albedos over forests and grasslands, all of which are improvements compared to CLM3.5. When CLM4 is run with CN, the mean biogeophysical simulation is slightly degraded because the vegetation structure is prognostic rather

  4. Response of predominant soil bacteria to grassland succession as monitored by ribosomal RNA analyses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Felske, A.

    1999-01-01

    The research described in this thesis was aimed to provide insight into the effects of grassland succession on the composition of the soil bacteria community in the Drentse A agricultural research area. The Drentse A meadows represent grassland succession at different stages. Since 30 years

  5. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  6. Land-use and land-management change: relationships with earthworm and fungi communities and soil structural properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spurgeon, David J; Keith, Aidan M; Schmidt, Olaf; Lammertsma, Dennis R; Faber, Jack H

    2013-12-01

    Change in land use and management can impact massively on soil ecosystems. Ecosystem engineers and other functional biodiversity in soils can be influenced directly by such change and this in turn can affect key soil functions. Here, we employ meta-analysis to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of changes in land use and land management across a range of successional/extensification transitions (conventional arable → no or reduced tillage → grassland → wooded land) on community metrics for two functionally important soil taxa, earthworms and fungi. An analysis of the relationships between community change and soil structural properties was also included. Meta-analysis highlighted a consistent trend of increased earthworm and fungal community abundances and complexity following transitions to lower intensity and later successional land uses. The greatest changes were seen for early stage transitions, such as introduction of reduced tillage regimes and conversion to grassland from arable land. Not all changes, however, result in positive effects on the assessed community metrics. For example, whether woodland conversion positively or negatively affects community size and complexity depends on woodland type and, potentially, the changes in soil properties, such as pH, that may occur during conversion. Alterations in soil communities tended to facilitate subsequent changes in soil structure and hydrology. For example, increasing earthworm abundances and functional group composition were shown to be positively correlated with water infiltration rate (dependent on tillage regime and habitat characteristics); while positive changes in fungal biomass measures were positively associated with soil microaggregate stability. These findings raise the potential to manage landscapes to increase ecosystem service provision from soil biota in relation to regulation of soil structure and water flow.

  7. Triclosan alterations of estuarine phytoplankton community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinckney, James L; Thompson, Laura; Hylton, Sarah

    2017-06-15

    Antimicrobial additives in pharmaceutical and personal care products are a major environmental concern due to their potential ecological impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Triclosan (TCS) has been used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and preservative in various media. The sublethal and lethal effects of TCS on estuarine phytoplankton community composition were investigated using bioassays of natural phytoplankton communities to measure phytoplankton responses to different concentrations of TCS ranging from 1 to 200μgl -1 . The EC 50 (the concentration of an inhibitor where the growth is reduced by half) for phytoplankton groups (diatoms, chlorophytes, cryptophytes) examined in this ranged from 10.7 to 113.8μg TCS l -1 . Exposures resulted in major shifts in phytoplankton community composition at concentrations as low as 1.0μg TCS l -1 . This study demonstrates estuarine ecosystem sensitivity to TCS exposure and highlights potential alterations in phytoplankton community composition at what are typically environmental concentrations of TCS in urbanized estuaries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of drought on avian community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Albright; Anna M. Pidgeon; Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Murray K. Clayton; Curtis H. Flather; Patrick D. Culbert; Brian D. Wardlow; Volker C. Radeloff

    2010-01-01

    Droughts are expected to become more frequent under global climate change. Avifauna depend on precipitation for hydration, cover, and food. While there are indications that avian communities respond negatively to drought, little is known about the response of birds with differing functional and behavioural traits, what time periods and indicators of drought are most...

  9. Virality Prediction and Community Structure in Social Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Lilian; Menczer, Filippo; Ahn, Yong-Yeol

    2013-08-01

    How does network structure affect diffusion? Recent studies suggest that the answer depends on the type of contagion. Complex contagions, unlike infectious diseases (simple contagions), are affected by social reinforcement and homophily. Hence, the spread within highly clustered communities is enhanced, while diffusion across communities is hampered. A common hypothesis is that memes and behaviors are complex contagions. We show that, while most memes indeed spread like complex contagions, a few viral memes spread across many communities, like diseases. We demonstrate that the future popularity of a meme can be predicted by quantifying its early spreading pattern in terms of community concentration. The more communities a meme permeates, the more viral it is. We present a practical method to translate data about community structure into predictive knowledge about what information will spread widely. This connection contributes to our understanding in computational social science, social media analytics, and marketing applications.

  10. Floral colour versus phylogeny in structuring subalpine flowering communities

    OpenAIRE

    McEwen, Jamie R.; Vamosi, Jana C.

    2010-01-01

    The relative number of seeds produced by competing species can influence the community structure; yet, traits that influence seed production, such as pollinator attraction and floral colour, have received little attention in community ecology. Here, we analyse floral colour using reflectance spectra that include near-UV and examined the phylogenetic signal of floral colour. We found that coflowering species within communities tended to be more divergent in floral colour than expected by chanc...

  11. 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.

  12. Using the North American Breeding Bird Survey to assess broad-scale response of the continent's most imperiled avian community, grassland birds, to weather variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzo, Jessica; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Allstadt, Andrew J.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Heglund, Patricia J.; Vavrus, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Avian populations can respond dramatically to extreme weather such as droughts and heat waves, yet patterns of response to weather at broad scales remain largely unknown. Our goal was to evaluate annual variation in abundance of 14 grassland bird species breeding in the northern mixed-grass prairie in relation to annual variation in precipitation and temperature. We modeled avian abundance during the breeding season using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the U.S. Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17) from 1980 to 2012. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to fit models and estimate the candidate weather parameters standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized temperature index (STI) for the same year and the previous year. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) responded positively to within-year STI (β = 0.101), and Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) responded negatively to within-year STI (β = −0.161) and positively to within-year SPI (β = 0.195). The parameter estimates were superficially similar (STI β = −0.075, SPI β = 0.11) for Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), but the best-selected model included an interaction between SPI and STI. The best model for both Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) included the additive effects of within-year SPI (β = −0.032 and β = −0.054, respectively) and the previous-year's SPI (β = −0.057 and −0.02, respectively), although for Vesper Sparrow the lag effect was insignificant. With projected warmer, drier weather during summer in the Badlands and Prairies BCR, Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows may be especially threatened by future climate change.

  13. Bacterial community structure in the Cerasus sachalinensis Kom ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-07-21

    Jul 21, 2011 ... The bacterial community structures of the Cerasus sachalinensis Kom. rhizosphere in wild and cultivated soil were studied and the community changes in different growth stages were analyzed by the PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) method. The results showed that the bacterial ...

  14. Colonisation and community structure of benthic diatoms on artificial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This was undertaken using tiles as artificial substrates so that we could study how the communities developed after the flood disturbance. The diatom community structure was assessed over a 28-day period following a flood event in October 2012. The Mann Whitney test indicated that there was a statistically significant ...

  15. A new dynamic null model for phylogenetic community structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pigot, Alex L; Etienne, Rampal S

    Phylogenies are increasingly applied to identify the mechanisms structuring ecological communities but progress has been hindered by a reliance on statistical null models that ignore the historical process of community assembly. Here, we address this, and develop a dynamic null model of assembly by

  16. Determinants of the detrital arthropod community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessard, J.P.; Sackett, Tara E.; Reynolds, William N.

    2011-01-01

    for the effect of climatic variation along the elevational gradient, food resource addition and microclimate alteration influenced the richness and abundance of some taxa. However, the effect of food resource addition and microclimate alteration on the richness and abundance of arthropods did not vary...... manipulative experiments along environmental gradients can help tease apart the relative importance and detect the interactive effects of local-scale factors and broad-scale climatic variation in shaping communities...

  17. Analysis of bacterial and fungal community structure in replant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    2012-06-19

    Jun 19, 2012 ... roots and few functional root hairs. Normally, RDS is ... community structure of microbes, including microbes as yet unable to be cultured. ..... Due to the fact that. Method 3 in this paper has the advantages in combining.

  18. Implementing a structured triage system at a community health ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Implementing a structured triage system at a community health centre using Kaizen. ... and a resultant increased workload for doctors; management is concerned ... Aim: We set out to standardise the triage process and to manage unbooked ...

  19. Dynamical community structure of populations evolving on genotype networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capitán, José A.; Aguirre, Jacobo; Manrubia, Susanna

    2015-01-01

    Neutral evolutionary dynamics of replicators occurs on large and heterogeneous networks of genotypes. These networks, formed by all genotypes that yield the same phenotype, have a complex architecture that conditions the molecular composition of populations and their movements on genome spaces. Here we consider as an example the case of populations evolving on RNA secondary structure neutral networks and study the community structure of the network revealed through dynamical properties of the population at equilibrium and during adaptive transients. We unveil a rich hierarchical community structure that, eventually, can be traced back to the non-trivial relationship between RNA secondary structure and sequence composition. We demonstrate that usual measures of modularity that only take into account the static, topological structure of networks, cannot identify the community structure disclosed by population dynamics

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Des Roches

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

  1. Covariance, correlation matrix, and the multiscale community structure of networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Hua-Wei; Cheng, Xue-Qi; Fang, Bin-Xing

    2010-07-01

    Empirical studies show that real world networks often exhibit multiple scales of topological descriptions. However, it is still an open problem how to identify the intrinsic multiple scales of networks. In this paper, we consider detecting the multiscale community structure of network from the perspective of dimension reduction. According to this perspective, a covariance matrix of network is defined to uncover the multiscale community structure through the translation and rotation transformations. It is proved that the covariance matrix is the unbiased version of the well-known modularity matrix. We then point out that the translation and rotation transformations fail to deal with the heterogeneous network, which is very common in nature and society. To address this problem, a correlation matrix is proposed through introducing the rescaling transformation into the covariance matrix. Extensive tests on real world and artificial networks demonstrate that the correlation matrix significantly outperforms the covariance matrix, identically the modularity matrix, as regards identifying the multiscale community structure of network. This work provides a novel perspective to the identification of community structure and thus various dimension reduction methods might be used for the identification of community structure. Through introducing the correlation matrix, we further conclude that the rescaling transformation is crucial to identify the multiscale community structure of network, as well as the translation and rotation transformations.

  2. The overlapping community structure of structural brain network in young healthy individuals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Wu

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Community structure is a universal and significant feature of many complex networks in biology, society, and economics. Community structure has also been revealed in human brain structural and functional networks in previous studies. However, communities overlap and share many edges and nodes. Uncovering the overlapping community structure of complex networks remains largely unknown in human brain networks. Here, using regional gray matter volume, we investigated the structural brain network among 90 brain regions (according to a predefined anatomical atlas in 462 young, healthy individuals. Overlapped nodes between communities were defined by assuming that nodes (brain regions can belong to more than one community. We demonstrated that 90 brain regions were organized into 5 overlapping communities associated with several well-known brain systems, such as the auditory/language, visuospatial, emotion, decision-making, social, control of action, memory/learning, and visual systems. The overlapped nodes were mostly involved in an inferior-posterior pattern and were primarily related to auditory and visual perception. The overlapped nodes were mainly attributed to brain regions with higher node degrees and nodal efficiency and played a pivotal role in the flow of information through the structural brain network. Our results revealed fuzzy boundaries between communities by identifying overlapped nodes and provided new insights into the understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of the human brain. This study provides the first report of the overlapping community structure of the structural network of the human brain.

  3. Floral colour versus phylogeny in structuring subalpine flowering communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwen, Jamie R; Vamosi, Jana C

    2010-10-07

    The relative number of seeds produced by competing species can influence the community structure; yet, traits that influence seed production, such as pollinator attraction and floral colour, have received little attention in community ecology. Here, we analyse floral colour using reflectance spectra that include near-UV and examined the phylogenetic signal of floral colour. We found that coflowering species within communities tended to be more divergent in floral colour than expected by chance. However, coflowering species were not phylogenetically dispersed, in part due to our finding that floral colour is a labile trait with a weak phylogenetic signal. Furthermore, while we found that locally rare and common species exhibited equivalent floral colour distances from their coflowering neighbours, frequent species (those found in more communities) exhibited higher colour distances from their coflowering neighbours. Our findings support recent studies, which have found that (i) plant lineages exhibit frequent floral colour transitions; and (ii) traits that influence local population dynamics contribute to community structure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B

    2012-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Bacterial community structure at the microscale in two different soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Michelland, R.; Thioulouse, J.; Kyselková, Martina; Grundmann, G.L.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 72, č. 3 (2016), s. 717-724 ISSN 0095-3628 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abundancy-occupancy relationship * bacteria community structure * frequency-occupancy relationship * microscale in soil * soil microbial diversity * soil structure Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.630, year: 2016

  8. Climate extremes drive changes in functional community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucek, Ross E; Rehage, Jennifer S

    2014-06-01

    The response of communities to climate extremes can be quite variable. Much of this variation has been attributed to differences in community-specific functional trait diversity, as well as community composition. Yet, few if any studies have explicitly tested the response of the functional trait structure of communities following climate extremes (CEs). Recently in South Florida, two independent, but sequential potential CEs took place, a 2010 cold front, followed by a 2011 drought, both of which had profound impacts on a subtropical estuarine fish community. These CEs provided an opportunity to test whether the structure of South Florida fish communities following each extreme was a result of species-specific differences in functional traits. From historical temperature (1927-2012) and freshwater inflows records into the estuary (1955-2012), we determined that the cold front was a statistically extreme disturbance, while the drought was not, but rather a decadal rare disturbance. The two disturbances predictably affected different parts of functional community structure and thus different component species. The cold front virtually eliminated tropical species, including large-bodied snook, mojarra species, nonnative cichlids, and striped mullet, while having little affect on temperate fishes. Likewise, the drought severely impacted freshwater fishes including Florida gar, bowfin, and two centrarchids, with little effect on euryhaline species. Our findings illustrate the ability of this approach to predict and detect both the filtering effects of different types of disturbances and the implications of the resulting changes in community structure. Further, we highlight the value of this approach to developing predictive frameworks for better understanding community responses to global change. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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 ...

  10. Effects of the endemic earthworm .i.Allolobophora hrabei./i. (Černosvitov, 1935) on soil microbial communities of steppe grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jirout, Jiří; Pižl, Václav

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 76, September (2014), s. 249-256 ISSN 0038-0717 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP504/12/0536 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : bacteria * archaea * fungi * community composition * DGGE * earthworm Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.932, year: 2014

  11. Short-term bioavailability of carbon in soil organic matter fractions of different particle sizes and densities in grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breulmann, Marc; Masyutenko, Nina Petrovna; Kogut, Boris Maratovich; Schroll, Reiner; Dörfler, Ulrike; Buscot, François; Schulz, Elke

    2014-11-01

    The quality, stability and availability of organic carbon (OC) in soil organic matter (SOM) can vary widely between differently managed ecosystems. Several approaches have been developed for isolating SOM fractions to examine their ecological roles, but links between the bioavailability of the OC of size-density fractions and soil microbial communities have not been previously explored. Thus, in the presented laboratory study we investigated the potential bioavailability of OC and the structure of associated microbial communities in different particle-size and density fractions of SOM. For this we used samples from four grassland ecosystems with contrasting management intensity regimes and two soil types: a Haplic Cambisol and a typical Chernozem. A combined size-density fractionation protocol was applied to separate clay-associated SOM fractions (CF1, <1 μm; CF2, 1-2 μm) from light SOM fractions (LF1, <1.8 g cm(-3); LF2, 1.8-2.0 g cm(-3)). These fractions were used as carbon sources in a respiration experiment to determine their potential bioavailability. Measured CO2-release was used as an index of substrate accessibility and linked to the soil microbial community structure, as determined by phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Several key factors controlling decomposition processes, and thus the potential bioavailability of OC, were identified: management intensity and the plant community composition of the grasslands (both of which affect the chemical composition and turnover of OC) and specific properties of individual SOM fractions. The PLFA patterns highlighted differences in the composition of microbial communities associated with the examined grasslands, and SOM fractions, providing the first broad insights into their active microbial communities. From observed interactions between abiotic and biotic factors affecting the decomposition of SOM fractions we demonstrate that increasing management intensity could enhance the potential bioavailability of

  12. Seasonal Variation in Soil Microbial Biomass, Bacterial Community Composition and Extracellular Enzyme Activity in Relation to Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilton, E.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2014-12-01

    Soil respiration rate is affected by seasonal changes in temperature and moisture, but is this a direct effect on soil metabolism or an indirect effect caused by changes in microbial biomass, bacterial community composition and substrate availability? In order to address this question, we compared continuous measurements of soil and plant CO2 exchange made with an automatic chamber system to analyses conducted on replicate soil samples collected on four dates during June-August. Microbial biomass was estimated from substrate-induced respiration rate, bacterial community composition was determined by 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, and β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGase) and phenol oxidase enzyme activities were assayed fluorometrically or by absorbance measurements, respectively. Soil microbial biomass declined from June to August in strong correlation with a progressive decline in soil moisture during this time period. Soil bacterial species richness and alpha diversity showed no significant seasonal change. However, bacterial community composition showed a progressive shift over time as measured by Bray-Curtis dissimilarity. In particular, the change in community composition was associated with increasing relative abundance in the alpha and delta classes, and declining abundance of the beta and gamma classes of the Proteobacteria phylum during June-August. NAGase showed a progressive seasonal decline in potential activity that was correlated with microbial biomass and seasonal changes in soil moisture. In contrast, phenol oxidase showed highest potential activity in mid-July near the time of peak soil respiration and ecosystem photosynthesis, which may represent a time of high input of carbon exudates into the soil from plant roots. This input of exudates may stimulate the activity of phenol oxidase, a lignolytic enzyme involved in the breakdown of soil organic matter. These analyses indicated that seasonal change in soil respiration is a complex

  13. Global and local targeted immunization in networks with community structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan, Shu; Tang, Shaoting; Pei, Sen; Zheng, Zhiming; Fang, Wenyi

    2015-01-01

    Immunization plays an important role in the field of epidemic spreading in complex networks. In previous studies, targeted immunization has been proved to be an effective strategy. However, when extended to networks with community structure, it is unknown whether the superior strategy is to vaccinate the nodes who have the most connections in the entire network (global strategy), or those in the original community where epidemic starts to spread (local strategy). In this work, by using both analytic approaches and simulations, we observe that the answer depends on the closeness between communities. If communities are tied closely, the global strategy is superior to the local strategy. Otherwise, the local targeted immunization is advantageous. The existence of a transitional value of closeness implies that we should adopt different strategies. Furthermore, we extend our investigation from two-community networks to multi-community networks. We consider the mode of community connection and the location of community where epidemic starts to spread. Both simulation results and theoretical predictions show that local strategy is a better option for immunization in most cases. But if the epidemic begins from a core community, global strategy is superior in some cases. (paper)

  14. Function assessment of coastal ecosystem based on phytoplankton community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haraguchi, Lumi

    2018-01-01

    on phytoplankton community structure; and 3) investigating the role of planktonic communities on the cycling of dissolved organic matter. Those objectives were addressed focusing the temperate mesohaline estuary of Roskilde Fjord (Denmark). Paper I, explores the use of Pulse-shape recording flow cytometry (PFCM...... as an energy reservoir, buffering changes in the nutrient supply. Finally, the results embedded in this thesis demonstrate the importance of integrating different time scales to understand functioning of phytoplankton communities. Phytoplankton dynamics should not be regarded just in light of inorganic......This Ph.D. project aimed to improve the knowledge on phytoplankton community structure and its influence in the carbon transfer and nutrient cycling in coastal waters, by: 1) assessing the importance of phytoplankton

  15. Community structures and role detection in music networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teitelbaum, T.; Balenzuela, P.; Cano, P.; Buldú, Javier M.

    2008-12-01

    We analyze the existence of community structures in two different social networks using data obtained from similarity and collaborative features between musical artists. Our analysis reveals some characteristic organizational patterns and provides information about the driving forces behind the growth of the networks. In the similarity network, we find a strong correlation between clusters of artists and musical genres. On the other hand, the collaboration network shows two different kinds of communities: rather small structures related to music bands and geographic zones, and much bigger communities built upon collaborative clusters with a high number of participants related through the period the artists were active. Finally, we detect the leading artists inside their corresponding communities and analyze their roles in the network by looking at a few topological properties of the nodes.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Body size, energy use, and community structure of small mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Ernest, S.K. Morgan

    2005-01-01

    Body size has long been hypothesized to play a major role in community structure and dynamics. Two general hypotheses exist for how resources are distributed among body sizes: (1) resources are equally available and uniformly utilized across body sizes and (2) resources are differentially available to organisms of different body sizes, resulting in a nonuniform or modal distribution. It has also been predicted that the distri-bution of body sizes of species in a community should reflect the u...

  18. Change in fish community structure in the Barents Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela Aschan

    Full Text Available Change in oceanographic conditions causes structural alterations in marine fish communities, but this effect may go undetected as most monitoring programs until recently mainly have focused on oceanography and commercial species rather than on whole ecosystems. In this paper, the objective is to describe the spatial and temporal changes in the Barents Sea fish community in the period 1992-2004 while taking into consideration the observed abundance and biodiversity patterns for all 82 observed fish species. We found that the spatial structure of the Barents Sea fish community was determined by abiotic factors such as temperature and depth. The observed species clustered into a deep assemblage, a warm water southern assemblage, both associated with Atlantic water, and a cold water north-eastern assemblage associated with mixed water. The latitude of the cold water NE and warm water S assemblages varied from year to year, but no obvious northward migration was observed over time. In the period 1996-1999 we observed a significant reduction in total fish biomass, abundance, mean fish weight, and a change in community structure including an increase in the pelagic/demersal ratio. This change in community structure is probably due to extremely cold conditions in 1996 impacting on a fish community exposed to historically high fishing rates. After 1999 the fish community variables such as biomass, abundance, mean weight, P/D ratio as well as community composition did not return to levels of the early 90s, although fishing pressure and climatic conditions returned to earlier levels.

  19. Sampling from complex networks with high community structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salehi, Mostafa; Rabiee, Hamid R; Rajabi, Arezo

    2012-06-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel link-tracing sampling algorithm, based on the concepts from PageRank vectors, to sample from networks with high community structures. Our method has two phases; (1) Sampling the closest nodes to the initial nodes by approximating personalized PageRank vectors and (2) Jumping to a new community by using PageRank vectors and unknown neighbors. Empirical studies on several synthetic and real-world networks show that the proposed method improves the performance of network sampling compared to the popular link-based sampling methods in terms of accuracy and visited communities.

  20. High taxonomic variability despite stable functional structure across microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louca, Stilianos; Jacques, Saulo M S; Pires, Aliny P F; Leal, Juliana S; Srivastava, Diane S; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Farjalla, Vinicius F; Doebeli, Michael

    2016-12-05

    Understanding the processes that are driving variation of natural microbial communities across space or time is a major challenge for ecologists. Environmental conditions strongly shape the metabolic function of microbial communities; however, other processes such as biotic interactions, random demographic drift or dispersal limitation may also influence community dynamics. The relative importance of these processes and their effects on community function remain largely unknown. To address this uncertainty, here we examined bacterial and archaeal communities in replicate 'miniature' aquatic ecosystems contained within the foliage of wild bromeliads. We used marker gene sequencing to infer the taxonomic composition within nine metabolic functional groups, and shotgun environmental DNA sequencing to estimate the relative abundances of these groups. We found that all of the bromeliads exhibited remarkably similar functional community structures, but that the taxonomic composition within individual functional groups was highly variable. Furthermore, using statistical analyses, we found that non-neutral processes, including environmental filtering and potentially biotic interactions, at least partly shaped the composition within functional groups and were more important than spatial dispersal limitation and demographic drift. Hence both the functional structure and taxonomic composition within functional groups of natural microbial communities may be shaped by non-neutral and roughly separate processes.

  1. Structure of Mesozooplankton Communities in the Coastal Waters of Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidvanov, V. V.; Grabko, O. G.; Kukuev, E. I.; Korolkova, T. G.

    2018-03-01

    Mero- and holoplanktonic organisms from 23 large taxa have been detected in the coastal waters of Morocco. Seven Cladocera species and 164 Copepoda species were identified. Copepod fauna mostly consisted of oceanic epipelagic widely tropical species, but the constant species group (frequency of occurrence over 50%) included neritic and neritic-oceanic widely tropical species. The neritic community that formed a biotopic association with coastal upwelling waters and the distant-neritic community associated with Canary Current waters were the two major communities detected. The former community was characterized by a high abundance and biomass (5700 ind./m3 and 260 mg/m3) and predominance of neritic species. The trophic structure was dominated by thin filter feeders, mixed-food consumers, and small grabbers; the species structure was dominated by Paracalanus indicus, Acartia clausi, and Oncaea curta; the indices of species diversity (3.07 bit/ind.) and evenness (0.63) were relatively low. The latter community was characterized by low abundance and biomass (1150 ind./m3 and 90 mg/m3); variable biotopic, trophic, and species structure; and higher Shannon indices (3.99 bit/ind.) and Pielou (0.75). Seasonal variation of the abundance of organisms was not detected in the communities. Anomalous mesozooplankton states were observed in summer 1998 and winter 1998-1999.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Maria Smith

    2017-11-01

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

  4. Nash Stability in Additively Separable Hedonic Games and Community Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    2009-01-01

      We prove that the problem of deciding whether a Nash stable   partition exists in an Additively Separable Hedonic Game is   NP-complete. We also show that the problem of deciding whether a   non trivial Nash stable partition exists in an   Additively Separable Hedonic Game with   non......-negative and symmetric   preferences is NP-complete. We motivate our study of the   computational complexity by linking Nash stable partitions in   Additively Separable Hedonic Games to community structures in   networks. Our results formally justify that computing community   structures in general is hard....

  5. [Fungal community structure in phase II composting of Volvariella volvacea].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Changqing; Li, Tong; Jiang, Yun; Li, Yu

    2014-12-04

    To understand the fungal community succession during the phase II of Volvariella volvacea compost and clarify the predominant fungi in different fermentation stages, to monitor the dynamic compost at the molecular level accurately and quickly, and reveal the mechanism. The 18S rDNA-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing methods were used to analyze the fungal community structure during the course of compost. The DGGE profile shows that there were differences in the diversity of fungal community with the fermentation progress. The diversity was higher in the stages of high temperature. And the dynamic changes of predominant community and relative intensity was observed. Among the 20 predominant clone strains, 9 were unknown eukaryote and fungi, the others were Eurotiales, Aspergillus sp., Melanocarpus albomyces, Colletotrichum sp., Rhizomucor sp., Verticillium sp., Penicillium commune, Microascus trigonosporus and Trichosporon lactis. The 14 clone strains were detected in the stages of high and durative temperature. The fungal community structure and predominant community have taken dynamic succession during the phase II of Volvariella volvacea compost.

  6. Functional and phylogenetic structure of island bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Xingfeng; Cadotte, Marc W; Zeng, Di; Baselga, Andrés; Zhao, Yuhao; Li, Jiaqi; Wu, Yiru; Wang, Siyu; Ding, Ping

    2017-05-01

    Biodiversity change in anthropogenically transformed habitats is often nonrandom, yet the nature and importance of the different mechanisms shaping community structure are unclear. Here, we extend the classic Theory of Island Biogeography (TIB) to account for nonrandom processes by incorporating species traits and phylogenetic relationships into a study of faunal relaxation following habitat loss and fragmentation. Two possible mechanisms can create nonrandom community patterns on fragment islands. First, small and isolated islands might consist of similar or closely related species because they are environmentally homogeneous or select for certain shared traits, such as dispersal ability. Alternatively, communities on small islands might contain more dissimilar or distantly related species than on large islands because limited space and resource availability result in greater competitive exclusion among species with high niche overlap. Breeding birds were surveyed on 36 islands and two mainland sites annually from 2010 to 2014 in the Thousand Island Lake region, China. We assessed community structure of breeding birds on these subtropical land-bridge islands by integrating species' trait and evolutionary distances. We additionally analysed habitat heterogeneity and variance in size ratios to distinguish biotic and abiotic processes of community assembly. Results showed that functional-phylogenetic diversity increased with island area, and decreased with isolation. Bird communities on the mainland were more diverse and generally less clustered than island bird communities and not different than randomly assembled communities. Bird communities on islands tend to be functionally similar and phylogenetically clustered, especially on small and isolated islands. The nonrandom decline in species diversity and change in bird community structure with island area and isolation, along with the relatively homogeneous habitats on small islands, support the environmental

  7. Stable pelagic vertebrate community structure through extreme Paleogene greenhouse conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibert, E. C.; Friedman, M.; Hull, P. M.; Hunt, G.; Norris, R. D.

    2016-02-01

    The species composition (structure) and energy transfer (function) of an ecosystem is reflected by the presence and type of consumers that it supports. Here we use ichthyoliths, microfossil fish teeth and shark denticles, to assess the ecological variability of the pelagic fish community structure and composition from the Late Cretaceous to the middle Eocene from a drill core in the South Pacific gyre (DSDP Site 596). We find that the overall vertebrate community structure, as measured by the relative abundance of sharks to ray-finned fishes, has a punctuated change at the Cretaceous/Paleogene mass extinction. The vertebrate community structure remained stable throughout the Paleogene despite a five-fold increase in overall abundance of ichthyoliths during the extreme greenhouse of the Early Eocene. Further, we use a novel system to quantify the morphological variation in fish teeth. We find that the morphospace occupied by the tooth assemblage is conserved throughout the interval, with a slight expansion following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction, and the evolution of a distinct morphotype-group around the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. While there are elevated rates of morphotype origination and extinction following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction, the extreme greenhouse warming of the Early Eocene and associated increase in fish production produce near-zero origination and extinction rates. The relative stability in composition of the pelagic vertebrate community during intervals of extreme climate change and across large ranges of total fish accumulation, suggests that pelagic ecosystem structure is robust to climate events, and that the overall structure of the pelagic fish community may be decoupled from both climate and ecosystem function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  9. Exponential random graph models for networks with community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fronczak, Piotr; Fronczak, Agata; Bujok, Maksymilian

    2013-09-01

    Although the community structure organization is an important characteristic of real-world networks, most of the traditional network models fail to reproduce the feature. Therefore, the models are useless as benchmark graphs for testing community detection algorithms. They are also inadequate to predict various properties of real networks. With this paper we intend to fill the gap. We develop an exponential random graph approach to networks with community structure. To this end we mainly built upon the idea of blockmodels. We consider both the classical blockmodel and its degree-corrected counterpart and study many of their properties analytically. We show that in the degree-corrected blockmodel, node degrees display an interesting scaling property, which is reminiscent of what is observed in real-world fractal networks. A short description of Monte Carlo simulations of the models is also given in the hope of being useful to others working in the field.

  10. Zooplankton community structure and dynamics during the transition ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigates the zooplankton community structure and dynamics of Kufena Rock Pool during the transition from dry season (March to April) to rainy season (May to June) in Zaria, Nigeria. Physicochemical parameters such as temperature, hydrogen ion concentration, electrical conductivity and total dissolved ...

  11. Variability in Parasites' Community Structure and Composition in Cat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated the composition and structure of the parasite communities in Cat fish with respect to levels of water pollution in Lake Victoria. A total of 1071 Clarias gariepinus with mean TL range of 19 to 27 cm were analyzed from three localities in Mwanza Gulf (Kirumba, 298 fish infected with 15 parasite species), ...

  12. Impacts of chemical gradients on microbial community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Jianwei; Hanke, Anna; Tegetmeyer, Halina E

    2017-01-01

    Succession of redox processes is sometimes assumed to define a basic microbial community structure for ecosystems with oxygen gradients. In this paradigm, aerobic respiration, denitrification, fermentation and sulfate reduction proceed in a thermodynamically determined order, known as the 'redox ...... Journal advance online publication, 17 January 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.175....

  13. Analysis of bacterial and fungal community structure in replant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    High quality DNA is the basis of analyzing bacterial and fungal community structure in replant strawberry rhizosphere soil with the method of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). DNA of soil microorganisms was extracted from the rhizosphere soil of strawberries planted in different replanted years (0, two, ...

  14. Zooplankton composition and community structure in Lake Tiga ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Zooplankton in Lake Tiga was identified and its community structure assessed between March 2009 and March 2011. A total of 54 species of zooplankton was recorded, comprising two species of Protozoa, 26 species of Rotifera, eight species of Copepoda, 11 species of Cladocera, four species of Ostracoda and three ...

  15. Macrofaunal community structure in the littoral zone of a freshwater ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Multidimensional scaling (MDS) indicated that there were no significant spatial patterns in the macrofaunal community structure within the four zones which could be related to the predominance of euryhaline species, including Marphysa sanguinea (estuarine wonder worm), Arcuatula capensis (estuarine mussel), Macoma ...

  16. 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.

  17. Multilabel user classification using the community structure of online networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizos, Georgios; Papadopoulos, Symeon; Kompatsiaris, Yiannis

    2017-01-01

    We study the problem of semi-supervised, multi-label user classification of networked data in the online social platform setting. We propose a framework that combines unsupervised community extraction and supervised, community-based feature weighting before training a classifier. We introduce Approximate Regularized Commute-Time Embedding (ARCTE), an algorithm that projects the users of a social graph onto a latent space, but instead of packing the global structure into a matrix of predefined rank, as many spectral and neural representation learning methods do, it extracts local communities for all users in the graph in order to learn a sparse embedding. To this end, we employ an improvement of personalized PageRank algorithms for searching locally in each user's graph structure. Then, we perform supervised community feature weighting in order to boost the importance of highly predictive communities. We assess our method performance on the problem of user classification by performing an extensive comparative study among various recent methods based on graph embeddings. The comparison shows that ARCTE significantly outperforms the competition in almost all cases, achieving up to 35% relative improvement compared to the second best competing method in terms of F1-score.

  18. Multilabel user classification using the community structure of online networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgios Rizos

    Full Text Available We study the problem of semi-supervised, multi-label user classification of networked data in the online social platform setting. We propose a framework that combines unsupervised community extraction and supervised, community-based feature weighting before training a classifier. We introduce Approximate Regularized Commute-Time Embedding (ARCTE, an algorithm that projects the users of a social graph onto a latent space, but instead of packing the global structure into a matrix of predefined rank, as many spectral and neural representation learning methods do, it extracts local communities for all users in the graph in order to learn a sparse embedding. To this end, we employ an improvement of personalized PageRank algorithms for searching locally in each user's graph structure. Then, we perform supervised community feature weighting in order to boost the importance of highly predictive communities. We assess our method performance on the problem of user classification by performing an extensive comparative study among various recent methods based on graph embeddings. The comparison shows that ARCTE significantly outperforms the competition in almost all cases, achieving up to 35% relative improvement compared to the second best competing method in terms of F1-score.

  19. Terrestrial ecology. Comprehensive study of the grassland biome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    Terrestrial ecology and grassland biome studies are designed to characterize the biota of the Hanford Reservation, elucidate seasonal dynamics of plant productivity, decomposition and mineral behavior patterns of important plant communities, and, to study the response of these communities to important natural environmental stresses, such as weather, wildfire and man-induced alterations of communities (influenced by grazing cattle and severe mechanical disturbance of the soil, such as affected by plowing or burial of waste materials or construction activities). A detailed account of the important findings of a 5-yr study is currently being prepared by the terrestrial ecology section staff for publication as a contribution to the International Biological Program Grassland Biome project

  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. Clustering coefficient and community structure of bipartite networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng; Wang, Jinliang; Li, Xiaojia; Li, Menghui; Di, Zengru; Fan, Ying

    2008-12-01

    Many real-world networks display natural bipartite structure, where the basic cycle is a square. In this paper, with the similar consideration of standard clustering coefficient in binary networks, a definition of the clustering coefficient for bipartite networks based on the fraction of squares is proposed. In order to detect community structures in bipartite networks, two different edge clustering coefficients LC4 and LC3 of bipartite networks are defined, which are based on squares and triples respectively. With the algorithm of cutting the edge with the least clustering coefficient, communities in artificial and real world networks are identified. The results reveal that investigating bipartite networks based on the original structure can show the detailed properties that is helpful to get deep understanding about the networks.

  2. Fishing degrades size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, James P W; Williams, Ivor D; Edwards, Andrew M; McPherson, Jana; Yeager, Lauren; Vigliola, Laurent; Brainard, Russell E; Baum, Julia K

    2017-03-01

    Fishing pressure on coral reef ecosystems has been frequently linked to reductions of large fishes and reef fish biomass. Associated impacts on overall community structure are, however, less clear. In size-structured aquatic ecosystems, fishing impacts are commonly quantified using size spectra, which describe the distribution of individual body sizes within a community. We examined the size spectra and biomass of coral reef fish communities at 38 US-affiliated Pacific islands that ranged in human presence from near pristine to human population centers. Size spectra 'steepened' steadily with increasing human population and proximity to market due to a reduction in the relative biomass of large fishes and an increase in the dominance of small fishes. Reef fish biomass was substantially lower on inhabited islands than uninhabited ones, even at inhabited islands with the lowest levels of human presence. We found that on populated islands size spectra exponents decreased (analogous to size spectra steepening) linearly with declining biomass, whereas on uninhabited islands there was no relationship. Size spectra were steeper in regions of low sea surface temperature but were insensitive to variation in other environmental and geomorphic covariates. In contrast, reef fish biomass was highly sensitive to oceanographic conditions, being influenced by both oceanic productivity and sea surface temperature. Our results suggest that community size structure may be a more robust indicator than fish biomass to increasing human presence and that size spectra are reliable indicators of exploitation impacts across regions of different fish community compositions, environmental drivers, and fisheries types. Size-based approaches that link directly to functional properties of fish communities, and are relatively insensitive to abiotic variation across biogeographic regions, offer great potential for developing our understanding of fishing impacts in coral reef ecosystems. © 2016

  3. How mammalian predation contributes to tropical tree community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paine, C E Timothy; Beck, Harald; Terborgh, John

    2016-12-01

    The recruitment of seedlings from seeds is the key demographic transition for rain forest trees. Though tropical forest mammals are known to consume many seeds, their effects on tree community structure remain little known. To evaluate their effects, we monitored 8,000 seeds of 24 tree species using exclosure cages that were selectively permeable to three size classes of mammals for up to 4.4 years. Small and medium-bodied mammals removed many more seeds than did large mammals, and they alone generated beta diversity and negative density dependence, whereas all mammals reduced diversity and shaped local species composition. Thus, small and medium-bodied mammals more strongly contributed to community structure and promoted species coexistence than did large mammals. Given that seedling recruitment is seed limited for most species, alterations to the composition of the community of mammalian seed predators is expected to have long-term consequences for tree community structure in tropical forests. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Plant functional traits and canopy structure control the relationship between photosynthetic CO2 uptake and far-red sun-induced fluorescence in a Mediterranean grassland under different nutrient availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliavacca, Mirco; Perez-Priego, Oscar; Rossini, Micol; El-Madany, Tarek S; Moreno, Gerardo; van der Tol, Christiaan; Rascher, Uwe; Berninger, Anna; Bessenbacher, Verena; Burkart, Andreas; Carrara, Arnaud; Fava, Francesco; Guan, Jin-Hong; Hammer, Tiana W; Henkel, Kathrin; Juarez-Alcalde, Enrique; Julitta, Tommaso; Kolle, Olaf; Martín, M Pilar; Musavi, Talie; Pacheco-Labrador, Javier; Pérez-Burgueño, Andrea; Wutzler, Thomas; Zaehle, Sönke; Reichstein, Markus

    2017-05-01

    Sun-induced fluorescence (SIF) in the far-red region provides a new noninvasive measurement approach that has the potential to quantify dynamic changes in light-use efficiency and gross primary production (GPP). However, the mechanistic link between GPP and SIF is not completely understood. We analyzed the structural and functional factors controlling the emission of SIF at 760 nm (F 760 ) in a Mediterranean grassland manipulated with nutrient addition of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) or nitrogen-phosphorous (NP). Using the soil-canopy observation of photosynthesis and energy (SCOPE) model, we investigated how nutrient-induced changes in canopy structure (i.e. changes in plant forms abundance that influence leaf inclination distribution function, LIDF) and functional traits (e.g. N content in dry mass of leaves, N%, Chlorophyll a+b concentration (Cab) and maximum carboxylation capacity (V cmax )) affected the observed linear relationship between F 760 and GPP. We conclude that the addition of nutrients imposed a change in the abundance of different plant forms and biochemistry of the canopy that controls F 760 . Changes in canopy structure mainly control the GPP-F 760 relationship, with a secondary effect of Cab and V cmax . In order to exploit F 760 data to model GPP at the global/regional scale, canopy structural variability, biodiversity and functional traits are important factors that have to be considered. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. 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

  8. GeoChip 3.0 as a high-thoughput tool for analyzing microbial community composition, structure, and functional activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    He, Z.; Deng, Y.; Van Nostrand, J.D.; Tu, Q.; Xu, M.; Hemme, C.L.; Li, X.; Wu, L.; Gentry, T.J.; Yin, Y.; Liebich, J.; Hazen, T.C.; Zhou, J.

    2010-04-01

    A new generation of functional gene arrays (FGAs; GeoChip 3.0) has been developed, with {approx}28,000 probes covering approximately 57,000 gene variants from 292 functional gene families involved in carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur cycles, energy metabolism, antibiotic resistance, metal resistance and organic contaminant degradation. GeoChip 3.0 also has several other distinct features, such as a common oligo reference standard (CORS) for data normalization and comparison, a software package for data management and future updating and the gyrB gene for phylogenetic analysis. Computational evaluation of probe specificity indicated that all designed probes would have a high specificity to their corresponding targets. Experimental analysis with synthesized oligonucleotides and genomic DNAs showed that only 0.0036-0.025% false-positive rates were observed, suggesting that the designed probes are highly specific under the experimental conditions examined. In addition, GeoChip 3.0 was applied to analyze soil microbial communities in a multifactor grassland ecosystem in Minnesota, USA, which showed that the structure, composition and potential activity of soil microbial communities significantly changed with the plant species diversity. As expected, GeoChip 3.0 is a high-throughput powerful tool for studying microbial community functional structure, and linking microbial communities to ecosystem processes and functioning.

  9. Multi-scale structural community organisation of the human genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulos, Rasha E; Tremblay, Nicolas; Arneodo, Alain; Borgnat, Pierre; Audit, Benjamin

    2017-04-11

    Structural interaction frequency matrices between all genome loci are now experimentally achievable thanks to high-throughput chromosome conformation capture technologies. This ensues a new methodological challenge for computational biology which consists in objectively extracting from these data the structural motifs characteristic of genome organisation. We deployed the fast multi-scale community mining algorithm based on spectral graph wavelets to characterise the networks of intra-chromosomal interactions in human cell lines. We observed that there exist structural domains of all sizes up to chromosome length and demonstrated that the set of structural communities forms a hierarchy of chromosome segments. Hence, at all scales, chromosome folding predominantly involves interactions between neighbouring sites rather than the formation of links between distant loci. Multi-scale structural decomposition of human chromosomes provides an original framework to question structural organisation and its relationship to functional regulation across the scales. By construction the proposed methodology is independent of the precise assembly of the reference genome and is thus directly applicable to genomes whose assembly is not fully determined.

  10. 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

  11. Effect of acute. gamma. irradiation on phytocenoses (of grasslands and planktonic)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hernandez-Bermejo, J E [Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain). Departamento de Biologia y Fisiologia Vegetal de la Escuela T.S. de Ingenieros Agronomos

    1977-04-01

    The effects of acute ..gamma.. irradiation on two models of phytocenoses - natural polyphytic grasslands and freshwater phytoplankton communities developed in artificial cultures - have been studied. A retardation of the successional process and a simplification of community structure was observed. This included a reduction in biomass and degree of complexity. A selection favouring weeds and other species which are usually present in young successional stages was also apparent. To a large extent, the overall effects of ..gamma..-radiation depended upon the degree of ecological stability and maturity. Radiation-induced disturbances seemed to be buffered in advanced successional stages. The model of response to ..gamma..- radiation was similar to that produced by other factors of ecological exploitation or perturbation. Synecological parameters such as diversity, similarity and stability were also studied for acute phytocenoses. Low radiation levels produced some clear stimulation effects, the possible significance of which is discussed.

  12. Increased competition does not lead to increased phylogenetic overdispersion in a native grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Jonathan A; Lamb, Eric G; Hall, Jocelyn C; Cardinal-McTeague, Warren M; Cahill, James F

    2013-09-01

    That competition is stronger among closely related species and leads to phylogenetic overdispersion is a common assumption in community ecology. However, tests of this assumption are rare and field-based experiments lacking. We tested the relationship between competition, the degree of relatedness, and overdispersion among plants experimentally and using a field survey in a native grassland. Relatedness did not affect competition, nor was competition associated with phylogenetic overdispersion. Further, there was only weak evidence for increased overdispersion at spatial scales where plants are likely to compete. These results challenge traditional theory, but are consistent with recent theories regarding the mechanisms of plant competition and its potential effect on phylogenetic structure. We suggest that specific conditions related to the form of competition and trait conservatism must be met for competition to cause phylogenetic overdispersion. Consequently, overdispersion as a result of competition is likely to be rare in natural communities. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. Shifts in the microbial community structure explain the response of soil respiration to land-use change but not to climate warming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nazaries, Loïc; Tottey, William; Robinson, Lucinda

    2015-01-01

    Soil stores more carbon (C) than plants and atmosphere combined and it is vulnerable to increased microbial respiration under projected global changes including land-use change and future climate scenarios (mainly elevated temperature). Land-use change is known to have a direct impact on soil...... of this feedback response of Rs to global change. To identify the mechanisms of Rs response to land-use change and climate warming, we first investigated Rs from different land use types. Soil respiration was estimated seasonally from four different Scottish land uses: moorland, birch woodland, grassland and pine......, estimated by Multiplex Terminal-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (MT-RFLP) and 454 pyrosequencing, was significantly different under each land use type. A strong correlation of Rs with soil properties (pH, inorganic N, C:N ratio and moisture) and with microbial community structure was identified...

  16. Changes in Soil Fungal Community Structure with Increasing Disturbance Frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Hyunjun; Kim, Mincheol; Tripathi, Binu; Adams, Jonathan

    2017-07-01

    Although disturbance is thought to be important in many ecological processes, responses of fungal communities to soil disturbance have been little studied experimentally. We subjected a soil microcosm to physical disturbance, at a range of frequencies designed to simulate ecological disturbance events. We analyzed the fungal community structure using Illumina HiSeq sequencing of the ITS1 region. Fungal diversity was found to decline with the increasing disturbance frequencies, with no sign of the "humpback" pattern found in many studies of larger sedentary organisms. There is thus no evidence of an effect of release from competition resulting from moderate disturbance-which suggests that competition and niche overlap may not be important in limiting soil fungal diversity. Changing disturbance frequency also led to consistent differences in community composition. There were clear differences in OTU-level composition, with different disturbance treatments each having distinct fungal communities. The functional profile of fungal groups (guilds) was changed by the level of disturbance frequency. These predictable differences in community composition suggest that soil fungi can possess different niches in relation to disturbance frequency, or time since last disturbance. Fungi appear to be most abundant relative to bacteria at intermediate disturbance frequencies, on the time scale we studied here.

  17. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  18. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan G Drum

    Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  19. 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...

  20. Comparison and validation of community structures in complex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafsson, Mika; Hörnquist, Michael; Lombardi, Anna

    2006-07-01

    The issue of partitioning a network into communities has attracted a great deal of attention recently. Most authors seem to equate this issue with the one of finding the maximum value of the modularity, as defined by Newman. Since the problem formulated this way is believed to be NP-hard, most effort has gone into the construction of search algorithms, and less to the question of other measures of community structures, similarities between various partitionings and the validation with respect to external information. Here we concentrate on a class of computer generated networks and on three well-studied real networks which constitute a bench-mark for network studies; the karate club, the US college football teams and a gene network of yeast. We utilize some standard ways of clustering data (originally not designed for finding community structures in networks) and show that these classical methods sometimes outperform the newer ones. We discuss various measures of the strength of the modular structure, and show by examples features and drawbacks. Further, we compare different partitions by applying some graph-theoretic concepts of distance, which indicate that one of the quality measures of the degree of modularity corresponds quite well with the distance from the true partition. Finally, we introduce a way to validate the partitionings with respect to external data when the nodes are classified but the network structure is unknown. This is here possible since we know everything of the computer generated networks, as well as the historical answer to how the karate club and the football teams are partitioned in reality. The partitioning of the gene network is validated by use of the Gene Ontology database, where we show that a community in general corresponds to a biological process.

  1. Interlinking backscatter, grain size and benthic community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGonigle, Chris; Collier, Jenny S.

    2014-06-01

    The relationship between acoustic backscatter, sediment grain size and benthic community structure is examined using three different quantitative methods, covering image- and angular response-based approaches. Multibeam time-series backscatter (300 kHz) data acquired in 2008 off the coast of East Anglia (UK) are compared with grain size properties, macrofaunal abundance and biomass from 130 Hamon and 16 Clamshell grab samples. Three predictive methods are used: 1) image-based (mean backscatter intensity); 2) angular response-based (predicted mean grain size), and 3) image-based (1st principal component and classification) from Quester Tangent Corporation Multiview software. Relationships between grain size and backscatter are explored using linear regression. Differences in grain size and benthic community structure between acoustically defined groups are examined using ANOVA and PERMANOVA+. Results for the Hamon grab stations indicate significant correlations between measured mean grain size and mean backscatter intensity, angular response predicted mean grain size, and 1st principal component of QTC analysis (all p PERMANOVA for the Hamon abundance shows benthic community structure was significantly different between acoustic groups for all methods (p ≤ 0.001). Overall these results show considerable promise in that more than 60% of the variance in the mean grain size of the Clamshell grab samples can be explained by mean backscatter or acoustically-predicted grain size. These results show that there is significant predictive capacity for sediment characteristics from multibeam backscatter and that these acoustic classifications can have ecological validity.

  2. 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...

  3. Diatom community structure on in-service cruise ship hulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunsucker, Kelli Zargiel; Koka, Abhishek; Lund, Geir; Swain, Geoffrey

    2014-10-01

    Diatoms are an important component of marine biofilms found on ship hulls. However, there are only a few published studies that describe the presence and abundance of diatoms on ships, and none that relate to modern ship hull coatings. This study investigated the diatom community structure on two in-service cruise ships with the same cruise cycles, one coated with an antifouling (AF) system (copper self-polishing copolymer) and the other coated with a silicone fouling-release (FR) system. Biofilm samples were collected during dry docking from representative areas of the ship and these provided information on the horizontal and vertical zonation of the hull, and intact and damaged coating and niche areas. Diatoms from the genera Achnanthes, Amphora and Navicula were the most common, regardless of horizontal ship zonation and coating type. Other genera were abundant, but their presence was more dependent on the ship zonation and coating type. Samples collected from damaged areas of the hull coating had a similar community composition to undamaged areas, but with higher diatom abundance. Diatom fouling on the niche areas differed from that of the surrounding ship hull and paralleled previous studies that investigated differences in diatom community structure on static and dynamically exposed coatings; niche areas were similar to static immersion and the hull to dynamic immersion. Additionally, diatom richness was greater on the ship with the FR coating, including the identification of several new genera to the biofouling literature, viz. Lampriscus and Thalassiophysa. These results are the first to describe diatom community composition on in-service ship hulls coated with a FR system. This class of coatings appears to have a larger diatom community compared to copper-based AF systems, with new diatom genera that have the ability to stick to ship hulls and withstand hydrodynamic forces, thus creating the potential for new problematic species in the biofilm.

  4. Bacterial community structure in aquifers corresponds to stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Andrea; Möller, Silke; Neumann, Stefan; Burow, Katja; Gutmann, Falko; Lindner, Julia; Müsse, Steffen; Kothe, Erika; Büchel, Georg

    2014-05-01

    So far, groundwater microbiology with respect to different host rocks has not been well described in the literature. However, factors influencing the communities would be of interest to provide a tool for mapping groundwater paths. The Thuringian Basin (Germany) studied here, contains formations of the Permian (Zechstein) and also Triassic period of Buntsandstein, Muschelkalk and Keuper, all of which can be found to crop out at the surface in different regions. We analyzed the bacterial community of nine natural springs and sixteen groundwater wells of the respective rock formations as well as core material from the Zechstein salts. For that we sampled in a mine 3 differnet salt rock samples (carnallitite, halite and sylvinitite). To validate the different approaches, similar rock formations were compared and a consistent microbial community for Buntsandstein could be verified. Similary, for Zechstein, the presence of halophiles was seen with cultivation, isolation directly from the rock material and also in groundwater with DNA-dependent approaches. A higher overlap between sandstone- and limestone-derived communities was visible as if compared to the salt formations. Principal component analysis confirmed formation specific patterns for Muschelkalk, Buntsandstein and Zechstein for the bacterial taxa present, with some overlaps. Bacilli and Gammaproteobacteria were the major groups, with the genera Pseudomonas, Marinomonas, Bacillus, Marinobacter and Pseudoalteromonas representing the communities. The bacteria are well adapted to their respective environment with survival strategies including a wide range of salinity which makes them suitable as tracers for fluid movement below the ground. The results indicate the usefulness and robustness of the approach taken here to investigate aquifer community structures in dependence of the stratigraphy of the groundwater reservoir.

  5. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  7. Bacterial community structure in experimental methanogenic bioreactors and search for pathogenic clostridia as community members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohrmann, Anja B; Baumert, Susann; Klingebiel, Lars; Weiland, Peter; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2011-03-01

    Microbial conversion of organic waste or harvested plant material into biogas has become an attractive technology for energy production. Biogas is produced in reactors under anaerobic conditions by a consortium of microorganisms which commonly include bacteria of the genus Clostridium. Since the genus Clostridium also harbors some highly pathogenic members in its phylogenetic cluster I, there has been some concern that an unintended growth of such pathogens might occur during the fermentation process. Therefore this study aimed to follow how process parameters affect the diversity of Bacteria in general, and the diversity of Clostridium cluster I members in particular. The development of both communities was followed in model biogas reactors from start-up during stable methanogenic conditions. The biogas reactors were run with either cattle or pig manures as substrates, and both were operated at mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The structural diversity was analyzed independent of cultivation using a PCR-based detection of 16S rRNA genes and genetic profiling by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP). Genetic profiles indicated that both bacterial and clostridial communities evolved in parallel, and the community structures were highly influenced by both substrate and temperature. Sequence analysis of 16S rRNA genes recovered from prominent bands from SSCP profiles representing Clostridia detected no pathogenic species. Thus, this study gave no indication that pathogenic clostridia would be enriched as dominant community members in biogas reactors fed with manure.

  8. Competition for space and the structure of ecological communities

    CERN Document Server

    Yodzis, Peter

    1978-01-01

    This volume is an investigation of interspecific competition for space, particularly among sessile organisms, both plant and animal, and its consequences for community structure. While my own contribu­ tion ----and the bulk of this volume --- lies in mathematical analysis of the phenomenon, I have also tried to summarize the most important natural historical aspects of these communities, and have devoted much effort to relating the mathematical results to observations of the natural world. Thus, the volume has both a synthetic and an analytic aspect. On the one hand, I have been struck by certain similarities among many communities, from forests to mussel beds, in which spatial com­ petition is important. On the other hand, I have analyzed this pheno­ menon by means of reaction-dispersal models. Finally, the mathematical analysis has suggested a conceptual framework for these communities which, I believe, further unifies and illuminates the field data. A focal perception of this work is that, just as niche...

  9. Physical structure of artificial seagrass affects macrozoobenthic community recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambo-Rappe, R.; Rani, C.

    2018-03-01

    Seagrass ecosystems are important in supporting marine biodiversity. However, the worldwide decline in seagrass areas due to anthropogenic factors leads to a decrease in the marine biodiversity they can support. There is growing awareness of the need for concepts to conserve and/or rehabilitate seagrass ecosystems. One option is to create artificial seagrass to provide a physical structure for the marine organisms to colonize. The objective of this research was to analyze the effect of some artificial seagrasses and seagrass transplants on marine biodiversity, with a focus on the macrozoobenthic community. The experimental design compared two types of artificial seagrass (polypropylene ribbons and shrub-shaped plastic leaves), and seagrass transplants from nearby seagrass meadows. The experimental plots were 4 x 4 m2 with 3 replicates. Macrozoobenthic communities were sampled fortnightly for 3.5 months. At the end of the experiment, makrozoobenthos were also sampled from a natural seagrass bed nearby. Of 116 macrozoobenthic species in the artificial seagrass plots, 91 were gastropods. The density of the macrobenthic fauna increased from the beginning to the end of the study in all treatments, but the increase was only significant for the artificial seagrass treatment (i.e. shrub-like plastic leaves). There was a distinct separation between the macrozoobenthic community structure found in the restoration plots (artificial seagrass and transplanted seagrass) compared to natural seagrass beds.

  10. Community structure characteristics of phytoplankton in zhalong wetland, china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, N.; Zang, S.S.

    2015-01-01

    In autumn 2010, the phytoplankton samples were collected in Zhalong Wetland. A total of 347 species belonging to 78 genera,6 phyla were identified, Chlorophyta and Bacillariophyta were dominated phytoplankton communities, including 143 species of Chlorophyta, 116 species of Bacillariophyta, 45 species of Cyanophyta, 39 species of Euglenophyta, 3 species of Pyrrophyta, 1 species of Chrysophyta. In the core area 66 genera, 222 species were identified, in the buffer area 63 genera, 210 species were identified, in the experiment area 63 genera, 167 species were identified. The dominant species in Zhalong Wetland included Cyclotella meneghiniana, Chlorella vulgaris, Trachelomonas volvocina, Nitzschia sp.. The average phytoplankton density was 12.13*10/sup 6/ in Zhalong Wetland, the phytoplankton density of Bacillariophyta was highest (32.82*10/sup 6/ ind L/sup -1/), and then Chlorophyta (23.73*10/sup 6/ ind L/sup -1/) and Cyanophyta (11.43*106 ind L-1), respectively. The results of cluster analysis showed that phytoplankton community structure could be divided into three types, and within-group similarities of phytoplankton community structure was not high, but inter-group non-similarity was high. Based on the species composition, phytoplankton density, phytoplankton pollution indicator, it suggested that Zhalong Wetland was mesotrophic state. (author)

  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. Community detection for networks with unipartite and bipartite structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chang; Tang, Chao

    2014-09-01

    Finding community structures in networks is important in network science, technology, and applications. To date, most algorithms that aim to find community structures only focus either on unipartite or bipartite networks. A unipartite network consists of one set of nodes and a bipartite network consists of two nonoverlapping sets of nodes with only links joining the nodes in different sets. However, a third type of network exists, defined here as the mixture network. Just like a bipartite network, a mixture network also consists of two sets of nodes, but some nodes may simultaneously belong to two sets, which breaks the nonoverlapping restriction of a bipartite network. The mixture network can be considered as a general case, with unipartite and bipartite networks viewed as its limiting cases. A mixture network can represent not only all the unipartite and bipartite networks, but also a wide range of real-world networks that cannot be properly represented as either unipartite or bipartite networks in fields such as biology and social science. Based on this observation, we first propose a probabilistic model that can find modules in unipartite, bipartite, and mixture networks in a unified framework based on the link community model for a unipartite undirected network [B Ball et al (2011 Phys. Rev. E 84 036103)]. We test our algorithm on synthetic networks (both overlapping and nonoverlapping communities) and apply it to two real-world networks: a southern women bipartite network and a human transcriptional regulatory mixture network. The results suggest that our model performs well for all three types of networks, is competitive with other algorithms for unipartite or bipartite networks, and is applicable to real-world networks.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahy G.

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Elevated tropospheric CO2 and O3 concentrations impair organic pollutant removal from grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai, Fuxun; Eisenhauer, Nico; Jousset, Alexandre; Butenschoen, Olaf; Ji, Rong; Guo, Hongyan

    2018-04-03

    The concentrations of tropospheric CO 2 and O 3 have been rising due to human activities. These rising concentrations may have strong impacts on soil functions as changes in plant physiology may lead to altered plant-soil interactions. Here, the effects of eCO 2 and eO 3 on the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollutants in grassland soil were studied. Both elevated CO 2 and O 3 concentrations decreased PAH removal with lowest removal rates at elevated CO 2 and elevated O 3 concentrations. This effect was linked to a shift in soil microbial community structure by structural equation modeling. Elevated CO 2 and O 3 concentrations reduced the abundance of gram-positive bacteria, which were tightly linked to soil enzyme production and PAH degradation. Although plant diversity did not buffer CO 2 and O 3 effects, certain soil microbial communities and functions were affected by plant communities, indicating the potential for longer-term phytoremediation approaches. Results of this study show that elevated CO 2 and O 3 concentrations may compromise the ability of soils to degrade organic pollutants. On the other hand, the present study also indicates that the targeted assembly of plant communities may be a promising tool to shape soil microbial communities for the degradation of organic pollutants in a changing world.

  17. Benthic infaunal community structuring in an acidified tropical estuarine system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, M Belal; Marshall, David J

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that increasing ocean acidification (OA) should have strong direct and indirect influences on marine invertebrates. While most theory and application for OA is based on relatively physically-stable oceanic ecological systems, less is known about the effects of acidification on nearshore and estuarine systems. Here, we investigated the structuring of a benthic infaunal community in a tropical estuarine system, along a steep salinity and pH gradient, arising largely from acid-sulphate groundwater inflows (Sungai Brunei Estuary, Borneo, July 2011- June 2012). Preliminary data indicate that sediment pore-water salinity (range: 8.07 - 29.6 psu) declined towards the mainland in correspondence with the above-sediment estuarine water salinity (range: 3.58 - 31.2 psu), whereas the pore-water pH (range: 6.47- 7.72) was generally lower and less variable than the estuarine water pH (range: 5.78- 8.3), along the estuary. Of the thirty six species (taxa) recorded, the polychaetes Neanthes sp., Onuphis conchylega, Nereididae sp. and the amphipod Corophiidae sp., were numerically dominant. Calcified microcrustaceans (e.g., Cyclopoida sp. and Corophiidae sp.) were abundant at all stations and there was no clear distinction in distribution pattern along the estuarine between calcified and non-calcified groups. Species richness increased seawards, though abundance (density) showed no distinct directional trend. Diversity indices were generally positively correlated (Spearman's rank correlation) with salinity and pH (p 0.05). Three faunistic assemblages were distinguished: (1) nereid-cyclopoid-sabellid, (2) corophiid-capitellid and (3) onuphid- nereid-capitellid. These respectively associated with lower salinity/pH and a muddy bottom, low salinity/pH and a sandy bottom, and high salinity/pH and a sandy bottom. However, CCA suggested that species distribution and community structuring is more strongly influenced by sediment particle characteristics than by the

  18. Grassland Arthropods Are Controlled by Direct and Indirect Interactions with Cattle but Are Largely Unaffected by Plant Provenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Kelly Anne; Harpole, W Stanley; Stein, Claudia; Suding, Katharine N; Borer, Elizabeth T

    2015-01-01

    Cattle grazing and invasion by non-native plant species are globally-ubiquitous changes occurring to plant communities that are likely to reverberate through whole food webs. We used a manipulative field experiment to quantify how arthropod community structure differed in native and non-native California grassland communities in the presence and absence of grazing. The arthropod community was strongly affected by cattle grazing: the biovolume of herbivorous arthropods was 79% higher in grazed than ungrazed plots, whereas the biovolume of predatory arthropods was 13% higher in ungrazed plots. In plots where non-native grasses were grazed, arthropod biovolume increased, possibly in response to increased plant productivity or increased nutritional quality of rapidly-growing annual plants. Grazing may thus affect plant biomass both through the direct removal of biomass, and through arthropod-mediated impacts. We also expected the arthropod community to differ between native and non-native plant communities; surprisingly, arthropod richness and diversity did not vary consistently between these grass community types, although arthropod abundance was slightly higher in plots with native and ungrazed grasses. These results suggest that whereas cattle grazing affects the arthropod community via direct and indirect pathways, arthropod community changes commonly associated with non-native plant invasions may not be due to the identity or dominance of the invasive species in those systems, but to accompanying changes in plant traits or functional group composition, not seen in this experiment because of the similarity of the plant communities.

  19. Grassland Arthropods Are Controlled by Direct and Indirect Interactions with Cattle but Are Largely Unaffected by Plant Provenance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Anne Farrell

    Full Text Available Cattle grazing and invasion by non-native plant species are globally-ubiquitous changes occurring to plant communities that are likely to reverberate through whole food webs. We used a manipulative field experiment to quantify how arthropod community structure differed in native and non-native California grassland communities in the presence and absence of grazing. The arthropod community was strongly affected by cattle grazing: the biovolume of herbivorous arthropods was 79% higher in grazed than ungrazed plots, whereas the biovolume of predatory arthropods was 13% higher in ungrazed plots. In plots where non-native grasses were grazed, arthropod biovolume increased, possibly in response to increased plant productivity or increased nutritional quality of rapidly-growing annual plants. Grazing may thus affect plant biomass both through the direct removal of biomass, and through arthropod-mediated impacts. We also expected the arthropod community to differ between native and non-native plant communities; surprisingly, arthropod richness and diversity did not vary consistently between these grass community types, although arthropod abundance was slightly higher in plots with native and ungrazed grasses. These results suggest that whereas cattle grazing affects the arthropod community via direct and indirect pathways, arthropod community changes commonly associated with non-native plant invasions may not be due to the identity or dominance of the invasive species in those systems, but to accompanying changes in plant traits or functional group composition, not seen in this experiment because of the similarity of the plant communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

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

  1. Impacts of fire and grazing management on South Africa’s moist highland grasslands: A case study of the Steenkampsberg Plateau, Mpumalanga, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian T. Little

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Grasslands are heavily utilised for livestock agriculture and the resultant degradation through mismanagement contributes to an estimated 60% of this biome being permanently transformed. This study focused on the impact of fire and grazing in moist highland grasslands. Objectives: To determine the contribution of burning frequency and grazing intensity combined (for domestic livestock and indigenous ungulates on vegetation structure heterogeneity and species diversity. Methods: Eight study sites under different management regimes were sampled over two summers. Vegetation structure characteristics and diversity data were collected monthly within multiple replicates in each study site. A disc pasture meter was used to assess standing biomass. Differences in vegetation structure characteristics, plant community composition and plant species assemblage structure across sites were statistically analysed using analyses of variance, indicator species analyses, multidimensional scaling ordinations and two-way cluster analyses. Results: The combination of heavy grazing and annual burning leads to a distinct plant community dominated by disturbance specialist species. Selective grazing by indigenous herbivores promotes a community of unpalatable species. This study illustrates that fenced indigenous herbivores, even at moderate stocking densities, have a greater detrimental impact on plant diversity and structure than do domestic livestock. Conclusion: Intensive grazing and burning have a detrimental impact on plant species diversity and structure. This also affects resultant palatability for grazing livestock and fenced game. To promote both grazing quality and ecological integrity we recommend a minimum sustainable ‘fodder capacity’ or standing phytomass of 5000 kg per large-animal unit per hectare for domestic livestock in moist highland grasslands.

  2. Trophic structure and community stability in an overfished ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Utne-Palm, Anne Christine

    2010-07-15

    Since the collapse of the pelagic fisheries off southwest Africa in the late 1960s, jellyfish biomass has increased and the structure of the Benguelan fish community has shifted, making the bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus) the new predominant prey species. Despite increased prédation pressure and a harsh environment, the gobies are thriving. Here we show that physiological adaptations and antipredator and foraging behaviors underpin the success of these fish. In particular, body-tissue isotope signatures reveal that gobies consume jellyfish and sulphidic diatomaceous mud, transferring "dead-end" resources back into the food chain.

  3. Trophic structure and community stability in an overfished ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Utne-Palm, Anne Christine; Salvanes, Anne Gro Vea; Currie, Bronwen; Kaartvedt, Stein; Nilsson, Gö ran E.; Braithwaite, Victoria A.; Stecyk, Jonathan A W; Hundt, Matthias; Van Der Bank, Megan G.; Flynn, Bradley A.; Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Klevjer, Thor Aleksander; Sweetman, Andrew K.; Brü chert, Volker; Pittman, Karin A.; Peard, Kathleen R.; Lunde, Ida Gjervold; Strandaba, R. A U; Gibbons, Mark J.

    2010-01-01

    Since the collapse of the pelagic fisheries off southwest Africa in the late 1960s, jellyfish biomass has increased and the structure of the Benguelan fish community has shifted, making the bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus) the new predominant prey species. Despite increased prédation pressure and a harsh environment, the gobies are thriving. Here we show that physiological adaptations and antipredator and foraging behaviors underpin the success of these fish. In particular, body-tissue isotope signatures reveal that gobies consume jellyfish and sulphidic diatomaceous mud, transferring "dead-end" resources back into the food chain.

  4. Matrix composition and community structure analysis of a novel bacterial pyrite leaching community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Sibylle; Ackermann, Sonia; Majzlan, Juraj; Gescher, Johannes

    2009-09-01

    Here we describe a novel bacterial community that is embedded in a matrix of carbohydrates and bio/geochemical products of pyrite (FeS(2)) oxidation. This community grows in stalactite-like structures--snottites--on the ceiling of an abandoned pyrite mine at pH values of 2.2-2.6. The aqueous phase in the matrix contains 200 mM of sulfate and total iron concentrations of 60 mM. Micro-X-ray diffraction analysis showed that jarosite [(K,Na,H(3)O)Fe(3)(SO(4))(2)(OH)(6)] is the major mineral embedded in the snottites. X-ray absorption near-edge structure experiments revealed three different sulfur species. The major signal can be ascribed to sulfate, and the other two features may correspond to thiols and sulfoxides. Arabinose was detected as the major sugar component in the extracellular polymeric substance. Via restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, a community was found that mainly consists of iron oxidizing Leptospirillum and Ferrovum species but also of bacteria that could be involved in dissimilatory sulfate and dissimilatory iron reduction. Each snottite can be regarded as a complex, self-contained consortium of bacterial species fuelled by the decomposition of pyrite.

  5. 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

  6. Experimental warming effects on the bacterial community structure and diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, W.; Han, S.; Adams, J.; Son, Y.

    2014-12-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate the responses of soil bacterial community to future temperature increase by conducting open-field warming experiment. We conducted an open-field experimental warming system using infra-red heater in 2011 and regulated the temperature of warmed plots by 3oC higher than that of control plots constantly. The seeds of Pinus densiflora, Abies holophylla, Abies koreana, Betula costata, Quercus variabilis, Fraxinus rhynchophylla, and Zelkova serrata were planted in each 1 m × 1 m plot (n=3) in April, 2012. We collected soil samples from the rhizosphere of 7 tree species. DNA was extracted and PCR-amplified for the bacterial 16S gene targeting V1-V3 region. The paired-end sequencing was performed at Beijing Genome Institute (BGI, Hong Kong, China) using 2× 100 bp Hiseq2000 (Illumina). This study aimed to answer the following prediction/hypothesis: 1) Experimental warming will change the structure of soil bacterial community, 2) There will be distinct 'indicator group' which response to warming treatment relatively more sensitive than other groups. 3) Warming treatment will enhance the microbial activity in terms of soil respiration. 4) The rhizoplane bacterial communities for each of 7 tree species will show different response pattern to warming treatment. Since the sequence data does not arrive before the submission deadline, therefore, we would like to present the results and discussions on December 2014, AGU Fall Meeting.

  7. Impact of Oil on Bacterial Community Structure in Bioturbated Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauffert, Magalie; Cravo-Laureau, Cristiana; Jézéquel, Ronan; Barantal, Sandra; Cuny, Philippe; Gilbert, Franck; Cagnon, Christine; Militon, Cécile; Amouroux, David; Mahdaoui, Fatima; Bouyssiere, Brice; Stora, Georges; Merlin, François-Xavier; Duran, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Oil spills threaten coastlines where biological processes supply essential ecosystem services. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how oil influences the microbial communities in sediments that play key roles in ecosystem functioning. Ecosystems such as sediments are characterized by intensive bioturbation due to burrowing macrofauna that may modify the microbial metabolisms. It is thus essential to consider the bioturbation when determining the impact of oil on microbial communities. In this study, an experimental laboratory device maintaining pristine collected mudflat sediments in microcosms closer to true environmental conditions – with tidal cycles and natural seawater – was used to simulate an oil spill under bioturbation conditions. Different conditions were applied to the microcosms including an addition of: standardized oil (Blend Arabian Light crude oil, 25.6 mg.g−1 wet sediment), the common burrowing organism Hediste (Nereis) diversicolor and both the oil and H. diversicolor. The addition of H. diversicolor and its associated bioturbation did not affect the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons. After 270 days, 60% of hydrocarbons had been removed in all microcosms irrespective of the H. diversicolor addition. However, 16S-rRNA gene and 16S-cDNA T-RFLP and RT-PCR-amplicon libraries analysis showed an effect of the condition on the bacterial community structure, composition, and dynamics, supported by PerMANOVA analysis. The 16S-cDNA libraries from microcosms where H. diversicolor was added (oiled and un-oiled) showed a marked dominance of sequences related to Gammaproteobacteria. However, in the oiled-library sequences associated to Deltaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were also highly represented. The 16S-cDNA libraries from oiled-microcosms (with and without H. diversicolor addition) revealed two distinct microbial communities characterized by different phylotypes associated to known hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria and dominated by

  8. Impact of oil on bacterial community structure in bioturbated sediments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magalie Stauffert

    Full Text Available Oil spills threaten coastlines where biological processes supply essential ecosystem services. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how oil influences the microbial communities in sediments that play key roles in ecosystem functioning. Ecosystems such as sediments are characterized by intensive bioturbation due to burrowing macrofauna that may modify the microbial metabolisms. It is thus essential to consider the bioturbation when determining the impact of oil on microbial communities. In this study, an experimental laboratory device maintaining pristine collected mudflat sediments in microcosms closer to true environmental conditions--with tidal cycles and natural seawater--was used to simulate an oil spill under bioturbation conditions. Different conditions were applied to the microcosms including an addition of: standardized oil (Blend Arabian Light crude oil, 25.6 mg.g⁻¹ wet sediment, the common burrowing organism Hediste (Nereis diversicolor and both the oil and H. diversicolor. The addition of H. diversicolor and its associated bioturbation did not affect the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons. After 270 days, 60% of hydrocarbons had been removed in all microcosms irrespective of the H. diversicolor addition. However, 16S-rRNA gene and 16S-cDNA T-RFLP and RT-PCR-amplicon libraries analysis showed an effect of the condition on the bacterial community structure, composition, and dynamics, supported by PerMANOVA analysis. The 16S-cDNA libraries from microcosms where H. diversicolor was added (oiled and un-oiled showed a marked dominance of sequences related to Gammaproteobacteria. However, in the oiled-library sequences associated to Deltaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were also highly represented. The 16S-cDNA libraries from oiled-microcosms (with and without H. diversicolor addition revealed two distinct microbial communities characterized by different phylotypes associated to known hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria and dominated by

  9. Mass media influence spreading in social networks with community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candia, Julián; Mazzitello, Karina I.

    2008-07-01

    We study an extension of Axelrod's model for social influence, in which cultural drift is represented as random perturbations, while mass media are introduced by means of an external field. In this scenario, we investigate how the modular structure of social networks affects the propagation of mass media messages across a society. The community structure of social networks is represented by coupled random networks, in which two random graphs are connected by intercommunity links. Considering inhomogeneous mass media fields, we study the conditions for successful message spreading and find a novel phase diagram in the multidimensional parameter space. These findings show that social modularity effects are of paramount importance for designing successful, cost-effective advertising campaigns.

  10. Type of disturbance and ecological history determine structural stability.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wurff, A.W.G.; Kools, S.A.E.; Boivin, M.E.; van den Brink, P.J.; van den Megen, H.H.M.; Riksen, J.A.G.; Doroszuk, A.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    This study aims to reveal whether complexity, namely, community and trophic structure, of chronically stressed soil systems is at increased risk or remains stable when confronted with a subsequent disturbance. Therefore, we focused on a grassland with a history of four centuries of patchy

  11. Type of disturbance and ecological history determine structural stability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wurff, van der A.W.G.; Kools, S.A.E.; Boivin, M.E.Y.; Brink, van den P.J.; Megen, van H.H.B.; Riksen, J.A.G.; Doroszuk, A.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    This study aims to reveal whether complexity, namely, community and trophic structure, of chronically stressed soil systems is at increased risk or remains stable when confronted with a subsequent disturbance. Therefore, we focused on a grassland with a history of four centuries of patchy

  12. Soil biochemical properties of grassland ecosystems under anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudrevatykh, Irina; Ivashchenko, Kristina; Ananyeva, Nadezhda

    2016-04-01

    Inflow of pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems nowadays increases dramatically, that might be led to disturbance of natural biogeochemical cycles and landscapes structure. Production of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the air pollution sources, namely by nitrogen compounds (NH4+, NO3-, NO2-). Air pollution by nitrogen compounds of terrestrial ecosystems might be affected on soil biochemical properties, which results increasing mineral nitrogen content in soil, changing soil P/N and Al/Ca ratios, and, finally, the deterioration of soil microbial community functioning. The research is focused on the assessment of anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds on soil properties of grassland ecosystems in European Russia. Soil samples (Voronic Chernozem Pachic, upper 10 cm mineral layer, totally 10) were taken from grassland ecosystem: near (5-10 m) nitrogen fertilizer factory (NFF), and far from it (20-30 km, served as a control) in Tula region. In soil samples the NH4+ and NO3- (Kudeyarov's photocolorimetric method), P, Ca, Al (X-ray fluorescence method) contents were measured. Soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) was analyzed by substrate-induced respiration method. Soil microbial respiration (MR) was assessed by CO2 rate production. Soil microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) was calculated as MR/Cmic ratio. Near NFF the soil ammonium and nitrate nitrogen contents were a strongly varied, variation coefficient (CV) was 42 and 86This study was supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research Grant No. 14-04-00098, 15-44-03220, 15-04-00915.

  13. Coral Community Structure and Recruitment in Seagrass Meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn E. Lohr

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Coral communities are increasingly found to populate non-reef habitats prone to high environmental variability. Such sites include seagrass meadows, which are generally not considered optimal habitats for corals as a result of limited suitable substrate for settlement and substantial diel and seasonal fluctuations in physicochemical conditions relative to neighboring reefs. Interest in understanding the ability of corals to persist in non-reef habitats has grown, however little baseline data exists on community structure and recruitment of scleractinian corals in seagrass meadows. To determine how corals populate seagrass meadows, we surveyed the established and recruited coral community over 25 months within seagrass meadows at Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. Simultaneous surveys of established and recruited coral communities at neighboring back-reef sites were conducted for comparison. To fully understand the amount of environmental variability to which corals in each habitat were exposed, we conducted complementary surveys of physicochemical conditions in both seagrass meadows and back-reefs. Despite overall higher variability in physicochemical conditions, particularly pH, compared to the back-reef, 14 coral taxa were capable of inhabiting seagrass meadows, and multiple coral families were also found to recruit to these sites. However, coral cover and species diversity, richness, and evenness were lower at sites within seagrass meadows compared to back-reef sites. Although questions remain regarding the processes governing recruitment, these results provide evidence that seagrass beds can serve as functional habitats for corals despite high levels of environmental variability and suboptimal conditions compared to neighboring reefs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. A spectral method to detect community structure based on distance modularity matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jin-Xuan; Zhang, Xiao-Dong

    2017-08-01

    There are many community organizations in social and biological networks. How to identify these community structure in complex networks has become a hot issue. In this paper, an algorithm to detect community structure of networks is proposed by using spectra of distance modularity matrix. The proposed algorithm focuses on the distance of vertices within communities, rather than the most weakly connected vertex pairs or number of edges between communities. The experimental results show that our method achieves better effectiveness to identify community structure for a variety of real-world networks and computer generated networks with a little more time-consumption.

  19. 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

  20. Seasonal changes in the assembly mechanisms structuring tropical fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Winemiller, Kirk O; Sabaj Pérez, Mark H; Sousa, Leandro M

    2017-01-01

    Despite growing interest in trait-based approaches to community assembly, little attention has been given to seasonal variation in trait distribution patterns. Mobile animals can rapidly mediate influences of environmental factors and species interactions through dispersal, suggesting that the relative importance of different assembly mechanisms can vary over short time scales. This study analyzes seasonal changes in functional trait distributions of tropical fishes in the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon with large predictable temporal variation in hydrologic conditions and species density. Comparison of observed functional diversity revealed that species within wet-season assemblages were more functionally similar than those in dry-season assemblages. Further, species within wet-season assemblages were more similar than random expectations based on null model predictions. Higher functional richness within dry season communities is consistent with increased niche complementarity during the period when fish densities are highest and biotic interactions should be stronger; however, null model tests suggest that stochastic factors or a combination of assembly mechanisms influence dry-season assemblages. These results demonstrate that the relative influence of community assembly mechanisms can vary seasonally in response to changing abiotic conditions, and suggest that studies attempting to infer a single dominant mechanism from functional patterns may overlook important aspects of the assembly process. During the prolonged flood pulse of the wet season, expanded habitat and lower densities of aquatic organisms likely reduce the influence of competition and predation. This temporal shift in the influence of different assembly mechanisms, rather than any single mechanism, may play a large role in maintaining the structure and diversity of tropical rivers and perhaps other dynamic and biodiverse systems. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Aphid-parasitoid community structure on genetically modified wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Burg, Simone; van Veen, Frank J F; Álvarez-Alfageme, Fernando; Romeis, Jörg

    2011-06-23

    Since the introduction of genetically modified (GM) plants, one of the main concerns has been their potential effect on non-target insects. Many studies have looked at GM plant effects on single non-target herbivore species or on simple herbivore-natural enemy food chains. Agro-ecosystems, however, are characterized by numerous insect species which are involved in complex interactions, forming food webs. In this study, we looked at transgenic disease-resistant wheat (Triticum aestivum) and its effect on aphid-parasitoid food webs. We hypothesized that the GM of the wheat lines directly or indirectly affect aphids and that these effects cascade up to change the structure of the associated food webs. Over 2 years, we studied different experimental wheat lines under semi-field conditions. We constructed quantitative food webs to compare their properties on GM lines with the properties on corresponding non-transgenic controls. We found significant effects of the different wheat lines on insect community structure up to the fourth trophic level. However, the observed effects were inconsistent between study years and the variation between wheat varieties was as big as between GM plants and their controls. This suggests that the impact of our powdery mildew-resistant GM wheat plants on food web structure may be negligible and potential ecological effects on non-target insects limited.

  2. Community Structure and Productivity in Western Mongolian Steppe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiyokazu Kawada

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The people of the Mongolian steppe have maintained a sustainable, nomadic lifestyle. However, several ecological processes are threatening their way of life. Ecological changan be detected through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. It is therefore, imperative to develop a sustainable rangeland management system aimed at combating desertifi cation. In this study we quantitatively and qualitatively describe several western Mongolian steppe plant communities by examining species composition, plant volume and community structure. Study sites were located in the Uvs and Khovd provinces and had all been affected by livestock grazing. A total of 48 species were found. Stipa krylovii , S . gobica , Cleistogenes songorica , Koeleria cristata and Ajania achilleoides were dominant. There was a signifi cant relationship between biomass and plant volume at all sites. Study sites were classifi ed into four groups using cluster analysis, based on the presence or absence of several species. More than 90% of plant volumes at all groups were perennial grasses and perennial forbs. The ratio of C 3 to C 4 plants at site 3 was reversed in comparison to the other sites. Species highly palatable to livestock were dominant at all sites. To ensure the sustainable use of biological resources in these arid areas, these fi ndings should be taken into account in designing land-use plans.

  3. Community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi in Swedish boreal forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jonsson, Lena [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Forest Mycology and Pathology

    1998-12-31

    The main aim of this work has been to elucidate the species composition and community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with mature trees and naturally regenerated seedlings in natural boreal forests in Sweden. Further, the effects of disturbances, such as wildfire and nitrogen inputs, were studied. Sporocarp surveys, morphological stratification and DNA-based analyses of mycorrhizas were used to describe the mycorrhizal fungal communities. In addition, a reference database useful for identifying individual mycorrhizas was developed based on analyses of sporocarp tissue. Overall, the species richness of ectomycorrhizal fungi was at least 30 to 40 times higher than that of their host trees. Naturally regenerated seedlings were colonized by the ectomycorrhizal fungal species present in the mycelial network of the old trees, indicating that the species composition will remain about the same provided that the host does not disappear. Wildfire, disturbing the fungal continuum, caused a shift in the frequencies of ectomycorrhizal fungi rather than a change in species composition. Nitrogen addition did not have any detectable effect on the abundance or species richness of mycorrhizas, but led to a decrease in sporocarp production. In all the studies, there was little resemblance between the species composition of sporocarps and that of mycorrhizas. The ITS-RFLP reference database was very useful in identifying single mycorrhizas, and proved to be a powerful tool for species identification of unknown mycorrhizas 76 refs, 2 figs, 2 tabs

  4. Effects of Recurring Droughts on Extracellular Enzyme Activity in Mountain Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchslueger, L.; Bahn, M.; Kienzl, S.; Hofhansl, F.; Schnecker, J.; Richter, A.

    2015-12-01

    Water availability is a key factor for biogeochemical processes and determines microbial activity and functioning, and thereby organic matter decomposition in soils by affecting the osmotic potential, soil pore connectivity, substrate diffusion and nutrient availability. Low water availability during drought periods therefore directly affects microbial activity. Recurring drought periods likely induce shifts in microbial structure that might be reflected in altered responses of microbial turnover of organic matter by extracellular enzymes. To study this we measured a set of potential extracellular enzyme activity rates (cellobiohydrolase CBH; leucine-amino-peptidase LAP; phosphatase PHOS; phenoloxidase POX), in grassland soils that were exposed to extreme experimental droughts during the growing seasons of up to five subsequent years. During the first drought period after eight weeks of rain exclusion all measured potential enzyme activities were significantly decreased. In parallel, soil extractable organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations increased and microbial community structure, determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, changed. In soils that were exposed to two and three drought periods only PHOS decreased. After four years of drought again CBH, PHOS and POX decreased, while LAP was unaffected; after five years of drought PHOS and POX decreased and CBH and LAP remained stable. Thus, our results suggest that recurring extreme drought events can cause different responses of extracellular enzyme activities and that the responses change over time. We will discuss whether and to what degree these changes were related to shifts in microbial community composition. However, independent of whether a solitary or a recurrent drought was imposed, in cases when enzyme activity rates were altered during drought, they quickly recovered after rewetting. Overall, our data suggest that microbial functioning in mountain grassland is sensitive to drought, but highly

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. The interactive effects of fire and diversity on short-term responses of ecosystem processes in experimental mediterranean grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G; Siamantziouras, Akis-Stavros D; Galanidis, Alexandros; Mprezetou, Irene; Troumbis, Andreas Y

    2006-06-01

    We conducted a field experiment using constructed communities to test whether species richness contributed to the maintenance of ecosystem processes under fire disturbance. We studied the effects of diversity components (i.e., species richness and species composition) upon productivity, structural traits of vegetation, decomposition rates, and soil nutrients between burnt and unburnt experimental Mediterranean grassland communities. Our results demonstrated that fire and species richness had interactive effects on aboveground biomass production and canopy structure components. Fire increased biomass production of the highest-richness communities. The effects of fire on aboveground biomass production at different levels of species richness were derived from changes in both vertical and horizontal canopy structure of the communities. The most species-rich communities appeared to be more resistant to fire in relation to species-poor ones, due to both compositional and richness effects. Interactive effects of fire and species richness were not important for belowground processes. Decomposition rates increased with species richness, related in part to increased levels of canopy structure traits. Fire increased soil nutrients and long-term decomposition rate. Our results provide evidence that composition within richness levels had often larger effects on the stability of aboveground ecosystem processes in the face of fire disturbance than species richness per se.

  8. 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

  9. Epidemic spreading on complex networks with overlapping and non-overlapping community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Jiaxing; Liu, Lianchen; Li, Xin; Xie, Feng; Wu, Cheng

    2015-02-01

    Many real-world networks exhibit community structure where vertices belong to one or more communities. Recent studies show that community structure plays an import role in epidemic spreading. In this paper, we investigate how the extent of overlap among communities affects epidemics. In order to experiment on the characteristic of overlapping communities, we propose a rewiring algorithm that can change the community structure from overlapping to non-overlapping while maintaining the degree distribution of the network. We simulate the Susceptible-Infected-Susceptible (SIS) epidemic process on synthetic scale-free networks and real-world networks by applying our rewiring algorithm. Experiments show that epidemics spread faster on networks with higher level of overlapping communities. Furthermore, overlapping communities' effect interacts with the average degree's effect. Our work further illustrates the important role of overlapping communities in the process of epidemic spreading.

  10. Macrobenthic community structure of coastal Arabian Sea during the fall intermonsoon

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Gaonkar, U.V.; Deshmukh, A.; Mukherjee, I.; Sivadas, S.K.; Gophane, A.

    that the FIM period is critical in structuring the coastal benthic community Results indicated Coscinodiscus sp and Thalassiosira sp were dominant in the phytoplankton and the microphytobenthos community Zooplankton was dominated by small sized calanoid...

  11. 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.

  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. Rapid top-down regulation of plant C:N:P stoichiometry by grasshoppers in an Inner Mongolia grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo; Elser, James J

    2011-05-01

    Understanding how food web interactions alter the processing of limiting nutrient elements is an important goal of ecosystem ecology. An experiment manipulating densities of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus was performed to assess top-down effects of grasshoppers on C:N:P stoichiometry of plants and soil in a grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). With increased grasshopper feeding, plant biomass declined fourfold, litter abundance increased 30%, and the plant community became dominated by non-host plant taxa. Plant stoichiometric response depended on whether or not the plant was a grasshopper host food species: C:N and C:P ratios increased with increasing grasshopper density (GD) for host plants but decreased in non-host plants. These data suggest either a direct transfer of grasshopper-recycled nutrients from host to non-host plants or a release of non-host plants from nutrient competition with heavily grazed host plants. Litterfall C:N and C:P decreased across moderate levels of grasshopper density but no effects on C:N:P stoichiometry in the surface soil were observed, possibly due to the short experimental period. Our observations of divergent C:N:P stoichiometric response among plant species highlight the important role of grasshopper herbivory in regulating plant community structure and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystems.

  14. Are gay communities dying or just in transition? Results from an international consultation examining possible structural change in gay communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon Rosser, B R; West, William; Weinmeyer, Richard

    2008-05-01

    This study sought to identify how urban gay communities are undergoing structural change, reasons for that change, and implications for HIV prevention planning. Key informants (N=29) at the AIDS Impact Conference from 17 cities in 14 countries completed surveys and participated in a facilitated structured dialog about if gay communities are changing, and if so, how they are changing. In all cities, the virtual gay community was identified as currently larger than the offline physical community. Most cities identified that while the gay population in their cities appeared stable or growing, the gay community appeared in decline. Measures included greater integration of heterosexuals into historically gay-identified neighborhoods and movement of gay persons into suburbs, decreased number of gay bars/clubs, less attendance at gay events, less volunteerism in gay or HIV/AIDS organizations, and the overall declining visibility of gay communities. Participants attributed structural change to multiple factors including gay neighborhood gentrification, achievement of civil rights, less discrimination, a vibrant virtual community, and changes in drug use. Consistent with social assimilation, gay infrastructure, visibility, and community identification appears to be decreasing across cities. HIV prevention planning, interventions, treatment services, and policies need to be re-conceptualized for MSM in the future. Four recommendations for future HIV prevention and research are detailed.

  15. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

  16. The false promises of coal exploitation: How mining affects herdsmen well-being in the grassland ecosystems of Inner Mongolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dai, G.S.; Ulgiati, S.; Zhang, Y.S.; Yu, B.H.; Kang, M.Y.; Jin, Y.; Dong, X.B.; Zhang, X.S.

    2014-01-01

    The grasslands of Inner Mongolia are not only the source of the necessary resources for the survival and development of herdsmen, but also represent a significant green ecological barrier in North China. Coal-mining production is important in maintaining GDP growth in Inner Mongolia. However, over-exploitation has created serious problems, such as pollution of the environment and significant decreases in grassland ecosystem services, in addition to impacting the well-being of herdsmen and other humans. Based on questionnaires survey performed among 864 herdsmen addressing the relationship between coal exploitation in grasslands and human well-being in Xilinguole League in Inner Mongolia, we found that (1) coal resource exploitation in these grasslands does not benefit the herdsmen by increasing their income; (2) the rapid development of this resource has not obviously materially improved the life of the herdsmen; and (3) these activities have increased the risks that herdsman will have to endure in the future. Overall, coal resource exploitation in grasslands has more negative than positive effects on the well-being of herdsmen. We propose the conservation of coal resources and improvement of ecological compensation should be carried out without blindly pursuing economic growth, instead of focusing on economic development and structural adjustments. - Highlights: • Evaluation of the human well-being of the Xilinguole grassland, Inner Mongolia, China. • Impact of mining affects herdsmen well-being in grassland ecosystem. • Quantity of questionnaires survey. • Addressing the relationship between coal exploitation in grasslands and human well-being

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. CUTINI

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. SPADA

    2010-04-01

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

  19. The Microbiome Structure of Oklahoma Cropland and Prairie Soils and its Response to Seasonal Forcing and Management Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornell, C. R.; Peterson, B.; Zhou, J.; Xiao, X.; Wawrik, B.

    2017-12-01

    Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from soils are primarily the consequence of microbial processes. Agricultural management of soils is known to affect the structure of microbial communities, and it is likely that dominant GHG emitting microbial activities are impacted via requisite practices. To gain better insight into the impact of seasonal forcing and management practices on the microbiome structure in Oklahoma agricultural soils, a seasonal study was conducted. Over a year period, samples were collected bi-weekly during wet months, and monthly during dry months from two grassland and two managed agricultural sites in El Reno, Oklahoma. Microbial community structure was determined in quadruplicate for each site and time point via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Measures of soil water content, subsoil nitrate, ammonium, organic matter, total nitrogen, and biomass were also taken for each time point. Data analysis revealed several important trends, indicating greater microbial diversity in native grassland and distinct microbial community changes in response to management practices. The native grassland soils also contained greater microbial biomass than managed soils and both varied in response to rainfall events. Native grassland soils harbor more diverse microbial communities, with the diversity and biomass decreasing along a gradient of agricultural management intensity. These data indicate that microbial community structure in El Reno soils occurs along a continuum in which native grasslands and highly managed agricultural soils (tilling and manure application) form end members. Integration with measurements from eddy flux towers into modelling efforts using the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model is currently being explored to improve predictions of GHG emissions from grassland soils.

  20. 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,

  1. Spatial Structure and Temporal Variation of Fish Communities in the Upper Mississippi River System

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chick, John H; Ickes, Brian S; Pegg, Mark A; Barko, Valerie A; Hrabik, Robert A; Herzog, David P

    2005-01-01

    Variation in community composition (presence/absence data) and structure (relative abundance) of Upper Mississippi River fishes was assessed using data from the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  3. Community Structure Of Reef Fish In Eastern Luwu Water Territory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henny Tribuana Cinnawara

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One bio-indicators the condition of coral reefs is a presence of reef fish. The purpose of research is to determine species composition abundance distribution and structure of reef fish communities in these waters. Data collection was conducted in April at six locations in the north and the south eastern Luwu. Mechanical Underwater Visual Cencus UVC and transect method Line intercept Transec LIT with SCUBA equipment used for research data collection. Total reef fish species collected as many as 366 species belonging to 31 families consisting of 150 species of fish target fish consumption 10 species of indicator fish indicator species 206 types of major fissh. The most dominant indicator type of fish is Chaetodon octofasciatus while the major dominant family Pomacentridae Labridae and Apogonidae. Diversity index values ranged from 2.145 to 3.408. Dominance index C is in the range of 0.056 to 0.298. The result is expected to be a reference literature as basic data for the management of reef fish especially in the waters of eastern Luwu.

  4. Plant community structure in an oligohaline tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, J.S.; Grace, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    An oligohaline tidal marsh on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA was characterized with respect to the distributions and abundances of plant species over spatial and temporal gradients using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). In addition, the species distributions were correlated to several physical environmental factors using Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA). The distributions of species were best correlated with distance from Lake Pontchartrain, and to a lesser extent with elevation and substrate organic matter. They were least correlated with mean soil salinity (referred to here as background salinity). Of the three mid-seasonal dominant species, the perennial grass, Spartina patens, is the most salt tolerant and was found closest to the lake. Further inland the dominant perennial was Sagittaria lancifolia, which has a salt tolerance less than that of Spartina patens. The perennial sedge, Cladium jamaicense, which is the least salt tolerant of the three, was dominant furthest inland. Background salinity levels were generally low (interactions likely also play a role in structuring the plant community. The distributions of several annuals depended on the size and life history of the mid-seasonal dominant perennials. Most of the annuals frequently co-occurred with Sagittaria lancifolia, which was the shortest in stature and had the least persistent canopy of the three mid-seasonal dominant perennials.

  5. Microbial Community Structure of Casing Soil During Mushroom Growth

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAI Wei-Ming; YAO Huai-Ying; FENG Wei-Lin; JIN Qun-Li; LIU Yue-Yan; LI Nan-Yi; ZHENG Zhong

    2009-01-01

    The culturable bacterial population and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA)profile of casing soil were investigated at different mushroom (Agaricus bisporusI cropping stages.The change in soil bacterial PLFAs was always accompanied by a change in the soil culturable bacterial population in the first flush.Comparatively higher culturable bacterial population and bacterial PLFAs were found in the casing soil at the primordia formation stage of the first flush.There was a significant increase in the ratio of fungal to bacterial PLFAs during mushroom growth.Multivariate analysis of PLFA data demonstrated that the mushroom cropping stage could considerably affect the microbial community structure of the casing soil.The bacterial population increased significantly from casing soil application to the primordia formation stage of the first flush.Casing soil application resulted in an increase in the ratio of gram-negative bacterial PLFAs to gram-positive bacterial PLFAs,suggesting that some gram-negative bacteria might play an important role in mushroom sporophore initiation.

  6. Spatial variation of phytoplankton community structure in Daya Bay, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zhao-Yu; Wang, You-Shao; Cheng, Hao; Zhang, Jian-Dong; Fei, Jiao

    2015-10-01

    Daya Bay is one of the largest and most important gulfs in the southern coast of China, in the northern part of the South China Sea. The phylogenetic diversity and spatial distribution of phytoplankton from the Daya Bay surface water and the relationship with the in situ water environment were investigated by the clone library of the large subunit of ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcL) gene. The dominant species of phytoplankton were diatoms and eustigmatophytes, which accounted for 81.9 % of all the clones of the rbcL genes. Prymnesiophytes were widely spread and wide varieties lived in Daya Bay, whereas the quantity was limited. The community structure of phytoplankton was shaped by pH and salinity and the concentration of silicate, phosphorus and nitrite. The phytoplankton biomass was significantly positively affected by phosphorus and nitrite but negatively by salinity and pH. Therefore, the phytoplankton distribution and biomass from Daya Bay were doubly affected by anthropic activities and natural factors.

  7. Evidence for the functional significance of diazotroph community structure in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Shi-Fang; Buckley, Daniel H

    2009-01-01

    Microbial ecologists continue to seek a greater understanding of the factors that govern the ecological significance of microbial community structure. Changes in community structure have been shown to have functional significance for processes that are mediated by a narrow spectrum of organisms, such as nitrification and denitrification, but in some cases, functional redundancy in the community seems to buffer microbial ecosystem processes. The functional significance of microbial community structure is frequently obscured by environmental variation and is hard to detect in short-term experiments. We examine the functional significance of free-living diazotrophs in a replicated long-term tillage experiment in which extraneous variation is minimized and N-fixation rates can be related to soil characteristics and diazotroph community structure. Soil characteristics were found to be primarily impacted by tillage management, whereas N-fixation rates and diazotroph community structure were impacted by both biomass management practices and interactions between tillage and biomass management. The data suggest that the variation in diazotroph community structure has a greater impact on N-fixation rates than do soil characteristics at the site. N-fixation rates displayed a saturating response to increases in diazotroph community diversity. These results show that the changes in the community structure of free-living diazotrophs in soils can have ecological significance and suggest that this response is related to a change in community diversity.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Spider Trait Assembly Patterns and Resilience under Fire-Induced Vegetation Change in South Brazilian Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podgaiski, Luciana R.; Joner, Fernando; Lavorel, Sandra; Moretti, Marco; Ibanez, Sebastien; Mendonça, Milton de S.; Pillar, Valério D.

    2013-01-01

    Disturbances induce changes on habitat proprieties that may filter organism's functional traits thereby shaping the structure and interactions of many trophic levels. We tested if communities of predators with foraging traits dependent on habitat structure respond to environmental change through cascades affecting the functional traits of plants. We monitored the response of spider and plant communities to fire in South Brazilian Grasslands using pairs of burned and unburned plots. Spiders were determined to the family level and described in feeding behavioral and morphological traits measured on each individual. Life form and morphological traits were recorded for plant species. One month after fire the abundance of vegetation hunters and the mean size of the chelicera increased due to the presence of suitable feeding sites in the regrowing vegetation, but irregular web builders decreased due to the absence of microhabitats and dense foliage into which they build their webs. Six months after fire rosette-form plants with broader leaves increased, creating a favourable habitat for orb web builders which became more abundant, while graminoids and tall plants were reduced, resulting in a decrease of proper shelters and microclimate in soil surface to ground hunters which became less abundant. Hence, fire triggered changes in vegetation structure that lead both to trait-convergence and trait-divergence assembly patterns of spiders along gradients of plant biomass and functional diversity. Spider individuals occurring in more functionally diverse plant communities were more diverse in their traits probably because increased possibility of resource exploitation, following the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. Finally, as an indication of resilience, after twelve months spider communities did not differ from those of unburned plots. Our findings show that functional traits provide a mechanistic understanding of the response of communities to environmental change

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. The history of widespread decrease in oak dominance exemplified in a grassland--forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; Daniel C. Dey; Hong S. He

    2014-01-01

    Regionally-distinctive open oak forest ecosystems have been replaced either by intensive agriculture and grazing fields or by denser forests throughout eastern North America and Europe. To quantify changes in tree communities and density in the Missouri Plains, a grassland-forest landscape, we used historical surveys from1815 to 1864 and current surveys from 2004 to...

  15. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. D. Petrie; S. L. Collins; A. M. Swann; P. L. Ford; M. E. Litvak

    2015-01-01

    The replacement of native C4-dominated grassland by C3-dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be...

  16. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Claudia; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, Martina; Püschel, David; Frouz, Jan; Rydlová, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community assembly during primary succession has so far received little attention. It remains therefore unclear, which of the factors, driving AMF community composition, are important during ecosystem development. We addressed this question on a large spoil heap, which provides a mosaic of sites in different successional stages under different managements. We selected 24 sites of c. 12, 20, 30, or 50 years in age, including sites with spontaneously developing vegetation and sites reclaimed by alder plantations. On each site, we sampled twice a year roots of the perennial rhizomatous grass Calamagrostis epigejos (Poaceae) to determine AMF root colonization and diversity (using 454-sequencing), determined the soil chemical properties and composition of plant communities. AMF taxa richness was unaffected by site age, but AMF composition variation increased along the chronosequences. AMF communities were unaffected by soil chemistry, but related to the composition of neighboring plant communities of the sampled C. epigejos plants. In contrast, the plant communities of the sites were more distinctively structured than the AMF communities along the four successional stages. We conclude that AMF and plant community successions respond to different factors. AMF communities seem to be influenced by biotic rather than by abiotic factors and to diverge with successional age. PMID:28473828

  17. Interspecific associations and community structure: A local survey and analysis in a grass community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Interspecific associations in the plant community may help to understand the self-organizing assembly and succession of the community. In present study, Pearson correlation, net correlation, Spearman rank correlation, and point correlation were used to detect the interspecific (inter-family associations of grass species (families using the sampling data collected in a grass community of Zhuhai, China. We found that most associations between grass species (families were positive associations. The competition/interference/niche separation between grass species (families was not significant. A lot of pairs of grass species and families with statistically significant interspecific (inter-family associations based on four correlation measures were discovered. Cluster trees for grass species/families were obtained by using cluster analysis. Relationship among positive/negative associations, interspecific relationship and community succession/stability/robustness was discussed. I held that species with significant positive or negative associations are generally keystone species in the community. Although both negative and positive associations occur in the community succession, the adaptation and selection will finally result in the successful coexistence of the species with significant positive associations in the climax community. As the advance of community succession, the significant positive associations increase and maximize in climax community, and the significant negative associations increase to a maximum and then decline into climax community. Dominance of significant positive associations in the climax community means the relative stablility and equilibrium of the community. No significant associations usually account for the majority of possible interspecific associations at each phase of community succession. They guarantee the robustness of community. They are candidates of keystone species. Lose of some existing keystone species might be

  18. Strong influence of regional species pools on continent-wide structuring of local communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Borregaard, Michael K; Fordyce, James A; Rahbek, Carsten; Weiser, Michael D; Dunn, Robert R; Sanders, Nathan J

    2012-01-22

    There is a long tradition in ecology of evaluating the relative contribution of the regional species pool and local interactions on the structure of local communities. Similarly, a growing number of studies assess the phylogenetic structure of communities, relative to that in the regional species pool, to examine the interplay between broad-scale evolutionary and fine-scale ecological processes. Finally, a renewed interest in the influence of species source pools on communities has shown that the definition of the source pool influences interpretations of patterns of community structure. We use a continent-wide dataset of local ant communities and implement ecologically explicit source pool definitions to examine the relative importance of regional species pools and local interactions for shaping community structure. Then we assess which factors underlie systematic variation in the structure of communities along climatic gradients. We find that the average phylogenetic relatedness of species in ant communities decreases from tropical to temperate regions, but the strength of this relationship depends on the level of ecological realism in the definition of source pools. We conclude that the evolution of climatic niches influences the phylogenetic structure of regional source pools and that the influence of regional source pools on local community structure is strong.

  19. Assessing the effects of abiotic stress and livestock grazing disturbance on an alpine grassland with CSR model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Luo, Peng; Mou, Chengxiang; Yang, Hao; Mo, Li; Luo, Chuan; Kattge, Jens

    2016-04-01

    How the abiotic factors represented by cold environment and biotic factors represented by livestock grazing will affect the vegetation structure of alpine grassland is a core issue in understanding the cause of biodiversity change on Tibetan Plateau. Past studies on changes of floristic composition, growth forms did not adequately answer question. Given the fact that the response of plant to environment change depend on its life strategy, a synthetical method that based on plant life strategy may deepen our understanding of the mechanism. Using Grime's concept of CSR plant classification, we carried out a vegetation survey along a gradient (three levels) of graze intensity on the south-east of Tibet Plateau, in order to evaluate the role and mechanism of abiotic stress and grazing disturbance in driving plant diversity change, by analyzing the plant life strategy compositions in each of the community and by comparing the characteristic of the strategy compositions along the graze gradient. When the graze intensity was relative low, the dominant plant life strategy gathered in the stress tolerance corner, which conformed the theory of environmental filter, indicating that the ideal top plant community may be dominated by the species with stress tolerant strategy. We also found that the response of strategy dominance to graze intensity increase is positively correlated with the competitive capacity (R 2=0.671; Pstrategy (R 2=0.047; P=0.42). This reflected a general shift of plant strategy from stress tolerant to competitive (rather than ruderal as expected) and suggested that the mechanism of graze to affect plant community is different from that of other disturbance like fire, clipping, till, etc. The particular selective foraging and escaping from feces may provide more opportunities for competitive than ruderal strategy to dominant the community. This study demonstrated that CSR plant strategy be a useful tool to evaluate the effects of abiotic and biotic factors

  20. Organizational Structures to Support Oakland Community Schools. Knowledge Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, 2015

    2015-01-01

    This brief is part of a series that shares findings from a research collaboration between the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) focused on understanding implementation of the community school model in the district. This brief highlights findings related to…

  1. A general sampling formula for community structure data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haegeman, Bart; Etienne, Rampal S.

    2017-01-01

    1. The development of neutral community theory has shown that the assumption of species neutrality, although implausible on the level of individual species, can lead to reasonable predictions on the community level. While Hubbell's neutral model and several of its variants have been analysed in

  2. Supraglacial bacterial community structures vary across the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cameron, Karen A.; Stibal, Marek; Zarsky, Jakub D.

    2016-01-01

    The composition and spatial variability of microbial communities that reside within the extensive (>200 000 km(2)) biologically active area encompassing the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is hypothesized to be variable. We examined bacterial communities from cryoconite debris and surface ice across...... the GrIS, using sequence analysis and quantitative PCR of 16S rRNA genes from co-extracted DNA and RNA. Communities were found to differ across the ice sheet, with 82.8% of the total calculated variation attributed to spatial distribution on a scale of tens of kilometers separation. Amplicons related...... to Sphingobacteriaceae, Pseudanabaenaceae and WPS-2 accounted for the greatest portion of calculated dissimilarities. The bacterial communities of ice and cryoconite were moderately similar (global R = 0.360, P = 0.002) and the sampled surface type (ice versus cryoconite) did not contribute heavily towards community...

  3. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, M D; Collins, S L; Swann, A M; Ford, P L; Litvak, M E

    2015-03-01

    The replacement of native C4 -dominated grassland by C3 -dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid and semiarid ecosystems may be highly variable. During a drier than average period from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, we found established shrubland to sequester 49 g C m(-2) yr(-1) on average, while nearby native C4 grassland was a net source of 31 g C m(-2) yr(-1) over this same period. Differences in C exchange between these ecosystems were pronounced--grassland had similar productivity compared to shrubland but experienced higher C efflux via ecosystem respiration, while shrubland was a consistent C sink because of a longer growing season and lower ecosystem respiration. At daily timescales, rates of carbon exchange were more sensitive to soil moisture variation in grassland than shrubland, such that grassland had a net uptake of C when wet but lost C when dry. Thus, even under unfavorable, drier than average climate conditions, the state transition from grassland to shrubland resulted in a substantial increase in terrestrial C sequestration. These results illustrate the inherent tradeoffs in quantifying ecosystem services that result from ecological state transitions, such as shrub encroachment. In this case, the deleterious changes to ecosystem services often linked to grassland to shrubland state transitions may at least be partially offset by increased ecosystem carbon sequestration. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. 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

  5. Soil Respiration in Semiarid Temperate Grasslands under Various Land Management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

    Full Text Available Soil respiration, a major component of the global carbon cycle, is significantly influenced by land management practices. Grasslands are potentially a major sink for carbon, but can also be a source. Here, we investigated the potential effect of land management (grazing, clipping, and ungrazed enclosures on soil respiration in the semiarid grassland of northern China. Our results showed the mean soil respiration was significantly higher under enclosures (2.17 μmol.m(-2.s(-1 and clipping (2.06 μmol.m(-2.s(-1 than under grazing (1.65 μmol.m-(2.s(-1 over the three growing seasons. The high rates of soil respiration under enclosure and clipping were associated with the higher belowground net primary productivity (BNPP. Our analyses indicated that soil respiration was primarily related to BNPP under grazing, to soil water content under clipping. Using structural equation models, we found that soil water content, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP and BNPP regulated soil respiration, with soil water content as the predominant factor. Our findings highlight that management-induced changes in abiotic (soil temperature and soil water content and biotic (ANPP and BNPP factors regulate soil respiration in the semiarid temperate grassland of northern China.

  6. Soil Respiration in Semiarid Temperate Grasslands under Various Land Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen; Ji, Lei; Hou, Xiangyang; Schellenberg, Michael P

    2016-01-01

    Soil respiration, a major component of the global carbon cycle, is significantly influenced by land management practices. Grasslands are potentially a major sink for carbon, but can also be a source. Here, we investigated the potential effect of land management (grazing, clipping, and ungrazed enclosures) on soil respiration in the semiarid grassland of northern China. Our results showed the mean soil respiration was significantly higher under enclosures (2.17 μmol.m(-2).s(-1)) and clipping (2.06 μmol.m(-2).s(-1)) than under grazing (1.65 μmol.m-(2).s(-1)) over the three growing seasons. The high rates of soil respiration under enclosure and clipping were associated with the higher belowground net primary productivity (BNPP). Our analyses indicated that soil respiration was primarily related to BNPP under grazing, to soil water content under clipping. Using structural equation models, we found that soil water content, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and BNPP regulated soil respiration, with soil water content as the predominant factor. Our findings highlight that management-induced changes in abiotic (soil temperature and soil water content) and biotic (ANPP and BNPP) factors regulate soil respiration in the semiarid temperate grassland of northern China.

  7. 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...

  8. Paradoxes of Social Networking in a Structured Web 2.0 Language Learning Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiseau, Mathieu; Zourou, Katerina

    2012-01-01

    This paper critically inquires into social networking as a set of mechanisms and associated practices developed in a structured Web 2.0 language learning community. This type of community can be roughly described as learning spaces featuring (more or less) structured language learning resources displaying at least some notions of language learning…

  9. Human exploitation and benthic community structure on a tropical intertidal mudflat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2002-01-01

    Human exploitation of intertidal marine invertebrates is known to alter benthic community structure. This study describes the impact that harvesting by women and children has on the intertidal community structure of the mudflats of the Saco on Inhaca Island, Mozambique, by comparing the benthic

  10. Effect of agricultural management regimes on Burkholderia community structure in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, Joanna; van Elsas, J.D.; Van Veen, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the Burkholderia community structure associated with areas under different agricultural management and to evaluate to which extent this community structure is affected by changes in agricultural management. Two fields with distinct soil history

  11. Effect of agricultural management regime on Burkholderia community structure in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, J.F.; Elsas, van J.D.; Veen, van J.A.

    2006-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the Burkholderia community structure associated with areas under different agricultural management and to evaluate to which extent this community structure is affected by changes in agricultural management. Two fields with distinct soil history

  12. Effect of agricultural management regime on Burkholderia community structure in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, J. F.; van Elsas, J. D.; van Veen, J. A.

    The main objective of this study was to determine the Burkholderia community structure associated with areas under different agricultural management and to evaluate to which extent this community structure is affected by changes in agricultural management. Two fields with distinct soil history

  13. Structure and Processes in Temperate Grassland Vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejrnæs, R.

    , modern (geognostic, topographical, and climatic), and in part historical. The limits of distribution of a species may depend upon prevailing conditions, upon barriers now existing in the form of a mountain, sea, soil, and cli-mate, which oppose its spread ; but they may also depend upon geohistoric...... or geological and climatic conditions of ages long past, and upon the whole evolutionary history of the species, the site of this, and the facilities for and means of migration. In addition, problems must be dealt with concerning centres of development, the rise and age of species and genera ; and behind...

  14. Strong influence of regional species pools on continent-wide structuring of local communities

    OpenAIRE

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Borregaard, Michael K.; Fordyce, James A.; Rahbek, Carsten; Weiser, Michael D.; Dunn, Robert R.; Sanders, Nathan J.

    2011-01-01

    There is a long tradition in ecology of evaluating the relative contribution of the regional species pool and local interactions on the structure of local communities. Similarly, a growing number of studies assess the phylogenetic structure of communities, relative to that in the regional species pool, to examine the interplay between broad-scale evolutionary and fine-scale ecological processes. Finally, a renewed interest in the influence of species source pools on communities has shown that...

  15. Community Structure, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services in Treeline Whitebark Pine Communities: Potential Impacts from a Non-Native Pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana F. Tomback

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis has the largest and most northerly distribution of any white pine (Subgenus Strobus in North America, encompassing 18° latitude and 21° longitude in western mountains. Within this broad range, however, whitebark pine occurs within a narrow elevational zone, including upper subalpine and treeline forests, and functions generally as an important keystone and foundation species. In the Rocky Mountains, whitebark pine facilitates the development of krummholz conifer communities in the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE, and thus potentially provides capacity for critical ecosystem services such as snow retention and soil stabilization. The invasive, exotic pathogen Cronartium ribicola, which causes white pine blister rust, now occurs nearly rangewide in whitebark pine communities, to their northern limits. Here, we synthesize data from 10 studies to document geographic variation in structure, conifer species, and understory plants in whitebark pine treeline communities, and examine the potential role of these communities in snow retention and regulating downstream flows. Whitebark pine mortality is predicted to alter treeline community composition, structure, and function. Whitebark pine losses in the ATE may also alter response to climate warming. Efforts to restore whitebark pine have thus far been limited to subalpine communities, particularly through planting seedlings with potential blister rust resistance. We discuss whether restoration strategies might be appropriate for treeline communities.

  16. Reef community structure, Sand Island, Oahu HI, (NODC Accession 0000177)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These reports provide the results of nine years (1990-98) of an annual quantitative monitoring of shallow marine communities inshore of the Sand Island Ocean...

  17. Structure of a toothed cetacean community around a tropical island ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... cetacean community around a tropical island (Mayotte, Mozambique Channel) ... Patterns of spatial distribution underscore the existence of three main ... The outer slope of the barrier reef appears to be of primary importance in terms of ...

  18. Ecomorphology of a size-structured tropical freshwater fish community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piet, G.J.

    1998-01-01

    Among nine species of a tropical community ecomorphological correlates were sought throughout ontogeny. Ontogenetic changes were distinguished by establishing six pre-defined size- classes. Morphometric data associated with feeding were compared by canonical correspondence analysis to dietary data.

  19. Macrofouling community structure in Kanayama Bay, Kii Peninsula (Japan)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raveendran, T.V.; Harada, E.

    An investigation on the macrofouling community in Kanayama Bay, Kill Peninsula, Japan was undertaken from June 1994 to May 1995 by exposing fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) panels at subsurface and bottom (2.2 m) depths. The composition and abundance...

  20. Polychaete community structure of Indian west coast shelf, Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Joydas, T.V.; Jayalakshmy, K.V.; Damodaran, R.

    the effects of pollution on marine communities. As TS moves progressively to species, costs, in terms of the expertise and time needed to identify organisms, decrease 4 . It is quicker and easier to train personnel to sort higher taxonomic levels than... to results obtained from the analysis of higher taxa which show analogous results to those based on species level. The major benefit of being able to detect community patterns at higher taxonomic SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 97...

  1. Impact of metal pollution on fungal diversity and community structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Op De Beeck, Michiel; Lievens, Bart; Busschaert, Pieter; Rineau, Francois; Smits, Mark; Vangronsveld, Jaco; Colpaert, Jan V

    2015-06-01

    The impact of metal pollution on plant communities has been studied extensively in the past, but little is known about the effects of metal pollution on fungal communities that occur in metal-polluted soils. Metal-tolerant ecotypes of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus luteus are frequently found in pioneer pine forests in the Campine region in Belgium on metal-polluted soils. We hypothesized that metal pollution would play an important role in shaping below-ground fungal communities that occur in these soils and that Suillus luteus would be a dominant player. To test these hypotheses, the fungal communities in a young pine plantation in soil polluted with zinc, and cadmium were studied using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing. Results show that zinc, cadmium and soil organic matter content were strongly correlated with the fungal community composition, but no effects on fungal diversity were observed. As hypothesized, S. luteus was found to be a dominant member of the studied fungal communities. However, other dominant fungal species, such as Sistotrema sp., Wilcoxina mikolae and Cadophora finlandica were found as well. Their presence in metal-polluted sites is discussed. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Effects of structural factors on upwelling fouling community, Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Pereira Masi

    Full Text Available Abstract To assess the successional pattern of fouling organisms three hypotheses were tested: 1 a thermocline is caused by seasonal upwelling events, and therefore, depth influences the successional trajectory of the fouling community; 2 a reduction in the intensity of natural light of the substrate influences the fouling composition and the successional trajectory; 3 fish predation influences the community composition and its successional trajectory. During one year, up-facing and down-facing PVC panels on open, partially caged or fully caged, and placed at depths of 1.5 and 3.5 meters were monthly sampled by digital photograph to determine the community composition and by contact point to estimate the percent coverage of organisms. The upwelling impact provided different water masses, and light intensity was also a determining factor of the overall successional trajectory of the fouling community. After the installation of full and partial cages, differences were identified in the respective successional trajectories. The results of this study suggest that each physical factor or biological process can change the successional trajectory of the community, and the successional model (e.g., convergent, divergent, parallel, or cyclic depends on the magnitudes of the determinants that act on the community at each stage of its trajectory.

  3. The Organization and Structure of Community Education Offerings in Community Colleges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michael; Grover, Kenda S.; Kacirek, Kit

    2014-01-01

    One of the key services community colleges provide is community education, meaning those programs and activities that are often offered for leisure or self-improvement and not for credit. Programs of this nature are increasingly challenged to be self-financing, whether through user fees or externally funded grants. The current study explored 75…

  4. Light structures phototroph, bacterial and fungal communities at the soil surface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence O Davies

    Full Text Available The upper few millimeters of soil harbour photosynthetic microbial communities that are structurally distinct from those of underlying bulk soil due to the presence of light. Previous studies in arid zones have demonstrated functional importance of these communities in reducing soil erosion, and enhancing carbon and nitrogen fixation. Despite being widely distributed, comparative understanding of the biodiversity of the soil surface and underlying soil is lacking, particularly in temperate zones. We investigated the establishment of soil surface communities on pasture soil in microcosms exposed to light or dark conditions, focusing on changes in phototroph, bacterial and fungal communities at the soil surface (0-3 mm and bulk soil (3-12 mm using ribosomal marker gene analyses. Microbial community structure changed with time and structurally similar phototrophic communities were found at the soil surface and in bulk soil in the light exposed microcosms suggesting that light can influence phototroph community structure even in the underlying bulk soil. 454 pyrosequencing showed a significant selection for diazotrophic cyanobacteria such as Nostoc punctiforme and Anabaena spp., in addition to the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus. The soil surface also harboured distinct heterotrophic bacterial and fungal communities in the presence of light, in particular, the selection for the phylum Firmicutes. However, these light driven changes in bacterial community structure did not extend to the underlying soil suggesting a discrete zone of influence, analogous to the rhizosphere.

  5. The Relationship Between Low-Frequency Motions and Community Structure of Residue Network in Protein Molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Weitao

    2018-01-01

    The global shape of a protein molecule is believed to be dominant in determining low-frequency deformational motions. However, how structure dynamics relies on residue interactions remains largely unknown. The global residue community structure and the local residue interactions are two important coexisting factors imposing significant effects on low-frequency normal modes. In this work, an algorithm for community structure partition is proposed by integrating Miyazawa-Jernigan empirical potential energy as edge weight. A sensitivity parameter is defined to measure the effect of local residue interaction on low-frequency movement. We show that community structure is a more fundamental feature of residue contact networks. Moreover, we surprisingly find that low-frequency normal mode eigenvectors are sensitive to some local critical residue interaction pairs (CRIPs). A fair amount of CRIPs act as bridges and hold distributed structure components into a unified tertiary structure by bonding nearby communities. Community structure analysis and CRIP detection of 116 catalytic proteins reveal that breaking up of a CRIP can cause low-frequency allosteric movement of a residue at the far side of protein structure. The results imply that community structure and CRIP may be the structural basis for low-frequency motions.

  6. Plant Community and Soil Environment Response to Summer Fire in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is a keystone process in many ecosystems, especially grasslands. However, documentation of plant community and soil environment responses to fire is limited for semiarid grasslands relative to that for mesic grasslands. Replicated summer fire research is lacking, but much needed because summe...

  7. Grassland canopy parameters and their relationships to remotely sensed vegetation indices in the Nebraska Sand Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; DeJong, Donovan D.; Tieszen, Larry L.; Biondini, Mario E.

    1996-01-01

    Relationships among spectral vegetation indices and grassland biophysical parameters including the effects of varying levels of standing dead vegetation, range sites, and range plant communities were examined. Range plant communities consisting of northern mixed grass prairie and a smooth brome field as well as range sites and management in a Sand Hills bluestem prairie were sampled with a ground radiometer and for LAI, biomass, chlorophy

  8. Comparing Metabolic Functionalities, Community Structures, and Dynamics of Herbicide-Degrading Communities Cultivated with Different Substrate Concentrations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gözdereliler, Erkin; Boon, Nico; Aamand, Jens

    2013-01-01

    Two 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid (MCPA)-degrading enrichment cultures selected from an aquifer on low (0.1 mg liter−1) or high (25 mg liter−1) MCPA concentrations were compared in terms of metabolic activity, community composition, population growth, and single cell physiology. Different...... community compositions and major shifts in community structure following exposure to different MCPA concentrations were observed using both 16S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting and pyrosequencing. The communities also differed in their MCPA-mineralizing activities...... activity in cultures selected on low herbicide concentrations. This suggests that LNA bacteria may play a role in degradation of low herbicide concentrations in aquifers impacted by agriculture. This study shows that subpopulations of herbicide-degrading bacteria that are adapted to different pesticide...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Assembly and phylogenetic structure of Neotropical palm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Balslev, Henrik

    Diversity, composition and dynamics of Neotropical palm communities are receiving an increasing amount of attention due to their economic importance, but also because their high species richness and functional diversity render them valuable model systems for overall forest biodiversity. However......, to better understand these palm communities, it is crucial to gain insight into the mechanisms responsible for their assembly. These can be dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, or biotic interactions. If the degree of niche conservatism is known for a group of organisms, patterns of community...... an unspecific assumption of “general niche conservatism”, phylogenetic signal will be analysed for Neotropical palms. Moreover, as an example for evolutionary mechanisms disrupting phylogenetic signal, speciation modes will be examined in selected genera. With the combined results we aim to show the relative...

  13. 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

  14. Detection of stable community structures within gut microbiota co-occurrence networks from different human populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Matthew A; Bonder, Marc Jan; Kuncheva, Zhana; Zierer, Jonas; Fu, Jingyuan; Kurilshikov, Alexander; Wijmenga, Cisca; Zhernakova, Alexandra; Bell, Jordana T; Spector, Tim D; Steves, Claire J

    2018-01-01

    Microbes in the gut microbiome form sub-communities based on shared niche specialisations and specific interactions between individual taxa. The inter-microbial relationships that define these communities can be inferred from the co-occurrence of taxa across multiple samples. Here, we present an approach to identify comparable communities within different gut microbiota co-occurrence networks, and demonstrate its use by comparing the gut microbiota community structures of three geographically diverse populations. We combine gut microbiota profiles from 2,764 British, 1,023 Dutch, and 639 Israeli individuals, derive co-occurrence networks between their operational taxonomic units, and detect comparable communities within them. Comparing populations we find that community structure is significantly more similar between datasets than expected by chance. Mapping communities across the datasets, we also show that communities can have similar associations to host phenotypes in different populations. This study shows that the community structure within the gut microbiota is stable across populations, and describes a novel approach that facilitates comparative community-centric microbiome analyses.

  15. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Vascular plant diversity and community Structure of nandi forests ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abundance data of species was used for species diversity, similarity, species richness estimation and plant community analysis. PC-ORD, CANOCO and EstimateS were used to analyze the data. A total of 321 species ... Keywords: floristic composition, ordination, rarefaction, species accumulation, species richness.

  1. Distribution and community structure of Ostracoda (Crustacea) in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The current study presents the ostracod communities recovered from 26 shallow waterbodies in southern Kenya, combined with an ecological assessment of habitat characteristics. A total of 37 waterbodies were sampled in 2001 and 2003, ranging from small ephemeral pools to large permanent lakes along broad ...

  2. Bacterial community structure in the Cerasus sachalinensis Kom ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The results showed that the bacterial community diversity in the cultivated C. sachalinensis rhizosphere was always higher than the wild, while the evenness and dominance indices followed a different pattern as compared to band richness in the wild and cultivated conditions. The plant growth stages also had an influence ...

  3. Current floristic composition, life form and productivity of the grasslands in the Hunting Zone of Djona (Benin)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahoudji, Myrese C.; Teka, Oscar; Axelsen, Jørgen Aagaard

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: This paper addressed temporal changes in floristic composition, plant communities’ structures and productivity of grasslands. The study was conducted in the Hunting zone of Djona in the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve of W (TBRW) Benin. Methodology and Results: For these purpose 30...... plots of 900m² were used and “phytosociological relevés” were done following ecological uniformity, floristic homogeneity and samples representativeness to established plants communities. Biomass was estimated in 30 plots of 100 m². Results showed that the greatest productivity value (8320 ± 0.21 kg DM...... with broad distribution. Conclusions and application of findings: The identified life forms and chorological types showed an evolution of the post farming pastures to woodlands and savannas vegetation, which explains the current floristic composition of the area. Moreover, it will be possible to model...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Jaime Colorado Zuluaga

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

  5. Uncovering the community structure associated with the diffusion dynamics on networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, Xue-Qi; Shen, Hua-Wei

    2010-01-01

    As two main focuses of the study of complex networks, the community structure and the dynamics on networks have both attracted much attention in various scientific fields. However, it is still an open question how the community structure is associated with the dynamics on complex networks. In this paper, through investigating the diffusion process taking place on networks, we demonstrate that the intrinsic community structure of networks can be revealed by the stable local equilibrium states of the diffusion process. Furthermore, we show that such community structure can be directly identified through the optimization of the conductance of the network, which measures how easily the diffusion among different communities occurs. Tests on benchmark networks indicate that the conductance optimization method significantly outperforms the modularity optimization methods in identifying the community structure of networks. Applications to real world networks also demonstrate the effectiveness of the conductance optimization method. This work provides insights into the multiple topological scales of complex networks, and the community structure obtained can naturally reflect the diffusion capability of the underlying network

  6. Strong influence of regional species pools on continent-wide structuring of local communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Borregaard, Michael Krabbe; Fordyce, James A.

    2012-01-01

    pool, to examine the interplay between broad-scale evolutionary and fine-scale ecological processes. Finally, a renewed interest in the influence of species source pools on communities has shown that the definition of the source pool influences interpretations of patterns of community structure. We use...... of communities along climatic gradients. We find that the average phylogenetic relatedness of species in ant communities decreases from tropical to temperate regions, but the strength of this relationship depends on the level of ecological realism in the definition of source pools. We conclude that the evolution...... of climatic niches influences the phylogenetic structure of regional source pools and that the influence of regional source pools on local community structure is strong....

  7. 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.

  8. Geochip: A high throughput genomic tool for linking community structure to functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liang, Yuting; He, Zhili; Li, Guanghe; Zhou, Jizhong

    2009-01-30

    GeoChip is a comprehensive functional gene array that targets key functional genes involved in the geochemical cycling of N, C, and P, sulfate reduction, metal resistance and reduction, and contaminant degradation. Studies have shown the GeoChip to be a sensitive, specific, and high-throughput tool for microbial community analysis that has the power to link geochemical processes with microbial community structure. However, several challenges remain regarding the development and applications of microarrays for microbial community analysis.

  9. Marine protected areas increase temporal stability of community structure, but not density or diversity, of tropical seagrass fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Alonso Aller

    Full Text Available Marine protected areas (MPAs have been shown to increase long-term temporal stability of fish communities and enhance ecosystem resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. Yet, the potential ability of MPAs to buffer effects of environmental variability at shorter time scales remains widely unknown. In the tropics, the yearly monsoon cycle is a major natural force affecting marine organisms in tropical regions, and its timing and severity are predicted to change over the coming century, with potentially severe effects on marine organisms, ecosystems and ecosystem services. Here, we assessed the ability of MPAs to buffer effects of monsoon seasonality on seagrass-associated fish communities, using a field survey in two MPAs (no-take zones and two unprotected (open-access sites around Zanzibar (Tanzania. We assessed the temporal stability of fish density and community structure within and outside MPAs during three monsoon seasons in 2014-2015, and investigated several possible mechanisms that could regulate temporal stability. Our results show that MPAs did not affect fish density and diversity, but that juvenile fish densities were temporally more stable within MPAs. Second, fish community structure was more stable within MPAs for juvenile and adult fish, but not for subadult fish or the total fish community. Third, the observed effects may be due to a combination of direct and indirect (seagrass-mediated effects of seasonality and, potentially, fluctuating fishing pressure outside MPAs. In summary, these MPAs may not have the ability to enhance fish density and diversity and to buffer effects of monsoon seasonality on the whole fish community. However, they may increase the temporal stability of certain groups, such as juvenile fish. Consequently, our results question whether MPAs play a general role in the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning under changing environmental conditions in tropical seagrass fish communities.

  10. The network structure of human personality according to the NEO-PI-R: matching network community structure to factor structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rutger Goekoop

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Human personality is described preferentially in terms of factors (dimensions found using factor analysis. An alternative and highly related method is network analysis, which may have several advantages over factor analytic methods. AIM: To directly compare the ability of network community detection (NCD and principal component factor analysis (PCA to examine modularity in multidimensional datasets such as the neuroticism-extraversion-openness personality inventory revised (NEO-PI-R. METHODS: 434 healthy subjects were tested on the NEO-PI-R. PCA was performed to extract factor structures (FS of the current dataset using both item scores and facet scores. Correlational network graphs were constructed from univariate correlation matrices of interactions between both items and facets. These networks were pruned in a link-by-link fashion while calculating the network community structure (NCS of each resulting network using the Wakita Tsurumi clustering algorithm. NCSs were matched against FS and networks of best matches were kept for further analysis. RESULTS: At facet level, NCS showed a best match (96.2% with a 'confirmatory' 5-FS. At item level, NCS showed a best match (80% with the standard 5-FS and involved a total of 6 network clusters. Lesser matches were found with 'confirmatory' 5-FS and 'exploratory' 6-FS of the current dataset. Network analysis did not identify facets as a separate level of organization in between items and clusters. A small-world network structure was found in both item- and facet level networks. CONCLUSION: We present the first optimized network graph of personality traits according to the NEO-PI-R: a 'Personality Web'. Such a web may represent the possible routes that subjects can take during personality development. NCD outperforms PCA by producing plausible modularity at item level in non-standard datasets, and can identify the key roles of individual items and clusters in the network.

  11. Organic matter dynamics and N mineralization in grassland soils

    OpenAIRE

    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 and can be used in soil organic matter models, iii) to develop a model that predicts the long-term dynamics of soil organic matter, iv) to develop a simple model that can be used by farmers and advi...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prober, Suzanne M.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bates, Scott T.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Lind, Eric M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Adler, Peter B.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Williams, Ryan J.; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground–belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m2 plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity.

  14. Centralized Drinking Water Treatment Operations Shape Bacterial and Fungal Community Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiao; Vikram, Amit; Casson, Leonard; Bibby, Kyle

    2017-07-05

    Drinking water microbial communities impact opportunistic pathogen colonization and corrosion of water distribution systems, and centralized drinking water treatment represents a potential control for microbial community structure in finished drinking water. In this article, we examine bacterial and fungal abundance and diversity, as well as the microbial community taxonomic structure following each unit operation in a conventional surface water treatment plant. Treatment operations drove the microbial composition more strongly than sampling time. Both bacterial and fungal abundance and diversity decreased following sedimentation and filtration; however, only bacterial abundance and diversity was significantly impacted by free chlorine disinfection. Similarly, each treatment step was found to shift bacterial and fungal community beta-diversity, with the exception of disinfection on the fungal community structure. We observed the enrichment of bacterial and fungal taxa commonly found in drinking water distribution systems through the treatment process, for example, Sphingomonas following filtration and Leptospirillium and Penicillium following disinfection. Study results suggest that centralized drinking water treatment processes shape the final drinking water microbial community via selection of community members and that the bacterial community is primarily driven by disinfection while the eukaryotic community is primarily controlled by physical treatment processes.

  15. Microbial activity and bacterial community structure during degradation of microcystins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christoffersen, K.; Lyck, Susanne; Winding, A.

    2002-01-01

    experiments were analysed by polymerase chain reaction-density gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) of 16S rDNA, which showed that the indigenous bacterial community responded quickly to the addition of lysates. Our study confirms that bacteria can efficiently degrade microcystins in natural waters....... It was hypothesised that the bacterial community from a lake with frequent occurrence of toxic cyanobacteria can degrade microcystin along with other organic compounds. The initial dissolved microcystin concentrations ranged between 10 and 136 mug 1(-1) (microcystin-LR equivalents) in the laboratory experiment, using...... experiment to evaluate the effects of organic lysates on bacterial proliferation in the absence of microcystin. An exponential decline of the dissolved toxins was observed in all cases with toxins present, and the degradation rates ranged between 0.5 and 1.0 d(-1). No lag phases were observed but slow...

  16. 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

  17. Seasonality and vertical structure of microbial communities in an ocean gyre

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Treusch, Alexander H; Vergin, Kevin L; Finlay, Liam A

    2009-01-01

    Vertical, seasonal and geographical patterns in ocean microbial communities have been observed in many studies, but the resolution of community dynamics has been limited by the scope of data sets, which are seldom up to the task of illuminating the highly structured and rhythmic patterns of change...

  18. Simulated nitrogen deposition affects community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in northern hardwood forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda T.A. Van Diepen; Erik Lilleskov; Kurt S. Pregitzer

    2011-01-01

    Our previous investigation found elevated nitrogen deposition caused declines in abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with forest trees, but little is known about how nitrogen affects the AMF community composition and structure within forest ecosystems. We hypothesized that N deposition would lead to significant changes in the AMF community...

  19. Microbial activity and community structure in two drained fen soils in the Ljubljana Marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraigher, Barbara; Stres, Blaz; Hacin, Janez; Ausec, Luka; Mahne, Ivan; van Elsas, Jan D.; Mandic-Mulec, Ines

    Fen peatlands are specific wetland ecosystems containing high soil organic carbon (SOC). There is a general lack of knowledge about the microbial communities that abound in these systems. We examined the microbial activity and community structure in two fen soils differing in SOC content sampled

  20. Diverse Asian American Families and Communities: Culture, Structure, and Education (Part 1: Why They Differ)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paik, Susan J.; Rahman, Zaynah; Kula, Stacy M.; Saito, L. Erika; Witenstein, Matthew A.

    2017-01-01

    Based on 11 diverse Asian American (AA) communities, this article discusses the similarities and differences across East, South, and Southeast Asians. Of two parts in this journal issue, Part 1 presents a review of literature and census data to understand the cultural and structural factors of different types of coethnic communities (strong, weak,…

  1. The fungal community structure of barley malts from diverse geographical regions correlates with malt quality parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Mandeep; Bowman, John P; Stewart, Doug C; Evans, David E

    2015-12-23

    Malt is a preferred base for fermentations that produce beer or whisky. Barley for malt is grown under diverse environments in different geographical locations. Malt provides an ecological niche for a varied range of microorganisms with both positive and negative effects on its quality for brewing. Little information exists in the literature on the microbial community structure of Australian malt as well as broader global geographical differences in the associated fungal and bacterial communities. The aims of the present study were to compare the bacterial and fungal community structures of Australian commercial malt with its international counterparts originating from different geographical regions using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) fingerprinting and clone library analyses of ribosomal RNA genes. Further, the relationship between malt associated microbial communities and conventional malt quality parameters was also compared. Results showed that differences in fungal communities of malts from different geographical location were more pronounced than bacterial communities. TRFLP analysis discriminated high quality commercial malts with low fungal loads from malts deliberately infected with fungal inocula (Fusarium/Penicillium). Malt moisture, beta-amylase, α-amylase and limit dextrinase contents showed significant correlations with fungal community structure. This investigation concluded that fungal community structure was more important to subsequent malt quality outcomes than bacteria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Industry interactions of the electronic structure research community in Europe

    OpenAIRE

    Goldbeck, Gerhard

    2014-01-01

    This report explores the interactions of the academic Psi-k community with industry. The evidence presented is mainly based on a semi-quantitative survey and interviews of network members. All Psi-k board, working group and advisory group members, a total of about 120 people were invited to take part in the study, and 40 people responded, representing more than 400 scientists from 33 different institutions in 12 European countries. 90% of respondents work with industry. Main industry sectors ...

  3. Trophic structure of the fouling community in Odessa Bay (Black Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Y. Varigin

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The trophic structure of the coastal fouling community of Odessa Bay (Black Sea, which was composed of 10 species of macrophytes, 57 invertebrate species and 4 species of fish, was determined. The basic trophic relationship between organisms composing the community is shown. A minimization of interspecific trophic competition within the community is noted. The main sources of food material entering the fouling community were determined. We show that a significant proportion of food in the form of detritus, dissolved organic matter and small planktonic organisms enters the community from the water column. Filtration and pumping activity of sestonophage-organisms, particularly mussels, helps to attract food material to the community. Primary producers of the community are macrophytes and microphytes, which develop on account of their photosynthetic activity and ensure the provision of food to herbivores. The trophic group of detritophages consumes different fractions of the detritus which accumulates in the byssus threads of bivalve molluscs. In this context, mussel druses act as sediment traps, collecting detritus. Numerous polyphages, which are essentially omnivores and do not usually lack food material, were noted in the community. A small group of carnivorous invertebrates, whose representatives actively attack small animals, was identified. The abundance of these species in the community was about 1%, and their biomass less than 0.6%. Fish living in macrophyte weeds are the consumers in the community. We determined that the highest relative abundance (over 36% in the fouling community was reached by sestonophages and polyphages. We found that the undisputed leader in the relative biomass (over 97% in the fouling community ofOdessaBaywas the sestonophages (mainly composed of mussels. We determined that the trophic structure index of the community was 0.94, which confirms the significant dominance in biomass of bivalves over other species in

  4. Phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities along an elevation gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Cameron P; Callaway, Ragan M; Hart, Miranda M; Pither, Jason; Klironomos, John

    2017-04-01

    Despite the importance of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi within terrestrial ecosystems, we know little about how natural AM fungal communities are structured. To date, the majority of studies examining AM fungal community diversity have focused on single habitats with similar environmental conditions, with relatively few studies having assessed the diversity of AM fungi over large-scale environmental gradients. In this study, we characterized AM fungal communities in the soil along a high-elevation gradient in the North American Rocky Mountains. We focused on phylogenetic patterns of AM fungal communities to gain insight into how AM fungal communities are naturally assembled. We found that alpine AM fungal communities had lower phylogenetic diversity relative to lower elevation communities, as well as being more heterogeneous in composition than either treeline or subalpine communities. AM fungal communities were phylogenetically clustered at all elevations sampled, suggesting that environmental filtering, either selection by host plants or fungal niches, is the primary ecological process structuring communities along the gradient.

  5. 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.

  6. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community

    KAUST Repository

    Xue, Zheng; Lu, Huijie; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2014-01-01

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses

  7. [Effects of agricultural practices on community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agricultural ecosystem: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Ping-Ping; Li, Min; Liu, Run-Jin

    2011-06-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are rich in diversity in agricultural ecosystem, playing a vital role based on their unique community structure. Host plants and environmental factors have important effects on AM fungal community structure, so do the agricultural practices which deserve to pay attention to. This paper summarized the research advances in the effects of agricultural practices such as irrigation, fertilization, crop rotation, intercropping, tillage, and pesticide application on AM fungal community structure, analyzed the related possible mechanisms, discussed the possible ways in improving AM fungal community structure in agricultural ecosystem, and put forward a set of countermeasures, i.e., improving fertilization system and related integrated techniques, increasing plant diversity in agricultural ecosystem, and inoculating AM fungi, to enhance the AM fungal diversity in agricultural ecosystem. The existing problems in current agricultural practices and further research directions were also proposed.

  8. Integration of community structure data reveals observable effects below sediment guideline thresholds in a large estuary

    KAUST Repository

    Tremblay, Louis A.; Clark, Dana; Sinner, Jim; Ellis, Joanne

    2017-01-01

    The sustainable management of estuarine and coastal ecosystems requires robust frameworks due to the presence of multiple physical and chemical stressors. In this study, we assessed whether ecological health decline, based on community structure

  9. Impact of maintenance dredging on macrobenthic community structure of a tropical estuary

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rehitha, T.V.; Ullas, N.; Vineetha, G.; Benny, P.Y.; Madhu, N.V.; Revichandran, C.

    This paper demonstrates the impact of maintenance dredging activities on the macrobenthic community structure of a tropical monsoonal estuary (Cochin estuary), located in the southwest coast of India for three consecutive years. The results...

  10. Using Population Matrix Modeling to Predict AEGIS Fire Controlmen Community Structure

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    McKeon, Thomas J

    2007-01-01

    .... A Population Matrix with Markov properties was used to develop the AEGIS FC aging model. The goal of this model was to provide an accurate predication of the future AEGIS FC community structure based upon variables...

  11. Determinants of the microbial community structure of eutrophic, hyporheic river sediments polluted with chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamonts, K.; Ryngaert, A.; Smidt, H.; Springael, D.; Dejonghe, W.

    2014-01-01

    Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) often discharge into rivers as contaminated groundwater baseflow. As biotransformation of CAHs in the impacted river sediments might be an effective remediation strategy, we investigated the determinants of the microbial community structure of eutrophic,

  12. Subtidal micro and meiobenthic community structure in the Gulf of Kachchh

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Goltekar, R.

    Community structure of the micro- and meiobenthos of subtidal sediment from the Gulf of Kachchh were investigated during April 2002 (premonsoon season). Sediment samples were collected from 23 stations representing the entire Gulf area. A total...

  13. Is benthic food web structure related to diversity of marine macrobenthic communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sokolowski, A.; Wolowicz, M.; Asmus, H.; Asmus, R.; Carlier, A.; Gasiunaite, Z.; Gremare, A.; Hummel, H.; Lesutiene, J.; Razinkovas, A.; Renaud, P.E.; Richard, P.; Kedra, M.

    2012-01-01

    Numerical structure and the organisation of food webs within macrozoobenthic communities has been assessed in the European waters (Svalbard, Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea) to address the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

  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. Structure and composition of oligohaline marsh plant communities exposed to salinity pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2000-01-01

    The response of two oligohaline marsh macrophyte communities to pulses of increased salinity was studied over a single growing season in a greenhouse experiment. The plant communities were allowed a recovery period in freshwater following the pulse events. The experimental treatments included: (1) salinity influx rate (rate of salinity increase from 0 to 12 gl-1); (2) duration of exposure to elevated salinity; and (3) water depth. The communities both included Sagittaria lancifolia L.; the codominant species were Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roemer and J.A. Schultes in community 1 and Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volk. ex Schinz and R. Keller in community 2. Effects of the treatments on sediment chemical characteristics (salinity, pH, redox potential, and sulfide and ammonium concentrations) and plant community attributes (aboveground and belowground biomass, stem density, leaf tissue nutrients, and species richness) were examined. The treatment effects often interacted to influence sediment and plant communities characteristics following recovery in fresh water. Salinity influx rate per se, however, had little effect on the abiotic or biotic response variables; significant influx effects were found when the 0 gl-1 (zero influx) treatment was compared to the 12 gl-1 treatments, regardless of the rate salinity was raised. A salinity level of 12 gl-1 had negative effects on plant community structure and composition; these effects were usually associated with 3 months of salinity exposure. Water depth often interacted with exposure duration, but increased water depth did independently decrease the values of some community response measures. Community 1 was affected more than community 2 in the most extreme salinity treatment (3 months exposure/15-cm water depth). Although species richness in both communities was reduced, structural changes were more dramatic in community 1. Biomass and stem density were reduced in community 1 overall and in both dominant species

  16. Developing Structured-Learning Exercises for a Community Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas, Renee Ahrens

    2006-01-01

    The recent growth in the number of pharmacy schools across the nation has resulted in the need for high-quality community advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) sites. A vital part of a student's education, these APPEs should be structured and formalized to provide an environment conducive to student learning. This paper discusses how to use a calendar, structured-learning activities, and scheduled evaluations to develop students' knowledge, skills, and abilities in a community pharmacy...

  17. Developing structured-learning exercises for a community advanced pharmacy practice experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Renee Ahrens

    2006-02-15

    The recent growth in the number of pharmacy schools across the nation has resulted in the need for high-quality community advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) sites. A vital part of a student's education, these APPEs should be structured and formalized to provide an environment conducive to student learning. This paper discusses how to use a calendar, structured-learning activities, and scheduled evaluations to develop students' knowledge, skills, and abilities in a community pharmacy setting.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. Structure and seasonality in a Malaysian mudflat community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broom, M. J.

    1982-08-01

    An assessment of community composition and the functional roles of the dominant species has been carried out in two intertidal areas of Malaysian mudflat dominated by natural populations of the arcid bivalve mollusc Anadara granosa. In addition to A. granosa, organisms of numerical importance are the venerid bivalve Pelecyora trigona, the neogastropod Plicarcularia leptospira, the mesogastropods Stenothyra glabrata and Cerithidea cingulata and the hermit crab Diogenes sp. The mesogastropod Natica maculosa and the neogastropod Thais carinifera may be of some importance to community organization but they are not numerically dominant. Annelids are conspicuous by their absence. The following trophic roles are ascribed to specific members of the community: A. granosa—facultative surface deposit feeder; P. trigona—suspension feeder; P. leptospira—scavenger; C. cingulata—deposit feeder/grazer; S. glabrata—deposit feeder/grazer; N. maculosa—predator; T. carinifera—predator; Diogenes sp.—scavenger/predator. S. glabrata is of particular interest because it appears to fill the niche occupied by mud snails of the genus Hydrobia in temperate mudflat systems. There is evidence of seasonality on the mudflats which points to a spawning of certain forms triggered by the major annual salinity depression at the time of the onset of the north-east monsoon in October/November. Concentrations of benthic chlorophyll a show no obvious signs of a seasonal fluctuation and the seasonality of the primary consumers is not thought to be related to food abundance. However there is some evidence of seasonality of reproduction in N. maculosa which preys on the seasonally reproducing bivalves.

  2. Convergent evolution of modularity in metabolic networks through different community structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou Wanding

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been reported that the modularity of metabolic networks of bacteria is closely related to the variability of their living habitats. However, given the dependency of the modularity score on the community structure, it remains unknown whether organisms achieve certain modularity via similar or different community structures. Results In this work, we studied the relationship between similarities in modularity scores and similarities in community structures of the metabolic networks of 1021 species. Both similarities are then compared against the genetic distances. We revisited the association between modularity and variability of the microbial living environments and extended the analysis to other aspects of their life style such as temperature and oxygen requirements. We also tested both topological and biological intuition of the community structures identified and investigated the extent of their conservation with respect to the taxomony. Conclusions We find that similar modularities are realized by different community structures. We find that such convergent evolution of modularity is closely associated with the number of (distinct enzymes in the organism’s metabolome, a consequence of different life styles of the species. We find that the order of modularity is the same as the order of the number of the enzymes under the classification based on the temperature preference but not on the oxygen requirement. Besides, inspection of modularity-based communities reveals that these communities are graph-theoretically meaningful yet not reflective of specific biological functions. From an evolutionary perspective, we find that the community structures are conserved only at the level of kingdoms. Our results call for more investigation into the interplay between evolution and modularity: how evolution shapes modularity, and how modularity affects evolution (mainly in terms of fitness and evolvability. Further, our results

  3. Convergent evolution of modularity in metabolic networks through different community structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wanding; Nakhleh, Luay

    2012-09-14

    It has been reported that the modularity of metabolic networks of bacteria is closely related to the variability of their living habitats. However, given the dependency of the modularity score on the community structure, it remains unknown whether organisms achieve certain modularity via similar or different community structures. In this work, we studied the relationship between similarities in modularity scores and similarities in community structures of the metabolic networks of 1021 species. Both similarities are then compared against the genetic distances. We revisited the association between modularity and variability of the microbial living environments and extended the analysis to other aspects of their life style such as temperature and oxygen requirements. We also tested both topological and biological intuition of the community structures identified and investigated the extent of their conservation with respect to the taxonomy. We find that similar modularities are realized by different community structures. We find that such convergent evolution of modularity is closely associated with the number of (distinct) enzymes in the organism's metabolome, a consequence of different life styles of the species. We find that the order of modularity is the same as the order of the number of the enzymes under the classification based on the temperature preference but not on the oxygen requirement. Besides, inspection of modularity-based communities reveals that these communities are graph-theoretically meaningful yet not reflective of specific biological functions. From an evolutionary perspective, we find that the community structures are conserved only at the level of kingdoms. Our results call for more investigation into the interplay between evolution and modularity: how evolution shapes modularity, and how modularity affects evolution (mainly in terms of fitness and evolvability). Further, our results call for exploring new measures of modularity and network

  4. 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.

  5. Community structure and Distribution of Phytomacrofauna in Iyagbe ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    Benthic Ecology Unit, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Lagos Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. *Corresponding author: ... such as fishes and invertebrates can also be affected, ...... Lake Vechten: structural and functional relationships.

  6. Phylogenetic community structure: temporal variation in fish assemblage

    OpenAIRE

    Santorelli, Sergio; Magnusson, William; Ferreira, Efrem; Caramaschi, Erica; Zuanon, Jansen; Amadio, Sidnéia

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses about phylogenetic relationships among species allow inferences about the mechanisms that affect species coexistence. Nevertheless, most studies assume that phylogenetic patterns identified are stable over time. We used data on monthly samples of fish from a single lake over 10 years to show that the structure in phylogenetic assemblages varies over time and conclusions depend heavily on the time scale investigated. The data set was organized in guild structures and temporal scales...

  7. Changes in microbial community structure in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral-Zettler, Linda A; Rocca, Jennifer D; Lamontagne, Michael G; Dennett, Mark R; Gast, Rebecca J

    2008-12-15

    Hurricanes have the potential to alter the structures of coastal ecosystems and generate pathogen-laden floodwaters thatthreaten public health. To examine the impact of hurricanes on urban systems, we compared microbial community structures in samples collected after Hurricane Katrina and before and after Hurricane Rita. We extracted environmental DNA and sequenced small-subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) gene clone libraries to survey microbial communities in floodwater, water, and sediment samples collected from Lake Charles, Lake Pontchartrain, the 17th Street and Industrial Canals in New Orleans, and raw sewage. Correspondence analysis showed that microbial communities associated with sediments formed one cluster while communities associated with lake and Industrial Canal water formed a second. Communities associated with water from the 17th Street Canal and floodwaters collected in New Orleans showed similarity to communities in raw sewage and contained a number of sequences associated with possible pathogenic microbes. This suggests that a distinct microbial community developed in floodwaters following Hurricane Katrina and that microbial community structures as a whole might be sensitive indicators of ecosystem health and serve as "sentinels" of water quality in the environment.

  8. Bacterial community structure and soil properties of a subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye Min; Jung, Ji Young; Yergeau, Etienne; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Hinzman, Larry; Nam, Sungjin; Hong, Soon Gyu; Kim, Ok-Sun; Chun, Jongsik; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2014-08-01

    The subarctic region is highly responsive and vulnerable to climate change. Understanding the structure of subarctic soil microbial communities is essential for predicting the response of the subarctic soil environment to climate change. To determine the composition of the bacterial community and its relationship with soil properties, we investigated the bacterial community structure and properties of surface soil from the moist acidic tussock tundra in Council, Alaska. We collected 70 soil samples with 25-m intervals between sampling points from 0-10 cm to 10-20 cm depths. The bacterial community was analyzed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, and the following soil properties were analyzed: soil moisture content (MC), pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), and inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3-). The community compositions of the two different depths showed that Alphaproteobacteria decreased with soil depth. Among the soil properties measured, soil pH was the most significant factor correlating with bacterial community in both upper and lower-layer soils. Bacterial community similarity based on jackknifed unweighted unifrac distance showed greater similarity across horizontal layers than through the vertical depth. This study showed that soil depth and pH were the most important soil properties determining bacterial community structure of the subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  9. Exploring anti-community structure in networks with application to incompatibility of traditional Chinese medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jiajing; Liu, Yongguo; Zhang, Yun; Liu, Xiaofeng; Xiao, Yonghua; Wang, Shidong; Wu, Xindong

    2017-11-01

    Community structure is one of the most important properties in networks, in which a node shares its most connections with the others in the same community. On the contrary, the anti-community structure means the nodes in the same group have few or no connections with each other. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the incompatibility problem of herbs is a challenge to the clinical medication safety. In this paper, we propose a new anti-community detection algorithm, Random non-nEighboring nOde expansioN (REON), to find anti-communities in networks, in which a new evaluation criterion, anti-modularity, is designed to measure the quality of the obtained anti-community structure. In order to establish anti-communities in REON, we expand the node set by non-neighboring node expansion and regard the node set with the highest anti-modularity as an anti-community. Inspired by the phenomenon that the node with higher degree has greater contribution to the anti-modularity, an improved algorithm called REONI is developed by expanding node set by the non-neighboring node with the maximum degree, which greatly enhances the efficiency of REON. Experiments on synthetic and real-world networks demonstrate the superiority of the proposed algorithms over the existing methods. In addition, by applying REONI to the herb network, we find that it can discover incompatible herb combinations.

  10. Reducing classification error of grassland overgrowth by combing low-density lidar acquisitions and optical remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitkänen, T. P.; Käyhkö, N.

    2017-08-01

    Mapping structural changes in vegetation dynamics has, for a long time, been carried out using satellite images, orthophotos and, more recently, airborne lidar acquisitions. Lidar has established its position as providing accurate material for structure-based analyses but its limited availability, relatively short history, and lack of spectral information, however, are generally impeding the use of lidar data for change detection purposes. A potential solution in respect of detecting both contemporary vegetation structures and their previous trajectories is to combine lidar acquisitions with optical remote sensing data, which can substantially extend the coverage, span and spectral range needed for vegetation mapping. In this study, we tested the simultaneous use of a single low-density lidar data set, a series of Landsat satellite frames and two high-resolution orthophotos to detect vegetation succession related to grassland overgrowth, i.e. encroachment of woody plants into semi-natural grasslands. We built several alternative Random Forest models with different sets of variables and tested the applicability of respective data sources for change detection purposes, aiming at distinguishing unchanged grassland and woodland areas from overgrown grasslands. Our results show that while lidar alone provides a solid basis for indicating structural differences between grassland and woodland vegetation, and orthophoto-generated variables alone are better in detecting successional changes, their combination works considerably better than its respective parts. More specifically, a model combining all the used data sets reduces the total error from 17.0% to 11.0% and omission error of detecting overgrown grasslands from 56.9% to 31.2%, when compared to model constructed solely based on lidar data. This pinpoints the efficiency of the approach where lidar-generated structural metrics are combined with optical and multitemporal observations, providing a workable framework to

  11. Can microcystins affect zooplankton structure community in tropical eutrophic reservoirs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. S. V. Paes

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of our study was to assess whether cyanotoxins (microcystins can affect the composition of the zooplankton community, leading to domination of microzooplankton forms (protozoans and rotifers. Temporal variations in concentrations of microcystins and zooplankton biomass were analyzed in three eutrophic reservoirs in the semi-arid northeast region of Brazil. The concentration of microcystins in water proved to be correlated with the cyanobacterial biovolume, indicating the contributions from colonial forms such as Microcystis in the production of cyanotoxins. At the community level, the total biomass of zooplankton was not correlated with the concentration of microcystin (r2 = 0.00; P > 0.001, but in a population-level analysis, the biomass of rotifers and cladocerans showed a weak positive correlation. Cyclopoid copepods, which are considered to be relatively inefficient in ingesting cyanobacteria, were negatively correlated (r2 = – 0.01; P > 0.01 with the concentration of cyanotoxins. Surprisingly, the biomass of calanoid copepods was positively correlated with the microcystin concentration (r2 = 0.44; P > 0.001. The results indicate that allelopathic control mechanisms (negative effects of microcystin on zooplankton biomass do not seem to substantially affect the composition of mesozooplankton, which showed a constant and high biomass compared to the microzooplankton (rotifers. These results may be important to better understand the trophic interactions between zooplankton and cyanobacteria and the potential effects of allelopathic compounds on zooplankton.

  12. The structure and functions of bacterial communities in an agrocenosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrovol'skaya, T. G.; Khusnetdinova, K. A.; Manucharova, N. A.; Balabko, P. N.

    2016-01-01

    The most significant factor responsible for the specific taxonomic composition of the bacterial communities in the agrocenosis studied was found to be a part or organ of plants (leaves, flowers, roots, fruits). A stage of plant ontogeny also determines changes of taxa. In the course of the plant growth, eccrisotrophic bacteria are replaced by hydrolytic ones that belong to the group of cellulose-decomposing bacteria. Representatives of the proteobacteria genera that are difficult to identify by phenotypic methods were determined using molecular-biological methods. They were revealed only on oat leaves in the moist period. As the vetch-oat mixture was fertilized with BIOUD-1 (foliar application) in the phyllosphere of both oats and vetch, on all the plant organs, representatives of the Rhodococcus genus as dominants were isolated. This fact was related to the capability of bacteria to decompose the complex aromatic compounds that are ingredients of the fertilizers applied. Another positive effect for plants of the bacterial communities forming in agrocenoses is the presence of bacteria that are antagonists of phytopathogenic bacteria. Thus, in agrocenoses, some interrelationships promoting the growth and reproduction of plants are formed in crop plants and bacteria.

  13. A game theoretic algorithm to detect overlapping community structure in networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xu; Zhao, Xiaohui; Liu, Yanheng; Sun, Geng

    2018-04-01

    Community detection can be used as an important technique for product and personalized service recommendation. A game theory based approach to detect overlapping community structure is introduced in this paper. The process of the community formation is converted into a game, when all agents (nodes) cannot improve their own utility, the game process will be terminated. The utility function is composed of a gain and a loss function and we present a new gain function in this paper. In addition, different from choosing action randomly among join, quit and switch for each agent to get new label, two new strategies for each agent to update its label are designed during the game, and the strategies are also evaluated and compared for each agent in order to find its best result. The overlapping community structure is naturally presented when the stop criterion is satisfied. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm outperforms other similar algorithms for detecting overlapping communities in networks.

  14. Phylogenetic and Functional Structure of Wintering Waterbird Communities Associated with Ecological Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Xianli; Zhang, Min; Zhao, Yanyan; Zhang, Qiang; Quan, Qing; Møller, Anders; Zou, Fasheng

    2018-01-19

    Ecological differences may be related to community component divisions between Oriental (west) and Sino-Japanese (east) realms, and such differences may result in weak geographical breaks in migratory species that are highly mobile. Here, we conducted comparative phylogenetic and functional structure analyses of wintering waterbird communities in southern China across two realms and subsequently examined possible climate drivers of the observed patterns. An analysis based on such highly migratory species is particularly telling because migration is bound to reduce or completely eliminate any divergence between communities. Phylogenetic and functional structure of eastern communities showed over-dispersion while western communities were clustered. Basal phylogenetic and functional turnover of western communities was significant lower than that of eastern communities. The break between eastern and western communities was masked by these two realms. Geographic patterns were related to mean temperature changes and temperature fluctuations, suggesting that temperature may filter waterbird lineages and traits, thus underlying geographical community divisions. These results suggest phylogenetic and functional divisions in southern China, coinciding with biogeography. This study shows that temperature fluctuations constitute an essential mechanism shaping geographical divisions that have largely gone undetected previously, even under climate change.

  15. Evaluation of community structure and community function after exposure to the turbine fuel jet-A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodgers, S.C.; Landis, W.G.

    1993-01-01

    The underlying premises of the Mixed Flask Culture (MFC), an aquatic microcosm design, include (1) that the effects of a perturbation to an aquatic community may be monitored through the measurement of its functional parameters (i.e. pH and productivity/respiration ratio) and (2) these measurements will be similar between different wild-derived communities given the same perturbation. Two MFC experiments were conducted to assess these two premises. The treatment groups in both experiments consisted of 0%, 1%, 5%, and 15% WSF Jet-A with six replicates respectively. The experimental designs reflected both the MFC and the Standard Aquatic Microcosm (SAM); this hybrid design resulted in following a MFC protocol, but incorporated the SAM specified laboratory cultured organisms. Beaker homogeneity via cross inoculation and reinoculation was encouraged in the first experiment prior to dosing. Beaker heterogeneity was encouraged in the first experiment prior to dosing. Beaker heterogeneity was encouraged in the second experiment by not cross inoculating or reinoculating. The differences between the two experiments was designed to indicate if differently derived communities react similarly to an identical perturbation. Do the microcosms within each treatment group resemble each other functionally throughout the experiment, or is the within group deviation greater than the between group deviation?

  16. Changing tree composition by life history strategy in a grassland-forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; John M. Kabrick; Hong S. He

    2014-01-01

    After rapid deforestation in the eastern United States, which generally occurred during the period of 1850-1920, forests did not return to historical composition and structure. We examined forest compositional change and then considered how historical land use and current land use may influence forests in a grassland-forest landscape, the Missouri Plains, where...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Cyanobacterial Community Structure In Lithifying Mats of A Yellowstone Hotspring-Implications for Precambrian Stromatolite Biocomplexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Evan; Nash, C. Z.; Vogler, D. R.; Cullings, K.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of partial 16S rRNA gene sequences was used to investigate the molecular biodiversity of cyanobacterial communities inhabiting various lithified morpho-structures in two hotsprings of Yellowstone National Park. These morpho-structures - flat-topped columns, columnar cones, and ridged cones - resemble ancient stromatolites, which are possibly biogenic in origin. The top, middle and bottom sections of these lithified morpho-structures, as well as surrounding non-lithified mats were analyzed to determine the vertical and spatial distribution of cyanobacterial communities. Results from DGGE indicate that the cyanobacterial community composition of lithified morpho-structures (flat-topped columns, columnar cones, and ridged cones) were largely similar in vertical distribution as well as among the morpho-structures being studied. Preliminary results indicate that the cyanobacterial communities in these lithified morpho-structures were significantly different from communities in surrounding non-lithified mats. These results provide additional support to the theory that certain Phormidium/Leptolyngbya species are involved in the morphogenesis of lithifying morpho-structures in hotsprings and may have played a role in the formation of ancient stromatolites.

  20. Evolution of bacterial life-history traits is sensitive to community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ketola, Tarmo; Mikonranta, Lauri; Mappes, Johanna

    2016-06-01

    Very few studies have experimentally assessed the evolutionary effects of species interactions within the same trophic level. Here we show that when Serratia marcescens evolve in multispecies communities, their growth rate exceeds the growth rate of the bacteria that evolved alone, whereas the biomass yield gets lower. In addition to the community effects per se, we found that few species in the communities caused strong effects on S. marcescens evolution. The results indicate that evolutionary responses (of a focal species) are different in communities, compared to species evolving alone. Moreover, selection can lead to very different outcomes depending on the community structure. Such context dependencies cast doubt on our ability to predict the course of evolution in the wild, where species often inhabit very different kinds of communities. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. Quantitative Comparison of Abundance Structures of Generalized Communities: From B-Cell Receptor Repertoires to Microbiomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammadkarim Saeedghalati

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The community, the assemblage of organisms co-existing in a given space and time, has the potential to become one of the unifying concepts of biology, especially with the advent of high-throughput sequencing experiments that reveal genetic diversity exhaustively. In this spirit we show that a tool from community ecology, the Rank Abundance Distribution (RAD, can be turned by the new MaxRank normalization method into a generic, expressive descriptor for quantitative comparison of communities in many areas of biology. To illustrate the versatility of the method, we analyze RADs from various generalized communities, i.e. assemblages of genetically diverse cells or organisms, including human B cells, gut microbiomes under antibiotic treatment and of different ages and countries of origin, and other human and environmental microbial communities. We show that normalized RADs enable novel quantitative approaches that help to understand structures and dynamics of complex generalized communities.

  2. The impacts of triclosan on anaerobic community structures, function, and antimicrobial resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Patrick J; LaPara, Timothy M; Novak, Paige J

    2014-07-01

    Triclosan is a widespread antimicrobial agent that accumulates in anaerobic digesters used to treat the residual solids generated at municipal wastewater treatment plants; there is very little information, however, about how triclosan impacts microbial communities in anaerobic digesters. We investigated how triclosan impacts the community structure, function and antimicrobial resistance genes in lab-scale anaerobic digesters. Previously exposed (to triclosan) communities were amended with 5, 50, and 500 mg/kg of triclosan, corresponding to the median, 95th percentile, and 4-fold higher than maximum triclosan concentration that has been detected in U.S. biosolids. Triclosan amendment caused all of the Bacteria and Archaea communities to structurally diverge from that of the control cultures (based on ARISA). At the end of the experiment, all triclosan-amended Archaea communities had diverged from the control communities, regardless of the triclosan concentration added. In contrast, over time the Bacteria communities that were amended with lower concentrations of triclosan (5 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) initially diverged and then reconverged with the control community structure. Methane production at 500 mg/kg was nearly half the methane production in control cultures. At 50 mg/kg, a large variability in methane production was observed, suggesting that 50 mg/kg may be a tipping point where function begins to fail in some communities. When previously unexposed communities were exposed to 500 mg triclosan/kg, function was maintained, but the abundance of a gene encoding for triclosan resistance (mexB) increased. This research suggests that triclosan could inhibit methane production in anaerobic digesters if concentrations were to increase and may also select for resistant Bacteria. In both cases, microbial community composition and exposure history alter the influence of triclosan.

  3. Fungal Community Structure as an Indicator of Soil Agricultural Management Effects in the Cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alana de Almeida Valadares-Pereira

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Forest-to-agriculture conversion and soil management practices for soybean cropping are frequently performed in the Cerrado (Brazilian tropical savanna. However, the effects of these practices on the soil microbial communities are still unknown. We evaluated and compared the fungal community structure in soil from soybean cropland with soil under native Cerrado vegetation at different times of the year in the Tocantins State. Soil samples were collected in two periods after planting (December and in two periods during the soybean reproductive growth stage (February. Concomitantly, soil samples were collected from an area under native Cerrado vegetation surrounding the agricultural area. The soil DNA was analyzed using a fingerprinting method termed Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Space Analysis (ARISA to assess the fungal community structure in the soil. Differences in the fungal community structure in the soil were found when comparing soybean cropland with the native vegetation (R = 0.932 for sampling 1 and R = 0.641 for sampling 2. Changes in the fungal community structure after management practices for soybean planting in Cerrado areas were related to changes in soil properties, mainly in copper, calcium, and iron contents, cation exchange capacity, base saturation, and calcium to magnesium ratio. These results show the changes in the fungal community structure in the soil as an effect of agricultural soil management in Cerrado vegetation in the state of Tocantins.

  4. A Mosaic of Geothermal and Marine Features Shapes Microbial Community Structure on Deception Island Volcano, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda G. Bendia

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Active volcanoes in Antarctica contrast with their predominantly cold surroundings, resulting in environmental conditions capable of selecting for versatile and extremely diverse microbial communities. This is especially true on Deception Island, where geothermal, marine, and polar environments combine to create an extraordinary range of environmental conditions. Our main goal in this study was to understand how microbial community structure is shaped by gradients of temperature, salinity, and geochemistry in polar marine volcanoes. Thereby, we collected surface sediment samples associated with fumaroles and glaciers at two sites on Deception, with temperatures ranging from 0 to 98°C. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to assess the composition and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Our results revealed that Deception harbors a combination of taxonomic groups commonly found both in cold and geothermal environments of continental Antarctica, and also groups normally identified at deep and shallow-sea hydrothermal vents, such as hyperthermophilic archaea. We observed a clear separation in microbial community structure across environmental gradients, suggesting that microbial community structure is strongly niche driven on Deception. Bacterial community structure was significantly associated with temperature, pH, salinity, and chemical composition; in contrast, archaeal community structure was strongly associated only with temperature. Our work suggests that Deception represents a peculiar “open-air” laboratory to elucidate central questions regarding molecular adaptability, microbial evolution, and biogeography of extremophiles in polar regions.

  5. Perturbation of seafloor bacterial community structure by drilling waste discharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Tan T; Cochrane, Sabine K J; Landfald, Bjarne

    2018-04-01

    Offshore drilling operations result in the generation of drill cuttings and localized smothering of the benthic habitats. This study explores bacterial community changes in the in the upper layers of the seafloor resulting from an exploratory drilling operation at 1400m water depth on the Barents Sea continental slope. Significant restructurings of the sediment microbiota were restricted to the sampling sites notably affected by the drilling waste discharge, i.e. at 30m and 50m distances from the drilling location, and to the upper 2cm of the seafloor. Three bacterial groups, the orders Clostridiales and Desulfuromonadales and the class Mollicutes, were almost exclusively confined to the upper two centimeters at 30m distance, thereby corroborating an observed increase in anaerobicity inflicted by the drilling waste deposition. The potential of these phylogenetic groups as microbial bioindicators of the spatial extent and persistence of drilling waste discharge should be further explored. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. The Structure of Psychopathology in a Community Sample of Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Jennifer; Keller, Jennifer; Lavigne, John V.; Gouze, Karen; Hopkins, Joyce; LeBailly, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Despite growing interest in the development of alternative diagnostic classification systems for psychopathology in young children, little is known about the adequacy of the DSM symptom structure for describing psychopathology in this population. This paper examines the fit of the DSM-IV emotional (ED) and disruptive behavior disorder (DD) symptom…

  8. Effect of sulfate fertilization on soil biota in grassland columns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikoyi, Israel; Donohue, John; Fowler, Andrew; Schmalenberger, Achim

    2017-04-01

    Sulfur (S) is an important macronutrient element in plant nutrition as a component of protein, enzymes, enzyme cofactors as well as being the major constituent of the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Organically bound S is the predominant form of S in the soil constituting up to 95% of S in agricultural soils. The most important form of S in terms of plant nutrition is inorganic sulfate which forms only about 5% of the total soil S content. Air pollution was the major source of S (as SO2) for plants, with up to 80% of the S obtained from this source. However, common effects of S limitation on crops such as chlorosis, yield reduction, and decrease in crop quality are becoming increasingly evident as atmospheric S supply has decreased in recent years. Recent research has shown that organically-bound S in soils is also plant-bioavailable, likely due to interconversion of organic S forms to inorganic sulfate by soil microbes. In this study, soil columns were setup in a greenhouse using moderate S (equivalent to Wisconsin S soil availability index of below 30) soils. The columns were planted with Lolium perenne and fertilized with 0 (control), 5 (low), 10 (medium) and 20 (high) kg/ha sulfate S alongside a full complement of other nutrients. Results after 14 weeks of management show a significant decrease (Pbacterial abundance of heterotrophs and aromatic sulfonate-utilizing bacteria upon S fertilization. In addition, soil from the top 20 cm of the column had significantly higher sulfatase activity compared to the bottom 20 cm. The medium and high S treatments had significantly higher grass dry matter yield compared to the control and low S treatments. All S treatments significantly shifted the bacterial community structure compared to the control. Overall, our preliminary results suggest that applying 5 kg/ ha S had similar effects on the soil biota as the control while the application of medium and high S had similar effects on most parameters. Moreover, this study

  9. The Relative Importance of Spatial and Local Environmental Factors in Determining Beetle Assemblages in the Inner Mongolia Grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Dong Yu

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to increase understanding of the relative importance of the input of geographic and local environmental factors on richness and composition of epigaeic steppe beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae and Tenebrionidae along a geographic (longitudinal/precipitation gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. Specifically, we evaluate the associations of environmental variables representing climate and environmental heterogeneity with beetle assemblages. Beetles were sampled using pitfall traps at 25 sites scattered across the full geographic extent of the study biome in 2011-2012. We used variance partitioning techniques and multi-model selection based on the Akaike information criterion to assess the relative importance of the spatial and environmental variables on beetle assemblages. Species richness and abundance showed unimodal patterns along the geographic gradient. Together with space, climate variables associated with precipitation, water-energy balance and harshness of climate had strong explanatory power in richness pattern. Abundance pattern showed strongest association with variation in temperature and environmental heterogeneity. Climatic factors associated with temperature and precipitation variables and the interaction between climate with space were able to explain a substantial amount of variation in community structure. In addition, the turnover of species increased significantly as geographic distances increased. We confirmed that spatial and local environmental factors worked together to shape epigaeic beetle communities along the geographic gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. Moreover, the climate features, especially precipitation, water-energy balance and temperature, and the interaction between climate with space and environmental heterogeneity appeared to play important roles on controlling richness and abundance, and species compositions of epigaeic beetles.

  10. 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

  11. 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,...

  12. [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.

  13. Traveling salesman problems with PageRank Distance on complex networks reveal community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zhongzhou; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shuai

    2016-12-01

    In this paper, we propose a new algorithm for community detection problems (CDPs) based on traveling salesman problems (TSPs), labeled as TSP-CDA. Since TSPs need to find a tour with minimum cost, cities close to each other are usually clustered in the tour. This inspired us to model CDPs as TSPs by taking each vertex as a city. Then, in the final tour, the vertices in the same community tend to cluster together, and the community structure can be obtained by cutting the tour into a couple of paths. There are two challenges. The first is to define a suitable distance between each pair of vertices which can reflect the probability that they belong to the same community. The second is to design a suitable strategy to cut the final tour into paths which can form communities. In TSP-CDA, we deal with these two challenges by defining a PageRank Distance and an automatic threshold-based cutting strategy. The PageRank Distance is designed with the intrinsic properties of CDPs in mind, and can be calculated efficiently. In the experiments, benchmark networks with 1000-10,000 nodes and varying structures are used to test the performance of TSP-CDA. A comparison is also made between TSP-CDA and two well-established community detection algorithms. The results show that TSP-CDA can find accurate community structure efficiently and outperforms the two existing algorithms.

  14. Microbial community structure characteristics associated membrane fouling in A/O-MBR system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Da-Wen; Wen, Zhi-Dan; Li, Bao; Liang, Hong

    2014-02-01

    The study demonstrated the potential relationship between microbial community structure and membrane fouling in an anoxic-oxic membrane bioreactor (A/O-MBR). The results showed that the microbial community structure in biocake was different with aerobic mixture, and the dominant populations were out of sync during the fouling process. Based on microbial community structure and metabolites analysis, the results showed that the succession of microbial community might be the leading factor to the variation of metabolites, and it might be the primary cause of membrane fouling. The rise of Shannon diversity index (H) of the microbial community in A/O-MBR went with the gradually serious membrane fouling. Pareto-Lorenz curve was used to describe the evenness of microbial distribution in A/O-MBR, and the result indicated when community evenness was low, the membrane fouling took place smoothly or slightly, otherwise, high evenness of microbial community would lead to more seriously membrane fouling. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Investigating the link between fish community structure and environmental state in deep-time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibert, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    In the modern ocean, a bottom-up ecological viewpoint posits that the composition of plankton communities is often a function of ambient oceanographic conditions, including nutrient concentrations and water temperature. Thus, certain plankton species or communities can be associated with specific oceanographic conditions, giving them potential as carriers of paleoceanographic information. Furthermore, consumer groups, such as fish, depend on the structure and composition of these plankton, and therefore different plankton communities will support different types of fish. In addition, fish have their own physiological constraints for surviving in particular environments, such as oxygen demand, and metabolic rate, causing certain clades to be selectively associated with different water mass characteristics. Thus, the relative or absolute abundances of different fish species or groups could shed light on shifting oxygen concentrations, temperature, or primary productivity in the past. To assess whether fish communities have sufficient environmental control to provide paleoceanographic insights, I use a variety of morphological, phylogenetic, and ecological statistical approaches, to correlate modern fish communities from around the world with environmental variables. I then apply these principles to a series of ichthyolith assemblages from the Cretaceous and Cenozoic, across both space and time, to assess whether fish community composition, abundance, or other characteristics can be predictive of ocean temperature or export productivity. I find that while the abundance of fish fossils in deep-sea cores is often, though not always, correlated with certain export production and temperature proxies, community composition appears to vary independently of these variables on long timescales, driven more by evolutionary processes. However, there are distinct differences in contemporary communities in different locations, suggesting that there is potential in using fish

  16. Biofilm diatom community structure: Influence of temporal and substratum variability

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Patil, J.S.; Anil, A.C.

    ). The structure and composition of the fouling com- munity exhibit wide temporal and regional varia- tions, which are also influenced by the substratum. Dona Paula Bay, the site of this investigation, is highly dynamic in terms of its physico...-off and nutrient loading in coastal environments. In general, the waters are highly disturbed during the monsoon (June–September) and calm during the pre-monsoon (February–May) and post-monsoon (October–January) periods. Such changes are instrumental...

  17. Structuring Community Care using Multi-Agent Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer, Martin D.

    Community care is a complex operation that requires the interaction of large numbers of dedicated individuals, managed by an equally wide range of organisations. They are also by their nature highly mobile and flexible, moving between clients in whatever order person receiving care is that they receive what they expect regularly, reliably and when they expect to receive it. Current systems are heavily provider focused on providing the scheduled care with as high apparent cost effectiveness as possible. Unfortunately, the lack of focus on the client often leads to inflexibility with expensive services being provided when they are not needed, large scale duplication of effort or inadequate flexibility to change the care regime to meet changing circumstances. Add to this the problems associated with the lack of integration of emergency and routing care and the extensive support given by friends and family and many opportunities exist to improve both the levels of support and the efficiency of care. The move towards Individual Care Plans requires much closer monitoring to ensure that the care specified for each individual is actually delivered and when linked with smart home technology in conjunction with appropriate sensors allows a much richer range of services to be offered which can be customised to meet the needs of each individual, giving them the assurance to continue to live independently.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Metabolic and demographic feedbacks shape the emergent spatial structure and function of microbial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie Estrela

    Full Text Available Microbes are predominantly found in surface-attached and spatially structured polymicrobial communities. Within these communities, microbial cells excrete a wide range of metabolites, setting the stage for interspecific metabolic interactions. The links, however, between metabolic and ecological interactions (functional relationships, and species spatial organization (structural relationships are still poorly understood. Here, we use an individual-based modelling framework to simulate the growth of a two-species surface-attached community where food (resource is traded for detoxification (service and investigate how metabolic constraints of individual species shape the emergent structural and functional relationships of the community. We show that strong metabolic interdependence drives the emergence of mutualism, robust interspecific mixing, and increased community productivity. Specifically, we observed a striking and highly stable emergent lineage branching pattern, generating a persistent lineage mixing that was absent when the metabolic exchange was removed. These emergent community properties are driven by demographic feedbacks, such that aid from neighbouring cells directly enhances focal cell growth, which in turn feeds back to neighbour fecundity. In contrast, weak metabolic interdependence drives conflict (exploitation or competition, and in turn greater interspecific segregation. Together, these results support the idea that species structural and functional relationships represent the net balance of metabolic interdependencies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

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

  1. Dynamic structure of stock communities: a comparative study between stock returns and turnover rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Li-Ling; Jiang, Xiong-Fei; Li, Sai-Ping; Zhong, Li-Xin; Ren, Fei

    2017-07-01

    The detection of community structure in stock market is of theoretical and practical significance for the study of financial dynamics and portfolio risk estimation. We here study the community structures in Chinese stock markets from the aspects of both price returns and turnover rates, by using a combination of the PMFG and infomap methods based on a distance matrix. An empirical study using the overall data set shows that for both returns and turnover rates the largest communities are composed of specific industrial or conceptional sectors and the correlation inside a sector is generally larger than the correlation between different sectors. However, the community structure for turnover rates is more complex than that for returns, which indicates that the interactions between stocks revealed by turnover rates may contain more information. This conclusion is further confirmed by the analysis of the changes in the dynamics of community structures over five sub-periods. Sectors like banks, real estate, health care and New Shanghai take turns to comprise a few of the largest communities in different sub-periods, and more interestingly several specific sectors appear in the communities with different rank orders for returns and turnover rates even in the same sub-period. To better understand their differences, a comparison between the evolution of the returns and turnover rates of the stocks from these sectors is conducted. We find that stock prices only had large changes around important events while turnover rates surged after each of these events relevant to specific sectors, which shows strong evidence that the turnover rates are more susceptible to exogenous shocks than returns and its measurement for community detection may contain more useful information about market structure.