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Sample records for grassland perennial electronic

  1. 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.

  2. Seasonal/Interannual Variations of Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Emission in a Warm-Season Perennial Grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Deepa Dhital; Tomoharu Inoue; Hiroshi Koizumi

    2014-01-01

    Carbon sequestration and carbon emission are processes of ecosystem carbon cycling that can be affected while land area converted to grassland resulting in increased soil carbon storage and below-ground respiration. Discerning the importance of carbon cycle in grassland, we aimed to estimate carbon sequestration in photosynthesis and carbon emission in respiration from soil, root, and microbes, for four consecutive years (2007–2010) in a warm-season perennial grassland, Japan. Soil carbon emi...

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

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    Sánchez, Ana M.; Peco, Begoña

    2004-07-01

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

  4. Root Characteristics of Perennial Warm-Season Grasslands Managed for Grazing and Biomass Production

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    Rattan Lal

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Minirhizotrons were used to study root growth characteristics in recently established fields dominated by perennial C4-grasses that were managed either for cattle grazing or biomass production for bioenergy in Virginia, USA. Measurements over a 13-month period showed that grazing resulted in smaller total root volumes and root diameters. Under biomass management, root volume was 40% higher (49 vs. 35 mm3 and diameters were 20% larger (0.29 vs. 0.24 mm compared to grazing. While total root length did not differ between grazed and biomass treatments, root distribution was shallower under grazed areas, with 50% of total root length in the top 7 cm of soil, compared to 41% in ungrazed exclosures. These changes (i.e., longer roots and greater root volume in the top 10 cm of soil under grazing but the reverse at 17–28 cm soil depths were likely caused by a shift in plant species composition as grazing reduced C4 grass biomass and allowed invasion of annual unsown species. The data suggest that management of perennial C4 grasslands for either grazing or biomass production can affect root growth in different ways and this, in turn, may have implications for the subsequent carbon sequestration potential of these grasslands.

  5. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion

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    Xiaobo Zhou; Matthew J. Helmers; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randy Kolka; Mark D. Tomer

    2010-01-01

    Many croplands planted to perennial grasses under the Conservation Reserve Program are being returned to crop production, and with potential consequences for water quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of grassland-to-cropland conversion on nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in soil and shallow groundwater and to...

  6. Interannual variation in nitrous oxide emissions from perennial ryegrass/white clover grassland used for dairy production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burchill, William; Li, Dejun; Lanigan, Gary J; Williams, Micheal; Humphreys, James

    2014-10-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2 O) emissions are subject to intra- and interannual variation due to changes in weather and management. This creates significant uncertainties when quantifying estimates of annual N2 O emissions from grazed grasslands. Despite these uncertainties, the majority of studies are short-term in nature (Nitrous oxide emissions were measured from fertilized and grazed perennial ryegrass/white clover grassland (WC) and from perennial ryegrass plots that were not grazed and did not receive N input (GB), over 4 years from 2008 to 2012 in Ireland (52°51'N, 08°21'W). The annual N2 O-N emissions (kg ha(-1); mean ± SE) ranged from 4.4 ± 0.2 to 34.4 ± 5.5 from WC and from 1.7 ± 0.8 to 6.3 ± 1.2 from GB. Interannual variation in N2 O emissions was attributed to differences in annual rainfall, monthly (December) soil temperatures and variation in N input. Such substantial interannual variation in N2 O emissions highlights the need for long-term studies of emissions from managed pastoral systems. © 2014 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion.

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    Zhou, Xiaobo; Helmers, Matthew J; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Kolka, Randy; Tomer, Mark D

    2010-01-01

    Many croplands planted to perennial grasses under the Conservation Reserve Program are being returned to crop production, and with potential consequences for water quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of grassland-to-cropland conversion on nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in soil and shallow groundwater and to assess the potential for perennial filter strips (PFS) to mitigate increases in NO3-N levels. The study, conducted at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge (NSNWR) in central Iowa, consisted of a balanced incomplete block design with 12 watersheds and four watershed-scale treatments having different proportions and topographic positions of PFS planted in native prairie grasses: 100% rowcrop, 10% PFS (toeslope position), 10% PFS (distributed on toe and as contour strips), and 20 PFS (distributed on toe and as contour strips). All treatments were established in fall 2006 on watersheds that were under bromegrass (Bromus L.) cover for at least 10 yr. Nonperennial areas were maintained under a no-till 2-yr corn (Zea mays L.)--soybean [Glycine max. (L.) Merr.] rotation since spring 2007. Suction lysimeter and shallow groundwater wells located at upslope and toeslope positions were sampled monthly during the growing season to determine NO3-N concentration from 2005 to 2008. The results indicated significant increases in NO3-N concentration in soil and groundwater following grassland-to-cropland conversion. Nitrate-nitrogen levels in the vadose zone and groundwater under PFS were lower compared with 100% cropland, with the most significant differences occurring at the toeslope position. During the years following conversion, PFS mitigated increases in subsurface nitrate, but long-term monitoring is needed to observe and understand the full response to land-use conversion.

  8. Interspecific competition changes reproductive output but does not increase reproductive costs in a grassland perennial

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr; Havlíčková, Vendula; Jorritsma-Wienk, L. D.; Eriksson, O.; Herben, Tomáš

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 6 (2009), s. 525-534 ISSN 1439-1791 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB600050713 Grant - others:Evropská komise(XE) EVK2-CT-1999-00004 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : clonal growth * phenotypic plasticity * grasslands Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.422, year: 2009

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

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    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.

  10. Long-Term Overgrazing-Induced Memory Decreases Photosynthesis of Clonal Offspring in a Perennial Grassland Plant.

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    Ren, Weibo; Hu, Ningning; Hou, Xiangyang; Zhang, Jize; Guo, Huiqin; Liu, Zhiying; Kong, Lingqi; Wu, Zinian; Wang, Hui; Li, Xiliang

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies of transgenerational plasticity have demonstrated that long-term overgrazing experienced by Leymus chinensis , an ecologically dominant, rhizomatous grass species in eastern Eurasian temperate grassland, significantly affects its clonal growth in subsequent generations. However, there is a dearth of information on the reasons underlying this overgrazing-induced memory effect in plant morphological plasticity. We characterized the relationship between a dwarf phenotype and photosynthesis function decline of L. chinensis from the perspective of leaf photosynthesis by using both field measurement and rhizome buds culture cultivated in a greenhouse. Leaf photosynthetic functions (net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular carbon dioxide concentration, and transpiration rate) were significantly decreased in smaller L. chinensis individuals that were induced to have a dwarf phenotype by being heavily grazed in the field. This decreased photosynthetic function was maintained a generation after greenhouse tests in which grazing was excluded. Both the response of L. chinensis morphological traits and photosynthetic functions in greenhouse were deceased relative to those in the field experiment. Further, there were significant decreases in leaf chlorophyll content and Rubisco enzyme activities of leaves between bud-cultured dwarf and non-dwarf L. chinensis in the greenhouse. Moreover, gene expression patterns showed that the bud-cultured dwarf L. chinensis significantly down-regulated (by 1.86- to 5.33-fold) a series of key genes that regulate photosynthetic efficiency, stomata opening, and chloroplast development compared with the non-dwarf L. chinensis . This is among the first studies revealing a linkage between long-term overgrazing affecting the transgenerational morphological plasticity of clonal plants and physiologically adaptive photosynthesis function. Overall, clonal transgenerational effects in L. chinensis phenotypic traits

  11. Long-Term Overgrazing-Induced Memory Decreases Photosynthesis of Clonal Offspring in a Perennial Grassland Plant

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    Xiangyang Hou

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies of transgenerational plasticity have demonstrated that long-term overgrazing experienced by Leymus chinensis, an ecologically dominant, rhizomatous grass species in eastern Eurasian temperate grassland, significantly affects its clonal growth in subsequent generations. However, there is a dearth of information on the reasons underlying this overgrazing-induced memory effect in plant morphological plasticity. We characterized the relationship between a dwarf phenotype and photosynthesis function decline of L. chinensis from the perspective of leaf photosynthesis by using both field measurement and rhizome buds culture cultivated in a greenhouse. Leaf photosynthetic functions (net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular carbon dioxide concentration, and transpiration rate were significantly decreased in smaller L. chinensis individuals that were induced to have a dwarf phenotype by being heavily grazed in the field. This decreased photosynthetic function was maintained a generation after greenhouse tests in which grazing was excluded. Both the response of L. chinensis morphological traits and photosynthetic functions in greenhouse were deceased relative to those in the field experiment. Further, there were significant decreases in leaf chlorophyll content and Rubisco enzyme activities of leaves between bud-cultured dwarf and non-dwarf L. chinensis in the greenhouse. Moreover, gene expression patterns showed that the bud-cultured dwarf L. chinensis significantly down-regulated (by 1.86- to 5.33-fold a series of key genes that regulate photosynthetic efficiency, stomata opening, and chloroplast development compared with the non-dwarf L. chinensis. This is among the first studies revealing a linkage between long-term overgrazing affecting the transgenerational morphological plasticity of clonal plants and physiologically adaptive photosynthesis function. Overall, clonal transgenerational effects in L. chinensis

  12. A Simulation Model of Mesophytic Perennial Grasslands Un Modelo de Simulación de Pradera Perenne Mesofítica

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    Giorgio Castellaro G

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands are complex ecosystems and their processes are affected by soil, meteorological, and management variables. In this context, dynamic simulation models are useful to understand these processes and to design grassland use strategies. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a simulation model of perennial pasture growth based on soil and climate variables. A first approach considered that soil fertility levels were adequate; therefore, soil water availability and phytomass level were the main variables affecting pasture growth. The subroutines considered were water balance, pasture growth, and root biomass dynamics. The hypotheses regarding the functioning of the system were formulated as a group of equations which were solved numerically with a program written in Visual Basic®. Model validation was performed by statistical comparison between simulated DM and DM obtained from experiments conducted in Valdivia (39°47' S., 73°15' W; 9 m a.s.l.. In these experiments we measured DM accumulation on naturalized grassland and ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.-white clover (Trifolium repens L. pastures under frequent defoliation. Soil data, temperature, solar radiation, and rainfall were obtained from a meteorological station located in Valdivia. The coefficient of determination between simulated values and those measured in the experiments were higher in the DM accumulation (R² = 98% simulations. When pasture was subjected to frequent defoliation, the degree of fit of the model was lower (R² = 60%; however, the model was able to predict the trend in the data.Los pastizales son ecosistemas complejos y sus procesos se ven afectados por variables edáficas, meteorológicas y de manejo. En este contexto, los modelos dinámicos de simulación son utiles para la comprensión de estos procesos y disenar estrategias de utilización de las praderas. El objetivo de este trabajo fue elaborar y validar un modelo de simulación de crecimiento de

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. The California Valley grassland

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    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

  15. Perennial grasses traits as functional markers of grazing intensity in basaltic grasslands of Uruguay Rasgos de gramíneas perennes como marcadores funcionales de la intensidad de pastoreo en pastizales de basalto en Uruguay

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    Martin Jaurena

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural grasslands in the basaltic region of Uruguay are threatened by an increase in stocking rates and changes in land use. To assess the effect of grazing intensification, plant functional types are proposed as simple tools to aid the monitoring and management of vegetation. In the present study we evaluated the effect of stocking rate increase at community level taking into account plant traits of 23 dominant perennial grass species. In order to identify plant functional types, we determined the grazing response in an experiment with two wethers stocking rates (0.78 and 1.56 livestock units ha-1 quantifying species cover and traits values. Leaf dry matter content (LDMC and specific leaf area (SLA were the traits that best described the perennial grasses response to the stocking rate increase and therefore are suggested to be used as functional markers. Three functional types were identified. Low stocking rates were related to functional type A (tall, warm season species with low SLA and high LDMC and functional type B (tall, cool-season species, with intermediate levels of leaf traits. On the other hand, high stocking rate encouraged functional type C (prostrate, warm season species, with high SLA and low LDMC. The classification of a highly diverse community into three functional types and the selection of traits as functional markers candidates is an innovative approach to develop simple and general methods to diagnosis the state of basaltic grasslands in Uruguay and to advise on its management.Las praderas naturales de la region bas áltica de Uruguay están amenazadas por el incremento de la carga animal y cambios en el uso del suelo. Para evaluar el efecto del pastoreo se han propuesto los grupos funcionales como una herramienta simple para el monitoreo y manejo de la vegetación. El presente estudio evaluó el efecto del incremento de la carga animal considerando rasgos de 23 especies de gramineas perennes dominantes. Para identificar

  16. 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.

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

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

  18. Investigating the Sustainability of Perennial Agriculture

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    Sutherlin, C. E.; Brunsell, N. A.; De Oliveira, G.; Crews, T.; Vico, G.

    2017-12-01

    The changing climate leads to uncertainties concerning the sustainability of certain agricultural resources, and with the additional stresses of an increasing global population, uncertainty in food security will greatly increase. To adhere to future food demands in the face of this changing climate, perennial agriculture has been a proposed solution. However, it is equally important to assure that perennial agriculture is not negatively affecting the climate in exchange for this proposed more robust food source. We chose to examine the interactions between perennial and annual agricultural crops by focusing on the efficiency of exchanges with the atmosphere. This is done using the omega decoupling factor for 4 different sites as a way of quantifying the contributions of radiation and stomatal conductance over the resulting water and carbon cycles. This gives us an indication of how the plant canopy is interacting with, and influencing the local microclimate. Ultimately, this should give us an indication of the ability of perennial crops to aid in the climate mitigation process. We hypothesized that the perennial site chosen would have omega values more similar to the omega values of a natural grassland rather than an annual crop site. Using AmeriFlux towers to determine the canopy values needed to calculate the omega decoupling factor, we focused on the Kernza perennial crops being grown at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas (KLS), in comparison to a natural grassland in Manhattan, Kansas (KON), a typical land cover model in Lawrence, Kansas (KFS), and an annual crop site in Lamont, Oklahoma (ARM). These results will allow us to move forward in the investigation of perennial crops as a sustainable food source.

  19. Grassland Sustainability

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    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...

  20. Optimal prescribed burn frequency to manage foundation California perennial grass species and enhance native flora

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    Grasslands can be diverse assemblages of grasses and forbs but not much is known how perennial grass species management affects native plant diversity except for in a few instances. We studied the use of late spring prescribed burns over a span of eleven years on experimental plots in which the pere...

  1. Perennial Environment Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plas, Frederic

    2014-07-01

    The Perennial Environment Observatory [Observatoire Perenne de l'Environnement - OPE] is a unique approach and infrastructure developed and implemented by ANDRA, the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency, as part of its overall project of deep geological disposal for radioactive waste. Its current mission is to assess the initial state of the rural (forest, pasture, open-field and aquatic) environment, prior to repository construction. This will be followed in 2017 (pending construction authorizations) and for a period exceeding a century, by monitoring of any impact the repository may have on the environment. In addition to serving its own industrial purpose of environmental monitoring, ANDRA also opens the OPE approach, infrastructure and acquired knowledge (database...) to the scientific community to support further research on long term evolution of the environment subjected to natural and anthropogenic stresses, and to contribute to a better understanding of the interaction between the various compartments of the environment

  2. Development of Perennial Grain Sorghum

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    Stan Cox

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Perennial germplasm derived from crosses between Sorghum bicolor and either S. halepense or S. propinquum is being developed with the goal of preventing and reversing soil degradation in the world’s grain sorghum-growing regions. Perennial grain sorghum plants produce subterranean stems known as rhizomes that sprout to form the next season’s crop. In Kansas, breeding perennial sorghum involves crossing S. bicolor cultivars or breeding lines to S. halepense or perennial S. bicolorn × S. halepense breeding lines, selecting perennial plants from F2 or subsequent populations, crossing those plants with S. bicolor, and repeating the cycle. A retrospective field trial in Kansas showed that selection and backcrossing during 2002–2009 had improved grain yields and seed weights of breeding lines. Second-season grain yields of sorghum lines regrowing from rhizomes were similar to yields in the first season. Further selection cycles have been completed since 2009. Many rhizomatous lines that cannot survive winters in Kansas are perennial at subtropical or tropical locations in North America and Africa. Grain yield in Kansas was not correlated with rhizomatousness in either Kansas or Uganda. Genomic regions affecting rhizome growth and development have been mapped, providing new breeding tools. The S. halepense gene pool may harbor many alleles useful for improving sorghum for a broad range of traits in addition to perenniality.

  3. Established native perennial grasses out-compete an invasive annual grass regardless of soil water and nutrient availability

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    Christopher M. McGlone; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Thomas E. Kolb; Ty Nietupsky

    2012-01-01

    Competition and resource availability influence invasions into native perennial grasslands by nonnative annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum. In two greenhouse experiments we examined the influence of competition, water availability, and elevated nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability on growth and reproduction of the invasive annual grass B. tectorum and two...

  4. Expressed sequence tag-derived microsatellite markers of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Studer, Bruno; Asp, Torben; Frei, Ursula

    2008-01-01

    An expressed sequence tag (EST) library of the key grassland species perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) has been exploited as a resource for microsatellite marker development. Out of 955 simple sequence repeat (SSR) containing ESTs, 744 were used for primer design. Primer amplification was te...

  5. Native herbaceous perennials as ornamentals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Bjarne; Ørgaard, Marian

    2013-01-01

    Gardening with native perennials is a way to bring nature closer to urban citizens and bring up reflections on nature in a busy world. During three seasons of trialing Salvia pratensis, Dianthus deltoides, Campanula trachelium, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria, Saxifraga granulata, Plantago media and P...

  6. Managing for Multifunctionality in Perennial Grain Crops

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    Ryan, Matthew R; Crews, Timothy E; Culman, Steven W; DeHaan, Lee R; Hayes, Richard C; Jungers, Jacob M; Bakker, Matthew G

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Plant breeders are increasing yields and improving agronomic traits in several perennial grain crops, the first of which is now being incorporated into commercial food products. Integration strategies and management guidelines are needed to optimize production of these new crops, which differ substantially from both annual grain crops and perennial forages. To offset relatively low grain yields, perennial grain cropping systems should be multifunctional. Growing perennial grains for several years to regenerate soil health before rotating to annual crops and growing perennial grains on sloped land and ecologically sensitive areas to reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses are two strategies that can provide ecosystem services and support multifunctionality. Several perennial cereals can be used to produce both grain and forage, and these dual-purpose crops can be intercropped with legumes for additional benefits. Highly diverse perennial grain polycultures can further enhance ecosystem services, but increased management complexity might limit their adoption. PMID:29662249

  7. A transcriptome map of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

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    Studer Bruno

    2012-04-01

    strategies. Moreover, the high density genetic linkage map predominantly based on gene-associated DNA markers provides an important tool for the assignment of candidate genes to quantitative trait loci (QTL, functional genomics and the integration of genetic and physical maps in perennial ryegrass, one of the most important temperate grassland species.

  8. 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.

  9. Recent Progress in Perennial Buckwheat Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-Fu Chen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Grains in the genus Fagopyrum have benefits to human health and are an excellent gluten-free raw material. Of all cereal foods, this genus has the highest total content of amino-acid nutrients necessary for humans; nutrients that are resistant to digestion (protein and starch resulting in their sustained release; higher dietary fiber content than key cereals, and is rich in a special healthy ingredient (flavonoids. Fagopyrum includes 24 species of which five are perennial. Among them, golden buckwheat (F.cymosum complex is the most important perennial buckwheat, which is not only used in Chinese medicine, but also has great potential in healthy food crop. In order to provide some clues for perennial crop studies and their industry development, this paper presents the state of perennial buckwheat research in terms of taxonomy; natural chemical products and pharmacological and health functions; genetics and evolution; breeding; and product development and utilization. The great advances such as successful interspecific crossing and its subsequent new perennial buckwheat varieties will speed up the development of the perennial buckwheat industry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venn Stephen

    2018-06-01

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

  16. Physiological and fitness differences between cytotypes vary with stress in a grassland perennial herb.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Pavlíková

    Full Text Available Understanding the consequences of polyploidization is a major step towards assessing the importance of this mode of speciation. Most previous studies comparing different cytotypes, however, did so only within a single environment and considered only one group of traits. To take a step further, we need to explore multiple environments and a wide range of traits. The aim of this study was to assess response of diploid and autotetraploid individuals of Knautia arvensis (Dipsacaceae to two stress conditions, shade or drought.We studied eleven photosynthetic, morphological and fitness parameters of the plants over three years in a common garden under ambient conditions and two types of stress.The results indicate strong differences in performance and physiology between cytotypes in ambient conditions. Interestingly, higher fitness in diploids contrasted with more efficient photosynthesis in tetraploids in ambient conditions. However, stress, especially drought, strongly reduced fitness and disrupted function of the photosystems in both cytotypes reducing the between cytotype differences. The results indicate that drought stress reduced function of the photosynthetic processes in both cytotypes but particularly in tetraploids, while fitness reduction was stronger in diploids.The photosynthesis related traits show higher plasticity in polyploids as theoretically expected, while the fitness related traits show higher plasticity in diploids especially in response to drought. This suggests that between cytotype comparisons need to consider multiple traits and multiple environments to understand the breath of possible responses of different cytotypes to stress. They also show that integrating results based on different traits is not straightforward and call for better mechanistic understanding of the relationships between species photosynthetic activity and fitness. Still, considering multiple environments and multiple species traits is crucial for understanding the drivers of niche differentiation between cytotypes in future studies.

  17. Population dynamics of annuals in perennial grassland controlled by ants and environmental stochasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 18, - (2007), s. 91-102 ISSN 1100-9233 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : Lasius flavus * disturbance * megamatrix Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.251, year: 2007

  18. Physiological and fitness differences between cytotypes vary with stress in a grassland perennial herb

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pavlíková, Z.; Holá, D.; Vlasáková, Blanka; Procházka, T.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 11 (2017), s. 1-22, č. článku e0188795. E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Knautia arvensis * polyploid * stress conditions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Genetic characterisation of seed yield and fertility traits in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Studer, Bruno; Jensen, Louise Bach; Hentrup, Stephan

    2008-01-01

    A population. Path analysis partitioned the direct and indirect effects of seed yield components on seed yield per plant. Seed yield per panicle showed the highest effect on total seed yield. The adjusted mean values of each trait and a genetic linkage map consisting of 97 anonymous and 85 gene associated DNA......Seed yield is a trait of major interest for the key grassland species Lolium perenne L. An F2 mapping population of perennial ryegrass (VrnA), recently characterised for vernalisation response, was assessed in a glasshouse for traits related to seed yield based on a lattice design with four...... replications over 2 years. The traits heading date, plant height, length of panicles, number of panicles per plant, seed yield per panicle, flag leaf length, flag leaf width and seed yield per plant revealed repeatabilities ranging from 41 to 76% and a considerable amount of genetic variation in the Vrn...

  2. 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

  3. Genetic markers for flowering in perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paina, Cristiana; Byrne, Stephen; Andersen, Jeppe Reitan

    2011-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is the principal forage grass utilized in Danish agriculture and underpins the beef and dairy sectors. It is characterized as having high digestibility, high nutritional value, and high productivity during vegetative growth. However, at the reproductive growth...... genes will be converted to molecular markers and mapped in an existing mapping population previously characterized for flowering time and vernalization response. References: Amasino, R.M., Michaels S.D. (2010). The Timing of Flowering. Plant Physiology 154: 516–520 Greenup, A., W. Peacock, W.J., Dennis...

  4. Perennial Pepperweed Patches - San Francisco Estuary [ds295

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This layer contains polygon data for the perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) database. This database represents distribution data collected within the areas...

  5. Genomics: a potential panacea for the perennial problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClure, Kendra A; Sawler, Jason; Gardner, Kyle M; Money, Daniel; Myles, Sean

    2014-10-01

    Perennial crops represent important fresh and processed food sources worldwide, but advancements in breeding perennials are often impeded due to their very nature. The perennial crops we rely on most for food take several years to reach production maturity and require large spaces to grow, which make breeding new cultivars costly compared with most annual crops. Because breeding perennials is inefficient and expensive, they are often grown in monocultures consisting of small numbers of elite cultivars that are vegetatively propagated for decades or even centuries. This practice puts many perennial crops at risk for calamity since they remain stationary in the face of evolving pest and disease pressures. Although there is tremendous genetic diversity available to them, perennial crop breeders often struggle to generate commercially successful cultivars in a timely and cost-effective manner because of the high costs of breeding. Moreover, consumers often expect the same cultivars to be available indefinitely, and there is often little or no incentive for growers and retailers to take the risk of adopting new cultivars. While genomics studies linking DNA variants to commercially important traits have been performed in diverse perennial crops, the translation of these studies into accelerated breeding of improved cultivars has been limited. Here we explain the "perennial problem" in detail and demonstrate how modern genomics tools can significantly improve the cost effectiveness of breeding perennial crops and thereby prevent crucial food sources from succumbing to the perils of perpetual propagation. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zbigniew Dzwonko

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Perennial grasses as the ecological link for preserving the fertility of the peat soils polluted by radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Podolyak, A.G.; Saraseko, E.G.; Arastovich, T.V.; Suzko, O.V.; Tagaj, S.A.; Lasko, T.V.; Goloveshkin, V.V.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of degradation of peat soils polluted with 137Cs and 90Sr and cultivation of the crop production on them is considered. Distribution of grasslands and pastures on polluted peat soils by the regions of the Republic of Belarus is presented. Characteristics of the peat soils are shown. Coefficients of migration of radionuclides in perennial grasses' hay depending on mobile potassium availability (for 137Cs) and soil reaction pHkci (for 90sr) are evaluated. Inadequacy of the hay, harvested on polluted territories, to the main quality characteristics is presented and analyzed. Crop mixtures recommended for grasslands and pastures reseeding on polluted territories are suggested. The list of cultivars suitable for the conditions of over wetting is offered. It is recommended to use shallow peat soils as grasslands. Permanent cereal grasses restore organic matter of these soils and provide economic efficiency of agricultural use. According the results of the research the transfer factors of 137Cs and 90Sr to plants are relatively low. This fact is explained by the time that has passed since the accident on Chernobyl nuclear power plant and by the variations of mobile potassium and exchangeable acidity in peat soils

  9. 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

  10. Perennial Grass Bioenergy Cropping on Wet Marginal Land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das, Srabani; Teuffer, Karin; Stoof, Cathelijne R.; Walter, Michael F.; Walter, M.T.; Steenhuis, Tammo S.; Richards, Brian K.

    2018-01-01

    The control of soil moisture, vegetation type, and prior land use on soil health parameters of perennial grass cropping systems on marginal lands is not well known. A fallow wetness-prone marginal site in New York (USA) was converted to perennial grass bioenergy feedstock production. Quadruplicate

  11. Agroecology of Novel Annual and Perennial Crops for Biomass Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Jørgensen, Uffe; Lærke, Poul Erik

    The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production.......The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production....

  12. Determination of microbial protein in perennial ryegrass silage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Driehuis, F.; Wikselaar, van P.G.

    2001-01-01

    The microbial matter fraction was determined in perennial ryegrass silages of different dry-matter (DM) contents, ensiled with or without Lactobacillus plantarum. 15N-Leucine and the bacterial cell wall constituent diaminopimelic acid (DAPA) were used as markers for microbial-N. Perennial ryegrass

  13. 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...

  14. Comparative seasonal variations of spectral signatures of broad-leaved and coniferous stands from Landsat data. Comparison with other perennial environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaume, R.; Combeau, A.

    1984-01-01

    Spectral signatures of two distinct forest test areas were identified from digital data including 15 LANDSAT scenes covering the same geographical area: a broad-leaved forest (oak and beech) and a coniferous forest (scotch pine). Seasonal variations of the signatures were examined and were expressed in terms of various data: date, solar height and phenological state of vegetation cover. Results were compared to these obtained from other perennial surface conditions (grassland, bare soils) . Range of the seasonal variations of radiance is noted, as well as evolutionary peculiarities on each band and between themes. Rationing of spectral bands (particularly MSS 5 and 7) and their variation with time are specified [fr

  15. 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.

  16. No positive feedback between fire and a nonnative perennial grass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika L. Geiger; Guy R. McPherson

    2005-01-01

    Semi-desert grasslands flank the “Sky Island” mountains in southern Arizona and Northern Mexico. Many of these grasslands are dominated by nonnative grasses, which potentially alter native biotic communities. One specific concern is the potential for a predicted feedback between nonnative grasses and fire. In a large-scale experiment in southern Arizona we investigated...

  17. Recycling of uranium by a perennial vegetation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thiry, Y.

    2005-01-01

    At sites of large scale mining and processing of uranium ore, tailings and waste rock piles are today the most visible relics of the uranium extractive industry. These mining relics are constantly subjected to weathering and leaching processes causing the dissemination of radioactive and toxic elements and sometimes requiring remedial operations. The in situ remediation of waste rock piles usually includes their revegetation for minimizing the water infiltration and for increasing surface soil stability. Thanks to its biomass density and longevity, the perennial vegetation plays an important role in stabilisation of the water cycling. The buffer role of forest vegetation can reduce water export from watersheds as well as erosion and hydrological losses of chemicals including radionuclides from contaminated sites. If long term reduction of contaminant dispersion at revegetated uranium mining sites is to be fully appreciated, then the extent of radioactive contaminant availability to forest vegetation and ecosystem cycling as well as the possible economic valorisation of the woody products must be considered. Concerned study focused on a Scots pine plantation established 35 years ago on a uranium waste rock pile (Wismuth GmbH) situated near Schlema (Germany). This investigation aimed at quantifying the mobility of uranium in the mining debris and its transport to the different tree compartments with emphasis on the processes involved. The influence of pine vegetation on uranium cycling dynamics was further assessed in terms of annual fluxes)

  18. Productivity and carbon footprint of perennial grass-forage legume intercropping strategies with high or low nitrogen fertilizer input

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Lachouani, Petra; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman

    2016-01-01

    with either a high or a low rate of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate the carbon footprint (global warming potential) of the grassland management including measured nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions after sward incorporation. Without applying any mineral N......A three-season field experiment was established and repeated twice with spring barley used as cover crop for different perennial grass-legume intercrops followed by a full year pasture cropping and winter wheat after sward incorporation. Two fertilization regimes were applied with plots fertilized...... carbon footprint. Thus, a reduction in N fertilizer application rates in the low input systems offsets increased N2O emissions after forage legume treatments compared to grass plots due to the N fertilizer production-related emissions. When including the subsequent wheat yield in the total aboveground...

  19. [Soil seed bank in Keerqin meadow grassland under grazing and harvesting].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Deming; Li, Rongping; Liu, Zhimin; Yan, Qiaoling

    2004-10-01

    This study on the size and composition of seed bank and its relationship with vegetation showed in Keerqin meadow grassland, the density of soil seed bank was 6158 +/- 1647 grains x m(-2) under grazing and 8312 +/- 2540 grains m(-2) under harvesting. Under grazing, the seed bank was mainly composed of some dwarf and short-life annuals. The seeds of the annuals and biennials accounted for 81.66% of the seeds in seed bank. The four species with largest proportion of seed bank were Chloris virgata, Chenopodium glaucum, Digitaria cilliaris and Setaria viridis, and the proportions were 38.55%, 15.42%, 14.95%, and 9.83%, respectively. The density of perennials in soil seed bank was 1129 +/- 302 grains x m(-2). Under harvesting, the seeds of annuals and biennials accounted for 68.08% of the seed in seed bank, and the proportion of Setaria viridis was 52.7%. In the harvesting meadow grassland, the seed density of perennials was 2653 +/- 811 grains x m(-2). There was no significant correlation between the seed density in soil and the vegetation under grazing, but a significant correlation between the seed density in soil and the species abundance of vegetation under harvesting (r = 0.76, P < 0.01). The index of Shannon-Wiener and richness of grazing meadow grassland were 2.96 and 2.98, respectively, distinctly smaller than 3.10 and 5.09 of harvesting meadow, which showed that free grazing made the diversity of seed bank decrease easily.

  20. Allium hookeri , Thw. Enum. A lesser known terrestrial perennial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A lesser known terrestrial perennial herb used as food and its ethnobotanical ... from the wilderness, for consumption and traditional healing of various ailments. ... plants, the lifestyles of the people are changed and they prefer 'junk foods'.

  1. The Forecasting of Adaptation Potential of Herbaceous Perennials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belykh, O. A.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This work investigates the problem of the ecobiomorph productive features formation of perennial herbs Ranunculaceae family forecasting on the basis of quantitative connections of species parameters with the leading geomorphological factors of South Siberia environment.

  2. 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

  3. Bacterial endophytes of perennial crops for management of plant disease

    OpenAIRE

    Melnick, Rachel L.; Bailey, B.A.; Backman, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Metadata only record Bacterial endophytes, microorganisms which inhabit the internal tissues of plants, can suppress disease and are often used as a biological control in annual crops. Less research, however, has been applied to the use of bacterial endophytes to prevent disease in perennial crops, which presents a more complex challenge. However, exploration of their potential as a biological control in perennial crops has been limited. This chapter assembles current knowledge on the subj...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The Effects of Land-Use Change from Grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus on Soil N2O Emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Williams

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available A one year field trial was carried out on three adjacent unfertilised plots; an 18 year old grassland, a 14 year old established Miscanthus crop, and a 7 month old newly planted Miscanthus crop. Measurements of N2O, soil temperature, water filled pore space (WFPS, and inorganic nitrogen concentrations, were made every one to two weeks. Soil temperature, WFPS and NO3− and NH4+ concentrations were all found to be significantly affected by land use. Temporal crop effects were also observed in soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, due in part to C4 litter incorporation into the soil under Miscanthus. Nonetheless, soil N2O fluxes were not significantly affected by land use. Cumulative yearly N2O fluxes were relatively low, 216 ± 163, 613 ± 294, and 377 ± 132 g·N·ha−1·yr−1 from the grassland, newly planted Miscanthus, and established Miscanthus plots respectively, and fell within the range commonly observed for unfertilised grasslands dominated by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne. Higher mean cumulative fluxes were measured in the newly planted Miscanthus, which may be linked to a possible unobserved increase immediately after establishment. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Based on the results of this experiment, land-use change from grassland to Miscanthus will have a neutral impact on medium to long-term N2O emissions.

  7. Complete chloroplast genome sequence of a major allogamous forage species, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diekmann, Kerstin; Hodkinson, Trevor R; Wolfe, Kenneth H; van den Bekerom, Rob; Dix, Philip J; Barth, Susanne

    2009-06-01

    Lolium perenne L. (perennial ryegrass) is globally one of the most important forage and grassland crops. We sequenced the chloroplast (cp) genome of Lolium perenne cultivar Cashel. The L. perenne cp genome is 135 282 bp with a typical quadripartite structure. It contains genes for 76 unique proteins, 30 tRNAs and four rRNAs. As in other grasses, the genes accD, ycf1 and ycf2 are absent. The genome is of average size within its subfamily Pooideae and of medium size within the Poaceae. Genome size differences are mainly due to length variations in non-coding regions. However, considerable length differences of 1-27 codons in comparison of L. perenne to other Poaceae and 1-68 codons among all Poaceae were also detected. Within the cp genome of this outcrossing cultivar, 10 insertion/deletion polymorphisms and 40 single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected. Two of the polymorphisms involve tiny inversions within hairpin structures. By comparing the genome sequence with RT-PCR products of transcripts for 33 genes, 31 mRNA editing sites were identified, five of them unique to Lolium. The cp genome sequence of L. perenne is available under Accession number AM777385 at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, National Center for Biotechnology Information and DNA DataBank of Japan.

  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. 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...

  10. Seasonal versus perennial immunotherapy: evaluation after three years of treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz Lejarazu, D; Bernaola, G; Fernández, E; Audícana, M; Ventas, P; Martín, S; Fernández de Corres, L

    1993-01-01

    We have performed a comparative study to evaluate seasonal and perennial schedules after 3 years of immunotherapy. Sixty patients suffering from rhinitis and/or asthma due to grass pollen sensitization were randomly allocated to receive a semi-depot extract of Phleum pratense according to a perennial or seasonal schedule. The last year of the study, 14 patients were recruited as a control group without immunotherapy. The cumulative dose was 602 BU in the perennial group and 372 BU in the seasonal group. The frequency and severity of side-effects were similar and very low in both treated groups. The IgE level was significantly lower after perennial immunotherapy at the end of the first 2 years. A seasonal decrease in specific IgG levels was observed in patients who interrupted immunotherapy, while this was not observed in patients under the perennial schedule. Symptoms and medication scores did not show differences between groups. Nevertheless, we found a significant difference between treated patients and the control group.

  11. Consequences of artichoke thistle invasion and removal on carbon and water cycling in a Mediterranean grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, D. L.; Harpole, W. S.; Suding, K. N.; Goulden, M. L.

    2006-12-01

    Changes in vegetation structure and composition may interact with management activities to influence biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of mass and energy in unforeseen ways. Increases in the distribution and density of artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus), a perennial, non-native forb in Californian coastal grasslands, may alter seasonal dynamics of ecosystem C-assimilation and evapotranspiration (ET). During spring and summer 2006, we compared midday net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ET among adjacent grassland plots where thistle was present and where it was absent. Estimates of NEE supported the prediction that deeply-rooted thistles increase ecosystem C-assimilation. Measurements of midday ecosystem respiration demonstrated that increases in ecosystem C-assimilation were associated with increased ecosystem photosynthesis rather than declines in respiration. Furthermore, the presence of C. cardunculus increased midday ET but did not influence shallow soil moisture or ecosystem water use efficiency. Following the initial sampling in late April, we removed C. cardunculus from half the thistle- containing plots with spot applications of herbicide. Three weeks later, fluxes in thistle-removal plots were indistinguishable from those in plots where thistles were never present, suggesting additive rather than interactive effects of thistles on grassland CO2 exchange and ET. Similar to woody-encroachment in some semi-arid ecosystems, C. cardunculus invasion in Californian grasslands increases ecosystem CO2 assimilation. Moreover, our results suggest that herbicide removal of C. cardunculus may be accompanied by few legacy effects. Future research should focus on the effects of C. cardunculus on early-growing season fluxes and belowground C-storage, and the interaction between the spread of non-native species and climate variability on biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and water.

  12. 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.

  13. The genome and transcriptome of perennial ryegrass mitochondria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Islam, Md. Shofiqul; Studer, Bruno; Byrne, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Background: Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is one of the most important forage and turf grass species of temperate regions worldwide. Its mitochondrial genome is inherited maternally and contains genes that can influence traits of agricultural importance. Moreover, the DNA sequence...... and annotation of the complete mitochondrial genome from perennial ryegrass. Results: Intact mitochondria from perennial ryegrass leaves were isolated and used for mtDNA extraction. The mitochondrial genome was sequenced to a 167-fold coverage using the Roche 454 GS-FLX Titanium platform, and assembled...... of mitochondrial genomes has been established and compared for a large number of species in order to characterize evolutionary relationships.Therefore, it is crucial to understand the organization of the mitochondrial genome and how it varies between and within species. Here, we report the first de novo assembly...

  14. Totally impermeable film (TIF reduces emissions in perennial crop fumigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suduan Gao

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Many perennial nursery fields and replanted orchards and vineyards in California are treated with preplant soil fumigants to control soilborne pests. In annual crops, such as strawberry, covering fumigated fields with totally impermeable film (TIF has shown promise in controlling emissions and improving fumigant distribution in soil. The objective of this research was to optimize the use of TIF for perennial crops via three field trials. TIF reduced peak emission flux and cumulative emissions by > 90% relative to polyethylene tarp during a 2-week covering period. After the TIF was cut, emissions were greatly reduced compared to when tarps were cut after 6 days. TIF maintained higher fumigant concentrations under tarp and in the soil than polyethylene film. The results indicate that TIF can increase fumigation efficiency for perennial crop growers.

  15. 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,

  16. Assessing Water-use Relationships in a Perennial Kernza Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira, G.; Brunsell, N. A.; Sutherlin, C. E.; Crews, T.; Vico, G.

    2017-12-01

    Perennial grain/forage crops can sustain high yields without replanting for 3-10 years or more, resulting in potentially important environmental benefits. Although previous research has been conducted in perennial food crops, the coupling between these ecosystems and the atmosphere is not well understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the magnitude and temporal variability of the water-use relationships in a perennial Kernza wheatgrass crop in Salina, north-central region of Kansas (KS), USA. The study period comprised approximately 4.5 years (May 2012-October 2016) of eddy covariance observations collected at the US-KLS AmeriFlux tower. In particular, we examine the water-use efficiency, carbon and water fluxes in relation to the local environmental factors, such as vapor pressure deficit, soil moisture, air temperature, etc. An analysis of the correspondence between accumulated precipitation (PPT) and ET in the perennial crop indicated a most likely low surface runoff and that there were other sources of water for plant intake in addition to the annual PPT, i.e., deep water. In this sense, we highlight that the long roots observed in perennial crops may facilitate the water uptake in the deeper soil layers, providing extra resources for the plant growth especially when the rainfall indices are low. The results obtained in this work are important in order to better understand the hydrologic cycle of perennial agroecosystems as well as to understand the benefits and disadvantages in relation to annual crops particularly under changing climatic conditions.

  17. The Study of Perennial Grasses and Legumes Mixtures in the Environmental Conditions Part 1: The Evolution of Mixtures Productivity from Someşelor Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorin-Benone Pleşa

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Lately it is a high interest in the establishing of temporary grasslands, these being considered a valuable source of fodder from the quantitative and qualitative point of view. Temporary grasslands can be established instead of degraded permanent grasslands or in arable lands. In the paper are presented the results of the research which took place in 2010 and 2011, regarding the fodder evolution of a double factor experience; A factor – mixtures (8 complex mixtures of perennial grasses and legumes and one alfalfa pure crop, considered as a witness,B factor – levels of fertilization (0N0P2O5, 60N70P2O5,120N70P2O5 kg·ha-1. In 2010 the highest productions (13.16 SU t·ha-1 were obtained at all the cycles from the 5th mixture composed from red clover and 4 species of grasses Trifolium pratense L., Dactylis glomerata L., Festulolium Asch. & Graebn., Phleum pratense L., Lolium perenne L.. In 2011, mixture number 3, recognized as being recommended for the forest steppe area and composed from Lotus corniculatus L.,Onobrychis viciifolia Scop., Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca pratensis Huds., Bromus inermis Leyss, presented the highest productions (4.82 t·ha-1 for the 60N70P2O5 and 120N70P2O5 kg·ha-1 levels of fertilization.

  18. Nearly Increased Dry-season Flows after Reforesting Degraded Fire-climax Grassland in the Philippines

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Meerveld, I. H. J.; Zhang, J.; Bruijnzeel, L. A.; Tripoli, R.; Quiñones, C. M. O.

    2017-12-01

    After decades of logging and shifting cultivation, vast tracts in tropical SE Asia have turned to fire-climax grassland. Whilst the hydrological functioning of Imperata grasslands has been studied little, the general perception is they are major contributors to downstream flooding and siltation. As such, Imperata grasslands are targeted widely for reforestation in the expectation to improve regional hydrology. Yet, numerous small catchment studies within and outside the tropics have typically shown decreased annual water yield after reforestation of grass- or cropland, with the bulk of the decrease observed during times of baseflow. Yet, it is theoretically possible that the higher water use of the planted trees is compensated by improved soil infiltration capacity after reforestation which should lead to higher baseflows, the so-called infiltration trade-off. To examine a rare claim of increased baseflow after reforesting an Imperata grassland in northern Leyte (Philippines) we compared a 3.2 ha degraded headwater catchment under Imperata with a nearby 8.7 ha catchment under 23-year-old reforestation. Both catchments were underlain by mafic rock, had perennial flow and were demonstrably watertight, thus allowing comparisons to be made. Grassland saturated soil hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) decreased from 10 mm h-1 at the surface to 2.9 mm h-1 at 20-40 cm depth and <1 mm h-1 below 60 cm, suggesting not only possibly frequent overland flow but also perched groundwater conditions at 20 cm depth. By contrast, Ksat of the forest soil decreased from 370 mm h-1 in the top 5 cm via 60 mm h-1 at 20 cm, with lower values found only deeper in the profile (7.3 and 2.6 mm h-1 at 60 and 90 cm, respectively). Thus, stormflows Qq for the reforestation were smaller and less `flashy' compared to the grassland catchment. Depending on how the annual reduction in catchment-wide infiltration (assumed equal to the difference in total Qq between catchments) was estimated, the trade

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Defoliation effects of perennial grasses – continuing confusion | DL ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Although an adequate knowledge of growth patterns and defoliation effects in perennial grasses is a prerequisite for the rational use of veld and pastures for animal production, our knowledge of this subject is far from adequate. The results of various physiological and clipping studies on tropical and sub-tropical grasses are ...

  2. Rhetorical Transcendence Revisited: The "Thin Red Line" as Perennial Philosophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, Scott R.

    Fifteen years ago, J. H. Rushing published a seminal article addressing the fragmentation within contemporary society and the ways in which myths (films) may address this exigence. The exigence of fragmentation is relieved, according to her analysis, by mediated recourse to the perennial philosophy of monistic holism that is found across the…

  3. The occurrence of large branchiopod crustaceans in perennial pans ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pans are isolated, shallow depressions that are endorheic in nature. Because of the natural hydrological functioning of pans, these systems are usually restricted to arid regions and complete desiccation occurs seasonally. In the eastern provinces of South Africa many pans are perennial in nature often remaining inundated ...

  4. Transgenic perennial biofuel feedstocks and strategies for bioconfinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of transgenic tools for the improvement of plant feedstocks will be required to realize the full economic and environmental benefits of cellulosic and other biofuels, particularly from perennial plants. Traits that are targets for improvement of biofuels crops include he...

  5. Ionomics: Genes and QTLs controlling heavy metal uptake in perennial grasses grown on phytoxic soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial grasses occupy diverse soils throughout the world, including many sites contaminated with heavy metals. Uncovering the genetic architecture of QTLs controlling mineral homoeostasis is critical for understanding the biochemical pathways that determine the elemental profiles of perennial pl...

  6. Estimated Perennial Streams of Idaho and Related Geospatial Datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, Alan; Skinner, Kenneth D.

    2009-01-01

    The perennial or intermittent status of a stream has bearing on many regulatory requirements. Because of changing technologies over time, cartographic representation of perennial/intermittent status of streams on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps is not always accurate and (or) consistent from one map sheet to another. Idaho Administrative Code defines an intermittent stream as one having a 7-day, 2-year low flow (7Q2) less than 0.1 cubic feet per second. To establish consistency with the Idaho Administrative Code, the USGS developed regional regression equations for Idaho streams for several low-flow statistics, including 7Q2. Using these regression equations, the 7Q2 streamflow may be estimated for naturally flowing streams anywhere in Idaho to help determine perennial/intermittent status of streams. Using these equations in conjunction with a Geographic Information System (GIS) technique known as weighted flow accumulation allows for an automated and continuous estimation of 7Q2 streamflow at all points along a stream, which in turn can be used to determine if a stream is intermittent or perennial according to the Idaho Administrative Code operational definition. The selected regression equations were applied to create continuous grids of 7Q2 estimates for the eight low-flow regression regions of Idaho. By applying the 0.1 ft3/s criterion, the perennial streams have been estimated in each low-flow region. Uncertainty in the estimates is shown by identifying a 'transitional' zone, corresponding to flow estimates of 0.1 ft3/s plus and minus one standard error. Considerable additional uncertainty exists in the model of perennial streams presented in this report. The regression models provide overall estimates based on general trends within each regression region. These models do not include local factors such as a large spring or a losing reach that may greatly affect flows at any given point. Site-specific flow data, assuming a sufficient period of

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Bąba

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Functional group, biomass, and climate change effects on ecological drought in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.; Duniway, Michael C.; Hall, Sonia A.; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar; Jia, Gensuo; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Munson, Seth M.; Pyke, David A.; Tietjen, Britta

    2018-01-01

    Water relations in plant communities are influenced both by contrasting functional groups (grasses, shrubs) and by climate change via complex effects on interception, uptake and transpiration. We modelled the effects of functional group replacement and biomass increase, both of which can be outcomes of invasion and vegetation management, and climate change on ecological drought (soil water potential below which photosynthesis stops) in 340 semiarid grassland sites over 30‐year periods. Relative to control vegetation (climate and site‐determined mixes of functional groups), the frequency and duration of drought were increased by shrubs and decreased by annual grasses. The rankings of shrubs, control vegetation, and annual grasses in terms of drought effects were generally consistent in current and future climates, suggesting that current differences among functional groups on drought effects predict future differences. Climate change accompanied by experimentally‐increased biomass (i.e. the effects of invasions that increase community biomass, or management that increases productivity through fertilization or respite from grazing) increased drought frequency and duration, and advanced drought onset. Our results suggest that the replacement of perennial temperate semiarid grasslands by shrubs, or increased biomass, can increase ecological drought both in current and future climates.

  11. 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

  12. Variation in the expression of ergot alkaloids between individual tillers of perennial ryegrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Wade; Lunn, Kristy; Lloyd-West, Catherine

    2014-11-01

    Epichloë fungal endophytes of cool season grasses are well known to produce a range of alkaloids of benefit to the host. Some of these compounds are advantageous to agriculture due to qualities that promote pasture persistence (e.g. the loline class of alkaloids confer insect protection) while others are detrimental to the wellbeing of grazing livestock. The ergot alkaloids (e.g. ergovaline), produced in ryegrass and tall fescue associations, causes poor animal health in farming regions in many countries around the world and further study is required to improve our knowledge on this class of compounds. Here we present the application of a quantitative LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry) method measuring eight ergot alkaloids (chanoclavine, agroclavine, elymoclavine, lysergol, lysergic acid, ergine, lysergyl alanine, ergovaline) produced by endophyte infected grasses, to monitor levels in individual tillers from multiple plants of a single cultivar of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne cv. ‘Grasslands Samson’) infected with a common toxic endophyte strain (Epichloë festucae var. lolii). Monitoring the expression in individual tillers allows an estimation of the variability within a plant (between tillers) as well as between plants. The study showed that there is significant variation in the concentration of the ergot alkaloids between tillers of a single plant, at or exceeding the level of variation observed between individual plants of a population. This result emphasizes the fundamental importance of robust experimental design and sampling procedures when alkaloid expression assessment is required and these need to be rigorously tailored to the hypothesis being tested.

  13. Variation in the expression of ergot alkaloids between individual tillers of perennial ryegrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wade Jeffray Mace

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Epichloë fungal endophytes of cool season grasses are well known to produce a range of alkaloids of benefit to the host. Some of these compounds are advantageous to agriculture due to qualities that promote pasture persistence (e.g. the loline class of alkaloids confer insect protection while others are detrimental to the wellbeing of grazing livestock. The ergot alkaloids (e.g. ergovaline, produced in ryegrass and tall fescue associations, causes poor animal health in farming regions in many countries around the world and further study is required to improve our knowledge on this class of compounds. Here we present the application of a quantitative LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry method measuring eight ergot alkaloids (chanoclavine, agroclavine, elymoclavine, lysergol, lysergic acid, ergine, lysergyl alanine, ergovaline produced by endophyte infected grasses, to monitor levels in individual tillers from multiple plants of a single cultivar of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne cv. ‘Grasslands Samson’ infected with a common toxic endophyte strain (Epichloë festucae var. lolii. Monitoring the expression in individual tillers allows an estimation of the variability within a plant (between tillers as well as between plants.The study showed that there is significant variation in the concentration of the ergot alkaloids between tillers of a single plant, at or exceeding the level of variation observed between individual plants of a population. This result emphasizes the fundamental importance of robust experimental design and sampling procedures when alkaloid expression assessment is required and these need to be rigorously tailored to the hypothesis being tested.

  14. Genetic resources of perennial forage grasses in Serbia: Current state, broadening and evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sokolović Dejan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Due to historical background of vegetation development, geographical position, climate and relief, Serbia represents one of the 158 world biodiversity centres, based upon the number of plant species and territory size (biodiversity index 0.72. Large areas in Serbia are under natural grasslands and pastures, composed of forage grass species, and important as source of natural plant genetic diversity and germplasm for breeding. These eco-systems represent basic prerequisites for sustainable forage production, but very low potential of them is utilized and genetic resources are not protected. Family Poaceae is present in Serbia flora with 70 genera and among them from the aspect of forage production and quality, the most important are perennial Festuca, Lolium, Dactylis, Phleum, Bromus, Arrhenatherum, Poa and Agrostis species. Most of these grasses have been bred in Serbia and lot of cultivars were released. These cultivars contain autochthonous Serbian material and represent great and important resource of genetic variability. Therefore, collecting of new samples which are acclimatised to local eco-geographical conditions and including them in plant ex situ gene bank is of exceptional importance for further utilization in different plant breeding programmes as well as genetic resources protection. These autochthonous populations have natural variability and very often have satisfactory yielding performance in comparison with introduced cultivars, which referred them for direct phenotypic selection for cultivars release. Broadening of forage grasses genotypes collection is permanent objective of Serbian scientists. Collected accessions are being characterized and evaluated for important phenological, morphological and agronomical traits. In this paper genetic resources of forage grass species, their diversity and potentials, state of the grasses gene banks, as well as possibility for breeding of new cultivars has been analysed.

  15. Reduced germination success of temperate grassland seeds sown in dung: consequences for post-dispersal seed fate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milotić, T; Hoffmann, M

    2016-11-01

    Endozoochory is one of the main drivers shaping temperate grassland communities by maintaining plant populations of its constituents and enabling plants to colonize new habitats. Successful endozoochorous dispersal implies that seeds not only get consumed and survive the digestive tract but are also able to develop into viable seedlings in a dung environment. We experimentally assessed the germination probability and timing of 15 annual and perennial temperate European grassland species in cattle and horse dung and in different climatic conditions (greenhouse and outdoor conditions). Interspecific variation in germinability and germination timing are found, while life strategy had only an effect on germination timing. We found adverse effects of both cattle and horse dung on the germination characteristics of all tested grassland species, but the effects of cattle dung were more pronounced. In comparison with the control treatment, fewer seeds emerged in dung and more time was needed to germinate. Also, germination metrics clearly differed between the artificial greenhouse and outdoor conditions, with generally a lower germinability in outdoor conditions. According to our results, a large cost seems to be associated with endozoochorous dispersal in this stage of the life cycle, as seed dispersal effectiveness strongly depends on the quality of the deposition site with a lowered survival and germination probability when seeds are deposited in dung. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Frequent fire promotes diversity and cover of biological soil crusts in a derived temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Bryan, Katharine E; Prober, Suzanne Mary; Lunt, Ian D; Eldridge, David J

    2009-04-01

    The intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) predicts that species diversity is maximized at moderate disturbance levels. This model is often applied to grassy ecosystems, where disturbance can be important for maintaining vascular plant composition and diversity. However, effects of disturbance type and frequency on cover and diversity of non-vascular plants comprising biological soil crusts are poorly known, despite their potentially important role in ecosystem function. We established replicated disturbance regimes of different type (fire vs. mowing) and frequency (2, 4, 8 yearly and unburnt) in a high-quality, representative Themeda australis-Poa sieberiana derived grassland in south-eastern Australia. Effects on soil crust bryophytes and lichens (hereafter cryptogams) were measured after 12 years. Consistent with expectations under IDH, cryptogam richness and abundance declined under no disturbance, likely due to competitive exclusion by vascular plants as well as high soil turnover by soil invertebrates beneath thick grass. Disturbance type was also significant, with burning enhancing richness and abundance more than mowing. Contrary to expectations, however, cryptogam richness increased most dramatically under our most frequent and recent (2 year) burning regime, even when changes in abundance were accounted for by rarefaction analysis. Thus, from the perspective of cryptogams, 2-year burning was not an adequately severe disturbance regime to reduce diversity, highlighting the difficulty associated with expression of disturbance gradients in the application of IDH. Indeed, significant correlations with grassland structure suggest that cryptogam abundance and diversity in this relatively mesic (600 mm annual rainfall) grassland is maximised by frequent fires that reduce vegetation and litter cover, providing light, open areas and stable soil surfaces for colonisation. This contrasts with detrimental effects of 2-year burning on native perennial grasses

  20. Combining multiple ecosystem productivity measurements to constrain carbon uptake estimates in semiarid grasslands and shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, G. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Collins, S. L.; Litvak, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Recent observational and modeling studies have indicated that semiarid ecosystems are more dynamic contributors to the global carbon budget than once thought. Semiarid carbon fluxes, however, are generally small, with high interannual and spatial variability, which suggests that validating their global significance may depend on examining multiple productivity measures and their associated uncertainties and inconsistencies. We examined ecosystem productivity from eddy covariance (NEE), harvest (NPP), and terrestrial biome models (NEPm) at two very similar grassland sites and one creosote shrubland site in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge of central New Mexico, USA. Our goal was to assess site and methodological correspondence in annual carbon uptake, patterns of interannual variability, and measurement uncertainty. One grassland site was a perennial carbon source losing 30 g C m-2 per year on average, while the other two sites were carbon sources or sinks depending on the year, with average net uptake of 5 and 25 g C m-2 per year at the grassland and shrubland site, respectively. Uncertainty values for cumulative annual NEE overlapped between the three sites in most years. When combined, aboveground and belowground annual NPP measurements were 15% higher than annual NEE values and did not confirm a loss of carbon at any site in any year. Despite differences in mean site carbon balance, year-to-year changes in cumulative annual NEE and NPP were similar at all sites with years 2010 and 2013 being favorable for carbon uptake and 2011 and 2012 being unfavorable at all sites. Modeled NEPm data for a number of nearby grid cells reproduced only a fraction of the observed range in carbon uptake and its interannual variability. These three sites are highly similar in location and climate and multiple carbon flux measurements confirm the high interannual variability in carbon flux. The exact magnitude of these fluxes, however, remains difficult to discern.

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Mapping the temporary and perennial character of whole river networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Ferreras, A. M.; Barquín, J.

    2017-08-01

    Knowledge of the spatial distribution of temporary and perennial river channels in a whole catchment is important for effective integrated basin management and river biodiversity conservation. However, this information is usually not available or is incomplete. In this study, we present a statistically based methodology to classify river segments from a whole river network (Deva-Cares catchment, Northern Spain) as temporary or perennial. This method is based on an a priori classification of a subset of river segments as temporary or perennial, using field surveys and aerial images, and then running Random Forest models to predict classification membership for the rest of the river network. The independent variables and the river network were derived following a computer-based geospatial simulation of riverine landscapes. The model results show high values of overall accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for the evaluation of the fitted model to the training and testing data set (≥0.9). The most important independent variables were catchment area, area occupied by broadleaf forest, minimum monthly precipitation in August, and average catchment elevation. The final map shows 7525 temporary river segments (1012.5 km) and 3731 perennial river segments (662.5 km). A subsequent validation of the mapping results using River Habitat Survey data and expert knowledge supported the validity of the proposed maps. We conclude that the proposed methodology is a valid method for mapping the limits of flow permanence that could substantially increase our understanding of the spatial links between terrestrial and aquatic interfaces, improving the research, management, and conservation of river biodiversity and functioning.

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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 ...

  11. Effects of Seasonal and Perennial Grazing on Soil Fauna Community and Microbial Biomass Carbon in the Subalpine Meadows of Yunnan, Southwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Shengjie; YANG Xiaodong; Anthony R.IVES; FENG Zhili; SHA Liqing

    2017-01-01

    Grazing and over-grazing may drive changes in the diversity and functioning of below-ground meadow ecosystems.A field soil survey was conducted to compare microbial biomass carbon (Cmin) and soil fauna communities in the two main grassland management systems in subalpine regions of Yunnan Province,China:perennial grazing currently practiced due to increasing herd sizes and traditional seasonal grazing.A three-year exclosure experiment was then conducted to further compare the effects of different grazing practices,including treatments of no mowing,perennial grazing (NM + G),mowing followed by seasonal grazing (M + G),mowing and no grazing (M + NG),and no mowing or grazing (NM + NG).The comparative survey result revealed that Cmin and total density of soil fauna were significantly lower at a perennially grazed site than at a seasonally grazed site.The experiment results showed that in comparison to non-grazing treatments (M + NG and NM + NG),grazing (NM + G and M + G) reduced total fauna density (by 150 individuals m-2) and the number of taxonomic groups present (by 0.32 taxa m-2).Mowing decreased Cmin (by 0.31 mg g-1).Furthermore,the NM + G treatment (perennial grazing) had the lowest density of Collembola (16.24 individuals m-2),one of the two most common taxonomic groups,although other taxonomic groups responded differently to the treatments.Treatment effects on soil fauna were consistent with those on above-ground grasses,in which C:N ratios were greatly reduced by grazing,with this effect being the greatest for the NM + G treatment.In contrast,different grazing treatments had little effect on C:N ratio of soil.Furthermore,the traditional grazing method (mowing followed by seasonal grazing) may have less severe effects on some taxonomic groups than perennial grazing.Therefore,an appropriate management should aim to protect soil fauna and microbes in this area from over-grazing and against further degradation.

  12. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

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

  13. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Besson, Benoit

    2009-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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,...

  18. [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.

  19. Energizing marginal soils: A perennial cropping system for Sida hermaphrodita

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabel, Moritz; Poorter, Hendrik; Temperton, Vicky; Schrey, Silvia D.; Koller, Robert; Schurr, Ulrich; Jablonowski, Nicolai D.

    2017-04-01

    As a way to avoid land use conflicts, the use of marginal soils for the production of plant biomass can be a sustainable alternative to conventional biomass production (e.g. maize). However, new cropping strategies have to be found that meet the challenge of crop production under marginal soil conditions. We aim for increased soil fertility by the use of the perennial crop Sida hermaphrodita in combination with organic fertilization and legume intercropping to produce substantial biomass yield. We present results of a three-year outdoor mesocosm experiment testing the perennial energy crop Sida hermaphrodita grown on a marginal model substrate (sand) with four kinds of fertilization (Digestate broadcast, Digestate Depot, mineral NPK and unfertilized control) in combination with legume intercropping. After three years, organic fertilization (via biogas digestate) compared to mineral fertilization (NPK), reduced the nitrate concentration in leachate and increased the soil carbon content. Biomass yields of Sida were 25% higher when fertilized organically, compared to mineral fertilizer. In general, digestate broadcast application reduced root growth and the wettability of the sandy substrate. However, when digestate was applied locally as depot to the rhizosphere, root growth increased and the wettability of the sandy substrate was preserved. Depot fertilization increased biomass yield by 10% compared to digestate broadcast fertilization. We intercropped Sida with various legumes (Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense, Melilotus spp. and Medicago sativa) to enable biological nitrogen fixation and make the cropping system independent from synthetically produced fertilizers. We could show that Medicago sativa grown on marginal substrate fixed large amounts of N, especially when fertilized organically, whereas mineral fertilization suppressed biological nitrogen fixation. We conclude that the perennial energy crop Sida in combination with organic fertilization has great

  20. Association of Candidate Genes With Submergence Response in Perennial Ryegrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xicheng Wang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Perennial ryegrass is a popular cool-season grass species due to its high quality for forage and turf. The objective of this study was to identify associations of candidate genes with growth and physiological traits to submergence stress and recovery after de-submergence in a global collection of 94 perennial ryegrass accessions. Accessions varied largely in leaf color, plant height (HT, leaf fresh weight (LFW, leaf dry weight (LDW, and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm at 7 days of submergence and in HT, LFW and LDW at 7 days of recovery in two experiments. Among 26 candidate genes tested by various models, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in 10 genes showed significant associations with traits including 16 associations for control, 10 for submergence, and 8 for recovery. Under submergence, Lp1-SST encoding sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase and LpGA20ox encoding gibberellin 20-oxidase were associated with LFW and LDW, and LpACO1 encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase was associated with LFW. Associations between Lp1-SST and HT, Lp6G-FFT encoding fructan:fructan 6G-fructosyltransferase and Fv/Fm, LpCAT encoding catalase and HT were also detected under submergence stress. Upon de-submergence, Lp1-SST, Lp6G-FFT, and LpPIP1 encoding plasma membrane intrinsic protein type 1 were associated with LFW or LDW, while LpCBF1b encoding C-repeat binding factor were associated with HT. Nine significant SNPs in Lp1-SST, Lp6G-FFT, LpCAT, and LpACO1 resulted in amino acid changes with five substitutions found in Lp1-SST under submergence or recovery. The results indicated that allelic diversity in genes involved in carbohydrate and antioxidant metabolism, ethylene and gibberellin biosynthesis, and transcript factor could contribute to growth variations in perennial ryegrass under submergence stress and recovery after de-submergence.

  1. Tradeoffs between water requirements and yield stability in annual vs. perennial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vico, Giulia; Brunsell, Nathaniel A.

    2018-02-01

    Population growth and changes in climate and diets will likely further increase the pressure on agriculture and water resources globally. Currently, staple crops are obtained from annuals plants. A shift towards perennial crops may enhance many ecosystem services, but at the cost of higher water requirements and lower yields. It is still unclear when the advantages of perennial crops overcome their disadvantages and perennial crops are thus a sustainable solution. Here we combine a probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development with an extensive dataset of traits of congeneric annuals and perennials to identify the conditions for which perennial crops are more viable than annual ones with reference to yield, yield stability, and effective use of water. We show that the larger and more developed roots of perennial crops allow a better exploitation of soil water resources and a reduction of yield variability with respect to annual species, but their yields remain lower when considering grain crops. Furthermore, perennial crops have higher and more variable irrigation requirements and lower water productivity. These results are important to understand the potential consequences for yield, its stability, and water resource use of a shift from annual to perennial crops and, more generally, if perennial crops may be more resilient than annual crops in the face of climatic fluctuations.

  2. Does introduction of clover in an agricultural grassland affect the food base and functional diversity of Collembola?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Annibale, Alessandra; Sechi, Valentina; Larsen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    plots with either perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), whiteclover (Trifolium repens L.) or a mixture of both in a Danish agricultural grassland 6 and 14 months after establishing the leys (September and May, respectively). Diet preferences were investigated via stable isotope analyses (SIA...... in the white clover than ryegrass plots. Changes in taxa specific density and traits distribution as a response to the C:N ratio of plant material, suggest that plant material quality was the main factor affecting the collembolan community,especially when comparing the two sampling occasions. Functional...... richness decreased under conditions of low quality material. In contrast to our hypothesis, population densities did not increase under mixture treatment and functional richness decreased. Our results suggest that habitat changes, via different plant composition, can affect some functional groups, having...

  3. Small-scale barriers mitigate desertification processes and enhance plant recruitment in a degraded semiarid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fick, Stephen E; Decker, Cheryl E.; Duniway, Michael C.; Miller, Mark E.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic desertification is a problem that plagues drylands globally; however, the factors which maintain degraded states are often unclear. In Canyonlands National Park on the Colorado Plateau of southeastern Utah, many degraded grasslands have not recovered structure and function >40 yr after release from livestock grazing pressure, necessitating active restoration. We hypothesized that multiple factors contribute to the persistent degraded state, including lack of seed availability, surficial soil-hydrological properties, and high levels of spatial connectivity (lack of perennial vegetation and other surface structure to retain water, litter, seed, and sediment). In combination with seeding and surface raking treatments, we tested the effect of small barrier structures (“ConMods”) designed to disrupt the loss of litter, seed and sediment in degraded soil patches within the park. Grass establishment was highest when all treatments (structures, seed addition, and soil disturbance) were combined, but only in the second year after installation, following favorable climatic conditions. We suggest that multiple limiting factors were ameliorated by treatments, including seed limitation and microsite availability, seed removal by harvester ants, and stressful abiotic conditions. Higher densities of grass seedlings on the north and east sides of barrier structures following the summer months suggest that structures may have functioned as artificial “nurse-plants”, sheltering seedlings from wind and radiation as well as accumulating wind-blown resources. Barrier structures increased the establishment of both native perennial grasses and exotic annuals, although there were species-specific differences in mortality related to spatial distribution of seedlings within barrier structures. The unique success of all treatments combined, and even then only under favorable climatic conditions and in certain soil patches, highlights that restoration success (and

  4. From Fireproof Desert to Flammable Grassland: Buffelgrass Invasion in the Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2007-12-01

    Only a few decades ago, the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and southern Arizona was considered mostly fireproof, a case of not enough fine fuel to connect the dominant shrubs and cacti. This has changed with invasions by non-native, winter annual and summer-flower perennial grasses that are rapidly transforming fireproof desert into flammable grassland. Of particular concern is buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliare, a fire-prone and invasive African perennial grass that has already converted millions of hectares across Sonora since the mid-1960s and has made quick headway in southern and central Arizona beginning in the 1980s. Near Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, buffelgrass invasion is proceeding exponentially, with population expansion (and the costs of mitigation) more than doubling every year. As this conversion progresses, there will be increased fire risks, lost tourist revenue, diminished property values, insurmountable setbacks to conservation efforts, and the threat of large ignition fronts in desert valleys routinely spreading into the mountains. Although somewhat belated, an integrated, multi-jurisdictional effort is being organized to reduce ecological and economic impacts. My presentation will summarize the history and context of buffelgrass introduction and invasion, the disconnect in attitudes and policies across state and international boundaries, ongoing management efforts, the role of science and responsibilities of scientists, accelerated spread with changing climate, and impacts to regional ecosystems and economies. This narrative may serve as a template for other semi-arid lands where buffelgrass and similar grasses have become invasive, including Australia, South America, and many islands in the Pacific Ocean (including Hawaii), Indian Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.

  5. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Ržonca

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Perennial ryegrass for dairy cows: effects of cultivar on herbage intake during grazing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, H.J.

    2005-01-01

    Keywords:Perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne , sward morphology, sward cutting, n-alkanes, herbage intake, selection, preference.Perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.) is the most important species for feeding dairy cows. The majority of the farmers in the Netherlands graze their

  7. Perennial wheat lines have highly admixed population structure and elevated rates of outcrossing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial wheat has been proposed to alleviate long standing issues with soil erosion in annual cropping systems, while supporting rural communities and providing grain farmers with a marketable climate-resilient crop. The Washington State University perennial wheat breeding program has created sev...

  8. Adaptive management of perennial pepperweed for endangered specias and tidal marsh recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial pepperweed has invaded a wide range of habitat types in the far west. In the San Francisco Estuary, dense infestations have impacted sensitive tidal wetlands and compromised endangered species recovery efforts. An adaptive management effort to reduce perennial pepperweed was initiated by...

  9. Transcriptional Profiling and Identification of Heat-Responsive Genes in Perennial Ryegrass by RNA-Sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kehua Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne is one of the most widely used forage and turf grasses in the world due to its desirable agronomic qualities. However, as a cool-season perennial grass species, high temperature is a major factor limiting its performance in warmer and transition regions. In this study, a de novo transcriptome was generated using a cDNA library constructed from perennial ryegrass leaves subjected to short-term heat stress treatment. Then the expression profiling and identification of perennial ryegrass heat response genes by digital gene expression analyses was performed. The goal of this work was to produce expression profiles of high temperature stress responsive genes in perennial ryegrass leaves and further identify the potentially important candidate genes with altered levels of transcript, such as those genes involved in transcriptional regulation, antioxidant responses, plant hormones and signal transduction, and cellular metabolism. The de novo assembly of perennial ryegrass transcriptome in this study obtained more total and annotated unigenes compared to previously published ones. Many DEGs identified were genes that are known to respond to heat stress in plants, including HSFs, HSPs, and antioxidant related genes. In the meanwhile, we also identified four gene candidates mainly involved in C4 carbon fixation, and one TOR gene. Their exact roles in plant heat stress response need to dissect further. This study would be important by providing the gene resources for improving heat stress tolerance in both perennial ryegrass and other cool-season perennial grass plants.

  10. Control of perennial weeds by mechanical methods and anaerobic soil disinfection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huiting, H.F.; Bleeker, P.O.; Riemens, M.M.

    2011-01-01

    Perennial weeds are difficult to control and ask for a specific approach. During the most recent years it has even become a great challenge to control these weeds in conventional farming systems, although in comparison effective perennial weed control in organic farming systems remains more

  11. Are There Consistent Grazing Indicators in Drylands? Testing Plant Functional Types of Various Complexity in South Africa’s Grassland and Savanna Biomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linstädter, Anja; Schellberg, Jürgen; Brüser, Katharina; Moreno García, Cristian A.; Oomen, Roelof J.; du Preez, Chris C.; Ruppert, Jan C.; Ewert, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Despite our growing knowledge on plants’ functional responses to grazing, there is no consensus if an optimum level of functional aggregation exists for detecting grazing effects in drylands. With a comparative approach we searched for plant functional types (PFTs) with a consistent response to grazing across two areas differing in climatic aridity, situated in South Africa’s grassland and savanna biomes. We aggregated herbaceous species into PFTs, using hierarchical combinations of traits (from single- to three-trait PFTs). Traits relate to life history, growth form and leaf width. We first confirmed that soil and grazing gradients were largely independent from each other, and then searched in each biome for PFTs with a sensitive response to grazing, avoiding confounding with soil conditions. We found no response consistency, but biome-specific optimum aggregation levels. Three-trait PFTs (e.g. broad-leaved perennial grasses) and two-trait PFTs (e.g. perennial grasses) performed best as indicators of grazing effects in the semi-arid grassland and in the arid savanna biome, respectively. Some PFTs increased with grazing pressure in the grassland, but decreased in the savanna. We applied biome-specific grazing indicators to evaluate if differences in grazing management related to land tenure (communal versus freehold) had effects on vegetation. Tenure effects were small, which we mainly attributed to large variability in grazing pressure across farms. We conclude that the striking lack of generalizable PFT responses to grazing is due to a convergence of aridity and grazing effects, and unlikely to be overcome by more refined classification approaches. Hence, PFTs with an opposite response to grazing in the two biomes rather have a unimodal response along a gradient of additive forces of aridity and grazing. The study advocates for hierarchical trait combinations to identify localized indicator sets for grazing effects. Its methodological approach may also be

  12. Are there consistent grazing indicators in Drylands? Testing plant functional types of various complexity in South Africa's Grassland and Savanna Biomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Linstädter

    Full Text Available Despite our growing knowledge on plants' functional responses to grazing, there is no consensus if an optimum level of functional aggregation exists for detecting grazing effects in drylands. With a comparative approach we searched for plant functional types (PFTs with a consistent response to grazing across two areas differing in climatic aridity, situated in South Africa's grassland and savanna biomes. We aggregated herbaceous species into PFTs, using hierarchical combinations of traits (from single- to three-trait PFTs. Traits relate to life history, growth form and leaf width. We first confirmed that soil and grazing gradients were largely independent from each other, and then searched in each biome for PFTs with a sensitive response to grazing, avoiding confounding with soil conditions. We found no response consistency, but biome-specific optimum aggregation levels. Three-trait PFTs (e.g. broad-leaved perennial grasses and two-trait PFTs (e.g. perennial grasses performed best as indicators of grazing effects in the semi-arid grassland and in the arid savanna biome, respectively. Some PFTs increased with grazing pressure in the grassland, but decreased in the savanna. We applied biome-specific grazing indicators to evaluate if differences in grazing management related to land tenure (communal versus freehold had effects on vegetation. Tenure effects were small, which we mainly attributed to large variability in grazing pressure across farms. We conclude that the striking lack of generalizable PFT responses to grazing is due to a convergence of aridity and grazing effects, and unlikely to be overcome by more refined classification approaches. Hence, PFTs with an opposite response to grazing in the two biomes rather have a unimodal response along a gradient of additive forces of aridity and grazing. The study advocates for hierarchical trait combinations to identify localized indicator sets for grazing effects. Its methodological approach may

  13. Are there consistent grazing indicators in Drylands? Testing plant functional types of various complexity in South Africa's Grassland and Savanna Biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linstädter, Anja; Schellberg, Jürgen; Brüser, Katharina; Moreno García, Cristian A; Oomen, Roelof J; du Preez, Chris C; Ruppert, Jan C; Ewert, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Despite our growing knowledge on plants' functional responses to grazing, there is no consensus if an optimum level of functional aggregation exists for detecting grazing effects in drylands. With a comparative approach we searched for plant functional types (PFTs) with a consistent response to grazing across two areas differing in climatic aridity, situated in South Africa's grassland and savanna biomes. We aggregated herbaceous species into PFTs, using hierarchical combinations of traits (from single- to three-trait PFTs). Traits relate to life history, growth form and leaf width. We first confirmed that soil and grazing gradients were largely independent from each other, and then searched in each biome for PFTs with a sensitive response to grazing, avoiding confounding with soil conditions. We found no response consistency, but biome-specific optimum aggregation levels. Three-trait PFTs (e.g. broad-leaved perennial grasses) and two-trait PFTs (e.g. perennial grasses) performed best as indicators of grazing effects in the semi-arid grassland and in the arid savanna biome, respectively. Some PFTs increased with grazing pressure in the grassland, but decreased in the savanna. We applied biome-specific grazing indicators to evaluate if differences in grazing management related to land tenure (communal versus freehold) had effects on vegetation. Tenure effects were small, which we mainly attributed to large variability in grazing pressure across farms. We conclude that the striking lack of generalizable PFT responses to grazing is due to a convergence of aridity and grazing effects, and unlikely to be overcome by more refined classification approaches. Hence, PFTs with an opposite response to grazing in the two biomes rather have a unimodal response along a gradient of additive forces of aridity and grazing. The study advocates for hierarchical trait combinations to identify localized indicator sets for grazing effects. Its methodological approach may also be useful

  14. The optimal CO2 concentrations for the growth of three perennial grass species

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng, Yunpu; Li, Fei; Hao, Lihua; Shedayi, Arshad Ali; Guo, Lili; Ma, Chao; Huang, Bingru; Xu, Ming

    2018-01-01

    Background Grasslands are one of the most representative vegetation types accounting for about 20% of the global land area and thus the response of grasslands to climate change plays a pivotal role in terrestrial carbon balance. However, many current climate change models, based on earlier results of the doubling-CO2 experiments, may overestimate the CO2 fertilization effect, and as a result underestimate the potentially effects of future climate change on global grasslands when the atmospher...

  15. 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.

  16. Matrix population models from 20 studies of perennial plant populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Martha M.; Williams, Jennifer L.; Lesica, Peter; Bell, Timothy J.; Bierzychudek, Paulette; Bowles, Marlin; Crone, Elizabeth E.; Doak, Daniel F.; Ehrlen, Johan; Ellis-Adam, Albertine; McEachern, Kathryn; Ganesan, Rengaian; Latham, Penelope; Luijten, Sheila; Kaye, Thomas N.; Knight, Tiffany M.; Menges, Eric S.; Morris, William F.; den Nijs, Hans; Oostermeijer, Gerard; Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro F.; Shelly, J. Stephen; Stanley, Amanda; Thorpe, Andrea; Tamara, Ticktin; Valverde, Teresa; Weekley, Carl W.

    2012-01-01

    Demographic transition matrices are one of the most commonly applied population models for both basic and applied ecological research. The relatively simple framework of these models and simple, easily interpretable summary statistics they produce have prompted the wide use of these models across an exceptionally broad range of taxa. Here, we provide annual transition matrices and observed stage structures/population sizes for 20 perennial plant species which have been the focal species for long-term demographic monitoring. These data were assembled as part of the 'Testing Matrix Models' working group through the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). In sum, these data represent 82 populations with >460 total population-years of data. It is our hope that making these data available will help promote and improve our ability to monitor and understand plant population dynamics.

  17. Fusarium-induced diseases of tropical, perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploetz, Randy C

    2006-06-01

    ABSTRACT The world's oldest ecosystems are found in the tropics. They are diverse, highly evolved, but barely understood. This and subsequent papers describe diseases of tropical, perennial plants that are caused by Fusarium spp. Many of these are economically significant, difficult to manage, and of scientific interest. Some represent coevolved patho-systems (e.g., Panama disease, tracheomycosis of coffee, fusariosis of pineapple, and Fusarium wilt of oil palm), whereas others may be new-encounter diseases or are caused by generalist pathogens (cushion gall of cacao). New vector relationships are evident in other pathosystems (e.g., mango malformation), and two or more pathogens have been shown to cause some of the diseases (Panama disease and tracheomycosis of coffee). More work on these pathosystems is warranted as they could reveal much about the evolution of plant pathogens and the important diseases they cause.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-12-31

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

  19. Efficacy of montelukast for treating perennial allergic rhinitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip, George; Williams-Herman, Debora; Patel, Piyush; Weinstein, Steven F; Alon, Achilles; Gilles, Leen; Tozzi, Carol A; Dass, S Balachandra; Reiss, Theodore F

    2007-01-01

    Perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) is a chronic inflammatory nasal condition in individuals exposed year-round to allergens. This was a double-blind study of 15- to 85-year-old patients randomly allocated to montelukast, 10 mg (n=630), placebo (n=613), or the positive control cetirizine, 10 mg (n=122) for 6 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was change from baseline in Daytime Nasal Symptoms Score (DNSS; mean of congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and itching scores, rated daily by patients [scale: 0=none to 3=severe]) averaged during the initial 4 weeks (primary analysis) or entire 6 weeks of treatment. Also assessed were combined post hoc results of primary end point data from this study and another similarly designed study (Patel P, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of montelukast for treating perennial allergic rhinitis, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 95:551, 2005). Over 4 weeks, montelukast showed numerical improvement over placebo in DNSS (least-squares mean difference of -0.04 [95% confidence interval (CI}, -0.09, 0.01]); the difference between cetirizine and placebo was significant: -0.10 (95% CI, -0.19, -0.01). However, when averaged over 6 weeks, neither active treatment was significantly different from placebo. The Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality-of-Life score was significantly improved by montelukast (p < 0.05), but not by cetirizine, during 4 and 6 weeks. The treatment effect of montelukast, but not cetirizine, generally remained consistent through the 6 weeks of treatment. In pooled data, montelukast consistently improved DNSS versus placebo during all 6 weeks of treatment (-0.07 [95% CI, -0.10, -0.041). In conclusion, montelukast produced numerical improvement in daytime nasal symptoms and significant improvement in quality of life. In a pooled post hoc analysis, montelukast provided consistent improvement in daytime nasal symptoms over 6 weeks, supportive of an overall benefit in PAR.

  20. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper: targeted use of genome resources for comparative grass genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben; Mayer, Klaus F X; Lübberstedt, Thomas; Byrne, Stephen; Frei, Ursula; Studer, Bruno

    2013-02-01

    Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous assignment of 3,315 out of 8,876 previously unmapped genes to the respective chromosomes. In total, the GenomeZipper incorporates 4,035 conserved grass gene loci, which were used for the first genome-wide sequence divergence analysis between perennial ryegrass, barley, Brachypodium, rice, and sorghum. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper is an ordered, information-rich genome scaffold, facilitating map-based cloning and genome assembly in perennial ryegrass and closely related Poaceae species. It also represents a milestone in describing synteny between perennial ryegrass and fully sequenced model grass genomes, thereby increasing our understanding of genome organization and evolution in the most important temperate forage and turf grass species.

  1. Cumulative drought and land-use impacts on perennial vegetation across a North American dryland region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Long, A. Lexine; Wallace, Cynthia; Webb, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    Question The decline and loss of perennial vegetation in dryland ecosystems due to global change pressures can alter ecosystem properties and initiate land degradation processes. We tracked changes of perennial vegetation using remote sensing to address the question of how prolonged drought and land-use intensification have affected perennial vegetation cover across a desert region in the early 21st century? Location Mojave Desert, southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, USA. Methods We coupled the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Enhanced Vegetation Index (MODIS-EVI) with ground-based measurements of perennial vegetation cover taken in about 2000 and about 2010. Using the difference between these years, we determined perennial vegetation changes in the early 21st century and related these shifts to climate, soil and landscape properties, and patterns of land use. Results We found a good fit between MODIS-EVI and perennial vegetation cover (2000: R2 = 0.83 and 2010: R2 = 0.74). The southwestern, far southeastern and central Mojave Desert had large declines in perennial vegetation cover in the early 21st century, while the northeastern and southeastern portions of the desert had increases. These changes were explained by 10-yr precipitation anomalies, particularly in the cool season and during extreme dry or wet years. Areas heavily impacted by visitor use or wildfire lost perennial vegetation cover, and vegetation in protected areas increased to a greater degree than in unprotected areas. Conclusions We find that we can extrapolate previously documented declines of perennial plant cover to an entire desert, and demonstrate that prolonged water shortages coupled with land-use intensification create identifiable patterns of vegetation change in dryland regions.

  2. Multi-index time series monitoring of drought and fire effects on desert grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel; Norman, Laura M.; Buckley, Steven; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Coe, Michelle A.

    2016-01-01

    The Western United States is expected to undergo both extended periods of drought and longer wildfire seasons under forecasted global climate change and it is important to understand how these disturbances will interact and affect recovery and composition of plant communities in the future. In this research paper we describe the temporal response of grassland communities to drought and fire in southern Arizona, where land managers are using repeated, prescribed fire as a habitat restoration tool. Using a 25-year atlas of fire locations, we paired sites with multiple fires to unburned control areas and compare satellite and field-based estimates of vegetation cover over time. Two hundred and fifty Landsat TM images, dating from 1985–2011, were used to derive estimates of Total Vegetation Fractional Cover (TVFC) of live and senescent grass using the Soil-Adjusted Total Vegetation Index (SATVI) and post-fire vegetation greenness using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). We also implemented a Greenness to Cover Index that is the difference of time-standardized SATVI-TVFC and NDVI values at a given time and location to identify post-fire shifts in native, non-native, and annual plant cover. The results highlight anomalous greening and browning during drought periods related to amounts of annual and non-native plant cover present. Results suggest that aggressive application of prescribed fire may encourage spread of non-native perennial grasses and annual plants, particularly during droughts.

  3. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  7. Productivity and carbon footprint of perennial grass-forage legume intercropping strategies with high or low nitrogen fertilizer input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Lachouani, Petra; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Ambus, Per; Boelt, Birte; Gislum, René

    2016-01-15

    A three-season field experiment was established and repeated twice with spring barley used as cover crop for different perennial grass-legume intercrops followed by a full year pasture cropping and winter wheat after sward incorporation. Two fertilization regimes were applied with plots fertilized with either a high or a low rate of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate the carbon footprint (global warming potential) of the grassland management including measured nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions after sward incorporation. Without applying any mineral N fertilizer, the forage legume pure stand, especially red clover, was able to produce about 15 t above ground dry matter ha(-1) year(-1) saving around 325 kg mineral Nfertilizer ha(-1) compared to the cocksfoot and tall fescue grass treatments. The pure stand ryegrass yielded around 3t DM more than red clover in the high fertilizer treatment. Nitrous oxide emissions were highest in the treatments containing legumes. The LCA showed that the low input N systems had markedly lower carbon footprint values than crops from the high N input system with the pure stand legumes without N fertilization having the lowest carbon footprint. Thus, a reduction in N fertilizer application rates in the low input systems offsets increased N2O emissions after forage legume treatments compared to grass plots due to the N fertilizer production-related emissions. When including the subsequent wheat yield in the total aboveground production across the three-season rotation, the pure stand red clover without N application and pure stand ryegrass treatments with the highest N input equalled. The present study illustrate how leguminous biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) represents an important low impact renewable N source without reducing crop yields and thereby farmers earnings. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) loci mapping in the genome of perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pivorienė, O; Pašakinskienė, I; Brazauskas, G

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify and characterize new ISSR markers and their loci in the genome of perennial ryegrass. A subsample of the VrnA F2 mapping family of perennial ryegrass comprising 92 individuals was used to develop a linkage map including inter-simple sequence repeat markers...... demonstrated a 70% similarity to the Hordeum vulgare germin gene GerA. Inter-SSR mapping will provide useful information for gene targeting, quantitative trait loci mapping and marker-assisted selection in perennial ryegrass....

  9. Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    International Acer Incorporated, Hsin Chu, Taiwan Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, Taichung, Taiwan American Institute of Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan...Singapore and Malaysia .5 - 4 - The largest market for semiconductor products is the high technology consumer electronics industry that consumes up...Singapore, and Malaysia . A new semiconductor facility costs around $3 billion to build and takes about two years to become operational

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

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

  11. The potential of perennial cave ice in isotope palaeoclimatology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yonge, Charles J.; MacDonald, William D.

    1999-01-01

    Perennial ice from caves on and to the east of the Canadian Great Divide yield delta O 18 and delta D values which are usually high measurements where compared with the average precipitation for the region. Furthermore, these ice data fall below and along lines of lower slope than the Global Meteoric Water Line. To explain the observed relationships, we propose the following process. a vapour-ice isotopic fractionation mechanism operates on warm season vapour when it precipitates as hoar ice on entering the caves. The subsequent fall of hoar to the cave floor through mechanical overloading along with ice derived from ground-water seepage (with a mean annual isotopic composition), results in massive ice formation of a mixed composition. This mixed composition is what is observed in the characteristic relationships found here. Such findings suggest that a warm versus cold climate interpretation for ancient cave ice may be the opposite of that found in the more familiar polar and glacial ice caves. (Author) 3 figs., 1 tab., 12 refs

  12. Root proliferation in native perennial grasses of arid Patagonia, Argentina

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yanina A. TORRES; Mara M. MUJICA; Sandra S. BAIONI; Jos ENTO; Mara N. FIORETTI; Guillermo TUCAT; Carlos A. BUSSO; Oscar A. MONTENEGRO; Leticia ITHURRART; Hugo D. GIORGETTI; Gustavo RODRGUEZ; Diego BENTIVEGNA; Roberto E. BREVEDAN; Osvaldo A. FERNNDEZ

    2014-01-01

    Pappophorum vaginatum is the most abundant C4 perennial grass desirable to livestock in rangelands of northeastern Patagonia, Argentina. We hypothesized that (1) defoliation reduce net primary productivity, and root length density and weight in the native species, and (2) root net primary productivity, and root length density and weight, are greater in P. vaginatum than in the other, less desirable, native species (i.e., Aristida spegazzinii, A. subulata and Sporobolus cryptandrus). Plants of all species were either exposed or not to a severe defoliation twice a year during two growing seasons. Root proliferation was measured using the cylinder method. Cylindrical, iron structures, wrapped up using nylon mesh, were buried diagonally from the periphery to the center on individual plants. These structures, initially filled with soil without any organic residue, were dug up from the soil on 25 April 2008, after two successive defoliations in mid-spring 2007. During the second growing season (2008-2009), cylinders were destructively harvested on 4 April 2009, after one or two defoliations in mid-and/or late-spring, respectively. Roots grown into the cylinders were obtained after washing the soil manually. Defoliation during two successive years did reduce the study variables only after plants of all species were defoliated twice, which supported the first hypothesis. The greater root net primary productivity, root length den-sity and weight in P. vaginatum than in the other native species, in support of the second hypothesis, could help to explain its greater abundance in rangelands of Argentina.

  13. Modelling farmer uptake of perennial energy crops in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherrington, Chris; Moran, Dominic

    2010-01-01

    The UK Biomass Strategy suggests that to reach the technical potential of perennial energy crops such as short rotation coppice (SRC) willow and miscanthus by 2020 requires 350,000 hectares of land. This represents a more than 20-fold increase on the current 15,546 hectares. Previous research has identified several barriers to adoption, including concerns over security of income from contracts. In addition, farmers perceive returns from these crops to be lower than for conventional crops. This paper uses a farm-level linear programming model to investigate theoretical uptake of energy crops at different gross margins under the assumption of a profit-maximising decision maker, and in the absence of known barriers to adoption. The findings suggest that while SRC willow, at current prices, remains less competitive, returns to miscanthus should have encouraged adoption on a wider scale than at present. This highlights the importance of the barriers to adoption. Recently announced contracts for miscanthus appear to offer a significant premium to farmers in order to encourage them to grow the crops. This raises the question of whether a more cost-effective approach would be for government to provide guarantees addressing farmers concerns including security of income from the contracts. Such an approach should encourage adoption at lower gross margins. (author)

  14. Internal iron biomineralization in Imperata cylindrica, a perennial grass: chemical composition, speciation and plant localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, N; Menéndez, N; Tornero, J; Amils, R; de la Fuente, V

    2005-03-01

    * The analysis of metal distribution in Imperata cylindrica, a perennial grass isolated from the banks of Tinto River (Iberian Pyritic Belt), an extreme acidic environment with high content in metals, has shown a remarkable accumulation of iron. This property has been used to study iron speciation and its distribution among different tissues and structures of the plant. * Mossbauer (MS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to determine the iron species, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to locate iron biominerals among plant tissue structures, and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDAX), X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) and inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-MS) to confirm their elemental composition. * The MS spectral analysis indicated that iron accumulated in this plant mainly as jarosite and ferritin. The presence of jarosite was confirmed by XRD and the distribution of both minerals in structures of different tissues was ascertained by SEM-EDAX analysis. * The convergent results obtained by complementary techniques suggest a complex iron management system in I. cylindrica, probably as a consequence of the environmental conditions of its habitat.

  15. Establishment techniques in under-sown perennial ryegrass for seed production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Deleuran, Lise C; Boelt, Birte

    2009-01-01

    Establishment methods have proven to be of major importance for grass-seed production. The objective of this research was to test the effect of different sowing techniques on plant establishment and the subsequent seed yield. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is used as the model grass due...... to its large importance in Danish agriculture. In a three-year trial six different methods of under-sowing of perennial ryegrass in a spring barley cover crop were employed. Perennial ryegrass was either sown directly at different depths within the spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) rows or placed 2, 6......, or 12 cm from the spring barley rows. Results of dry-matter yield indicate that the best establishment of the grass occurred when placing the grass 6 or 12 cm from the cover-crop row, and this is of importance in less vigorous grasses. Overall, no seed-yield difference has been observed for perennial...

  16. The Performance of Early-Generation Perennial Winter Cereals at 21 Sites across Four Continents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard C. Hayes

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available A network of 21 experiments was established across nine countries on four continents and spanning both hemispheres, to evaluate the relative performance of early generation perennial cereal material derived from wheat, rye, and barley and to inform future breeding strategies. The experimental lines were grown in replicated single rows, and first year production and phenology characteristics as well as yield and persistence for up to three years were monitored. The study showed that the existing experimental material is all relatively short-lived (≤3 years, with environments that are milder in summer and winter generally conferring greater longevity. No pedigree was superior across this diverse network of sites although better performing lines at the higher latitude sites were generally derived from Thinopyrum intermedium. By contrast, at lower latitudes the superior lines were generally derived from Th. ponticum and Th. elongatum parentage. The study observed a poor relationship between year 1 performance and productivity in later years, highlighting the need for perennial cereal material with greater longevity to underpin future experimental evaluation, and the importance for breeding programs to emphasize post-year 1 performance in their selections. Hybrid lines derived from the tetraploid durum wheat generally showed greater longevity than derivatives of hexaploid wheat, highlighting potential for greater use of Triticum turgidum in perennial wheat breeding. We advocate a model in future breeding initiatives that develops perennial cereal genotypes for specific target environments rather than a generic product for one global market. These products may include a diversity of cultivars derived from locally adapted annual and perennial parents. In this scenario the breeding program may have access to only a limited range of adapted perennial grass parents. In other situations, such as at very high latitude environments, perennial crops derived

  17. Supporting Agricultural Ecosystem Services through the Integration of Perennial Polycultures into Crop Rotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Weißhuhn

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This review analyzes the potential role and long-term effects of field perennial polycultures (mixtures in agricultural systems, with the aim of reducing the trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. First, crop rotations are identified as a suitable tool for the assessment of the long-term effects of perennial polycultures on ecosystem services, which are not visible at the single-crop level. Second, the ability of perennial polycultures to support ecosystem services when used in crop rotations is quantified through eight agricultural ecosystem services. Legume–grass mixtures and wildflower mixtures are used as examples of perennial polycultures, and compared with silage maize as a typical crop for biomass production. Perennial polycultures enhance soil fertility, soil protection, climate regulation, pollination, pest and weed control, and landscape aesthetics compared with maize. They also score lower for biomass production compared with maize, which confirms the trade-off between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. However, the additional positive factors provided by perennial polycultures, such as reduced costs for mineral fertilizer, pesticides, and soil tillage, and a significant preceding crop effect that increases the yields of subsequent crops, should be taken into account. However, a full assessment of agricultural ecosystem services requires a more holistic analysis that is beyond the capabilities of current frameworks.

  18. Soil water status under perennial and annual pastures on an acid duplex soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heng, L.K.; White, R.E.; Chen, D.

    2000-01-01

    A comprehensive field study of soil water balance, nitrogen (N) cycling, pasture management and animal production was carried out on an acid duplex soil at Book Book near Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales. The experiment, carried out over a 3-year period, tested the hypothesis that sown perennial grass pastures improve the sustainability of a grazing system through better use of water and N. The treatments were: annual pastures without lime (AP-), annual pastures with lime (AP+), perennial pastures without lime (PP-) and perennial pastures with lime (PP+). Soil water measurement was made using a neutron probe on one set of the treatments comprising four adjacent paddocks. Over three winter and spring periods, the results showed that perennial grass pastures, especially PP+, consistently extracted about 40 mm more soil water each year than did the annual grass pastures. As a result, surface runoff, sub-surface flow and deep drainage (percolation below 180 cm depth) were about 40 mm less from the perennial pastures. The soil water status of the four pasture treatments was simulated reasonably well using a simple soil water model. Together with the long-term simulation of deep drainage, using past meteorological records, it is shown that proper management of perennial pastures can reduce recharge to groundwater and make pastoral systems more sustainable in the high rainfall zone. However, to completely reduce recharge, more-deeply rooted plants or trees are needed. (author)

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, F P

    2012-11-01

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

  1. A Systematic Review of Perennial Staple Crops Literature Using Topic Modeling and Bibliometric Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Research on perennial staple crops has increased in the past ten years due to their potential to improve ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, multiple past breeding efforts as well as research on traditional ratoon systems mean there is already a broad body of literature on perennial crops. In this review, we compare the development of research on perennial staple crops, including wheat, rice, rye, sorghum, and pigeon pea. We utilized the advanced search capabilities of Web of Science, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Agricola to gather a library of 914 articles published from 1930 to the present. We analyzed the metadata in the entire library and in collections of literature on each crop to understand trends in research and publishing. In addition, we applied topic modeling to the article abstracts, a type of text analysis that identifies frequently co-occurring terms and latent topics. We found: 1.) Research on perennials is increasing overall, but individual crops have each seen periods of heightened interest and research activity; 2.) Specialist journals play an important role in supporting early research efforts. Research often begins within communities of specialists or breeders for the individual crop before transitioning to a more general scientific audience; 3.) Existing perennial agricultural systems and their domesticated crop material, such as ratoon rice systems, can provide a useful foundation for breeding efforts, accelerating the development of truly perennial crops and farming systems; 4.) Primary research is lacking for crops that are produced on a smaller scale globally, such as pigeon pea and sorghum, and on the ecosystem service benefits of perennial agricultural systems. PMID:27213283

  2. Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer scintillometer. ... Water SA. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search ... of soil heat flux and net irradiance, evaporation rates were calculated as a residual of the ...

  3. 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.

  4. Soil Organic Carbon Responses to Forest Expansion on Mountain Grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia

    . Changes in labile soil C were assessed by carbohydrate and thermal analyses of soil samples and fractions. Forest expansion on mountain grasslands caused a decrease in SOC stocks within the mineral soil. The SOC accumulation within the organic layers following forest establishment could not fully...... and thermally labile to resistant components decreased from grassland to forest successional stages, and corresponded to decreased SOC protection within stable aggregates. This PhD thesis showed that mineral SOC stocks and physically protected SOC fractions decreased following forest expansion on mountain......Grassland abandonment followed by progressive forest expansion is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. Contrasting trends in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks have been reported for mountainous regions following forest expansion on grasslands. Moreover, its effects on SOC properties...

  5. Impact intensities of climatic changes on grassland ecosystems in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. NJ TONUKARI

    2012-03-22

    Mar 22, 2012 ... Construction of the impact intensity model of climatic changes on grassland ecosystem ... the temperature and rainfall (Sun and Mu, 2011). Thus, the study ... of the equation, the study transformed the measurement unit Mu of.

  6. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, Henrik B.

    2008-01-01

    Perennial crops need far less energy to plant, require less fertilizer and pesticides, and show a lower negative environmental impact compared with annual crops like for example corn. This makes the cultivation of perennial crops as energy crops more sustainable than the use of annual crops....... The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...... oxidation to the perennial crops, however, the specific methane yield increases significantly and the ratio of energy output to input and of costs to benefit for the whole chain of biomass supply and conversion into biogas becomes higher than for corn. This will make the use of perennial crops as energy...

  7. Dinosaur demise in light of their alleged perennial polar residency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewy, Zeev

    2017-10-01

    The end-Cretaceous biological crisis is represented by the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, most crucial biologically was the elimination of the photosynthesizing marine phyto- and zooplankton forming the base of the marine food chain. Their abrupt demise attests to sunlight screening darkening the atmosphere for a few years. Alvarez et al. (Science 208:1095-1108, 1980. doi: 10.1126/science.208.44) noticed in deep marine end-Cretaceous sediments an anomalous rise in the chemical element iridium (Ir), which is rare on planet Earth and thus suggests an extraterrestrial origin through an impact of a large asteroid. This impact would have ejected enormous quantities of particles and aerosols, shading the solar illumination as attested to by the elimination of the marine photosynthesizing plankton. Such a dark period must have affected life on land. The apparent cold-blooded non-avian dinosaurs, which were used to living in open terrains to absorb the solar illumination, became inactive during the dark period and were incapable of withstanding predators. This was in contrast to cold-blooded crocodilians, turtles and lizards that could hide in refuge sites on land and in the water. Dinosaur relics discovered in Cretaceous Polar Regions were attributed to perennial residents, surviving the nearly half-year-long dark winter despite their ability to leave. The polar concentrations of disarticulated dinosaur bones were suggested as having resulted from a catastrophic burial of a population by floods. However, this should have fossilized complete skeletons. Alternatively, herds of dinosaurs living in high latitudes might have been sexually driven to spend the half year of continuously illuminated polar summer for mating rather than for nourishment, in which the lower latitudes provided as well. The aggressive mating competitions would have left victims among the rivals and of young ones incidentally trampled over, all being consumed and their skeletons

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  10. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Campana, Pietro Elia

    2013-01-01

    Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...

  11. Impacts of Future Grassland Changes on Surface Climate in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change caused by land use/cover change (LUCC is becoming a hot topic in current global change, especially the changes caused by the grassland degradation. In this paper, based on the baseline underlying surface data of 1993, the predicted underlying surface data which can be derived through overlaying the grassland degradation information to the map of baseline underlying surface, and the atmospheric forcing data of RCP 6.0 from CMIP5, climatological changes caused by future grassland changes for the years 2010–2020 and 2040–2050 with the Weather Research Forecast model (WRF are simulated. The model-based analysis shows that future grassland degradation will significantly result in regional climate change. The grassland degradation in future could lead to an increasing trend of temperature in most areas and corresponding change range of the annual average temperature of −0.1°C–0.4°C, and it will cause a decreasing trend of precipitation and corresponding change range of the annual average precipitation of 10 mm–50 mm. This study identifies lines of evidence for effects of future grassland degradation on regional climate in Mongolia which provides meaningful decision-making information for the development and strategy plan making in Mongolia.

  12. A generic model for estimating biomass accumulation and greenhouse gas emissions from perennial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledo, Alicia; Heathcote, Richard; Hastings, Astley; Smith, Pete; Hillier, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Agriculture is essential to maintain humankind but is, at the same time, a substantial emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With a rising global population, the need for agriculture to provide secure food and energy supply is one of the main human challenges. At the same time, it is the only sector which has significant potential for negative emissions through the sequestration of carbon and offsetting via supply of feedstock for energy production. Perennial crops accumulate carbon during their lifetime and enhance organic soil carbon increase via root senescence and decomposition. However, inconsistency in accounting for this stored biomass undermines efforts to assess the benefits of such cropping systems when applied at scale. A consequence of this exclusion is that efforts to manage this important carbon stock are neglected. Detailed information on carbon balance is crucial to identify the main processes responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in order to develop strategic mitigation programs. Perennial crops systems represent 30% in area of total global crop systems, a considerable amount to be ignored. Furthermore, they have a major standing both in the bioenergy and global food industries. In this study, we first present a generic model to calculate the carbon balance and GHGs emissions from perennial crops, covering both food and bioenergy crops. The model is composed of two simple process-based sub-models, to cover perennial grasses and other perennial woody plants. The first is a generic individual based sub-model (IBM) covering crops in which the yield is the fruit and the plant biomass is an unharvested residue. Trees, shrubs and climbers fall into this category. The second model is a generic area based sub-model (ABM) covering perennial grasses, in which the harvested part includes some of the plant parts in which the carbon storage is accounted. Most second generation perennial bioenergy crops fall into this category. Both generic sub

  13. Allelopathic cover crop prior to seeding is more important than subsequent grazing/mowing in grassland establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milchunas, Daniel G.; Vandever, Mark W.; Ball, Leonard O.; Hyberg, Skip

    2011-01-01

    The effects of grazing, mowing, and type of cover crop were evaluated in a previous winter wheat–fallow cropland seeded to grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern Colorado. Prior to seeding, the fallow strips were planted to forage sorghum or wheat in alternating strips (cover crops), with no grazing, moderate to heavy grazing, and mowing (grazing treatments) superimposed 4 yr after planting and studied for 3 yr. Plots previously in wheat had more annual and exotic species than sorghum plots. Concomitantly, there were much greater abundances of perennial native grass and all native species in sorghum than wheat cropped areas. The competitive advantage gained by seeded species in sorghum plots resulted in large increases in rhizomatous western wheatgrass. Sorghum is known to be allelopathic and is used in crop agriculture rotations to suppress weeds and increase crop yields, consistent with the responses of weed and desired native species in this study. Grazing treatment had relatively minor effects on basal and canopy cover composition of annual or exotic species versus perennial native grass or native species. Although grazing treatment never was a significant main effect, it occasionally modified cover crop or year effects. Opportunistic grazing reduced exotic cheatgrass by year 3 but also decreased the native palatable western wheatgrass. Mowing was a less effective weed control practice than grazing. Vegetative basal cover and aboveground primary production varied primarily with year. Common management practices for revegetation/restoration currently use herbicides and mowing as weed control practices and restrict grazing in all stages of development. Results suggest that allelopathic cover crop selection and opportunistic grazing can be effective alternative grass establishment and weed control practices. Susceptibility, resistance, and interactions of weed and seeded species to allelopathic cover species/cultivars may be a fruitful area

  14. A comparative study of AMF diversity in annual and perennial plant species from semiarid gypsum soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Roldán, A.; Díaz, G.; Torres, P.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities composition regulate plant interactions and determine the structure of plant communities. In this study we analysed the diversity of AMF in the roots of two perennial gypsophyte plant species, Herniaria fruticosa and Senecio auricula, and an annual herbaceous species, Bromus rubens, growing in a gypsum soil from a semiarid area. The objective was to determine whether perennial and annual host plants support different AMF communities in their roots and whether there are AMF species that might be indicators of specific functional plant roles in these ecosystems. The roots were analysed by nested PCR, cloning, sequencing of the ribosomal DNA small subunit region and phylogenetic analysis. Twenty AMF sequence types, belonging to the Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversisporaceae, Acaulosporaceae, Archaeosporaceae and Paraglomeraceae, were identified. Both gypsophyte perennial species had differing compositions of the AMF community and higher diversity when compared with the annual species, showing preferential selection by specific AMF sequences types. B. rubens did not show host specificity, sharing the full composition of its AMF community with both perennial plant species. Seasonal variations in the competitiveness of AM fungi could explain the observed differences in AMF community composition, but this is still a working hypothesis that requires the analysis of further data obtained from a higher number of both annual and perennial plant species in order to be fully tested.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varcoe, Robert; Sterling, Shannon

    2017-04-01

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

  17. Quantum Nuclear Extension of Electron Nuclear Dynamics on Folded Effective-Potential Surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hall, B.; Deumens, E.; Ohrn, Y.

    2014-01-01

    A perennial problem in quantum scattering calculations is accurate theoretical treatment of low energy collisions. We propose a method of extracting a folded, nonadiabatic, effective potential energy surface from electron nuclear dynamics (END) trajectories; we then perform nuclear wave packet...

  18. Genomics-Assisted Exploitation of Heterosis in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Islam, Md. Shofiqul

    ryegrass for the development of improved varieties. During his PhD studies, Mohammad Shofiqul Islam studied the feasibility of developing novel hybrid breeding schemes based on cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) systems in perennial ryegrass. He successfully completed the assembly and annotation of a male......-fertile perennial ryegrass mitochondrial genome, and identified candidate genes responsible for the CMS phenotype by comparing male-fertile and male-sterile mitochondrial genomes. His findings constitute a good basis for continuing research to produce hybrid grass varieties to address the future needs......, breeding activities have been carried out to improve the population and develop synthetic varieties. This does not fully exploit the potential of heterosis, however. Hybrid breeding is an alternative strategy and provides opportunities to fully exploit the genetically available heterosis in perennial...

  19. Genetic variation, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium in European elite germplasm of perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brazauskas, Gintaras; Lenk, Ingo; Pedersen, Morten Greve

    2011-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is a highly valued temperate climate grass species grown as forage crop and for amenity uses. Due to its outbreeding nature and recent domestication, a high degree of genetic diversity is expected among cultivars. The aim of this study was to assess the extent...... of linkage disequilibrium (LD) within European elite germplasm and to evaluate the appropriate methodology for genetic association mapping in perennial ryegrass. A high level of genetic diversity was observed in a set of 380 perennial ryegrass elite genotypes when genotyped with 40 SSRs and 2 STS markers...... and occurred within 0.4 cM across European varieties, when population structure was taken into consideration. However, an extended LD of up to 6.6 cM was detected within the variety Aberdart. High genetic diversity and rapid LD decay provide means for high resolution association mapping in elite materials...

  20. The Perennial Ryegrass GenomeZipper – Targeted Use of Genome Resources for Comparative Grass Genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfeiffer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben

    2013-01-01

    (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold......Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass...... to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous...

  1. Direct control of perennial weeds between crops - Implication for organic farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melander, Bo; Holst, Niels; Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær

    2012-01-01

    and ending the strategy with mouldboard ploughing in the succeeding spring. Grain yields did not differ among the treatments in the two experiments as a result of the generally high effectiveness exerted by the control strategies. Especially post-harvest control strategies based on rotating weed devices...... and mouldboard ploughing appear to be effective solutions against mixed stands of perennials on sandy soils but they do not comply with optimal nutrient management in organic cropping. Therefore, intensive autumn cultivation is only relevant where a perennial weed problem is uncontrollable by other means.......Perennial weeds can be a major constraint to organic crop production and direct control actions applied between crops can then be necessary to reduce the problems. We conducted two experiments, one on a sandy loam and one on a sandy soil in Denmark, with the aim of studying the efficacy...

  2. Introducing perennial biomass crops into agricultural landscapes to address water quality challenges and provide other environmental services: Integrating perennial bioenergy crops into agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cacho, J. F. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Negri, M. C. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Zumpf, C. R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Campbell, P. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA

    2017-11-29

    The world is faced with a difficult multiple challenge of meeting nutritional, energy, and other basic needs, under a limited land and water budget, of between 9 and 10 billion people in the next three decades, mitigating impacts of climate change, and making agricultural production resilient. More productivity is expected from agricultural lands, but intensification of production could further impact the integrity of our finite surface water and groundwater resources. Integrating perennial bioenergy crops in agricultural lands could provide biomass for biofuel and potential improvements on the sustainability of commodity crop production. This article provides an overview of ways in which research has shown that perennial bioenergy grasses and short rotation woody crops can be incorporated into agricultural production systems with reduced indirect land use change, while increasing water quality benefits. Current challenges and opportunities as well as future directions are also highlighted.

  3. 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

  4. Alternative states of a semiarid grassland ecosystem: implications for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems can shift between alternative states characterized by persistent differences in structure, function, and capacity to provide ecosystem services valued by society. We examined empirical evidence for alternative states in a semiarid grassland ecosystem where topographic complexity and contrasting management regimes have led to spatial variations in levels of livestock grazing. Using an inventory data set, we found that plots (n = 72) cluster into three groups corresponding to generalized alternative states identified in an a priori conceptual model. One cluster (biocrust) is notable for high coverage of a biological soil crust functional group in addition to vascular plants. Another (grass-bare) lacks biological crust but retains perennial grasses at levels similar to the biocrust cluster. A third (annualized-bare) is dominated by invasive annual plants. Occurrence of grass-bare and annualized-bare conditions in areas where livestock have been excluded for over 30 years demonstrates the persistence of these states. Significant differences among all three clusters were found for percent bare ground, percent total live cover, and functional group richness. Using data for vegetation structure and soil erodibility, we also found large among-cluster differences in average levels of dust emissions predicted by a wind-erosion model. Predicted emissions were highest for the annualized-bare cluster and lowest for the biocrust cluster, which was characterized by zero or minimal emissions even under conditions of extreme wind. Results illustrate potential trade-offs among ecosystem services including livestock production, soil retention, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Improved understanding of these trade-offs may assist ecosystem managers when evaluating alternative management strategies.

  5. Carbon debt of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands converted to bioenergy production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, Ilya; Zenone, Terenzio; Jasrotia, Poonam; Chen, Jiquan; Hamilton, Stephen K; Robertson, G Philip

    2011-08-16

    Over 13 million ha of former cropland are enrolled in the US Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), providing well-recognized biodiversity, water quality, and carbon (C) sequestration benefits that could be lost on conversion back to agricultural production. Here we provide measurements of the greenhouse gas consequences of converting CRP land to continuous corn, corn-soybean, or perennial grass for biofuel production. No-till soybeans preceded the annual crops and created an initial carbon debt of 10.6 Mg CO(2) equivalents (CO(2)e)·ha(-1) that included agronomic inputs, changes in C stocks, altered N(2)O and CH(4) fluxes, and foregone C sequestration less a fossil fuel offset credit. Total debt, which includes future debt created by additional changes in soil C stocks and the loss of substantial future soil C sequestration, can be constrained to 68 Mg CO(2)e·ha(-1) if subsequent crops are under permanent no-till management. If tilled, however, total debt triples to 222 Mg CO(2)e·ha(-1) on account of further soil C loss. Projected C debt repayment periods under no-till management range from 29 to 40 y for corn-soybean and continuous corn, respectively. Under conventional tillage repayment periods are three times longer, from 89 to 123 y, respectively. Alternatively, the direct use of existing CRP grasslands for cellulosic feedstock production would avoid C debt entirely and provide modest climate change mitigation immediately. Incentives for permanent no till and especially permission to harvest CRP biomass for cellulosic biofuel would help to blunt the climate impact of future CRP conversion.

  6. Genomic prediction in families of perennial ryegrass based on genotyping-by-sequencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ashraf, Bilal

    In this thesis we investigate the potential for genomic prediction in perennial ryegrass using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data. Association method based on family-based breeding systems was developed, genomic heritabilities, genomic prediction accurancies and effects of some key factors wer...... explored. Results show that low sequencing depth caused underestimation of allele substitution effects in GWAS and overestimation of genomic heritability in prediction studies. Other factors susch as SNP marker density, population structure and size of training population influenced accuracy of genomic...... prediction. Overall, GBS allows for genomic prediction in breeding families of perennial ryegrass and holds good potential to expedite genetic gain and encourage the application of genomic prediction...

  7. Application of Multi-Source Remote Sensing Image in Yunnan Province Grassland Resources Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.; Wen, G.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    Trough mastering background information of Yunnan province grassland resources utilization and ecological conditions to improves grassland elaborating management capacity, it carried out grassland resource investigation work by Yunnan province agriculture department in 2017. The traditional grassland resource investigation method is ground based investigation, which is time-consuming and inefficient, especially not suitable for large scale and hard-to-reach areas. While remote sensing is low cost, wide range and efficient, which can reflect grassland resources present situation objectively. It has become indispensable grassland monitoring technology and data sources and it has got more and more recognition and application in grassland resources monitoring research. This paper researches application of multi-source remote sensing image in Yunnan province grassland resources investigation. First of all, it extracts grassland resources thematic information and conducts field investigation through BJ-2 high space resolution image segmentation. Secondly, it classifies grassland types and evaluates grassland degradation degree through high resolution characteristics of Landsat 8 image. Thirdly, it obtained grass yield model and quality classification through high resolution and wide scanning width characteristics of MODIS images and sample investigate data. Finally, it performs grassland field qualitative analysis through UAV remote sensing image. According to project area implementation, it proves that multi-source remote sensing data can be applied to the grassland resources investigation in Yunnan province and it is indispensable method.

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valkó Orsolya

    2016-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Grassland ecology and population growth: striking a balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, D; Duan, C; Zhang, D

    2000-06-01

    Degradation of forest and grasslands in western China attributes to the soil erosion and desertification in the country. Researchers have established that the primary reason for the degradation of grasslands is overgrazing, which in turn is caused by a number of factors, including over-population and over-reliance on animal husbandry. In addition, the existing administrative system has also proved ineffective in ensuring sustainable development. On contrary, many local governments even encourage exploitative development of grassland; thus, localities opened up grassland for growing crops in an effort to increase income. According to estimates, degraded grassland accounts for more than one-third of utilizable acreage and another one-third suffers from a profusion of rats and pests. To redress the situation, central government should implement strategies in achieving sustainable development, such as providing banking and tax incentives for the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, and supporting education and training of youths from herding areas. Moreover, government should increase spending on infrastructural construction and ecological preservation. Finally, the family planning program needs to be enforced to control population growth and improve the quality of peoples¿ lives.

  12. Perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) contains polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and PPO substrates that can reduce post-harvest proteolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Michael L; Foster, Jamie L

    2013-08-15

    Studies of perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) suggest its hay and haylage have greater levels of rumen undegraded protein (RUP) than other legume forages such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Greater RUP can result in more efficient nitrogen utilization by ruminant animals with positive economic and environmental effects. We sought to determine whether, like red clover (Trifolium pretense L.), perennial peanut contains polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and PPO substrates that might be responsible for increased RUP. Perennial peanut extracts contain immunologically detectible PPO protein and high levels of PPO activity (>100 nkatal mg(-1) protein). Addition of caffeic acid (PPO substrate) to perennial peanut extracts depleted of endogenous substrates reduced proteolysis by 90%. Addition of phenolics prepared from perennial peanut leaves to extracts of either transgenic PPO-expressing or control (non-expressing) alfalfa showed peanut phenolics could reduce proteolysis >70% in a PPO-dependent manner. Two abundant likely PPO substrates are present in perennial peanut leaves including caftaric acid. Perennial peanut contains PPO and PPO substrates that together are capable of inhibiting post-harvest proteolysis, suggesting a possible mechanism for increased RUP in this forage. Research related to optimizing the PPO system in other forage crops will likely be applicable to perennial peanut. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  13. Cultivar by environment effects of perennial ryegrass cultivars selected for high water soluble carbohydrates managed under differing precipitation levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historic results of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) breeding include improved disease resistance, biomass, and nutritional quality. Yet, lack of tolerance to water stress limits its wise use. Recent efforts to increase water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) content in perennial ryegrass may incre...

  14. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, H.B.

    2008-01-01

    . The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...

  15. 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

  16. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Efforts to improve and sustain the productive utilization of dry grasslands in Armenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezhunts, Bagrat; Navasardyan, Marine

    2014-05-01

    Armenia is a small mountainous country (29,743 km2) located in the South Caucasus. It lies in the sub-tropical zone and has a continental climate with hot summers (av. +250C) and cold winters (av. -60C). The average precipitation is 550 mm; in the dry-steppe zone it amounts to only 250 mm and with a rainy season in spring-early summer. Altitudinal variation (390-4,095 m) gives rise to a range of climatic zones (from semi-desert to alpine), soil types and plant communities. Besides, Armenia is situated on the crossroads of Caucasian - mesophyllous (humid) and Armeno-Iranian - xerophyllous (arid) floristic provinces, which has made it to a "biodiversity hotspot". Agriculture is important as a source of employment and for domestic food supply. The rural population (ca. 1.2 million) is largely dependent on livestock for their livelihood. The principal feed resource is extensive grasslands (60% of total agricultural lands), but past practices of uncontrolled grazing management has led to low grassland productivity and low proportion of valuable legume forages. Improvement of natural grasslands, enhancement of feed quality, prevention of soil erosion and re-establishment of vegetation cover are key socio-economic challenges and are needed to raise the livelihood of rural population in Armenia. This presentation focuses on present status and trends of dry pastureland degradation, exposed to intensive grazing, and on results from case studies to increase productivity and restore valuable forage species for sustainable use in agriculture. Three different conventional approaches have been applied in these studies including: fertilization with moderate doses of ammonium and potassium nitrate and superphosphate, over-sowing by local legume seeds and implementation of a 2-year rest period in overgrazed areas. From 1986 to 2007, the total yield (TY) in studied dry-steppe pastures decreased by 40%, while at the same time, the proportion of grasses in total yield decreased by 50

  18. Anaerobic co-digestion of perennials: Methane potential and digestate nitrogen fertilizer value

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muller-Stover, Dorette Sophie; Sun, Guotao; Kroff, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Co-digestion of crop biomass improves the traditional manure-based biogas yield due to an increased content of easily degradable carbon compounds. In this study, the methane potential of three perennials (grass, legumes, and grass+legume) was determined using various amounts together with animal ...

  19. Comparison of signaling interactions determining annual and perennial plant growth in response to low temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid eWingler

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Low temperature inhibits plant growth despite the fact that considerable rates of photosynthetic activity can be maintained. Instead of lower rates of photosynthesis, active inhibition of cell division and expansion is primarily responsible for reduced growth. This results in sink limitation and enables plants to accumulate carbohydrates that act as compatible solutes or are stored throughout the winter to enable re-growth in spring. Regulation of growth in response to temperature therefore requires coordination with carbon metabolism, e.g. via the signaling metabolite trehalose-6-phosphate. The phytohormones gibberellins (GA and jasmonate (JA play an important role in regulating growth in response to temperature. Growth restriction at low temperature is mainly mediated by DELLA proteins, whose degradation is promoted by GA. For annual plants, it has been shown that the GA/DELLA pathway interacts with JA signaling and C-repeat binding factor (CBF dependent cold acclimation, but these interactions have not been explored in detail for perennials. Growth regulation in response to seasonal factors is, however, particularly important in perennials, especially at high latitudes. In autumn, growth cessation in trees is caused by shortening of the daylength in interaction with phytohormone signaling. In perennial grasses seasonal differences in the sensitivity to GA may enable enhanced growth in spring. This review provides an overview of the signaling interactions that determine plant growth at low temperature and highlights gaps in our knowledge, especially concerning the seasonality of signaling responses in perennial plants.

  20. Testing water-soluble carbohydrate QTL effects in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) by marker selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Turner, L.B.; Farrell, M.; Humphreys, M.O.; Dolstra, O.

    2010-01-01

    Water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) are an important factor determining the nutritional value of grass forage and development of genetic markers for selection of WSC traits in perennial ryegrass would benefit future breeding programmes. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for WSC have been published for an

  1. Cultivar effects of perennial ryegrass on herbage intake by grazing dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, H.J.

    2006-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass is the most abundant grass species in temperate climates. An increased herbage intake of dairy cows by breeding new cultivars could have a large potential impact on agriculture. The effects of cultivars on sward structure, nutritive value, physical characteristics and disease

  2. Teaching Writing: Some Perennial Questions and Some Possible Answers. Occasional Paper No. 85.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florio-Ruane, Susan; Dunn, Saundra

    Based on the premise that writing research will be useful to educators only to the extent that it offers them conceptual tools to use in framing and solving their own problems, this paper reviews studies that address educators' perennial concerns about writing instruction. Among the questions addressed in the paper are those concerning (1) the…

  3. Returning succession to downy brome dominated rangelands: roadblocks to perennial grass establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    The most common cause of successional retrogression in the Great Basin is wildfires fueled by downy brome (Bromus tectorum). Downy brome invasion has reduced fire intervals from an estimated 60-100 years down to 5-10 years. Our previous research found that establishment of long-lived perennial grass...

  4. Next steps in determining the overall sustainability of perennial bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial bioenergy crops are being developed and evaluated in the United States to partially offset petroleum transport fuels. Accurate accounting of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is necessary to measure the overall carbon intensity of new biofuel feedstocks. For example, c...

  5. Association of candidate genes with drought tolerance traits in diverse perennial ryegrass accessions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaoqing Yu; Guihua Bai; Shuwei Liu; Na Luo; Ying Wang; Douglas S. Richmond; Paula M. Pijut; Scott A. Jackson; Jianming Yu; Yiwei. Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Drought is a major environmental stress limiting growth of perennial grasses in temperate regions. Plant drought tolerance is a complex trait that is controlled by multiple genes. Candidate gene association mapping provides a powerful tool for dissection of complex traits. Candidate gene association mapping of drought tolerance traits was conducted in 192 diverse...

  6. Theoretical implications for the estimation of dinitrogen fixation by large perennial plant species using isotope dilution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwight D. Baker; Maurice Fried; John A. Parrotta

    1995-01-01

    Estimation of symbiotic N2 fixation associated with large perennial plant species, especially trees, poses special problems because the process must be followed over a potentially long period of time to integrate the total amount of fixation. Estimations using isotope dilution methodology have begun to be used for trees in field studies. Because...

  7. Perennial soybean seeds coated with high doses of boron and zinc ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The objective of this work was to study combinations of high doses of boron (B) and zinc (Zn) in the recoating of perennial soybean seeds, in order to provide these nutrients to the future plants. The physical, physiological and nutritional characteristics of the coated seeds and initial development of plants in a greenhouse ...

  8. Perennial forbs for wildlife habitat restoration on mined lands in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardell J. Bjugstad; Warren C. Whitman

    1982-01-01

    Research was designed to assess the establishment and growth potential of 30 perennial forbs by seeding and/or transplanting them on coal mine spoil materials over a 2-year period. Five species showed exceptional emergence and vigorous growth from direct seeding. Six species showed vigorous growth with the use of transplanted plants. Seeding resulted in successful...

  9. Energy-conserving perennial agriculture for marginal land in southern Appalachia. Final technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, G.

    1982-01-30

    USDA economists predict the end of surplus farm production in the US within this decade. More and more marginal land will be cropped to provide feed for the growing world population and to produce energy. Much of this potential cropland in Southern Appalachia is poorly suited to annual crops, such as corn. Perennial crops are much better suited to steep, rocky, and wet sites. Research was undertaken on the theoretical potentials of perennial species with high predicted yields of protein, carbohydrates, or oils. Several candidate staple perennial crops for marginal land in Southern Appalachia were identified, and estimates were made of their yields, energy input requirements, and general suitabilities. Cropping systems incorporating honeylocust, persimmon, mulberry, jujube, and beech were compared with corn cropping systems. It appears that these candidate staple perennials show distinct advantages for energy conservation and environmental preservation. Detailed economic analyses must await actual demonstration trials, but preliminary indications for ethanol conversion systems with honeylocust are encouraging. It is suggested that short-term loans to farmers undertaking this new type of agriculture would be appropriate to solve cash-flow problems.

  10. Molecular mechanisms responsive to dehydration may impact the invasiveness of perennial weeds under global climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leafy spurge is an invasive perennial weed in the great plains of the US and Canada. The ability of this herbaceous weed to regenerate new shoot growth from an abundance of crown and root buds after severe abiotic stress is critical for survival. Due to its adaptable and aggressive nature, global cl...

  11. Towards in vitro fertilization, gametosomatic cybridization and DNA transfer in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, van der H.M.

    1994-01-01

    In this thesis, research towards invitro fertilization, gametosomatic cybridization andDNAtransfer in perennial ryegrass ( Loliumperenne L.), the most important forage

  12. Gene Flow in Genetically Engineered Perennial Grasses: Lessons for Modification of Dedicated Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, will play a major role in crop improvement for a wide range of beneficial traits specific to biofuels. One obstacle that arises regarding transgenic improvement of perennials used for biofuels is the propensity of these plants t...

  13. Changes of biomass in some perennial grass species. | M.C. ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Patterns of seasonal herbaceous biomass change in a burned, ungrazed savanna woodland are reported. A standard clipping technique was used and material farmed in the current season was separated from that formed in the previous season for three perennial grass species: Brachiaria nigropedata, Andropogon ...

  14. Nitrogen cycling in summer active perennial grass systems in South Australia: Non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gupta, V.V.S.R.; Kroker, S.J.; Hicks, M.; Davoren, W.; Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Llewellyn, R.

    2014-01-01

    Non-symbiotic nitrogen (N2) fixation by diazotrophic bacteria is a potential source for biological N inputs in non-leguminous crops and pastures. Perennial grasses generally add larger quantities of above- and belowground plant residues to soil, and so can support higher levels of soil biological

  15. Extending the shelf life of flower bulbs and perennials in consumer packages by modiefied atmosphere packaging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gude, H.; Dijkema, M.H.G.E.; Miller, C.T.

    2011-01-01

    The quality of flower bulbs and herbaceous perennials in consumer packages declines rapidly due to sprouting and drying out. The present study was undertaken to develop Modified Atmosphere Packages (MAP) with suitable filling materials for a prolonged shelf life of different species of flower bulbs

  16. Defining perennial, intermittent and ephemeral channels in eastern Kentucky: application to forestry best management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. R. Svec; R. K. Kolka; J. W. Stringer

    2003-01-01

    In Kentucky stream classification is used to determine which forestry best management practice (BMP) to apply in riparian zones. Kentucky defines stream classes as follows (Stringer and others 1998): a) perennial streams that hold water throughout the year, b) intermittent streams that hold water during wet portions of the year, and c) ephemeral channels that hold...

  17. The effects of perennial ryegrass and alfalfa on microbial abundance and diversity in petroleum contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirk, Jennifer L.; Klironomos, John N.; Lee, Hung; Trevors, Jack T.

    2005-01-01

    Enhanced rhizosphere degradation uses plants to stimulate the rhizosphere microbial community to degrade organic contaminants. We measured changes in microbial communities caused by the addition of two species of plants in a soil contaminated with 31,000 ppm of total petroleum hydrocarbons. Perennial ryegrass and/or alfalfa increased the number of rhizosphere bacteria in the hydrocarbon-contaminated soil. These plants also increased the number of bacteria capable of petroleum degradation as estimated by the most probable number (MPN) method. Eco-Biolog plates did not detect changes in metabolic diversity between bulk and rhizosphere samples but denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of PCR-amplified partial 16S rDNA sequences indicated a shift in the bacterial community in the rhizosphere samples. Dice coefficient matrices derived from DGGE profiles showed similarities between the rhizospheres of alfalfa and perennial ryegrass/alfalfa mixture in the contaminated soil at week seven. Perennial ryegrass and perennial ryegrass/alfalfa mixture caused the greatest change in the rhizosphere bacterial community as determined by DGGE analysis. We concluded that plants altered the microbial population; these changes were plant-specific and could contribute to degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soil. - Plant-specific changes in microbial populations on roots affect degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soil

  18. Novel application of ALMANAC: Modelling a functional group, exotic warm-season perennial grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduced perennial C4 grasses such buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare [(L.) Link]) and old world bluestems (OWB), including genera such as Bothriochloa Kuntze, Capillipedium Stapf, and Dichanthium Willemet have the potential to dominate landscapes. A process-based model that realistically simulates ...

  19. The central and eastern Arabian Sea as a perennial source of atmospheric carbon dioxide

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarma, V.V.S.S.; DileepKumar, M.; George, M.D.

    circulation and biological production. In all seasons, the pCO sub(2) is higher in surface waters of the Arabian Sea, except along the Indian coast in the southwest monsoon, than that in atmosphere, and thus this region appears to be a perennial source...

  20. Genetic linkage mapping in an F2 perennial ryegrass population using DArT markers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tomaszewski, C.; Byrne, S. L.; Foito, A.; Kildea, S.; Kopecký, David; Doležel, Jaroslav; Heslop-Harrison, J. S.; Stewart, D.; Barth, S.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 131, č. 2 (2012), s. 345-349 ISSN 0179-9541 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50380511 Keywords : Lolium perenne * perennial ryegrass * genetic map Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.175, year: 2012

  1. Nitrous oxide emission and soil carbon sequestration from herbaceous perennial biofuel feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and renewable, domestic fuels are needed in the United States. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman) are potential bioenergy feedstocks that may meet this need. However, managing perennial grasses for feedstock requires nitro...

  2. Evaluating winter/spring seeding of a native perennial bunchgrass in the sagebrush steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) plant communities in the US Great Basin region are being severely impacted by increasingly frequent wildfires in association with the expansion of exotic annual grasses. Maintenance of native perennial bunchgrasses is key to controlling annual grass expansion,...

  3. Perennial ryegrass for dairy cows: Intake, milk production and nitrogen utilization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tas, B.M.

    2005-01-01

    Keywords: perennial ryegrass, dairy cows, intake, digestibility milk production, nitrogen utilisation.In the Netherlands, grass is one of the main roughages in the diet of high productive dairy cows. Grass is associated with two main problems: the limited dry matter intake (DMI)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  6. Tools for Management for Grassland Ecosystem Sustainability: Thinking "Outside the Box"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem management is dynamic and has adapted to the development of new tools and ideas. Our ancestors were indirectly managing grasslands when they learned to move livestock to take advantage of better water and greener forage. One could argue that even their hunting of grassland wildlife, especially the use of fire to drive animals to waiting hunters, had...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  8. Evapotranspiration and soil moisture dynamics in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia China

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Hao; Ge Sun; Yongqiang Liu; G. S. Zhou; J. H.   Wan;  L. B. Zhang; J. L. Niu; Y. H. Sang;  J. J He

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture are the key controls for the productivity and functioning of temperate grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Quantifying the soil moisture dynamics and water balances in the grasslands is essential to sustainable grassland management under global climate change. We...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Forest and grassland carbon in North America: A short course for land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Swanston; Michael J. Furniss; Kristen Schmitt; Jeffrey Guntle; Maria Janowiak; Sarah Hines

    2012-01-01

    This multimedia short-course presents a range of information on the science, management and policy of forest and grassland carbon. Forests and grasslands worldwide play a critical role in storing carbon and sequestering greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of forests and grasslands, emphasizes the need for...

  11. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Evaporite deposition in a shallow perennial lake, Qaidam basin, western China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schubel, K.A.; Lowenstein, T.K. (SUNY, Binghampton, NY (United States)); Spencer, R.J. (Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada)); Pengxi, Z. (Institute of Salt Lakes, Xining (China))

    1991-03-01

    Evaporites accumulate in ephemeral saline-pans, shallow perennial lakes or lagoons, and deep perennial systems. Continuous brine trench exposures of Holocene evaporites from the Qaidam basin provide criteria for the recognition of shallow perennial lake sediments. Based on Landsat photographs, lateral extent of beds (at least 7 km), and sequence thicknesses (maximum 2.5 m), the paleolake is interpreted to have been less than 2.5 m deep and at least 120 km{sup 2} in area. Sediments consist of laminated siliciclastic mud overlain by mud-halite couplets (mm- to cm-scale layers), which represent one vertical shallowing- and concentrating-upwards sequence. The basal laminite marks the onset of deposition in this shallow perennial paleolake. Syndepositional halite textures and fabrics in the overlying mud-halite couplets include cumulates, rafts, and chevrons, draped by mud laminae, and halite layers truncated by horizontal dissolution surfaces (increasing in frequency upwards). Paleolake brines, determined from fluid inclusion melting temperatures, are Na-Mg-Cl-rich and evolve from 0.84 m Mg{sup 2} to 1.52 m Mg{sup 2+} (near the surface). Combinations of the following criteria may be used for the recognition of shallow, nonstratified, perennial lake sediments: lateral continuity of layers; muds undisrupted by subaerial exposure; vertical bottom-growth of halite; halite layers conformably overlain by mud; halite layers truncated by nonuniformly spaced horizontal dissolution surfaces; erosional scours and channels filled with cross-laminated gypsum, halite, and siliciclastic sand and mud; and salinity fluctuations over small stratigraphic intervals within an overall concentrating-upwards sequence.

  13. The Perennial Ryegrass GenomeZipper: Targeted Use of Genome Resources for Comparative Grass Genomics1[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben; Mayer, Klaus F.X.; Lübberstedt, Thomas; Byrne, Stephen; Frei, Ursula; Studer, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous assignment of 3,315 out of 8,876 previously unmapped genes to the respective chromosomes. In total, the GenomeZipper incorporates 4,035 conserved grass gene loci, which were used for the first genome-wide sequence divergence analysis between perennial ryegrass, barley, Brachypodium, rice, and sorghum. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper is an ordered, information-rich genome scaffold, facilitating map-based cloning and genome assembly in perennial ryegrass and closely related Poaceae species. It also represents a milestone in describing synteny between perennial ryegrass and fully sequenced model grass genomes, thereby increasing our understanding of genome organization and evolution in the most important temperate forage and turf grass species. PMID:23184232

  14. Potential phytoextraction and phytostabilization of perennial peanut on copper-contaminated vineyard soils and copper mining waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreazza, Robson; Bortolon, Leandro; Pieniz, Simone; Giacometti, Marcelo; Roehrs, Dione D; Lambais, Mácio R; Camargo, Flávio A O

    2011-12-01

    This study sought to evaluate the potential of perennial peanut (Arachis pintoi) for copper phytoremediation in vineyard soils (Inceptisol and Mollisol) contaminated with copper and copper mining waste. Our results showed high phytomass production of perennial peanut in both vineyard soils. Macronutrient uptakes were not negatively affected by perennial peanut cultivated in all contaminated soils. Plants cultivated in Mollisol showed high copper concentrations in the roots and shoots of 475 and 52 mg kg(-1), respectively. Perennial peanut plants showed low translocation factor values for Cu, although these plants showed high bioaccumulation factor (BCF) for both vineyard soils, Inceptisol and Mollisol, with BCF values of 3.83 and 3.24, respectively, being characterized as a copper hyperaccumulator plant in these soils. Copper phytoextraction from Inceptisol soil was the highest for both roots and entire plant biomass, with more than 800 mg kg(-1) of copper in whole plant. The highest potential copper phytoextraction by perennial peanut was in Inceptisol soil with copper removal of 2,500 g ha(-1). Also, perennial peanut showed high potential for copper phytoremoval in copper mining waste and Mollisol with 1,700 and 1,500 g of copper per hectare, respectively. In addition, perennial peanuts characterized high potential for phytoextraction and phytostabilization of copper in vineyard soils and copper mining waste.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

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

  16. Quantitative ecological relationships in the alpine grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey, based on 56 000 points at 102 sampling sites in the Tsehlanyane valley of the Oxbow (Madibamatso) Dam catchment in the alpine grassland of Lesotho, indicates that the area is generally in good condition. Physiographic and floristic criteria were measured and the association between pairs of criteria statistically ...

  17. Crude protein changes on grassland along a degradation gradient ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration was determined by quantifying the soil-water balance equation with the aid of runoff plots and soil-water content measurements. Crude protein ... The study shows that it is important to keep grassland in optimal condition to utilize limited soil water for sustainable plant and therefore animal production.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Achieving grassland production and quality that matches animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different
    constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of
    Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the

  20. Achieving grassland production and quality that matching animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the most relevant

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  3. Homogenization of the soil surface following fire in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carleton S. White

    2011-01-01

    Semiarid grasslands accumulate soil beneath plant "islands" that are raised above bare interspaces. This fine-scale variation in microtopographic relief is plant-induced and is increased with shrub establishment. Research found that fire-induced water repellency enhanced local-scale soil erosion that reduced variation in microtopographic relief, suggesting...

  4. Relationship between soil chemical factors and grassland diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  5. 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 ...

  6. Controlling nitrous oxide emissions from grassland livestock production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Gebauer, G.; Rodriguez, M.; Sapek, A.; Jarvis, S.C.; Corré, W.J.; Yamulki, S.

    1998-01-01

    There is growing awareness that grassland livestock production systems are major sources of nitrous oxide (N2O). Controlling these emissions requires a thorough understanding of all sources and controlling factors at the farm level. This paper examines the various controlling factors and proposes

  7. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  8. Potassium cycling and losses in grassland systems : a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kayser, M; Isselstein, J

    Cycling of potassium in grassland systems has received relatively little attention in research and practice in recent years. Balanced nutrient systems require consideration of nutrients other than nitrogen (N). Potassium (K) is needed in large amounts and is closely related to N nutrition. In

  9. 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....

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. Vegetation diversity of salt-rich grasslands in Southeast Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Eliáš, P. Jr.; Sopotlieva, D.; Dítě, D.; Hájková, Petra; Apostolova, I.; Senko, D.; Melečková, Z.; Hájek, Michal

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 3 (2013), s. 521-537 ISSN 1402-2001 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0329 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : salt marshes * vegetation survey * grasslands Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.416, year: 2013

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-06

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

  15. A Proteomics Sample Preparation Method for Mature, Recalcitrant Leaves of Perennial Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Zhang; Chengying, Lao; Bo, Wang; Dingxiang, Peng; Lijun, Liu

    2014-01-01

    Sample preparation is key to the success of proteomics studies. In the present study, two sample preparation methods were tested for their suitability on the mature, recalcitrant leaves of six representative perennial plants (grape, plum, pear, peach, orange, and ramie). An improved sample preparation method was obtained: Tris and Triton X-100 were added together instead of CHAPS to the lysis buffer, and a 20% TCA-water solution and 100% precooled acetone were added after the protein extraction for the further purification of protein. This method effectively eliminates nonprotein impurities and obtains a clear two-dimensional gel electrophoresis array. The method facilitates the separation of high-molecular-weight proteins and increases the resolution of low-abundance proteins. This method provides a widely applicable and economically feasible technology for the proteomic study of the mature, recalcitrant leaves of perennial plants. PMID:25028960

  16. Fructan metabolism and changes in fructan composition during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abeynayake, Shamila; Etzerodt, Thomas; Jonavičienė, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    . The ecotype ‘Falster’, adapted to cold climates, increased total fructan content and produced more fructans (DP˃7) in the roots than the variety ‘Veyo’, adapted to warmer climates suggesting that accumulation of fructans in roots, especially the high-DP fructans as an adaptive trait for plant recovery after......Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) produces high levels of fructans as a mixture of oligomers with different degrees of polymerization (DP). The present study describes the analysis of the compositional changes in the full spectrum of fructan oligomers, fructan distribution between above ground...... biomass (top) and the roots, and the transcription of candidate genes involved in fructan metabolism during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass variety ‘Veyo’ and ecotype ‘Falster’ from distinct geographical origins. We observed changes in fructan composition and induction of low-DP fructans...

  17. A proteomics sample preparation method for mature, recalcitrant leaves of perennial plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Gang

    Full Text Available Sample preparation is key to the success of proteomics studies. In the present study, two sample preparation methods were tested for their suitability on the mature, recalcitrant leaves of six representative perennial plants (grape, plum, pear, peach, orange, and ramie. An improved sample preparation method was obtained: Tris and Triton X-100 were added together instead of CHAPS to the lysis buffer, and a 20% TCA-water solution and 100% precooled acetone were added after the protein extraction for the further purification of protein. This method effectively eliminates nonprotein impurities and obtains a clear two-dimensional gel electrophoresis array. The method facilitates the separation of high-molecular-weight proteins and increases the resolution of low-abundance proteins. This method provides a widely applicable and economically feasible technology for the proteomic study of the mature, recalcitrant leaves of perennial plants.

  18. Path and correlation analysis of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) seed yield components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abel, Simon; Gislum, René; Boelt, Birte

    2017-01-01

    Maximum perennial ryegrass seed production potential is substantially greater than harvested yields with harvested yields representing only 20% of calculated potential. Similar to wheat, maize and other agriculturally important crops, seed yield is highly dependent on a number of interacting seed...... yield components. This research was performed to apply and describe path analysis of perennial ryegrass seed yield components in relation to harvested seed yields. Utilising extensive yield components which included subdividing reproductive inflorescences into five size categories, path analysis...... was undertaken assuming a unidirectional causal-admissible relationship between seed yield components and harvested seed yield in six commercial seed production fields. Both spikelets per inflorescence and florets per spikelet had a significant (p seed yield; however, total...

  19. Toward Genomics-Based Breeding in C3 Cool-Season Perennial Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talukder, Shyamal K.; Saha, Malay C.

    2017-01-01

    Most important food and feed crops in the world belong to the C3 grass family. The future of food security is highly reliant on achieving genetic gains of those grasses. Conventional breeding methods have already reached a plateau for improving major crops. Genomics tools and resources have opened an avenue to explore genome-wide variability and make use of the variation for enhancing genetic gains in breeding programs. Major C3 annual cereal breeding programs are well equipped with genomic tools; however, genomic research of C3 cool-season perennial grasses is lagging behind. In this review, we discuss the currently available genomics tools and approaches useful for C3 cool-season perennial grass breeding. Along with a general review, we emphasize the discussion focusing on forage grasses that were considered orphan and have little or no genetic information available. Transcriptome sequencing and genotype-by-sequencing technology for genome-wide marker detection using next-generation sequencing (NGS) are very promising as genomics tools. Most C3 cool-season perennial grass members have no prior genetic information; thus NGS technology will enhance collinear study with other C3 model grasses like Brachypodium and rice. Transcriptomics data can be used for identification of functional genes and molecular markers, i.e., polymorphism markers and simple sequence repeats (SSRs). Genome-wide association study with NGS-based markers will facilitate marker identification for marker-assisted selection. With limited genetic information, genomic selection holds great promise to breeders for attaining maximum genetic gain of the cool-season C3 perennial grasses. Application of all these tools can ensure better genetic gains, reduce length of selection cycles, and facilitate cultivar development to meet the future demand for food and fodder. PMID:28798766

  20. Toward Genomics-Based Breeding in C3 Cool-Season Perennial Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shyamal K. Talukder

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Most important food and feed crops in the world belong to the C3 grass family. The future of food security is highly reliant on achieving genetic gains of those grasses. Conventional breeding methods have already reached a plateau for improving major crops. Genomics tools and resources have opened an avenue to explore genome-wide variability and make use of the variation for enhancing genetic gains in breeding programs. Major C3 annual cereal breeding programs are well equipped with genomic tools; however, genomic research of C3 cool-season perennial grasses is lagging behind. In this review, we discuss the currently available genomics tools and approaches useful for C3 cool-season perennial grass breeding. Along with a general review, we emphasize the discussion focusing on forage grasses that were considered orphan and have little or no genetic information available. Transcriptome sequencing and genotype-by-sequencing technology for genome-wide marker detection using next-generation sequencing (NGS are very promising as genomics tools. Most C3 cool-season perennial grass members have no prior genetic information; thus NGS technology will enhance collinear study with other C3 model grasses like Brachypodium and rice. Transcriptomics data can be used for identification of functional genes and molecular markers, i.e., polymorphism markers and simple sequence repeats (SSRs. Genome-wide association study with NGS-based markers will facilitate marker identification for marker-assisted selection. With limited genetic information, genomic selection holds great promise to breeders for attaining maximum genetic gain of the cool-season C3 perennial grasses. Application of all these tools can ensure better genetic gains, reduce length of selection cycles, and facilitate cultivar development to meet the future demand for food and fodder.

  1. Noncorrelated effects of seed predation and pollination on the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora remain spatially consistent

    OpenAIRE

    Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Salinas-Peba, Luis; Herrera, Carlos M.

    2009-01-01

    By simultaneously manipulating both seed predator and pollinator effects on the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora at two sites in Yucatan (Mexico), the present study evaluated (1) whether a correlation (interaction) existed between seed predator and pollinator effects on R. nudiflora seed production and (2) whether such an interaction varied geographically. We used three populations per site, and a total of 20 plants per population (N = 120). Groups of five plants wer...

  2. Soil carbon under perennial pastures; benchmarking the influence of pasture age and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgill, Susan E.; Spoljaric, Nancy; Kelly, Georgina

    2015-07-01

    This paper reports baseline soil carbon stocks from a field survey of 19 sites; 8 pairs/triplet in the Monaro region of New South Wales. Site comparisons were selected by the Monaro Farming Systems group to demonstrate the influence of land management on soil carbon, and included: nutrient management, liming, pasture age and cropping history. Soil carbon stocks varied with parent material and with land management. The fertilised (phosphorus) native perennial pasture had a greater stock of soil carbon compared with the unfertilised site; 46.8 vs 40.4 Mg.C.ha to 0.50 m. However, the introduced perennial pasture which had been limed had a lower stock of soil carbon compared with the unlimed site; 62.8 vs 66.7 Mg.C.ha to 0.50 m. There was a greater stock of soil carbon under two of the three younger (35 yr old) pastures. Cropped sites did not have lower soil carbon stocks at all sites; however, this survey was conducted after three years of above average annual rainfall and most sites had been cropped for less than three years. At all sites more than 20% of the total carbon stock to 0.50 m was in the 0.30 to 0.50 m soil layer highlighting the importance of considering this soil layer when investigating the implications of land management on soil carbon. Our baseline data indicates that nutrient management may increase soil carbon under perennial pastures and highlights the importance of perennial pastures for soil carbon sequestration regardless of age.

  3. Energy from biomass: Results of two-years trials on annual and perennial Herba ceous species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angelini, L.; Ceccarini, L.; Oggiano, N.; Bonari, E.

    1994-01-01

    In the framework of the PRisCa Project (Alternative Crops Research Project) a number of germ plasm collections were set up at the Department of Agronomy of the University of Pisa in order to identify annual and perennial herbaceous species utilizable for electric energy production. The first results deriving from trials carried out in 1992-93 are reported. The following species were used: 1) Annual: Sorghum bicolor, Hibiscus cannabinus, Pennisetum americanum, Kochia scoparia. 2) Perennial: Cynara cardunculus, Helianthus tuberosus, Miscantus sinensis, Arundo donax. Almost all species tested were represented by several genotypes. The total amount of species and genotype tested was 16. On all species, main phenological, biometric and productive determinations were performed. The hypothesized final use was intended to be electric power production by direct combustion and/or gasification. In addition, specific calorific value was also determined by adiabatic calorimeter as well as chemical composition of dry matter and ash composition. Species showing high yield potential, both from the quantitative and qualitative point of view, were Sorghum bicolor and Kochia scoparia (among annuals), as well as Miscanthus sinensis and Arundo donax (among perennials). Total dry matter yield ranged from about 23 tha -1 in the annual species to about 56 tha -1 in the perennials. The highest total calorific power obtainable from dry epigeic biomass was measured in Sorghum bicolor and Arundo donax - 4023 Kcal Kg -1 and 4166 Kcal Kg -1 respectively. The preliminary results suggest that vegetable biomass is environmentally-friendly and could contribute significantly to the world energy needs. (author)

  4. PERPHECLIM ACCAF Project - Perennial fruit crops and forest phenology evolution facing climatic changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia de Cortazar-Atauri, Iñaki; Audergon, Jean Marc; Bertuzzi, Patrick; Anger, Christel; Bonhomme, Marc; Chuine, Isabelle; Davi, Hendrik; Delzon, Sylvain; Duchêne, Eric; Legave, Jean Michel; Raynal, Hélène; Pichot, Christian; Van Leeuwen, Cornelis; Perpheclim Team

    2015-04-01

    Phenology is a bio-indicator of climate evolutions. Measurements of phenological stages on perennial species provide actually significant illustrations and assessments of the impact of climate change. Phenology is also one of the main key characteristics of the capacity of adaptation of perennial species, generating questions about their consequences on plant growth and development or on fruit quality. Predicting phenology evolution and adaptative capacities of perennial species need to override three main methodological limitations: 1) existing observations and associated databases are scattered and sometimes incomplete, rendering difficult implementation of multi-site study of genotype-environment interaction analyses; 2) there are not common protocols to observe phenological stages; 3) access to generic phenological models platforms is still very limited. In this context, the PERPHECLIM project, which is funded by the Adapting Agriculture and Forestry to Climate Change Meta-Program (ACCAF) from INRA (French National Institute of Agronomic Research), has the objective to develop the necessary infrastructure at INRA level (observatories, information system, modeling tools) to enable partners to study the phenology of various perennial species (grapevine, fruit trees and forest trees). Currently the PERPHECLIM project involves 27 research units in France. The main activities currently developed are: define protocols and observation forms to observe phenology for various species of interest for the project; organizing observation training; develop generic modeling solutions to simulate phenology (Phenological Modelling Platform and modelling platform solutions); support in building research projects at national and international level; develop environment/genotype observation networks for fruit trees species; develop an information system managing data and documentation concerning phenology. Finally, PERPHECLIM project aims to build strong collaborations with public

  5. De novo assembly of the perennial ryegrass transcriptome using an RNA-Seq strategy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline D Farrell

    Full Text Available Perennial ryegrass is a highly heterozygous outbreeding grass species used for turf and forage production. Heterozygosity can affect de-Bruijn graph assembly making de novo transcriptome assembly of species such as perennial ryegrass challenging. Creating a reference transcriptome from a homozygous perennial ryegrass genotype can circumvent the challenge of heterozygosity. The goals of this study were to perform RNA-sequencing on multiple tissues from a highly inbred genotype to develop a reference transcriptome. This was complemented with RNA-sequencing of a highly heterozygous genotype for SNP calling.De novo transcriptome assembly of the inbred genotype created 185,833 transcripts with an average length of 830 base pairs. Within the inbred reference transcriptome 78,560 predicted open reading frames were found of which 24,434 were predicted as complete. Functional annotation found 50,890 transcripts with a BLASTp hit from the Swiss-Prot non-redundant database, 58,941 transcripts with a Pfam protein domain and 1,151 transcripts encoding putative secreted peptides. To evaluate the reference transcriptome we targeted the high-affinity K+ transporter gene family and found multiple orthologs. Using the longest unique open reading frames as the reference sequence, 64,242 single nucleotide polymorphisms were found. One thousand sixty one open reading frames from the inbred genotype contained heterozygous sites, confirming the high degree of homozygosity.Our study has developed an annotated, comprehensive transcriptome reference for perennial ryegrass that can aid in determining genetic variation, expression analysis, genome annotation, and gene mapping.

  6. Nasal budesonide offers superior symptom relief in perennial allergic rhinitis in comparison to nasal azelastine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, M A; Wade, A G; Ridout, S M; Cambell, L M

    1998-10-01

    Allergic rhinitis is usually treated with oral antihistamines or nasal steroids. Topically active nasal antihistamine is a new treatment modality for allergic rhinitis. The efficacy in comparison to well established topical treatment alternatives is not fully known. To compare the efficacy of intranasally administered azelastine to budesonide, at their respectively recommended dosage, on the symptoms of perennial rhinitis patients. A placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel group study was conducted to compare the efficacy and tolerability of intranasal budesonide aqueous suspension (256 microg once daily) with azelastine hydrochloride nasal spray (280 microg twice daily (560 microg/day)) and with placebo in the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis. The 195 patients (with at least a 2-year history of perennial allergic rhinitis) recorded individual nasal symptom scores, the degree of symptom control achieved and any adverse events experienced over a 2-week baseline period and a 6-week treatment period. Following treatment, the reductions in mean combined and individual nasal symptom scores from baseline values were significantly greater in the budesonide group compared with the placebo group (P < .0001 for all variables except runny nose P = .01). In patients treated with budesonide, there were also significantly larger reductions from baseline values in combined nasal symptom scores (P < .01) and in scores for all individual nasal symptoms (P < or = .05) compared with those treated with azelastine. The reductions from baseline in both combined and individual nasal symptom scores did not differ between azelastine and placebo. The study medications were well tolerated, producing no unexpected or serious treatment-related adverse events. A once-daily dose of 256 microg of intranasal budesonide aqueous suspension is significantly more effective at relieving the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis compared with a twice daily dose of 280 microg of azelastine

  7. Nitrogen removal and nitrate leaching for two perennial, sod-based forage systems receiving dairy effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, Kenneth R; French, Edwin C; Sweat, Lewin A; Graetz, Donald A; Sollenberger, Lynn E; Macoon, Bisoondat; Portier, Kenneth M; Rymph, Stuart J; Wade, Brett L; Prine, Gordon M; Van Horn, Harold H

    2003-01-01

    In northern Florida, year-round forage systems are used in dairy effluent sprayfields to reduce nitrate leaching. Our purpose was to quantify forage N removal and monitor nitrate N (NO3(-)-N) concentration below the rooting zone for two perennial, sod-based, triple-cropping systems over four 12-mo cycles (1996-2000). The soil is an excessively drained Kershaw sand (thermic, uncoated Typic Quartzip-samment). Effluent N rates were 500, 690, and 910 kg ha(-1) per cycle. Differences in N removal between a corn (Zea mays L.)-bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.)-rye (Secale cereale L.) system (CBR) and corn-perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.)-rye system (CPR) were primarily related to the performance of the perennial forages. Nitrogen removal of corn (125-170 kg ha(-1)) and rye (62-90 kg ha(-1)) was relatively stable between systems and among cycles. The greatest N removal was measured for CBR in the first cycle (408 kg ha(-1)), with the bermudagrass removing an average of 191 kg N ha(-1). In later cycles, N removal for bermudagrass declined because dry matter (DM) yield declined. Yield and N removal of perennial peanut increased over the four cycles. Nitrate N concentrations below the rooting zone were lower for CBR than CPR in the first two cycles, but differences were inconsistent in the latter two. The CBR system maintained low NO3(-)-N leaching in the first cycle when the bermudagrass was the most productive; however, it was not a sustainable system for long-term prevention of NO3(-)-N leaching due to declining bermudagrass yield in subsequent cycles. For CPR, effluent N rates > or = 500 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) have the potential to negatively affect ground water quality.

  8. Use of Plant Growth Regulators to Improve Branching of Herbaceous Perennial Liners

    OpenAIRE

    Grossman, Mara Celeste

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of PGRs to improve branching during production of herbaceous perennial liners and finished plants. The effects of benzyladenine (BA) on the branching and root and shoot growth of Agastache Clayt. Ex Gronov. 'Purple Hazeâ , Gaura lindheimeri Engelm. & A. Gray 'Siskiyou Pink', Lavandula à intermedia Emeric ex Loisel. 'Provence', Leucanthemum à superbum (Bergmans ex J.W. Ingram) Bergmans ex Kent. 'Snowcap', and Salvia à sylv...

  9. Delayed chlorophyll a fluorescence, MR 820, and gas exchange changes in perennial ryegrass under salt stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dąbrowski, P., E-mail: piotr_dabrowski@sggw.pl [Department of Environmental Improvement, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, 159 Nowoursynowska St., 02-776 Warsaw (Poland); Kalaji, M.H., E-mail: hazem@kalaji.pl [Department of Plant Physiology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, 159 Nowoursynowska St., 02-776 Warsaw (Poland); SI TECHNOLOGY Sp. z o. o., Górczewska 226C/26, 01-460 Warsaw (Poland); Baczewska, A.H., E-mail: a.baczewska@obpan.pl [Polish Academy of Sciences Botanical Garden-Center for Biological Diversity Conservation in Powsin, 2 Prawdziwka St., 02-973 Warsaw (Poland); Pawluśkiewicz, B. [Department of Environmental Improvement, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, 159 Nowoursynowska St., 02-776 Warsaw (Poland); Mastalerczuk, G., E-mail: grazyna_mastalerczuk@sggw.pl [Department of Agronomy, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, 159 Nowoursynowska St., 02-776 Warsaw (Poland); Borawska-Jarmułowicz, B., E-mail: barbara_borawska_jarmulowicz@sggw.pl [Department of Agronomy, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, 159 Nowoursynowska St., 02-776 Warsaw (Poland); Paunov, M. [Department Biophysics and Radiobiology, St. Kl. Ohridski Sofia University, 8 Dragan Tsankov Blvd., 1164 Sofia (Bulgaria); Goltsev, V., E-mail: goltsev@biofac.uni-sofia.bg [Department Biophysics and Radiobiology, St. Kl. Ohridski Sofia University, 8 Dragan Tsankov Blvd., 1164 Sofia (Bulgaria)

    2017-03-15

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is one of the more popular grass species in Europe. It is commonly used for starting lawns in urban areas, where plant growth is limited by many environmental conditions. The contamination of soils by salt is one of the major problems in urban green areas, as well as in natural areas. The basic aim of this study is to provide a detailed in vivo analysis of the changes in the delayed chlorophyll fluorescence and MR 820 signals (induced by salt stress) of two lawn varieties of perennial ryegrass, and to find out if there are correlations between these parameters and gas exchange. Two lawn varieties of Lolium perenne L. were used: Nira and Roadrunner. Salinization was performed at 8 weeks after sowing by adding NaCl in water solution (0, 0.15, and 0.30 M). There were 8 terms of measurement: 0 h, 24 h, 48 h, 96 h, 144 h, 192 h, 240 h, and 288 h after salinization. Our results showed that delayed fluorescence is a tool that can bring completely new opportunities for detecting stress in plants caused by salt. Our work allowed us to identify various limitation patterns in the photosynthetic efficiency of perennial ryegrass lawn varieties grown under salt stress conditions. Significant differences between the two tested varieties in response to salt stress were confirmed.

  10. Genetic Loci Governing Androgenic Capacity in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel F. Begheyn

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Immature pollen can be induced to switch developmental pathways from gametogenesis to embryogenesis and subsequently regenerate into homozygous, diploid plants. Such androgenic production of doubled haploids is particularly useful for species where inbreeding is hampered by effective self-incompatibility systems. Therefore, increasing the generally low androgenic capacity of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. germplasm would enable the efficient production of homozygous plant material, so that a more effective exploitation of heterosis through hybrid breeding schemes can be realized. Here, we present the results of a genome-wide association study in a heterozygous, multiparental population of perennial ryegrass (n = 391 segregating for androgenic capacity. Genotyping-by-sequencing was used to interrogate gene- dense genomic regions and revealed over 1,100 polymorphic sites. Between one and 10 quantitative trait loci (QTL were identified for anther response, embryo and total plant production, green and albino plant production and regeneration. Most traits were under polygenic control, although a major QTL on linkage group 5 was associated with green plant regeneration. Distinct genetic factors seem to affect green and albino plant recovery. Two intriguing candidate genes, encoding chromatin binding domains of the developmental phase transition regulator, Polycomb Repressive Complex 2, were identified. Our results shed the first light on the molecular mechanisms behind perennial ryegrass microspore embryogenesis and enable marker-assisted introgression of androgenic capacity into recalcitrant germplasm of this forage crop of global significance.

  11. Population structure, genetic variation and linkage disequilibrium in perennial ryegrass populations divergently selected for freezing tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mallikarjuna Rao eKovi

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Low temperature is one of the abiotic stresses seriously affecting the growth of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. Understanding the genetic control of freezing tolerance would aid in the development of cultivars of perennial ryegrass with improved adaptation to frost. A total number of 80 individuals (24 of High frost [HF]; 29 of Low frost [LF] and 27 of Unselected [US] from the second generation of the two divergently selected populations and an unselected control population were genotyped using 278 genome-wide SNPs derived from Lolium perenne L. transcriptome sequence. Our studies showed that the HF and LF populations are very divergent after selection for freezing tolerance, whereas the HF and US populations are more similar. Linkage disequilibrium (LD decay varied across the seven chromosomes and the conspicuous pattern of LD between the HF and LF population confirmed their divergence in freezing tolerance. Furthermore, two Fst outlier methods; finite island model (fdist by LOSITAN and hierarchical structure model using ARLEQUIN detected six loci under directional selection. These outlier loci are most probably linked to genes involved in freezing tolerance, cold adaptation and abiotic stress and might be the potential marker resources for breeding perennial ryegrass cultivars with improved freezing tolerance.

  12. Delayed chlorophyll a fluorescence, MR 820, and gas exchange changes in perennial ryegrass under salt stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dąbrowski, P.; Kalaji, M.H.; Baczewska, A.H.; Pawluśkiewicz, B.; Mastalerczuk, G.; Borawska-Jarmułowicz, B.; Paunov, M.; Goltsev, V.

    2017-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is one of the more popular grass species in Europe. It is commonly used for starting lawns in urban areas, where plant growth is limited by many environmental conditions. The contamination of soils by salt is one of the major problems in urban green areas, as well as in natural areas. The basic aim of this study is to provide a detailed in vivo analysis of the changes in the delayed chlorophyll fluorescence and MR 820 signals (induced by salt stress) of two lawn varieties of perennial ryegrass, and to find out if there are correlations between these parameters and gas exchange. Two lawn varieties of Lolium perenne L. were used: Nira and Roadrunner. Salinization was performed at 8 weeks after sowing by adding NaCl in water solution (0, 0.15, and 0.30 M). There were 8 terms of measurement: 0 h, 24 h, 48 h, 96 h, 144 h, 192 h, 240 h, and 288 h after salinization. Our results showed that delayed fluorescence is a tool that can bring completely new opportunities for detecting stress in plants caused by salt. Our work allowed us to identify various limitation patterns in the photosynthetic efficiency of perennial ryegrass lawn varieties grown under salt stress conditions. Significant differences between the two tested varieties in response to salt stress were confirmed.

  13. The role of changing climate in driving the shift from perennial grasses to annual succulents in a Mediterranean saltmarsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strain, E.M.A.; van Belzen, J.; Comandini, P.; Wong, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Airoldi, L.

    2017-01-01

    Changing climate threatens the structure and function of saltmarshes, which are often severely degraded by other human perturbations. Along the Mediterranean coastline, increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall have been hypothesised to trigger habitat shifts from perennial grasses to annual

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Grassland futures in Great Britain - Productivity assessment and scenarios for land use change opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Aiming; Holland, Robert A; Taylor, Gail; Richter, Goetz M

    2018-09-01

    To optimise trade-offs provided by future changes in grassland use intensity, spatially and temporally explicit estimates of respective grassland productivities are required at the systems level. Here, we benchmark the potential national availability of grassland biomass, identify optimal strategies for its management, and investigate the relative importance of intensification over reversion (prioritising productivity versus environmental ecosystem services). Process-conservative meta-models for different grasslands were used to calculate the baseline dry matter yields (DMY; 1961-1990) at 1km 2 resolution for the whole UK. The effects of climate change, rising atmospheric [CO 2 ] and technological progress on baseline DMYs were used to estimate future grassland productivities (up to 2050) for low and medium CO 2 emission scenarios of UKCP09. UK benchmark productivities of 12.5, 8.7 and 2.8t/ha on temporary, permanent and rough-grazing grassland, respectively, accounted for productivity gains by 2010. By 2050, productivities under medium emission scenario are predicted to increase to 15.5 and 9.8t/ha on temporary and permanent grassland, respectively, but not on rough grassland. Based on surveyed grassland distributions for Great Britain in 2010 the annual availability of grassland biomass is likely to rise from 64 to 72milliontonnes by 2050. Assuming optimal N application could close existing productivity gaps of ca. 40% a range of management options could deliver additional 21∗10 6 tonnes of biomass available for bioenergy. Scenarios of changes in grassland use intensity demonstrated considerable scope for maintaining or further increasing grassland production and sparing some grassland for the provision of environmental ecosystem services. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A new emphasis on root traits for perennial grass and legume varieties with environmental and ecological benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Athole H; Collins, Rosemary P; Humphreys, Mike W; Scullion, John

    2016-02-01

    Grasslands cover a significant proportion of the agricultural land within the UK and across the EU, providing a relatively cheap source of feed for ruminants and supporting the production of meat, wool and milk from grazing animals. Delivering efficient animal production from grassland systems has traditionally been the primary focus of grassland-based research. But there is increasing recognition of the ecological and environmental benefits of these grassland systems and the importance of the interaction between their component plants and a host of other biological organisms in the soil and in adjoining habitats. Many of the ecological and environmental benefits provided by grasslands emanate from the interactions between the roots of plant species and the soil in which they grow. We review current knowledge on the role of grassland ecosystems in delivering ecological and environmental benefits. We will consider how improved grassland can deliver these benefits, and the potential opportunities for plant breeding to improve specific traits that will enhance these benefits whilst maintaining forage production for livestock consumption. Opportunities for exploiting new plant breeding approaches, including high throughput phenotyping, and for introducing traits from closely related species are discussed.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Diagnostics, taxonomy, nomenclature and distribution of perennial Sesuvium (Aizoaceae) in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukhorukov, Alexander P.; Nilova, Maya V.; Erst, Andrey S.; Kushunina, Maria; Baider, Cláudia; Verloove, Filip; Salas-Pascual, Marcos; Belyaeva, Irina V.; Krinitsina, Anastasiya A.; Bruyns, Peter V.; Klak, Cornelia

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The taxonomy of perennial Sesuvium species in Africa has been poorly investigated until now. Previously five perennial species of Sesuvium were recognised in Africa (S. congense, S. crithmoides, S. mesembryanthemoides, S. portulacastrum, and S. sesuvioides). Based on the differing number of stamens, S. ayresii is accepted here as being distinct from S. portulacastrum. Field observations in Angola also led the authors to conclude that S. crystallinum and S. mesembryanthemoides are conspecific with S. crithmoides. A new subspecies, Sesuvium portulacastrum subsp. persoonii, is described from West Africa (Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal). The molecular phylogeny indicates the position of S. portulacastrum subsp. persoonii within the “American lineage” as a part of the Sesuvium portulacastrum complex which needs further studies. A diagnostic key and taxonomic notes are provided for the six perennial species of Sesuvium found in Africa and recognised by the authors (S. ayresii, S. congense, S. crithmoides, S. portulacastrum subsp. portulacastrum, S. portulacastrum subsp. persoonii, S. verrucosum and the facultatively short-lived S. sesuvioides). The distribution of S. crithmoides, previously considered to be endemic to Angola, is now confirmed for the seashores of Republic of Congo and DR Congo. The American species S. verrucosum is reported for the first time for Africa (the Macaronesian islands: Cape Verde and the Canaries). It is locally naturalised in Gran Canaria, being a potentially invasive species. These findings as well as new records of S. verrucosum from Asia and the Pacific Islands confirm its proneness to transcontinental introduction. Lectotypes of S. brevifolium, S. crithmoides, S. crystallinum and S. mesembryanthemoides are selected. The seed micromorphology and anatomy of the perennial African species is studied. Compared to the seeds of some annual African Sesuvium investigated earlier, those of perennial species are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-07-15

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. The biological transport of radionuclides in grassland and freshwater ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudge, S.A.

    1989-12-01

    This thesis examines the biological transport of radionuclides through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, with particular reference to radiocaesium. The semi-natural grassland habitat was located at Drigg, W. Cumbria, contaminated primarily by radioactive fallout, from several sources over the past decade. Advantage was made of the deposition of radionuclides from the Chernobyl reactor incident, which occurred during the early stages of the investigation. The study examined the distribution of radiocaesium for the major components of the grassland ecosystem, within the soil-plant-invertebrate-small mammal food chain. Data concerning temporal fluctuation of radionuclide transfer factors between food chain components are presented. The final section examines the spatial distribution of radiocaesium in sediment and the freshwater eel (Anguilla anguilla) in a small stream contaminated by radioactive effluent. The relationship between activity levels in eels and the sediments in which they rest and forage was investigated. Factors influencing uptake of radiocaesium in freshwater fish were also examined. (author)

  4. Acidification of sandy grasslands - consequences for plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Le Stradic, Soizig

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Carbon dynamics in an Imperata grassland in Northeast India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrabati Thokchom

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbon stocks and soil CO2 flux were assessed in an Imperata cylindrica grassland of Manipur, Northeast India. Carbon stocks in the vegetative components were estimated to be 11.17 t C/ha and soil organic carbon stocks were 55.94 t C/ha to a depth of 30 cm. The rates of carbon accumulation in above-ground and below-ground biomass were estimated to be 11.85 t C/ha/yr and 11.71 t C/ha/yr, respectively. Annual soil CO2 flux was evaluated as 6.95 t C/ha and was highly influenced by soil moisture, soil temperature and soil organic carbon as well as by C stocks in above-ground biomass. Our study on the carbon budget of the grassland ecosystem revealed that annually 23.56 t C/ha was captured by the vegetation through photosynthesis, and 6.95 t C/ha was returned to the atmosphere through roots and microbial respiration, with a net balance of 16.61 t C/ha/yr being retained in the grassland ecosystem. Thus the present Imperata grassland exhibited a high capacity to remove atmospheric CO2 and to induce high C stocks in the soil provided it is protected from burning and overgrazing.Keywords: Above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass, carbon stocks, carbon storage, net primary productivity, soil CO2 flux.DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(419-28  

  8. Carbon balance of renovated grasslands: input- or output-driven?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choncubhair, Órlaith Ní; Osborne, Bruce; Lanigan, Gary

    2015-04-01

    Temperate grasslands constitute over 30% of the Earth's naturally-occurring biomes and make an important contribution towards the partial mitigation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by terrestrial ecosystems. In permanent temperate grasslands, biomass production and sward quality can deteriorate over time and periodic renovation activities, involving soil tillage and reseeding, are commonly carried out to halt this decline. Long-term cultivation of agricultural land has been associated with soil aggregate degradation and reduced soil carbon storage. However, the impact of these single tillage disturbances on C cycling in grasslands is less clear. This study evaluated gaseous and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses following a single tillage event by subjecting grassland lysimeters with contrasting soil drainage characteristics to simulated conventional inversion or minimum tillage. Field-scale CO2 emissions after conventional tillage were also quantified and empirically modelled over short- and medium-term timeframes to delineate the ecosystem response to environmental variables. Soil moisture was the limiting determinant of ecosystem carbon release following conventional tillage. Freshly-tilled soils were associated with reduced water retention and increased sensitivity to soil moisture, which was particularly pronounced following rewetting events. Significantly elevated but ephemeral CO2 effluxes were detected in the hours following inversion ploughing, however tillage disturbance did not generate significantly enhanced C emission rates in the medium term. Equally, DOC losses were not significantly amplified by conventional tillage compared with conservative minimum tillage and were predominantly controlled by soil drainage across tillage regimes. Our results suggest that a net ecosystem source of 120 to 210 g C m-2 over an approximately two-month period was most likely a consequence of reduced productivity and C input rather than enhanced soil CO2

  9. Making Grasslands Sustainable in Mongolia: Herders' Livelihoods and Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    2014-01-01

    The threats posed by climate change have significant impacts on Mongolia’s grassland ecosystems and herders’ livelihoods. This publication discusses the auses of climate change and its impacts on livelihoods and ecosystems for herders and the general public. It explains how good pasture management and livestock roductivity are important for increasing incomes and provides information on adaptation practices. It also identifies sustainable management practices that can increase communities’ re...

  10. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  11. Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Grassland passerines were surveyed during summer 1995 on the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area in southwestern Minnesota to determine the relative influence of wind turbines on overall densities of upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands. Birds were surveyed along 40 m fixed width transects that were placed along wind turbine strings within three CRP fields and in three CRP fields without turbines. Conservation Reserve Program grasslands without turbines and areas located 180 m from turbines supported higher densities (261.0-312.5 males/100 ha) of grassland birds than areas within 80 m of turbines (58.2-128.0 males/100 ha). Human disturbance, turbine noise, and physical movements of turbines during operation may have disturbed nesting birds. We recommend that wind turbines be placed within cropland habitats that support lower densities of grassland passerines than those found in CRP grasslands.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. Exacerbated grassland degradation and desertification in Central Asia during 2000-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Geli; Biradar, Chandrashekhar M; Xiao, Xiangming; Dong, Jinwei; Zhou, Yuting; Qin, Yuanwei; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Fang; Ding, Mingjun; Thomas, Richard J

    2018-03-01

    Grassland degradation and desertification is a complex process, including both state conversion (e.g., grasslands to deserts) and gradual within-state change (e.g., greenness dynamics). Existing studies hardly separated the two components and analyzed it as a whole based on time series vegetation index data, which cannot provide a clear and comprehensive picture for grassland degradation and desertification. Here we propose an integrated assessment strategy, by considering both state conversion and within-state change of grasslands, to investigate grassland degradation and desertification process in Central Asia. First, annual maps of grasslands and sparsely vegetated land were generated to track the state conversions between them. The results showed increasing grasslands were converted to sparsely vegetated lands from 2000 to 2014, with the desertification region concentrating in the latitude range of 43-48° N. A frequency analysis of grassland vs. sparsely vegetated land classification in the last 15 yr allowed a recognition of persistent desert zone (PDZ), persistent grassland zone (PGZ), and transitional zone (TZ). The TZ was identified in southern Kazakhstan as one hotspot that was unstable and vulnerable to desertification. Furthermore, the trend analysis of Enhanced Vegetation Index during thermal growing season (EVI TGS ) was investigated in individual zones using linear regression and Mann-Kendall approaches. An overall degradation across the area was found; moreover, the second desertification hotspot was identified in northern Kazakhstan with significant decreasing in EVI TGS , which was located in PGZ. Finally, attribution analyses of grassland degradation and desertification were conducted by considering precipitation, temperature, and three different drought indices. We found persistent droughts were the main factor for grassland degradation and desertification in Central Asia. Considering both state conversion and gradual within-state change

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Population size of the monocarpic perennial Peucedanum arenarium Waldst. et Kit. with regard to experimentally tested management strategies

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šerá, Božena; Válková, D.; Kocianová, E.; Šerý, M.; Feráková, V.; Hodálová, I.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 42, č. 2 (2013), s. 449-454 ISSN 0556-3321 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : grasslands * biology * plant * flora * rangeland Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.207, year: 2013

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  5. Comparing soil organic carbon dynamics in perennial grasses and shrubs in a saline-alkaline arid region, northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yong; Pei, Zhiqin; Su, Jiaqi; Zhang, Jingli; Zheng, Yuanrun; Ni, Jian; Xiao, Chunwang; Wang, Renzhong

    2012-01-01

    Although semi-arid and arid regions account for about 40% of terrestrial surface of the Earth and contain approximately 10% of the global soil organic carbon stock, our understanding of soil organic carbon dynamics in these regions is limited. A field experiment was conducted to compare soil organic carbon dynamics between a perennial grass community dominated by Cleistogenes squarrosa and an adjacent shrub community co-dominated by Reaumuria soongorica and Haloxylon ammodendron, two typical plant life forms in arid ecosystems of saline-alkaline arid regions in northwestern China during the growing season 2010. We found that both fine root biomass and necromass in two life forms varied greatly during the growing season. Annual fine root production in the perennial grasses was 45.6% significantly higher than in the shrubs, and fine root turnover rates were 2.52 and 2.17 yr(-1) for the perennial grasses and the shrubs, respectively. Floor mass was significantly higher in the perennial grasses than in the shrubs due to the decomposition rate of leaf litter in the perennial grasses was 61.8% lower than in the shrubs even though no significance was detected in litterfall production. Soil microbial biomass and activity demonstrated a strong seasonal variation with larger values in May and September and minimum values in the dry month of July. Observed higher soil organic carbon stocks in the perennial grasses (1.32 Kg C m(-2)) than in the shrubs (1.12 Kg C m(-2)) might be attributed to both greater inputs of poor quality litter that is relatively resistant to decay and the lower ability of microorganism to decompose these organic matter. Our results suggest that the perennial grasses might accumulate more soil organic carbon with time than the shrubs because of larger amounts of inputs from litter and slower return of carbon through decomposition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Selecting native perennial plants for ecological intensification in Mediterranean greenhouse horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, E; González, M; Paredes, D; Campos, M; Benítez, E

    2017-12-04

    Natural control by predators and parasitoids provides an important and often unnoticed ecosystem service to agricultural landscapes by reducing pest populations in crops. The current model of horticultural intensification in south-eastern Spain produces high yields but has also resulted in a landscape almost completely covered by plastic. Promoting natural areas among greenhouses could enhance biodiversity, by being beneficial insects, and reduce pest pressure outdoors. The first step is to ascertain how pests and their natural enemies (NEs) use Mediterranean vegetation for selecting the best plants for pest suppression outdoors. The abundance of the two major horticultural pests, the tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, and the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, together with their NEs, were assayed in 22 flowering perennial plants, which were newly planted in an experimental field surrounded by greenhouses. Eight plant species were identified as the most critical species for sustaining pest populations outdoors. A set of five plant species supported a medium level of pests, and another set of ten plant species supported the lowest level of both pests. Tobacco whitefly occurred in a few plants species, whereas western flower thrips occurred on almost all the plant species studied, and was favoured by the presence of flowers in perennial plants. The results suggest that plant diversity may provide relatively few acceptable host plants for tobacco whitefly than for western flower thrips. NEs were generally collected in plants that also supported abundance of pests, indicating that host/prey availability, more than food resources from flowers, was a stronger predictor of NE abundance in perennial plants. Field trials using the plants with the lowest host acceptance by pests are needed in order to ascertain whether pest abundance outdoors is reduced.

  8. Horticultural markets promote alien species invasions: an Estonian case study of herbaceous perennials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merle Ööpik

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Gardening is a popular pastime, but commercial horticulture is responsible for the introduction of alien species and contributes to invasions in a variety of ways. Although an extensive international literature is available on plant invasions, it is still important at the national level to examine the influence of local factors. Accordingly, 17 nurseries in Estonia that cultivated and sold perennial alien species were selected, and a list of species and prices was compiled. The relationships between species status, and factors such as their abundance in the wild were examined statistically. A qualitative list of the nationally problematic species among herbaceous perennials was also completed. A total of 880 taxa were recorded, of which 10.3% were native and 89.7% alien. In all, 87.3% of the alien species were still confined to cultivated areas. The ecological and socio-economic characteristics of the taxa were described, and lists of the families of casual, naturalised and invasive aliens were provided. Both native and increasing wild alien species have a very similar profile on the market. Alien species that are less expensive, widely available and have more cultivars per species on the market are also more likely to escape. The invasive status and abundance of escaped aliens in an area increases with residence time. In general, socio-economic factors create new and reflect previous propagule pressures from commercial horticulture, which continuously increase the likelihood of alien species surviving and invading new areas. Our findings suggest that these national socio-economic market-related factors explain much of the invasiveness of various perennial ornamental species, and therefore regional and national authorities urgently need to regulate and control the ornamental plant trade to diminish the risk of new invasions.

  9. Sheep numbers required for dry matter digestibility evaluations when fed fresh perennial ryegrass or forage rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xuezhao; Krijgsman, Linda; Waghorn, Garry C; Kjestrup, Holly; Koolaard, John; Pacheco, David

    2017-03-01

    Research trials with fresh forages often require accurate and precise measurement of digestibility and variation in digestion between individuals, and the duration of measurement periods needs to be established to ensure reliable data are obtained. The variation is likely to be greater when freshly harvested feeds are given, such as perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.) and forage rape ( Brassica napus L.), because the nutrient composition changes over time and in response to weather conditions. Daily feed intake and faeces output data from a digestibility trial with these forages were used to calculate the effects of differing lengths of the measurement period and differing numbers of sheep, on the precision of digestibility, with a view towards development of a protocol. Sixteen lambs aged 8 months and weighing 33 kg at the commencement of the trial were fed either perennial ryegrass or forage rape (8/treatment group) over 2 periods with 35 d between measurements. They had been acclimatised to the diets, having grazed them for 42 d prior to 11 days of indoor measurements. The sheep numbers required for a digestibility trial with different combinations of acclimatisation and measurement period lengths were subsequently calculated for 3 levels of imposed precision upon the estimate of mean dry matter (DM) digestibility. It is recommended that if the standard error of the mean for digestibility is equal to or higher than 5 g/kg DM, and if sheep are already used to a fresh perennial ryegrass or forage rape diet, then a minimum of 6 animals are needed and 4 acclimatisation days being fed individually in metabolic crates followed by 7 days of measurement.

  10. Immunomodulatory and antioxidant protective effect of Sarcocornia perennis L. (swampfire) in lead intoxicated rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gargouri, Manel; Hamed, Houda; Akrouti, Amel; Christian, Magné; Ksouri, Riadh; El Feki, Abdelfattah

    2017-11-01

    Lead (Pb) is a very toxic metal present in the environment, causing disturbances of several functions. Preventive or curative effects of halophytic plants against these disorders may be a promising and safe therapeutic strategy. Thus, this study was designed to evaluate in vivo immunomodulatory and antioxidant effects of Sarcocornia perennis extract (Sp) against lead toxicity in rats. Groups of six animals each were treated with plant extract (via food), 6 g/L lead acetate (via drinking water) or a combination of both. At the end of the three-week period, rat exposure to lead caused reduction of liver weight but an increase of that of kidney. Moreover, lead intoxication-induced oxidative stress manifested by significant increases of inflammatory cytokines (except IL-10) and lipid peroxidation (TBARS), compared with the control group. Meanwhile, interleukin-10 (IL-10) and glutathione levels (GSH), as well as antioxidant activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), were decreased. Considering liver and renal markers, lead treatment induced a significant increase in the activities of aminotransferases (AST, ALT), and in the levels of urea, creatinine and phosphorous, whereas total plasma protein, albumin and calcium levels were significantly decreased. S. perennis extract alone did not induce any significant changes in hepatic or renal markers, whereas the antioxidant markers were significantly increased. S. perennis supplementation significantly reduced the lead-induced elevation of serum IL-1ß, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ and TBARS but increased the IL-10 and antioxidant enzyme activities. Overall, plant components ameliorated hepatorenal damages caused by lead.

  11. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in grassland soils used for cattle husbandry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bannert

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available While the importance of anaerobic methane oxidation has been reported for marine ecosystems, the role of this process in soils is still questionable. Grasslands used as pastures for cattle overwintering show an increase in anaerobic soil micro-sites caused by animal treading and excrement deposition. Therefore, anaerobic potential methane oxidation activity of severely impacted soil from a cattle winter pasture was investigated in an incubation experiment under anaerobic conditions using 13C-labelled methane. We were able to detect a high microbial activity utilizing CH4 as nutrient source shown by the respiration of 13CO2. Measurements of possible terminal electron acceptors for anaerobic oxidation of methane were carried out. Soil sulfate concentrations were too low to explain the oxidation of the amount of methane added, but enough nitrate and iron(III were detected. However, only nitrate was consumed during the experiment. 13C-PLFA analyses clearly showed the utilization of CH4 as nutrient source mainly by organisms harbouring 16:1ω7 PLFAs. These lipids were also found as most 13C-enriched fatty acids by Raghoebarsing et al. (2006 after addition of 13CH4 to an enrichment culture coupling denitrification of nitrate to anaerobic oxidation of methane. This might be an indication for anaerobic oxidation of methane by relatives of "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera" in the investigated grassland soil under the conditions of the incubation experiment.

  12. Photoperiodic regulation of flowering in perennial ryegrass involving a CONSTANS-like homolog

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martin, J.; Storgaard, M.; Andersen, C.H.

    2004-01-01

    Photoperiod and vernalization are the two key environmental factors of the. oral induction of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Transition from vegetative to reproductive growth will only occur after an extended vernalization period, followed by an increase in day length and temperature. Here...... we report on the isolation and characterization of a L. perenne gene (LpCO) that is homologous to CONSTANS, and which is tightly coupled to the. oral inductive long day signal. Like other monocot CO-like proteins, the LpCO contains a zinc finger domain with a non-conserved B-Box2. Although the B-Box2...

  13. Genetic linkage mapping in an F2 perennial ryegrass population using DArT markers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tomaszewski, Céline; Byrne, Stephen; Foito, Alexandra

    2012-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass is the principal forage grass species used in temperate agriculture. In recent years, significant efforts have been made to develop molecular marker strategies to allow cost-effective characterization of a large number of loci simultaneously. One such strategy involves using DAr......T markers, and a DArT array has recently been developed for the Lolium-Festuca complex. In this study, we report the first use of the DArTFest array to generate a genetic linkage map based on 326 markers in a Lolium perenne F2 population, consisting of 325 genotypes. For proof of concept, the map was used...

  14. Ergot alkaloid intoxication in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne): an emerging animal health concern in Ireland?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canty, Mary J; Fogarty, Ursula; Sheridan, Michael K; Ensley, Steve M; Schrunk, Dwayne E; More, Simon J

    2014-01-01

    Four primary mycotoxicosis have been reported in livestock caused by fungal infections of grasses or cereals by members of the Clavicipitaceae family. Ergotism (generally associated with grasses, rye, triticale and other grains) and fescue toxicosis (associated with tall fescue grass, Festuca arundinacea) are both caused by ergot alkaloids, and referred to as 'ergot alkaloid intoxication'. Ryegrass staggers (associated with perennial ryegrass Lolium perenne) is due to intoxication with an indole-diperpene, Lolitrem B, and metabolites. Fescue-associated oedema, recently described in Australia, may be associated with a pyrrolizidine alkaloid, N-acetyl norloline. Ergotism, caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea, is visible and infects the outside of the plant seed. Fescue toxicosis and ryegrass staggers are caused by Neotyphodium coenophalium and N. lolii, respectively. Fescue-associated oedema has been associated with tall fescue varieties infected with a specific strain of N. coenophialum (AR542, Max P or Max Q). The name Neotyphodium refers to asexual derivatives of Epichloë spp., which have collectively been termed the epichloë fungi. These fungi exist symbiotically within the grass and are invisible to the naked eye. The primary toxicological effect of ergot alkaloid involves vasoconstriction and/or hypoprolactinaemia. Ingestion of ergot alkaloid by livestock can cause a range of effects, including poor weight gain, reduced fertility, hyperthermia, convulsions, gangrene of the extremities, and death. To date there are no published reports, either internationally or nationally, reporting ergot alkaloid intoxication specifically associated with perennial ryegrass endophytes. However, unpublished reports from the Irish Equine Centre have identified a potential emerging problem of ergot alkaloid intoxication with respect to equines and bovines, on primarily perennial ryegrass-based diets. Ergovaline has been isolated in varying concentrations in the herbage of a

  15. A Decade of Carbon Flux Measurements with Annual and Perennial Crop Rotations on the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiro, B. D.; Tenuta, M.; Gao, X.; Gervais, M.

    2016-12-01

    The Fluxnet database has over 100 cropland sites, some of which have long-term (over a decade) measurements. Carbon neutrality is one goal of sustainable agriculture, although measurements over many annual cropping systems have indicated that soil carbon is often lost. Croplands are complex systems because the CO2 exchange depends on the type of crop, soil, weather, and management decisions such as planting date, nutrient fertilization and pest management strategy. Crop rotations are often used to decrease pest pressure, and can range from a simple 2-crop system, to have 4 or more crops in series. Carbon dioxide exchange has been measured using the flux-gradient technique since 2006 in agricultural systems in Manitoba, Canada. Two cropping systems are being followed: one that is a rotation of annual crops (corn, faba bean, spring wheat, rapeseed, barley, spring wheat, corn, soybean, spring wheat, soybean); and the other with a perennial phase of alfalfa/grass in years 3 to 6. Net ecosystem production ranged from a gain of 330 g C m-2 y-1 in corn to a loss of 75 g C m-2 y-1 in a poor spring-wheat crop. Over a decade, net ecosystem production for the annual cropping system was not significantly different from zero (carbon neutral), but the addition of the perennial phase increased the sink to 130 g C m-2 y-1. Once harvest removals were included, there was a net loss of carbon ranging from 77 g C m-2 y-1 in the annual system to 52 g C m-2 y-1 in the annual-perennial system; but neither of these were significantly different from zero. Termination of the perennial phase of the rotation only caused short-term increases in respiration. We conclude that both these systems were close to carbon-neutral over a decade even though they were tilled with a short growing season (90 to 130 days). We discuss the need for more datasets on agricultural systems to inform management options to increase the soil carbon sink.

  16. Review of literature on perennial peanut (Arachis pintoi) as potential cover crop in the tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Kartika, J.G.; Reyes, Manuel R.; Susila, Anas D.

    2007-01-01

    The use of living mulch as a substitute for plastic mulch is increasing in the tropics as researchers have gradually shifted their attention to organic farming systems. Arachis pintoi is a perennial plant and a member of the leguminosae family. A. pintoi has good potential for use as a living mulch in association with vegetables, trees, or grass (as a pasture) because of its ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and to grow in heavy shade. This work, based on fact sheets, journals and t...

  17. Estimating N2O processes during grassland renewal and grassland conversion to maize cropping using N2O isotopocules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchen, Caroline; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Fuß, Roland; Helfrich, Mirjam; Lewicka-Szczebak, Dominika

    2017-04-01

    Grassland break-up due to grassland renewal and grassland conversion to cropland can lead to a flush of mineral nitrogen from decomposition of the old grass sward and the decomposition of soil organic matter. Moreover, increased carbon and nitrogen mineralisation can result in enhanced nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. As N2O is known to be an important greenhouse gas and a major precursor for ozone depletion, its emissions need to be mitigated by adjusting agricultural management practices. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the N2O processes involved, as well as the contribution of N2O reduction to N2. Apart from the widely used 15N gas flux method, natural abundance isotopic analysis of the four most abundant isotopocules of N2O species is a promising alternative to assess N2O production pathways. We used stable isotope analyses of soil-emitted N2O (δ18ON2O, δ15NN2Obulk and δ15NN2OSP= intramolecular distribution of 15N within the linear N2O molecule) with an isotopocule mapping approach to simultaneously estimate the magnitude of N2O reduction to N2 and the fraction of N2O originating from the bacterial denitrification pathway or fungal denitrification and/or nitrification. This approach is based on endmember areas of isotopic values for the N2O produced from different sources reported in the literature. For this purpose, we calculated two main scenarios with different assumptions for N2O produced: N2O is reduced to N2 before residual N2O is mixed with N2O of various sources (Scenario a) and vice versa (Scenario b). Based on this, we applied seven different scenario variations, where we evaluated the range of possible values for the potential N2O production pathways (heterotrophic bacterial denitrification and/or nitrifier denitrification and fungal denitrification and/or nitrification). This was done by using a range of isotopic endmember values and assuming different fractionation factors of N2O reduction in order to find the most reliable scenario

  18. 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

  19. Application of perennial legume green manures to improve growth and yield of organic lowland rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Winarni

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available A pot experiment in green house was done to study the effect of the dosage and speciesof perennial legume green manures to the physiological traits, growth and yield of organic lowland rice (Oryza sativaL., and to obtain the optimal dosage as well.  The research was arranged in a factorial randomized block design consistedof two factors with three replications.The first factor was the species of perennial legume thatconsisted of threespecies: Turi (Sesbaniagrandiflora, Glirisidia (Gliricidiasepium, and Lamtoro (Leucaenaleucocephala and cow manure as control treatment. The second factor was the dosage of green manure thatconsisted of four levels: 5, 10, 20 and 40 t/ha.  The results showed that application ofperennial legumesinto the soil significantly improved the growth and yield of rice.  The application of  20 t Glirisidia leaves/haproduced the highest grain yield, followed by 20 t Lamtoro leaves/ha and 20 t Turi leaves/ha.  The optimal dosages of S. grandiflora, G. sepium and L. leucochepala leaves that could yield 58.03 g/hill (equivalent to14.51 t/ha, 53.67 g/hill (equivalent to 13.42 t/ha, and 49.67 g/hill (equivalent to 12.42 t/ha were 28.05, 25.46 and 26.41 t/ha, respectively.

  20. Reproduction and recruitment in perennial colonies of the introduced wasp Vespula germanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodisman, M A; Matthews, R W; Spradbery, J P; Carew, M E; Crozier, R H

    2001-01-01

    We investigated the genetic structure of perennial colonies of the yellowjacket wasp (Vespula germanica) in its introduced range in Australia and New Zealand. The nuclear genotypes of 712 gynes from 21 colonies, 147 workers from 5 colonies, and 81 males from 4 colonies were assayed at three polymorphic microsatellite loci. The mitochondrial haplotypes of all wasps also were determined for a 450-bp region of the mtDNA using double-stranded conformational polymorphism (DSCP) analysis. We found that multiple reproductives were needed to explain the genotypes of gynes, workers, and males in 7 of 21, 2 of 5, and 2 of 4 colonies, respectively, and that nestmate relatedness of these three castes equaled 0.42, 0.16, and 0.22, respectively. The mitochondrial data revealed that all individuals shared the same mtDNA haplotype in 20 of the 21 colonies. However, in one colony, gynes and workers displayed multiple mtDNA haplotypes, indicating that nonnestmate recruitment had occurred. Overall the genetic structure within the majority of perennial colonies conformed to expectations based on the biology of V. germanica and kin selection theory for polygyne colonies; multiple reproductives successfully produced offspring and were recruited into their natal nests, thereby maintaining relatively high relatedness between interacting individuals.

  1. Progress and Bottlenecks in the Early Domestication of the Perennial Oilseed Silphium integrifolium, a Sunflower Substitute

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Vilela

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Silflower (Silphium integrifolium Michx. is in the early stages of domestication as a perennial version of oilseed sunflower, its close relative. Grain crops with deep perennial root systems will provide farmers with new alternatives for managing soil moisture and limiting or remediating soil erosion, fertilizer leaching, and loss of soil biota. Several cycles of selection for increased seed production potential following initial germplasm evaluation in 2002 have provided opportunities to document the botany and ecology of this relatively obscure species, to compare agronomic practices for improving its propagation and management, and to evaluate the differences between semi-domesticated and wild accessions that have accrued over this time through intentional and unintentional genetic processes. Key findings include: domestication has increased aboveground biomass at seedling and adult stages; seed yield has increased more, achieving modest improvement in harvest index. Harvest index decreases with nitrogen fertilization. Silflower acquires nitrogen and water from greater depth than typical crops. In agricultural silflower stands within its native range, we found that Puccinia silphii (rust and Eucosma giganteana (moth populations build up to unacceptable levels, but we also found genetic variation for traits contributing to resistance or tolerance. Breeding or management for reduced height and vegetative plasticity should be top priorities for future silflower research outside its native range.

  2. Impact of perennial energy crops income variability on the crop selection of risk averse farmers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, Peter; Moran, Dominic

    2013-01-01

    The UK Government policy is for the area of perennial energy crops in the UK to expand significantly. Farmers need to choose these crops in preference to conventional rotations for this to be achievable. This paper looks at the potential level and variability of perennial energy crop incomes and the relation to incomes from conventional arable crops. Assuming energy crop prices are correlated to oil prices the results suggests that incomes from them are not well correlated to conventional arable crop incomes. A farm scale mathematical programming model is then used to attempt to understand the affect on risk averse farmers crop selection. The inclusion of risk reduces the energy crop price required for the selection of these crops. However yields towards the highest of those predicted in the UK are still required to make them an optimal choice, suggesting only a small area of energy crops within the UK would be expected to be chosen to be grown. This must be regarded as a tentative conclusion, primarily due to high sensitivity found to crop yields, resulting in the proposal for further work to apply the model using spatially disaggregated data. - Highlights: ► Energy crop and conventional crop incomes suggested as uncorrelated. ► Diversification effect of energy crops investigated for a risk averse farmer. ► Energy crops indicated as optimal selection only on highest yielding UK sites. ► Large establishment grant rates to substantially alter crop selections.

  3. Syngas Production from Pyrolysis of Nine Composts Obtained from Nonhybrid and Hybrid Perennial Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adéla Hlavsová

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A pyrolysis of compost for the production of syngas with an explicit H2/CO = 2 or H2/CO = 3 was investigated in this study. The composts were obtained from nonhybrid (perennial grasses (NHG and hybrid (perennial grasses (HG. Discrepancies in H2 evolution profiles were found between NHG and HG composts. In addition, positive correlations for NHG composts were obtained between (i H2 yield and lignin content, (ii H2 yield and potassium content, and (iii CO yield and cellulose content. All composts resulted in H2/CO = 2 and five of the nine composts resulted in H2/CO = 3. Exceptionally large higher heating values (HHVs of pyrolysis gas, very close to HHVs of feedstock, were obtained for composts made from mountain brome (MB, 16.23 MJ/kg, hybrid Becva (FB, 16.45 MJ/kg, and tall fescue (TF, 17.43 MJ/kg. The MB and FB composts resulted in the highest syngas formation with H2/CO = 2, whereas TF compost resulted in the highest syngas formation with H2/CO = 3.

  4. IQ Score of Children with Persistent or Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Comparison with Healthy Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaffari, Javad; Abbaskhanian, Ali; Jalili, Masumeh; Yazdani Charati, Jamshid

    2014-01-01

    Prevalence of allergies is different around the world. Allergic rhinitis is a common chronic disease in children. Intelligence quotient (IQ) is an indicator of efficacy and many factors including chronic diseases may affect it. This study compares the IQs of children diagnosed with persistent or perennial allergic rhinitis with healthy children. This was a comparative study that was conducted from June 2011-May 2013 in an academic referral clinic. In this study, 90 patients aged 6- to 14-yearsold who were diagnosed with persistent or perennial allergic rhinitis and were compared to 90 age and gender match healthy patients from their respective families. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children was used to divide and calculate overall IQ, verbal IQ, and practical IQ. The t-test and chi square were used to analyze quantitative variables and qualitative variables, respectively. In this study, out of total 180 children, 90 (50%) in the case group and 90 children (50%), the control group participated for IQ comparison. One hundred (57%) were male and 80 (43%) were female. The overall IQ for allergic rhinitis patients and healthy patients was 109.2 and 107.5, respectively. This difference was not considered significant. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the IQ scores of males and females. Although allergic rhinitis is a chronic disease and effects quality of life, there were no identifiable negative effects on IQ.

  5. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Induction of salicylic acid-mediated defense response in perennial ryegrass against infection by Magnaporthe oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Alamgir; Kuldau, Gretchen A; Uddin, Wakar

    2014-06-01

    Incorporation of plant defense activators is an innovative approach to development of an integrated strategy for the management of turfgrass diseases. The effects of salicylic acid (SA), benzothiadiazole (BTH, chemical analog of SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethephon (ET, an ethylene-releasing compound) on development of gray leaf spot in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) caused by Magnaporthe oryzae were evaluated. Gray leaf spot disease incidence and severity were significantly decreased when plants were treated prior to inoculation with SA, BTH, and partially by ET but not by JA. Accumulation of endogenous SA and elevated expression of pathogenesis-related (PR)-1, PR-3.1, and PR-5 genes were associated with inoculation of plants by M. oryzae. Treatment of plants with SA enhanced expression levels of PR-3.1 and PR-5 but did not affect the PR-1 level, whereas BTH treatment enhanced relative expression levels of all three PR genes. Microscopic observations of leaves inoculated with M. oryzae revealed higher frequencies of callose deposition at the penetration sites in SA- and BTH-treated plants compared with the control plants (treated with water). These results suggest that early and higher induction of these genes by systemic resistance inducers may provide perennial ryegrass with a substantial advantage to defend against infection by M. oryzae.

  7. PERENNIAL HELIANTHUS TAXA IN TÂRGU-MURES CITY AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FILEP RITA

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Although in the neighbouring countries several perennial Helianthus taxa have been recorded in the last decade, in Romania only three have been identified so far. The literature and herbaria data of Târgu-Mures date back to the end of the XIXth century, and only refer to H. × multiflorus and H. tuberosus. The aim of this study was to identify the perennial Helianthus taxa in this region and to prepare their current distribution map. The survey was conducted in Târgu Mures city and the neighbouring villages: Livezeni, Sântana de Mures, Sâncraiu de Mures, Sângeorgiu de Mures, and Corunca. Four taxa were identified: H. pauciflorus Nutt., H. × laetiflorus Pers., H. tuberosus L. s.str., and Helianthus tuberosus L. s.l. The first two taxa are cultivated as ornamental plants, H. tuberosus s. str. is cultivated in a few farms, whereas H. tuberosus s. l. is an invasive species that spreads along the rivers.

  8. Modeling plant interspecific interactions from experiments with perennial crop mixtures to predict optimal combinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halty, Virginia; Valdés, Matías; Tejera, Mauricio; Picasso, Valentín; Fort, Hugo

    2017-12-01

    The contribution of plant species richness to productivity and ecosystem functioning is a longstanding issue in ecology, with relevant implications for both conservation and agriculture. Both experiments and quantitative modeling are fundamental to the design of sustainable agroecosystems and the optimization of crop production. We modeled communities of perennial crop mixtures by using a generalized Lotka-Volterra model, i.e., a model such that the interspecific interactions are more general than purely competitive. We estimated model parameters -carrying capacities and interaction coefficients- from, respectively, the observed biomass of monocultures and bicultures measured in a large diversity experiment of seven perennial forage species in Iowa, United States. The sign and absolute value of the interaction coefficients showed that the biological interactions between species pairs included amensalism, competition, and parasitism (asymmetric positive-negative interaction), with various degrees of intensity. We tested the model fit by simulating the combinations of more than two species and comparing them with the polycultures experimental data. Overall, theoretical predictions are in good agreement with the experiments. Using this model, we also simulated species combinations that were not sown. From all possible mixtures (sown and not sown) we identified which are the most productive species combinations. Our results demonstrate that a combination of experiments and modeling can contribute to the design of sustainable agricultural systems in general and to the optimization of crop production in particular. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Fructan metabolism and changes in fructan composition during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abeynayake, Shamila W.; Etzerodt, Thomas P.; Jonavičienė, Kristina; Byrne, Stephen; Asp, Torben; Boelt, Birte

    2015-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) produces high levels of fructans as a mixture of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides with different degrees of polymerization (DP). The present study describes the analysis of the compositional changes in the full spectrum of fructans, fructan distribution between above ground biomass (top) and the roots, and the transcription of candidate genes involved in fructan metabolism during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass variety “Veyo” and ecotype “Falster” from distinct geographical origins. We observed changes in fructan composition and induction of low-DP fructans, especially DP = 4, in both the top and the roots of “Veyo” and “Falster” in response to low-temperature stress. The accumulation of DP > 50 fructans was only apparent in the top tissues where the Lp1-FFT expression is higher compared to the roots in both “Veyo” and “Falster.” Our results also show the accumulation and depolymerization of fructans with different DP, together with the induction of genes encoding fructosyltransferases and fructan exohydrolases in both “Veyo” and “Falster” during cold acclimation, supporting the hypothesis that fructan synthesis and depolymerization occurring simultaneously. The ecotype “Falster,” adapted to cold climates, increased total fructan content and produced more DP > 7 fructans in the roots than the variety “Veyo,” adapted to warmer climates. This indicates that high-DP fructan accumulation in roots may be an adaptive trait for plant recovery after abiotic stresses. PMID:26029229

  10. Accuracy of Genomic Prediction in a Commercial Perennial Ryegrass Breeding Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Fè

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of genomic selection (GS in plant breeding, so far, has been mainly evaluated in crops farmed as homogeneous varieties, and the results have been generally positive. Fewer results are available for species, such as forage grasses, that are grown as heterogenous families (developed from multiparent crosses in which the control of the genetic variation is far more complex. Here we test the potential for implementing GS in the breeding of perennial ryegrass ( L. using empirical data from a commercial forage breeding program. Biparental F and multiparental synthetic (SYN families of diploid perennial ryegrass were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing, and phenotypes for five different traits were analyzed. Genotypes were expressed as family allele frequencies, and phenotypes were recorded as family means. Different models for genomic prediction were compared by using practically relevant cross-validation strategies. All traits showed a highly significant level of genetic variance, which could be traced using the genotyping assay. While there was significant genotype × environment (G × E interaction for some traits, accuracies were high among F families and between biparental F and multiparental SYN families. We have demonstrated that the implementation of GS in grass breeding is now possible and presents an opportunity to make significant gains for various traits.

  11. Machine Learning to Assess Grassland Productivity in Southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce-Campos, G. E.; Heilman, P.; Armendariz, G.; Moser, E.; Archer, V.; Vaughan, R.

    2015-12-01

    We present preliminary results of machine learning (ML) techniques modeling the combined effects of climate, management, and inherent potential on productivity of grazed semi-arid grasslands in southeastern Arizona. Our goal is to support public land managers determine if agency management policies are meeting objectives and where to focus attention. Monitoring in the field is becoming more and more limited in space and time. Remotely sensed data cover the entire allotments and go back in time, but do not consider the key issue of species composition. By estimating expected vegetative production as a function of site potential and climatic inputs, management skill can be assessed through time, across individual allotments, and between allotments. Here we present the use of Random Forest (RF) as the main ML technique, in this case for the purpose of regression. Our response variable is the maximum annual NDVI, a surrogate for grassland productivity, as generated by the Google Earth Engine cloud computing platform based on Landsat 5, 7, and 8 datasets. PRISM 33-year normal precipitation (1980-2013) was resampled to the Landsat scale. In addition, the GRIDMET climate dataset was the source for the calculation of the annual SPEI (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index), a drought index. We also included information about landscape position, aspect, streams, ponds, roads and fire disturbances as part of the modeling process. Our results show that in terms of variable importance, the 33-year normal precipitation, along with SPEI, are the most important features affecting grasslands productivity within the study area. The RF approach was compared to a linear regression model with the same variables. The linear model resulted in an r2 = 0.41, whereas RF showed a significant improvement with an r2 = 0.79. We continue refining the model by comparison with aerial photography and to include grazing intensity and infrastructure from units/allotments to assess the

  12. 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

  13. Grassland carbon sequestration and emissions following cultivation in a mixed crop rotation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Acharya, Bharat Sharma; Rasmussen, Jim; Eriksen, Jørgen

    2012-01-01

    Grasslands are potential carbon sinks to reduce unprecedented increase in atmospheric CO2. Effect of age (1–4-year-old) and management (slurry, grazing multispecies mixture) of a grass phase mixed crop rotation on carbon sequestration and emissions upon cultivation was compared with 17-year...... biomass was highest in 4-year-old grassland, but all 1–4-year-old grasslands were in between the pea field (0.81 ± 0.094 g kg−1 soil) and the 17-year-old grassland (3.17 ± 0.22 g kg−1 soil). Grazed grasslands had significantly higher root biomass than cut grasslands. There was no significant difference...... in the CO2 emissions within 1–4-year-old grasslands. Only the 17-year-old grassland showed markedly higher CO2 emissions (4.9 ± 1.1 g CO2 kg−1 soil). Differences in aboveground and root biomass did not affect CO2 emissions, and slurry application did not either. The substantial increase in root biomass...

  14. 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

  15. Modelling the carbon cycle of grassland in the Netherlands under various management strategies and environmental conditions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.; Lantinga, E.A.

    1995-01-01

    A simulation model of the grassland carbon cycle (CCGRASS) was developed to evaluate the long-term effects of different management strategies and various environmental conditions on carbon sequestration in a loam soil under permanent grassland in the Netherlands. The model predicted that the rate of

  16. 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;

  17. The Impact of Ecological Construction Programs on Grassland Conservation in Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Min; Dries, Liesbeth; Heijman, Wim; Huang, Jikun; Zhu, Xueqin; Hu, Yuanning; Chen, Haibin

    2018-01-01

    A series of Ecological Construction Programs have been initiated to protect the condition of grasslands in China during recent decades. However, grassland degradation is still severe, and conditions have not been restored as intended. This paper aims to empirically examine the effectiveness of these

  18. 78 FR 19444 - Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado; Oil and Gas Leasing Analysis Environmental Impact Statement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-01

    ... Leasing Analysis on the Pawnee National Grassland (PNG), was signed. That decision determined which Lands... National Grassland. Much of the PNG's federal mineral estate made available per the 1997 ROD has already... [36 CFR 228.102(e)]. Accordingly, the PNG finds it is necessary to disclose the potential effects of...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. 77 FR 75119 - Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental Environmental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas... to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement. SUMMARY: In June of 2003, the Dakota... Dakota Prairie Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan, based on the 2001 Northern Great Plains...

  1. Differentiating climate- and human-induced drivers of grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chunyang; Tian, Jie; Gao, Bin; Zhao, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    Quantitatively distinguishing grassland degradation due to climatic variations from that due to human activities is of great significance to effectively governing degraded grassland and realizing sustainable utilization. The objective of this study was to differentiate these two types of drivers in the Liao River Basin during 1999-2009 using the residual trend (RESTREND) method and to evaluate the applicability of the method in semiarid and semihumid regions. The relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and each climatic factor was first determined. Then, the primary driver of grassland degradation was identified by calculating the change trend of the normalized residuals between the observed and the predicted NDVI assuming that climate change was the only driver. We found that the RESTREND method can be used to quantitatively and effectively differentiate climate and human drivers of grassland degradation. We also found that the grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin was driven by both natural processes and human activities. The driving factors of grassland degradation varied greatly across the study area, which included regions having different precipitation and altitude. The degradation in the Horqin Sandy Land, with lower altitude, was driven mainly by human activities, whereas that in the Kungl Prairie, with higher altitude and lower precipitation, was caused primarily by climate change. Therefore, the drivers of degradation and local conditions should be considered in an appropriate strategy for grassland management to promote the sustainability of grasslands in the Liao River Basin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Variation in soil organic carbon within highland grasslands of Langtang National Park, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keshab Shrestha

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Grassland also plays important role in food security. The estimated grassland area in Nepal is about 1.75 million ha. Most of the grassland in Nepal is located in higher elevation above, 2000 meter. The aim of this research is to observe difference in SOC of grassland in different altitude. Soil samples were collected from grasslands of altitude: 1500- 2000m, 2001- 2500m, 2501-3000m, 3001- 3500m and 3501- 4000m. The soil samples were collected at successive depths in each grassland i.e. 0 – 10 cm, 10 – 20 cm and 20 – 30 cm. The maximum SOC was found in grassland at altitude 3001 m- 3500m. The lowest was SOC was found in grassland at altitude 3051m – 4000m. Correlation analysis between altitude and SOC shows that SOC is positively correlated with altitude with correlation coefficient 0.850 (significant at P<0.05 level. But SOC decreases sharply in treeline with negative correlation (Significant at P<0.05.International Journal of Environment Vol.5(3 2016, pp.57-65

  4. Grassland simulation with the LPJmL model : version 3.4.018

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boons-Prins, E.R.

    2010-01-01

    One third of the land surface is covered with natural and cultivated grasslands. Most of these grasslands are intensively or extensively exploited by humans to feed animals. With growing wealth, causing an increase of meat consumption, there is a need to better understand the processes that

  5. Effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing on the emission of nitrous oxide from grassland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Velthof, G.L.; Brader, A.B.; Oenema, O. [NMI, Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    In the Netherlands, managed grasslands are potentially a large source of nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O), because of the large nitrogen (N) input and the relatively high ground water levels. To provide insight into the major factors that contribute to N{sub 2}O emission from grassland and to provide quantitative N{sub 2}O emission rates, a monitoring study was carried out on four sites, during March 1992 to March 1994. Fluxes of N{sub 2}O increased after N fertilizer application and grazing, especially during wet conditions. Fluxes were higher from peat soils than from sand and clay soils. Fluxes were low during the winter periods. Total N{sub 2}O losses were 2 to 4.5 times higher on grassland fertilized with 160-460 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} than on unfertilized grassland. Losses from grazed grasslands were 1.5 to 3.5 times higher than losses from mown grassland. This study shows that management practice of grassland and soil type are major factors controlling N{sub 2}O emission from grasslands. 2 figs., 3 refs.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Spatial probability models of fire in the desert grasslands of the southwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is an important driver of ecological processes in semiarid environments; however, the role of fire in desert grasslands of the Southwestern US is controversial and the regional fire distribution is largely unknown. We characterized the spatial distribution of fire in the desert grassland region...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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...

  11. Linear objects impact on grassland degradation in the typical steppe region of China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Suying; Verburg, Peter H.; Lv, Shihai; Gao, Shangyu; Wu, Jingle

    2011-01-01

    Despite growing recognition of the issue of grassland degradation, few regional estimates of linear object impacts on grassland degradation [1]. We presented a methodology for evaluating regional impacts on steppe degradation from linear objects which were two uppermost types, rivers and roads, in

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Drought mitigation in perennial crops by fertilization and adjustments of regional yield models for future climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Blanc-Betes, E.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Masters, M. D.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    Increased variability and intensity of precipitation in the Midwest agricultural belt due to climate change is a major concern. The success of perennial bioenergy crops in replacing maize for bioethanol production is dependent on sustained yields that exceed maize, and the marketing of perennial crops often emphasizes the resilience of perennial agriculture to climate stressors. Land conversion from maize for bioethanol to Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) increases yields and annual evapotranspiration rates (ET). However, establishment of miscanthus also increases biome water use efficiency (the ratio between net ecosystem productivity after harvest and ET), due to greater belowground biomass in miscanthus than in maize or soybean. In 2012, a widespread drought reduced the yield of 5-year-old miscanthus plots in central Illinois by 36% compared to the previous two years. Eddy covariance data indicated continued soil water deficit during the hydrologically-normal growing season in 2013 and miscanthus yield failed to rebound as expected, lagging behind pre-drought yields by an average of 53% over the next three years. In early 2014, nitrogen fertilizer was applied to half of mature (7-year-old) miscanthus plots in an effort to improve yields. In plots with annual post-emergence application of 60 kg ha-1 of urea, peak biomass was 29% greater than unfertilized miscanthus in 2014, and 113% greater in 2015, achieving statistically similar yields to the pre-drought average. Regional-scale models of perennial crop productivity use 30-year climate averages that are inadequate for predicting long-term effects of short-term extremes on perennial crops. Modeled predictions of perennial crop productivity incorporating repeated extreme weather events, observed crop response, and the use of management practices to mitigate water deficit demonstrate divergent effects on predicted yields.

  17. Mapping spatio-temporal variation of grassland quantity and quality using MERIS data and the PROSAIL model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Si, Y.; Schlerf, M.; Zurita-Milla, R.; Skidmore, A.K.; Wang, T.

    2012-01-01

    Accurate estimates of the quantity and quality of grasslands, as they vary in space and time and from regional to global scales, furthers our understanding of grassland ecosystems. The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) is a promising sensor for measuring and monitoring grasslands due to

  18. 78 FR 65609 - Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland; Wyoming; Thunder Basin...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    ... National Grassland; Wyoming; Thunder Basin National Grassland Prairie Dog Amendment Environmental Impact... Cooperating Agencies. No changes to the Proposed Action or Purpose of and Need for Action have been made... alternatives will be analyzed in the Thunder Basin National Grassland Prairie Dog Amendment EIS. The EIS will...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Grasslands of Mexico: A perspective on their conservation (Los pastizales del norte de Mexico: Una perspectiva para su conservacion)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia Manzano; Rurik List

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands are areas dominated by grasses and herbs with few or no trees. Grasslands receive too much rain for a desert environment and too little for a forest. Temperate North American grasslands, especially, have undergone changes on a continental level. Their high productivity and fertility, added to their level topography and lack of trees, make them ideal sites...

  2. Reconsidering the generation time hypothesis based on nuclear ribosomal ITS sequence comparisons in annual and perennial angiosperms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiz-Palacios Omar

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Differences in plant annual/perennial habit are hypothesized to cause a generation time effect on divergence rates. Previous studies that compared rates of divergence for internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 and ITS2 sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA in angiosperms have reached contradictory conclusions about whether differences in generation times (or other life history features are associated with divergence rate heterogeneity. We compared annual/perennial ITS divergence rates using published sequence data, employing sampling criteria to control for possible artifacts that might obscure any actual rate variation caused by annual/perennial differences. Results Relative rate tests employing ITS sequences from 16 phylogenetically-independent annual/perennial species pairs rejected rate homogeneity in only a few comparisons, with annuals more frequently exhibiting faster substitution rates. Treating branch length differences categorically (annual faster or perennial faster regardless of magnitude with a sign test often indicated an excess of annuals with faster substitution rates. Annuals showed an approximately 1.6-fold rate acceleration in nucleotide substitution models for ITS. Relative rates of three nuclear loci and two chloroplast regions for the annual Arabidopsis thaliana compared with two closely related Arabidopsis perennials indicated that divergence was faster for the annual. In contrast, A. thaliana ITS divergence rates were sometimes faster and sometimes slower than the perennial. In simulations, divergence rate differences of at least 3.5-fold were required to reject rate constancy in > 80 % of replicates using a nucleotide substitution model observed for the combination of ITS1 and ITS2. Simulations also showed that categorical treatment of branch length differences detected rate heterogeneity > 80% of the time with a 1.5-fold or greater rate difference. Conclusion Although rate homogeneity was not rejected

  3. Distribution modelling of pre-Columbian California grasslands with soil phytoliths: New insights for prehistoric grassland ecology and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fick, Stephen E; Evett, Rand R

    2018-01-01

    Historical reconstructions of plant community distributions are useful for biogeographic studies and restoration planning, but the quality of insights gained depends on the depth and reliability of historical information available. For the Central Valley of California, one of the most altered terrestrial ecosystems on the planet, this task is particularly difficult given poor historical documentation and sparse relict assemblages of pre-invasion plant species. Coastal and interior prairies were long assumed to have been dominated by perennial bunchgrasses, but this hypothesis has recently been challenged. We evaluated this hypothesis by creating species distribution models (SDMs) using a novel approach based on the abundance of soil phytoliths (microscopic particles of biogenic silica used as a proxy for long-term grass presence) extracted from soil samples at locations statewide. Modeled historical grass abundance was consistently high along the coast and to a lesser extent in higher elevation foothills surrounding the Central Valley. SDMs found strong associations with mean temperature, temperature variability, and precipitation variability, with higher predicted abundance in regions with cooler, equable temperatures and moderated rainfall, mirroring the pattern for modern perennial grass distribution across the state. The results of this study strongly suggest that the pre-Columbian Central Valley of California was not dominated by grasses. Using soil phytolith data as input for SDMs is a promising new method for predicting the extent of prehistoric grass distributions where alternative historical datasets are lacking.

  4. Future productivity and phenology changes in European grasslands for different warming levels: implications for grassland management and carbon balance

    OpenAIRE

    Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Viovy, Nicolas; Soussana, Jean-Fran?ois; Klumpp, Katja; Sultan, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Background Europe has warmed more than the global average (land and ocean) since pre-industrial times, and is also projected to continue to warm faster than the global average in the twenty-first century. According to the climate models ensemble projections for various climate scenarios, annual mean temperature of Europe for 2071?2100 is predicted to be 1?5.5??C higher than that for 1971?2000. Climate change and elevated CO2 concentration are anticipated to affect grassland management and liv...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-10

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

  6. Weathering controls on mechanisms of carbon storage in grassland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, C.A.; Chadwick, O.A.; Southon, J.; Torn, M.S.; Harden, J.W.

    2004-01-01

    On a sequence of soils developed under similar vegetation, temperature, and precipitation conditions, but with variations in mineralogical properties, we use organic carbon and 14C inventories to examine mineral protection of soil organic carbon. In these soils, 14C data indicate that the creation of slow-cycling carbon can be modeled as occurring through reaction of organic ligands with Al3+ and Fe3+ cations in the upper horizons, followed by sorption to amorphous inorganic Al compounds at depth. Only one of these processes, the chelation Al3+ and Fe3+ by organic ligands, is linked to large carbon stocks. Organic ligands stabilized by this process traverse the soil column as dissolved organic carbon (both from surface horizons and root exudates). At our moist grassland site, this chelation and transport process is very strongly correlated with the storage and long-term stabilization of soil organic carbon. Our 14C results show that the mechanisms of organic carbon transport and storage at this site follow a classic model previously believed to only be significant in a single soil order (Spodosols), and closely related to the presence of forests. The presence of this process in the grassland Alfisol, Inceptisol, and Mollisol soils of this chronosequence suggests that this process is a more significant control on organic carbon storage than previously thought. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

  7. Dry matter production of perennial pasture Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp under different doses of fertilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karlize Prigol

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Dairy farming is an activity that provides the small rural farmer the opportunity to earn income in small areas of land. The perennial pastures represent a source for a cheap and nutritious diet for the animals. The correct management of perennial pastures can be the key to sustainability in the dairy business, resulting in the preservation or recovery of the balance of a pasture system, starting with the pursuit of production with low costs and good pasture production per unit area. The correct choice of fertilizer is of great importance to ensure the continuous production of pasture both in quantity and in quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dry matter production of perennial pasture consisting of Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp under different nutrient sources on a typical dystrophic Red Latosol, presents in a region where the climate is characterized as humid-mesothermic with a hot summer, Cfa according to Köppen, with an average annual rainfall of 2039 mm, well distributed throughout the year and average annual temperatures around 18 º C, varying monthly from 14.1 to 23 º C. The treatments consisted of three nutrient sources: 1 organic manure, a base of chicken bedding (average values of reference NPK (02/03/02, 2 organic manure + mineral - organic mineral, with application of 606 kg ha-1 (04/10/10 Formula, aiming to adjust the same amounts of NPK supplied by mineral fertilizer and, 3 Mineral. The experimental design was a randomized blocks with nine replications. We collected five samples of each pasture treatment for determination of the average. After cutting the pasture of Tifton 85, the samples were subjected to weighing for determination of wet weight and then taken to the drying oven (temperature 65 ° C for 72 hours to determine dry matter production. The statistical analysis was performed with SAS for Windows computer system (SAS and the results submitted to the Tukey test at 5%. The highest dry matter yield (kg ha-1 was

  8. Linking resilience theory and diffusion of innovations theory to understand the potential for perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan C. Atwell; Lisa A. Schulte; Lynne M. Westphal

    2009-01-01

    In the last 200 yr, more than 80% of the land in the U.S. Corn Belt agro-ecosystem has been converted from natural perennial vegetation to intensive agricultural production of row crops. Despite research showing how re-integration of perennial vegetation, e.g., cover crops, pasture, riparian buffers, and restored wetlands, at strategic landscape positions can bolster...

  9. Impacts of managing perennial grasses in the northern Midwest United States for bioenergy on soil organic C and nitrous oxide emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the USA perennial grasses [e.g., switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman)] are proposed as cellulosic feedstock. Perennial grasses are often touted as being low input and as having a C-neutral foot print, but managing them as bioenergy feedstock means addin...

  10. Study on absorption and translocation amounts of 2,4-D on perennial weed( Glycyrrhiza glabra) by 19 C- labelled herbicides tracer technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahari Mostafavi, H.; Fatholahi, H.; Naserian, B.

    2004-01-01

    Glycyrrhiza glabra a perennial broad leaf weed, is very difficult to control due to it's powerful root system. The best chemical treatment to perennial weeds control is the application of systemic herbicides and their effect is related to amount of permeability and mobility

  11. Nasal inhalation of budesonide from a spacer in children with perennial rhinitis and asthma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, W; Hjuler, Inga Merete; Bisgaard, H

    1998-01-01

    and asthma inhaled budesonide through the nose from a pressurized aerosol, attached to a spacer device, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Compared with placebo, budesonide treatment resulted in a significant reduction of nasal symptoms (Pasthma symptoms (P...The standard treatment of allergic rhinitis and asthma consists of topical corticosteroids administered intranasally and inhaled through the mouth. Although this therapy is highly effective, and side-effects are few and mild, it may be possible further to improve the therapeutic index and patient...... compliance with the treatment. In the present study, we evaluated a nasal inhalation system used for the simultaneous treatment of rhinitis and asthma. In principle, it results in an airway deposition of the corticosteroid similar to that of inhaled allergens. Twenty-four children with perennial rhinitis...

  12. Using the Model Perennial Grass Brachypodium sylvaticum to Engineer Resistance to Multiple Abiotic Stresses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gordon, Sean; Reguera, Maria; Sade, Nir; Cartwright, Amy; Tobias, Christian; Thilmony, Roger; Blumwald, Eduardo; Vogel, John

    2015-03-20

    We are using the perennial model grass Brachypodium sylvaticum to identify combinations of transgenes that enhance tolerance to multiple, simultaneous abiotic stresses. The most successful transgene combinations will ultimately be used to create improved switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) cultivars. To further develop B. sylvaticum as a perennial model grass, and facilitate our planned transcriptional profiling, we are sequencing and annotating the genome. We have generated ~40x genome coverage using PacBio sequencing of the largest possible size selected libraries (18, 22, 25 kb). Our initial assembly using only long-read sequence contained 320 Mb of sequence with an N50 contig length of 315 kb and an N95 contig length of 40 kb. This assembly consists of 2,430 contigs, the largest of which was 1.6 Mb. The estimated genome size based on c-values is 340 Mb indicating that about 20 Mb of presumably repetitive DNA remains yet unassembled. Significantly, this assembly is far superior to an assembly created from paired-end short-read sequence, ~100x genome coverage. The short-read-only assembly contained only 226 Mb of sequence in 19k contigs. To aid the assembly of the scaffolds into chromosome-scale assemblies we produced an F2 mapping population and have genotyped 480 individuals using a genotype by sequence approach. One of the reasons for using B. sylvaticum as a model system is to determine if the transgenes adversely affect perenniality and winter hardiness. Toward this goal, we examined the freezing tolerance of wild type B. sylvaticum lines to determine the optimal conditions for testing the freezing tolerance of the transgenics. A survey of seven accessions noted significant natural variation in freezing tolerance. Seedling or adult Ain-1 plants, the line used for transformation, survived an 8 hour challenge down to -6 oC and 50% survived a challenge down to -9 oC. Thus, we will be able to easily determine if the transgenes compromise freezing tolerance. In the

  13. Genomic Selection Using Genotyping-By-Sequencing Data with Different Coverage Depth in Perennial Ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cericola, Fabio; Fé, Dario; Janss, Luc

    2015-01-01

    the diagonal elements by estimating the amount of genetic variance caused by the reduction of the coverage depth. Secondly we developed a method to scale the relationship matrix by taking into account the overall amount of pairwise non-missing loci between all families. Rust resistance and heading date were......Genotyping by sequencing (GBS) allows generating up to millions of molecular markers with a cost per sample which is proportional to the level of multiplexing. Increasing the sample multiplexing decreases the genotyping price but also reduces the numbers of reads per marker. In this work we...... investigated how this reduction of the coverage depth affects the genomic relationship matrices used to estimated breeding value of F2 family pools in perennial ryegrass. A total of 995 families were genotyped via GBS providing more than 1.8M allele frequency estimates for each family with an average coverage...

  14. Phytochemical Profile and Qualification of Biological Activity of an Isolated Fraction of Bellis perennis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago H Costa Marques

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the isolation and identification of apigenin-7-O-ghicopyranoside, a flavonoid isolated from the flowers of Bellis perennis L., Asteraceae, an species with a broad spectrum of biological activities. The in vitro antioxidant activity and the inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase were evaluated. The flavonoid showed strong in vitro antioxidant potential, because of the capacity of removal of hydroxyl radicals and nitric oxide, and also prevented the formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. These parameters were inhibited at the highest concentration of ApG at rates of 77.7%, 72% and 73.4%, respectively, in addition to inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, suggesting potential use in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  15. Bud Dormancy in Perennial Fruit Tree Species: A Pivotal Role for Oxidative Cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rémi Beauvieux

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available For perennial plants, bud dormancy is a crucial step as its progression over winter determines the quality of bud break, flowering, and fruiting. In the past decades, many studies, based on metabolic, physiological, subcellular, genetic, and genomic analyses, have unraveled mechanisms underlying bud dormancy progression. Overall, all the pathways identified are interconnected in a very complex manner. Here, we review early and recent findings on the dormancy processes in buds of temperate fruit trees species including hormonal signaling, the role of plasma membrane, carbohydrate metabolism, mitochondrial respiration and oxidative stress, with an effort to link them together and emphasize the central role of reactive oxygen species accumulation in the control of dormancy progression.

  16. Root growth of perennials in vertical growing media for use in green walls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lars; Dresbøll, Dorte Bodin; Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian

    2014-01-01

    The vertical orientation of green walls causes a risk of uneven water distribution within the growing medium, and thereby stress on the plant roots. Therefore it was studied how the root and top growth of different species were affected by the water holding characteristics of the growing media....... Five species of hardy perennials (Campanula poscharskyana ‘Stella’, Fragaria vesca ‘Småland’, Geranium sanguineum ‘Max Frei’, Sesleria heufleriana and Veronica officinalis ‘Allgrün’) were grown in 3 types of growing media (coir and 2 of rockwool) in vertical boxes under greenhouse conditions. Root...... distribution was registered over 52 days and the activity of individual root systems was studied via 15N uptake and plant parameters were measured. The water holding characteristics of the growing media was determined on a sandbox. From day 21 and throughout the experiment, the plants growing in the coir...

  17. Seasonal Variation of Provitamin D2 and Vitamin D2 in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jäpelt, Rie Bak; Didion, Thomas; Smedsgaard, Jørn

    2011-01-01

    Ergosterol (provitamin D(2)) is converted to vitamin D(2) in grass by exposure to UV light. Six varieties of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) were harvested four times during the season, and the contents of vitamin D(2) and ergosterol were analyzed by a sensitive and selective liquid...... chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method. Weather factors were recorded, and a principal component analysis was performed to study which factors were important for the formation of vitamin D(2). The results suggest that a combination of weather factors is involved and that the contents of ergosterol...... and vitamin D(2) change more than a factor of 10 during the season. These results demonstrate that grass potentially can be a significant source of vitamin D for grazing animals and animals fed on silage and hay....

  18. Predicting seed yield in perennial ryegrass using repeated canopy reflectance measurements and PLSR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gislum, René; Deleuran, Lise Christina; Boelt, Birte

    2009-01-01

    with first year seed crops using three sowing rates and three spring nitrogen (N) application rates. PLSR models were developed for each year and showed correlation coefficients of 0.71, 0.76, and 0.92, respectively. Regression coefficients showed in these experiments that the optimum time for canopy...... reflectance measurements was from approximately 600 cumulative growing degree-days (CGDD) to approximately 900 CGDD. This is the period just before and at heading of the seed crop. Furthermore, regression coefficients showed that information about N and water is important. The results support the development......Repeated canopy reflectance measurements together with partial least-squares regression (PLSR) were used to predict seed yield in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). The measurements were performed during the spring and summer growing seasons of 2001 to 2003 in three field experiments...

  19. High quality reference genome of drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.), a potential perennial crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yang; Zeng, Yan; Zhang, Jing; Yang, ChengGuang; Yan, Liang; Wang, XuanJun; Shi, ChongYing; Xie, Jing; Dai, TianYi; Peng, Lei; Zeng Huan, Yu; Xu, AnNi; Huang, YeWei; Zhang, JiaJin; Ma, Xiao; Dong, Yang; Hao, ShuMei; Sheng, Jun

    2015-07-01

    The drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is a perennial crop that has gained popularity in certain developing countries for its high-nutrition content and adaptability to arid and semi-arid environments. Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence of M. oleifera. This assembly represents 91.78% of the estimated genome size and contains 19,465 protein-coding genes. Comparative genomic analysis between M. oleifera and related woody plant genomes helps clarify the general evolution of this species, while the identification of several species-specific gene families and positively selected genes in M. oleifera may help identify genes related to M. oleifera's high protein content, fast-growth, heat and stress tolerance. This reference genome greatly extends the basic research on M. oleifera, and may further promote applying genomics to enhanced breeding and improvement of M. oleifera.

  20. White grubs (Cyclocephala flavipennis damaging perennial winter pastures in the South Region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Gonçalves Duchini

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Cyclocephala flavipennis Arrow, 1914 (Coleoptera: Melolonthidae, popularly known as white grub, is an insect widely disseminated in the South Region of Brazil. Despite the frequent occurrence of this white grub in areas cultivated with winter cereals, it is generally not considered a pest, since it feeds on straw and dead plant material. However, in 2015 and 2016, this insect has been identified as the damage-causing agent in the perennial winter pastures in Lages, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Damage was observed in patches and caused reduction in root depth and mass, resulting in loss of vigor, accelerated senescence in aerial parts, and death of tillers in Festuca arundinacea Schreb. and Dactylis glomerata L. plants.

  1. Effects of chicory/perennial ryegrass swards compared with perennial ryegrass swards on the performance and carcass quality of grazing beef steers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina L Marley

    Full Text Available An experiment investigated whether the inclusion of chicory (Cichorium intybus in swards grazed by beef steers altered their performance, carcass characteristics or parasitism when compared to steers grazing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne. Triplicate 2-ha plots were established with a chicory/ryegrass mix or ryegrass control. Forty-eight Belgian Blue-cross steers were used in the first grazing season and a core group (n = 36 were retained for finishing in the second grazing season. The experiment comprised of a standardisation and measurement period. During standardisation, steers grazed a ryegrass/white clover pasture as one group. Animals were allocated to treatment on the basis of liveweight, body condition and faecal egg counts (FEC determined 7 days prior to the measurement period. The measurement period ran from 25 May until 28 September 2010 and 12 April until 11 October 2011 in the first and second grazing year. Steers were weighed every 14 days at pasture or 28 days during housing. In the first grazing year, faecal samples were collected for FEC and parasite cultures. At the end of the first grazing year, individual blood samples were taken to determine O. ostertagi antibody and plasma pepsinogen levels. During winter, animals were housed as one group and fed silage. In the second grazing year, steers were slaughtered when deemed to reach fat class 3. Data on steer performance showed no differences in daily live-weight gain which averaged 1.04 kg/day. The conformation, fat grade and killing out proportion of beef steers grazing chicory/ryegrass or ryegrass were not found to differ. No differences in FEC, O. ostertagi antibody or plasma pepsinogen levels of beef steers grazing either chicory/ryegrass or ryegrass were observed. Overall, there were no detrimental effects of including chicory in swards grazed by beef cattle on their performance, carcass characteristics or helminth parasitism, when compared with steers grazing ryegrass.

  2. Distribution of photosynthetically fixed 14C in perennial plant species of the northern Mojave Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, A.; Cha, J.W.; Romney, E.M.

    1980-01-01

    The distribution of photosynthate among plant parts subsequent to its production is needed to fully understand behavior of vegetation in any ecosystem. The present study, undertaken primarily to obtain information on transport of assimilates into roots of desert vegetation, was conducted in the northern Mojave Desert, where the mean annual rainfall is about 10 cm. Shoots of Ambrosia dumosa (A. Gray) Payne plants were exposed to 14 CO 2 in 1971, and the distribution of 14 C in roots, stems, and leaves was subsequently measured at 1 week, 2 months, and 5 months. Only about 12 percent of the 14 C photosynthate was stored in the root. Much of that stored in stems was available for new leaf growth. Photosynthate was labeled with 14 C for 24 plants representing eight species in 1972. Results showed that after 127 days the mean percentage of 14 C in roots as compared with the estimate of that originally fixed was 11.8; the percentage in stems was 43.8. To check the validity of the 14 C data, root growth of eight perennial desert plants grown in the glasshouse was followed as plants increased in size. The mean percent of the whole plant that was root for eight species was 17.7 percent. The mean proportion of the increase in plant weights that went below ground for the eight species was 19.5 percent. This value is higher than the fraction of 14 C found below ground, and therefore the 14 C technique underestimates the movement of C to roots. Results of an experiment designed to test the value of the 14 C-pulse technique for determining current root growth for some perennial species from the desert indicated that the transition part of roots where root growth continued after exposure to 14 C was highly labeled. Old growth contained less 14 C than new growth

  3. Holocene climate variability and anthropogenic impacts from Lago Paixban, a perennial wetland in Peten, Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahl, David B.; Hansen, Richard D.; Byrne, Roger; Anderson, Lysanna; Schreiner, T.

    2016-01-01

    Analyses of an ~ 6 m sediment core from Lago Paixban in Peten, Guatemala, document the complex evolution of a perennial wetland over the last 10,300 years. The basal sediment is comprised of alluvial/colluvial fill deposited in the early Holocene. The absence of pollen and gastropods in the basal sediments suggests intermittently dry conditions until ~ 9000 cal yr. BP (henceforth BP) when the basin began to hold water perennially. Lowland tropical forest taxa dominated the local vegetation at this time. A distinct band of carbonate dating to ~ 8200 BP suggests regionally dry conditions, possibly associated with the 8.2 ka event. Wetter conditions during the Holocene Thermal Maximum are indicated by evidence of a raised water level and an open water lake. The timing of this interval coincides with strengthening of the Central American Monsoon. An abrupt change at 5500 BP involved the development of a sawgrass marsh and onset of peat deposition. The lowest recorded water levels date to 5500–4500 BP. Pollen, isotope, geochemical, and sedimentological data indicate that the coring site was near the edge of the marsh during this period. A rise in the water table after 4500 BP persisted until around 3500 BP. Clay marl deposition from 3500 to 210 BP corresponds to the period of Maya settlement. An increase in δ13C, the presence of Zea pollen, and a reduction in the percentage of forest taxa pollen indicate agricultural activity at this time. In contrast to several nearby paleoenvironmental studies, proxy evidence from Lago Paixban indicates human presence through the Classic/Postclassic period transition (~ 1000 BP) and persisting until the arrival of Europeans. Cessation of human activity around 210 BP resulted in local afforestation and the re-establishment of the current sawgrass marsh at Lago Paixban.

  4. Characterization of gene expression associated with drought avoidance and tolerance traits in a perennial grass species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Zhou

    Full Text Available To understand molecular mechanisms of perennial grass adaptation to drought stress, genes associated with drought avoidance or tolerance traits were identified and their expression patterns were characterized in C4 hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L. Pers.×C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy, cv. Tifway] and common bermudagrass (C. dactylon, cv. C299. Plants of drought-tolerant 'Tifway' and drought-sensitive 'C299' were exposed to drought for 5 d (mild stress and 10 d (severe stress by withholding irrigation in a growth chamber. 'Tifway' maintained significantly lower electrolyte leakage and higher relative water content than 'C299' at both 5 and 10 d of drought stress. Four cDNA libraries via suppression subtractive hybridization analysis were constructed and identified 277 drought-responsive genes in the two genotypes at 5 and 10 d of drought stress, which were mainly classified into the functional categories of stress defense, metabolism, osmoregulation, membrane system, signal and regulator, structural protein, protein synthesis and degradation, and energy metabolism. Quantitative-PCR analysis confirmed the expression of 36 drought up-regulated genes that were more highly expressed in drought-tolerant 'Tifway' than drought-sensitive 'C299', including those for drought avoidance traits, such as cuticle wax formation (CER1 and sterol desaturase, for drought tolerance traits, such as dehydration-protective proteins (dehydrins, HVA-22-like protein and oxidative stress defense (superoxide dismutase, dehydroascorbate reductase, 2-Cys peroxiredoxins, and for stress signaling (EREBP-4 like protein and WRKY transcription factor. The results suggest that the expression of genes for stress signaling, cuticle wax accumulation, antioxidant defense, and dehydration-protective protein accumulation could be critically important for warm-season perennial grass adaptation to long-term drought stress.

  5. Holocene climate variability and anthropogenic impacts from Lago Paixban, a perennial wetland in Peten, Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahl, David; Hansen, Richard D.; Byrne, Roger; Anderson, Lysanna; Schreiner, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    Analyses of an 6 m sediment core from Lago Paixban in Peten, Guatemala, document the complex evolution of a perennial wetland over the last 10,300 years. The basal sediment is comprised of alluvial/colluvial fill deposited in the early Holocene. The absence of pollen and gastropods in the basal sediments suggests intermittently dry conditions until 9000 cal yr. BP (henceforth BP) when the basin began to hold water perennially. Lowland tropical forest taxa dominated the local vegetation at this time. A distinct band of carbonate dating to 8200 BP suggests regionally dry conditions, possibly associated with the 8.2 ka event. Wetter conditions during the Holocene Thermal Maximum are indicated by evidence of a raised water level and an open water lake. The timing of this interval coincides with strengthening of the Central American Monsoon. An abrupt change at 5500 BP involved the development of a sawgrass marsh and onset of peat deposition. The lowest recorded water levels date to 5500-4500 BP. Pollen, isotope, geochemical, and sedimentological data indicate that the coring site was near the edge of the marsh during this period. A rise in the water table after 4500 BP persisted until around 3500 BP. Clay marl deposition from 3500 to 210 BP corresponds to the period of Maya settlement. An increase in δ13C, the presence of Zea pollen, and a reduction in the percentage of forest taxa pollen indicate agricultural activity at this time. In contrast to several nearby paleoenvironmental studies, proxy evidence from Lago Paixban indicates human presence through the Classic/Postclassic period transition ( 1000 BP) and persisting until the arrival of Europeans. Cessation of human activity around 210 BP resulted in local afforestation and the re-establishment of the current sawgrass marsh at Lago Paixban.

  6. Physiological Mechanism of Enhancing Salt Stress Tolerance of Perennial Ryegrass by 24-Epibrassinolide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenli Wu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Brassinosteroids (BR regulate plant tolerance to salt stress but the mechanisms underlying are not fully understood. This study was to investigate physiological mechanisms of 24-epibrassinolide (EBR's impact on salt stress tolerance in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. The grass seedlings were treated with EBR at 0, 10, and 100 nM, and subjected to salt stress (250 mM NaCl. The grass irrigated with regular water without EBR served as the control. Salt stress increased leaf electrolyte leakage (EL, malondialdehyde (MDA, and reduced photosynthetic rate (Pn. Exogenous EBR reduced EL and MDA, increased Pn, chlorophyll content, and stomatal conductance (gs. The EBR applications also alleviated decline of superoxide dismutase (SOD and catalase (CAT and ascorbate peroxidase (APX activity when compared to salt treatment alone. Salt stress increased leaf abscisic acid (ABA and gibberellin A4 (GA4 content but reduced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, zeatin riboside (ZR, isopentenyl adenosine (iPA, and salicylic acid (SA. Exogenous EBR at 10 nm and 100 nM increased ABA, and iPA content under salt stress. The EBR treatment at 100 nM also increased leaf IAA, ZR, JA, and SA. In addition, EBR treatments increased leaf proline and ions (K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ content, and reduced Na+/K+ in leaf tissues. The results of this study suggest that EBR treatment may improve salt stress tolerance by increasing the level of selected hormones and antioxidant enzyme (SOD and CAT activity, promoting accumulation of proline and ions (K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ in perennial ryegrass.

  7. Temperature Effects on the Seed Germination of Some Perennial and Annual Species of Asteraceae Family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarghani Hadi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Temperature is the most critical factor determining success or failure of plant establishment. Seed germination response of five medicinal species include three seed-propagated perennial species, Cichorium intybus, cynara scolymus and Echinacea purpurea and vegetative-reproduction perennial species, Achillea millefolium and annual species, Matricaria aurea were assessed at constant temperatures. The seeds were exposed to constant temperatures of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45°C under total darkness. Germination percentage of all the species were significantly affected by various temperatures (p ≤ 0.001. A. millefolium did not germinate at 5-10 and 35-45°C, but showed noticeable germination percentage (73.3-100% at temperatures ranged from 15-30° C. The highest total germination percentage was observed within the range of 15-35 °C for other species. Also, we calculated cardinal temperatures (the minimum, optimum and maximum temperature for seed germination of species. The highest value for minimum temperature was 10.07ºC in A. millefolium followed by C. scolymus and M. aurea (5ºC while the lowest was for E. purpurea and C. intybus (2.68 and 2.90ºC respectively. The lowest value for optimum temperature was detected in A. millefolium (22.72ºC and M. aurea (23.88°C while the maximum values were observed in E. purpurea and C. intybus (30.40ºC and 29.90ºC respectively. Based on results of present study we concluded that species with both vegetative and seed-propagated reproduction forms like A. millefolium had smaller temperature range rather those with just one way of reproduction (seed production.

  8. The Effect of Heavy Metal Contaminated Soil on Growth and Development of Perennial Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Żurek G.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Contamination of agricultural land in Poland by heavy metals is not a general problem but is limited to industrial areas. In regions of long history of industrial emission, of elevated levels of lead, cadmium, zinc and other ions during coal and ore mining and processing, as for example in Silesia, about 10 % of agricultural land may be characterized by exceeded maximum residue limits for Cd, Pb, Cu, Ni and Zn ions. Since the maintenance of agricultural areas in those regions is important from an ecological standpoint, the alternative farming activities are needed. Perennial grass biomass production for energy purposes is currently the best solution for majority of agricultural areas not suitable for food production in Poland. Along with increasing knowledge on separation and utilization of heavy metals (HM during and after biomass processing, phytoremediation of polluted soils will become important and valuable. To detect the effect of soil HM ions concentration on growth and development of selected, tall growing and high biomass yielding perennial grass cultivars, the chlorophyll fluorescence parameters were registered. The elevated content of Pb, Cd and Zn ions in soil influenced on decrease of: minimal (Fo, maximal (Fm and variable (Fv fluorescence level as well as on total complementary area on a diagram of chlorophyll a fluorescence induction curve (Area. Based on detected parameters it was concluded, that the high level of HM ions in soils negatively affected the efficiency of photosynthesis. Therefore, plant growth, as well as development of generative shoots and finally the biomass yield were reduced in some cultivars. Among tested cultivars different reaction for HM ions in polluted soil were noted: from only slightly modified parameters of photosynthesis and unreduced yield (Elytrigia elongata cv. Bamar and Arrhenatherum elatius cv. Wiwena to significantly reduced Fo, Fv, Fm and biomass yield (Bromus carinathus cv. Broma and Bromus

  9. Water deficit mechanisms in perennial shrubs Cerasus humilis leaves revealed by physiological and proteomic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Zepeng; Ren, Jing; Zhou, Lijuan; Sun, Lina; Wang, Jiewan; Liu, Yulong; Song, Xingshun

    2016-01-01

    Drought (Water deficit, WD) poses a serious threat to extensively economic losses of trees throughout the world. Chinese dwarf cherry ( Cerasus humilis ) is a good perennial plant for studying the physiological and sophisticated molecular network under WD. The aim of this study is to identify the effect of WD on C. humilis through physiological and global proteomics analysis and improve understanding of the WD resistance of plants. Currently, physiological parameters were applied to investigate C. humilis response to WD. Moreover, we used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) to identify differentially expressed proteins in C. humilis leaves subjected to WD (24 d). Furthermore, we also examined the correlation between protein and transcript levels. Several physiological parameters, including relative water content and Pn were reduced by WD. In addition, the malondialdehyde (MDA), relative electrolyte leakage (REL), total soluble sugar, and proline were increased in WD-treated C. humilis . Comparative proteomic analysis revealed 46 protein spots (representing 43 unique proteins) differentially expressed in C. humilis leaves under WD. These proteins were mainly involved in photosynthesis, ROS scavenging, carbohydrate metabolism, transcription, protein synthesis, protein processing, and nitrogen and amino acid metabolisms, respectively. WD promoted the CO 2 assimilation by increase light reaction and Calvin cycle, leading to the reprogramming of carbon metabolism. Moreover, the accumulation of osmolytes (i.e., proline and total soluble sugar) and enhancement of ascorbate-glutathione cycle and glutathione peroxidase/glutathione s-transferase pathway in leaves could minimize oxidative damage of membrane and other molecules under WD. Importantly, the regulation role of carbohydrate metabolisms (e. g. glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathways, and TCA) was enhanced. These findings provide key candidate proteins for genetic improvement of perennial plants metabolism under

  10. Carbon Sequestration by Perennial Energy Crops: Is the Jury Still Out?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, Francesco; Gregory, Andrew S; Richter, Goetz M

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) changes associated with land conversion to energy crops are central to the debate on bioenergy and their potential carbon neutrality. Here, the experimental evidence on SOC under perennial energy crops (PECs) is synthesised to parameterise a whole systems model and to identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps determining PECs being a sink or source of greenhouse gas (GHG). For Miscanthus and willow ( Salix spp.) and their analogues (switchgrass, poplar), we examine carbon (C) allocation to above- and belowground residue inputs, turnover rates and retention in the soil. A meta-analysis showed that studies on dry matter partitioning and C inputs to soils are plentiful, whilst data on turnover are rare and rely on few isotopic C tracer studies. Comprehensive studies on SOC dynamics and GHG emissions under PECs are limited and subsoil processes and C losses through leaching remain unknown. Data showed dynamic changes of gross C inputs and SOC stocks depending on stand age. C inputs and turnover can now be specifically parameterised in whole PEC system models, whilst dependencies on soil texture, moisture and temperature remain empirical. In conclusion, the annual net SOC storage change exceeds the minimum mitigation requirement (0.25 Mg C ha -1 year -1 ) under herbaceous and woody perennials by far (1.14 to 1.88 and 0.63 to 0.72 Mg C ha -1 year -1 , respectively). However, long-term time series of field data are needed to verify sustainable SOC enrichment, as the physical and chemical stabilities of SOC pools remain uncertain, although they are essential in defining the sustainability of C sequestration (half-life >25 years).

  11. A comparative study of molecular and morphological methods of describing relationships between perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) varieties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roldán-Ruiz, I.; Eeuwijk, van F.A.; Gilliland, T.J.; Dubreuil, P.; Dillmann, C.; Lallemand, J.; Loose, De M.; Baril, C.P.

    2001-01-01

    A sample set of registered perennial ryegrass varieties was used to compare how morphological characterisation and AFLP® (AFLP® is a registered trademark of Keygene N.V.) and STS molecular markers described variety relationships. All the varieties were confirmed as morphologically distinct, and both

  12. Effects of native perennial vegetation buffer strips on dissolved organic carbon in surface runoff from an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomorra E. Smith; Randall K. Kolka; Xiaobo Zhou; Matthew J. Helmers; Richard M. Cruse; Mark D. Tomer

    2014-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) constitutes a small yet important part of a watershed's carbon budget because it is mobile and biologically active. Agricultural conservation practices such as native perennial vegetation (NPV) strips will influence carbon cycling of an upland agroecosystem, and could affect how much DOC enters streams in runoff, potentially...

  13. Landscape control of nitrous oxide emissions during the transition from conservation reserve program to perennial grasses for bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debasish Saha; Benjamin M. Rau; Jason P. Kaye; Felipe Montes; Paul R. Adler; Armen R. Kemanian

    2016-01-01

    Future liquid fuel demand from renewable sources may, in part, be met by converting the seasonally wet portions of the landscape currently managed for soil and water conservation to perennial energy crops. However, this shift may increase nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, thus limiting the carbon (C) benefits of energy crops. Particularly high emissions may occur during...

  14. Exogenous Classic Phytohormones Have Limited Regulatory Effects on Fructan and Primary Carbohydrate Metabolism in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gasperl, A.; Morvan-Bertrand, A.; Prud'homme, M. P.; van der Graaff, E.; Roitsch, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, jan (2016), s. 1251 ISSN 1664-462X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : enzymatic activity * fructan exohydrolase * fructan metabolism * fructosyltransferase * perennial ryegrass * phytohormones * primary carbohydrate metabolism Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 4.298, year: 2016

  15. Inheritance patterns of the response to in vitro doubled haploid induction in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Begheyn, R. F.; Roulund, N.; Vangsgaard, K.; Kopecký, David; Studer, B.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 130, č. 3 (2017), s. 667-679 ISSN 0167-6857 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Androgenesis * Androgenic capacity * Anther culture * Doubled haploid (DH) * Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 2.002, year: 2016

  16. A Simple and Fast Kinetic Assay for the Determination of Fructan Exohydrolase Activity in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gasperl, A.; Morvan-Bertrand, A.; Prud'homme, M. P.; van der Graaff, E.; Roitsch, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 6, dec (2015), s. 1154 ISSN 1664-462X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : 1-FEH * enzymaticactivity * fructanexohydrolase * fructandegradation * kinetic assay * perennial ryegrass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.495, year: 2015

  17. Identifying ephemeral and perennial stream reaches using apparent thermal inertia for an ungauged basin: The Rio Salado, Central New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Night and day temperature images from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) remote sensing images are used to identify ephemeral and perennial stream reaches for use in the calibration of an integrated hydrologic model of an ungauged basin. The concept is based on a...

  18. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.; Chen, J.; Shan, P.; Pan, X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, M.; Xin, X.

    2011-12-01

    The land use and land cover change, especially in the form of grassland degradation, in the Mongolian Plateau, exhibited a unique spatio-temporal pattern that is a characteristic of a mixed stress from economic development and climate change of the region. The social dimension of the region played a key role in shaping the landscape and land use change, including the cultural clashes with economic development, conflicts between indigenous people and business ventures, and exogenous international influences. Various research projects have been conducted in the region to focus on physical degradation of grasslands and/or on economic development but there is a lack of understanding how the social and economic dimensions interact with grassland ecosystems and changes. In this talk, a synthesis report was made based on the most recent workshop held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, of China, that specifically focused on climate change and grassland ecosystems. The report analyzed the degree of grassland degradation, its climate and social drivers, and coupling nature of economic development and conservation of traditional grassland values. The goal is to fully understand the socio-ecological-economic interactions that together shape the trajectory of the grassland ecosystems in the Mongolia Plateau.

  19. Impact of Climate Change on Temperate and Alpine Grasslands in China during 1982–2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangjin Shen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on GIMMS NDVI and climate data from 1982 to 2006, this study analyzed the impact of climate change on grassland in China. During the growing season, there were significant effects of precipitation on the growth of all the grassland types (P<0.05, except for meadow vegetation. For the air temperatures, there existed asymmetrical effects of maximum temperature (Tmax and minimum temperature (Tmin on grassland vegetation, especially for the temperate grasslands and alpine steppe. The growing season NDVI correlated negatively with Tmax but positively with Tmin for temperate grasslands. Seasonally, these opposite effects were only observed in summer. For alpine steppe, the growing season NDVI correlated positively with Tmax but negatively with Tmin, and this pattern of asymmetrical responses was only obvious in spring and autumn. Under the background of global asymmetric warming, more attention should be paid to this asymmetric response of grassland vegetation to daytime and night-time warming, especially when we want to predict the productivity of China’s grasslands in the future.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

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

  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. Grasslands and Croplands Have Different Microbial Biomass Carbon Levels per Unit of Soil Organic Carbon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terence P. McGonigle

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primarily using cropped systems, previous studies have reported a positive linear relationship between microbial biomass carbon (MBC and soil organic carbon (SOC. We conducted a meta-analysis to explore this relationship separately for grasslands and croplands using available literature. Studies were limited to those using fumigation–extraction for MBC for field samples. Trials were noted separately where records were distinct in space or time. Grasslands were naturally occurring, restored, or seeded. Cropping systems were typical of the temperate zone. MBC had a positive linear response to increasing SOC that was significant in both grasslands (p < 0.001; r2 = 0.76 and croplands (p < 0.001; r2 = 0.48. However, MBC increased 2.5-fold more steeply per unit of increasing SOC for grassland soils, as compared to the corresponding response in cropland soils. Expressing MBC as a proportion of SOC across the regression overall, slopes corresponded to 2.7% for grasslands and 1.1% for croplands. The slope of the linear relationship for grasslands was significantly (p = 0.0013 steeper than for croplands. The difference between the two systems is possibly caused by a greater proportion of SOC in grasslands being active rather than passive, relative to that in croplands, with that active fraction promoting the formation of MBC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics for candidate gene prediction in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinozuka Hiroshi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In crop species, QTL analysis is commonly used for identification of factors contributing to variation of agronomically important traits. As an important pasture species, a large number of QTLs have been reported for perennial ryegrass based on analysis of biparental mapping populations. Further characterisation of those QTLs is, however, essential for utilisation in varietal improvement programs. Results A bibliographic survey of perennial ryegrass trait-dissection studies identified a total of 560 QTLs from previously published papers, of which 189, 270 and 101 were classified as morphology-, physiology- and resistance/tolerance-related loci, respectively. The collected dataset permitted a subsequent meta-QTL study and implementation of a cross-species candidate gene identification approach. A meta-QTL analysis based on use of the BioMercator software was performed to identify two consensus regions for pathogen resistance traits. Genes that are candidates for causal polymorphism underpinning perennial ryegrass QTLs were identified through in silico comparative mapping using rice databases, and 7 genes were assigned to the p150/112 reference map. Markers linked to the LpDGL1, LpPh1 and LpPIPK1 genes were located close to plant size, leaf extension time and heading date-related QTLs, respectively, suggesting that these genes may be functionally associated with important agronomic traits in perennial ryegrass. Conclusions Functional markers are valuable for QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics. Enrichment of such genetic markers may permit further detailed characterisation of QTLs. The outcomes of QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics studies may be useful for accelerated development of novel perennial ryegrass cultivars with desirable traits.

  6. Recent trends, drivers, and projections of carbon cycle processes in forests and grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domke, G. M.; Williams, C. A.; Birdsey, R.; Pendall, E.

    2017-12-01

    In North America forest and grassland ecosystems play a major role in the carbon cycle. Here we present the latest trends and projections of United States and North American carbon cycle processes, stocks, and flows in the context of interactions with global scale budgets and climate change impacts in managed and unmanaged grassland and forest ecosystems. We describe recent trends in natural and anthropogenic disturbances in these ecosystems as well as the carbon dynamics associated with land use and land cover change. We also highlight carbon management science and tools for informing decisions and opportunities for improving carbon measurements, observations, and projections in forests and grasslands.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Monitoring soil greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  10. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sanhueza

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Surface temperature retrieval in a temperate grassland with multiresolution sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, S. J.; Halthore, R. N.; Hall, F. G.; Markham, B. L.

    1995-12-01

    Radiometric surface temperatures retrieved at various spatial resolutions from aircraft and satellite measurements at the FIFE site in eastern Kansas were compared with near-surface temperature measurements to determine the accuracy of the retrieval techniques and consistency between the various sensors. Atmospheric characterizations based on local radiosonde profiles of temperature, pressure, and water vapor were used with the LOWTRAN-7 and MODTRAN atmospheric radiance models to correct measured thermal radiances of water and grassland targets for atmospheric attenuation. Comparison of retrieved surface temperatures from a helicopter-mounted modular multispectral radiometer (MMR) (˜5-m "pixel"), C-130 mounted thematic mapper simulator (TMS) (NS001, ˜20-m pixel), and the Landsat 5 thematic mapper (TM) (120-m pixel) was done. Differences between atmospherically corrected radiative temperatures and near-surface measurements ranged from less than 1°C to more than 8°C. Corrected temperatures from helicopter-MMR and NS001-TMS were in general agreement with near-surface infrared radiative thermometer (IRT) measurements collected from automated meteorological stations, with mean differences of 3.2°C and 1.7°C for grassland targets. Much better agreement (within 1°C) was found between the retrieved aircraft surface temperatures and near-surface measurements acquired with a hand-held mast equipped with a MMR and IRT. The NS001-TMS was also in good agreement with near-surface temperatures acquired over water targets. In contrast, the Landsat 5 TM systematically overestimated surface temperature in all cases. This result has been noted previously but not consistently. On the basis of the results reported here, surface measurements were used to provide a calibration of the TM thermal channel. Further evaluation of the in-flight radiometric calibration of the TM thermal channel is recommended.

  14. Modelling nitrous oxide emissions from grazed grassland systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Junye; Cardenas, Laura M.; Misselbrook, Tom H.; Cuttle, Steve; Thorman, Rachel E.; Li Changsheng

    2012-01-01

    Grazed grassland systems are an important component of the global carbon cycle and also influence global climate change through their emissions of nitrous oxide and methane. However, there are huge uncertainties and challenges in the development and parameterisation of process-based models for grazed grassland systems because of the wide diversity of vegetation and impacts of grazing animals. A process-based biogeochemistry model, DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC), has been modified to describe N 2 O emissions for the UK from regional conditions. This paper reports a new development of UK-DNDC in which the animal grazing practices were modified to track their contributions to the soil nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry. The new version of UK-DNDC was tested against datasets of N 2 O fluxes measured at three contrasting field sites. The results showed that the responses of the model to changes in grazing parameters were generally in agreement with observations, showing that N 2 O emissions increased as the grazing intensity increased. - Highlights: ► Parameterisation of grazing system using grazing intensity. ► Modification of UK D NDC for the UK soil and weather conditions. ► Validation of the UK D NDC against measured data of N 2 O emissions in three UK sites. ► Estimating influence of animal grazing practises on N 2 O emissions. - Grazing system was parameterised using grazing intensity and UK-DNDC model was modified and validated against measured data of N 2 O emissions in three UK sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  17. The pollination ecology of an assemblage of grassland asclepiads in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Johnson, Steven D; Cranmer, Louise; Kellie, Sam

    2003-12-01

    The KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa hosts a large diversity of asclepiads (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae), many of which are endemic to the area. The asclepiads are of particular interest because of their characteristically highly evolved floral morphology. During 3 months of fieldwork (November 2000 to January 2001) the flower visitors and pollinators to an assemblage of nine asclepiads at an upland grassland site were studied. These observations were augmented by laboratory studies of flower morphology (including scanning electron microscopy) and flower colour (using a spectrometer). Two of the specialized pollination systems that were documented are new to the asclepiads: fruit chafer pollination and pompilid wasp pollination. The latter is almost unique in the angiosperms. Taxa possessing these specific pollination systems cluster together in multidimensional phenotype space, suggesting that there has been convergent evolution in response to similar selection to attract identical pollinators. Pollination niche breadth varied from the very specialized species, with only one pollinator, to the more generalized, with up to ten pollinators. Pollinator sharing by the specialized taxa does not appear to have resulted in niche differentiation in terms of the temporal or spatial dimensions, or with regards to placement of pollinaria. Nestedness analysis of the data set showed that there was predictability and structure to the pattern of plant-pollinator interactions, with generalist insects visiting specialized plants and vice versa. The research has shown that there is still much to be learned about plant-pollinator interactions in areas of high plant diversity such as South Africa.

  18. Evaporation from Pinus caribaea plantations on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waterloo, M.J.; Bruijnzeel, L.A.; Vugts, H.F.; Rawaqa, T.T.

    1999-01-01

    Wet canopy and dry canopy evaporation from young and mature plantations of Pinus caribaea on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji, were determined using micrometeorological and hydrological techniques. Modeled annual evaporation totals (ET) of

  19. Evaporation from Pinus caribaea plantations on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waterloo, M.J.; Bruijnzeel, L.A.; Vugts, H.F.; Rawaqa, T.T.

    1999-01-01

    Wet canopy and dry canopy evaporation from young and mature plantations of Pinus caribaea on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji, were determined using micrometeorological and hydrological techniques. Modeled annual evaporation totals (ET) of

  20. NPP Grassland: Beacon Hill, U.K., 1972-1993, R1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains two ASCII text files, one providing productivity measurements for a chalk grassland on Beacon Hill, West Sussex, U.K. (50.92 N, -0.85 W) and...

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Monitoring Grassland Tourist Season of Inner Mongolia, China Using Remote Sensing Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quansheng Ge

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenology-driven events, such as spring wildflower displays or fall tree colour, are generally appreciated by tourists for centuries around the world. Monitoring when tourist seasons occur using satellite data has been an area of growing research interest in recent decades. In this paper, a valid methodology for detecting the grassland tourist season using remote sensing data was presented. On average, the beginning, the best, and the end of grassland tourist season of Inner Mongolia, China, occur in late June (±30 days, early July (±30 days, and late July (±50 days, respectively. In south region, the grassland tourist season appeared relatively late. The length of the grassland tourist season is about 90 days with strong spatial trend. South areas exhibit longer tourist season.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. PCDD/F and Aromatic Emissions from Simulated Forest and Grassland Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emissions of polychlorinated dibenzodioxin and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) from simulated grassland and forest fires were quantitatively sampled to derive emission factors in support of PCDD/F inventory development. Grasses from Kentucky and Minnesota; forest shrubs fro...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Morphological characterization and gene expression profiling during bud development in a tropical perennial, Litchi chinensis Sonn.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huifeng Zhang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Tropical evergreen perennials undergo recurrent flush growth, and their terminal buds alternate between growth and dormancy. In sharp contrast to intensive studies on bud development in temperate deciduous trees, there is little information about bud development regulation in tropical trees. In this study, litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn. was used as a model tropical perennial for morphological characterization and transcriptomic analysis of bud development. Litchi buds are naked with apical meristem embraced by rudimentary leaves, which are brown at dormant stage (Stage I. They swell and turn greenish as buds break (Stage II, and as growth accelerates, the rudimentary leaves elongate and open exposing the inner leaf primodia. With the outgrowth of the needle-like leaflets, bud growth reaches a maximum (Stage III. When leaflets expand, bud growth cease with the abortion of the rudimentary leaves at upper positions (Stage IV. Then buds turn brown and reenter dormant status. Budbreak occurs again when new leaves become hard green. Buds at four stages (Stage I to IV were collected for respiration measurements and in-depth RNA sequencing. Respiration rate was lowest at Stage I and highest at Stage II, decreasing towards growth cessation. RNA sequencing obtained over 5 Gb data from each of the bud samples and de novo assembly generated a total of 59999 unigenes, 40119 of which were annotated. Pair-wise comparison of gene expression between stages, gene profiling across stages, GO/KEGG enrichment analysis, and the expression patterns of 17 major genes highlighted by principal component (PC analysis displayed significant changes in stress resistance, hormone signal pathways, circadian rhythm, photosynthesis, cell division, carbohydrate metabolism, programmed cell death during bud development, which might be under epigenetic control involving chromatin methylation. The qPCR results of 8 selected unigenes with high PC scores agreed with the RPKM values

  11. Environmental impact of converting Conservation Reserve Program land to perennial bioenergy crops in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Hudiburg, T. W.; Khanna, M.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    Reducing dependence on fossil fuels by the 20% by 2022 mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act would require 35 billion Ga of ethanol and the loss of 9 to 12 Mha of food producing land to biofuel production, challenging our ability to develop a sustainable bioenergy source while meeting the food demands of a growing population. There are currently 8.5 Mha of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a US government funded program to incentivize the retirement of environmentally sensitive cropland out of conventional crop production. About 63% of CRP land area could potentially be converted to energy crops, contributing to biofuel targets without displacing food. With high yields and low fertilization and irrigation requirements, perennial cellulosic crops (e.g. switchgrass and Miscanthus) not only would reduce land requirements by up to 15% compared to prairies or corn-based biofuel, but also serve other conservation goals such as C sequestration in soils, and water and air quality improvement. Here, we use the DayCent biogeochemical model to assess the potential of CRP land conversion to switchgrass or Miscanthus to provide a sustainable source of biofuel, reduce GHG emissions and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in the area of Illinois, which at present contributes to 10% of the biofuel production in the US. Model simulations indicate that the replacement of traditional corn-soy rotation with CRP reduces GHG emissions by 3.3 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 and increases SOC storage at a rate of 0.5 Mg C ha-1 y-1. Conversion of CRP land to cellulosic perennials would further reduce GHG emissions by 1.1 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for switchgrass and 6.2 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for Miscanthus, and increase C sequestration in soils (1.7 Tg C for switchgrass and 7.7 Tg C for Miscanthus in 30 years). Cellulosic energy crops would increase average annual yields by approximately 5.6 Mg ha-1 for switchgrass and 13.6 Mg ha-1 for Miscanthus, potentially

  12. Homeopathy for Perennial Asthma in Adolescents: Pilot Feasibility Study Testing a Randomised Withdrawal Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchiguian Hotta, Livia; Cardinalli Adler, Ubiratan; de Toledo Cesar, Amarilys; Martinez, Edson Zangiacomi; Demarzo, Marcelo Marcos Piva

    2018-05-01

     Previous findings from a pragmatic trial suggest that usual care compared with usual care plus individualised homeopathy is not a feasible design to address homeopathic interventions for asthma.  The main purpose of this article was to investigate the feasibility of the randomised withdrawal design as a strategy to assess the effectiveness of a standardised clinical-pharmaceutical homeopathic protocol ( Organon.modus ) on perennial asthma in adolescents.  Randomised withdrawal, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled, 12-week study. 12 to 17 years old adolescents, with the diagnosis of perennial asthma, using inhalatory beclomethasone (plus fenoterol for wheezing episodes), who achieved 3 months of well-controlled asthma, after a variable period of individualised homeopathic treatment according to Organon.modus protocol. a secondary care medical specialist centre. continuation with the individualised homeopathic medicine or with indistinguishable placebo during 12 weeks of beclomethasone step-down. number of days of well-controlled asthma. Secondary measures: number of days of fenoterol use, number of visits to an emergency service (without hospitalisation) and percentage of patients excluded due to an exacerbation characterising a partly controlled asthma. Tolerability was assessed by Adverse Events, registered at every visit.  Nineteen patients were randomised to continue treatment with homeopathy and 21 with placebo. Effectiveness measures for the homeopathy and placebo groups respectively were median number of days of good clinical control: 84 versus 30 ( p  = 0.18); median number of days of fenoterol use per patient: 3 versus 5 ( p  = 0.41); visits to an emergency room: 1 versus 6 ( p  = 0.35); percentage of exclusion due to partly controlled asthma: 36.8% versus 71.4% ( p  = 0.05). Few Adverse Events were reported.  This pilot study supports the feasibility of the double-blind randomised withdrawal design in studies investigating

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Farming for pests? Local and landscape-scale effects of grassland management on rabbit densities

    OpenAIRE

    Petrovan , Silviu O.; Barrio , Isabel C.; Ward , Alastair I.; Wheeler , Philip M.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract In recent decades in the UK, there has been an increasing trend in numbers of the European wild rabbit, a significant agricultural pest typically associated with grassland habitats. However, the relationship between rabbit abundance and grassland management, in particular grazing, has not been sufficiently explained. We studied rabbit densities in seven pasture-dominated sites in north-east England between autumn and spring in two consecutive years, and used generalised li...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Maria Smith

    2017-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Increasing temperature reduces the coupling between available nitrogen and phosphorus in soils of Chinese grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Yan; Baumann, Frank; Song, Chao; Zhang, Mi; Shi, Yue; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas; He, Jin-Sheng

    2017-03-01

    Changes in climatic conditions along geographical gradients greatly affect soil nutrient cycling processes. Yet how climate regimes such as changes in temperature influence soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and their stoichiometry is not well understood. This study investigated the spatial pattern and variability of soil N and P availability as well as their coupling relationships at two soil layers (0-10 and 10-20 cm) along a 4000-km climate transect in two grassland biomes of China, the Inner Mongolian temperate grasslands and the Tibetan alpine grasslands. Our results found that in both grasslands, from cold to warm sites the amounts of soil total N, total P and available P all decreased. By contrast, the amount of available N was positively related to mean annual temperature in the Tibetan grasslands. Meanwhile, with increasing temperature ratio of available N to P significantly increased but the linear relationship between them was considerably reduced. Thus, increasing temperature may not only induce a stoichiometric shift but also loose the coupling between available N and P. This N-P decoupling under warmer conditions was more evident in the Tibetan alpine grasslands where P limitation might become more widespread relative to N as temperatures continue to rise.

  3. Water Use and Water-Use Efficiency of Three Perennial Bioenergy Grass Crops in Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry M. Bennett

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over two-thirds of human water withdrawals are estimated to be used for agricultural production, which is expected to increase as demand for renewable liquid fuels from agricultural crops intensifies. Despite the potential implications of bioenergy crop production on water resources, few data are available on water use of perennial bioenergy grass crops. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare dry matter yield, water use, and water-use efficiency (WUE of elephantgrass, energycane, and giant reed, grown under field conditions for two growing seasons in North Central Florida. Using scaled sap flow sensor data, water use ranged from about 850 to 1150 mm during the growing season, and was generally greater for giant reed and less for elephantgrass. Despite similar or greater water use by giant reed, dry biomass yields of 35 to 40 Mg ha−1 were significantly greater for energycane and elephantgrass, resulting in greater WUE. Overall, water use by the bioenergy crops was greater than the rainfall received during the study, indicating that irrigation will be needed in the region to achieve optimal yields. Species differ in water use and WUE and species selection can play an important role with regard to potential consequences for water resources.

  4. Epigenetic differentiation persists after male gametogenesis in natural populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; Medrano, Mónica; Bazaga, Pilar

    2013-01-01

    Despite the importance of assessing the stability of epigenetic variation in non-model organisms living in real-world scenarios, no studies have been conducted on the transgenerational persistence of epigenetic structure in wild plant populations. This gap in knowledge is hindering progress in the interpretation of natural epigenetic variation. By applying the methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MSAP) technique to paired plant-pollen (i.e., sporophyte-male gametophyte) DNA samples, and then comparing methylation patterns and epigenetic population differentiation in sporophytes and their descendant gametophytes, we investigated transgenerational constancy of epigenetic structure in three populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). Single-locus and multilocus analyses revealed extensive epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations. Locus-by-locus comparisons of methylation status in individual sporophytes and descendant gametophytes showed that ~75% of epigenetic markers persisted unchanged through gametogenesis. In spite of some epigenetic reorganization taking place during gametogenesis, multilocus epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations was preserved in the subsequent gametophyte stage. In addition to illustrating the efficacy of applying the MSAP technique to paired plant-pollen DNA samples to investigate epigenetic gametic inheritance in wild plants, this paper suggests that epigenetic differentiation between adult plant populations of H. foetidus is likely to persist across generations.

  5. Epigenetic differentiation persists after male gametogenesis in natural populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos M Herrera

    Full Text Available Despite the importance of assessing the stability of epigenetic variation in non-model organisms living in real-world scenarios, no studies have been conducted on the transgenerational persistence of epigenetic structure in wild plant populations. This gap in knowledge is hindering progress in the interpretation of natural epigenetic variation. By applying the methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MSAP technique to paired plant-pollen (i.e., sporophyte-male gametophyte DNA samples, and then comparing methylation patterns and epigenetic population differentiation in sporophytes and their descendant gametophytes, we investigated transgenerational constancy of epigenetic structure in three populations of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae. Single-locus and multilocus analyses revealed extensive epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations. Locus-by-locus comparisons of methylation status in individual sporophytes and descendant gametophytes showed that ~75% of epigenetic markers persisted unchanged through gametogenesis. In spite of some epigenetic reorganization taking place during gametogenesis, multilocus epigenetic differentiation between sporophyte populations was preserved in the subsequent gametophyte stage. In addition to illustrating the efficacy of applying the MSAP technique to paired plant-pollen DNA samples to investigate epigenetic gametic inheritance in wild plants, this paper suggests that epigenetic differentiation between adult plant populations of H. foetidus is likely to persist across generations.

  6. Perennial pastures for marginal farming country in southern Queensland. 2. Potential new grass cultivar evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard G. Silcock

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Trials in the Condamine-Balonne basin, Australia, compared 11 promising perennial pasture grass accessions (4 Bothriochloa, 2 Cenchrus, 2 Urochloa and 1 each of Digitaria, Eragrostis and Panicum species against the best similar commercial cultivars on the basis of ease of establishment from seed, persistence once established, forage yield and ease of seed production.  Accessions sown at a site were determined by prior experience with them on a range of soils.  High quality seed was relatively easy to produce for both Urochloa species and for Eragrostis curvula CPI 30374 but problematic for the Bothriochloa spp.  Once established, all accessions persisted for 3–5 years and most were well grazed, but adequate establishment was sometimes a problem with Panicum stapfianum and Bothriochloa ewartiana.  The dry matter yield ratings of the non-commercial lines were similar to those of the commercial equivalents of the same species.  While agronomically valuable, none of the promising new grasses was considered worthy of commercialization at this point because their strengths did not warrant the setting up of a seed-production business in competition with current commercial enterprises.  Long-standing cultivars such as Gayndah buffel and Nixon sabi grass continued to exhibit their superior pasture qualities.Keywords: Herbicide tolerance, persistence, forage yield, establishment ease, commercialization, seed production.DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(315-26

  7. The transfer of radionuclides from contaminated groundwater into perennial ryegrass and winter wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wadey, P.; Shaw, G.; Butler, A. P.; Tompkins, J. A.; Wheater, H. S.

    1996-01-01

    Lysimeter studies of the migration of radionuclides from a contaminated water table and their subsequent uptake by plant roots have been undertaken using two distinct soil types and varying crop regimes. An eight year multi-disciplinary research project (funded by Nirex) has concentrated on the upward migration of contaminants from near-surface water tables, and their uptake by winter wheat and perennial ryegrass crops. Experimental data are presented for the movement and uptake of radiocaesium 137 Cs. These data show significant movement in the unsaturated zone during the first year of dosing, followed by progressively reduced availability in subsequent years. A suite of physically based hydrological and solute transport models has been developed to model radionuclide transport in the unsaturated zone. Model simulations, based on a conventional advection-dispersion representation incorporating linear sorption processes, were unable to describe adequately the distribution of radiocaesium within the soil profile. However, the introduction of root storage and translocation processes provided significantly improved results. (author)

  8. Gibberellin Promotes Shoot Branching in the Perennial Woody Plant Jatropha curcas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Jun; Gao, Congcong; Chen, Mao-Sheng; Pan, Bang-Zhen; Ye, Kaiqin; Xu, Zeng-Fu

    2015-08-01

    Strigolactone (SL), auxin and cytokinin (CK) interact to regulate shoot branching. CK has long been considered to be the only key phytohormone to promote lateral bud outgrowth. Here we report that gibberellin also acts as a positive regulator in the control of shoot branching in the woody plant Jatropha curcas. We show that gibberellin and CK synergistically promote lateral bud outgrowth, and that both hormones influence the expression of putative branching regulators, J. curcas BRANCHED1 and BRANCHED2, which are key transcription factors maintaining bud dormancy. Moreover, treatment with paclobutrazol, an inhibitor of de novo gibberellin biosynthesis, significantly reduced the promotion of bud outgrowth by CK, suggesting that gibberellin is required for CK-mediated axillary bud outgrowth. In addition, SL, a plant hormone involved in the repression of shoot branching, acted antagonistically to both gibberellin and CK in the control of lateral bud outgrowth. Consistent with this, the expression of JcMAX2, a J. curcas homolog of Arabidopsis MORE AXILLARY GROWTH 2 encoding an F-box protein in the SL signaling pathway, was repressed by gibberellin and CK treatment. We also provide physiological evidence that gibberellin also induces shoot branching in many other trees, such as papaya, indicating that a more complicated regulatory network occurs in the control of shoot branching in some perennial woody plants. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

  9. Manipulation of Auxin Response Factor 19 affects seed size in the woody perennial Jatropha curcas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yanwei; Wang, Chunming; Wang, Ning; Jiang, Xiyuan; Mao, Huizhu; Zhu, Changxiang; Wen, Fujiang; Wang, Xianghua; Lu, Zhijun; Yue, Genhua; Xu, Zengfu; Ye, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Seed size is a major determinant of seed yield but few is known about the genetics controlling of seed size in plants. Phytohormones cytokinin and brassinosteroid were known to be involved in the regulation of herbaceous plant seed development. Here we identified a homolog of Auxin Response Factor 19 (JcARF19) from a woody plant Jatropha curcas and genetically demonstrated its functions in controlling seed size and seed yield. Through Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS), we found that JcARF19 was a positive upstream modulator in auxin signaling and may control plant organ size in J. curcas. Importantly, transgenic overexpression of JcARF19 significantly increased seed size and seed yield in plants Arabidopsis thaliana and J. curcas, indicating the importance of auxin pathway in seed yield controlling in dicot plants. Transcripts analysis indicated that ectopic expression of JcARF19 in J. curcas upregulated auxin responsive genes encoding essential regulators in cell differentiation and cytoskeletal dynamics of seed development. Our data suggested the potential of improving seed traits by precisely engineering auxin signaling in woody perennial plants. PMID:28102350

  10. Growing C4 perennial grass for bioenergy using a new Agro-BGC ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Vittorio, A. V.; Anderson, R. S.; Miller, N. L.; Running, S. W.

    2009-12-01

    Accurate, spatially gridded estimates of bioenergy crop yields require 1) biophysically accurate crop growth models and 2) careful parameterization of unavailable inputs to these models. To meet the first requirement we have added the capacity to simulate C4 perennial grass as a bioenergy crop to the Biome-BGC ecosystem model. This new model, hereafter referred to as Agro-BGC, includes enzyme driven C4 photosynthesis, individual live and dead leaf, stem, and root carbon/nitrogen pools, separate senescence and litter fall processes, fruit growth, optional annual seeding, flood irrigation, a growing degree day phenology with a killing frost option, and a disturbance handler that effectively simulates fertilization, harvest, fire, and incremental irrigation. There are four Agro-BGC vegetation parameters that are unavailable for Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), and to meet the second requirement we have optimized the model across multiple calibration sites to obtain representative values for these parameters. We have verified simulated switchgrass yields against observations at three non-calibration sites in IL. Agro-BGC simulates switchgrass growth and yield at harvest very well at a single site. Our results suggest that a multi-site optimization scheme would be adequate for producing regional-scale estimates of bioenergy crop yields on high spatial resolution grids.

  11. Effects on Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability of Producing Ethanol from Perennial Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, V. H.; Parish, E. S.

    2016-12-01

    Using perennial grasses to produce ethanol can enhance progress toward sustainability. A suite of 35 environmental and socioeconomic sustainability indicators was considered in a holistic sustainability assessment of a five-year switchgrass-to-ethanol production experiment centered on a demonstration-scale biorefinery in Vonore, Tennessee. By combining field measurements, literature review and expert opinion, the team was able to rate 28 of the 35 recommended sustainability indicators. The team combined these ratings within a multi-attribute decision support system tool and used this information to compare the sustainability of producing 2118 hectares of no-till switchgrass relative to two alternative business-as-usual scenarios of unmanaged pasture and tilled corn production. The results suggest that East Tennessee switchgrass production improves environmental quality overall and can be beneficial to the counties surrounding the biorefinery in terms of dollars earned and jobs created. The timing of switchgrass production also provides an opportunity to use inactive equipment and laborers. By incorporating a landscape design approach, the opportunities, constraints and most reasonable paths forward for growing bioenergy feedstock in specific context can be assessed in a way that adapts and improves local practices. Lessons learned from this case study are being incorporated into sustainability assessments of corn stover in Iowa and a variety of bioenergy feedstocks in diverse settings. The overall goal is to develop sound management practices that can address the multiple and sometimes competing demands of stakeholders.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity despite source-sink population dynamics in a long-lived perennial plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jill T; Sparks, Jed P; Geber, Monica A

    2010-11-01

    • Species that exhibit adaptive plasticity alter their phenotypes in response to environmental conditions, thereby maximizing fitness in heterogeneous landscapes. However, under demographic source-sink dynamics, selection should favor traits that enhance fitness in the source habitat at the expense of fitness in the marginal habitat. Consistent with source-sink dynamics, the perennial blueberry, Vaccinium elliottii (Ericaceae), shows substantially higher fitness and population sizes in dry upland forests than in flood-prone bottomland forests, and asymmetrical gene flow occurs from upland populations into bottomland populations. Here, we examined whether this species expresses plasticity to these distinct environments despite source-sink dynamics. • We assessed phenotypic responses to a complex environmental gradient in the field and to water stress in the glasshouse. • Contrary to expectations, V. elliottii exhibited a high degree of plasticity in foliar and root traits (specific leaf area, carbon isotope ratios, foliar nitrogen content, root : shoot ratio, root porosity and root architecture). • We propose that plasticity can be maintained in source-sink systems if it is favored within the source habitat and/or a phylogenetic artifact that is not costly. Additionally, plasticity could be advantageous if habitat-based differences in fitness result from incipient niche expansion. Our results illuminate the importance of evaluating phenotypic traits and fitness components across heterogeneous landscapes. © The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010).

  13. Modeling the Thickness of Perennial Ice Covers on Stratified Lakes of the Taylor Valley, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obryk, M. K.; Doran, P. T.; Hicks, J. A.; McKay, C. P.; Priscu, J. C.

    2016-01-01

    A one-dimensional ice cover model was developed to predict and constrain drivers of long term ice thickness trends in chemically stratified lakes of Taylor Valley, Antarctica. The model is driven by surface radiative heat fluxes and heat fluxes from the underlying water column. The model successfully reproduced 16 years (between 1996 and 2012) of ice thickness changes for west lobe of Lake Bonney (average ice thickness = 3.53 m; RMSE = 0.09 m, n = 118) and Lake Fryxell (average ice thickness = 4.22 m; RMSE = 0.21 m, n = 128). Long-term ice thickness trends require coupling with the thermal structure of the water column. The heat stored within the temperature maximum of lakes exceeding a liquid water column depth of 20 m can either impede or facilitate ice thickness change depending on the predominant climatic trend (temperature cooling or warming). As such, shallow (< 20 m deep water columns) perennially ice-covered lakes without deep temperature maxima are more sensitive indicators of climate change. The long-term ice thickness trends are a result of surface energy flux and heat flux from the deep temperature maximum in the water column, the latter of which results from absorbed solar radiation.

  14. Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Oil on Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Seo Yeon

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effects of aromatherapy oil inhalation on symptoms, quality of life, sleep quality, and fatigue level among adults with perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR). Fifty-four men and women aged between 20 and 60 were randomized to inhale aromatherapy oil containing essential oil from sandalwood, geranium, and Ravensara or almond oil (the placebo) for 5 minutes twice daily for 7 days. PAR symptoms determined by Total Nasal Symptom Score (TNSS), the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ), sleep quality by Verran Synder-Halpern (VSH) scale, and fatigue level by Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFS) were assessed before and after intervention period. Compared with the placebo, the experimental group showed significant improvement in TNSS, especially in nasal obstruction. The aromatherapy group also showed significantly higher improvements in total score of RQLQ and CFS. These findings indicate that inhalation of certain aromatherapy oil helps relieve PAR symptoms, improve rhinitis-specific quality of life, and reduce fatigue in patients with PAR. In conclusion, inhalation of aromatherapy essential oil may have potential as an effective intervention to alleviate PAR. PMID:27034695

  15. Facilitation influences patterns of perennial species abundance and richness in a subtropical dune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalotto, Cecilia E S; Sühs, Rafael B; Dechoum, Michele S; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Peroni, Nivaldo; Castellani, Tânia T

    2018-04-01

    Positive interactions in plant communities are under-reported in subtropical systems most likely because they are not identified as stressful environments. However, environmental factors or disturbance can limit plant growth in any system and lead to stressful conditions. For instance, salinity and low nutrient and water availability generate a gradient of stressful conditions in coastal systems depending on distance to shore. In a tropical coastal system in SE Brazil, we aimed to assess whether Guapira opposita , a shrub common in restinga environments, acted as nurse involved in ecological succession and which factors influenced its facilitation process. We sampled perennial species above 10 cm in height under the canopy of 35 G. opposita individuals and in neighbouring open areas. Shrub height, canopy area and distance to freshwater bodies were measured in the field, and distance to the ocean was obtained from aerial images. In addition, we measured the distance to the closest forest patch as a potential source of seeds. Plant abundance and species richness were higher under the canopy of G. opposita than in open areas. Facilitation by G. opposita was mainly determined by shrub height, which had a positive relationship with woody and bromeliads abundance and species richness while there was no relationship with the other factors. Overall, our data evidence that tropical environments may be highly stressful for plants and that nurse species play a key role in the regeneration of restinga environments, where their presence is critical to maintain ecosystem diversity and function.

  16. Transcriptome resources for the perennial sunflower Helianthus maximiliani obtained from ecologically divergent populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Takeshi; Darby, Brian J; Ungerer, Mark C

    2014-07-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provide a rapid means to generate genomic resources for species exhibiting interesting ecological and evolutionary variation but for which such resources are scant or nonexistent. In the current report, we utilize 454 pyrosequencing to obtain transcriptome information for multiple individuals and tissue types from geographically disparate and ecologically differentiated populations of the perennial sunflower species Helianthus maximiliani. A total of 850 275 raw reads were obtained averaging 355 bp in length. Reads were assembled, postprocessing, into 16 681 unique contigs with an N50 of 898 bp and a total length of 13.6 Mb. A majority (67%) of these contigs were annotated based on comparison with the Arabidopsis thaliana genome (TAIR10). Contigs were identified that exhibit high similarity to genes associated with natural variation in flowering time and freezing tolerance in other plant species and will facilitate future studies aimed at elucidating the molecular basis of clinal life history variation and adaptive differentiation in H. maximiliani. Large numbers of gene-associated simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) also were identified that can be deployed in mapping and population genomic analyses. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Beclomethasone Dipropionate Nasal Aerosol in Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (BALANCE) study: 6-month results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukstein, Donald; Parikh, Ruchir; Eid, Sherrine; Ferro, Thomas; Morello, Jean-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) exerts significant quality-of-life and economic burdens on society. Beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) nasal aerosol is the first nonaqueous, hydrofluoroalkane-propelled intranasal corticosteroid approved for patients in the United States to treat PAR and seasonal allergic rhinitis. To evaluate real-world effectiveness of BDP nasal aerosol from the patient's perspective by using a postmarketing observational registry. Patients (N = 824) from 43 U.S. study sites completed monthly patient-reported outcome instruments, including the Rhinitis Control Assessment Test (primary outcome variable), Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire plus Classroom Impairment Questions: Allergy-Specific, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Mini Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire for 6 months. The primary outcome assessment (Rhinitis Control Assessment Test score) (N = 527) indicated significant symptomatic improvement over baseline beginning at month 1 (p 78.8% of respondents who achieved clinically meaningful improvement over 6 months. Secondary outcome measures Mini Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (p Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire plus Classroom Impairment Questions: Allergy-Specific, with the exception of work time missed and class time missed, were significantly (p life, work, and school-related activities, and is associated with high patient satisfaction, reduced productivity loss and activity impairment, and improvement in sleep quality.

  18. Determinants of health disparities: The perennial struggle against polio in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Polio remains a global public health issue, and even though it has been eradicated from most countries of the world, countries like Nigeria, the largest black nation on earth, threatens the dream of total eradication of polio from the surface of the earth. Transmission of wild polio virus has never been eliminated in Nigeria, but even worse is the number of countries, both in Sub-Saharan Africa and all over the world that has become re-infected by polio virus strains from Northern Nigeria in recent past. Although a lot has been documented about the Nigerian polio struggle, one aspect that has received little attention on this issue is ethnic and geographic disparities between the Southern and the Northern parts of Nigeria. Understanding these disparities involved in polio virus transmission in Nigeria, as well as the social determinants of health prevalent in Northern Nigeria will help government and other stakeholders and policy makers to synergize their efforts in the fight against this perennial scourge.

  19. Does polyembryony confer a competitive advantage to the invasive perennial vine Vincetoxicum rossicum (Apocynaceae)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Megan L; Barney, Jacob N; Averill, Kristine M; Mohler, Charles L; Ditommaso, Antonio

    2010-02-01

    Determining which traits may allow some introduced plant species to become invasive in their new environment continues to be a key question in invasion biology. Vincetoxicum rossicum is an invasive, perennial vine colonizing natural and seminatural habitats primarily in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. More than half its seeds exhibit polyembryony, a relatively uncommon condition in which a single seed produces multiple seedlings. For evaluating the potential consequences of polyembryony on invasiveness, V. rossicum plants derived from seeds of three embryonic classes-singlets, doublets, and triplets (one, two, and three seedlings per seed, respectively)-were paired in all combinations intraspecifically and with the co-occurring native herbs Solidago canadensis and Asclepias syriaca in a greenhouse study. Vincetoxicum rossicum biomass was 25-55% greater and follicle production 55-100% greater under intraspecific competition compared with interspecific competition. However, within a competitive environment, follicle production varied little. Regardless of competitive environment, V. rossicum originating from seeds with a greater number of embryos typically performed no better than plants arising from seed with fewer embryos (singlets = doublets = triplets)-except intraspecifically where doublets outperformed singlets, and with S. canadensis where triplets outperformed singlets. Our findings suggest that overall performance and fitness of V. rossicum is higher in monocultures than in mixed stands and that its ability to invade new habitats may not be attributable to the production of polyembryonic seeds.

  20. The Perennial Debate: Nature, Nurture, or Choice? Black and White Americans' Explanations for Individual Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaratne, Toby Epstein; Gelman, Susan A.; Feldbaum, Merle; Sheldon, Jane P.; Petty, Elizabeth M.; Kardia, Sharon L.R.

    2009-01-01

    This paper examines three common explanations for human characteristics: genes, the environment, and choice. Based on data from a representative sample of White and Black Americans, respondents indicated how much they believed each factor influenced individual differences in athleticism, nurturance, drive, math ability, violence, intelligence, and sexual orientation. Results show that across traits: 1) Black respondents generally favor choice and reject genetic explanations, whereas White respondents indicate less causal consistency; 2) although a sizeable subset of respondents endorse just one factor, most report multiple factors as at least partly influential; and 3) among White respondents greater endorsement of genetic explanations is associated with less acceptance of choice and the environment, although among Black respondents a negative relationship holds only between genes and choice. The social relevance of these findings is discussed within the context of the attribution, essentialism and lay theory literature. The results underscore the need to consider more complex and nuanced issues than are implied by the simplistic, unidimensional character of the nature/nurture and determinism/free will debates — perennial controversies that have significance in the current genomic era. PMID:20072661

  1. Intraspecific competition facilitates the evolution of tolerance to insect damage in the perennial plant Solanum carolinense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, David W; Halpern, Stacey L; Barrows, Kahaili; Underwood, Nora

    2012-12-01

    Tolerance to herbivory (the degree to which plants maintain fitness after damage) is a key component of plant defense, so understanding how natural selection and evolutionary constraints act on tolerance traits is important to general theories of plant-herbivore interactions. These factors may be affected by plant competition, which often interacts with damage to influence trait expression and fitness. However, few studies have manipulated competitor density to examine the evolutionary effects of competition on tolerance. In this study, we tested whether intraspecific competition affects four aspects of the evolution of tolerance to herbivory in the perennial plant Solanum carolinense: phenotypic expression, expression of genetic variation, the adaptive value of tolerance, and costs of tolerance. We manipulated insect damage and intraspecific competition for clonal lines of S. carolinense in a greenhouse experiment, and measured tolerance in terms of sexual and asexual fitness components. Compared to plants growing at low density, plants growing at high density had greater expression of and genetic variation in tolerance, and experienced greater fitness benefits from tolerance when damaged. Tolerance was not costly for plants growing at either density, and only plants growing at low density benefited from tolerance when undamaged, perhaps due to greater intrinsic growth rates of more tolerant genotypes. These results suggest that competition is likely to facilitate the evolution of tolerance in S. carolinense, and perhaps in other plants that regularly experience competition, while spatio-temporal variation in density may maintain genetic variation in tolerance.

  2. Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Oil on Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seo Yeon Choi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate the effects of aromatherapy oil inhalation on symptoms, quality of life, sleep quality, and fatigue level among adults with perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR. Fifty-four men and women aged between 20 and 60 were randomized to inhale aromatherapy oil containing essential oil from sandalwood, geranium, and Ravensara or almond oil (the placebo for 5 minutes twice daily for 7 days. PAR symptoms determined by Total Nasal Symptom Score (TNSS, the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ, sleep quality by Verran Synder-Halpern (VSH scale, and fatigue level by Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFS were assessed before and after intervention period. Compared with the placebo, the experimental group showed significant improvement in TNSS, especially in nasal obstruction. The aromatherapy group also showed significantly higher improvements in total score of RQLQ and CFS. These findings indicate that inhalation of certain aromatherapy oil helps relieve PAR symptoms, improve rhinitis-specific quality of life, and reduce fatigue in patients with PAR. In conclusion, inhalation of aromatherapy essential oil may have potential as an effective intervention to alleviate PAR.

  3. Differential Essential Oil Composition and Morphology between Perennial Satureja species Growing in Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David García-Rellán

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Chemical composition of the essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts of thirty six samples of perennial Spanish savouries (Satureja montana L., Satureja innota (Pau G. López, Satureja cuneifolia Ten. and Satureja intricata Lange, was investigated by GC and GC-MS. A total of 72 compounds accounting between 98.25-99.55% of the total oil were identified. High content of carvacrol (59.72±1.50% followed by g -terpinene (17.40±1.11% were found in S.montana essential oils. S. cuneifolia yielded an oil rich in camphor (45.04±1.67% and camphene (12.42±1.71% whereas S. innota produces an essential oil with linalool (23.94±7.58% or geraniol (8.62±3.45% according to the locality of collection and S. intricata showed chemical polymorphism with camphor (16.02±1.75%, as the main compound followed with populations with myrcene (8.46±1.46% and populations with g -terpinene (8.22±1.33%. Although the morphological affinity between S. innota, S.cuneifolia and S. intricata could lead to consider the subspecies level, the phytochemical discriminant analysis support the taxonomic classification of Flora Iberica which ranks these taxa into species.

  4. Dynamics of initial colonization of nonconserved perennial ryegrass by anaerobic fungi in the bovine rumen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Joan E; Kingston-Smith, Alison H; Jimenez, Hugo R; Huws, Sharon A; Skøt, Kirsten P; Griffith, Gareth W; McEwan, Neil R; Theodorou, Michael K

    2008-12-01

    Anaerobic fungi (Neocallimastigales) are active degraders of fibrous plant material in the rumen. However, only limited information is available relating to how quickly they colonize ingested feed particles. The aim of this study was to determine the dynamics of initial colonization of forage by anaerobic fungi in the rumen and the impact of different postsampling wash procedures used to remove loosely associated microorganisms. Neocallimastigales-specific molecular techniques were optimized to ensure maximal coverage before application to assess the population size (quantitative PCR) and composition (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) of the colonizing anaerobic fungi. Colonization of perennial ryegrass (PRG) was evident within 5 min, with no consistent effect of time or wash procedure on fungal population composition. Wash procedure had no effect on population size unlike time, which had a significant effect. Colonizing fungal population size continued to increase over the incubation period after an initial lag of c. 4 min. This dynamic differs from that reported previously for rumen bacteria, where substantial colonization of PRG occurred within 5 min. The observed delay in colonization of plant material by anaerobic fungi is suggested to be primarily mediated by the time taken for fungal zoospores to locate, attach and encyst on plant material.

  5. Facilitation influences patterns of perennial species abundance and richness in a subtropical dune system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalotto, Cecilia E S; Sühs, Rafael B; Dechoum, Michele S; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Peroni, Nivaldo; Castellani, Tânia T

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Positive interactions in plant communities are under-reported in subtropical systems most likely because they are not identified as stressful environments. However, environmental factors or disturbance can limit plant growth in any system and lead to stressful conditions. For instance, salinity and low nutrient and water availability generate a gradient of stressful conditions in coastal systems depending on distance to shore. In a tropical coastal system in SE Brazil, we aimed to assess whether Guapira opposita, a shrub common in restinga environments, acted as nurse involved in ecological succession and which factors influenced its facilitation process. We sampled perennial species above 10 cm in height under the canopy of 35 G. opposita individuals and in neighbouring open areas. Shrub height, canopy area and distance to freshwater bodies were measured in the field, and distance to the ocean was obtained from aerial images. In addition, we measured the distance to the closest forest patch as a potential source of seeds. Plant abundance and species richness were higher under the canopy of G. opposita than in open areas. Facilitation by G. opposita was mainly determined by shrub height, which had a positive relationship with woody and bromeliads abundance and species richness while there was no relationship with the other factors. Overall, our data evidence that tropical environments may be highly stressful for plants and that nurse species play a key role in the regeneration of restinga environments, where their presence is critical to maintain ecosystem diversity and function. PMID:29644027

  6. Floristic analysis of perennial species on flowerbeds in Belgrade with special attention on invasiveness of the recorded species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popović Marija

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban areas are among the most important centres of invasive plant species distribution due to their richness in alien species. Because of that, a detailed floristic analysis of perennial flowerbeds was conducted in the central parks of Belgrade. A total of 53 perennial species were found, of which 55% were the alien species planted on 75% of the research area. Among them, two species (Aster novi belgii and Solidago canadensis are invasive and six species are potentially invasive in Serbia. These are planted on 5% and 20% of the flowerbeds, respectively. We can conclude that both the experts and institutions should be informed about the invasive species and potential damages. In the meantime, planting of native decorative species should be encouraged, since they will not pose a threat to natural habitats. Also, detailed research should be conducted in order to eradicate invasive and potentially invasive species from the surfaces around the research area.

  7. Seasonal variations of cadmium and zinc in Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass species from highly contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deram, Annabelle; Denayer, Franck-Olivier; Petit, Daniel; Van Haluwyn, Chantal

    2006-01-01

    There is interest in studying bioaccumulation in plants because they form the base of the food chain as well as their potential use in phytoextraction. From this viewpoint, our study deals with the seasonal variation, from January to July, of Cd and Zn bioaccumulation in three metallicolous populations of Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass with a high biomass production. In heavily polluted soils, while Zn bioaccumulation is weak, A. elatius accumulates more Cd than reported gramineous plants, with concentration of up to 100 μg g -1 . Our results also showed seasonal variations of bioaccumulation, underlying the necessity for in situ studies to specify the date of sampling and also the phenology of the collected plant sample. In our experimental conditions, accumulation is lower in June, leading us to the hypothesis of restriction in heavy metals translocation from roots to aerial parts during seed production. - Cd and Zn bioaccumulation varies seasonally in a perennial grass

  8. Seasonal variations of cadmium and zinc in Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass species from highly contaminated soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deram, Annabelle [Institut Lillois d' Ingenierie de la Sante, Universite Droit et Sante de Lille, EA 2690, 42 rue Ambroise Pare, 59120 Loos (France)]. E-mail: aderam@ilis.univ-lille2.fr; Denayer, Franck-Olivier [Institut Lillois d' Ingenierie de la Sante, Universite Droit et Sante de Lille, EA 2690, 42 rue Ambroise Pare, 59120 Loos (France); Petit, Daniel [Laboratoire de Genetique et Evolution des Populations Vegetales, UPRESA-CNRS 8016, Bat SN2, Universite des Sciences et Techniques de Lille, 59655 Villeneuve d' Ascq, F59655 France (France); Van Haluwyn, Chantal [Faculte des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Departement de Botanique, Universite Droit et Sante de Lille, EA 2690, B.P. 83, 59006 Lille Cedex (France)

    2006-03-15

    There is interest in studying bioaccumulation in plants because they form the base of the food chain as well as their potential use in phytoextraction. From this viewpoint, our study deals with the seasonal variation, from January to July, of Cd and Zn bioaccumulation in three metallicolous populations of Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass with a high biomass production. In heavily polluted soils, while Zn bioaccumulation is weak, A. elatius accumulates more Cd than reported gramineous plants, with concentration of up to 100 {mu}g g{sup -1}. Our results also showed seasonal variations of bioaccumulation, underlying the necessity for in situ studies to specify the date of sampling and also the phenology of the collected plant sample. In our experimental conditions, accumulation is lower in June, leading us to the hypothesis of restriction in heavy metals translocation from roots to aerial parts during seed production. - Cd and Zn bioaccumulation varies seasonally in a perennial grass.

  9. Analysis of DNA methylation of perennial ryegrass under drought using the methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xiao-Mei; Tao, Xiang; Wang, Yan; Ma, Dong-Wei; Li, Dan; Yang, Hong; Ma, Xin-Rong

    2014-12-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), an excellent grass for forage and turf, is widespread in temperate regions. Drought is an important factor that limits its growth, distribution, and yield. DNA methylation affects gene expression and plays an important role in adaptation to adverse environments. In this study, the DNA methylation changes in perennial ryegrass under drought stress were assessed using methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP). After 15 days of drought stress treatment, the plant height was less than half of the control, and the leaves were smaller and darker. Genome-wide, a total of 652 CCGG sites were detected by MSAP. The total methylation level was 57.67 and 47.39 % in the control and drought treatment, respectively, indicating a decrease of 10.28 % due to drought exposure. Fifteen differentially displayed DNA fragments in MSAP profiles were cloned for sequencing analysis. The results showed that most of the genes involved in stress responses. The relative expression levels revealed that three demethylated fragments were up-regulated. The expression of a predicted retrotransposon increased significantly, changing from hypermethylation to non-methylation. Although the extent of methylation in two other genes decreased, the sites of methylation remained, and the expression increased only slightly. All of these results suggested that drought stress decreased the total DNA methylation level in perennial ryegrass and demethylation up-regulated related gene expressions and that the extent of methylation was negatively correlated with expression. Overall, the induced epigenetic changes in genome probably are an important regulatory mechanism for acclimating perennial ryegrass to drought and possibly other environmental stresses.

  10. Comparative mapping of the wild perennial Glycine latifolia and soybean (G. max reveals extensive chromosome rearrangements in the genus Glycine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungyul Chang

    Full Text Available Soybean (Glycine max L. Mer., like many cultivated crops, has a relatively narrow genetic base and lacks diversity for some economically important traits. Glycine latifolia (Benth. Newell & Hymowitz, one of the 26 perennial wild Glycine species related to soybean in the subgenus Glycine Willd., shows high levels of resistance to multiple soybean pathogens and pests including Alfalfa mosaic virus, Heterodera glycines Ichinohe and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib. de Bary. However, limited information is available on the genomes of these perennial Glycine species. To generate molecular resources for gene mapping and identification, high-density linkage maps were constructed for G. latifolia using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers generated by genotyping by sequencing and evaluated in an F2 population and confirmed in an F5 population. In each population, greater than 2,300 SNP markers were selected for analysis and segregated to form 20 large linkage groups. Marker orders were similar in the F2 and F5 populations. The relationships between G. latifolia linkage groups and G. max and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. chromosomes were examined by aligning SNP-containing sequences from G. latifolia to the genome sequences of G. max and P. vulgaris. Twelve of the 20 G. latifolia linkage groups were nearly collinear with G. max chromosomes. The remaining eight G. latifolia linkage groups appeared to be products of multiple interchromosomal translocations relative to G. max. Large syntenic blocks also were observed between G. latifolia and P. vulgaris. These experiments are the first to compare genome organizations among annual and perennial Glycine species and common bean. The development of molecular resources for species closely related to G. max provides information into the evolution of genomes within the genus Glycine and tools to identify genes within perennial wild relatives of cultivated soybean that could be beneficial to soybean

  11. Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Opiyo, Francis EO; Ekaya, Wellington N; Nyariki, Dickson M; Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi

    2011-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands in Kenya are an important source of forage for both domestic and wild animals. However, indigenous perennial grasses notably Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Efforts to re-introduce them through restoration programs have often yielded little success. This can partly be attributed to failure of topsoil to capture and store scarce water to me...

  12. Ecosystem-service tradeoffs associated with switching from annual to perennial energy crops in riparian zones of the US Midwest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy D Meehan

    Full Text Available Integration of energy crops into agricultural landscapes could promote sustainability if they are placed in ways that foster multiple ecosystem services and mitigate ecosystem disservices from existing crops. We conducted a modeling study to investigate how replacing annual energy crops with perennial energy crops along Wisconsin waterways could affect a variety of provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. We found that a switch from continuous corn production to perennial-grass production decreased annual income provisioning by 75%, although it increased annual energy provisioning by 33%, decreased annual phosphorous loading to surface water by 29%, increased below-ground carbon sequestration by 30%, decreased annual nitrous oxide emissions by 84%, increased an index of pollinator abundance by an average of 11%, and increased an index of biocontrol potential by an average of 6%. We expressed the tradeoffs between income provisioning and other ecosystem services as benefit-cost ratios. Benefit-cost ratios averaged 12.06 GJ of additional net energy, 0.84 kg of avoided phosphorus pollution, 18.97 Mg of sequestered carbon, and 1.99 kg of avoided nitrous oxide emissions for every $1,000 reduction in income. These ratios varied spatially, from 2- to 70-fold depending on the ecosystem service. Benefit-cost ratios for different ecosystem services were generally correlated within watersheds, suggesting the presence of hotspots--watersheds where increases in multiple ecosystem services would come at lower-than-average opportunity costs. When assessing the monetary value of ecosystem services relative to existing conservation programs and environmental markets, the overall value of enhanced services associated with adoption of perennial energy crops was far lower than the opportunity cost. However, when we monitized services using estimates for the social costs of pollution, the value of enhanced services far exceeded the opportunity cost. This

  13. DIMENSIONS OF CARCASS AND INTERNAL ORGANS IN YOUNG SHEEP, UNDER CONDITIONS OF GRAZING ON ASSOCIATIONS OF PERENNIAL GRAMINACEOUS AND LEGUME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. DRAGOMIR

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The temporary pastures’ floristic structure influences directly the growth and development of young sheep during grazing. The associations, beside the graminaceous and perennial legume species (white clover and birdsfoot trefoil, contribute mostly to the increase of carcass dimension and organ weight. The quality of the forage from such a pasture, better balanced in terms of energy and protein, influences all growth and development parameters in young sheep.

  14. Study of Potential and Real Seed Producing Capacity in Some Romanian Varieties of Legumes and Perennial Gramineae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neculai Dragomir

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This work presents the potential and real seed producing capacity in some Romanian varieties of legumes and perennial gramineae: Trifolium repens, Lotus corniculatus, Lolium perenne, Festuca pratensis, Festuca arundinacea and Dactylis glomerata. To calculate the potential production, we performed determinations and analyses on each variety, regarding floral apparatus’ morphological and anatomic structure (number of inflorescences, number of flowers, number of ovules/ovary, and the real production was determined „in situ”.

  15. Using Remotely Sensed Fluorescence and Soil Moisture to Better Understand the Seasonal Cycle of Tropical Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Dakota Carlysle

    Seasonal grasslands account for a large area of Earth's land cover. Annual and seasonal changes in these grasslands have profound impacts on Earth's carbon, energy, and water cycles. In tropical grasslands, growth is commonly water-limited and the landscape oscillates between highly productive and unproductive. As the monsoon begins, soils moisten providing dry grasses the water necessary to photosynthesize. However, along with the rain come clouds that obscure satellite products that are commonly used to study productivity in these areas. To navigate this issue, we used solar induced fluorescence (SIF) products from OCO-2 along with soil moisture products from the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite (SMAP) to "see through" the clouds to monitor grassland productivity. To get a broader understanding of the vegetation dynamics, we used the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB4) to simulate the seasonal cycles of vegetation. In conjunction with SiB4, the remotely sensed SIF and soil moisture observations were utilized to paint a clearer picture of seasonal productivity in tropical grasslands. The remotely sensed data is not available for every place at one time or at every time for one place. Thus, the study was focused on a large area from 15° E to 35° W and from 8°S to 20°N in the African Sahel. Instead of studying productivity relative to time, we studied it relative to soil moisture. Through this investigation we found soil moisture thresholds for the emergence of grassland growth, near linear grassland growth, and maturity of grassland growth. We also found that SiB4 overestimates SIF by about a factor of two for nearly every value of soil moisture. On the whole, SiB4 does a surprisingly good job of predicting the response of seasonal growth in tropical grasslands to soil moisture. Future work will continue to integrate remotely sensed SIF & soil moisture with SiB4 to add to our growing knowledge of carbon, water, and energy cycling in tropical grasslands.

  16. B chromosomes are associated with redistribution of genetic recombination towards lower recombination chromosomal regions in perennial ryegrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, John; Phillips, Dylan; Thomas, Ann; Gasior, Dagmara; Evans, Caron; Powell, Wayne; King, Julie; King, Ian; Jenkins, Glyn; Armstead, Ian

    2018-04-09

    Supernumerary 'B' chromosomes are non-essential components of the genome present in a range of plant and animal species-including many grasses. Within diploid and polyploid ryegrass and fescue species, including the forage grass perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), the presence of B chromosomes has been reported as influencing both chromosome pairing and chiasma frequencies. In this study, the effects of the presence/absence of B chromosomes on genetic recombination has been investigated through generating DArT (Diversity Arrays Technology) marker genetic maps for six perennial ryegrass diploid populations, the pollen parents of which contained either two B or zero B chromosomes. Through genetic and cytological analyses of these progeny and their parents, we have identified that, while overall cytological estimates of chiasma frequencies were significantly lower in pollen mother cells with two B chromosomes as compared with zero B chromosomes, the recombination frequencies within some marker intervals were actually increased, particularly for marker intervals in lower recombination regions of chromosomes, namely pericentromeric regions. Thus, in perennial ryegrass, the presence of two B chromosomes redistributed patterns of meiotic recombination in pollen mother cells in ways which could increase the range of allelic variation available to plant breeders.

  17. Environmental Performance of Miscanthus, Switchgrass and Maize: Can C4 Perennials Increase the Sustainability of Biogas Production?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kiesel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Biogas is considered a promising option for complementing the fluctuating energy supply from other renewable sources. Maize is currently the dominant biogas crop, but its environmental performance is questionable. Through its replacement with high-yielding and nutrient-efficient perennial C4 grasses, the environmental impact of biogas could be considerably improved. The objective of this paper is to assess and compare the environmental performance of the biogas production and utilization of perennial miscanthus and switchgrass and annual maize. An LCA was performed using data from field trials, assessing the impact in the five categories: climate change (CC, fossil fuel depletion (FFD, terrestrial acidification (TA, freshwater eutrophication (FE and marine eutrophication (ME. A system expansion approach was adopted to include a fossil reference. All three crops showed significantly lower CC and FFD potentials than the fossil reference, but higher TA and FE potentials, with nitrogen fertilizer production and fertilizer-induced emissions identified as hot spots. Miscanthus performed best and changing the input substrate from maize to miscanthus led to average reductions of −66% CC; −74% FFD; −63% FE; −60% ME and −21% TA. These results show that perennial C4 grasses and miscanthus in particular have the potential to improve the sustainability of the biogas sector.

  18. Alcohol consumption and the risk of self-reported perennial and seasonal allergic rhinitis in young adult women in a population-based cohort study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, P; Grønbæk, M; Kjær, S. K.

    2008-01-01

    Background Alcohol consumption has been suggested to be associated with the development of allergic rhinitis (AR), but there is limited data on the topic. Objectives The objective of this study was to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing AR among young...... women. Methods Five thousand eight hundred and seventy Danish women aged 20-29 years participated in a prospective cohort study, and were free of seasonal and perennial AR at baseline (1991-1993). Alcohol consumption was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. The main outcome measures were self......-reported information on seasonal and perennial AR debuting during a mean follow-up period of 7.8 years. Results During follow-up, 831 women developed seasonal AR and 523 women developed perennial AR, corresponding to 14% and 9%. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with the risk of developing perennial AR...

  19. Measuring denitrification after grassland renewal and grassland conversion to cropland by using the 15N gas-flux method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchen, Caroline; Eschenbach, Wolfram; Flessa, Heinz; Giesemann, Anette; Lewicka-Szczebak, Dominika; Well, Reinhard

    2015-04-01

    Denitrification, the reduction of oxidized forms of inorganic N to N2O and N2 is an important pathway of gaseous nitrogen losses. Measuring denitrification, especially the reduction of N2O to N2, expressed in the product ratio (N2O/(N2O + N2)), is rather difficult and hence rarely performed under field conditions. But using the 15N gas-flux method allows determining N transformation processes in their natural environment. In order to develop effective climate mitigation strategies understanding the N2O source is essential. We used the 15N gas-flux method to determine N2O and N2 emissions following grassland renewal and conversion techniques. Therefore we selected three different treatments: control (C), mechanical grassland renovation (GR) (autumn 2013) and grassland conversion to maize (GM) (spring 2014) from field plot trials on two different sites (Histic Gleysoil and Plaggic Anthrosol) near Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. We applied 15N labeled KNO3- (60 atom. % 15N) at a rate equivalent to common farming practices (150 kg N*ha-1) using needle injection of fertilizer solution in three different depths (10 cm, 15 cm, 20 cm) for homogeneous soil labeling up to 30 cm in microplots. During the first 10 days after application (May 2014) gas flux measurements from closed chambers were performed every second day and then weekly following a period of 8 weeks. Gas samples were analyzed for δ15N of N2 and N2O by IRMS according to Lewicka-Szczebak et al. (2013). Concentration and 15N enrichment of NO3- in soil water was determined on weekly samples using the SPIN-MAS technique (Stange et al. 2007). Fluxes of N2 and N2O evolved from the 15N labeled soil nitrogen pool were calculated using the equations of Spott et al. (2006). Peak events of N2 and N2O emissions occurred during the first 10 days of measurement, showing differences in soil types, as well as treatment variations. N2 fluxes up to 178 g*ha-1*day-1 and N2O fluxes up to 280 g*ha-1*day-1 were measured on the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adane, Zablon A.

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

  1. Effect of soil saturation on denitrification in a grassland soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. M. Cardenas

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Nitrous oxide (N2O is of major importance as a greenhouse gas and precursor of ozone (O3 destruction in the stratosphere mostly produced in soils. The soil-emitted N2O is generally predominantly derived from denitrification and, to a smaller extent, nitrification, both processes controlled by environmental factors and their interactions, and are influenced by agricultural management. Soil water content expressed as water-filled pore space (WFPS is a major controlling factor of emissions and its interaction with compaction, has not been studied at the micropore scale. A laboratory incubation was carried out at different saturation levels for a grassland soil and emissions of N2O and N2 were measured as well as the isotopocules of N2O. We found that flux variability was larger in the less saturated soils probably due to nutrient distribution heterogeneity created from soil cracks and consequently nutrient hot spots. The results agreed with denitrification as the main source of fluxes at the highest saturations, but nitrification could have occurred at the lower saturation, even though moisture was still high (71 % WFSP. The isotopocules data indicated isotopic similarities in the wettest treatments vs. the two drier ones. The results agreed with previous findings where it is clear there are two N pools with different dynamics: added N producing intense denitrification vs. soil N resulting in less isotopic fractionation.

  2. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem. [Rocky Flats Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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, /sup 238/Pu and /sup 239/Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes.

  3. Metacommunity analysis of amoeboid protists in grassland soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-11

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

  4. Soil invertebrate fauna enhances grassland succession and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Raaijmakers, Ciska E; Zoomer, H Rik; Berg, Matty P; de Ruiter, Peter C; Verhoef, Herman A; Bezemer, T Martijn; van der Putten, Wim H

    2003-04-17

    One of the most important areas in ecology is to elucidate the factors that drive succession in ecosystems and thus influence the diversity of species in natural vegetation. Significant mechanisms in this process are known to be resource limitation and the effects of aboveground vertebrate herbivores. More recently, symbiotic and pathogenic soil microbes have been shown to exert a profound effect on the composition of vegetation and changes therein. However, the influence of invertebrate soil fauna on succession has so far received little attention. Here we report that invertebrate soil fauna might enhance both secondary succession and local plant species diversity. Soil fauna from a series of secondary grassland succession stages selectively suppress early successional dominant plant species, thereby enhancing the relative abundance of subordinate species and also that of species from later succession stages. Soil fauna from the mid-succession stage had the strongest effect. Our results clearly show that soil fauna strongly affects the composition of natural vegetation and we suggest that this knowledge might improve the restoration and conservation of plant species diversity.

  5. The nutritive value of Valjevac grassland - Zasavica reservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grdović Svetlana

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Improvement of native grassland by legumes introduction and tillage techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syamsu Bahar

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available A factorial design using three species of legumes (Siratro, Centro and Stylo and three different of tillage techniques (no-tillage, minimum tillage and total tillage was applied in this experiment. The results showed that there was no interaction between species and tillage techniques. There was significant reductions on bulk density from 1.23±0.03 g/cm3 (no-tillage to 1.07±0.02 g/cm3 (minimum tillage and 1.05±0.03 g/cm3 (total tillage. Also reductions on penetration resistance from 17.47±3.84 kg/cm2 (no-tillage to 3.31±0.43 kg/cm2 (minimum tillage and 3.19±0.45 kg/cm2 (total tillage. Otherwise significant increasing on aeration porosity from 12.80±0.80% vol. (no-tillage to 21.70±0.95% vol. (minimum tillage and 20.70±0.35% vol. (total tillage. Total tillage gives increased dry matter yield. Also both total tillage and minimum tillage give yields with a higher percentage of legumes compared with no-tillage. It was concluded that total tillage and minimum tillage could be used for improving native grassland.

  7. Microbial Enzyme Activity and Carbon Cycling in Grassland Soil Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, S. D.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2004-12-01

    Extracellular enzymes are necessary to degrade complex organic compounds present in soils. Using physical fractionation procedures, we tested whether old soil carbon is spatially isolated from degradative enzymes across a prairie restoration chronosequence in Illinois, USA. We found that carbon-degrading enzymes were abundant in all soil fractions, including macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the clay fraction, which contains carbon with a mean residence time of ~200 years. The activities of two cellulose-degrading enzymes and a chitin-degrading enzyme were 2-10 times greater in organic matter fractions than in bulk soil, consistent with the rapid turnover of these fractions. Polyphenol oxidase activity was 3 times greater in the clay fraction than in the bulk soil, despite very slow carbon turnover in this fraction. Changes in enzyme activity across the restoration chronosequence were small once adjusted for increases in soil carbon concentration, although polyphenol oxidase activity per unit carbon declined by 50% in native prairie versus cultivated soil. These results are consistent with a `two-pool' model of enzyme and carbon turnover in grassland soils. In light organic matter fractions, enzyme production and carbon turnover both occur rapidly. However, in mineral-dominated fractions, both enzymes and their carbon substrates are immobilized on mineral surfaces, leading to slow turnover. Soil carbon accumulation in the clay fraction and across the prairie restoration chronosequence probably reflects increasing physical isolation of enzymes and substrates on the molecular scale, rather than the micron to millimeter scale.

  8. Seasonal methane dynamics in three temperate grasslands on peat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schäfer, Carolyn; Elsgaard, Lars; Hoffmann, Carl Christian

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Drained peatlands are considered to be insignificant CH4 sources, but the effect of drainage on CH4 dynamics has not been extensively studied. We investigated seasonal dynamics of CH4 in two fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark. Methods Soil......, even though soil CH4 concentrations of up to 155 and 1000 μmol CH4 dm−3 were measured in one of the fen peats and in the bog peat, respectively. Significant CH4 concentrations were observed above the water table. Methane production assays confirmed the presence of viable methanogens in the upper parts...... of the bog peat soil. The aerenchymous plant Juncus effusus L. liberated CH4 from the peat at rates of up to 3.3 mg CH4 m−2 h−1. No CH4 dynamics were observed in the second fen peat which, in contrast to the other two sites, had high sulfate concentrations. Conclusions Peat type and the distribution...

  9. Analysis of the production stability of mixed grasslands. II. A mathematical framework for the quantification of production stability of grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2003-01-01

    The analysis of the intrinsic properties and processes of ecosystems, which regulate the production stability of mixed grasslands, has been complicated by the environmental noise caused by stochastic weather fluctuations. A mathematical framework is presented to deduct the actual, the extrinsic and

  10. Changing patterns of basic household consumption in the Inner Mongolian grasslands: a case study of policy-oriented adoptive changes in the use of grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, B.; Zhen, L.; Groot, de R.S.; Goulden, C.E.; Long, X.; Cao, X.; Wu, R.; Sun, C.

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems, as the basic natural resources in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, are becoming increasingly sensitive to human intervention, leading to deterioration in fragile ecosystems. The goal of this study was to describe the restoration policy-oriented adoptive changes to basic

  11. [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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Validation of reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR studies of gene expression in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thrush Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. is an important pasture and turf crop. Biotechniques such as gene expression studies are being employed to improve traits in this temperate grass. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR is among the best methods available for determining changes in gene expression. Before analysis of target gene expression, it is essential to select an appropriate normalisation strategy to control for non-specific variation between samples. Reference genes that have stable expression at different biological and physiological states can be effectively used for normalisation; however, their expression stability must be validated before use. Results Existing Serial Analysis of Gene Expression data were queried to identify six moderately expressed genes that had relatively stable gene expression throughout the year. These six candidate reference genes (eukaryotic elongation factor 1 alpha, eEF1A; TAT-binding protein homolog 1, TBP-1; eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 alpha, eIF4A; YT521-B-like protein family protein, YT521-B; histone 3, H3; ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, E2 were validated for qRT-PCR normalisation in 442 diverse perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. samples sourced from field- and laboratory-grown plants under a wide range of experimental conditions. Eukaryotic EF1A is encoded by members of a multigene family exhibiting differential expression and necessitated the expression analysis of different eEF1A encoding genes; a highly expressed eEF1A (h, a moderately, but stably expressed eEF1A (s, and combined expression of multigene eEF1A (m. NormFinder identified eEF1A (s and YT521-B as the best combination of two genes for normalisation of gene expression data in perennial ryegrass following different defoliation management in the field. Conclusions This study is unique in the magnitude of samples tested with the inclusion of numerous field-grown samples

  17. Epigenetic variation predicts regional and local intraspecific functional diversity in a perennial herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medrano, Mónica; Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2014-10-01

    The ecological significance of epigenetic variation has been generally inferred from studies on model plants under artificial conditions, but the importance of epigenetic differences between individuals as a source of intraspecific diversity in natural plant populations remains essentially unknown. This study investigates the relationship between epigenetic variation and functional plant diversity by conducting epigenetic (methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms, MSAP) and genetic (amplified fragment length polymorphisms, AFLP) marker-trait association analyses for 20 whole-plant, leaf and regenerative functional traits in a large sample of wild-growing plants of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus from ten sampling sites in south-eastern Spain. Plants differed widely in functional characteristics, and exhibited greater epigenetic than genetic diversity, as shown by per cent polymorphism of MSAP fragments (92%) or markers (69%) greatly exceeding that for AFLP ones (41%). After controlling for genetic structuring and possible cryptic relatedness, every functional trait considered exhibited a significant association with at least one AFLP or MSAP marker. A total of 27 MSAP (13.0% of total) and 12 AFLP (4.4%) markers were involved in significant associations, which explained on average 8.2% and 8.0% of trait variance, respectively. Individual MSAP markers were more likely to be associated with functional traits than AFLP markers. Between-site differences in multivariate functional diversity were directly related to variation in multilocus epigenetic diversity after multilocus genetic diversity was statistically accounted for. Results suggest that epigenetic variation can be an important source of intraspecific functional diversity in H. foetidus, possibly endowing this species with the capacity to exploit a broad range of ecological conditions despite its modest genetic diversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Genomic selection prediction accuracy in a perennial crop: case study of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cros, David; Denis, Marie; Sánchez, Leopoldo; Cochard, Benoit; Flori, Albert; Durand-Gasselin, Tristan; Nouy, Bruno; Omoré, Alphonse; Pomiès, Virginie; Riou, Virginie; Suryana, Edyana; Bouvet, Jean-Marc

    2015-03-01

    Genomic selection empirically appeared valuable for reciprocal recurrent selection in oil palm as it could account for family effects and Mendelian sampling terms, despite small populations and low marker density. Genomic selection (GS) can increase the genetic gain in plants. In perennial crops, this is expected mainly through shortened breeding cycles and increased selection intensity, which requires sufficient GS accuracy in selection candidates, despite often small training populations. Our objective was to obtain the first empirical estimate of GS accuracy in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), the major world oil crop. We used two parental populations involved in conventional reciprocal recurrent selection (Deli and Group B) with 131 individuals each, genotyped with 265 SSR. We estimated within-population GS accuracies when predicting breeding values of non-progeny-tested individuals for eight yield traits. We used three methods to sample training sets and five statistical methods to estimate genomic breeding values. The results showed that GS could account for family effects and Mendelian sampling terms in Group B but only for family effects in Deli. Presumably, this difference between populations originated from their contrasting breeding history. The GS accuracy ranged from -0.41 to 0.94 and was positively correlated with the relationship between training and test sets. Training sets optimized with the so-called CDmean criterion gave the highest accuracies, ranging from 0.49 (pulp to fruit ratio in Group B) to 0.94 (fruit weight in Group B). The statistical methods did not affect the accuracy. Finally, Group B could be preselected for progeny tests by applying GS to key yield traits, therefore increasing the selection intensity. Our results should be valuable for breeding programs with small populations, long breeding cycles, or reduced effective size.

  19. Transcriptome Analysis in Sheepgrass (Leymus chinensis). A Dominant Perennial Grass of the Eurasian Steppe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Shuangyan [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Institute of Botany (IB), Beijing; Huang, Xin [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Institute of Botany (IB), Beijing; Yang, Xiaohan [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Liu, Gongshe [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Institute of Botany (IB), Beijing

    2013-07-04

    BACKGROUND: Sheepgrass [Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel.] is an important perennial forage grass across the Eurasian Steppe and is known for its adaptability to various environmental conditions. However, insufficient data resources in public databases for sheepgrass limited our understanding of the mechanism of environmental adaptations, gene discovery and molecular marker development. RESULTS: The transcriptome of sheepgrass was sequenced using Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology. We assembled 952,328 high-quality reads into 87,214 unigenes, including 32,416 contigs and 54,798 singletons. There were 15,450 contigs over 500 bp in length. BLAST searches of our database against Swiss-Prot and NCBI non-redundant protein sequences (nr) databases resulted in the annotation of 54,584 (62.6%) of the unigenes. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis assigned 89,129 GO term annotations for 17,463 unigenes. We identified 11,675 core Poaceae-specific and 12,811 putative sheepgrass-specific unigenes by BLAST searches against all plant genome and transcriptome databases. A total of 2,979 specific freezing-responsive unigenes were found from this RNAseq dataset. We identified 3,818 EST-SSRs in 3,597 unigenes, and some SSRs contained unigenes that were also candidates for freezing-response genes. Characterizations of nucleotide repeats and dominant motifs of SSRs in sheepgrass were also performed. Similarity and phylogenetic analysis indicated that sheepgrass is closely related to barley and wheat. CONCLUSIONS: This research has greatly enriched sheepgrass transcriptome resources. The identified stress-related genes will help us to decipher the genetic basis of the environmental and ecological adaptations of this species and will be used to improve wheat and barley crops through hybridization or genetic transformation. The EST-SSRs reported here will be a valuable resource for future gene-phenotype studies and for the molecular breeding of sheepgrass and other Poaceae species.

  20. Patterns of chasmogamy and cleistogamy, a mixed-mating strategy in an endangered perennial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koontz, Stephanie M; Weekley, Carl W; Haller Crate, Sarah J; Menges, Eric S

    2017-11-01

    Cleistogamy (CL) in angiosperms historically has been understudied; however, its co-occurrence with chasmogamy (CH) across many plant species suggests a fitness advantage to maintaining this mixed-mating strategy. Maintenance of mixed-mating has been attributed to reproductive assurance, resource allocation or genetic trade-offs. Our goals were to explore patterns of CH and CL, quantify reproductive contributions measured by fruit production and determine how CL is maintained in the endangered perennial Polygala lewtonii. This species exhibits CH and both above-ground cleistogamy (CL-AG) and below-ground cleistogamy (CL-BG). In monthly censuses from 2008 to 2012, we documented flowering patterns by counting CH flowering stems, CL-AG fruits and CL-BG rhizomes per plant. Monitoring of buds on CH flowering stems in 2004 provided an estimate of CH fruits per plant. Plant excavations in 2005 of CL-BG rhizomes provided an estimate of CL-BG fruits per plant. Floral morphs were temporally separated with CH flowers observed from January to May and CL flowers from June to February. Overall, 17.5 % of plants flowered; most plants expressed CH first in spring months (63.4 %) and the rest initiated CL-AG in fall months. Reproductive output was dominated by CH (median 26 fruits) compared to combined CL (median 3.5 fruits). Annual reproductive effort of CL-AG was positively correlated with plant age while CH had no relation. Our research shows CH as the dominant form of reproductive effort with most individuals expressing CH and through greater reproductive contributions. CL appears limited by plant size or resources based on the positive relationship with plant age. CL dependency on resource availability is common in other species found in dry or low-quality habitats; however, CL contributions in this species are comparatively low. This raises more questions related to energy requirements of both floral morphs, how this affects the production of viable progeny and why CL